Posts

Showing posts from April, 2012

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 …

Pros and Cons

Image
Pros and Cons




"Hey"
She looked up from the margarita she was stirring with a straw. It just didn’t make sense. Drinking a margie through a straw meant you would miss the salt.

“Hey”
She squinted into the mirror; he was sitting solo in the booth behind her.
Shit! She’d planned on calling it a night.So,’ she thought, swiveling around on her barstool, ‘Are you a 33 or a 333 word man?’ “Oh, hello there” Smiling. A touch surprised. “Buy you a drink?”
A 333 word man for sure. Was he slurring? She couldn’t tell. She swirled her glass, watching the ice clink. “Thanks, I’m good”
He was hesitating.
“But thanks, anyway.”
That was it. Enough. He was sliding across the vinyl, standing, crossing the carpeted floor. Green, with blue and black swirls. God, that had to hide a lot of spills. Like the scotch he spilled on his weave over.
“Oops” He shook the scotch off his hand.
“Oops” She handed him a couple of cocktail napkins.
He dabbed at his pants. “Guess I need a refill.” He settled …