Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Publish Me! (Come on, please?)

Those of you that know me well probably know that my only goal in life from the age of like 7 has been to be a writer. My mom thinks I'm pretty good.

Unfortunately, the process to get work in front of people who might agree is SO frustrating. I'm going to take a risk here, because I get nervous when people read my writing, it's like a kid - criticism hurts. But, since it's necessary I'm going to put the Introduction of a project on New Orleans thatI've been working on onto here and see if it can fall on eyes that can help (FYI - don't ask an agent for a meeting, they get really rude. I have no idea how you're supposed to connect with one. And the one publisher whose guidelines I followed and labored over to send a manuscript to didn't respond - RUDE!).

Anyhow: Here we go.

The project is called (tentatively) One Step Beyond, and it's a book about Youth Missions changing the world. It's written to both teenagers and to those that lead them in youth groups ...

Introduction to the Introduction: I Believe

“And I believe that what I believe is what makes me who I am.”[1]

I picked up the group of about seven from the corner of a street by the Claiborne Bridge in New Orleans after we searched and searched but couldn’t find a spare for the tire they had blown an hour earlier. I had been across town, but made it over as quickly as possible to make sure we could get the group to a work project and not waste their day.

They loaded into my mini-van and I led the guy from the missions agency up Claiborne since I knew the way to the 9th Ward from there. Traffic slowed down right before the bridge.

About half a block up we could see a semi-truck with its flashers on. Before I knew it, one of the students in the car said, “There’s an accident. It just happened.”

As I slowed into the flow of stopped traffic, all of the doors in the car flew open, almost scaring me into slamming down on the gas pedal out of a reflex. Before I could say anything, the van was empty, so a few seconds behind them, I pulled over and walked to the intersection where the semi we saw had slammed into a tiny, old Chevy car.

There was a crowd watching, including two police officers, as two women stumbled, bloody out of the car and toward the sidewalk, hysterical. One was holding a small girl. In a flash, almost as if they were the only ones moving our teens and a volunteer dove into the melee, taking the women to safety, holding the baby, and praying for healing from the dazed stupor they were in.

The victims wept as they were prayed for, and within moments had collected their cool. The residents who had been watching from the porch of the nearest house started helping. Our kids had redeemed an ugly situation through the Holy Spirit.

I watched from across the street as I walked up. I cried a little bit seeing it. Our group had just changed the world.

This is what I picture in Matthew when Jesus tells Peter and Andrew and James and John, “Come, follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.”[2] Essentially, he was telling them, Drop everything you know, leave home, forsake your family business and let’s change the world.

Do you hear him calling?

[1] Rich Mullins, The Jesus Record.

[2] Matthew 4:19 (NIV)


Michael and Tiffany said...

Wow Zack. This is powerful. I'll be praying the right person stumbles across this. Mike and I can really relate to trying to accomplish what seems like the impossible. Breaking into an industry like this...and like film is all about finding the right person at the right time. Mostly you hit a lot of brick walls. But lucky for us God already has a plan.

Ed said...

I know that publishers are now prowling self-publishing outlets like lulu.com. A couple of my favorite authors self-publish through LuLu, it might be a way to get started. Just a thought... Good luck.

The one thought I might share is that if you are serious about this journey, you will need to develop very thick skin, this is a tough business.

Ashley said...

You've showed me your entire manuscript so I've seen this before ;)
But every time I read it I am so encouraged and so reminded of how powerful God really is on missions trips.
There's bound to be someone out there who will publish you.
My friend Raechel here at school read my fiction and said she knows a lady in Florida who just opened a Christian publishing company. I'm still a little hesitant to publish my stuff but I can get some info for you if you want! I figure a NEW company would have some demand right now.
Keep on trying, and of course we'll be in touch.

MacKenzie said...

Hey man,

This stuff is awesome. You're thoughts on changing the world have inspired my entire world view. Because of things that you have said and written, my entire world has changed. Because of trips you invited me on, my world has changed. Because of the way you respect, listen, and treat me, my world has changed.

If you get your work out there and you change one person's world, they can change another and all these NOLA trips will become something entirely more powerful and entirely more meaningful that they are at this moment (as crazy as the seems).

God's got a plan and he hasn't squandered his power by giving you these words. Whether you become published or not, just by posting this, the world was changed!

Love ya Z,

Anonymous said...

Dude that is a freakin great story from a book I'm looking forward to purchasing. I don't know how you get a publisher to look at it, but I will be praying for just that to happen. Thanks for putting your heart out there. I love you.