The idea for writing a bookmobile story came to me while driving one back in the 1960's. I was a college student at the University of Texas assigned to drive for a feisty librarian who got us into trouble with the head librarian several times because of helping our patrons in ways unrelated to books. I wanted to write a humorous novel about her, but quickly learned I didn't know much about writing.
The writing urge hit me again a few years later, and I started a fictional account of my time in the Marines in the 1950's and my true-life experience of driving with a black friend from California to Texas. I had read enough books to know it was an interesting idea and would have made a great novel. But once again, I was reminded I didn't know how to craft a novel. After that I settled for non-fiction writing.
The nudge to write the bookmobile story came again in 2004, and this time I said no because I knew it was too hard. The very next Sunday, my pastor, Dr. Jeanie Stanley, said this: "Trust the Lord God with your dreams and He will help you achieve them." This gave me the idea to turn the whole project over to God. To remind myself I wasn't alone, I wrote a prayer which I printed and taped to the computer monitor.
Dear Lord, be my source of inspiration. Give me the words you want the world to hear. Help me create the story and the characters to convey your message in such a way as to be desirable to the business world of publishers. Guide my hands and stay in my mind and my heart while I write and while I edit. Amen
By then I was smart enough to know I needed help so I started taking online basic fiction writing classes. At the time I was in the Austin Lyric Opera Chorus and rehearsing three times a week for eight or nine months out of the year, and didn't want to take on a large writing project. But, God wouldn't let me use that as an excuse. I retired from the chorus, continued to study and started writing Where Love Once Lived. That's when I met my teacher, Bonnie Hearn Hill. More about her later.
I don't want this to come across as me believing my book is the word of God. Far from it. All I'm trying to say is that I had a strong urge to write and publish Where Love Once Lived. I hope it makes you laugh and cry, and if just one person should happen to move closer to God because of it, then all the effort was worthwhile.
How about you? Have you ever felt compelled to do something so strong you wondered if God was trying to tell you something?
Note: This is repeated from 4/5/10.