Temple of Doubt_egg-BWMy publisher sent me an egg. This isn’t just any egg. It’s MY egg, the one that makes a cameo appearance in The Temple of Doubt, my very first book.

I plan to use it for business cards, and as a stencil for all my walls, and maybe for tattoos. I’m not a tattoo person, but I could make an exception.

See, it’s a symbol, but not just for the book. And I’m going to skip all the stuff about symbolic rebirth or hatching ideas and all that. It took 15 years to bring this egg into the world. Some days, I think about that and want to cry. I want to ask why it took so long, what I did wrong, what was wrong with me, or had the world or fate or something in my stars wronged me?

That’s been the refrain of my life, the tortuous music playing on what writer Ann Lamott calls radio station KFKD, the one that plays all your worst ego hits at screech volume. It’s my life’s soundtrack: I have failed, and I always will. My mother, toward the end of her life, observed sadly, “Nothing ever comes easily for you.” And I knew just what she meant.

As hard as it is for some people to accept failure, it’s been harder for me to accept success. I keep thinking: it won’t be enough, it’ll come too late, it won’t change my life or make a difference to anyone, ever.  I’m quite good at turning potential successes into self-sabotage. In fact, I’d say it was my superpower.

So the egg’s arrival via email last week came as a kind of revelation. I expect the nice folks at Skyhorse Publishing to do things like edit my manuscript, design a cover, lay out the pages. I did not expect they’d design this little egg and drop it on me out of the blue. It probably took a designer only a few minutes, but it made a huge difference to me. A bunch of strangers randomly sent me something to place on a blog or Facebook page or Twitter profile — or tattoo, maybe. Yeah, I’m responsible for my own marketing and publicity, to a large degree, as this is a small publisher.

But they’re helping. It may be the first time in a long time that someone who isn’t my poor, long-suffering husband has gone out of their way for me.

And that means a lot. Even if it’s a really small thing.

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