Well, it's been a month since the contest opened, since I clicked "submit entry" and sent a piece of myself through the Internet to be examined and judged by strangers. It's strange to admit, but I didn't really think about my novel that much during the month of pitch-judging. I moved on, although saying so just feels wrong, maybe because the fact that I was able to move on insinuates that I wasn't impacted, that this book didn't change my life like it did.
Anyways. All that to say...I wasn't nervous or excited for today, the day we found out who made the cut and who didn't. Half the time I thought I was sure to pass, half the time I knew I wouldn't, and as though the two differing opinions cancelled each other out, oftentimes I felt nothing at all.
But when I opened the page and there were the categories, names of the lucky authors just one click away -- in those five seconds waiting for the browser to load, a month's worth of excitement and self-doubt and assurance came rushing through, and my heart beat a rat-a-tat-tat against my ribcage. Palms sweaty, I opened the PDF and scrolled through the L-M-N section, looking for the O's where my first name would be. And there, right beside Nicole T, was the name P Sarro.
There were no O's at all.
(and I'm not going to pretend that I didn't think it was a mistake...that I didn't scroll through the T section, and the G section, just in case it'd been a fluke and I'd entered under one of my parents' names.)
But it wasn't a mistake. Olivia Smit -- Two Roads didn't make it to round 2.
I always expected the result to be accompanied with either screams of joy or sobs of anguish (or denial, or anger, or depression,) but once I'd assured myself that it wasn't a mistake, I simply put the computer to sleep and went to brush my teeth. No tears, no screams or joy; I didn't even feel upset.
How that works I'll never know.
So. Here we are. I've got a couple options now...I could shelve the manuscript for a while [or forever, although I don't really want to do that] or look into publishing, either traditionally or through a site like CreateSpace. In the meantime, I'm already 4,000 words into my next book, so that should keep me busy for a while. I'm planning to do some thinking [and praying] about Two Roads, but since I'm not ready to make any big decisions at the moment, I think it's high time I started something new.
Just before I end this post, I've got one last thing to say. There have been so many people besides myself who made this book possible, and I want to extend a big thank-you to everyone who read/critiqued/fangirled/ranted about Two Roads [you know who you are]. Your input and love has been so valuable to me and helped me to believe in myself and in my writing, and I honestly can't thank you enough.
It's been quite the journey...anyone want to do it all again with this new manuscript? ☺