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Paranoia struck this weekend. I wrote the following in my journal: Big Q, will Dr O let me use her intro and commentary if the contract is only with me? It seems they are not offering her any contract. At least they haven't mentioned Dr O in anything so far. And unless she has heard from them separately -- which I doubt -- I don't think she will/ they will. Dunno what to do or think about this. Did I give her the prominence I think I did in the ms? I can't remember! All I know is, SHE considers this OUR ms. Lynnie doesn't, I don't. NO ONE else does...It's MY poetry, years of work. She did the commentary in a few hours, a few evenings I imagine. I don't know how she can think this book is hers in any way...But I worry that in fact she will not let me use her intro without some contracted...something to her! I dunno what to do about that. Does she deserve it? And what is it? Money? Hah! What money?! If that's her concern she is greedy and crazy! But mostly just -- I dunno. I just don't know. What does she deserve? Her name UNDER mine, credited with the intro and the commentary, yes, surely. Of course. But anything beyond that I don't know, nor do I see why she'd want anymore than that! How much credit does she need? This is NOT HER BOOK! She wrote an INTRODUCTION, period. And jotted a few words of commentary that I typed up and cleaned up and made look bigger than they actually were. Very little in the end. Mostly a sentence or two about 2/3 of the poems.
WHAT DO YOU WANT, DR O? THIS IS NOT YOUR BOOK! You have other writings, other books, other projects. Why do you act like this one ever was
"yours" when you ought to admit you know perfectly well that it was ALWAYS only mine. SO you helped select the poems. So you helped me choose and wrote the commentary. You HELPED me put the book together and for that you will get due credit, all my gratitude and all the credit you could possibly claim or deserve. But what else can I give you? What else could you possibly claim? What else could you possibly deserve to get from my book of my poems, dear Dr O...? What? What? What?!
It turns out she wanted nothing at all. I was overwrought about, well, my own imagination and lack of trust and I dunno what or where it all came from, frankly...Paranoia I guess. I sent an email asking Dr O a question I asked only after vetting it with Lynnie, and sending her first a long letter ...which she suggested gently that I NOT send. She thought I should merely ask Dr O first whether she believed she was in fact deserving of equal credit. She gave me a suggested question. I simply lifted it entire and asked Dr O the exact same thing. This morning, instead of answering the email, Dr O called me, sensing my panic, and clarified everything: NO, she never thought of herself as co-author, of course not. No, she wanted no credit more than I'd given her already, "Introduction by M. O." and any money was strictly mine. If I'd wanted to give her any, she would simply donate it to the charity of my choice...She didn't seem upset that I accused her of these things, only supportive and understanding that my paranoia once again had made me seize upon such possiblities and build them up into a real, that is, truly believed-in plot against me. She took it in stride, not the slightest bit fazed, or if she was, not letting on.
I was so relieved, I can't tell you. All weekend I'd been tortured by this, and had told my nurse my suspicions and Lynnie and even Karen...Everyone doubted me, doubted my perceptions, but of course I held to my certainty, because that is the nature of paranoia, and I had no idea I was paranoid, once again, having no clue and no way to test reality this time, until I had a chance to ask a question and get an answer. I didn't realize I was testing reality this time, I thought I would get a corroborative answer! But in the end, the answer I got was much better than the one I expected.Posted by pamwagg at November 19, 2007 08:23 PM | TrackBack