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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Commencement Series Update: Part Three Coming Soon…I Hope Guest Blog By Lawrence Cherry

Just in case there’s anyone who’s interested in following the series of books I’m trying to write, I thought I’d let you know about how things are going right now.

Coming to Smashwords Dec 17th!
The second part of the series, School of Hard Knocks: The Re-education of Jim Reid, was just released as an e-book on Amazon this summer and will be moving to Smashwords and other sites sometime in December.  It’s a different book than Commencement, but the core values and message are the same and I hope anyone who decides to pick it up will enjoy it.  That being said, I know there are a lot more ‘open threads’ from Commencement that have to be closed and I’ve heard from my publisher that there’s at least one person who wants to know what happened to the other characters. That in and of itself is enough to encourage me to press forward with the rest of the series, but at times life throws you a curve.

I had started working on the third part of the series over the summer and have only gotten a third of the way through. Even at this stage, I realize that my draft needs a LOT of revising and editing. This is the book where we find out what happened to the other characters and while I don’t want to give away much of the story line that I have now, I will say that Jim’s return home will cause some drama for the rest of the characters. There is no way, everything will be wrapped up in this book, but the reader’s most pressing questions will be answered. I was hoping to get the novel finished completely by spring of 2014 (if the Lord allows me to live to see this date and it’s His will), but there have been some complications in my personal life that may interfere.

The workload at my job has skyrocketed 200%. Actually, make that 400% (If you work in the field of education, you’ll understand). In addition, my boss is very demanding, which is putting it nicely. I am currently putting in 12-14 hour days on my job, which is very draining, then there are all the things that I have to do to maintain my household on the weekends and it seems like I have absolutely no time for writing. (As a matter of fact, School of Hard Knocks would not have been written at all, had not the Lord intervened on my behalf to sequester me from work for a whole week, during which I did nothing but write.) I haven’t written in two months and it’s killing me. I’m reduced to blogging and just jotting down notes, here and there, but I don’t get the time to flesh them out into chapters and I’m frustrated to no end. I, too, want to see what’s going to happen with these characters. I would love to quit my job and just write, but then I have to make a living (no one makes money writing books anymore - unless you’re writing about a teenage love triangle of some sort), and there are others that depend on me, so that is not an option. I’ve been praying to the Lord to help me find the time and to give me direction on what to do. Right now I’m waiting for Him to answer.

I don’t know if all of these intrusions on my writing time are God’s way of challenging me to press on and continue, or if it’s a sign that I need to give up my writing and focus on more on allowing God to use me in the career I’ve chosen. There are times when I think it’s the latter, but ever so often I get a desire to write something and I just have to get it out there. I start feeling like Jeremiah: it’s like fire shut up in my bones. It’s like I feel I have to finish what I started.

So in any case, there is a third installment coming, although it may not come as soon as I want it to. As I said, I want to be finished by spring of the upcoming year, but given the fact that I only have about twenty chapters completed that need to be thoroughly revised (yes, it’s another long one – sorry), my goal may be a bit unrealistic. I’m starting to think the fall of 2014 may be a better estimate. ‘Why does it take so long?’ you ask. It’s because I want to give anyone who reads a quality, inspired work. I know some authors churn out book after book in rapid succession, often compromising quality for quantity. Their purpose is solely to entertain and grab some cash. I’m hoping the works that I write do a little more than that. I am hoping that God uses me to speak to people – to encourage them, convict them, strengthen them, and/or convince them to follow Him. Such work takes time and should God choose to speak through me, He can’t be rushed. Everything has to happen according to His plan.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep on believing, praying, and trusting, and if you’d like, you can pray with me about this work I’m undertaking. I definitely could use it. In any event, I’ll let you know if I get a breakthrough.



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