Beautiful Day

-2

It’s book release day for Save the Date. It’s also a day when I’m looking out my window from the comfort of my home and seeing snow falling like crazy, knowing I won’t be in school for days, smiling at the sight of my neighbor kids weathering the harsh winds and biting flakes, and just feeling all warm and giddy at God’s beautiful snow shower. So giddy I keep returning to my back door and opening it just so I can hear the sounds, smell the air, and think what a gift today is.

It makes me remember times from long ago– the crunch of the snow, my face turned toward the sky as the flakes hit my pink cheeks, and the joy in my heart when my mother would pull on her black and faux-wooly snow boots, load my brother and me on the wooden sled, and run us around town and to my grandparents. I think of that sometimes–running. On icy, snow packed roads. Pulling two children on a sled. Somehow without falling. Now that is love. And coordination.

My brother and I would be bundled up in a way that declared. “Mom was here. No cold may enter.” I would always feel a little bit squirmy,  silently overwrought when one of my triple layers of socks would bunch up or a sleeve would be shoved up to my elbow beneath a sweatshirt which was beneath a coat. I loved snow, sled, and symmetry of clothing.

I still do.

Today, as Save the Date, officially releases, my heart is full of beauty and wonder and thankfulness. My favorite part of a book to write is the acknowledgments. To think on the people who helped during the long process of the writing is an honor. To call out their names in print so that the “thank you; it mattered” lives forever.

This book was a lot of things– my first big girl romance not written under a six week time line, my first attempt at writing in third person, my first time to rewrite a book, not once, but about six times, my first time to have the thought, “I totally understand why people have nervous breakdowns.”

This book did not come together beautifully or magically. The Holy Spirit did not impart all 90 thousand words into my heart in one sitting. I did not sit down at my computer, where the lines and characters spoke themselves aloud, where all I could do was type as fast as my human fingers would allow. This book took over a year to make. This book kicked my butt. This book made me consider talking to my friendly loan officer so I could repay the advance, tell everyone, “I’d just rather not” and walk away. This book had me fasting, praying, eye crossing, cussing, waiting, rewriting, binge eating, verse claiming, God questioning, crying, deleting, shredding, restarting, questioning, wondering, wallowing, perspiring, quitting, restarting, quitting, restarting, file crashing, couch molding, weight gaining, hygiene lacking, personality foregoing, temper flaring and tired.

And things got so crazy on my end, I forgot to include three in the acknowledgments: the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

So, not that this makes for entertaining blog material, but let me do this now. Because I am here because of God. I write, whether that’s secular material or Christian material, because of God. This book exists because of God. The friends who prayed me through are because of God. The big red editing mark that changed the whole book–because of God. My family who encouraged and occasionally fed me, God. My working with a girl from the real Saving Grace before it was ever a fictional glimmer in my eye, God.

This book is more than three hundred pages. It’s more than humor, characters, plot, and romance. It’s more than the cute cover and the discussion questions at the back.
For me it was a lesson in faith, a lesson in providence, and an outpouring of a Holy Father who always provides, always comforts, always shows up right on time. Though usually when I’m dangling from a mountain’s ledge, holding on to some twig my a fingernail and counting the seconds til I fall.

No matter what the reviews praise or pan, no matter the sales, I believe in this book. Because of where it brought me, because of who brought me through it.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
–Philippians 1:6, NASB

 

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26 comments

26 Comments so far

  1. Courtney Walsh February 1st, 2011 1:07 pm

    Jenny,

    I am so relieved to read this. Having just turned in the third edit on my first novel, I was starting to think maybe I should just throw in the towel! Sometimes it’s in the wrestling that we really learn and “get it.” It’s so exciting that you stuck through the hard stuff and now have a beautiful book to show for it! :) Congratulations!!

  2. Ashley February 1st, 2011 1:27 pm

    Just so you know I was up until midnight reading! And instead of an extra hour of sleep this morning with our very wimpy late start, I read. It’s fantastic, Jenny. Really really so good and I can’t WAIT to finish it. Also, where can I find an Alex Sinclair of my very own?

  3. Jenny B. Jones February 1st, 2011 2:24 pm

    Courtney, that first novel is so challenging–so many doubts that come with it. When does your book release?!

    Ashley, thank you, thank you, thank you. That means a lot. Truly.

  4. Alison Strobel February 1st, 2011 2:48 pm

    Amen, sister. I have been in your shoes, and the release date of a book like that means a lot more than for the others, doesn’t it? When you spend so much time convinced the book will never see the light of day–doesn’t DESERVE to, even–then holding it in your hands and seeing it on the shelves packs a very different punch and elicits a lot more gratefulness and humility.

    I don’t usually read romances, but I’m definitely going to read Save the Date. Congratulations, friend, on not just another book, but on passing through the fire and keeping your eyes on The One that matters.

  5. heather sunseri February 1st, 2011 3:08 pm

    Loved reading this post, Jenny! And I’ve felt many of those kick-the-butt feelings while writing!!

    On a very unhappy note, I finished Save the Date last night, and I was sad it was over. I should have read it more slowly and savored it because I loved it so much. I guess that means I’ll have to reread it. Well-done!! I loved the many laugh-out-loud moments as well as the tear-shedding ones.

  6. Kristin February 1st, 2011 3:22 pm

    Well, even though it sounds like you struggled through this book, I never would have thought it. =) I absolutely loved it! It was lovely.

    ~Kristin

  7. ~Prism~ February 1st, 2011 3:46 pm

    Congratulations! I love how you give glory to God for your absolutely awesome book. I’ve already read it, and I absolutely love it.

    Blessings,
    ~Prism~

  8. Timothy Fish February 1st, 2011 4:28 pm

    Congratulations on your snow day.

  9. Kimberly Stuart February 1st, 2011 4:46 pm

    Jenny B. Jones.

    Congratulations, friend. I’m so grateful you stuck with it because I love Save The Date and can’t wait for others to love it too.

    Here’s to Release Days of Gratitude. I’m right there with you. :) In fact, my blog entry today echoed yours, though my mother NEVER ran us around town with a sled. Maybe shouted encouragement from the car?

    kim

  10. Allie Smith February 1st, 2011 5:37 pm

    well,wow.that almost scares me out of ever becoming a writer.but i must say the end result was definitely worth getting in trouble with my teachers for falling asleep in class bcuz i stayed awake so late reading it.

  11. Kim February 1st, 2011 7:47 pm

    I just finished Save the Date and I LOVED it! After reading Just Between You and Me and finishing this book you are my new favorite author. I will be running to the bookstore every time you have new book come out. By the way I loved Chuck’s sermon in the youth service.

  12. Katie Ganshert February 1st, 2011 8:33 pm

    Amen, Sista! This post is amazing! I seriously cannot wait to read this book! Going to go download it on Kindle right NOW!

  13. T. Anne February 1st, 2011 8:56 pm

    I’m going to bump your Amazon rating, girl. Off to purchase…. I hope it’s available for KIndle. Either way… I heart you!

  14. Nicole P. February 1st, 2011 9:18 pm

    Congratulations on your great successes, and on praising God through your great adventure. :D Can’t wait to read “Save the Date”; I’m sure it’s wonderful! :)

  15. Lily February 1st, 2011 10:12 pm

    I was so excited to get my copy of Save the Date (and The Big Picture :) yesterday in the mail! I stayed up late to finish Save the Date- it was WONDERFUL!! I LOVED it! I laughed and I cried! The characters and story were awesome! I especially loved Chuck’s youth group and when she nailed her doubts on the cross. Fabulous job, Jenny!!

  16. Jenny B. Jones February 1st, 2011 10:30 pm

    Thank you all so much. I really appreciate it. I do love my blog family. : )

  17. Abby Minard February 1st, 2011 11:18 pm

    Congratulations Jenny, on your release! What a wonderful post and dedication. You truly are a beautiful person (inside, and out!). You deserve it all! (and the snow ;p)

  18. Caroline February 2nd, 2011 3:26 am

    I’m a “lurker” here at your blog… read often, comment not-so-often.

    I just have this to say about this post of yours today: Awesome.

    And, thank you for writing it.

    Enjoy that snow!

  19. Leah February 2nd, 2011 10:12 am

    Congratulations Jenny!
    I am SO excited for you!!!
    I cant wait until I get Save The Date, and can read it!!

  20. denise krueger February 2nd, 2011 1:03 pm

    As a long time Christian this book spoke to a an unnamed fear i had been struggling with and Chuck’s nailing your fears to the cross helped me take that fear name it and put it at the cross. Not a new thought for me but such a timely one!! love love loved your characters so real they were refreshing! Thank you for perservering through the writing process to bring us a fun story with life application!

  21. Hannah February 2nd, 2011 1:06 pm

    Yay!! Congratulations! I finished “Save the Date” and loved it! :)

  22. Erin McFarland February 2nd, 2011 3:31 pm

    ah Jenny, so grateful that you are genuine and totally real about the process of producing a story. CONGRATS on the big release… i’m hearing two thumbs up everywhere! getting my girlfriends hooked on you too now…when they ask me for a good new read, guess which books go in their hands ;) your writing really is original and refreshing and I am excited to see what the future brings for you in writing!!

  23. Mary February 2nd, 2011 4:19 pm

    Just downloaded to my Kindle! Girl I JUST love this post, love your heart and love that you have snow!
    Now I’m just wondering how I can get you to sign my book…. since it’s on my Kindle….

  24. ashley February 2nd, 2011 4:31 pm

    ps. you just made my day :-)

  25. Mattie February 3rd, 2011 10:54 pm

    This book was AMAZING! I got it off of amazon And the second it came in the mail I sat and read and read and read. It was so good!!! :)

  26. kathleen yoannon February 8th, 2011 1:14 am

    You, Jenny, are an inspiration to all writers, (and everyone else, lol), beginning or seasoned. I’m happy you wrote this blog about your book I’ve just finished reading. I’m able to understand more of how far you’ve come and appreciate even more the author of the book, and The Author of everything Good. Your experience brings hope to the ones like me, just starting out in the business. Your heart is shown and your walk with God evident and strong. Reading, Save the Date, and this blog is like breathing fresh air in Spring, when the flowers are opening up after a hard winter, showing God’s mercy, creativity, and love.
    And “impacted by the opinions of others…she carried that trauma into adulthood. Why do women have such a hard time with this? Why do we need the approval of others? If God were sitting down to tea with you, what do you think he’d tell you?”, [Jenny B. Jones, Save the Date]“…Is so true!!!
    Thank you, for your journey of faith and persistence, i think paid off and not just for the public but with God too. Congrats on the Carol awards, can’t wait to read more from you.

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