Friday, April 3, 2009

A Lesson Well Learned

I was asked about a year ago if I’d be interested in creating an article for this April’s Christian Fiction Online Magazine’s International column. Of course I said yes.

Where the lesson comes in, however, is that in the course of nearly a year I let this opportunity slide further and further into the recesses of my mind, knowing I had plenty of time to come up with something witty and yet informative to share. As March approached, and life as usual, sped by, it finally dawned on me that I had an article to write. I had no idea of the deadline, but I figured it would be similar to the Afictionado one for reviews, the 15th of the prior month. So I still had a good two weeks to craft something of value.

Well, guess what?

I didn’t.

An extension was gracefully offered, thankfully. But my writing of it, for an article that I wanted to be upbeat, came in the saddest of times. Our beloved tabby cat of seventeen years developed serious health issues that ultimately lead to humane euthanizing of him. So, what was meant to be funny, entertaining, and informative, ended up being lecture material you’d get from the white-socked, flood-length plaid pant wearing, and saucer eyeglass sporting, monotone, barely alive lecturer on his worst day.

So I’ve learned the hard way to start something as soon as you receive the assignment. You can always modify, add, subtract, tweak in the many months in between, but at least you’ll have something far closer to your original intent to submit come the deadline. Unlike what happened to me this time. The grieving me really doesn't do witty.

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

I look at this as further training of me, and seek to not depart from it.

If you’re interested in being lectured to regarding the trial of being me preparing to break into the American market, you can catch this free seminar at Christian Fiction Online Magazine.

I hope you'll check out the far more peppy articles throughout this great magazine while you're there, though. Wouldn't want you to leave the site feeling numb and depressed like I was in my hours of grief.

Surrendering to Him,



Jessica said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. That has to be very tough. :-(

Jessica said...

I just read your article and it was very informative. I had no clue you all call dish towels a tea towel. :-)

Jody Hedlund said...

Great article!! You pulled all of the information together very well, in spite of your grief at the time of your writing.

But good lesson learned! Better to plan ahead because we never know what life issues could arise to slow us down. I have to remind myself of that!

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Thank you all!

And Jessica, we use to sing "God Save the Queen" and "Oh Canada" during opening announcements in school. Tea towel comes from our British heritage, I'm sure.

I believe the most familiar difference we have between American lingo and ours is probably the sneaker vs. running shoe (runner) that we use here. But there are many others I'm discovering as my work passes through my multi-cultural crit group. They are a great source for learning to write to the broader market.

And, yes, Jody, sadly, I learned that even in death there are lessons to be learned. I praise God that it wasn't one my children or human family, but it still hurts when it's a pet you've poured your love into for years, and watched change along with you.

Terri Tiffany said...

I grieved for a year after our cat died. I'm sorry for your loss--it is real. And it will affect what we write in so many ways. Good for you though that you did get the article in!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Hey, Terri. I sometimes wonder if grieving ever really ends. People and pets I've lost years ago still cause me a heavy chest when I pause to reflect on life with them and allow myself a moment to feel how much they are missed. It's amazing what will spark a moment of reflexion with them. When the moments gone, though, the loss is afresh once more.

T. Anne said...

Thank's for the link. Sorry about your kitty :(