It’s been an acronymonious few weeks. I’m back in AZ to spend the holidays with my family. Two days after I flew in, we drove down to Tucson to celebrate my little brother graduating from college (how is he this old??) before he starts a fabulous new job in Phoenix. On the drive down, Annie Bellet posted this to my Facebook, and I squeaked and immediately texted James. Then I had to explain to my parents what being a finalist in Writers of the Future means for an aspiring specfic author, because they’re just pleased for me whenever I get a story or an essay picked up and have no way of assessing the relative squee-worthy-ness of any given accomplishment unless I tell them. This = very squee-worthy.
I should add that on the day of said drive, Flagstaff was buried under two feet of snow, which meant the low desert (Phoenix and Tucson) was rife with rain and high winds.
So we were driving down 1-10 to Tucson when I checked my Facebook and saw Annie’s post. Then I missed the call from Joni (WotF Dir.). My phone was on but we must have hit a dead patch with no cell signal. I missed the call despite Annie’s timely advance warning. Doh!
Then I started seeing rainbows. Something about the dust reflecting light or the humidity in the air produced perfect rainbow after perfect rainbow over the pastel desert. No rain, just harrowing dust and wind shaking the car as we drove, and then to our left the arc of a complete, glowing rainbow. It’d flicker out, then reappear a few miles later. My parents and I debated what the phone call might concern—just letting me know I’m a finalist, perhaps (but then whyfore the FB post?). Or might WotF already know the winners? I’d skulked around the WotF forums but was only vaguely familiar with the timing and tiers of the selection process. The adrenaline level in the car was so high it practically choked my mom and I as I played phone tag with Joni for the rest of the drive. Meanwhile rainbows continued to stalk us gorgeously.
I finally got the call once we’d checked into our hotel room. Like others noted, thanks to the accidental pre-release of the finalists, I knew in advance of the phone call and therefore managed to keep calm as Joni kindly explained what all would happen next.
Serious congratulations are in order for all the finalists. I’ve been seeking them out around the Internet and it’s an impressive company.
So now we all wait on tenterhooks for the final results to come in. I’m trying not to think about it. James stayed in Chicago for work-related reasons, so we’ve been compulsively emailing each other. A snippet from last night’s missive from him: “I love you, and I hope you’re having good times and not worrying too much about that thing you’re not supposed to worry about because it’s in the judges’ hands and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Of course I keep waking up at 3am obsessing despite. But I’m absurdly pleased to have been chosen as a finalist, whatever happens next. Go, little story, go!
And then not five minutes after the happy receipt of a James email, I got an acceptance from Electric Velocipede for “The Entomologist’s Three Ballgowns.” The planets are aligning or something, because this has been an amazing week of amazing. Now’s when the apocalypse happens, right?
I’m thrilled about all the recent writing-related excitement, but more than anything I’m proud of my brother and his many accomplishments. That kid has such a bright future ahead. Love you muchly, kid bro.
I lied; I don’t have any additional acronyms for you. Oh, fine, if you insist: DMV, OMGBBQ, CDB DB SA BZ B. Note: to all of you my lovely and obnoxious friends, go ahead and let the Scientology jokes roll. I know you’re barely restraining yourselves.