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Showing posts from April, 2005

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

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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 …

Top Ten Things I bet you didn’t know about L.A.

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1) So how come they’re not on the postcard?
Most of us picture palm trees when we think of L.A., but the coral tree, not the palm, is the official tree of our city. Sometimes called Tiger Claws, the coral trees found along the median strip of San Vicente Blvd in Brentwood, that stretch of the boulevard from 26th Street to Brigham Avenue where once a rail track ran, and now everyone on the Westside runs, are actually designated cultural historical monuments.  The Coral Tree is the official tree of Los Angeles There ought to be a plaque
2) Hot Dog!
We baseball fans love our Dodger dogs as much as we love the boys in blue. More hot dogs are eaten at Chavez Ravine – over 2 million a baseball year—than in any other major league ballpark in the country!
3) How much by the glass?
We take for granted that when we go to the Getty, we’re going to get one of those great L.A. city views. What’s unexpected is what we see as the museum’s tram traverses the hill— a six acre vineyard growing on a steeply…