I've been waiting for a book contract with the press (which I won't name here) which, a year ago, requested a copy of my manuscript. Last December, I received notice that my book publication was in the 2013 budget, the 4th of four books on their production calendar. I've made announcements of sorts about this deal, mainly to friends, but lacking the contract, I was wary to make it known in the larger world.
Saturday I found out that my project had been dropped, because of the restraining order that's on file with the City of Seattle against the man who assaulted me last summer and who also destroyed $4k of inventory at my job. See, he's on the board of the press, and is very active. I don't know any other details.
And in fact, he may very well read this blog post. And if he does, he'll know that when I read the email containing this information, it felt like a punch my gut: all the air was smacked out of me. I felt betrayed, angry and nauseous. If his intent was to do the most damage to me possible while complying with the requirements of his protection order, then he was most successful. (I don't know if I'll ever know why this friend of 20 years suddenly turned enemy. It's baffling and confounding, and tests all my resolve in my effort to remain a loving and compassionate human being.)
It's a complicated situation. The Executive Director is a friend who is also a member of my writing group. She's a good person, an ethical person, and I'm guessing that she has been backed into a corner. Irony is that this press wouldn't even exist if, in 1991, I hadn't pulled together a diverse group of people to form a writing critique group — three years later, the group gave birth to the non-profit press, which has been operating in the black ever since. I was only active in the press from 1994-2002, and my only claim to it now is as a co-founder.
The man facing felony criminal charges here has been a driving force behind the press. As a grant writer and fund-raiser, his all-volunteer efforts have paid off generously. There is a lot which he can be proud of — I'm willing to give him that.
But if an organization's board member assaults a client, I believe that his resignation should be demanded. I understand that there's a lot at stake here, and it's a very complicated scenario. It's ugly, it's uncomfortable, and I really don't desire to fan these flames any more than the writing of this blog post. And I think he knows this. So, in essence, I'm backed into the corner too.
So, for the moment, no book in the works.
Bigger and better things, perhaps?
I think yes.