Last week I science-geeked at reading about a new type of star that previously had existed only in theory. Now scientists think they’ve detected the first one of its kind.
“As it spins through the cosmos, the ‘spooky’ object sends out a beam of radiation; and for one minute in every twenty, it is one of the brightest objects in the night sky,” a UK reporter wrote. A team of astronomers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Australia made the discovery. Bonus: galactically, it’s just down the road from us, only 4,000 light-years from Earth.
So it shoots radiation bursts into the universe three times an hour like clockwork but the rest of the time is invisible. What does that have to do with anything?
First, predictions of what could exist are like selling futures. Prophets, politicians, seers, and scientists can get away with it; but most of the rest of us can’t. We need something to support our theories—like the astronomers’ findings did. In a similar vein, that’s why I haven’t said much about my book. It would have felt like selling futures.
Second, when I read about the new star, my thoughts flew to my book about the Wise Men. For more than a year, my working title for the book has been New Star. (Hmm.) An early scene in my book has the lead Wise Man refuting his Council’s notions that the new star he saw [star of Bethlehem] might be a comet, meteor, or conjunction of planets. In short, he had to convince powerful people to support a costly, long trek to Jerusalem to pursue something he couldn’t define. Research wasn’t funded unless its results elevated his country in the world’s eyes.
Talk about a hard sell.
That’s where I am with my Wise Men book right now.
Writing a book is hard. Getting it published traditionally is a hard sell with about a five percent chance of success.
Since last summer and fall, my full manuscript has been on three publishers’ desks for varying amounts of time. That’s not unusual; an agent or publisher typically sifts through about two thousand submissions per year. At Christmas, I got bursts of hope from two publishers. One said my manuscript was next in line for them to read; another said they’d look at the manuscript shortly after the first of the year (translation: any time during first quarter 2022).
In mid-January, I heard back from one publisher, who asked me to revise and resubmit the manuscript. Another burst of hope!
After three intense weeks of editing, I resubmitted. Now my manuscript is back in a line way longer than the post office’s on Christmas Eve.
I don’t like to sell futures, but this is an exciting milestone to share with you!
It’s also the perfect time to thank you for your ongoing support. A few of you read my manuscript long before I should have shared it. (I cringe to think of that early draft.) Thank you for dealing graciously with me so early in the writing process. Since then the book has gone through two developmental edits and a dozen rounds of line editing. I’ve also solidified the plots for the rest of the series.
I still could come up empty-handed. The biblical fiction market is growing, has a loyal following, but is a relatively small niche. God has taken me on an incredible faith journey with this book, so I intend to keep writing, regardless. God doesn’t waste anything; I know He’ll use it for His glory in a way I can’t imagine.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d be silly to say I didn’t care if the book got published. I want that more than any earthly thing I can think of—including a home chef and a lifetime supply of chai tea.
What the astronomers in Australia just detected, God has known since the beginning of time. I’m sure He filled the universe with more extraordinary things than we’ll ever discover. It reminds me that God’s plans are always bigger than I can perceive.
Last week during my quiet time, I jotted: “God uses the improbable to prove the impossible is indeed possible.”
I’m banking on that. And, as I pray for His guidance on my books, I’m super grateful for those intermittent bursts of hope … just like the bright flashes coming from that “new” star.