This Creative Life

Welcome to the creative work of Alan White, head writer and producer of "FEEDBACK; A HERO'S CALLING," now at Broken Sea. The "Feedback" in question is Matthew Atherton, My Hero. He and other heroes of mine have links found down the left side of these pages. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

So As It Turns Out ....

...Tor Books is in here!

It is one of the imprints of either St. Martin's Press or Holtzbrinck Publishers, or both. And Patrick Nielsen Hayden was totally at work, because when I walked into the building the security guard (who was black like me) wanted to know who I was and who I came to see. I told him and he called up to Mr. Neilsen Hayden, who promptly told him that he didn't know who I was. Well, no, he wouldn't, I explained, because I didn't have a schedule--I just wanted to hand-deliver my manuscript. After much apologizing, the guard had me record my name to the video recorder and what my purpose was--[tourguide] The Flatiron Building is a historical landmark in NYC and as such is under heavy security [/tourguide] he let me up, where I gave it to the receptionist (who was black like me). She taped up the open envelope with the materials inside and I told her she didn't have to, but she said, 'You don't want it to spill out?' to wit I said, well it only has to go from your desk to his, right? and she's like, 'No, it goes to the mail...well there's just a system.' and so I made understanding noises and said it's going to sit in a pile for a few months, right? but she laughed and said 'no it will get read', so I thanked her and left, feeling a shade more accomplished as my day went on. And if Patrick Nielsen Hayden didn't know me before today, he does now. Hopefully not in a horrible way--I hope he heard me say that I didn't have an appointment with him--he was still on the phone when the guard realized he got it wrong, and I didn't intend to try any 'slip my manuscript in' tricks.

Also as I left I thought, that went a lot better than it could have because the guard and the receptionist were black. I'm pretty sure of it. I don't think it would have gone worse if I were white, but I think I'd have been more intimidated if they were. Either that, or they would have been more resistant to me. But I think they wanted to see a black person get his goal accomplished. "Black skin privilege" let's call it. Don't be shocked. It's how America works, only its really called "White skin privilege".

Now what did I jump on that bandwagon for? It's a thought that went through my head, that's all. I also left out of there hoping that I got this book deal for the sake of that guard and receptionist. I wanted a black person to be part of the big money in that building too, instead of just opening doors and answering the phone for the white people.

Damn, I am on a roll tonight. The back of my mind is saying, 'You're being unfair. Your hero is a white guy. Your best friend in the world is a white guy too."

Yes. Yes they are. Okay. Then let's move on.

I went to see Nitro after I got through the midday interruption of my professional life. Saw his very real place of business. Watched him with his friends. Went to his house. Watched him with his family. Felt very, very glad to have gone there. He is actually someone I could see myself hanging out with again. Tonight it was business but it's embarrassing how close he lives, so it could actually be something somewhat of a social thing if ever there's a reason or if the occasion ever just lends itself to being social.

It was his family that gave me this impression. I know a woman just like his mother. I, in fact, miss the woman just like his mother. Open and inviting, energetic, warm and friendly. Italian matriarch. Made me feel like a million bucks. I would hang out with Nitro and hope to get some of that family warmth again as a by-product.

So that's all right then.

And about that white rant earlier? Be advised, we black people have random spurts of that off and on. I'm not sorry for it, but I am sorry if I offended anyone out there. It was within my lifetime that it was once illegal for a black man to marry a white woman. So I've got a ways to go before I believe the country has healed. In fact, if Barack Hussein Obama survives the Presidential election, I'll believe we've progressed a bit. And if he WINS? Well, then just wow. I'll go hug the first white person in the street that I see. :)


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