Today marks 15 years ago that I proudly helped commission my ship.
And now it’s also the very day that I am able to publicly announce that I won a writing contest and that my memoir Darker Than Navy Blue is scheduled for release next year!
I am in a state of shock. I’ve been writing and rewriting this book for over ten long years. It’s taken hundreds upon hundreds of complete rewrites to get all the anger out, to lay out stones that better connect the major events, mixed with flashbacks to my childhood to spin a beautiful seamless story illustrating everything I experienced in my life and espceially my military career before it was cut short.
To think that my service and its resultant story, as unheroic and graphically ugly as it is could possibly win anything is spellbinding to me. But here I am, a person deserving of no recognition, yet I’ve just been told that I not only won the contest but my book is going to be published next year….
Here’s my press release:
“…Former Marine Corps officer Tracy Crow, the author/editor of five military-themed books and former assistant professor of creative writing, selects Nicole Strong’s “Darker than Navy Blue” as the first recipient of the Deborah Sampson Prize for Women’s Military Writing.
About “Darker than Navy Blue,” Crow states: “Strong’s debut memoir retraces the motivations that drove her toward a desire to serve her country in the Navy — a career stopped all too short after confiding to a chaplain about the string of sexual abuses from senior enlisted leaders who systematically target potential victims with predatory tactics of grooming and isolation — and the motivations that fueled a decade-long pursuit of the honorable discharge she was originally denied by the same corrupt leadership that victimized her. Her intimate and unflinching search for deeper personal truths leads toward a deeper inner awareness about the role of childhood trauma on young adulthood decision-making, and why victims of childhood abuse find it more difficult to report abuse by those who hold positions of military power. In “Darker than Navy Blue,” Strong personifies the mettle of strength and fortitude perhaps necessary to break free, finally, of the victim cycle before the cycle irreparably breaks the spirit.
“Darker than Navy Blue” is scheduled for release during Women’s History Month, March 2018…”