Sylvia's blog

Sylvia's blog

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Friendship (n) - a friendly feeling or disposition; a friendly relation or intimacy; the state of being a friend.

Over the years I have had some good friendships and some bad friendships.  I have also been a good friend and have been a bad friend.  Whatever the circumstances, I have learned something from all of them, and I consider any time I've spent with them a blessing. Besides my upbringing and environment, the friendships I've had helped mold the person I am today.

I'm writing this post today for a special group of friends...or should I say two groups.  The first group was formed about two years ago out of a desire to be a better writer.  I met these friends on a contest writers' forum. Every year Amazon Publishing has a free contest trying to find the next great breakthrough novel....Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA).  Every year 10,000 entrants lobby to because a publishing/marketing prodigy of Amazon's.  It's a great contest with great forums/threads.  Anyway, that's how I met this group.  We formed a beta readers group where we meet once a month and review each others' writings and provide encouragement.

 I've entered ABNA four years now...well, technically, three years because the first year I waited to the last minute and the contest closed.  I still count that for some reason.  I guess the preparation has something to do with it.  There are several rounds you have to get through to become a finalist and I've only made it through the first round once, and that was last year.  The "Pitch" round, they call it, because it's your chance to pitch your book to a reviewer and make it sound better than the other 9,999 entrants.  Yesterday I found out that I didn't make it, but the five other members of my beta group did.  Although I'm a little disappointed, I'm not sad because five of my friends are still in the running....and there will always be next year for me to try again. My friendship with these people...strangers, really, because I've not met one of them in person...keeps me motivated to do something that I love and that I know will eventually help me to reach my author's goal.  My fingers are crossed for each of them .

The second group of friends are the ones here locally who know I write and enter this contest every year.  My friend Frank marks it on the office calendar. They are all mad with Amazon this morning.

Love them all.....

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cannon fodder (n) - military soldiers who run the risk of being wounded or killed in warfare.

This noun seemed appropriate for the title of my blog because, as a self-published author,  there are many days I feel my dreams are on the verge of being killed, if not merely wounded.  Listen, I don't want your pity or want to sound depressing, but any artist will tell you, they wish they were further.

Having an author's dream is like stepping off that Greyhound bus in Hollywood, filled with  the talent and enthusiasm, thinking that you're the next "big thing".  We all feel our novels are going to be the J. K. Rowling's breakthrough.  Realistically, we are just hoping that someone likes the words we write.  Even when we tell family friends about our new chapters, or new inspirations, or what our writer's group is discussing, we just know in the back of their minds they're thinking, "Yeah, right, Sylvia. Bless your heart.  Hope you grow out of it soon." 

Writing...or story telling as I like to define my putting the characters that are shouting in your head every day out for public viewing;  Running the risk of scrutiny, critiques, rudeness, and downright meanness.  But every so often, we are rewarded with kindness, praise, helpfulness, and reader's joy.

I don't mind being cannon fodder for writing.  It's the risk a writer has to take.

I'm just sayin"....