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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 …

I’ll drink to that

I’m sick to death of writing about myself. I’m sick to death of my writing. It’s one and the same. I cant write fiction. Ive tried. Its just another story about me, supposedly incognito as a brunette instead of a blonde—a bottle blonde, at that. 
Thats this weeks excuse for not carrying on with my story about Derek. But really, do you even know or care who Derek is? Some boyfriend I had when I was twenty? Or was it nineteen? Is there a point?
Right now Im feeling like Richard Harris singing McCarthurs Park —

MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no
I usually relish disappearing into my girlish headspace, settling back into the mushy comfort of memory but Im feeling too old and too cranky to even try. The cosmetics company that lured me into thinking I could erase my sixty two years with their magic cream insists on charging me $85 for a product that left me precisely 62.9 years old and looking every month of it. My ears are plugged, my back hurts, and it feels like the bear from the Revenant is sitting on my stomach. 
 It could be worse, I could be feeling like Richard Harris in A Man Called Horsehanging from hooks piercing my nipples. 

Its not a complete wash out, I learned on twitter that today is #NationalMargaritaDay. Whats an old girl like me to do but drink to it? 

IF you are interested in a boy called Derek, there’s a half dozen pieces filed under the Men tab. 


Cheers!

Comments

  1. I enjoy your writing! I'm also right there with you about some of my endeavors and feeling despairing of myself and how old I look. Thanks for the honest company.

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