July 3, 2008

Permission To Be Here . . . For Now

The other day, I had the colossal nerve to think there are a couple of lines in my current novel that aren't too shabby. This morning, I cracked open Water For Elephants. Incredible, captivating writing, spectacular voice, charming wit, depth & heart.

Wow. After an hour I put it down – I had to get ready for work. Part of me couldn't put it down; part of me couldn't read any more. It's a beautifully crafted, engrossing reminder that my writing sucks.

I nearly broke the mouse punching the close button on my always-open novel document. Then I took a deep breath and heard a little voice saying that NO ONE expects my first novel to be as good as Sara Gruen's third (?) and a NYT bestseller at that.

No one but Camille.

I like---no, love a bar set so high my nose bleeds just squinting to see it. I love an impossible challenge when it comes to writing well. Sara sets the bar high, and I like that. But somewhere in all this straining, bleeding and reaching, I guess I need to look at where I am now and give myself permission to be HERE.

For now.

Habakkuk 2:3 says:
For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day. (Amplified)

I will be patient and wait for the day my writing is at its best, but I will wait in earnest---pursuing excellence, writing, studying, honing, reading, listening, receiving instruction and correction and advice, working harder every day to reach that bar.

And I will keep reminding myself that it's okay to be here (while pinching my nostrils and pressing an ice pack to my forehead).

Just wanted to share that. Best of God's blessings to you...wherever you "are."

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I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.

Camille's Books

Visit www.camilleeide.com for book news.

Like There's No Tomorrow, Like a Love Song, and The Memoir of Johnny Devine are available in print & eBook at Amazon.