Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dear Editor Cindy, You Can Stop Crossing Your Fingers

Notes for GIY

Dear Editor Cindy,

You probably heard a rumor that I might not finish my book. Struggling through the final chapters of a manuscript can be tough work. But I assure you the rumor is patently false. As of yesterday I typed the final words of the epilogue.

If I hadn't been through this process before, I'd be celebrating with wine and chocolate (well, that is if I drank wine on U.S. soil; for some reason I only imbibe when I'm traveling abroad). Anyway, this time I know better. These final keystrokes are not an end but a beginning. You'll send the manuscript out to two readers (but if it's okay with you, please don't pick Reader 2 again. She didn't seem to appreciate my genius. Just hire Reader 1 and Reader 3 and we'll be fine.)

You're probably on vacation and won't get this note until my manuscript has been sitting on your desk for a month. In the meantime, I promise not to email you every day and clog up your inbox. I'll be good and keep it to a bi-weekly inquiry. And instead I'll send letters to people like Mr. Billy Coffey. He just did a marvelous giveaway of our first book, Stone Crossings. You should check him out. I'm not kidding; he's an up-and-comer. Why, I wrote to him already and here's what I said...

Dear Billy,

I'm so flattered that you want to be writer-me when you grow up. That's pretty cool. Really.

I just have this... well... this concern... I'm kinda wondering (quietly, see) if you could stand the pressure to sometimes wear a dress and heels (personally, I don't mind dresses, but I can't stand high shoes; they hurt my knees and make me feel like a wanna-be giraffe). The way I see it, you're more the cowboy-hat type— spinning tales by the fire. Tales that could make a man weep into his coffee or lose his chewing tobacco in a moment of pure hilarity. [you can read the rest of the letter here.]

When I'm not busy writing letters to talented people like Billy, I'm going to write lots of poems. Like this one for last week's 'not' prompt at High Calling Blog's Random Acts of Poetry...


You are not the blond
beauty I'd been taught to
believe in, Renaissance-buxom,
fawning over my every word

and feeding me grapes while
I sop up inspiration from the
sweat of your pores. I wish you'd
stop yawning, picking your teeth

and flicking stray peach skins
over my notes. Who can work
in the presence of such disdain,
who can stay sane, pen the next

masterpiece while your eyes
look so vexed. You are not
the helpmeet I ordered, not the
glass of red wine nor the rich, fine

chocolate they promised in sonnets.
I bet money you like it this way, wielding
a tray of miniature mincemeat pies, not
lifting a finger to help me swat flies.

Your Favorite Writer for InterVarsity Press, L.L.

'God in the Yard' notes photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Monica's Pilgrim Longing
Sally’s Skinny Dipping
Jim’s 76th and Tidbits
Ann's The Din Undoes Us
Milton's To a Friend, on the Death of Her Father
Marcus's As the Deer
nAncY's not
Mom2Six's Quest
Claire's Untangling and Twisted Tale
Tony's Country Rain
Cindy's Lucid Thoughts
Sara's Woods
Deb's Prodigal Mothers
Simple Country Girl's I Do Not Have

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Blogger Claire said...

just in time for the previous prompt before tomorrow's one : )

9:34 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

and about your post. just loving the upbeat tempo of it and your shy but honest wit. just what i needed this afternoon!

if you are needing a volunteer reader, i should would not mind doing the honours ; )

9:37 AM  
Blogger katdish said...

He is fairly awesome, no?

But don't tell him I said so...

9:42 AM  
Blogger sojourner said...

i liked the "not" "muse" poem with your light hearted post - so glad you have finished and now must play the waiting game - one of these days, when i'm not reading heavy academic textbooks and research articles, i will pick up a copy of your book(s) and give you a read while curled up on the sofa (maybe sipping 1 glass of wine) - would you still be willing to sign a copy for me?

10:19 AM  
Blogger sojourner said...

i'm back again - just checked Nancy's last post (part 5 of the wine making) and I've decided that it would be lovely to have a bottle of Peter's wine with one of her labels along with one of your books - when I find a reprieve from my academic studies I can read your book while enjoying a glass of Peter and Nancy's wine - i will have a 3 week break between summer session and fall - do you still have signed copies of Stone Crossings? If you do I'd like to take one off your hands.

10:29 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Claire... you're in. And we're so glad you are. :)

Katdish... my lips are sealed (but I can't speak for my Tweets)

Sojourner... sounds like a relaxing plan. Sure, I could send you a copy (and maybe some pressed flowers plucked from my back yard), for a few dollars more than it costs on Amazon. :) $18 to:

L.L. Barkat
c/o Community Bible Church
301 Chadeayne Road
Ossining, NY 10562

11:19 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Congrats on your draft! How good that must feel. And I know what you mean about the muse ;)

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Monica said...

What Orual said in "Till We Have Faces":
"I was with book, as a woman is with child."
So, you got that baby out! Now for the nursing. And getting the weight down so you don't have to wear maternity clothes anymore...

11:54 AM  
Blogger Billy Coffey said...

Aww, L.L....

12:46 PM  
Blogger e.o.w. said...

I'm chuckling here... Congrats on entering an end/new beginning.

And the poems you offer never fail to inspire. Thank you L.L.!

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Peter P said...


Be careful now, don't let Billy's head get too big just yet!


I hope you both sell millions!


5:30 PM  
Blogger deb said...

poetry offering is ready

6:46 PM  
Blogger mom2six said...


"you are not the helpmeet I ordered"...seems like life can be this way at times...not the way we ordered it.

You are an inspiration and encouragement!

12:23 PM  
Blogger deb said...

your poem surprises and rings so true...

also , I hate to think that I'm always gushing , but the link to the article Gazing into the Abyss .. was again testament to you. I can't articulate how I felt reading it. The fact that you felt it worthy of sharing and then did so speaks volumes, and those few words spoke more than volumes often have. Thank you Thank you
Thank. You. Okay I'm crying now...

1:56 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

This is a great glad that your manuscript is complete! The poem is fabulous and funny.
the comments on this post are entertaining as well. I was thinking of ordering Stone Crossings...have it saved in my Wish List on Amazon. It would be much nicer coming from you with a signature. :) flowers too??? wow! LOL
I posted a poem that is on my heart this week, although I wrote it a year ago. Another one in the works, but it still takes quiet and ... I don't know...time. (unless the poem creates itself in my mind, like the one posted today)

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Kilauea Poetry said...

Well, I've been perusing and ended up here. Just wanted to say I really enjoyed this-

2:29 PM  
Blogger Joelle said...

Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!!!! I think this calls for wine and chocolate on this end. Celebration! (Of course, now there is the loooong, tedious wait for the publishers to do their part. But, God in the Yard is maybe now in the back yard instead of the back forty. In a few months, just on the back step. Then the back porch. Then in my hands!!!)

9:28 AM  
Blogger nAncY said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:41 AM  
Blogger nAncY said...

...i slipped contribution is here .

11:43 AM  
Blogger Cindy Bunch said...

A most unique way to announce the completion of a manuscript. And, yet, nothing in my in-box . . . Nice comment about Stone Crossings on Hearts and Minds:

10:16 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Ah, sweet Joelle. I wish it would be a few months. But believe it or not, it will still be a long time before the book comes out. Sometime next year.

Publishing. Sigh. :)

10:05 PM  

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