Last year, I joined a number of Facebook groups starring real, publishing writers. Many were focused on commercial publications than literary, especially high-level publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
I queried a few placed. Crickets. I elected to finish out 2018 per my goals – literary publications – and to start factoring in the commercial media in 2019.
First step: identify dream publications. Step Two: approach.
The New York Times: queried 3/17 with travel article culled from my recent Asia trip.
The Washington Post: Queried the Parenting section on 3/17 with a short humor essay regarding my less-than-nurturing behavior during the death of my daughter’s Guinea pigs (scuttling, gnawing creatures). Was rejected 3/19.
Huffington Post: Submitted the Guinea pig tale: “A Good Mama and a Decent Human Being.”
The Cut: A section in New York Magazine (NOT The New Yorker), very “hip.” Formerly interested only in essays, they announced on 3/18 that they now take fiction. On 3/18, sent flash fiction featuring sharks, rats, bad stew, and nunchucks. Only from my wickedly feminist imagination could this story spring.
Catapult: features long-form memoir (maybe 5,000 words). I have nothing for them, right now.
Longreads: ditto for their requirements, and ditto for my stock.
LitHub: Strikes a nice balance between literary and commercial. Submitted an essay, “Mouthy Ugly Genius.”
John writes:Many people believe that innocent men have nothing to fear. That is incorrect. Even innocent men have everything to fear, at least in terms of the destruction of their livelihoods and reputation. If a false allegation is made, then an innocent man will be presumed guilty. If the allegation lacks verifiable details, even an innocent man will be unable to defend himself. In these times, true innocence is no longer anadequate defense.
In response, I write: There are too many studies that show that false accusers are rare, and their accusations take on distinctive patterns that trained investigators can usually spot.
The numbers of women who falsely accuse men of rape are so far outweighed by the numbers of men who get away with rape, assault, and sexual harassment that it is almost not worth tracking.
I encourage you to understand that your fears are real. You can no longer treat women however you please, without having to consider the consequences.
Just as I always have to take care in how and when I walk to my car at night, you better keep your distance as you pass me on the way to my car.
Just as, at house parties and bars, I always needed to take a girlfriend with me to the Ladies’ room, you stay clear of the Ladies’ room.
Just as I always had to keep my mouth shut when men make comments, now, don’t make comments.
Every afternoon, Heather was picked up from elementary school in a limo, a sky-blue Cadillac with cream-colored leather interiors. The chauffeur immediately offered her a bowl of hard candies, Jolly Ranchers. She always ate Apple, and she only ever ate one. Of course, she lived in a mansion. Every afternoon, the maid took her coat. A maid and a chauffeur. There were no other grown-ups. There were fireplaces, and footstools made of elephants’ feet, and an elevator to the beach. That green is still my favorite taste.
From the same Fackbook conversation, by Jonny Gibbings:
I used to have imaginary friends… they were real people, I just imagined they were my friends.