Once upon a time, I learned that writers are supposed to have Google alerts on their names. Being the dutiful sort, I set one up. The internet, in a brief moment of mercy, decided not to make the alert work. Sure, an occasional email to let me know I’ve posted a blog, but aside from that, nothing. I’m a happy castaway on a very peaceful island when it comes to knowing where my name pops up online.

However, occasionally things manage to break through. This morning, for example, a kind soul tweeted to let me know that The King’s Huntsman is on the Million Writers Award’s long list of notable stories of 2012. That’s a lovely thing to wake up to. The full list can be found here. Huntsman’s keeping some great company.

While on the whole award subject, I also had a Pushcart nomination this year for She Walked Out The Door. The whole Pushcart process is shrouded in deep mystery–I only knew about the nomination because I received an email from an editor at The Sun, and I only knew the story didn’t go any further because eventually the names of some selected works showed up online and I could assume the notification date had passed.

I’m fairly relaxed about the whole awards thing. Nice work if you can get it, and the nominee lists always provide interesting reading material, but it’s low on my list of things to lose sleep over. What I do appreciate, in a very real way, are the people who have nominated my stories, or just told me that they mean something to them. Million Writers, Pushcart, the readers who added one of my stories to their own recommended reading lists, the ones who’ve sent me emails or stopped by here to say thanks–holy carp, folks, your faith and generosity rocks my soul.

I do, of course, have my core audience. But when I sit down to write these days, it’s no longer just Big Eyes and Guitar Dude out there waiting for me. The front row has expanded. The chairs may not match, but I hope they’re all comfortable. Let me know if they’re not.

Thank you.