The BeginningFrom the beginning, I've asked God to bless Wayman Publishing. It may sound silly, but every time a book has gone through the review process and been accepted, there's always been some type of sign to show us we're on the right track.
Since the company started with a book about Zeke (my son who died), it's almost felt as if he's been guiding me, leaving hints that we're on the right path. I suddenly know what to do, or how to talk with the editorial board. We'll create new ideas and it's been strange how things have fallen into place, always working toward something that will help everyone (authors, readers, editors and the small press).
A New BookWell, that's what happened with author Thomas M. Sullivan. His book had already made it through Wayman's rigorous approval process. (While accepting submissions, we get about ninety queries a month and only publish 10-20 books per yer.)
The review team raved about Mr. Sullivan's humor and keen writing skills. We quickly sent a contract and I was thrilled to be assigned as the final editor, working with Joshua Carstens to polish the MS.
The SignThe manuscript came to me last. I eagerly read it, and after finishing over half of it, really wondered if there would be a sign. I paused, grinning and tapping my pencil on the pearly pages of the manuscript. Does God really have time to give me a sign every step of the way? Honestly, He's probably awfully busy making thunderbolts and such.
So, I thought there would be no sign, and there didn't need to be; the book was fantastic with or without supernatural validation. I took a break after that. Someone called then, criticizing my endeavors. "You'll never make it," she said. "Why try reaching for the stars? You have four kids at home. You need to quit writing, quit editing and quit publishing!"
"But this is where I'm meant to be," I said. "I think there have been signs all along."
"There you go with those stupid signs again. Are you still superstitious about fortune cookies?"
I gulped. The answer was "yes." Would it be bad to lie and say "no"?
"Sometimes you're so happy, people just need to take you down a notch," she finished, grinding me into dust, finally.
We hung up, and I prayed. "God please give me another sign. I know it's stupid to keep wishing and hoping for your divine hand in my life, but I need you. I asked you to heal Zeke. You didn't and ever since I think it's stupid to pray. You don't listen to all of us, right?"
I opened Mr. Sullivan's book again, So Much Time, So Little Change, and you'll never believe what chapter I started editing!
"Zeke Was Here" the title read. ZEKE--the rare name I hardly ever hear, the name that brings so many emotions into my heart because he's the reason I started writing and why I want Wayman to flourish. I don't want his memory to be lost, ever. And Mr. Sullivan's chapter blew me away, about a funeral and the hope that followed. "Zeke Was Here." Wow--the words themselves gave me chills.
So, this post isn't supposed to be some superstitious thing. I just think there have been some interesting things happen through my writing/editing/publishing career. Call it what you want, but signs have been everywhere. Like the woman who found Zeke's book at the cemetery, or the lady who drove several hours to meet me at a signing because a phone psychic told her to--or the man who bought books from my brother and me, confessing that the last book he bought at a signing was from Obama before he became president (talk about a customer having the golden touch). I'll write about those later this week. Right now I wanted to tell you, that if you have a dream, go for it! If you look hard enough, I think you'll find signs like I have. Because even if we doubt God, maybe He's still up there, smiling down on us.
In closing. . . .Here's my official review for Mr. Sullivan's book:
I read So Much Time, So Little Change at a point in my life when I needed a good laugh. I found so much more, a way of looking at life that will help me get through the good and bad times.
Thomas M. Sullivan can make any situation funny. It's a great lesson for all of us, to try seeing situations in the best light.
From being on the Terrorist Watch List, trying--despite all hope--to fix up a house, and later attending an outdoor concert where the author got more than he bargained for, these short stories are absolutely hilarious and well worth the read.
Here are the links where you can check it out: