Well, it's official. As of about 1 am the morning of the 16th, I discovered that The Sword of the Patron did not make the cut for the finals of Marcher Lord Select.
But as I've been saying in all my other internet "hang outs," I cannot say I am battling any sense of disappointment over it. Maybe it will set in later. Maybe not
What I do come away with from the whole thing is that I have a healthy number of people who would stand behind my book. Maybe not enough to run away with a contest on Jeff Gerke's forum, but enough to encourage me that my story is one people will read and enjoy. Does it still need work? Of course. I don't know that any novel is ever really done. You just eventually stop working on it. (Hopefully that stopping point connects to a publishing contract.)
So, now I'm faced with the question...do I dive into rewrites now? Do I focus solely on finishing my serial for Digital Dragon, the come back to SOTP? Do I switch gears entirely and write a short story to submit to Port Yonder Press' Elves Anthology that wants entries in January?
Never a shortage of choices.
The one choice that is not on the table, however, is giving up. A few sweet encouragers have said to me "Don't quit! Hold your head high!" to which I can only smile and say, "Quit? Of course not!" The road is just beginning to wind ever on and on for this tale, and I look forward to seeing where it leads.