A couple days ago, I finished Chapter Twenty of the installments in one of my categories, loosely titled “Short Stories.” Having reached this nice, round figure, a goal of sorts, thoughts of actually publishing them – under my, as yet undisclosed, title – began to gel.
Currently, my blog is set to automatically post on Facebook, a fact I irritatingly neglect to remember every time the button (labeled: Publish) responds to my decided right index. And, after this evening’s curious scroll through America’s favorite virtual society, I do not wonder at all if Facebook tracks our every move. I now believe it.
Seems Mary Louise Parker has just published her memoirs. She writes about lost loves, her grandfather, her child, her cab driver, her rock musician. I, too, have written about my grandfather, my father, the child I never had, the rock guitar player, and my lost loves. In short, one highly recognized, if cult, celebrity type female has managed to slide right into the slot I’d hoped against delusion would remain open for me. Now, any thought of captivating the anticipating public with tales of a life’s encounters will likely pale beside the colors rendered by a character already quite vividly branded in the imaginations of those who surround her.
And, how do I know this? The New Yorker (or, was it the Times?) just made their happy pronouncement, in the Facebook Feed.
My fatal mistake was likely that email I’d sent in reply to the venerable magazine’s intake department. Why I got all friendly with that formidable faceless female is beyond me. Why I enclosed one entire piece for perusal, and my blog address, was just the hallmark of stupidity. From my earliest creative memories, parasites had been pilfering my ideas – former classmates, restaurant managers, screenwriting instructors, even towel boys for Disney. In recent years, one would think I had learned; intellectual property laws were clear: as long as the treatment is different, anyone can steal any idea that strikes their lazy, sleazy little fancy.
It’s not at all implausible that somebody paid to peruse writers’ submissions chose to troll the bloggers, instead, and present Ms. Parker with the concept that drove everything I’ve been writing about for the past eleven months.In a world where every historically “legitimate” publication faces down the massive swarm of internet entities by barring its doors to anyone but their closest personal friends, we anonymous nobodies can consider ourselves snowed.
It hasn’t snowed yet, around this Great Lake. Not really. Last year, and for decades preceding, there had been at least one blow out Lake Effect two footer by November, and several weeks of windshield scrapings come morning. But, so far this winter, ‘nada. Who knows? Maybe this is a sign.
Maybe there’s a special audience made in heaven for the self-published. I’ll hope for a gentle, lovely, and feisty collective. Where do I begin, to tell the story? I’ve never been more ready.
But, do us all a favor? If you must, take that celebrated memoir off the bookstore shelf, and find one of those cushy chairs. In honor of all the unknowns who pour it out every day, flip through until you’ve seen enough. After you put it back, you can come home; we’ll still be here, giving it all away.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo 12/5/15 All rights those of this author, even if she isn’t one of your closest personal friends. Even if you don’t have any idea who she is. Yeah, that. Thanks.