Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The nun and the book

Source: Heartbeatoz

Last week I met with a nun to talk about my book.  It wasn't for Divine Inspiration, which I could use, or to bless my book, which isn't a bad idea.  I asked her to meet me because:
  • She is one of the most intelligent women I know, and I love how she interprets the world
  • She's written a few books herself, and I wanted to learn about her experience publishing
  • She knows religion, and I was eager to get her feedback on a chapter I'd written about my experience with the Catholic Church
  • Nuns are made of steel, yet they are soft and yielding inside.  I need a nun in my corner.  Who doesn't?
Our meeting was thrilling.  For the first time, my experience with my book involved more than me, a room, and a computer.  It was bigger.  It was me sharing my book, beginning my journey to that final destination I've been dreaming about for the last 18 months: publication.  Would it actually happen?  I didn't know, but our two hours together made my heart feel light, inflated with hope and anticipation about the future.  

You couldn't have upset me that day if you tried.

My nun took Chapter 13 home.  She e-mailed me several hours later, saying she'd read it 4 times.  A couple days passed.  Then the feedback came: "It has promise," she wrote, "but it needs a bit more flesh on the bones." 

My first reaction?  *&%$*it.  I knew it needed more "flesh on the bones" in September.  I've been fattening it up for 8 months now.  How much fatter did it have to get?  I thought I'd finally achieved the right ratio of flesh to bones.  

I did not respond to my kind nun.  I let the feedback brew.  I let her words seep into the wrinkles in my brain.  Then I did two things.  First, I thanked God I'd revised my book before showing it to her.  If she thought my manuscript was emaciated now, she would have thought it was skeletal 8 months ago.  
Then I heaved a sigh of relief.  Flesh on the bones?  I can do that.  I've been practicing that for 8 months.  

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