Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sexual Harassment, Again...

The "pushing" process has its highs- connecting with authors, publishers, chance encounters with mentors, looking at life like, "Yes, one day all my hard work will be available at Borders, Barnes and Noble, etc., available on Amazon!!" Yes, those are the happy moments. Especially the moments when people read the summary and say, "Wow! I can actually see this!" I've heard those same words from different people. It is the most pleasurable shock I've ever felt...#pause.

Anywho, I'm just saying there are definitely highlights during this publishing journey. But with those come very low moments as well. They vary just like the happy times, but the one that I think hurts the most is Sexual Harassment.

Am I selling sex? No, I'm selling an idea, a novel- not myself in any inappropriate way. Sorry for any misunderstandings. But really only jerks think that me saying, "Hey, give me your info. I'd love to get your incite," or "You're an author? Cool! Can we have coffee some time? I have a million questions to ask if you don't mind," means I'm open for business. Yeah, NO!! #pointsfinger #rollsneck

Here's the latest incident: Chilling with my girls at a nice networking event. One of my girls made cupcakes so I helped her pass them out. I offered one to a gentleman that did not stand out at all, regular dude.

"Do you want a cupcake?"

He said, "No. I don't eat sweets" (or something like that)

I was fine with that answer and I moved on. Later on he caught up with me and introduced himself. I asked if he could repeat his name- his name sounded "stripperish." I won't say it, but yes, the man had a stripper name.

"I can't call you that. What is your real name?" I asked.

He told me his real name. First and last, aiight, now we're getting somewhere. Although due to the initial stripper name, there was no way that we'd be more than "friends"- instant non-dating category...

So anyway, I asked him why he had a name like that. He told me he was a published author and it was his pen name. Of course, I got excited!!! Connection!!! I asked him 50 million questions before he suggested we discuss it over dinner. I'm thinking "Ummmmm...something ain't right. Dinner is way more serious than coffee." Yet and still, I gave him my BBM PIN- I mean I can ask questions and eat at the same time. You know what I mean.

Needless to say, my BBM went off a lot in a short period of time with requests like asking me to come to his job (some store somewhere- never went) and asking me premature questions like, "Do you like kids because I have kids?" *enter confused BBM face*

The last question after only 4 days of knowing him was the straw the broke the camel's back...You (the reader) may not be phased by this but I'm a bit sensitive, and it bothered me to no end- shocked and appalled. Keep in mind, he's an author that I just wanted to ask writer questions to...OMG!!!

He had the NERVE to ask me if I could send him a full body picture of myself!!! Are you kidding me, Sir?!!! You did not just ask that, you nasty nasty nasty nasty man!!! *barf* *gag* *gross*

I had long forgotten the days when I used to interview artists after concerts in Tallahassee and they thought attractive female journalist equaled buck-wild groupie hoe until I left them after the interview was done. "Thanks for my interview. I don't get down like that!" I forgot that sexual harassment is still real even when you don't present yourself in that way. Ahhh well, the journey continues... :-)



Friday, September 3, 2010

A Lot Like Dating...

This cat and mouse game of pushing my manuscript to literary agents and small publishers is quite interesting. The more I do it, the more I realize it is a lot like dating. The ones I pursue and are uber interested in are like, "Yawn, get off me. Not interested." While the ones I'm not EVEN thinking about, never looked at, are like, "Yeah, send me your stuff. We really want to work with you." Well, I'm not interested in them, though. So how's that supposed work?

Prime example, there are plenty of literary agents that I've sent my very interesting summary (in the form of a query letter) to. These are agents that have represented top African American novelists and I'm thinking, "Hey, I'm black. Wassup?!!" But er uh, I've either been ignored or sent a rejection letter back. I got another one this past week!! Yay, me!!

Anyway, I'm attracted to them (lit agents/publishing company) for one or many reasons. I can totally see us together...but they are not hearing me at all. I'm totally crushin' on them, but I get the "nope, we're not feeling you." How many times has this occurred with a fella? Not often (I have to say), but it has happened before...He's like the one you can't stop thinking about, but you know that dude ain't thinkin' 'bout you!! LOL!

Back to publishing: Then on the other hand, by word of mouth, I was referred to a small publisher and sent an email asking for me to consider their representation and business. Hmmmm...I never approached this company, never sent them a query letter, nothing. The CEO doesn't even know what the story is about,what type of fiction it is, or where it fits with the company. Guess what??!! It does not fit with the company- this I know. But the company wants me still. Even when the company has standards (on Web site) saying it will not publish manuscripts with foul language and sexual content, and I explain that the book is about a group of young women in college...Ummm plenty of foul language and yes, sexual content ;-)...(we grown), the company is trying to make it work. Really, they're trying to change how I'm sending my message and that defeats the whole purpose of the story being the way that it is. I mean it's no Zane book, but what you won't do (as my friend Chinaka would say) is clean it up so much that it's sitting in the Christian section of the book store. That's not where it belongs...There is a reason for that.

So I say no, they say yes. And I think to myself, how many times has this happened with a guy? Like seriously. "Sir, you really think you know me. You don't. I know that we're not a match. Don't try to change me to fit your fantasy." But I'm argued down...Oh yeah, that's a great way to turn me on and make me come your way. #rebellious "I just want to be accepted." <---my thoughts during a conversation like this.

For me, it comes down to the question: Why is it that the one you want doesn't want you, and the ones you don't want, want you bad? I just hope that one day (soon) in my publishing endeavors and in the relationship area of my life, that I'll get that balance. That the match-up will...match up!! :-)

In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away, testing, and trying- enjoying the ride!!