Deborah Anderson

In 2000, Deborah Anderson left the medical field to care for her elderly mother. Soon after, she began writing. Her articles have appeared in Cross Times, Focus on the Family, Sisters in the Lord, Riders and Reapers, Rainbow Faith, FaithWriters’ Books, FaithWriters’ Magazine, and the bulletins for Dayspring Foursquare Church. She is a member of TWV, ACFW, CWG, and FCW and is currently working on her first novel. Married 28 years, Deborah and her husband enjoy country living in the Midwest. She also spends her time rescuing cats, reading novels, and taking nature walks. You can contact Deborah at DKAnderson955 [at] aol [dot] com.

Diary of a Crazy Writer: Escapade One

Have you ever done anything crazy while attempting to publish your writing?


I don’t want to be alone here, so work with me.

In 2004, at the age of forty-five, my journey began. I decided to start writing—again. When I say again, I don’t mean that I was already an accomplished writer. I’d never so much as written an article. Well, except for the one in junior high. Still, what could it hurt, and how hard could it be? Right?


My first victim, I mean, editor, worked for Focus on the Family. She saw a couple of stories I posted online then contacted me about a submission. I gladly accepted. She gave me a deadline to submit my article, so I purchased the Writer’s Market for more information.

My deadline arrived on a Saturday morning. I got out of bed and grabbed a cup of coffee. I plopped down on the couch, and sipped my fuel, eyeing my computer at the other end of the room.

After my coffee, I polished my manuscript and perused the how-to sample letters in Writer’s Market. I prepared a cover letter, sat back, and smiled. I just needed to print everything out.

I glanced at the clock—11:45. Panic ensued. The post office closed at noon. I hollered for my husband while the printer spit out my documents.

He ambled into the room.

Why do people always amble when you’re in a hurry?

“What?” he said, one eyebrow raised in a modicum of curiosity.

I held up my manuscript. “Could you please take this to the post office? I’m still in my pajamas.”

He checked the time. “They’ll be closed before I get there.”

I shoved everything inside the envelope as fast as my bony fingers would move and held the package in front of him. “No, they won’t. Here.”

The garage door hummed in the background, and I let out a sigh of relief. Please, Lord, give me favor with Sandra.

Wait a minute . . . Sandra? Not my editor’s name.

I scanned the document still displayed on my monitor, and I’d clearly written my cover letter to an editor I’d renamed Sandra—probably a name from one of the sample letters in the Writer’s Market.

Looking at the clock again, I decided to make a quick phone call.

“Post office.”

“Uh, yes . . . this is Deborah Anderson. I just sent my husband down there with a package.”

“It arrived just fine, Mrs. Anderson. I have it here in my hand.”

“Don’t mail that package.”

“Excuse me?”

“I sent the wrong letter to an editor, and I need to change something, so please, don’t mail it out.”

“No problem,” she said. “I can hold it for you until Monday.”

“Monday? Oh no, the deadline to mail it is today.”

“But we’re closing up—”

“Could I come down and switch the letters now? Please? I don’t live far.” Please, please, please, please.

She sighed. “How soon can you get here?”

I quickly calculated the seven or eight minute drive, depending upon the traffic. “I’ll be there in five minutes.”

“Okay, but come to the back door. Bang on it when you get here.”

“Thank you so much.”

After printing out the corrected version of my letter, I sprinted for the bathroom.

I threw on a sweatshirt and ran a brush through my hair. Good enough.

My palms grew sweaty as I backed out of the driveway. What if I didn’t make it in time?

As I pulled forward, I scanned the horizon and saw my husband coming toward me from the other end of our street.

As he approached, he slowed the truck down and lowered the window. His mouth opened to speak, but I accelerated—and blew right past him. Sorry, honey.

Minutes later, I parked at the curb alongside the post office and jumped out of the car. The wind whipped my hair around, and it seemed chillier than usual.

I walked to the back of the building and pounded my fist against the steel door.

A woman stepped into view and handed me my package. “Here you go, but you’ll have to change it outside. We can’t let you inside the building now that we’re closed.”

I waved my hand. “No problem. Really. You have no idea how grateful I am.”

Another woman walked up behind her and peered over her shoulder. They both stared at me—with funny expressions on their faces. Well, in their defense, I’m sure I did look like a crazy woman, a crazy writer.

I set the package on the concrete pad and pulled out my documents. Another gust of wind blew in and tried to lift my papers away. I slammed my foot down to hold them in place. That’s when I noticed why the women were staring.

The wind flapped the bottoms of my thin, blue pajamas around my toothpick legs.

Too bad the flush in my face didn’t warm the rest of my body.

I finished switching the letters and handed the package back to the first woman, remembering I had broken the seal when I opened it.

As though reading my mind, she offered a solution. “I’ll reseal it for you. I’ve got some tape right here.”

Was it just me, or were the corners of her mouth twitching?

“Thank you so much.”

The steel door boomed shut, and I slinked along the side of the brick building. I peeked around the corner, looking first right then left. The coast clear, I ran to my car. I’d endured enough humiliation for one day. Thank you very much.

I arrived home and found my husband sitting at the island in the kitchen. His eyes bore into mine. “Oh, sure. I just had to deliver your package, and out you come a few minutes later.”

I held up my hand in a silent plea to stop him from saying more. “Wait a min—”

He waggled his finger. “Wouldn’t even stop and talk to me.”

“But I—”

“By the way, where were you going? You were driving a little fast. Don’t you think?”

“Look, I—”

He pointed at my pants. “Why are you still in your pajamas?”

My feet pounded on the hardwood floor as I stormed off to the bathroom. I paused in front of the mirror. In addition to my outfit, my long hair spiked out in different directions. Gads, no wonder those women looked at me the way they did.

That particular story didn’t publish, but I did publish with Focus on the Family several years later, so it didn’t turn out all bad.

One thing I do know. The life of this writer surely is crazy. In fact, I’m starting a new club. I’ll call it The Crazy Writers Club. I’ll share my mishaps, as well as my goals, and maybe we can learn from one another on our writing journey. Maybe . . . you can share some of your crazy blunders. What could it hurt? Right?

Wait, the last time I said that it got me into trouble.

Oh well. Care to join?