The Journey to Nightingale and Beyond
By Angela Posey-Arnold
God said write. So I write. The rest is amazing. The journey is wonderful. Seeing God’s Graceful Hand at work in my life through the writing and promoting of this new book has been a humbling and overwhelming experience. If I don’t write this down, I might just burst.
My journey in writing began a very long time ago. As a teenager I wrote in journals—usually writing too much. I think Momma read it and I was thinking that my brother might be reading it, so on the front of the notebook I wrote a stern warning. “If you read this, I will know it. I have implanted a secret code so that I know when someone reads my journal. So you better not be reading my journal.” It was kind of scary. I would have been afraid to read it myself if I had not written it.
I wrote too many secrets I suppose. Surely you remember the secrets of a teenager. Not so much about myself, but about my friends and the ramblings of youth. So, at the age of 18, I burned it. Now at the age of 47 I could kick myself for that.
During my Junior and Senior year in high school I was a feature editor for the high school newspaper. I took the journalism class and I was a journalist. “The Head-Lioner” was published once a month and I covered major sports events and club events. (We were the Haleyville Lions—therefore—the Head ‘Lioner’) I have some of those papers left. Ragged and yellowed I treasure them.
I wanted to go to college and be a journalist but there was also my music. I started playing the piano or learning how, in the 3rd grade. When other kids were outside playing, I was playing the piano. I couldn’t help myself. It was pretty much all I wanted to do. I learned and progressed until my precious teacher told my Mother that she had taught me all she knew. She said I was playing as well as she could.
My teacher and my Mother sought out a new piano teacher. By the grace and gift of God they found Mrs. Tingle. Yes, her name was Ethel Tingle. She was in her 80s and her hands were now crooked and painful from arthritis. But, she knew music. She was a wonderful teacher and I loved her dearly. She was tough though. She meant business when it came to playing the piano and playing it correctly.
In the hallway of her home was a 16x20 picture in black and white of her performing on a grand piano in Carnegie Hall. She no longer could play like she once could because of the arthritis but the music was still in her heart. And she vicariously lived it through me and some of her other students. She had dreams for me. She wanted me to go to Julliard School of Music in New York City. She really believed I could have made it there. I didn’t believe that.
So, I was somewhat conflicted when I went to college. Being a big Momma and Daddy’s baby I only went 45 miles north to school. My first two years I came home every weekend. College was not ready for me and I was not ready for college.
I tried majoring in music but they treated music different than Mrs. Tingle did. They made music seem like work. It had never been work to me and I hated it. I dropped out of the program and began to learn about myself and the world around me. Eventually, graduating nursing school—journalism had gotten lost as far as a career went..
I continued to keep a journal and during my career as an RN I wrote many things. Articles and communications to nurses required writing skill. Documentation required writing skill. And of course, I continued to keep journals. And music has always been a huge part of me and my life. It always will be.
In 2001 after being involved in a wreck with a tractor trailer truck nursing was out of the question. I was taken back to what I had always had, writing and music. It puts in my mind the scripture, “We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)
After the wreck I began to pray the prayer of Jabez. (I Chronicles 4:9) Over and over I would pray it everyday. Doors began to open for me to write. Things began to fall into place and I could almost audibly hear God telling me to write. The first thing I wrote was an account of the wreck and the angels and hedge of protection that saved me. The message that God gave me, “don’t be afraid, heaven in so close”.
From there I began to make online connections. The most important one being the Writer’s Course I took online. I then wrote my first book, The Lions and the Adders and graced it with a pen name, Anna Grace Poschet’ I self-published but never promoted. The book was deeply personal and it seemed like I had to get the words out, get them published and then I was finished. I needed to move on. Writing that book was a huge part of healing from some tragic events that have shaped my life to this point.
I began to write devotionals for Reflections e-zine and I joined Faithwriters.com. Both of which have been huge blessings for me. Reflections went off line and from that the other writers and I became a family of writers. We have our own online writer’s group called Sonrise Writers. We pray for one another, encourage one another and are friends, very special friends, across the miles. They have each been a incredible blessing in my life. Even though we have never met face to face we have a special bond together. One that has strengthened me and helped me to be the writer I am today.
In 2006 one of my dearest friends was tragically killed when she was hit by a train. It was almost unbearable the pain I felt. The day after her funeral I came home and started to write the book that she and I had planned to write together. I prayed for a publisher. God sent one.
It took me about 6 months to write the book, The Nightingale Protocol. And in November 2007 the book was released by the publisher. Even though I had written a book already this book is just different. I really don’t know how to explain it. It just means so much more to me. As I wrote, I prayed and I know that the messages in the book are not mine but given to me by the Lord. I suppose that is why it is so easy to promote. Because I am not promoting me, but Him.
Since the book was released I have followed the advise of others who have promoted a book. First I began to contact the media which has resulted so far in 3 Feature Half page articles in surrounding newspapers, a tv morning show interview locally, a spot on www.globaltalkradio.com and a book signing coming up. This is just the beginning.
From the article in the local newspaper (www.moultonadvertiser.com/news/2007/1010/people/048.html) I received an email from a lady that lives here locally and writes for Christ to the World. Her name is Vona Elkins. We had lunch together and that led to her invitation for me to speak to a ladies group from her church. Women of Hope invited me to speak and bought 5 books. I am not too sure that I would have done as well as I did without the prayers and support and encouragement of Sonrise Writers, my family and friends. Well, I know I wouldn’t have. Actually, it was an incredible stretch for me. I can play the piano in front of thousands or write for millions but to speak to a group of 20 ladies was way out of my comfort zone.
Vona then invited me to attend a local Writer’s Group’s Christmas Party with her. These ladies had taken a writing class together and have been meeting for 2 years. I had no idea there even was a writer’s group in this area. I had a wonderful time and met some really nice people, other writers. They have sense been in touch with me and I hope they ask me to join them next month.
Also, through that same article I have met another local Christian writer. Her name is Carolyn Orr. She has self published 4 books and desired so much to find a publisher.
After reading on my website she sent her manuscript to my publisher and they have accepted her book. She is so excited.
Promoting the book is not all about money, but I have to sell them so I can buy more. I have got a lot of nurses to reach. I took 12 books to a local hometown Christian Book Store, he has 4 copies left as of yesterday. And I have my first book signing scheduled for tomorrow. I have a good problem though. I only have 26 books left out of the original 50 I ordered. If I sell them all tomorrow, the book store owner said he would give rain-checks and those books I have to order he will not take a cut out of.
So, tomorrow is a big day for me. I ask you all to keep me in your prayers. Not just to sell books but to reach nurses and anyone else who reads the book for Jesus. He is the reason!!
The journey continues…………………………………………………
P.S. update: 12/21/07 I sold 25 books at the books signing!!!!!