But gave a “Cheesesteak” away.
Some years – 10? More? – I had a piece accepted by two women who were putting together a collection of memories about Atlantic City. Publishing didn’t happen and publishing didn’t happen and I stopped hearing from the women?
Until a week ago, when I got an e-mail from another woman saying publication of the collection was imminent and would I (a) submit a Contributor’s Note (b) forward a photo and © sign the attached rudimentary contract, acknowledging I would receive no compensation.
I did not mind not receiving compensation, but I was curious how many contributor’s copies I would receive. Oh, the woman e-mailed me back, we don’t know if the publisher will give us any copies for contributors.
I don’t mean to be a dickhead, I said, but I’ve been in a number of anthologies, some of them hardbound, and I’ve always gotten a copy. So if I don’t get one, you can’t use my piece.
We really want to include piece, the woman said. So if the publisher won’t give us extras, I’ll buy one and send it to you.
Then she checked my web site and said she would even buy some of my books herself.
So I sent her a “Cheesesteak.”
Feeling like a dickhead.
In other news…
1.) Remember that woman who asked me to review her Christmas book, even though she’d made me buy it by refusing a swap for – forget her buying – one of mine? Well, I gave her five stars and several sentences at Amazon. “THANK YOU!!! she said.
So we’re still pals.
2.) I had sent another “Cheesesteak” to a fellow with whom I’d entered e-mail correspondence over a different matter entirely. He turned out to be writing a memoir, of which he sent me a chapter. So I reacted as I usually do when someone sends me something – asked or not, welcome or not – and critiqued it, sentence-by-sentence, word-by-word. Some people thank me. Some ignore me. (And God knows what they think.) This fellow sent another chapter. So I did it again.
He offered “compensation” if I’d do the rest. We reached a deal. Below-market-rate – everybody happy. I like doing this. Plus, his book is about a niche world in which I have an interest, and he has a knowledge that few others do, and there is a likelihood his book will have significance within this world. (Plus no one is knocking on my door for a chance to read about my year in VISTA.) I feel lucky to have connected with him and he feels lucky to have connected to me.
The world spins in weird and whacky ways, I said.