I was pregnant with my first child when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up and shattered 73 seconds into its flight. I’m sure that even young children of that time would still remember where they were at that moment. I was in the kitchen of our first home. I remember the gold stove and the tomato sauce stained, yellow-flowered foam wall paper beside the stove. Ironically, the foam wall paper was likely as combustible as the Challenger, given the right (or wrong) circumstances, and situating it beside a stove was likely not wise.
Writing a manuscript in some ways, is like giving birth to a child. For months, it’s just a thought, a story being knit together and formed inside of you. In my case, with Don’t Tell, Jesus was very much involved in that process as he is in forming actual children (Psalm 139:13 - You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body). Once completed, the manuscript is birthed, but it’s still not developed enough to be released into the world yet. A community of pre-readers, editors, and publishing agents help raise it: feeding it a healthy diet of truthful criticism; correcting language and syntax; toilet training -- getting rid of the garbage; filling in gaps to develop strong bones and provide a good foundation for future stability. Only then will it be ready to be released into the world with hopes that it will move beyond Kindergarten.
These pre-primary, toddler years are the toughest to endure. I thought they’d only last a few months, but have found myself frustrated at the duration and lack of meaningful communication. It’s been over a year since the manuscript was birthed. I’m a first-time author-mom, full of queries and anxieties. Yes, there are books, and blogs on parenting your baby, and in theory I’m sure they’re all very good, but I’m a more hands-on mom. I like to have someone show me and walk me through it. I guess I should have joined an author mom and tots group. Maybe it’s not too late. I’ll have to look into that. In hind-sight, that is what the books and blogs I did read have recommended.
In these uncertain pandemic times there are some additional challenges: there are endless COVID-19 restrictions. What began as a two week lock-down to flatten the curve has turned into a year-long rollercoaster of ever-changing rules and regulations. Each of these regulations affects my efforts to communicate, promote and develop my baby. I feel ghosted - left out in the cold alone.
The Publishing House sits in a different province with it’s own series of shut-downs, lock-downs, and restricted work protocols. Understandably, the technicians who actually print the books can’t work from home; but in my estimation, working from home shouldn’t affect the ability to manage, edit, or design a book. But what if the managers, editors and designers have children who aren’t in school because of COVOD? What if they’re trying to home-school at the same time as work? What if fear is paralyzing them, as it has for so many? What if they have elderly family members whom they’re trying to care for? What if they have contracted COVID and are in hospital? These are all questions that I’ve been patiently mulling around in my head. But when email correspondence is not being returned, office phones are not answered or redirected, and home phone numbers are not available, it’s difficult to get answers. Like I said, I’m a first-time author-mom and I have so many questions.
Planning and arranging a book release is hard enough when you don’t have a release date, but even the thought of it is exasperated by COVID protocol. Can we have a book-signing? Will book stores be open? Can we do speaking engagements? Will the borders be open any time soon (Joanie and I would love to do speaking engagements together, but she is in Iowa and I’m in Ontario). How do we get the word out in a COVID world? Yet perhaps this slowed down process too, is part of God’s plan, so we can be together when it’s finally released.
Though part of me feels, like the Challenger Shuttle, the project is doomed to blow up and shatter, I’m convinced that the story is worthy to be told and will stand the test of COVID-19. After all, it’s an inspirational story of redemption against all odds. And as much as Don’t Tell will be my first book-child, it is also Joanie’s book-child, a third child birthed from her story of finding home after family betrayal. After losing two children, she needs to be around for this one. I am confident that Jesus will tie up all the loose ends and bring it to fruition. His unfailing love supports me and he calms all my anxieties.
Stay tuned for updates and a release date for Don’t Tell. Subscribe to the newsletter at KathyIsaac.com , like me on Facebook @kathyisaacneoslife, and follow me on twitter @kisaacneoslife.