Wednesday, August 5, 2009

CB, This One's For You...

So, you wrote me an angry email last night. Well, 'angry' doesn't really cover it, does it? You went up one side of me and down the other. You blasted me because I wrote a blog entry concerning you and I didn't post it on the blog you normally read (I didn't, by the way, because I was sending you your own personalized copy straight to your inbox.). You called me peevish. You called me the equivalent of an emotionally weak waste of space. You called me a lot of things. You did it to tear me and my ego down.

Well, hate to break it to you, but it didn't really work. Just thought you should know. You know, in case you'd like to think of something else hateful to say and take another crack at it. If that's true, then have at it.

What I mean to say is: Do you think you said anything I haven't said to myself a million times over? You don't think there are entire days when I want to beat my head against a wall because I can't figure this thing out? I stare at this fucking computer day in and day out, reading and re-reading what I've written, hoping this might be the time when things start clicking again and I find the one line, the one word even, that's going to further my quest to be more than the fucking wannabe that I currently am?

So while I'm waiting, I read books. I reread books because I can get inspiration from them. I watch movies. I watch television. Some times I watch reruns because I can get inspiration from them. Certain scenes in certain shows just strike me and I revisit them on occasion hoping to reclaim absent moods. I listen to music for the same reason. I write blogs because, hey, at least it's writing. I strive to be funny. I strive to find the comedic side of the tragedy that is my existence because there's nothing more maddening than to want to do something so desperately that you really can't do anything else and constantly falling short of your goal.

And on that note, publishing houses very rarely send out rejection notes that say "I hate this book. Never contact us again". The reason I know this is because I have a nice collection of rejection notes. And yet, I'm still standing. I'm still writing, I'm still trying and I'm still working toward my goal. If a publisher or an agent, or some other literary professional doesn't read my book, if they blow me off, that's entirely different than when one bane of my existence (figured that's probably what comes closest to describing our relationship right now because it sure as hell doesn't currently feel like 'friend') doesn't read the manuscript written by the second bane of your existence. You don't hope to get into publishing without the understanding that there will be rejection. Well, some people do, but I'm not one of them.

I expected better from a...well, from a bane of my existence. You're not a literary professional. You're a....well, bane of my existence. I know you got busy. I know your wife had a baby and life changed for you. But you had the book five months before your wife gave birth. I made sure you got it in plenty of time to read it before your wife gave birth because, although I do not have children of my own, I am capable of comprehending the massive commitment that is a baby. It's actually one of the reasons I don't have any children of my own.

Jam hands is another.

Anyway, I didn't expect you to keep reading after the birth of your son. I really didn't. I was sad but I was getting over it until you wrote me an email telling me how you were going to start reading Terry Goodkind's novels. Since you hadn't actually finished reading my novel yet, I was a little hurt. I wrote an angry blog about that too, in case you were wondering. The next angry blog(s) came about when you likened a section of my work to a Jane Austen novel. I was mad for a few days about that one. Got over it though because it was your opinion and just because you shared it with me didn't mean I had to change a single word.

But I changed other words. My characters now have last names because of a comment you made. It was something I'd been going back and forth on for a while before you looked at the pages, and your comment was the tipping point so everyone (Well, all the major players anyway) has a last name now. Except for Dana but he's a common born landless bastard so I think it's more interesting that he doesn't have a last name.

I completely redrafted the starts of chapters two and six because of what you said about them. I changed other scenes too. I put in more description of the cathedral, of Faolan, of Bronagh. I spent oodles of time pondering things you had said. Every time one of your revised chapters showed up in my inbox, I was filled with a nervous excitement but then the passage of time between those emails increased and were eventually replaced by emails about Terry Goodkind and George R.R. Martin and your own writing. You wanted to find a way to talk to me because you felt bad for not coming through on the commitment you made to me. And you thinking your window was talking to me about your own writing, well, that was my last straw. As you well know.

Your last straw, apparently, was me not responding to the apology email you sent in response to my last straw email. You gave me the benefit of the doubt, you said. Maybe I was busy. And you know what? I was. I had things to do. I actually had hours to work at the store. I had plans with a friend I hadn't seen in fifteen years. I had a super fun (sarcasm, by the way) afternoon with my sister where I spent hours listening to her pick on my eating habits (which is always rich coming from a fucking anorexic) and calling me names because I can wear a size two and she can't (Not that it's any of your fucking business, but those afternoons always require days before I can start being civil to innocent bystanders.). I had a family dinner. I had a class for the dogs and birthday party for my godson and a birthday party for my father in law and yet another birthday party for my brother in law. And I still had the laundry and the cooking and the dishes and the cleaning that I always have. Not to mention I had a synopsis in pieces all over the dining room table, just begging for my attention and not getting it.

This is what I initially was going to write in response to your apology email: "Read the book, don't read the book. I really don't give a damn anymore because in no universe will I ever be letting you read anything else I've written. The only way you'll ever read Second Nature is if it should happen to be published and you happen into a bookstore that happens to be selling it and you happen to buy a copy for your very own."

No offense, but it's a "once bitten, twice shy" thing. So I didn't write back because I didn't want to be snarky anymore and didn't feel the need to perpetuate the vicious circle any longer. You had every right to feel the way you did (you still do.) and I had every right to my own feelings (I still do.). But I didn't want to get into a monster sarcasm rally with you because there wasn't going to be an end to it. So I did nothing.

Which irritated you. Which caused you to go to my website. Which caused you to look at the blog on my website. Which caused you to read the "Dear John" entry which caused you to write me a scathing email.

So you're mad. I get that.

Well, guess what. I was mad too.

Your email is an example of one I would've written to blow off steam and then delete so I could write one slightly less angry. The blog in question, the blog that prompted your angry email, is an example of that too, only it didn't get deleted. But I didn't post it where you would read it because it was so laced with hurt and sarcasm and hyperbole. You didn't need to read it but I decided I still needed to feel it and acknowledge that feeling. You got the third or fourth draft where it was decidedly less sarcastic and marginally more reasonable. Although you may not be feeling that way now.

But again, I can't do anything about that now because we're in the vicious circle within the vicious circle. I'm not responding anymore because what's the point? I mean, I still feel the way I feel and you still feel the way you feel. Neither of us is going to be able to change the other's mind. I'm not going to apologize for my feelings and I'm not really sure you can come back from the absolute denunciation of another's lifestyle.

On that note: Don't pretend you know my life because you read my fucking blog. Don't pretend you have a clue how I spend my days because I wrote a blog about the books I read last month. Just because my lifestyle isn't yours, doesn't make it wrong. Just because I work only part time in some stupid crappy job, doesn't make it wrong. I have dogs I do a lot with. I do the laundry. I do the cooking (or what passes for cooking in this house) I do the dishes. I do the cleaning. I do the errands. I have friends. I have nieces. I have godchildren who have things like birthday parties and dance recitals. I have a family that's just crumbling to pieces even as I'm trying to hold it together. I have a significant other who wants desperately to move somewhere far far away from here and I know I can't stop him if that's what he really wants but I also know I can't go with him.

This fucking blog is just mask, a ruse. It doesn't tackle the serious subjects often. It's light; it's funny. I deliberately portray myself as a fool because my mother reads it and it makes her laugh. My sister reads it because it makes her feel better about herself when she reads how not accomplished I am. Hyperbole is great for that.

But don't you fucking judge me. I held my tongue for a year. A fucking year. When I make a commitment to someone, I follow through on it. If you only had a half hour, that half hour should have been spent doing what you said you were going to do. You're the one who broke the professionalism of the arrangement (I'm the one who made sure it couldn't be put back together.) and I don't have to put up with it from you. From you, I can walk away. You can do the same. In fact, why don't you run.

So, just as soon as I can get my bony lazy pathetic ass out of this computer chair, I'm going to invent a time machine. Either out of a Delorian or a phone booth. Not sure which one yet but, as soon as I go back in time and take care of life's greatest tragedies, I'm going to go back to July of '08 and politely decline your offer to read Effigy.

In the meantime, enjoy your CB time. I'm sure you two will be very happy together.

P.S...I really, really got a kick out of the totally innocuous email you sent this morning concerning HBO's casting of GRRM's Game of Thrones series. You know, the one you sent about six hours after your email insinuating that I was a peevish psycho hell bitch? So, I'm not sure which personality is actually reading this particular blog, but if it's not the right one, do me a solid, would you and pass along the message? Thanks. You're a doll.

2 comments:

  1. Sorry you had such a disappointing experience. I'm a -this too shall pass- cliche girl. That's about all I've got right now. My well is empty and am taking a break from blogging for a bit. Hope things take an upswing for you real soon.

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