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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 …

Long Live the Queen


If Id been born a few days later, on June 2 instead of May 28th, youd be calling me Liz instead of Sim. As it is, Elizabeth is my middle name, in honor of the Queen who today becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history! The young princess took over the reigns when her father, King George VI passed away during the night in February of 1952. She was officially crowned the following year on June 2, 1953. So Im not quite as old as Queen Elizabeths historic reign, but Im getting there. [Insert un-smiley face here]
In honor of the day, I’d like to re-share a short piece:
I haven't lived in England for years and years. And years. Basically a very long time. The kind of time you cough into your hand over, trying to hide the exact humungous number of years. Long enough ago that any reasonable person could be forgiven for calling me an American. But beware, should you say anything negative about the UK or Queen Elizabeth, my British roots will start showing and my British blood will start boiling. I'll start flapping my British passport in the air, and put on my best True Brit voice.
Read more of Queen Me, posted on my State of Britain page.

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