Sagittarius 26° (December 18)
Where to begin. I feel like starting it all up to be honest. I want to start me up. I’m going to follow through shooting the moon. I’m sick of cancel culture and I will continue the story I started yesterday. And I will gently urge…that’s where I ended writing on this day now four days ago. This is what always happens—I get derailed. So it is now the 22nd. Last night was meant to be our solstice show at Joe’s Pub, but I barely even remembered it was solstice let alone did I commemorate it. When people treat me badly I pile on and treat myself like crap. This is what always happens. I further blow up my existence and then I have to spend time picking up the pieces. It isn’t enough that I have a full plate and that I’m leaving the country for months and am enduring the usual stresses that entails. No I have got to make it worse. And there are always the usual and unusual delays. Like this week was a horror of getting my new phone and computer sorted. I am now typing on a new mac and the keyboard is so loud. I hate loud keyboards. If you know me you know it is just one of my pet peaves. I have so many of those. More than most people. I feel broke on so many levels. I suppose I shall get back to the story at hand although I must say I have lost much interest on that score. Anyway I need to recall what was happening on this actual day. I think this would be Wednesday. I know that over the last couple of days I did send out a number of books.
In the wake of the publishing of Sextrology, Elaine Markson quietly and unofficially retired and we were often on the front lines with the various departments at Harper. There were a numbe of foreign deals made, not without some foibles on that score, but nothing we remember. We just know to explore this since Liz Sullavan intimated in our meeting at the Marlton that something was amiss with the rights department.I don’t know if I can do this actually.I think I won’t. What I will do is cut and paste somethings.
I sent this to Meg: When Sextrology came out Stephen H was the publisher at HarperCollins under which our imprint, Harper Resource,fell—he was Megan N’s boss and was replaced by Joe Tessitore who I think recently passed away.Fast forward to 2013, Steve writes to say he is setting up his own agency and would like for us to be his clients. He says he thinks we should do a “Birthday Book” concept. We say that we have a project in mind, we call BBOD, which remains on our to-do list of books to write (as we’ve mentioned to you). He says he wants to set up a meeting at Abrams just a meet and greet, not a pitch scenario. We say fine. We go to Abrams, we like each other, then Steve pitches his idea for a book, not our idea. (He also showed up an hour late, wearing shorts, and, afterward, was a bit too “celebratory” at lunch for our liking). The Abrams folks we met were Holly D. and her colleague at the time David somebody. (Note from her to Steve post-meeting is below). We decide not to sign Steve on as our agent—we were not interested in writing his idea of a book—and so we completely drop out of publishing at this point to focus on our private consultancy and self-started projects. We don’t know what exactly Steve would have said to Holly. All this to say: Do you know if Holly is still at Abrams? Is she someone we could add to next pitch list of folks?
Then this: Cool. We have our thinking caps on.
Honestly, though we always rise above and make the lemonade; We have been quite upset by the Harper thing. I’ve spent the last couple of days doing some narrative therapy which has helped a lot. Still, what keeps coming up is how much crap we put up with and forgave HC (some hair-raising things that would strike you as painfully comical if not completely unbelievable) like the pretend book tour Kate Stark fabricated before leaving Harper just as our book was coming out (I kid you not) with fake flights booked and appearances at Book Soup and Booksmith in SF. HC ended up writing us a check to design our own book store which ultimately included those two places.
And this is just one of the trauma episodes coming up. Yet, we forgave them all their trespasses and still now don’t know what it is they still have in their bonnet about us. Because Harper didn’t buy Sexxtrology to begin with, and we ended up on their doorstep, they were one big Miss Minchin to us the entire time. None of the people we know of (who were there at the time) are even still there. Despite the crap we went through we remain friendly with folks we first worked with; and have tried to forge trusting and collaborative relationships to those who’ve inherited us, pinballing from one imprint to another over the years. At some point I think we will need to know exactly what bee they have in their bonnet; we feel whatever is being said by whomever is messing with our livelihood and that is truly upsetting. But for now we are doing our best transcendence act
And this I sent to Mary Ellen C.: I hope this finds you well! You’re probably like What The…?
I am working on funny stories about our experience in the publishing world and I am trying to piece together a timeline in so doing
When Sextrology was about to be published I think both Megan N. and Kate S. left HC and you came aboard, is that right?
I think also that Joe T., whom I hear is no longer with us?, replaced Steve H. at the same time? Steve actually wanted to agent us a few years back and I recall that he was a bit bitter about all that. Anyway, I’m off the point…..
This is my recollection and I wonder if you have the same one: There was this whole west coast book tour set up for Starsky + Cox (by Kate before she left) including TV appearances and radio and airline tickets and book store events at Book Soup and Booksmith in SF. We received an entire itinerary I remember and we tried to follow up about the plane tix and such only to discover that the entire tour had been fabricated. No tickets purchased. No TV appearances. And the bookstore owners had no idea what we were talking about when we called about our in-store events. Do I have all this right?
I do remember you and Joe decided to write Stella and me a check so that we could re-create the tour ourself and then some. We used the money very sparingly I know and did appear on KTLA in Los Angeles and at Book Soup (where friends of Tori Amos came and gave her a copy of our book which inspired her to write “Goodbye Pisces,” crediting us in her own book about song writing called Piece by Piece!!) and also at Booksmith in San Francisco where the Chronicle did a wonderful piece on us that really got the press rolling.
In my mind the check you gave us was for $3K. Anyway the funny bit about SF was that we stayed at this cheaper hotel owned by the Triton hotel and they piped music into our room. We had done the Booksmith event and they made Starsky + Cox “trading cards” as they do for authors. I said (never being a baseball fan) that the only cards I ever collected were Partridge Family cards. The morning after as we packed to head for the airport they piped “I Think I Love You” into our room. I got to the airport and used the mensroom and in there was Brian Forster who played the part of Chris Partridge on the show. I said “I used to collect your cards when I was a kids, so here you go, take one of ours!” Isn’t that so weird and synchronistic. Then again stuff like that happens to us all the time.
Anyway, I hope this jogs your memory and anything you can add to this story would be much appreciated. Everything happens for a reason and on some level I suppose I’m grateful to Kate Stark for faking our book tour before quitting Harper!
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree pointof the Sabian Symbol will be one degree higher than the one listed for today. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°, for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360 degrees spread over 365 or 6 days per year—so they near but not exactly correlate.
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go!
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