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.






11 thoughts on “Pre-empted.

  1. Hello RAS. In support of your feelings right now, I would like to use the B word with a capital B to describe those gnarly entities. You are correct in saying that only close personal friends get invited to the inner circle. I don’t know how books make it to the bestseller lists (Martian made it as a self published title, so suck it assholes) much less the Pull It Surprise. I was engaged to an aging rock star once and I was offered a book deal, writing grant and access to an inner circle that makes all of those spy films legs. I didn’t have a blog yet, and was more interested in the guy than I was in fame and glory. If only I were a fame ho, I would have a producer credit in his reality show. Woe is me, I decided not to worship him like a fan. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. For every year I wasted with stars in my eyes, there’s a full day in my world with me the star and nobody in the bed. And, I’m STILL a total unknown. AND – the Steinway is almost big enough to sleep in, but it sure as hell smells like success. I swear, that thing is talking back to me. I can’t get enough of it. One thing I have NEVER wanted is an agent, a publicist, or any other vermin in charge of marketing me to ANYBODY. And, that, I’m finally realizing, is why you don’t live here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. p.s. it isn’t me that’s the problem, anymore. It’s the place, and the people in it. It’s the professional paradigm. David Kim is changing that, one recital at a time. And, HE – the ONLY one who responded when I posted the Steinway – the ONLY one who said: “Chamber music party, at your house!” So, let all the self-congratulating insiders publish themselves into their own black hole; they’ll all die of herocaine, anyway…just give them the time.

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      2. Thank you very much. I turned down a scholarship to study at a uni in the US because I wanted to broaden my horizons first. It is amazing, the way you’ve described publicists. These people make a living skimming the top off someone’s labour. And they’re very up themselves. Very annoying. Again, I feel for you. When I read the blurb about MLP, I thought “From whence has this cometh?” and now it all makes sense. I believe you, RAS. It is no coincidence. These people write articles about how they yawn and delete submission emails and trawl social media for fresh news ideas, which they produce for their star clients. I wanted to start my own publishing firm as a reaction to that but… Most people won’t sign with you unless you’re a big flipping company. Because as bad as things are, everyone wants to be seen in Nike, (for want of a better analogy) even if Acme sneaker wears longer and treats them better. xo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As far back as I can remember, from classmates to workshop attendees to restaurant district managers to instructors who teach screen writing to towel boys for Disney, people have been stealing from me. I have gullible written all over my face. The only proof we have that our work has merit in this world anymore is when we see it presented by somebody else.

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          1. The story of my life, RAS. I used to see this play out in my Reader almost every day and the praise these people get is striking. I am comforted by the fact that their horizons are limited to two feet of sofa and the bottom of a can. No Steinways for them, as the awesomeness of accomplishment would escape them. Congrats on the acquisition, again. I am thrilled that you feel satisfied with your new best friend. Ah, well…

            Liked by 1 person

                1. I was hungry, so I went for a salad, and now I’ll be awake for an hour, at least. Just feeling forlorn, tonight. Doc appt in the a.m., and the mouser guy has to come back because the piano is here and there are droppings reappearing. Do you watch HOMELAND or THE AFFAIR?

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. I watch the Affair and of course, for the dialogue. Homeland, I get but I need to watch every other episode as the story moves so slowly and then skips. And there is not a lot of dialogue, if you know what I mean. xo

                  Liked by 1 person

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