This blog was born in 2015 out of a combination of coping mechanisms and practicality. I had just been diagnosed with cancer, and I desperately needed to grasp at the positives… so I called this blog “The Next Adventure.” I decided to look at the scary statistics, surgeries, and treatments with curiosity, enthusiasm, and more bravery than I really felt. It was my way of navigating the impossible.
I also knew it would be the quickest way to get information to my friends and family without repeating myself a million times. I just didn’t have the will or energy to explain mitotic rates and drug options to each person who checked on me (but I must say, I was/am incredibly blessed to have so many who care!)
For three years, this blog was the home of posts about the good and bad. The highs and lows. I wrote about medical procedures, and I also wrote about the love and care I was receiving. I opened up about my struggles. I processed the pain of losing my mother so soon after ending treatment. I kept you all updated about my scans and progress.
Coming out of Retirement
On July 24, 2018, just about 6 months ago, I announced that I was retiring my blog. I didn’t need it anymore. This “adventure” was thankfully over! I thank God with all of my heart that I can still say that (next CT scan is on Friday, and I welcome your prayers that the scan will be boring and accurate!)
Well, apparently this blog didn’t like retirement. Like an old man who has too much energy to sit in his recliner all day, he takes up a new hobby… a life-changing, head-spinning, can’t-believe-this-is-my-life hobby.
My next adventure is here: I’m going to be a published author. A NOVELIST, for crying out loud. Thirteen-year-old Maggie, lying on her stomach on the floor of her bedroom scribbling story ideas in her journal, is ugly-crying tears of joy.
Rather than start a brand new blog to chronicle this new season in my life, I thought it was only appropriate to stay right here, where I held onto the hope that there would be more adventures to come and that cancer was not the end for me.
How did this come about? (The short version)
Last fall I re-started submitting my story proposal to small publishing houses, in hopes of getting someone’s attention. The publishing world is tough, and I have walked through my share of rejections over the years. Tired of not hearing back from agents, I decided to go straight for a publisher.
On the very last day of 2018, I received the magical email that writers dream about. It was simple and to the point. Just three sentences:
Thank you for your submission. This work is of interest to us. We would like to see the complete manuscript.
I had been this far with one acquisitions editor (whom I had met at a writing conference) before, approximately a year ago. She had liked my work, but it didn’t make it onto their final list of books for the coming year. Sigh. While it was crushing, this editor sent me some truly encouraging feedback and told me to keep trying. Instead of listening to her advice, I put everything away for a few months. Then, like I said, I started working at it again in the fall.
So, with this new request from a publishing house to see my full manuscript, I didn’t dare get my hopes up too high.
And then… not long after… I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“I am pleased to say we would be delighted to publish this work.”
Stop. What? Seriously?
I read each line approximately five billion times. They were full of words like royalties, distribution, publicity, and design.
And then, I sat on my couch and wept because I couldn’t call to tell my mom.
There is a much longer version of this story, starting with an idea in 2007. It includes a dramatic move across the country to work on my writing back in 2011. It spans 13 years of feverish writing frenzies and months – sometimes years – of putting it on the back burner.
But now, I get to take a deep breath and declare with a shaky but thrilled voice that it is really happening. Many more details to come.
What questions do you have?? Comment below, and I’ll answer in my next post!
Ways you can pray
So many of you were faithful in praying for me through my time as a cancer patient. I would include little lists at the end of my blog posts, giving ideas for specific prayers that I needed. I’m going to continue that tradition now, for those of you willing to support me in this way. I am forever grateful!
- For guidance and wisdom for me throughout this process. There is so much about this industry that I don’t know!
- For a title. I HATE my working title, and I have no clue what to call my baby… I mean, my story. Hopefully the creative team can help me, but I definitely think we’re going to need some divine intervention.
- That reading the words of this book would help someone sort through their relationship with God, just as writing them did for me.