This week’s writing prompt with my class makes me a little more vulnerable than I’d like, but I suppose that’s what I’ve challenged my students to do, so it follows I should shake in my boots a little, too. We’ve been discussing our goals and dreams, events that have challenged us or frightened us before delving into action. Adrenaline was at the forefront, warning us that something was going to happen quickly, honing our senses into a hyper-alert and hypersensitive state.
Write about something that scared you.
It took me forever to press the send button on an email to my editor at Ave Maria Press containing the manuscript for my first book. Sometime in the fourth grade I decided I wanted to be a writer, and it took all those decades for it to happen in a traditional medium. Oh, I’ve flirted around with writing on this blog, and other places, even self-published a bunch of things, but this time, the stakes seemed a little higher for me. What if the publisher hates it? What if nobody wants to buy it?
What if the whole universe conspires against my book and deems it the worst thing ever!
I was consoled with the knowledge that no matter how bad it could be, it’s not likely to generate an online contest for terrible opening lines, like the Bulwer-Lytton Prize, so I hit send. It was an action 42 years in the making, since that very first essay I wrote in the fourth grade.
Nothing exploded. Nobody fired me.
I got a little bit of indigestion later, when I found out what the title was. Oh, it’s sure to be a classic, at least in my family. Are you ready?
My Badass Book of Saints
There’s an awesome subtitle, but I want you to pay attention to it and you’re still obsessing over Badass in the title of a Catholic Saints book. That’s OK. Me, too. Let’s recover together.
My Badass Book of Saints: Courageous Women Who Showed Me How to Live.
I like it. It suits me. I mean, I’m writing about some really extraordinary women, some saints, some not quite saints, and a few that, well, might be saints in heaven, but weren’t exactly Saints on earth. I’m in there, too, telling my story, my mom’s story, my grandma’s story.
It’s a pretty good book. A badass book.
And I’m still scared.
My Badass Book of Saints: Courageous Women Who Showed Me How to Live
by Maria Morera Johnson
Ave Maria Press