So I received the last batch of chapters back from the editor yesterday. It’s full speed ahead with publishing my first book. Along with the excitement of completing something long and hard, other emotions were at play as well. My editor added the following to the email:

This is marvelously good, have I told you that?

I’m really pleased you trusted me with it.

Now I am the third of four brothers. There is a seven year difference between my oldest and youngest brothers. Sibling rivalry, having only brothers and a Mom (who was awesome) that was pure tomboy, meant that there was plenty of competition and no time for compliments. I’m now fifty and to this day I haven’t a clue how to gracefully accept a compliment.

My first thought after reading my editor’s note was that there must be some financial angle. Because is someone is complimenting me, they must want something. This is preposterous on its face, since my editor has been a straight shooting Texan throughout the whole process. But this is what my mind immediately diverted to. I reread the entire email to see if there was some qualifier later on that I had missed. Nope.

At this point I had to push away from my computer and walk back and forth in my house (it’s too cold to walk outside). At last I was able to laugh at myself for being the ridiculous person that I am. I much prefer left-handed compliments, faint praise or disappointment. I can easily deal with those. I had twelve years of Catholic school to develop ways of dealing with those. But an unvarnished compliment? What am I supposed to do with that? I know that answer is obvious, so I’m going to go ahead and choose that path. I’m going to ignore it completely.