When she’s not gallivanting around New York, Jane M. Tucker works and plays in Overland Park, Kansas, with her husband and three nearly grown kids. She writes about the people and places of the Midwest on her blog, Postcards from the Heartland .
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Four years ago, as I prepared to make the biggest transition of my professional life, God gave me a sign. I was about to quit my job as an unhappy preschool teacher and turn my full attention on the task of writing a novel. One morning I looked up from my breakfast cereal to find a robin and his mate building a nest in the tree outside my window. In the days to come they finished the nest and filled it with five eggs. The eggs hatched and five tiny yellow beaks stuck up out of the nest in a constant quest for food. The babies grew until they were too big for the nest, and then one day they flew away.
The symbolism was not lost on me. Like the robin family, I was about to create new life. My offspring would take the form of a book.
Here are a few other blessings God provided as I began my new adventure:
A story. I burned to tell the story of two sisters, a grand adventure, and the tragedy that ultimately tore them apart. I didn’t write a book to become an author. I became an author to write this book.
My husband’s buy-in. The first time I floated the idea of full-time writing he said, “But you have a JOB.” The second time he said, “Write a bestseller. We have kids to put through college.” He’s had my back ever since.
Mentors and instruction. I joined a generous Christian writing community. I learned to write well because of critique groups, yearly conferences, and the personal input of professionals who freely shared their expertise. I could not have completed this book without them.
A writing partner. A month after I quit my job I discovered an acquaintance from church who had quit her job to write a screenplay. We committed to meet on a regular basis to keep one another accountable. She read every word I wrote that first year, even the ones I ultimately erased. In the years we’ve been together, I’ve brought a book to publication and she’s found an interested party for a finished screenplay.
My first baby, a novel called Lottie’s Gift, flew the nest last week. The day the book became available on Amazon, something interesting happened. I was closing my bedroom curtains when my attention was caught by a flutter of wings in the tree outside. Another robin family had moved into the neighborhood. It must be time to write the next book.
How has God provided for your journey?
About Lottie’s Gift
She’s a little girl with a big gift.
Lottie Braun has enjoyed a happy childhood in rural Iowa. Her mother was gone, but she knew her father and older sister loved her and her aunts, uncles and cousins surrounded her. But the quiet, idyllic life she enjoyed as a child ended with tragedy and a secret that tore the two sisters apart.
Forty years later, Lottie is a world-class pianist with a celebrated career and an empty personal life. She moves from city to city, guarding her privacy with fierce vigilance, all to protect herself from the past. But one sleepless night, she allows herself to remember and she discovers that memories, once allowed, are difficult to suppress. Can she make peace with the past? Will she ever find her way home?