Upon announcing a Big Fancy Book Deal™, a certified Author-In-Training starts to hear some of the same things over and over.

But no oft-heard reaction perplexes me more than:

Obviously, this is a very kind, if unfounded, thing to say about me. And people say it all the time. People who have never once picked up my book. 1

It’s kind of like when you’re a senior in high school, and everyone you bump into has an opinion on what colleges you are or are not going to get into.

I had fabulous hair in high school

It’s kind of like telling someone, “I did a marathon,” and then they start congratulating you on what they think you meant…

…before you can explain what you actually meant.

Having a forthcoming book that nobody has read feels like carrying around a birdcage covered in a big opaque sheet. 2

And who doesn’t want to guess at what’s under there?

Who doesn’t see a cawing, be-sheeted birdcage and want to pass a few little teensy tiny judgments?

This isn’t particularly relevant, but I’m reading The Beak of the Finch right now and I can tell you with the greatest enthusiasm that vampire finches are real and living in the Galápagos.

It’s the Schrödinger’s Cat of accomplishments. My bird is simultaneously outstanding and terrible until the point I take the sheet off the cage.

But until then, thanks for your blind faith in my avian husbandry.