Anticip ation

In less than 24 hours the winners of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award will be announced. I’m writing this in the king sized bed in our swank Hyatt room in downtown Seattle, where Amazon has put us up for the event, and I can’t stop thinking about how all the waiting and anticipation over the last four weeks is about to come to an end.

It’s a bit like that classic Schrödinger’s Cat experiment, where an unknown outcome is not determined until observed. In that experiment, a live cat is placed in a box with a device that will release deadly cyanide gas into the air if a certain radioactive particle decays within a certain period of time. According to the theory of quantum physics, the cat is neither dead nor alive — thus the outcome not determined — until the experimenter opens the box and observes the state of the cat.

Like that poor kitty, for the past two weeks I’ve been in an uncertain state. When the voting period for ABNA ended, the radioactive particle either decayed or didn’t, and I’ve either won or lost already. In fact, for the last two weeks I’ve already either won the contest or lost it, and now I’m just waiting to open the box and find out which it is.

Despite all the nail-biting anticipation and yearning to know the outcome, at the same time these last few weeks since being told I am a Finalist have been dreamy and full of hope, and for that I am going to miss them.

Tonight all six winners, along with their guests (my wife, Rae, in my case) went out to a place by the iconic Pike Place Market to have dinner and drinks and finally meet each other. They are wonderful people and I wish we could all win. It’s been an honor being able to make it so far in this competition. The next time I update this blog will most certainly be after the winner is announced at the end of the 3-hour awards ceremony tomorrow night. Wish me luck.

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