Posts

Showing posts from November, 2014

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 …

Where nobody knows your name

Image
I've left more than participles dangling lately, skipping out on posting anything of substance here, including a serialized piece about my first marriage. Is that what I do when I get to the hard stuff, cut and run? I don't know about that, sometimes I've stayed too long. Arriving at the hard spot though, where I might have to look a little too deeply into my own contribution to that short-lived but ever-lasting failure, I've been taking a break. I'm still taking a break here but I'm writing daily for my Chapter1-Take1 book-to-movie blog. Here's a piece from that site, a response to the upcoming film Still Alice, that's more me than most. It's for anyone who has ever had to explain to a parent who they were.



I saw the film Still Alice starring Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart last week having scored a free ticket to a screening at the AFI film festival.  Oh, how I love me some free stuff. It was the last day of the week-long festival, held at the …

My favorite Veteran: A British Officer and a Gentleman

Image
This is the man that stole my mother's heart. A pretty dashing example of "the greatest generation" in his prime. My mother brought a friend along on their first date because he had a reputation for being a cad - that's "player" in today's lingo - and she was trying to put him off. Rather than being put off, my dad charmed the friend as well sealing the deal. He was always a dazzling dancer and he probably rattled off some compliments in one of the four languages he was fluent in — besides English: French, Italian, Spanish and Arabic. He might even have wooed her in Swahili; self-taught, he had learned a smattering of that language, as well. In any case it worked. The next time he asked my mum out, they went solo. And the rest, as they say, is history. My family's history!

My dad, Edward Good, part of the Greatest Generation, was born in Preston, Lancashire, in the north of England on July 28, 1915. He served with the British Armed Forces in World W…

Jake Gyllenhaal came out of the closet and other silly stuff

This is totally off topic but ....

I had a dream last night (I've been reminded that there is nothing, nothing quite as boring as hearing about someone else's dream, unless you happen to be in it, which you're probably not soooo anyway) where I was writing in bed — I think I was working on my NaNoWriMo novel — when I looked up from my computer screen to see Jake Gyllenhaal coming out of my closet. I didn't want to intrude on his privacy and be a celebrity whore but I figured it was my bedroom after all so I said "Hey, sorry, but seeing as you're in my closet would you mind if I took your picture?"

"Sure" he said. Then he turned around and pulled down his pajama bottoms, not all the way, just enough to reveal a tattoo on the left cheek of what I imagine Jake Gyllenhaal's butt must really look like — a little meaty and well defined — and smiled as I snapped the photo. When I went to post the picture on Twitter, anticipating all the retweets the …