Recently Bill stopped by my desk while I was on the computer. He asked, “What are you doing?” With one word, I said, “Working.” He repeated that several times, yet as a question: “Working? Working? Working?”
It may seem strange to Bill that what I do on my computer is called work. After all, when he’s on his computer most of the day, he’s playing solitaire. So what is my work? Since this is Labor Day 2021, the subject of work is a good topic for a blog post. Right?
For many years I dabbled in writing, never calling myself an author. That’s because while I’ve had articles published in magazines, I’ve not authored a book. Most of what I wrote came under the headings of devotions or personal experience articles.
The one assignment I’ve been most proud of came from a friend, a board member, I’d met while working on staff at Good News magazine, an evangelical voice within the United Methodist Church. By accepting that invitation from Helen Rhea Coppedge, I contributed to The Woman’s Study Bible, published in 1995 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. I wrote annotations for the books of Numbers and Amos along with eight topical notes. I had the privilege of reporting to the editors Dorothy Patterson and Rhonda Kelley.
We had recently moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, where Bill pastored World Gospel Church. While doing the research and writing for this study Bible, I volunteered at the local Crisis Pregnancy Center. Not working for pay, but getting to write most days. A few years later I went on staff at the CPC, but still got magazine articles published.
Bob Hostetler, literary agent, in answer to someone’s query: “When can I quit my day job?” he wrote, “When you’re making as much money writing as you are at your day job.”
This fits me how? I retired in 2012 and we moved to Indianapolis in 2017. I began my dream job in earnest. That’s to get Bill’s messages in print. Currently he has two books on the market―Words of Endearment and Prayers for the People―and a third book, The Scandal of Christmas: Advent Reflections on Four Unlikely Figures, to be published before Thanksgiving this year. That’s my work, yet the money earned goes back into the work.
Bill never said he wanted to write a book. So how do I get his words published? Literally, behind his back. In our study/office, our desks are on opposite walls. He’s playing on his computer and I’m working on my computer.