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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 …

State of Britain

British places, English things, this is where I'm gathering goodies from the UK that have me dreaming of home, even though it's a 'home' I barely lived in, rarely traveled to. England is not just my birthplace, the land of my ancestors, it's the place that tells me who I am, somewhere deep inside. The love of flowers, of pretty English gardens and winding brick pathways, nurtured by my mother. 

Trebah Garden, Cornall Photo Credit: The Sunday Express

Of cozy British detective novels, enjoyed with a cuppa, again, my mother. Of the British Invasion, the Beatles, Herman's Hermits, the Stones. Carnaby Street, Mary Quant, mini-shirts, Twiggy, Yardley. Shakespeare. Sherlock. Do I sound like Hugh Grant in his ode to England in Love, Actually? Speaking of which ... British actors. British telly. The Union Jack. And Queen Elizabeth II, crowned in the year of my birth in Richmond, my middle name is Elizabeth in her honor. It's an old-fashioned Britain I dream of, one I doubt still exists, but the older I get, the more I'd like to get back 'home.’ 

London Blues:  travel memoir

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


Day3: Dreaming of Osterley


Day 4: Heading to Syon

Day 5: Trapped on the Thames


Day 6: About that Fish and Chips Shop


Day 7: Going Home

Day 8: The Deer at Richmond Park

[My Above Ground Tour posts have grown too numerous to post here, I've moved my Virtual Walking Tour of London to its own page]

Think Small: Bekonscot Model Village & Railway






After I posted my swoon post for the Union Jack covered chair below, which I wistfully remembered as being part of a Ben Sherman display, I found the real Ben Sherman chair online, shown above. It was a promo piece created for store displays —just as I remembered! Here's the real Ben Sherman chair — not for sale unless someone's got one of Ebay or Etsy, etc —it looks a bit more comfy than the chair I found; they're both pretty gorgeous though.




I've been swooning over this chair ever since I saw it gracing a department store display for Ben Sherman menswear. I thought it was a Sherman design but it's not; the chair is a Lansky Studio design based right here in merry olde Los Angeles. Sold through Houzz.com for $599. I LUV that they've married French Roccoco with the Union Jack. Not comfy, perhaps but quite a conversation piece for a  hallway, corner or, you lucky ducky, a library.





Comments

  1. Lovely piece Sim. You can add Doc Martin to that list. By the way it starts on UK TV Sept 7. Love the Union Jack chair btw.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great list! Podcasts from BBC Radio 4 give me a nice dose of Daily Britain.

    ReplyDelete

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