It happened last year, during my first visit to the great state of Alabama at the fabulous Southern Magician Romance Readers' Luncheon. Even though I knew a lot of the people there --had met quite a few face to face, others I knew online -- I was nervous. I figured I'd be the only Texan there (nope! Met quite a few, woot!) and everyone was super-nice. On top of that, I encountered Naima -- she hugged, twinkled, giggled and made me giggle. She remembered my book, A Tale of Two Djinns. And then she made me giggle some more. Lol! Yeah, she laughed my nerves away, literally.
So it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Naima....
"In the book of Joshua, the Israelites emerged from the wilderness, prepared to enter into the land God promised them. They encountered a swollen, rushing Jordan River, too swift and deep to cross. Before their eyes, God piled the waters of the river back upon one another and the people crossed over dry land to the other side. In the midst, God instructed Joshua to have twelve men carry stones to their camp at Gilgal, saying, “The stones will serve as a reminder to you. In days to come, your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Tell them that the LORD cut off the flow of water in the Jordan River. Tell them its water stopped flowing when the ark of the covenant of the LORD went across. The stones will always remind the Israelites of what happened there.” (Joshua 4:6-7)
The stones were a monument for the Israelites and their descendents so when they looked back they would have a reminder of what God had done for them.
When I received my first request for a full manuscript four years ago, my father told me to go out in my yard, find a stone and place it on my mantel—so I wouldn’t forget that moment of victory. He understood what I’d already discovered and would assuredly experience again during my journey as a writer.
We all face disappointments, rejection and failures. Sometimes they are enough to discourage us to the point we ask ourselves why do we continue to chase a dream, to pursue a path littered with stumbling blocks? Why don’t we just…quit? But among those disappointments are sweet moments of joy and triumph. Like when we receive the first win in a contest. Or when we receive The Call. Or when a reader emails and says how our stories touched their hearts and provided moments of escape. It’s during those times we need to collect our stones…collect our stones to serve as reminders that for every rejection there’s an acceptance. For every bad review there are three readers who post on FaceBook appreciation and love for what we do. For every “no thank you” there’s an “I want to see more of what you have”.
Our stones remind us that God is faithful. And the only way we stop picking up more and more stones is to quit. As long as we fight this good fight of creating and giving of ourselves, we will have a monument dedicated to joy, success and prosperity we and our children can look back to and say, I crossed my Jordan."
Naima Simone is a multi-published author in contemporary and erotic romance. She’s a member of RWA’s Southern Magic chapter, mother of the Dynamic Duo, lover of everything Vin Diesel and wife to the fabulous husband who tolerates this affair. And, ahem, check out her latest cover:
Under His Wings is coming out Jan. 23, 2013! Show Naima some bloggity-blog hospitality with some comments, y'all!