Expect the unexpected.
I’ve lived by that phrase for as long as I can remember. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting on the bad thing to happen after all the good things. It’s exhausting, and I know I’m not the only one who does it.
The one place where it seems it never fails to catch me by surprise is when I’m writing. While writing Madness in Wonderland I expected the story to be done in one book. As is usually the case, an idea for a second book hit, and I wrote that one too. But in the middle of that book, I hit a snag…or a dozen. I didn’t know where the story was going, or how my characters would get there. They kept getting trapped and I had no way to free them. I think we call that writing ourselves into a corner.
It’s frustrating, to say the least.
There I was, pecking at the keyboard for hour upon hour and getting nowhere. Round and around the clock went, characters still stuck, me still pecking at keys.
I knew what needed to happen at the end but getting there, ARG!
How was it supposed to happen?
That’s when God stepped in in a big way. I mean, He usually does, but this time felt different. I had that little tap, tap, tap on the shoulder and a “What if?” popped into my head.
I was off and running, racing for the finish line as fast as my fingers could touch the keys. But those hours and hours of being lost in the story, of having no idea where it needed to be, and having God give exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it, that’s the best unexpected I’ve ever received.
Maybe that’s why I titled the next book Lost in Wonderland. Because for so much of the story, I was lost. What did my characters need to learn? What I really needed to answer was, what did I need to learn?
I needed to learn to listen. To pause and breathe and let God in.