An anniversary slipped past me on October 5.

Ten years ago this month, I signed the contract for my first two novels. I remember that I could hardly believe it.

At Spiro's Pizza, October 5, 2005, celebrating the signing of my first publishing contract — for Auralia's Colors and Cyndere's Midnight — with Anne, and with Nathan and Sarah Partain.
At Spiro’s Pizza, October 5, 2005, celebrating the signing of my first publishing contract — for Auralia’s Colors and Cyndere’s Midnight — with Anne, and with Nathan and Sarah Partain.

I’m grateful that I was provided all that I needed to rise to the occasion. I’m grateful for all that Anne and others did to make it possible for me to immerse myself in another world and write down what I found there.

I’m grateful for my agents: the inspiring Don Pape, and the resourceful Lee Hough (may he rest in peace). I am grateful for my insightful editors: Shannon Marchese and Steve Parolini. They all cared not just about the contracts, but about my head and my heart and my marriage.

I’m grateful for the support that I had at the office.  I’m grateful that I had the chance to apply the skills that I had focused on sharpening in my years as a student at Seattle Pacific. 

Since I was six years old, I have felt closest to God, and most like myself, in the process of discovering and shaping a new story.

Things beyond my control have changed my world considerably; I’ve had resources taken from me that enabled me to do that work over a period of six years. I don’t feel like myself in these days of perpetual fragmentation and interruption, where hours of solitude are few and far between. But I know that that short season of my life was a gift, one that I had not expected; there was no promise that life would allow me to go on writing novels.

And I haven’t given up hoping that the burdens and stresses of my current circumstances will someday diminish, and that I’ll find enough peace and space to immerse myself once again in imagination. I think I’ve grown as a writer, and learned through those experiences. There are so many stories I would love to put down on paper, so many more visions I’d love to share. 

Maybe next year, if God is willing.

If you feel moved to say a prayer toward that end, I would be grateful.

In the meantime, I am blessed whenever I get a note from a reader who reminds me that my characters are alive and out there in the world living lives of their own, thanks to the goodness of my friends and family, and by the grace of God.

I am still mystified by how it all came about. And grateful beyond my capacity to express to have had those opportunities.