Flying High with a Little Alphabet Practice

whooping cranes in flight

In Luna Crane, Papa Plane, a little whooping crane needs to practice making a letter V with her seven brothers and sisters so  they can successfully migrate all the way from Michigan to their wintering grounds in Florida. A tailwind turns it into a U, and a whirling, twirling wind turns it into a W. Luna is afraid she’ll never get it right.

I feel like I’ve been doing some alphabet practice this summer, too. My letter is a W: this has been a summer of walking, weeding, writing, waiting, and wondering! The first two are self-explanatory, and the third I’ve written about before. This week I’m still doing the first three, but I’m also waiting for my youngest daughter to come home (yay!) after a month working at camp, and I’m waiting to find out if little Luna Crane moves from being a finalist in the MeeGenius contest (see http://www.meegenius.com) to being the Grand Prize Winner. One can always hope, right?

The last one, wondering, is what I’m feeling right now. I’m in wonder and amazement at God’s great love and wisdom. This new e-picture book about the whooping crane was not even on my list of stories to send out to publishers, and yet it’s probably going to beat Bon Voyage, Sophie Topfeather’s release date, the one I’ve been waiting for my whole life–no, not really, but sometimes it feels that way! That novel has been in the works since 2001!

I had written this story as a writing exercise, in response to a contest theme from Highlights Magazine. It didn’t win that contest, and it just didn’t seem right for anyone else, no matter how hard I scanned marketing guides. Then along came the MeeGenius contest. I had unsubscribed from that website a few months ago (my in-box felt too full), so it was a friend who alerted me to it. Did I have anything? It had to be 500 words and not be submitted anywhere else until December. Hmm. The only thing I could think of that would fit the requirements–if I cut it down a third from the Highlights entry–was Luna Crane. Not so easy, but I got to work and sent it in on the first or second day of the contest.

So, I’m in wonder and awe. God has given me two books, both about birds, for two different markets (mainstream and Christian), that are coming out at about the same time. WOW! Since I work in a public school setting, this is important to me. I couldn’t have planned that if I spent my whole life trying.

What “letter” have you been working on this summer? Have you been like me, waiting and working on something that felt like it would never happen? Would you like to see what God can do with that? Don’t forget to include God in the loop of your hopes and dreams! My Sophie Topfeather books would never be getting published if it hadn’t been for my praying friends who never gave up. Luna would never be getting published if I hadn’t dragged it out of computer storage and changed it drastically for a new market. It would also not be getting published if I had told myself that it had to be a traditional, hardcover book or nothing. Is there some area of life that God is asking you to change in order to give it new life? Are you trying to put a leash on God? Trust me, His way is best! Let him decide the ultimate shape of your work and wants. You’ll be in wonder and awe, too!

I’d love to hear what letter you and God are working on this summer. Share it in the comments and encourage others!

About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and picture books for children, and occasionally an article or short story for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
This entry was posted in Faith, Luna Crane, Sophie Topfeather, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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