Thursday, July 08, 2010

Do Uneeda Sign?

A long time ago, I had to have some banners made for an event. The company recommended to me was called "Uneeda Sign." Address in hand, I drove down the street searching for the company's office. When I found it, I burst out laughing. The sign for the Uneeda Sign Company was so faded, it was barely readable. "Boy, you do need a sign!" I said aloud.

Over the past few months, I've really needed a sign. A sign to tell me to keep working on this blankety-blank manuscript. A sign to tell me not to cancel my ed/ag appointments at nationals. A sign to keep writing. A sign, a signal, a message, anything--I'm not picky, but the clearer the better. An ad on Facebook would be ideal. Something that says "Do not give up. Do not stop writing. Keep going." I prayed about it, but, to my despair, no FB ad appeared.

So I stopped writing.

I should have known God would be far more creative than a silly FB ad.

The last thing I did before I closed the document for good was come up with a title: White Handkerchief with Pink Roses. The handkerchief is pivotal to the plot, and oh, I don't know, it just seemed respectful to bury the thing with a title.

For a couple of weeks I tried to forget about that ms. I tried to pretend that I could just start on another project. I tried to put all that writing business behind me. But I couldn't. I kept thinking about my story, and I started looking for guidance again. I really wanted a sign.

One day not long after, I was in a local variety store -- a place where you can buy a handbag as well as a hairnet, a yard of ribbon as well as a yard game for the kids. I wandered the aisles, marveling at the amazing merchandise. I stopped in front of one display, and suddenly, my mouth went completely dry. Right in front of me was a stack of frilly white handkerchiefs. And the one on the top had a bouquet of pink rosebuds in the corner.

It might as well have been a FB ad. I'm writing again. I have new energy and new faith. Because I needed a sign and I got it.

How about you? Tell us about the signs you've had in your life.


Jeanie said...

I don't know about signs, but I DO know about inspiration of a Godly sort. I often times start my writing time with a quick prayer for inspiration and guidance. And sometimes I pray when I get stuck. You know what I mean. The words don't flow. Your characters are misbehaving. The story has gone off on some weird tangent of its own. I pray then too, for help to untangle the mess. And it always works. Maybe not right away. Maybe later that day in the car or the next morning while I'm getting ready for work.

Couldn't write without the Big Guy.

Carla Swafford said...

That's an awesome post, JoAnn. So true. Encouragement comes in the strangest forms and creatures. And sometimes it comes from a sweet CP who knows just the right thing to say like "I can't wait to read it!"

That goes for me too. I can't wait for you to finish it. I can't wait to see how you work your magic.

Callie James said...

So true. I often say that as well. Show me a sign. I always get one.

That was a big holy-cow sign for sure.

Glad you're back to writing!

JoAnn said...

Absolutely, Jeanie. I agree with you wholeheartedly!

JoAnn said...

Thank you, Carla! :-)

JoAnn said...

Thank you, Callie. I'm feeling better about the ms every day.

MaryC said...

JoAnn, that story gave me goosebumps.

As I was reading, I kept thinking of the blog series I've been doing about facing writing fears and wondering if you're on the same journey as me. After reading about your sign, I think you're good to go!

Best of luck with your writing.

M.V.Freeman said...

So glad you found your sign! :-)

I think we all need to get something that pushes us forward.

I celebrate your finding that inspiration again.

Christine said...

Glad you got your sign!! Woot. What an amazing one, too!! That was a kick in the pants and a "get back to work" sign for sure.

I go through periods of doubt, but then something wonderful happens or I get a nod from somewhere and I forge ahead.