In the midst of your crazy-fast lives, some of you may have noticed that after a trickle of short-lived resurrections on my blog, I’ve been AWOL for a while. Let’s not consider how long it’s been.
I’m sorry. But let’s find out why.
Hopefully you’ll be relieved to hear that I haven’t been foundering in the Slough of Despond or wallowing in the Trough of the Uninspired, or losing track of days and months through endless social media or web-wandering. (Though I do read a lot of book reviews online, and that’s become addictive.)
No. In fact, I’ve been writing. A lot. In late February, I completed the manuscript of my first memoir, Paradise Road. And I’m very excited about it!
I’ve been carrying this book inside me for a long, long time: more decades than I care to admit. It’s been brewing like fine whiskey, waiting for a run of uninterrupted days when I’d be free enough of distractions and familial concerns to focus on doing it right. And I finally got that time. When I sat down to write, over a year ago, the memoir flowed like a dream: day after day, it practically wrote itself. After that, of course, my successive drafts needed lots of editing, revising, and polishing to make my final product the best it could be. I worked hard.
And the process has been a joy, from beginning to end.
Of course, this isn’t really the end; it’s more like the middle, or even the beginning of the journey to publication. I’m seeking an agent and/or a publisher to bring my baby into the world. At this stage, it’s all about industry research, the all-important query letter, synopsis writing, and the one-minute Pass/Fail moment when my one-page appeal lands in the agents’ hands (or computer screens) for their cursory inspection. I’m a newbie to all this, so it’s a little daunting. But I believe in my book. I believe it holds its own among other fine memoirs (and I’ve read scores of them, I assure you; I’m a memoir junkie). I also believe in the power of prayer, and the promise of Proverbs 22:29:
Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.
Maybe I’m extrapolating a little too much from this verse, but for some reason it keeps running through my head. This book, I humbly posit, merits a wide audience. Because here’s the thing:
Paradise Road isn’t just a memoir of an unconventional life (the first 24 years of said life, anyway); it’s the story of how a gutsy, lost, devastated, boundary-less New Ager finds redemption on a solo bicycle quest after losing everything. It’s about the hound of heaven and the power of truth and the beautiful brokenness of relationships. It’s about complicated grief, and finding unexpected grace and quintessential answers where you least expect them to be.
In short, it’s a book with a captivating story and a message of hope, and I want it to reach as many as possible. Which is why I’m asking for your prayers and support.
Here’s what you, dear readers, can do for me.
Get the word out. Lots of friends out there – wherever you are, all over the world — know me (and Henry) from the wonderful years we spent intermingled in your lives. You’ve followed my blogs about the HKL (London, the Letter, and Looking Back) and the years of recovery from life and ministry trauma recounted in the second series (Turn, Turn, Turn). You know my middle life, and my later life, and how I write about it. You know lots of other people who know me, or have heard about me. And you know what I care about most.
So please, tell your friends, our friends, about this book. Direct them to this blog post (or to my Facebook page, and ask them, if they’re genuinely interested, to send me a public comment indicating they’d like to buy and read my book once it’s published. (And you leave one, too.) I want agents to know I already have a loyal, built-in readership – and I want you to know the book is on its way.
Please pray for the right agent and the right publisher to make it all work out.
There’s more to come. I’ve got another memoir (or two or three) waiting in the pipeline to be written. Hurray! (Some of you might be in them!) And I’m going to post more about Paradise Road on this blog: the table of contents, early reviews, teasers, and short excerpts. I’ll keep you posted on this leg of the writer’s journey, this quest to land my manuscript in the right hands.
For my part, I also promise to stop disappearing. Or at least, to show up and apologize more frequently when I do. Be assured that when I do disappear, it’s only into my keyboard, doing what I love and spinning my wonderful, true, tragicomic tales into readers’ gold.
OK then. Horn blowing over. Missing Writer recovered.
Now I’m waiting for my comments box to feature you!
P.S. The featured painting is by my super-talented brother, Philip Mix.