Editor From Hell and the Freedom of Her Absence

Editor From HellLast night, I wrote a really long article about the problems that I’m having with my publisher and “editor.” But I ran it past a good writer friend of mine and she suggested that I not run it. The problem is that it might be used out of context to label me as a difficult writer — a difficult person. I’m not so much worried about that. I have so many editors and publishers to back me up. What’s more, the publisher is so well known for being a truly awful person, that it is unlikely to hurt me.

But there is another issue here: I like to take the high road. And the truth is that this publisher is a very sad person with almost nothing in her life. I don’t actually want to proclaim to the world just how horrible she is and why it is that she literally does not have a single friend in the world. It’s a funny thing when you think about it.

In the past, I’ve done a number of things that I feel very bad about. But I’m generally liked. I have the reputation of being very easy to get along with. Past misbehavior doesn’t much matter, because it is in the past. I used to think that there was something special about me. If a person is not actively annoying me, I have no problem with them. I find it almost impossible to hang onto anger. But what I’ve found is that I’m actually quite normal in this way.

Most people don’t want to be angry. If others turn their lives around, people are very forgiving. They care about what’s happening now. So the fact that this publisher is widely considered an awful person speaks not to past wrongs but to the fact that she continues to be an awful person — day in and day out. You can’t really have a conversation with her; you can only sit and listen to her lecture. This does not go over well with people who are her peers.

The current state of things is that the book will be published. She’s just going to hire an “editor” to do the things that I, as “writer,” will not do. That’s ironic, right? If an editor is doing the work, then how is it the work of a writer? The point of this is to hire this editor and then charge me for it. This shows the mentality of the publisher. I didn’t agree to re-publish this book for the money; I did it because she begged me to. I didn’t want the book published at all.

As it is, the advance for this 200 page, 60,000 word book is $750. And it isn’t even paid all at once. A third is paid on contract signing; a third is paid on book acceptance; and a third is paid on publication. For a first time writer, that makes a certain amount of sense. But for a writer who has already published two books with this publisher? And for a book that is already written? What can I say: this publisher hates books and writers and most other things as well.

But I feel free! I have submitted all the material for the book. She will steal money from me. Eventually, I will have to take her to arbitration, where she will lose badly. Meanwhile, I will have a life with friends and family, and she will be alone with nothing to keep her company but the melodious sounds of Michael Savage’s bigotry wafting through the air.

Morning Music: Train Leaving Gray

Birds Flying Away - Train Leaving GrayGeez! I’ve spent half the day dealing with my publisher. I’ve written over a thousand words explaining in some detail just what is going on, but I’m not sure I will publish it. There’s one thing about this woman: she loves attention, which is not surprising because she literally has no friends. In my article I am quite explicit about who she is and what she’s done. But I just want her gone from my life. I get no joy out of fighting with her, but it’s clear she does, since anger is about the only thing that she has left in her life.

So let’s move on to Mason Jennings’s second album, Birds Flying Away. It is much more of a regular folk album than his first album. But I’m not going to spend time analyzing it. I’m too stressed out. So we are just going to listen to “Train Leaving Gray.” It is very relaxing. And it reminds me that there are people out in the world who try to make things better. And then there are rageaholics who take steroids to make them all that much more horrible.

Have you ever noticed that in dysfunctional families, there will be “good” children and “bad” children. The “good” children can’t do anything wrong. There is a set narrative for them. If one of them gets caught shoplifting, it is just because of that bad kid that they are hanging around. And the “bad” children can’t do anything right. If one of them graduates at the top of their class, it will result in at best a grudging “congratulations.” That’s where I’m at, but I’m not beaten down. And that just makes this woman all the more hostile.

But “Train Leaving Gray” is a beautiful song and a good reminder that there are nice things in the world.

Anniversary Post: Yaoya Oshichi

Given my state of mind and all the time I wasted on the Worst Publisher in the World, I’m just going to reprint last year’s anniversary post about Yaoya Oshichi’s murder. It seems to go along with what I’m going through. I’m dealing with a selfish person who only cares about her own sense of entitlement. She really thinks she is doing me a favor, when it is just the opposite. And she’s making my life a living hell. So why not reprint an article about powerful people who lack empathy and dehumanize others? Sounds perfect!

Yaoya Oshichi - Utagawa KuniteruOn this day back in 1683, Yaoya Oshichi was burned at the stake. She was 16 years old. Apparently, she had fallen in love with a temple page during a fire. So the following year (1682), she set a fire, hoping that she would get a chance to see him again. But she was caught. Apparently, the magistrate at her trial tried to save her life by claiming that she was 15 years old. (You had to be 16 to get the death penalty. This is accepted everywhere — except in Texas.) But the clueless girl corrected him and ended up burning. The story is a very famous one in Japan and has been broadly romanticized in literature.

This took place toward the beginning of the Edo period. At that time, the government applied the death penalty in cases of murder and, as with Oshichi, arson. And the ways they killed people were varied. The less terrible ones are decapitation, waist-cutting (just what it sounds like), are crucifixion. The more terrible ones are sawing (mostly what you are thinking), burning, and boiling. I really don’t understand these torture deaths. I can understand the eye-for-an-eye philosophy of the death penalty — even if I don’t accept it. But these torture deaths can only be the result of psychopathic minds.

So 334 years ago, a girl was burned death. I can’t say that we humans have gotten any better. And I am definitely not just talking about the recent activity of the Islamic State. Sometimes I think the one thing that binds together all of the “great men” of the world now and forever is a lack of empathy.

Happy anniversary of the sadistic murder of Yaoya Oshichi!