This is a short blog post on the shortest period of expectant exuberance I’ve ever experienced. Y’all know I’m looking for a wider audience for my novel, Spy Act. I’ve sent it to various agents and contests and had some response but the Big Break, no, not yet. I’ve been “long-listed” a couple of times in contests – that’s the step before the “short list”, which of course is the step before the winner – but never made it up the ladder.

Tuesday someone saw my name on a website and brought to my attention that I’d been long-listed for the Exeter Novel Prize. Expectant exuberance, indeed. Even getting short-listed is such a far-away dream – imagine what it would do to be able to say to agents, “Yeah, I won the Exeter,” as if everyone knew what that prize was. (Bonus points if the agent is awed despite not knowing about that particular novel prize…)

I immediately went online to the website where I had submitted my novel. There I was. No word from the sponsors, at least none I could see at the moment (I later found it – dated Tuesday as well – in my Spam folder). But just above the long-list, I found the short-list as well. Not… there. All in all it was about four minutes from shooting out of a cannon to dropping clumsily back to earth.