"The writing of this book was something of a miracle, actually. Holidays are always a bit of a stressor for me. Finding a thoughtful gift we can afford that Bekka will actually like on the limited time I have can be pretty daunting. My main goal is to find the right gift as quickly as possible, buy it, wrap it, and take a nap.
Christmas 2012 was going to be a slam dunk. I had the perfect gift chosen – a sewing machine. It was thoughtful, useful, rather expensive, but affordable, and I knew she wanted one because she had mentioned it a few times before. But also a complete surprise, she would never suspect I’d spend so much. I took my time and researched it out, finally settling on a really nice Brother model. Even though I was getting a bit of a foreboding feeling about it, I had our friendly neighborhood Fry’s Electronics request one from another store. When that didn't work out, I finally ignored the feeling and Amazon.com’ed one. It arrived two days later, and I was elated! Well, for a little while. Unfortunately, that pesky foreboding feeling returned, only stronger. I reasoned with myself, “How could this be wrong? It’s a practical gift, we have the money, and it could easily pay for itself with a little hard work.” That worked! For a little while. Alas, the wrong feeling would soon return, and actually got even stronger. “Dangit! This is a good gift, I want my nap!” I thought. It got so bad that I couldn't even go in the room where the blasted machine was hidden without being nearly overcome by the unpleasant feeling.
I have learned a few things in the course of my life. One of them is that when an inspiration like this comes, follow it. So, finally, with a heavy of soul, I took the box, the beautiful box with that amazing, beloved piece of gift-estry, set it in the middle of the room in front of Becky, and lifted the cover. We sat there watching it for a while, bidding it farewell. Dadgumit, it didn’t make any sense! With sad hearts, we put it in the back of the bedroom, and I emailed Amazon.com. I actually didn’t send it back until after Christmas, hoping for a miracle, or that the Lord would change his mind (I knew better than to ask Him for that though, we all know where that leads you). I finally let go of the final vestiges of hope, and sent it back. Sigh.
Meantime, I was in a real pickle – only a couple weeks till the big day, and I had nuttin’. Then one day I was surfin’ the Net for ideas on how to publish a book I had written a decade earlier (a profound work of amazing wit and incredible insight entitled “The Smalton Crisis: the Minority Who Cried Racism”, look for it in bookstores any year now), when it happened. The miracle. A certain blog suggested that I attend writers’ conferences. So I Googled “Phoenix Writers’ Conferences.” The very first result was for ANWA – the American Night Writers Association. It was a group exclusively for aspiring LDS women writers. I immediately realized that Becky was an aspiring LDS woman writer! And their upcoming writers’ conference cost less than the sewing machine! Now, her birthday conveniently occurs three days before Christmas, and so I also got her a yearly membership to ANWA and made that her birthday present!!! Shazam! I think a light actually shone thru the roof and a celestial choir sang a chord of triumph. I ordered the membership, signed Rebbecca up for the conference, went to my room and took a nap.
Christmas morning arrived, and as luck (our luck) would have it, Bek was sicker than a dog. She nearly-patiently went thru the intricate obstacle course I had designed for her, and finally got to the present under the tree: a wireless keyboard with the word “Press Me” taped to the Enter key. She pressed it, and I will pretend that the conference registration came out of the printer like it was supposed to. Anyway, she looked at it for a long time. “You actually paid extra for a pitch session?” she asked. She continued to stare at the sheet of paper, and I turned off the camera I was using to record the moment with. She then looked up and said, “You actually paid extra money for me to pitch my work…” and then something amazing and totally unexpected occurred. She began to cry. She sat there, looking at that paper, crying in a way I have never known her to cry…. “that means you really do believe in my writing!”
So, as we see it, had I not received that remarkable inspiration to do that which I absolutely did not want to do, and then, (against my deepest desire) followed it, I doubt that Becky would have made the decision to actually put her writings together in book form. So, whatever success this (and subsequent???) books may have, we shall always remember Him to whom we really owe our success.