There's something infinitely satisfying about holding a novel for the first time. After months of writing, then agonizing through the editing process, and viewing mock-ups of the cover and trying to choose the perfect title to represent something unique about the story...here it is. The finished product. If you'll pardon the comparison, it's rather like giving birth. All the prep--all the anticipation--and then...holding that little bundle of perfection that exceeds all of the expectation. I always tear up when I look at a newborn, and I do the same thing when I hold one of my books for the first time.
Fields of Grace is definitely a "newborn," but I'm already hearing from readers. I got a very sweet email from a woman who enjoyed the story and said many complimentary things. Then at the end of her message, she said, "But..." Kindly, respectfully, even apologetically, she pointed out an error. An error I can't believe I missed, but I did. She hoped she wouldn't offend me by letting me know, yet she thought perhaps it could be corrected in subsequent printings.
For the record, I wasn't offended. When someone approaches you with such tact and kindness, how can you be offended? I was glad to know, and thankfully the error can and will be corrected in subsequent printings. As embarrassing as booboos can be, it's very, very difficult to put out a completely-without-errors book. Because books are being written, edited, and printed by humans. And...well...let's face it--humans aren't perfect. We can do our best, but we'll never be perfect.
Several years ago, someone told me that Amish quilters deliberately leave an error in their quilts as a sign that only God is a perfect Creator. I don't know if it's true, but I liked the idea so much I adopted it. When I made quilts, I would attach a little Kim-made poem:
You'll find an error in this quilt--Unlike my quilts, in which I deliberately left an error, I try to make sure my books are without blemish. I want to give my very best to my publisher, to my readers, and mostly to God. But sometimes, no matter how carefully we choose our outfit and how many times we check the mirror, we're still going to show up in public with our slip showing. It's that perfection thing...a little out of reach. And rightfully so! If we were perfect, we wouldn't need to lean on God, now would we? Wow, that's a scary thought. I don't want to imagine this life without Him.
An error left to say
"Perfection can't be reached by man.
We must look heaven's way."
So when you find that mismatched piece,
Let it serve to show
There's just one perfect Creator,
And that's the God we know. ©
Deuteronomy 32:4 says, "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." I'm so glad that when God looks at the works of my hand, He sees the sincere effort, the desire to please Him. I believe I please Him even in my failings when I've honestly given Him my best.
Maybe when we find an error in a book, we can let it serve as a reminder that while the created is not perfect, the Creator most definitely is. Anything that points our attention to Him has got to be a good thing, right? :o)
May God bless you muchly as you journey with Him! ~Kim