Monday, February 11, 2013

The Collector...

Does anyone just love getting their mail?  I do.  Our mailbox is usually full of catalogs and junk mail, but there's still the anticipation of what could be inside.  Especially when you're waiting for something.  And it's even better when you've forgotten what you're waiting for and it catches you by surprise.  That's what happened to me yesterday.

My daughter, my friends and their daughters all went away for a little vacation up to Los Olivos.   We stayed in an adorable little cottage just yards away from this charming, old town. 
(I'll be posting about it on the christian girl's cottage blog soon).

Well, we left Thursday and returned home last night.  After unloading all of our luggage and our many thrift store finds (oh, don't think that wasn't gonna happen!), I went out to the mailbox.  On the very top of the mail, sat a package from Guideposts Magazine.  As I opened it, I saw a letter that read, "We are pleased to accept your story about learning to use your gift for our feature, The Collector in our Angels on Earth magazine."

Well, be still my heart.

The editor had already emailed me a copy of the final story and the photo editor had already asked me for a photo of my license plate.  But I kind of forgot about that.  What I submitted to them was an 800-word feature on my obsession with personalized license plates.  What ran is a 100-word story.  They  edited it down to what they needed.  As they say in publishing, that's the way the cookie crumbles.  (I'm not in publishing -- I honestly have no idea what they say.)

But what fun it was to open the magazine and try and find my little story.  I looked in the table of contents and found The Collector.  I knew it was mine.    

I loved reading it and actually admired how they condensed my big ol' story down to just a few paragraphs.  That's really hard to do.  I took several editing classes in college and actually hated them.  I would rather write than edit someone else's work.  I loved watching Rachel's face as I showed her and Jake's names in the story.  "I'm famous!" she squeeled.  Yeah, you better run out and buy a few Sharpies as you'll be hunted down in the Von's parking lot.  Not.  

But what I love the most is that God blessed me with my first story published in this magazine.  First off, it's in a publication put out by my favorite little magazine Guideposts.  Call me an old soul, but Reader's Digest, Guideposts and Better Homes and Gardens have always been special to me.  Even when I was 10.  

And I love that my message about using your gift is out there for all to read.  I'm passionate about that message.  Big time.  

So with the published story comes a $50 honorarium (look out Goodwill -- here I come!), complimentary copies of the magazine and a one-year complimentary subscription to Angels on Earth.  Love it.

Here's the last two sentences of the story:

"If something as small as a license plate can be used for good purpose, just imagine what we can do with the talents and blessings God gives us.  That's a message I'm proud to carry wherever I go."

So very true.

So if this post sounds annoyingly familiar as I love writing about it, have you scratched your head yet and said, "So how can I bless others with my gift?"  If not, then may I encourage you to do so?  If you're stuck and you don't think you have a gift, you are so wrong.  And to prove it, email me.  Email me and tell me you're stuck.  And I'll do my best to un-stick you.



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