There's an editor at a place I've written for who is lying to me. She thinks I don't know she's lying to me. Or, rather, she's worried about whether I know or not. She hopes I don't know but she's also concerned. Her deputy editor told her to handle me, which is partially to do with this blog. She received three stories. Had them a couple days. Sent me a boilerplate note passing, after she'd let enough time passed--in theory--to have read and considered them.
These were three long stories. These stories are too good for the boilerplate note. If you read them, with any intention of giving them a fair chance, you couldn't send the boilerplate note. This also would be highly unlikely to be a two day turnaround. It'd be impossible not to comment on them. Such is what is in them, such is how different they are than everything else out there. This isn't subjective. This is a different level. And it's obvious to any objective thirty party. I'm not saying you take all three, or even one. They are, after all, just three works. They're not ten. If you're me, and you have the range of work that I do, and the consistency of the quality, then when you get up around ten, and it's the same thing every time, you know you're not being treated fairly. Intention is everything. Someone comes in with a mindset to try and find something with which to work, or a mindset to make you go away. I knew what was going on here, and this is a process for me. A process of justice. And accountability, whatever final form that will take.
I politely asked--which is certainly my prerogative, given the quality of these works, and as a contributor (albeit with a different editor in place, who had a different intention)--if I might be supplied with a reason, pretty much knowing how this would go, because I knew why this had happened. I received a stock boilerplate again. I know when I'm being handled. Which is exactly why she cc'ed that deputy editor on everything. It was like saying "Okay, I took care of this as you asked, we can't get in trouble for anything here."
But the problem is, I know what's happening. And another problem is I'm not bringing you crap that is like what I can link to on here, that you just put out, that is going to make any normal person think, "really? That's what they publish? I can do better than that." And another reason is, I know the real reasons you published it. And it wasn't because you thought it was amazing.
So here we are. But there's more. What this woman doesn't know is that I know she then took what I sent her--which she had poured over, scrutinizing a simple email, to make sure she/they were covered in their handling of me--doing so throughout the night--and sent it all over the country. For people she knows to see.
I know what is going on. Puts me in a bad position. I know that I am being discriminated against. I can see it. That means, this all ends up on here, in great specificity, when the time comes. Which is not what I want to be doing. And it's not what someone else wants--definitely not--if they're the ones who are doing this. You can't lie to me. You can't trick me. It won't go the way you want it to go.
Here's something else: Never do they give a reason. For one simple reason: they can't. They don't have one they can say to me. That they can put down in email. There isn't a legitimate one. We both know it. That's the cat-and-mouse game here. But there's nothing they can say. Not a single critical reason. They can't even invent a vaguely plausible one. If you could, it'd be so easy to say, "Well, I thought a problem with the piece was..." That's not an option, though. So that brings us here. Am I expected to play dumb? Is that what we're banking on?
What happens next with this particular person is I try two or three more times. You're creating, on one hand, the record for adjudication both in the court of public opinion, and historically-speaking. Because, when this comes to light--and it will, in various degrees and forms--there's no defending it. These are not piddling works. They are not ordinary works. They are as good as it gets. There's also a reason why I put the excerpts up on here. Look at the start, for instance, of "The Hornet." That speaks for itself. I walk the walk. What are you going to say? It's okay? It's not that good? Can't do it. It's simply too strong. They all are. I'll try two or three more times because I'm trying to have it work. I'm also removing any chance of any doubt as to what is happening. I will extend every last fiber of rope. What is also likely is a "Tell-Tale Heart" situation. I'll explain. The person will just want the other person--me--to go away. They know they're doing me dirty. When you're doing someone dirty, you want them to fall for whatever you say, and disappear. Have them tell themselves, "Well, I do have a chance later, I guess it's possible I didn't have the right thing, why else would they have said..." Etc. Years will come off your life that way. You'll waste years. If you are me. With what I have.
So back it comes around again. It's the beating of the tell-tale heart for this other person. Their victim, who, again, has been done dirty, stands before them, refusing to go away. Now what does this other person do? They'll often all in on the injustice. Why? It's such a small thing. Why is it so life and death to keep this other person out? Simply because they are everything you are not? What about your venue? What about your readers? Next, they might snap. This can take various forms. They may never respond again, because they can't handle the pressure. It's Banquo's ghost showing up at the table. They usually don't have it in them to pause, reset, mea culpa, find a way to move forward. That takes social skills. Writing skills. Tact. Not a lot of tact. You don't even need to offer up an explanation to excuse away why it's been what it's been. Especially as I have my own intentions. Mine are to work with you. I don't need to like you. I can detest you. You can have done heinous things to me for a while. It doesn't matter. It's not about that. It's about matchless, great work, and readers. That's all. Everything else is peripheral here when it comes to moving forward. Or it should be.
With their victim in front of them, who knows exactly what is up, there's often that snapping. The snapping usually takes the form of the running, because these people are almost always cowards and they have no legitimate reasons to justify what they are doing. But the days of running away and getting away with it are over. They might--as Raluca Albu tried to do--attempt to blame the victim, and mount an attack which is built upon utter BS. That's also not going to work, because here is a victim that is far too smart, and too strong, for that. And there is nothing, save doing the right thing, the fair thing, the equitable thing, the just thing, the non-discriminatory thing, the work-related thing, that is going to stop anyone's transgressions, immorality, bigotry, unprofessionalism, from coming out and being known. There is no other way whatsoever to "handle" this--in that sense--anymore.
But we'll see with this person. I'll play it through. And each note will be perfectly courteous and professional. The works will be what they are. Be at the level they are at. And we'll let it play out.