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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 …

A to Z Challenge


Like many of you, I've got a checkered past. Born in England in the 50's, my parents wandering ways meant we spent a few years in Tripoli and Turkey prior to coming to North America in the early 1960's. I came of age in Canada with the British Invasion before we took a detour to Puerto Rico and finally landed in L.A. I've been  a writer, a realtor, a media buyer, a copywriter, a Universal Studios tour guide, a substitute teacher, a film & television production coordinator and more. I've worked with stars like Brad Pitt, Bill Pullman and Elizabeth McGovern and I've worked with special needs kids who made me feel like I was the real superstar. In this year's AtoZ Challenge I've shared a handful of those stories. 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 blog.


A: A is for Apple

B: Born in Britain

C: Cruisin' It

D: Dirt, Sex and Dr. Zhivago

E: An Everlasting Love

F: F is for The Favor. It's also for Fail

G: She's a Good Girl

H: There's no H in Satisfaction

I: Izmir

J: Swooning Under the Jacaranda Trees

K: The Key of Blue

L: Let's Liven this Place UP!

M: Meltdown Moment

N: The Name Game

O: Gimme a big fat 0, I never completed this one.

P: Past Perfect Imperfect

Q: Queen Me

R: Revisionist History

S: My Sister ... don't get me started

T: The Trip

U: She's come Undone

V: Vacate the Premises

W: Walking in L.A.

X: X-hibit A

Y: Yesterday

Z: How do you say it?

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