The bereavement: it's palpable.
I didn't make the Amazon Breakthrough Novel's Top 100. My Publisher's Weekly review was really nice and made me exceedingly happy. And, in the end, that's my prize, I guess. That and it was fun lurking through the ABNA forum and pretending I wasn't as obsessed as the frequent posters there.
Because in reality? I guess I was. The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was flip open my laptop to check the results. And, not finding The Goodness of Meredith Beam, I began a shuffle through the 5 stages of grief:
1. Denial--There has to be some mistake! I had no delusions of winning this thing, but I thought I had a good shot at the Top 100. I check the listing of the Top 100 again. And again. I refresh my inbox ten times and scour the forums for some mention of an error.
2. Anger--God! How hard do I have to work and how long do I have to wait and how many effing rejections do I have to accrue?
3. Bargaining--Let there have been a mistake. Let me receive a message saying, "Oops. The Goodness of Meredith Beam was inexplicably excluded from the Top 100 list. We've decided to change it to the Top 101." This and I will give up blog reading, Feist and licorice for the next 2 months (okay, the next 2 days).
4. Depression--I don't care. This contest sucks anyway. It is all about driving traffic to Amazon. Maybe I'm just meant to wallow in mediocrity for the rest of my life.
5. Acceptance--Okay. Whatever. I still have my PW review and enjoyed several searing adrenaline rushes throughout this process. I'm restructuring the whole manuscript anyway (based on constructive feedback from a handful of saintly literary agents) and will start submitting anew. Hopefully by this summer.
Emotionally, it was a busy morning.
Stage number 6? Consolation. I'm trying to decide between these:
The taller of the two bottles, of course.