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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 …

Dreaming of France: I'll meet you in the garden

 Today's post was inspired by Paulita Kincer, my fellow blogger currently in the midst of picking up her entire American life and moving to France with her husband. Today she shared a photo of herself relaxing, as Parisians do, at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. 

It's a place where people take their dogs, and those who still smoke, may smoke.
A place where one can sit and read the newspaper.

Have an afternoon nap

Or scratch each others backs.

A place where one day this past spring I put my feet up on the rim of the pond and watched the children sailing their boats before the guard very politely came over to say Madame, please, the chairs must remain in the back. 

A place where one day in the future I hope to return and possibly have a rendezvous with Paulita. She and I can sit and people-watch while our husbands fetch us coffee and sandwiches. What do you say Paulita? Meet you in the garden?

Posted for Paulita’s weekly Dreaming of France meme.

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