Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Dream Come True!!

A box was delivered today. I waved at the UPS man dressed all in brown as he climbed back in his truck. Then I looked down to see what I had ordered that I had forgotten about. You see, I knew I had received all the Christmas gifts I had ordered. Could it be from someone else? Maybe a birthday gift for my son?

When I looked at the package, I immediately noticed the Harlequin symbol printed on the box. I KNEW what it was! I rushed inside and slapped the package on the kitchen counter. As I dug for the scissors, I noticed that my name and title were printed on the outside of the box! Oh my goodness, it was for real. My book was really published. I was grinning from ear to ear as I slit open the tape and peeled back the folds of the box.

And there, nicely snuggled in alternating stacks, was my cover. Not just a flat image. But bound to a real book. Since the kitchen was a tad dark, I hurried over to flip on the light to see better. But before I reached the light switch, I started to cry. No, not merely cry. I began to sob. I had to put the book down so I wouldn't get it wet and ruin it. And it took me a couple of minutes to get a grip.

You see, I started writing in 1995 when we got our first computer. I took my first online how-to class from Brenda Hyatt sometime after that. Through her, I learned of RWA and joined around 1997. Then I heard about my local chapter from my husband's aunt and joined Georgia Romance Writers. At that first meeting, I was blown away to be around real published authors. I saw names I knew from the shelves in the library and book store! I could hardly make conversation because I was so awestruck, so nervous. But I knew I was in the right place. I want that, I thought, determined to do whatever it might take to make it happen.

Over the next ten years, I wrote 5 complete novels, joined a critique group, re-wrote the novels. Then re-wrote a couple of them again. I learned lots along the way. Sent off three of them and had them rejected. I pitched at a good many conferences, sent submissions to agents as well. And then finally, on January 30, 2007, I got THE CALL from Steeple Hill.

And now that baby that was written and re-written (then revised and re-revised...) is in my hand.

Thank you, God, for Your perfect timing! Thank You for this thrill, for this blessing!

And thank you to all of you who have helped me along this journey. Thanks for the encouragement when I needed it most. Thank you for research help and for answering questions. Thank you for great workshops, for critiques, for contest feedback, and for great books to read. Thank you also for friendship and for laughter. I couldn't be at this wonderful moment in my life without you.

Missy

11 comments:

anonymous said...

Congratulations Missy ! I feel your excitement, I can only imagine how you felt. I thank you as a "reader," if it weren't for all of you writing, I would have nothing to read !!! Besides, 1/30 caught my attention, what a good day !
Cuzin Wendy

Belinda Peterson said...

Missy,

Cuz's birthday is that special day!

I know you are thrilled. I can't wait to hold one in my hand, too. I feel like a step-mom!! PS--that's a good thing!

Myra Johnson said...

Yea, Missy! So very happy for you!!!

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks, ladies! I'm still excited today. Took the book to school with me and even showed it to my students--telling them to reach for their dreams. :)

Christy LaShea Smith said...

Awww Missy,
I'm just thinking I would love to have been in your class, as a student. How awesome to have your teacher stand before you and tell you to believe and reach for your dreams!!!

So happy for you!!!

sunnij said...

Not sure I've walked ten years of this journey in the same caravan, but close to it. I'm so thrilled for you Missy! I know how hard you have worked and you've been a cheerful trouper through every rejection and disappointment along the way and a real encouragement to all who've traveled with you. This is your moment. Still lots of work and angst, but lots of joys too. Revel in each of them.

Missy Tippens said...

Sunni, thanks for visiting my blog!

I appreciate all you ladies celebrating with me! :)

Missy

Jane said...

YEAH MISSY!!!! I am so thrilled for you and I am going to order the book so I can read it.
I cannot imagine how you feel but I am proud of you.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Missy,

This is your moment! I'm so happy for you. I can't wait to hold my book in my hand as well. Sounds like we've been on a similar writing journey. I started writing in 1995 too. Congratulations!

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, Missy, you made me cry!!! I can soooo relate (although it hasn't happened yet, but I am expecting a similar box in the next week or so also!). And like you, I fully expect to sob. Oh, my, what a journey, what a thrill, what a God!!! I'm rejoicing with you, my friend.

Hugs,
Julie

Missy Tippens said...

Jane, thanks so much for stopping by! Jenn, I can't wait til you make that first sale, too!

And Julie, you won't have to wait very long to hold your baby!! :)