Revisions, Revisions, Revisions

by: Rebecca DeMarino

The mountain is hidden by clouds today, but the snowy blanket that covers the yard is beautiful. I’m thinking of the grandchildren who raced about throwing snowballs and creating snow angels in Christmases past. It’s a special time of year, surrounded by family, good food and fond memories. Celebrating the birth of Jesus draws families together and reminds us of God’s greatest gift.

As I put up the Christmas decorations I can’t help but smile. When my three daughters were tiny they thrilled at helping to decorate the tree. It would look great, but as we approached the big day, I would move a little ornament here, or fill in a big gap there. Revisions, revisions, revisions!

Many Christmases have come and gone since they grew up and started their own families. What I find to my amusement, is that as I decorate the tree on my own, I still revise it here and there: moving an angel closer to a tree light or switching the blue bulb for the red, only to move them back the next day. This goes on right up to Christmas Eve, when I must pronounce it the most beautiful tree ever. Other people might disagree or have suggestions and that’s ok. My husband wants us to do tinsel. We both have fond memories of our mothers instructing us to put one strand on at a time, while we wanted to throw it in gobs, all at once! I think this is the year we do that.

My book revisions are like the tree. I will look at a scene and realize it needs to take place much earlier in the book. Or read a paragraph for the hundredth time and realize it shouldn’t be there at all, only to read the chapter again the next day and wonder why I ever took it out. I want it to shine. I want it to be my best effort. But at some point I have to let it go. Send it to my agent and let others decide. And I can do that knowing God has a season for all things. His timing is perfect and I can wait with humble gratitude for whatever His will is. No matter the outcome.

One only needs to read the story of the birth of Jesus and the journey of the magi to know of God’s perfect timing, His love for us and the hope He brings. And during this busy Christmas season, whether you are trying to perfect the decorations or a manuscript, I hope you have a moment to read and share the story from Matthew 1:18 through 2:12.  And in all things we have God’s promise from Matt 28:20 “. . . and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Rebecca DeMarino is a retired United Airlines Service Director and worked as an Office Manager at the Natasha Kern Literary Agency from March, 2008 until September, 2010. She currently works part-time as a Carnival Cruise Line representative from her home office. She recently signed with literary agent Barbara Scott with WordServe Literary. ‘She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the ACFW PDX/Vancouver Chapter, the Romance Writers of America, the RWA Faith Hope and Love Chapter, the Christian Writer’s Guild, and The Southold, L.I., Historical Society. A 2011 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist, Rebecca and her husband, Tom, live in the Pacific Northwest. When not writing, Rebecca enjoys reading, running, gardening and trying to keep up with her eleven grandchildren.

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