I’m writing a book. Who isn’t. I actually have five or six. Three in a series sort of YA bipolar disc jockey juggles illness, men, rapid cycling and alcohol on occasion. Father says to me the other day, “You need a Project. Find out how much it will cost, a-z to get your book published and I’ll write a check. I hadn’t expected such but XLibris was having a sale.
Based on what my friends have told me, 399.99 plus a plot/pace/content assessment is going to be too little and I’ll get hit up for more fees down the line and I told my consultant that I had been warned and asked her to really dig deep and tell me the price. She got argumentative and angry. It didn’t help matters at all that my foot got broken and hurt badly.
My last conversation with this person was that she felt insulted and when it came down to it, she though I’d need 25k to get a book out there, but she had politely refrained from throwing this in my face. Don’t you think that 399.00 plus 199.00 and the sum total of 25k are a little far off? Where were all these fees coming from? Wasn’t she being unethical to ‘undersell me’ something for 600.00 that was going to end up costing our family 25k? Then she got into this whole thing about how Authorhouse and Xlibris are very different (I had previously spoken to Authorhouse) and that’s why she chose Xlibris. I asked her about 12 questions about Print on Demand, and wondered why she had not brought up marketing guidance. You got me right, they provide no marketing or advertising for you for free, but for an additional fee, they can arrange to have your book reviewed and so forth.
I asked her how much that would be…the various ranges of services. She deferred and said that I’d need to speak to someone else. OK, that sounded hinky. Then she came back in a feisty email and told me she had way more things to do like talk to other clients rather than argue with me.
I called back my father, who had forgotten his offer. She said he wanted me to ‘listen’ and ‘sit down.’ that’s when you know it’s really going to be bad. He said I was a stupid girl, had nothing to say, no book to write, and he didn’t know why I was bothering him with this Xlibris stuff.
“But you offered or I’d have never bo-”
“I didn’t offer, you asked.”
“No, I didn’t”
That’s when it got ugly.
“You always ask,” he roared. Or did he intone with a sneer? I didn’t know, but I’ve been through this with him a lot. It happened regarding me moving back to San Diego with the promise of the gift of an expensive, beautiful 16hand ex racehorse, that with the right amount of grooming, discipline and work, would be worth triple the hundred thousand he paid for it. In the end he gave it away to a gifted horsewoman for free, providing she gave him 1/3 of the back end. I was stunned. I had just been dumped for being bipolar by the love of my life and didn’t need to be thrown around like a rag doll. Then he told me to ride this older palomino who had a bunch of nasty habits. He had worked as a “Pony,” a lead horse on the racetrack for ten or more years. After landing on my ass a few times I asked him about it.
“Oh, yes,” “Walter’s Pony,” he mused. “That horse needs to be given Ketamine before being ridden. Otherwise, he’ll likely hurt you. There’s a white vat of Ketamine Pellets in the barn. Be sure you give him some.”
He had been using me to make sure that nasty animal got exercise. I never rode him again. I am a good horsewoman but I don’t have time for deadly games on a vicious animal who has stored up a lifetime of animosity for us human beings.
But this, this was different. This was my book. A book I’d pledged to write in a most anonymous manner to shield him and his racehorse family, the rest of the family who goes to the Breeder’s Cup, races in Dubai and the Kentucky Derby. Have I ever been invited? I’ve been disinvited to the weddings of two of my sisters. My Dad says my sister made the request and my sister refuses to discuss the matter.
Dad says that my honey and I embarrass both him and his La Perla CFO daughter. Way to go Suz. But can’t you just be honest with big sis? I can take it.
But this thing with the book. He took my dream, drop kicked it as if it were a soccer ball, and let fly with his foot until he had kicked it all the way across the soccer field.
I was suicidally depressed for the next two days. I didn’t know if I was going to make it this time.
He’s been doing this my entire life.
Three years ago, when I was visiting in Kentucky, he met with his European Tailor. He offered to buy me a dress. I didn’t ask. They made a size 12. Here I am in it. When the bill arrived, there was hell to pay, and it was all my fault. The dress had long since arrived and been taken in but I wished I’d never accepted the gift. Same with the car. When it poops out, I’ll take the bus.
In the meantime, I’m signing up for DBT, the latest and greatest treatment for my own Borderline Personlity Disorder. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they say.
He called the next day as if nothing had happened. “How does it feel to have dropkicked my dream across the field as if it were a human head?”
“Well, ” he suggested, as if we were discussing high tea. “Take my name out of your phone and–”
“FINE!” I screamed, and hung up the phone. I hope he doesn’t call for a year.