Friday, February 15, 2013


Happy Friday Bloggers and THE SAVANNAH SYNDROME (TSS) fans.  Well, as some of you may know, I had entered TSS into Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award contest.  And if you have been following this blog, you may have noticed that I had dedicated much of my heart, and faith, in making it through to AT LEAST the third round, where TSS would have had a free review from Publisher's Weekly, which in terms of free marketing, is HUGE!  So, subsequently, to say that I was crushed to find out my pitch for TSS doomed the project in the initial round of judging, is an understatement.  I was devastated, lost, destroyed, and ready to give up.  Writing that is.  Then I started checking out the competition.  The way ABNA lists the results is somewhat cruel.  They post the winners in one big pdf file and you have to scroll down to see if your name made the list.  No email congratulations, just checking the list like we're back in high school rushing to the bulletin board to see if we made the school play or not.  So, it did take me a few minutes to even have the courage to scroll to the J's since authors were listed by first name.  There was only one Jason and it wasn't I.  Then I read later in the day that people were discovering that their work was listed but under a different author, which was causing all sorts of confusion in the discussion forums.  This gave me momentary respite from the overwhelming sense of disappointment as I changed tactics and scanned the 2,000 listings in all five genres for TSS.  Still no luck.  I started a new discussion thread to try to drum up communal support from all those who didn't make it, for us to weep together, share our works, and hopefully help spread the word on each others projects.  I also "liked" the FACEBOOK page one hopeful author created the night before to be a rallying point for those not selected, which should have been about 8,000 of us.  That page only got seventeen likes, and despite sharing my Amazon page several times, I garnered no extra sales, which I have come to expect.  I'm not willing to shell out a few bucks for an unproven author, so I really can't expect someone to do the same to me.  Especially when we're all feeling the bitter burn of being rejected so early.

So that was me Wednesday.  My daughter is still sick, so the two of us sat around and moped all day.  Then I worked yesterday and had to fill out paperwork to be able to start orientation for my old stomping grounds, and that brought me even lower yesterday afternoon.  But I kept calm and have decided to carry on.  This was only one contest and while the payout was the biggest I have ever seen, and absolutely free (Writer's Digest has a "Best Self-Published Novel" competition, but it requires a $100 entry fee...).  There will be more contests, and now I can shop the book openly to agents.  I'll have to do some endless self-promoting, and started to research the best places to promote self-published novels.  None of the good avenues are free.  But there's still hope.  And most of the time, hope is all you need.

So, to those who have been following, thank you.  No more countdown.  I'll continue to share TSS and my views on everything else that has to do with writing when I can.  I'm starting a new job next week and I may need a week or two to adjust to the new schedule (going back to working nights!).  Follow my personal blog here.  Tomorrow's Weekly Writing Prompt is fun and quick, writing poetry for the first time!  Without further ado, here is page eighteen of TSS.  Y'all have a great Friday!

"not even hear the wind.  She tuned it out, tuned out the normal rustling of leaves and branches to focus on the more important sound.  That sound, the sound of a snapping twig under an alien weight hit her ears, much too close for her comfort.
She was in the woods in a heartbeat, her sneakers hitting the thick brush before the sounds of her fishing rod and bucket bouncing on the walkway could chase her down.  She did not scout out her route, did not look to the direction of the sounds of snapping twigs and crumbling leaves, she just ran.  There were at least four intruders behind her.  She could smell them now.  The thick smell of sweat and the stench of evil.  She ran as fast as she could.  Her eyes sought out the obstacles ahead of her, a root here, a low branch there, her marked trail to the left, which she rounded and behind her she heard the sound of her trap door giving way and then screams as one of her assailants found the sharp, deadly arrangement of spikes at the bottom of the six foot trap.  The other three fell into a straight line now; they knew to follow her close, not to veer off the path she cut.  They were smarter than she had anticipated.  She vaulted between two stretching oak limbs, the top thick with green moss and lichen.  As she passed it between her left hand reached out and hit a slanted branch, removing the brace to the row of short, sharp spikes that turned directly into the closest chaser.  His screams were so close it caused her to jump forward and dig deep into her strength to push herself harder.  Her legs burned, she had never run so hard in her life.  She estimated that there were only two left.  She knew they were too fast for her to outrun in the open field.  She also knew she just had to get to the moat.  They would not follow her into the water.   And if they did she would take them there.  She just had to get to the moat, but she didn’t think she had the speed, nor the energy left to carry her across the hundred meters or so to get her there.  She would have to face them out in the open.  She began to pull her machete from her back as she emerged from the brush.  Big mistake.
She was hit hard from the side.  This assailant was not like the four chasing her.  He lacked a solid stench.  She rolled"

The Historic Lighthouse on Tybee Island, GA.

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