A book is finished, off to the press and there is no more editing to be done. You sit and stare at the computer which gives you a blank screen. What now? What is the project you are to tackle next? One gets so absorbed in writing, research, communicating with your editor, and then suddenly, it is done and there is that letdown, no adrenaline rush that sent you to the computer each day as you watched the story unfold on the screen. Your characters came together and the story wound up and that’s it. Or is it? How do we know what the next subject should be? One can drag out some old story starts and see what can be done with them, flip through the Bible and see if a character jumps out at you, try a new genre, or pray for wisdom and guidance to know His plan. I chose the latter but there was no immediate answer. The halls of heaven were silent, my creative muse was asleep. Then I got one of those e- mails that every writer loves to receive. A reader was delighted to find my books, read all of them and loved every one. They just had to tell me they couldn’t put the books down. What wonderful encouragement for a writer bogged down with the “I haven’t the faintest idea what to write next” doldrums. I couldn’t pass up a little PR so sent the e-mail on to my editor, letting her know that people were reading the books and liked them. No harm, right?
I was writing the e-mail and in the process of typing, found myself saying, “Oh, and the project I’m working on now is Mary, the mother of Jesus.” Pause, hands lift from the keyboard. I am? Didn’t know it until that moment. Does our loving God have a sense of humor or what? I sat back. Hmmm. That is a very controversial subject. There are different beliefs on Mary. She’s been deified, portrayed as an eternal virgin, and her life in the Scriptures has been analyzed to a fine degree. Take on this icon? Whew. Then the Lord began to show me how He wanted her portrayed. It was so simple I became intrigued. The creative muse woke up, the adrenalin began to flow and the story began to take shape in my mind. Whenever I write, I invite the Holy Spirit to bring His inspiration to the pages. He has done that over and over in my other books. God will place the book and I pray my readers will see a different view of Mary, just as I have portrayed other women of the Bible as God sees them, not as man wants to portray them. It is a challenge, but God is up to challenges. Doesn’t He remind us that nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible for Him?