Sunday, August 21, 2005


THERE IS A sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a manuscript and finally mailing it off. It is something akin to giving birth. After seven years (off and on) of “conceiving” the manuscript of my first novel, followed by several years (off and on) of “nurturing” (revising), I “gave birth” (printed out the final version of the novel), and finally mailed it off to my publisher on Thursday, August 18.

NOW COMES THE hard part – waiting to hear if the publisher likes the “new and improved” version. For those of you who are mothers, it’s like when the nurse handed you your baby and you think, “Now what?” You start to wonder if you will be able to discern its every cry, what the next 18 years will be like, whether you will be a good mother, and whether that will be good enough.

EVEN THOUGH I am trying to wean myself of my cynical, pessimistic attitude and be more positive, I haven’t been able to completely shed it. I couldn’t help imagining that the publisher will have problems with the manuscript because of its mention of taboo topics such as abortion, negativity toward pregnancy, and infidelity, all on the part of the female protagonist. And then there’s the issue that the majority of the characters are Latino, even though there is reference to the African influence on their culture (for example, the husband affectionately calls his wife, Mulata, and she calls him, Prieto). Since my publisher caters to African American readers, will it be an issue?

AND THEN THIS morning, I woke up early to listen to “my pastor,” Joel Osteen. I know many critics have a problem with his “cookie-cutter” preaching, and the so-called commercialization of his evangelism, but I LIKE HIM. He always seems to speak on a topic that hits home. Sunday’s sermon was about “Speaking Faith in your Life Instead of Speaking Fear.” He talked about taking control of the power of our thoughts, meditating on God’s word, expecting that you and your children will succeed and prosper instead of fearing they will fail. He gave several examples of people who believed something bad was going to happen to them (infertility, disease, death) because it happened to their parents and their grandparents before them. And these negative thoughts played over and over in their minds like a bad movie scene until they came to pass. They had already lost the battle in their minds so the bad things were repeated because they were “convinced” they had no power over them. In other words, we give life to what we believe, and what we verbalize.

IT'S ALL STUFF I’ve heard before, things which so-called “experts” have latched on to and used in their messages (power of positive thinking, “I think therefore I am”), but it came at the right time today. I’m the kind of person whose mind starts racing with endless scenarios of bad things the minute my children step out of the house, especially if they go out at night. I KNOW I can’t prevent anything bad from happening to them, but I can help the thoughts that I allow into my mind. So I try to bless my children mentally and spiritually by covering them with His blood, by repeating the bendicion (blessing) of my childhood: Que Dios me los bendiga y los acompanen (May God bless and keep them.).

SO I’M GOING to make an effort to have a more disciplined mind, cast down wrong imaginations, and “stand guard over the doorway to the enemy.” Mye motto for today and henceforth is: “Faith Activates God; fear activates the enemy.”


At August 22, 2005 1:03 PM, Blogger LaShaunda said...

Hi Xenia,

I like Joel too. I'm reading his book. If I miss church, I make sure to find Joel on t.v. I like the way he preaches. He's down to earth.

At August 22, 2005 11:28 PM, Blogger LaEquis said...

Hi Lashaunda,

I like the way he preaches too. He's calm, down to earth, & doesn't scream, which has always been my pet peeve in church. I don't like to be screamed at, not even if you're preaching the Word. Jesus never screamed :).


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