Houses of the Broken and Other Stories

The waiting is the hardest part.

Patience is not one of my virtues. Well, not many things are, but patience is right up the top of the ‘not’ list. I’d even say it’s my #1 non-virtue.

Tomorrow marks the next cut in Amazon’s ABNA 2013. This time it’s the semi-finals. I’m not going to lie, it’s a big cut and it’s a scary one. My odds at this point are 1 in 100. Though technically I think they’re 1 in 95. The unexpected twist (as opposed to the expected twist?) was that today I happened to find that… the Publishers Weekly reviews were posted. Ahead of schedule… BUT… and this is a Sir Mix-a-Lot big kind of but… the cut list doesn’t come out until tomorrow.

So here I am, with a fresh review that I can fixate on, and no clear direction as to my fate. The review was pleasantly pleasant. No outright raving, but no cursing me to a fate of never touching a pen again either. After a month of eager anticipation, I get to wait a little more.

This is how tomorrow likely plays out… I go to work, get my coffee, sit down to check my emails and take a deep breath, nonchalantly going to the ABNA page. I breathe a sigh of expectant semi-relief as I see they’re not there yet.

And then I proceed to refresh the page for 4 more hours… while trying to maintain the illusion of working. Eventually, the page will change, and I will freeze in my tracks, body flushing with anxious anticipation. More than likely, my boss or coworkers will pick this exact moment to ask me a question, or buzz me for a phone call. It will likely be a complicated question involving lots of nitpicky details. I will nod blankly, pretending to acknowledge them, as I click the link for the list, all the time in my head repeating *no whammies no whammies no whammies,* peering through the corner of my eye while I try my best to get them to go away in a speedy manner.

The list won’t be long. I’ll probably have to look a few times, just to be sure. If I’m not there, I’ll check again. If I am there, I’ll check twice, convincing myself that I actually remember how to spell my own name and book title. I will have to print the page out either way, just to be sure.

And then I’ll space out for about 30 minutes. I hope my boss is more virtuous than I am.

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