Featured Post

That time I wanted to pass myself off as Joyce Carol Oates #TBT

Image
I submitted my first piece of writing when I was seventeen, a story about my first job, working at the employee cafeteria at General Telephone where my mother was a dispatcher. Rolling the 20# white bond backed by a sheet of thin blue carbon paper into my Smith Corona, I typed it out slowly, carefully, on a piece of erasable paper—and mailed it off to Cosmopolitan along with a cover letter. Not just to any editor at Cosmo, by the way, I sent it directly to Helen Gurley Brown. 

The piece itself, meant to be comical, was full of clumsy attempts at self-effacing humor.  I strived for a similar tone in the cover letter I addressed to Brown, completely clueless that the high powered editor in chief wasn’t the one reading unsolicited manuscripts. After I signed off I added the following PS. I could have said I was Joyce Carol Oates. What I thought that would accomplish I can’t imagine. That an unsatisfactory submission would get published because of a lame joke? 

No surprise, in the SASE I’d …

Speaking of Bernard Cooper

Updated:  Bernard Cooper was doing personal essays so long, long ago... back in the day when english teachers and editors all said stay away from "I".

I remember reading "Maps to Anywhere" and feeling that I had found my personal compass rose. I lost my way somewhere on my writing journey and when a friend suggested she'd prefer to see my pieces, based on my life, as short stories, to see my life 'fictionalized', and I set to writing short stories that all grew out of my reality.  


They didn't just lack imagination, they lacked realism. I'm back to struggling with memoir, even if it does feel like a whole lot of me, the me feels authentic and true. That's the goal anyway. 



The link takes you to Vimeo and a reading by Cooper from The Bill from my Father: A Memoir

For some of my personal essays start here

Comments

Popular Posts

10 Ways to Know You're a Brit at Heart

That time I wanted to pass myself off as Joyce Carol Oates #TBT

Marching for THEIR Lives in Santa Monica

#11 BEACH MUSIC: A time of tans, blonds and hot pants

We'll Always Have Nobu : Robert De Niro