A Cautionary tale of seeking endorsements. . .

 

 

We’ve all gotten those types of responses; the ones that make us go. . . HUH?!?

In the course of seeking endorsements for my debut release last year, I heard a lot of “I would love to, really, but I’ve got all these crazy deadlines. . .” and “Sorry, but my publisher/agent is really choosy about who they’ll let me endorse. All the best!”, but there was one response that I never saw coming; one that made me stop and go:

Wait. . . WHAT!?!?!

 

“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way – I feel that your story isn’t quite ready for publication. I hope your publisher has provided you with a good editor, but if they haven’t, you should invest in hiring one. Having a trained editor’s opinion can make a world of difference in the quality of your writing.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask! I have been helped by some of the best authors in the business in my publishing journey, and I’m always willing to provide the same for others.”

 

Is it just me or does that sound like an advertisement – wrapped up in a dig, hidden behind an apology?

 

The good news: I am now immune to such nonsense.

I might not be. . . except that:

  • I have been published—quite successfully—under a pen name for years!
  • When I handed this manuscript to the woman who, at that time (God rest her soul), was considered THE agent for Amish fiction, one of the first things she asked was who handled my editing, because it was “flawless”.
  • When I sent the story to the agent who later signed me, she told me the book read like it had already been published. . . it was “that good”.

 

The bad news: Other authors are going to ask this person for their endorsement…

I’m certain of it, because of who the author is. And, if they are not as experienced as I happen to be, they might actually be taken in by it. And my guess is that they would panic and beg her to help them get the manuscript ready before it is published imperfect and they end up a laughingstock.

 

As for me, I’m not worried. The book was edited by my personal editor before an agent or publisher saw it. Then, of course, it went through extensive editing through the publisher.

Not to mention, even THE BIG FIVE publish books with mistakes. I don’t just mean typos either. I mean big, huge, glaring mistakes that you wonder HOW on Earth they ALL missed. And. . . yes, I’m certain there are one or two of those in my book as well because. . . no matter how many eyes see a book, we’re all human and imperfect. In fact, one of my beta readers caught a mistake that, when I went back through my past documents, the only conclusion I came to was that the computer actually made it. Darn autocorrect.

 

So, to newbies, debuts, first-timers: BE VERY CAREFUL whose advice you take! DON’T just automatically assume that one person’s opinion is the be-all, end-all, last word. . . especially if you happen to have compelling evidence the other way.

This novel has been “quite ready for publication” for over two years. And now I must get back to work on the next one.

 

 

 

 

©Rachel L Miller 2017

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Being single and adhering to God’s will | From the other side of marriage

I read an article this morning – and it inspired the following post.

So, being single at 28 doesn’t mean I’m desperate, but it does mean that I’m choosing to sacrifice my desires for God’s desires and plan.

TODAYSCHRISTIANWOMAN.COM

I’m Not Desperate, Just Single.
Please stop stigmatizing my singleness

 

. . .

First off, let me say – I LOVE this article. It touched my heart and gave me renewed sense of purpose.

Second, I will tell you that I live on the other side of this discussion – not just because I am in my thirties, but also because I am single, having married and divorced in my twenties.

For years . . . absolutely years, I heard “Just give yourself some time. You’ll decide to move on at some point and meet someone new.”

Well, I tried that. Before I re-dedicated my heart and life to God, I tried NOT being married and having the full-on relationship. I went from one-night stands to serious committed relationships to casual dating and “hooking-up”.

And I have to point out right here that I had a pretty impressive track record for a girl who was told over and over and over in high school that she would never be attractive to men unless she dropped about 50 pounds. Amazingly enough, I did lose about 30 pounds after my divorce. And then I got involved in a relationship that lasted over two years – and when that one ended, I was actually heavier than I was in high school. So I spent my wild years in relationships with men (not all handsome, but not all dogs either) who found my plus-size figure attractive enough. . . No, I’m not condoning my behavior – I’m just pointing out that size doesn’t make as much a difference as everyone would like to think.

OK.

After I decided my crazy, mixed-up, messed-up ways were not the best way to go about things, I decided I needed to get married again.

Clearly, since I reside once again in the world of the single life, that was a mistake.

I did not wait for God’s leading.

I did look for signs from God, but I was seeing them in the wrong places and still going about things all the wrong way. So it’s really no wonder that things ended . . . badly.

And once again, I heard the well-wishers who proclaimed that all I needed was to give my heart time to heal.

 

But here’s the thing (and it’s really the most important thing) . . .

It’s not about what I want.

GOD knows – so much better than I ever could – what is the right way for me, what is the right thing for me.

If I had listened to God . . . if I had waited for God . . . my life would be very different right now.

I might be married . . . I might not . . . But my life would definitely be very different.

THIS TIME, I am determined to wait for God’s plan. I am determined to wait for God’s will! And if that means I spend my life without a husband, then THAT is what I am going to do!

It doesn’t matter that my entire family looks at me like I’m damaged goods.

It doesn’t matter (though it really does hurt) that the families in our home-school organization look at me like I’m being rebellious and strong-willed. I know why I’m doing this and IT. IS. WORTH. IT!

So, from the other side of marriage, I have to agree with Rachel on this aspect, at least – it is more important that we do what WE KNOW GOD wants from us and WE have to make the choice to FOLLOW HIS leading!

 

IN GOD I TRUST!

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Let’s Get Real – Grateful!

Today is my birthday… and I am ever so much more grateful today than I was yesterday…

Yesterday I was feeling a bit melancholy. I tend to be introspective this time of year and the devil takes advantage of that to hit me hard with some things that I normally don’t even think about.

He loves to drag me down and he loves to lie to me and tell me… probably the same things he tells a lot of people… I’m not special. I’m not loved. I’m not worth anything. I’m not truly saved… the list goes on and on but you get the idea.

Thankfully, I was reminded this morning – by a friend’s recent blog post – that I have SOOOOOOOOOOO many things to be thankful for!

I have an amazing family who loves me, puts up with me, takes care of me, and tells me regularly… that they cannot live without me!

I have wonderful friends, both online and in real life, who tell me how talented and brilliant I am and how they cannot wait to see what God has in store for my gifts!

I have unbelievable talent that God has blessed me with – me… the girl who’s not special. Well, I’m not – but God obviously has some special plans for me!

I have the best, sweetest, most precious blessings of children – who love me despite my faults and shortcomings, who tell me they like me fat, like me even when I get fussy, hug me even when I lose my temper or patience, and cannot stand to be away from me even for the short time it takes to go pick up dinner and bring home.

I have had thirty-six years of blessing and love and patience from my heavenly father; who stood by me even when I turned my back on him, lifted me up even when I chose to lay in the ditch, and carried me through the storms I stumbled my own way into!

I am so very amazingly, unbelievably, incredibly, spectacularly BLESSED!

 

I am Grateful and I am Thankful and I am in AWE! And I hope you’ll join me!

 

GOD BLESS YOU!

~ Rachel

♬ HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! ♬

 

© Rachel L Miller 2015

Let’s Get REAL! | Part 1 cont…

In my first LET’S GET REAL! post, I shared a photo with you…

 

This photo is at the heart of many of my issues… and let me tell you why.

I am not a small person. I am what would be considered “short” by most people, but that only makes my weight more visible. If I were six feet tall, the weight would be distributed very differently – but I am 5’4″.

 

God made me to be 5’4″ tall. I do not believe he made me to weigh over 300 pounds.

And therein lies the problem.

There are two elemental truths that I am reminded of constantly.

1. God made me – and He loves me.

2. Beauty is only skin deep.

However… there are deeper truths that must also be considered.

God made me – but I refuse to believe I was designed to weigh what I do. That makes no sense. I can hardly bend over to tie my shoes… I can’t sit on most chairs that have arms… I could go on and on and on but you get the idea. So it follows that there is some inconsistency. God loves the person UNDER the fat, yes, but – like sin – He did not intend for me to be buried under all of the excess so why would He love it?

Beauty may only be skin-deep but what kind of witness can I possibly be for GOD, looking like I do? I wear skirts all the time but the weight is what draws attention. And why would ANYONE come to Christ by my example if they think my size has anything to do with my love for GOD?

 

Yesterday I revealed some pretty difficult truths – I was unwanted…

I was both horrified and thrilled to discover some months ago that there are actually babies that survive the abortion process. Horrified because if that baby is born in any form, HOW can the doctors and nurses deny the truth! Thrilled because God clearly has a plan for those babies and His hand is mighty! Miracles truly are EVERYWHERE!

Watching/Listening to the testimonies of some of these people, you will discover that many of them struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide for much of their life. Why… because they were unwanted and because they were violently torn from their mothers. Even before clear memory, something remains of that in their subconscious.

It’s easy for people to relate to that. They cringe and they nod their heads sympathetically. They see how horrifying that would be for a child to discover.

But what if you weren’t dragged through anything so horrible…

What if you were born under normal circumstances, wanted desperately and rejoiced over by your mother but detested by your father…

Even now, at almost 36 years old, my father only calls me to complain, to fuss about things that I have no control over – because the rest of the family refuses to listen to him anymore. He only wants to visit so he can see his grandchildren. I have been a disappointment to him since the day I was born.

Why? Because he wanted boys and I was a girl – God created me to be a girl.

It took years for me to find a way to stand up for myself, and I did it in the most horrible way – I rebelled… I wore shorts. I read smutty romance novels. I detested church. I argued religion with him endlessly. I spent hours curled up in the corner of his couch, reading – and ignoring him – whenever we visited. And then… the unthinkable – I got divorced.

I honestly think that bothered him more than the wild streak that followed and he barely spoke to me for years afterwards. Nevermind that his only daughter had been deserted on the other side of the country with nothing – no money, no place to live, no friends, no family, and no way to contact my husband.

 

That was over 15 years ago and he still has not forgiven me for it. He hasn’t forgiven me for the second divorce either but I expected that. And again, it didn’t matter to him that I had no choice in it.

 

So here I sit, overweight, unwanted, trying desperately to find some way to move beyond it all. I have tried counseling. I have tried self-help books and far too many diets to name, but as far as I can tell, the only thing that’s going to get me through is prayer… lots and lots of prayer! I’m going to throw myself on God’s mercy and beg him to help me get through this… somehow!

 

I don’t really deserve a miracle but I’m hoping for one – and isn’t that what prayer is… hope?

 

GOD Bless!

~ Rachel

 

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2015

Let’s Get REAL! | Part 1

Last week, we attended the ATI (Advance Training Institute) Nashville Family Conference.

During each conference we have attended over the last four years… at some point, I have experienced a tremendous insight – usually accompanied by tears and a great outpouring of God’s overwhelming spirit.

This year was no different.

The only difference this year was… the issue had no immediate resolution that became apparent with the appearance of insight.

So I’m going to do something a bit different with it. I’m going to get my dear readers involved.

So here goes… LET’S GET REAL!

 

 

As you can see, I am not a small person.

 

The picture is revelation #1!

Revelation #2 is I was unwanted… pretty much from the day I was born. I’m not going to defend it or talk about it or bore you with all the crazy details… just know that my father, the man who was supposed to be my hero, never wanted me… has never wanted me.

Revelation #3 is not so much a secret revealed but it is directly tied to numbers 1 and 2 and I can only let go of so much at once so…

I have been married and divorced twice and I’ve been involved in at least five abusive relationships – not counting my father but counting at least one husband.

 

OK… that’s all the real I can handle letting go of tonight so I’ll be back when I’ve shored up some more courage.

GOD Bless!

~ Rachel

 

 

© Rachel L. Miller 2015