By Carrie Fancett Pagels
Doesn’t every author dream of having a Christmas story in print? This year one of my wishes comes true when “Snowed In: A Northwoods Christmas” appears in Guidepost Books A Cup of Christmas Cheer, Volume One, Tales of Faith and Family for the Holidays. I certainly enjoy reading Christmas stories so I hope I’ve written one that will bless others.
My story wouldn’t be coming out if it weren’t for some special people. My critique partner from “Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance,” Kathy Maher, encouraged me to work on this project. I sent Kathy several blurbs for story ideas. When she read the “Snowed In” blurb, she told me she got “chills”–which I took to mean the Holy Spirit was moving. I loved this story, too, because it is near and dear to my heart. It was inspired by true family events and includes many loved ones who’ve gone to be with the Lord, such as my mother and father, who are the fictionalized hero and heroine in the book. In this story, the young woman, whom I named Eliza (but who has been renamed in the book), finds her three younger siblings dropped off at her second job-a diner where she works. Their widowed father has departed from Michigan’s upper peninsula, near Christmas, to go home to Kentucky. When her beau, a wounded WWII veteran, discovers his sweetheart needs help, he brings them to stay with his grandmother–his own parents both deceased. So the idea of writing “Snowed In” was also like getting to spend story world time with my loved ones.
But I after I sent my agent my blurb, I got ill and didn’t send her what the submission required. A friend had turned hers in the previous day and had called to ask me if I’d done the same. Too unwell, and assuming past the deadline, I abandoned the idea of submitting.
Then I got a phone call the next morning as I lay in bed, sick. My agent, Joyce Hart, called, sounding a little odd. She spoke about her day and when she’d be gone and that she’d return late in the afternoon. I assured her that sounded like a nice day but wondered why she wanted to share that. Joyce asked, “Don’t you want to send your story in to Guideposts?” She double-checked for me and said the deadline was that day and she told me she thought it was a good story. Joyce encouraged me that if I felt up to submitting it she would work on it when she returned and would get it to the editor. I prayed about it and was able to get up and write what was needed. And the story was picked up for inclusion. I’m glad for friends and an agent who believe in me and my writing!
Praying we all will have someone who will prompt us to step out on faith in our work.
Carrie Fancett Pagels’s Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, (2013) is an Amazon top-rated Civil War book. Her short story, “Snowed In,” appears in Guidepost Books’ A Christmas Cup of Cheer (October, 2013). Carrie contributed to God’s Provision in Tough Times, Lighthouse of the Carolinas (July, 2013). With a Ph.D. in School Psychology, Carrie served as a psychologist for twenty-five years. She has two popular group blogs: Overcoming With God and Colonial Quills.