I’m sorry now I didn’t post this here the very evening I heard Suzzanne’s message on my voicemail. It was after Laurie and I spent that day writing for over six hours. I’m convinced it’s all connected. Listening to my messages, tired at the end of that intense day of writing, I found out my book manuscript, You and Me, has been selected as one of ten finalists for the Many Voices Project at New Rivers Press. It still feels like a dream. I didn’t post the news right away because Suzzanne thought they would be gathering photos of each finalist, making an announcement on their website. I waited to tell you about it because I wanted to be able to offer up the link to that page, make it all real. Now it makes me sad I didn’t share the news while it was still hot, still streaking through my veins, the joy and the thrill, the incredible validation, the almost overwhelming gratitude. I don’t know exactly how many entries there were. Maybe 300 or so, Suzzanne thought. And it looks now as though they may not get a chance to post us on their website before the winner is selected, which could be at the end of this month. (They are a university press, run by a small staff, so I understand this. It’s likely they are already accomplishing more than is humanly possible.) Still, I love that they let us know right away, let each of us savor being selected while every one of us still has a chance of winning. I think it is a great kindness. I pray to keep my joy about this, to hold fast to my gratitude and to the deep validation in it no matter how things unfold. If my manuscript wins, I will rejoice like nobody’s business, leaping tall buildings in a single bound. And this time I promise I’ll tell you right away.