Showing posts with label Book launch.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book launch.. Show all posts

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Watch Out for the U-Turn!

One beautiful, sunny African afternoon in 1997, my life changed forever with the words, "You have cancer." As if that wasn't bad enough, the radiologist followed with the words, "And I don't think they'll be able to get it all out."

How can I describe the experience?

It was like when you are tearing along the road, enjoying the scenery and eager to arrive at your destination, and all of a sudden the road turns back on itself. You jam on brakes and grip the steering wheel in an effort to keep the car under control as you attempt to navigate the U-turn you hadn't seen coming.

It was just like that.

I jammed on brakes, gripped my steering wheel, and sped into battle against what turned out to be an aggressive form of cancer. With the use of a skilled surgeon, an unconventional and courageous oncologist, a supportive family, and a team of praying friends, God pulled me through that dreadful year of treatment. Not only did I survive the U-turn, I found myself traveling, as you do with a U-turn, in a different direction. I went from being an RN to being a published author.

Near the beginning of treatment, I picked up an old notebook and started to journal. Not logically or neatly. No edits. No proper sentences. I just jotted down the good times (few) and the bad times (many). I didn't know why, but I knew that God promises in His Word He will  work all things for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28). I couldn't see how He could do this, and I also knew that where He would probably remember the important facts, I probably would not. So I took notes. 

It took me a while to see it. But I began to realise how many invaluable lessons God was teaching me during my "cancer year," and eventually I started to make notes of them as well.

One verse that followed me throughout the whole cancer experience is found in Isaiah 40:31: "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles."  I started to put my meditations together under the working title, Rise and Soar over the Cancer Valley, based on the picture of the eagle soaring on his strong wings.

I knew my only option for publication was to get the book to an American publisher--but how?

Then unexpectedly I received the incredible gift of a trip to the Florida Christian Writers' Conference in 2010. (If you think that's great, add on the fact that I live in South Africa!) There was one editor I knew wouldn't be interested in my book, but she was. You'll need to read the full story if you want to know more! She wasn't only interested. She took it to Revell Books, a division of the well-known Baker Publishing group, and they bought my book.   

Fast track to 2012. On October 1, Strength Renewed, Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer was launched. It is now available in the U.S. and on-line and will be released here in Southern Africa on November 10. 

It all goes to show that anything--absolutely anything-- can be of value to a writer--provided we remember the facts. Oh yes, and God can use all things for good!

So when life's highway suddenly throws unexpected twists and turns at you, hang onto that steering wheel. And don't forget to journal as you navigate the U-turn ahead!

OVER TO YOU: What U-Turn have you had to navigate in your life? Are you still going in the new direction?

Further Reading:
The Right Editor!
Florida Christian Writers Conference

SHIRLEY CORDER lives a short walk from the seaside in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with her husband Rob. She is author of Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer. Shirley is also contributing author to ten other books and has published hundreds of devotions and articles internationally. 

Visit Shirley on her website to inspire and encourage writers, or on Rise and Soar, her website for encouraging those on the cancer journey. Follow her on Twitter or "like" her Author's page on Facebook. 

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