Today, you, my fabulous readers, are going to get to see the first ending that I wrote for Walking in the Shadows. As an author somethings are easy to change, but other times it feels like you are ripping a part of piece of your soul when you hit the delete button. I realized if it felt like that then I needed to keep whatever it was, and because I am self-published I retain that right. There are so many reasons why I chose to be a self-published author, and no, it’s not because I couldn’t get a publisher. Yes, I did try agents but something didn’t feel right to me. When I thought about handing over all control of my writing, and how I choose to market I got cold feet. I wondered if they would force me to have a facebook, Twitter, and whatever else. I worried what they would do to my precious cover photographs. The covers for my novels was the overriding factor in my choice. I knew as a no body there was no way I would have any say in it, and my covers are as much a part of the novel as the words contained with in it–without those covers the novels just weren’t right. I’ve seen so many sites say do this and you will sell 1,000 novels a month and I get the Kindle newsletter every month. I’ve got a blog, website, GoodReads, LibraryThing, I’ve got an Author Central page on US and UK Amazon and I even have my blog feed into it. What I don’t have? Facebook and Twitter. I’m not selling 1,000 of books a month, and the more I read about the Twitter and FB spamming that authors are now doing the less I want to do it. What I do like? When I see that a FB was a lead into my blog, why? That means that someone read my blog and truly liked it; they read my book and truly liked it. I’ll rely on my fans, as small as the group is now, to FB me. (Thanks Mom!) What am I selling a month? Honestly, about 10-15 books. This month I’ve only sold 6. Yes, I am grinding my teeth because sometimes I just don’t know what to do anymore. SO I try new things, like showing readers snippets of the novel that were trashed, and I continue to be brutally honest about the editing process. I try to keep my integrity and bite my tongue when someone makes me mad. I want to do this as a career, so I try to be as professional but personable as possible. Today started off badly, due to something that I found on GR, which I shall not mention and has been resolved. Then I pulled up Amazon to find Walking in the Shadows had broken down past the 70,000 sales ranking. That felt pretty cool, but then I have only sold 3 books in the past three days according to my sales reports. Who knows if they are accurate. I am starting to notice a pattern, in the beginning of the month there’s a spike, the middle there’s oh, no sales and the end there’s another spike. I’m not trying to throw myself a pity party here–I am just being honest. So, I will end this rant and get to the good stuff–the alternate ending for Walking in the Shadows.
ORIGINAL (Right after the speech scene and FYI I didn’t know what to call JAZ, so I refered to her with a letter M for meddler):
“You are officially no longer a high school student.” Tad said as I walked up to him leaning against my car with a bouquet of flowers.
“Yeah and this just happened to be the longest year of my life.” I said, “I am so glad it’s over.”
He pulled me into a hug. “Me too.”
“I told Maria and Bill last night that I plan to move in with you, they said you asked their permission already.”
He put me at arm’s length. “Is that okay with you, that I asked them? In a different situation I would have asked your parents.”
“It’s not like you asked them if you could marry me.” I said, “Did you?”
“We touched on the subject of the future and the word was mentioned but you and I haven’t discussed anything like that so I didn’t ask for permission…yet.”
“You think you’re really clever don’t you?”
“Yup, here comes M bearing gifts.” Tad said.
“You just made the best graduation speech known to man!” M said as she jumped into my arms and then shoved a gift into my hands. “I got you something.” I opened the box to find a scrapbook. “This year sucked—I know but I highlighted the good parts especially Prom.”
“Thanks, M. There were definitely some good parts to this year.” I said pulling a small box out of my gown and handing it to her. “Something for you.”
As she opened the box I unzipped my gown and freed myself of the sea of maroon fabric. “Pheww.”
“Mmhmm.” Tad said, “I like that dress.”
“You’re an ass.” I said pulling up the bodice.
M could not help but laugh. “You two are too cute. I can’t wait until we can double date.”
“Soon enough, Abbi is moving in with me soon.” Tad said as M held up the necklace I had bought her.
“Is this real Swarovski?” She said, “And you have the same one on!”
“Modern take on the best friend necklaces.”
“This is awesome,” She said, “And the moving in is awesome too, how did Maria and Bill take it.”
“I think they expected it especially seeing Tad here got to them and asked permission before I could tell them.”
“So romantic!” M said, “I guess we won’t be sharing a dorm then?”
“I’m sure you will find someone to room with you?”
“I think I am just going to stay at home. I think my parents were looking forward to getting rid of me, but oh well for them. So what are you doing tomorrow?”
“We were going to take a little trip.” I said my stomach itself tying in knots.
“Norfolk, to my parent’s grave.” I said as I tried to keep my voice level.
Tad put his arm around my waist. “It’s going to be fine.”
“I just don’t want to see anyone I know. I want to go to see my parent’s grave—I don’t want it to be about what happened. I just need to go see it, I never actually saw the headstones put up—I was gone before they had time to put them up.”
“You will have Knightley—I mean Tad, to support you and I’ll be here when you get back to talk or shop or whatever you want to do.”
“FYI Tad shopping with M fixes most everything.” I said.
“Good, I know who to call when I piss you off.”
M hugged me again. “I’m glad you two can be together now—you really are perfect for each other.”
Well, I deleted the whole thing and changed it so it wasn’t another chapter, but an epilogue.
I let my hands follow the intricacies of the hardened wings until I came to face it. I pressed my forehead to the cool stone, and as the wind swept my hair around my face I caught a familiar scent. It was clean soap and laundry that reminded me of my father.
He had never been partial to cologne, but he had always smelled so good, like home. There was a stirring of warmth to my right, and it felt as though he was there beside me. I closed my eyes at the thought before taking a deep breath and glancing over my shoulder to see that Tad had joined me. It was at that moment that I recalled what I had been thinking the day I met him as I pretended to read Chaucer. I had been wondering how I could survive in the world without the two people I loved the most. I hadn’t understood or seen it then, but they had given me my answer. They had never left and never would. The love between a parent and a child transcends time, age and even the strongest separation of all, death. It never ceases to end. I wasn’t lost—I was found. I smiled at Tad and looked back over at the angel’s face. This time I let my fingers trace the details of the face I knew so well. The details were different now, hardened with rock, etched with lichen, but it was still her sweet likeness, forever glowing. In place of the unseeing marble orbs I imagined her perfect chocolate eyes, and I felt at peace. I sighed as Tad’s hand reached over to cover mine as I cupped her cheek in my palm.
“The only imperfection is time,” I finally said.
“She looks like you,” Tad replied as he wrapped his arms around my waist and rested his head in the crook of my shoulder.
“That’s because she’s my mother.”
“Hi, Mom,” Tad’s voice drifted over the wind as it stirred my hair again, and my father’s scent washed over me once more. Tears pricked at my eyes, for Tad had said exactly what I needed to hear.
“I think my dad is here too.”
“Of course he is. He never left,” Tad’s whisper tickled my neck.
I closed my eyes and drank in the love I had been missing, but had never left.
SEE, somethings beg to be deleted. Boy, was that bad!
- Walking in the Shadows Christmas Party (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)
- Deleted December: Scene 1 (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)
- Deleted December: Scene 2 (cgiovanniwrites.wordpress.com)