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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 …

About Sim

People who don’t know Sim Carter very well call her Sweet Sim. She doesn’t know why. The alliterative appeal, probably. Or they imagine her vanilla exterior coats a similarly inoffensive inside. Her family, her friends, her husband, can all assure you, she is not sweet. 

It’s not as though she's an axe murderer or anything quite so evil. It’s just that like many of you, she has a checkered past littered with her fair share of mistakes. Some of which she shares with you here on the Memoir section of the site. Born lazy, she's hoping to slack off on the work and sneak a few of these pieces in a book currently in progress under the working title About a Boy. What do you think? Too derivative? 

Born in Britain in the 50's, her parents wandering ways meant their family of five—an older brother, a younger sister—spent a few years in Tripoli and Turkey prior to coming to North America in the early 1960's. Coming of age in Canada with the British Invasion before the family took a detour to Puerto Rico and finally landing in L.A. Sim has worked as a journalist, a copywriter, realtor, a media buyer, a Universal Studios tour guide, a substitute teacher, a film & television production coordinator and likely a few others her brain is too addled to recall.

Why the blog?

"Sharing my life's stories, just trying to get it all down before I'm too old to remember, that's the whole point of this website. A book? I'm working on two. The memoir collection and a novel set in the world of advertising in the 1970's."


About the work available to read here  

While you'll find mostly memoir, Carter also has those moments when she writes about what she wants to write about. A mishmash of rants and raves, odes to Britain, love letters to France, reflections of living here in Los Angeles and the occasional film-centric piece ala this series of posts about working on That Thing You Do. Like the L.A. freeways, it’s kind of crowded and all over the place.


Some of Sim Carter's credits include Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine Beach MusicSkylark Literary Journal Last Dance; South Bay Reader The Arab boy who took out his eye under the title Double Vision; The Good Men Project 7 Reasons Older Women Love Older Men  
Parents Doing Nothing, LA Family, Children, the Daily Breeze and 805 Living Magazine.  For more see Out of Order.


Sim traces her love of reading back to her mum who used to take her on regular trips to the library where they would depart with stacks and stacks of books—the maximum allowed— in their arms. You can find Sim’s pieces reflecting on her mother's life and demise due to Alzheimer's at Songs of My Mother.

Carter has also embarked on a virtual adventure, taking an imaginary walking tour of London. Tag along on her journey as she follows Above Ground on the London Underground

Like everyone else in Hollywood Sim has a script in a drawer. Her husband works in the film business and their son is a fledgling writer/director teaching himself the ropes. 

Visit Sim's book-to-movie appreciation site at Chapter1-Take1, where she shares her fascination with big screen adaptations. 

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