Being a Finalist didn’t sink in right away. The phone call was exciting. Talking about what it meant with my wife was exciting, but I fell asleep that night and went to work the next day without too much trouble.
I mentioned on the Forum that I was a Finalist and the first really cool thing happened. One of the other Finalists from the quarter was on the Forum too, and she sent me a message saying something like “I know we’re technically competitors, but want to hang out in a bunker together until we’re through this thing?” I totally got on board. “Besides,” I said, “there’s three winners each quarter, and I’ll consider 3rd every bit as good as 1st, so as far as I’m concerned we’re not even competitors.”
Then about Wednesday physiological anxiety manifested. I was not a fan. Concentrating on stuff was… not super easy. But I bounced messages back and forth in the bunker, and did the only thing I could do: wait.
Also, I reread my story. I probably should not have done that. I found a typo (mis-conjugated verb!)
This was November, of course, so I had grand designs on working on a NaNoWriMo project. I was doing pretty good too. And then the call came on November 6… and my focus was… shall we say… disrupted. So I didn’t even manage to distract myself with that.
The week passed and when I didn’t get the call on Friday night, I figured that I was through the work week and was safe until Monday.
I was incorrect.