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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 …

On Doing Nothing #ThrowbackThursday

I don’t know how my son went from being my own teeny tiny beany baby to the smart, sweet, funny, handsome millennial who is just about to turn twenty three. All I did was blink. What the what! 
I wrote today’s #ThursdayThrowback piece back when he was in elementary school and I could see time spinning out of control. Published in Childrens’ Magazine, here in L.A. I had no idea the years would move so fast.
What I Like Doing Best is Nothing! 
"What I like doing best," said Christopher Robin, "is doing nothing"
"How do you do nothing?" asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.
"Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, 'What are you going to do Christopher Robin?' and you say "Oh nothing' and then you go and do it"
"Oh, I see," said Pooh.
"This is a nothing sort of thing that we're doing now."
"Oh, I see," said Pooh again.
"It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."
"Oh!" said Pooh.
So that's what doing nothing is.
Even back in 1928, when this Pooh story was written, the notion of letting children do nothing didn't last. When Christopher Robin prepares to go off to school he tells Pooh, "I'm not going to do nothing anymore." Pooh says 'Never?' and he answers, 'Well, not so much. They don't let you.'
These days we don't let them do nothing before they can even walk. Before we know it, we're arranging regular playdates and signing our children up for a dizzying array of Kiddy Klay, Swim and Gym, Pre-Tap and Toddler Tumbling classes.

Suddenly it's time for preschool and we think ... 

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