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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 …

Above Ground on the London Underground

A Virtual Walking Tour of London


Walk Like an Englishman: Taking a virtual tour 
Above Ground on the London Underground route


Day 1Flight of Fantasy

Day 2: I’ve gotta get out of this place (Heathrow)

Day3: Dreaming of Osterley

Day 4: Heading to Syon

Day 5: Trapped on the Thames (Isleworth)

Day 6: About that Fish and Chips Shop (Richmond)

Day 7: Going Home (Richmond)

Day 8: The Deer at Richmond Park

Day 9: A visit to Kew Gardens 

Day 10: Royal Star & Garter Home, Richmond Hill

Day 11: The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, France

Day 12: Peckish at Peckham Rye

Day 13: Horniman Museum & Gardens

Day 14: Dulwich Picture Gallery ... & Mausoleum!

Day 15: Dulwich Village

Day 16: 10 Things I learned about Elephant & Castle

Day 17: Boston Manor

Day 18: Chiswick ... Help, I’m nowhere near Abby Road

Day 19: Hammersmith Pub Crawl

Day 20: Going for Drama in Hammersmith

Day 21: The Magnificent Seven

Day 22: The Sage of Chelsea

Day 23: This is Knightsbridge

Day 24: Crime Scene Live at the Natural History Museum

Day 25: Cathedral to Nature

Day 26: Venus at the Victoria & Albert

Day 27: A Brief Encounter (Re-imagining Colin Firth)

Day 28: Sloane Rangers

Day 29: Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner

Day 30: Putting on the Ritz

Day 31: From the Ritz to Piccadilly Circus

Day 32: 7 Piccadilly Circus Factoids

Day 33:l From Chinatown to Leicester Square

Day 34: From Leicester to Charing Cross Road

Day 35: Trafalgar Square ... A Flashback

Day 36: The National Gallery

Day 37: Covent Garden

Day 38: The British Museum

Day 39: Bloomsbury Bookshops

Day 40: Arsenal

Day 41: Finsbury Park

Day 42: Cockfosters: the end of the Piccadilly Line

Day 43: Heading to Hayes

Day 44: Uxbridge to Hayes

Day 45: Southall to Walpole Park

Day 46: White City

Day 47: Kensington Palace

Day 48: Peter Pan Statue

Day 49: The Marble Arch (RIP Leonard Cohen)

Day 50: Lincolns Inn

Day 51: St. Paul's Cathedral

Day 52: A Closer Look at Postmasn's Park

Day 53: Londinium & the Roman Ampitheatre

Day 54: The Gherkin

Day 55: Petticoat Lane

Day 56: Cereal Killer Cafe to the VAMuseum of Childhood

Day 57: Mile End

Day 58: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Day 59: Leytonstone—the birthplace of Alfred Hitchcock

Day 60: Epping Forest

Day 61: David Hockney at the Tate

Day 62: From the Tate Britain to the Tate Modern

Day 63: Tower of London

Day 64: Millennium Bridge to Sky Lounge

Day 65: Jack the Ripper Tours

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