Oh wait—I don’t drink coffee. And come to think of it, it wasn’t a short break, either. Hopefully I’m not the only one who’s noticed that I’ve been gone from ApricotPie for a very long time now. I promise, it wasn’t intentional. So first, a brief update on my life, and then an explanation for my absence followed by some thoughts on the future.
It’s been an amazing, awesome, crazy, and at times very tough couple of years. I’ve said goodbye to people I love, added some new and incredible people to my life, learned some hard lessons, grown in my faith, watched God slam some doors in my face only to drag me through others I wasn’t expecting, let go of some goals and achieved others, joined forces with an awesome ministry that God is using to do great things, and while I can’t say I’ve enjoyed every single minute, I can say that I love what God is doing in my life and the things He’s taught me about Himself over the last few years have made me more in love with Him and more confident in His sovereignty and goodness than I ever imagined being. I am so excited to see what He has in store for the future!
Right now I am blessed to be my own boss, earning my living teaching music and cleaning offices. I spend my weekends volunteering with Creation Ministries of the Ozarks as a tour guide and apologist at one of their two museums, where I have the awesome privilege of helping Christians become more confident and informed in their faith and the reliability of the Bible, and occasionally debating with a skeptic or atheist who happens to wander in. My prayer is that God will use me to bless each and every guest I host at the museum, but so far I’m pretty sure I’m the one getting the most blessings out of the deal!
After almost twenty years of writing, and almost twelve of actually knowing I was going to be a writer, my writing has finally started really going somewhere—namely, New Zealand! This past winter, I signed the contract for my first novel, Song of the Wren-Falcon, with Splashdown Books of New Zealand. Right now I’m working on editing Song... and writing the sequel. And next winter, I’ll be following my manuscript to New Zealand to serve a two-month internship with my publisher, Grace Bridges! (See what I mean about God’s goodness being more than I could have imagined?)
I’ve recently been featured in two issues of Havok Magazine as well, as winner of the 2013 Realm Makers flash fiction competition and a finalist in the 2014 Steampunk versus Cyberpunk genre contest.
After years and years of trying to get my writing out there, it’s finally happening! And honestly, that’s a lot of what has brought me back to ApricotPie. In meeting with all this success, I’ve been thinking a lot about my roots, and the things that got me to where I am today as a writer. ApricotPie is one of the main characters in that story. Without the outlet it provided for my creativity, and the honest but loving criticism I received over the years from the friends I made here, my writing journey might have taken a different path—it certainly would have been much more difficult. I’ve met people through ApricotPie that are still my friends today, and I’ve watched people I introduced to the site become some of its most popular writers. Honestly, I’ve missed it.
And so after a very long non-coffee break, I’m back, and I hope to start writing regularly again.
However, that brings me to a quandary: some of you may remember the serial I was posting before: The Forests of Evenlear. I was really enjoying writing it until I realized that the plot hinged on a love triangle. I tried to rewrite the plot to avoid such a situation, but the story just won’t work (or at least, it won’t be interesting) without the love triangle. Knowing how most of my fellow Apricots feel about love triangles, and despising the wretched things myself, I decided to take a break from posting to try to figure the problem out. Unfortunately, that break turned into a more-than-two-year leave of absence. (Sorry.)
So now I need input from people who read the first few chapters I posted of The Forests of Evenlear. Is the story beginning I already have worth continuing, love triangle notwithstanding? Or should I just let it go, perhaps say a few touching words over its grave, and focus on something new?
Whatever you guys think, I’m totally fine with it either way. I don’t want to post something that’s going to make people roll their eyes and think “Great, she’s turned into one of those writers!” but I also don’t want to leave something hanging that people were enjoying. So please let me know, and please be honest, like I know you all are. Whichever you think I ought to do, I’m super excited to be back and I’m looking forward to more fabulous years of writing and reading.
It’s good to be home.