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Showing posts from May, 2015

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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 …

You say it's your birthday? It's my birthday too, yeah.

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It's Carey Mulligan's birthday today; she's twenty nine years old. It's mine too. I'm, well, I'm older.
I wish I'd known we shared the same May 28th birthday when I met her at the wrap party for Drive, we might have bonded.

Twenty nine. It can be a tough year. The big 3—0 is approaching, fraught with expectations. It was a bit of a tough year for me but that was back in the day when being unmarried at twenty-nine was still a bit of a bummer. I can't imagine Carey with all her success, gives a damn. Still when I was working as a copywriter at Max Factor, while I loved my job coming up with lipstick shade names, writing package copy and sales brochures, there were still times when I wept over my love life.

It was 1982 and the company was in the midst of launching the Le Jardin fragrance. I was in the middle of a bad romance, and even though An Officer and a Gentleman didn't come out until August of '82, part of me had to be wishing Richard Gere would…

Walking in LA: What's the score?

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Nobody walks in LA. Everybody knows that we leave the walking in LA to the weirdos, wackos and the homeless, sadly, all too often one and the same.

They even write songs about it.

'Cept it ain't necessarily so.

I live in a section of the city where people do walk. We sally forth, strut our stuff and occasionally sashay.

That's because I live in a section of the city where it's often easier to walk than drive. Living close to major shopping and tourist destinations means that the streets round here are not only clogged with the usual dose of LA traffic—starving students and the permanently impoverished are the only people who partake of what passes for public transportation here in the City of the Angels, so our traffic problem is worse than most major cities—they're also filled with a steady stream of Starline's double decker Sightseeing buses, TMZ tour vans, taxis and Uber/Lyft drivers.

Parking is at a premium so there's a world of stuff I just don't bother…

Vacate the Premises

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I read a piece not too long ago, bemoaning the fact that the digital age is ruining vacations. The writer, a young man, had been on holiday with his girlfriend, happily posing for pictures until he got a look at them, moments later, scrolling through the photos on her iPhone. Ew?! That's how I look? He'd sucked in his stomach and smiled, confident that the man he felt like inside was the man who appeared on the screen. Wrong. We lie to ourselves but the camera never does, and there he was, revealed in all his glory: flesh still white and while he wouldn't go so far as to say flabby, he didn't look like the college athlete he used to be. His chin, not exactly weak but no one would mistake him for Chris Hemsworth either. The poor guy's vacation was ruined. He said he wished he could have at least enjoyed his one lousy week away from the office with his illusions intact.
Superficial? Sure. But I can relate. I rarely pose for vacation pictures anymore. That's a half…

She's come Undone

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If you stopped by in April you might have read one of my posts for the A to Z Challenge, a little blogarooni post-writing fest I participated in, where we were challenged to write every day but Sunday, posting on a topic beginning with the day's letter. And you might have noticed I only made it from A to T; leaving U, V, W, X, Y and Z undone. That lack of completion is really nagging at me. Finish it, you loser! That's my inner voice screaming in my ear. I'll be taking my walk, zooming through my two mile and feeling pretty damn groovy and then somehow thought slithers in ... unwanted as those niggling thoughts often are ... quitter. You know what they say, 'winners never quit, and quitters never win.'

But it's not my fault my vacation interrupted the AtoZ Challenge, I hear myself whining back. What was I supposed to do, write on vacation? Wasn't I supposed to be having too much fun to find time to write? Wouldn't you all judge me for pounding out a few …

Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee

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Anyone else grow up wanting to be just like Sandra Dee? You might dig my #ThrowbackThursday post about Gidget over at Chapter1-Take1, including a clip of James Darren AKA Moondoggie singing to Sandra Dee aka Gidget. SWOON!