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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 …

#ThrowbackThursday: Snow Day [memoir]

Being the new kid in school is never easy. Add a dash of freezing cold weather and your first day at a new school just sucks. Heres a day from my early days in Niagara Falls. 



Snow Day


It was only a few miles from our gloomy old house on Ryerson Crescent to our familys new split level across town in Cherrywood Acres but it could just as easily have been light years away. It was a whole different world out there in the barely built development where the cherry orchards used to be, everything bright and shiny and newer than new. 


We moved to the new neighborhood in the middle of fifth grade, in the middle of winter. I hated Niagara Falls in the winter, when sometimes it got so cold that the falls actually froze, the water turned into ice sculptures as it churned over the bank of the Niagara River. The cold, the snow, the ice and the hockey, I hated it all. But there was no escape.

Read the rest of the story [Snow Day ...]


Image credit: DailyMail.co.uk

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