I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, August 13, 2010

Those Wascally Wabbits…

Campanula is one of my favorite summer blooming perennials. There are many varieties of Campanula – some blue, some white – some barely six inches tall, others topping out at over six foot in height.

I have the White Campanula, commonly called the Peach-leaf Bellflower, which have dozens of white bell-shaped flowers on two-foot spikes, that when illuminated by the evening sunlight appear almost iridescent. Eight years ago the five clumps I planted bloomed profusely. I loved them so much I bought more. What I didn’t realize was . . . so did the local rabbit population.

Every year since, I watched the tender sprouts poke up through the ground, hoping for a bumper crop of dazzling bells. But Thumper had other plans. He’d come along and eat off the little green shoots that would eventually be, if left alone, the flowering stalks. I tried every known rabbit deterrent on the market, to no avail.

Until this year. Apparently those cute, cuddly cottontails found something more delectable to munch on! I anticipated the delicate white flower and watched in amazement every day as the stalks grew taller. Their beauty was as I remembered. I gloried in my victory over Thumper.

Writing, or at least publishing, is like my clumps of Campanula. With every new manuscript, followed by a rejection letter, I’d go back to the drawing board and start over. I challenge myself to learn more, see how I could improve my writing.

This post isn’t about bucking up after the rejection letter – see Pat Trainum’s post where she’s given excellent pointers on overcoming rejection. This is about victory! One day when discouragement hit me my husband gave me this quote by President T. Roosevelt:

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

One day my hard work will pay off and I’ll get published. If not, I’ve tried. I have done what few people have. Everyone says they’d like to write a book, some try, but few finish it. I have finished three manuscripts to date, two of which have been rejected. My past may be “checkered by failure” as Teddy puts it, but I have tried, I’ve stepped out, and I am blessed that God has given me the wherewithal to try again. I am not deterred easily and I refuse to let those Wascally Wabbits get me down!

So I encourage you, as you stress out over story world, word count, or plot . . . don't let it get you down. Press on and like Paul . . . fight the good fight and finish the race! (2 Timothy 4:7)

Blessings to you and your writing journey.

Jennie Atkins

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  1. You are seriously an inspiration and I love the beauty you create in your garden and on paper. And how neat to have an encouraging erudite husband. Thanks for this beautiful post that is very worth pondering.

  2. I love how you wove gardening and writing together. And the quote TFR is a keeper too. Who wants to live "in a gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat?"

  3. Your words are as beautiful as the flowers in your picture. Thanks for the necessary words of encouragement. You are so right--you've done what others have talked about doing. As you learn more, your manuscripts will be better written and you will come to a point when an editor says, "Yes, I want to buy this manuscript."

  4. Lovely, Jennie. Your words definitely remind me of your lovely flowers. I can't wait to celebrate with you when your manuscripts bloom in front of an editors eyes, then in print for all to enjoy.

  5. Jennie, I loved your post! It was beautiful like your campanulas, and it uplifted my spirit. I, too, felt encouraged by the quote by Teddy Roosevelt. It lifted my soul as I pondered the difference between living in a gray twilight and "daring mighty things." It is still a bit scary and "BIG" to me to contemplate writing a novel, but especially after reading your post, I would rather try and fail than not try and regret. Thank you so much for what you wrote!

  6. Thank you, Jennie. On a day that I particularly needed encouragement, your post was like a balm to my spirit. Teddy Roosevelt is so right. To never venture forth would so boring.

  7. I can relate to your illustration, only in our case, the critters are eating the mangoes on our tree just as they ripen! To be so close to the fruit of our labors (literally!) and then to lose it is frustrating - oh wait, I may have just drifted into "how to deal with rejection" territory!
    And I love the Roosevelt quote. I may steal that one!

  8. Thank you all!

    I hope it is an encouragement to everyone to keep on going, never give in, and to live a life passionate about . . . well . . . life!

    As far as my garden, I don't take credit there either. I stick the plants in the ground and they grow.

  9. The Teddy Roosevelt quote is a keeper! And so's your post bringing sunlight and flowers into our day. I'd better get editing some of those wascally wabbits out of my manuscript.

  10. This writer has a ridiculously busy day today...your post was a nice, calming moment, Jennie. Thanks!!

  11. Glad I could be the calm in the storm, Melissa!

  12. I love your post too. I believe the stories that bloom in your heart will become printed books one day in the near future.

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  14. *Ugh, read through my post and it just didn't read the way it sounded in my head as I wrote it, ha ha!*

    Jennie~ beautiful post, but I was not the least bit surprised. I love reading about your garden! And don't underestimate the talent it takes to achieve what you have...you did NOT just "stick the plants in the ground and they grow." If that were the case, I'd have a garden just like yours because I have stuck many a plant in the ground...I just can't seem to keep them alive. I want to grow beautiful flowers, but alas, it is not my gift. It is very obviously YOUR gift, and I will continue to live vicariously through you and your fabulous garden. Oh, and I won't let "Thumper" get me down!

  15. Wonderful and inspiring post, Jennie!