Sunday, March 02, 2008

Arthur/Penny: Rejected!

Man, am I glad for the team to have a off week right now. February has been ridiculously busy, as even though there were only three games (and no crazy parts of the schedule where the Stealth is playing at home in San Jose one day and then up in Canada the next), I've had to do a lot of anchor work because a good chunk of the rest of the on-air talent is covering spring training for the A's and Giants, or covering basketball and hockey. February and March are a time when the network's staff gets spread pretty thin, so I'm at the desk a lot.

And that's part of why I won't be getting to go to Tokyo. George told me yesterday, saying that since they don't actually broadcast the games, they can only really justify sending a two-person team (talent and camera/sound), and they're opting for one of the people they have who are more closely associated with baseball, who have been around the team during spring training, etc.

I guess that's reasonable, but it's disappointing. Less reasonable was the part that he sort of joked about, that the cameraman would wind up having trouble fitting me and any Japanese people I interviewed or profiled in frame. I actually wouldn't be surprised if this was the actual reason, because it does make sense from a certain aesthetic point of view - I'm a six-foot-tall woman, and there are guys who get uncomfortable being interviewed by me on-camera. I've been there, and I can say from first-hand experience that the male of the species does sometimes respond badly to having to look up to a woman. Heck, I've exploited it at times.

But this really does wind up gnawing at me, because as much as I've come to accept that this is going to be my life from now on, and I like being tall and strong and healthy, I hate being treated like a freak. I already know I am one, but nobody knows it goes deeper than being a sort of tomboy.

If that's not enough, I've been getting rejection letters for my book. I'm not totally surprised; it's my first real attempt to write a novel, and structuring a good mystery turns out to be really hard. Still, it's hard to take, especially having someone else's form as I do. I always used to say that I didn't work on spec much because it's just bad use of one's time to do the thing you get paid for without getting paid when you could be doing a paying gig, and for the most part I believed it. Of course, it's also been so long since I did spec work that I've forgotten just how painfully personal each rejection can be. It sucks being told that you're not good enough, and when you submit to multiple places, you get told again... and again... and again.

I actually cried when I got the first rejection letter, and then had a panic attack over whether that was an Inn thing - had I been female so long that I was starting to react like one? Had becoming a girl changed my body that much, so that I'd react to failure with tears and self-doubt purely because of endocrinology? I don't think so, but how can I know? And now that I have actually cried over that, what's it mean? Does it mean that my sex is asserting these sorts of responses, or would I be crying over it if I were still a man? There seems to be no right answer.

Some of the reasons really wound up bugging me, too. On the one hand, I know I'm not really great at fiction yet, so I should be able to accept being rejected on merit. Still, some of what's in the letters has really bugged me:

* "We have no place for new authors in our mystery imprint's publishing schedule."

* "As much as we like your concept, we do not feel that your name has national visibility."

* "We think the book has real promise; have you considered working with a co-writer?"

* "... a ghost writer?"

A ghost writer... I threw a bit of a tantrum at that; calling Drew and telling him not to send anything to that publisher the next time around. He talked me down from that, reasonably pointing out that it's not a good idea to hold grudges against corporations, but undid a lot of good will by saying that I'd face nothing but frustration if I kept trying to live my old life. Be a sportscaster and spokesperson, he says - you've got the face, voice, and body to be a good one and you'll be happier just going with the flow. Otherwise, you'll drive yourself nuts trying to be something you no longer are.

Suffice it to say, he hasn't been getting any for the last week. In a world where a stripper can win an Oscar, I figure I can write a few mystery novels.



Anonymous said...

It's entirely possible that the inn has altered your emotional state. Emotions are after all, biological in nature.

But on the other hand, so are memories (probably). If the inn changed your neurology to exactly match Penny's then you should have her memories....and none of your own. And yet here you are.

So perhaps the simpler explanation is that you hadn't received a rejection letter for awhile, and, coupled with the stress it was just too much for you. It happens.

Anonymous said...

what's doing with Ashlyn, haven't heard from her in quite some time. Are you two staying in contact?