Celebrate Saint Lucy–Patron Saint of Writers

For many years, the Flatiron Writers have had a tradition of celebrating St. Lucy’s Day, December 13th. St. Lucy is (one of several) patron saints of writers, perhaps because of the connection between writing and eyesight–poor Lucy had her eyes gouged out. None of us are practicing Catholics, so we have to kind of wing it. We celebrate by getting together at a nice restaurant for food and drink, and doing a gift exchange of paperback books. We thank Lucy for any writing successes we’ve experienced during the year, and toast her in the hopes that she’ll be even more generous in the coming year.
I’m pretty happy with Lucy’s delivery in 2008. Toby, Geneve and I saw our short story anthology published, Jen got accepted to the Hollins MFA program, Maggie was accepted to a prestigious residency, Toby and I attended Sewanee and Tin House, my short story “Tupelo Rose” was a finalist for the Thomas Wolfe prize, Toby had a story published in WNC Woman, and we recently welcomed a new member, Marjorie Klein, author of the novel, Test Pattern. We all continued to write, some of us more prolifically than others, and at the meetings when no one had brought anything to critique, we still had the privilege of each other’s company, to talk about books, politics and other fun things.
Although Baptists like me believe we have a direct line to God and Jesus and don’t need the intervention of a Saint, I’ve been thinking about what I would like Lucy to work on for me in 2009 if she’s so inclined. I’ve decided that what I really want is an ending (a happy one) to the story of my search for a literary agent and publisher for my novel. The search makes for a pretty exciting story, with lots of ups and downs and intrigue, spanning (so far) a two year period, during which I have amassed an impressive collection of rejection slips, revised the novel a bizillion times, and imposed on every friend and acquaintance I have who might know-someone-who-knows-someone who can help me get published. When I finally tell the story, it will be the longest blog post ever, but I can’t tell it until it has an ending.
If Lucy can’t finagle a happy ending for me, then I want my consolation prize to be this: I want to become a process person, one of those intriguing folks for whom the goal isn’t everything. I want to learn to appreciate the journey, the friendships I’ve made from my writing, the mental health benefits, the pure fun of creating, so that at the end of my life, even if I never publish anything significant, I can feel like a success. And I’d like to accomplish this without a lobotomy.
So, St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, hear my prayers and do your thing.
Happy writing for 2009, everybody!
Copyright 2008 by Heather Newton

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