Tag Archives: Christian authors

Operation First Novel

Operation First Novel is a contest for, as it says, authors submitting an unpublished novel. The contest is sponsored by the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.

This year I entered my novel. 

Huh. When I pushed the send button on my entry form no flares went up, no confetti, no balloons, no champagne cork popped. Didn’t it register in the universe that I had just submitted my novel to a contest?

No—nothing. Then I remembered what a lonely business writing is. Really, it’s more alone than lonely. I’m not lonely when I write—generally I’m having fun somewhere on the fun continuum between good enough and a blast.

After submission, then a writer waits—and waits—and waits.

Years ago, while whining to the Lord about waiting on something else, the scripture came to mind “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41). Whether or not I get what I think I want, I don’t wait alone—I wait with the Lord—and I wait actively—watching and praying.

There are a lot of I‘s in that last sentence— enough to gag on. My fervent prayer is that the Lord helps me get out of His way so He can use me. But I’m no better than the disciples—I keep falling asleep when I’m asked to “watch and pray.” Then it’s—wake up—slap cold water on my face—and try again.

As Peter Leavell, winner of Operation First Novel 2011, said “…God knows the end (Jeremiah 29:11). He knew I would win.” Likewise, He knows exactly what will come of my novel. That’s weird to know while I wait, but that’s part of God’s process—teaching us to trust Him in the dark. But it’s still…well…dark, and sometimes my lower lip trembles.

I don’t expect to win the contest, but I want to win the prize. “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

© Cristine Eastin, 2012

I Got Nothin’

I asked a therapy client if she had anything in mind she wanted to talk about for our session. She said, “I got nothin’.”

Me too.

It’s Friday, and I’m trying to keep to a blog posting schedule of something new every Friday. But today I’m two days away from sending my first novel to a contest. All I can think about is my revision—what I have to do yet to get it as good as I can—the culmination of over a year of very hard work.

I haven’t thought about ironing, weeding, cleaning house, or much of anything in the last several weeks. I have managed to get a few loads of laundry done, cooked now and then, and remembered to feed the dog. My poor husband has really picked up the slack I’ve dropped. Fortunately, he thinks doctored frozen pizza is a real meal.

Writing a novel has been an incredible process. When I finished the last round of revision, it was hard to close the binder and be done. I already missed the people. I missed my blue editing pencil—how weird is that!

Since I got nothin’, here’s a link to a clip worth watching: “J.I. Packer’s Advice to Aspiring Christian Writers”.


Maybe next Friday I won’t be such a single-minded, blithering idiot, and I’ll be back in the real world—and I’ll have somethin’.

© Cristine Eastin, 2012