Tag Archives: The Solution to All My Problems

The Sun Magazine Responds

I finally got a response from The Sun. They couldn’t use my story Saved. When they say they may take six months, they really mean it. I sent it out to them early last November. I sent it so long ago, they had to affix a little extra postage to get my SASE back to me. I thought that was mighty nice of them.

Twice now people have suggested I send them my story The Solution to All My Problems. After reading some of Poe Ballantine‘s work, I believe they may be right. I’d love to have a story in The Sun.

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Strange Submission


Today I sent my story, The Solution to All My Problems, over to The Stranger, which bills itself as Seattle’s only newspaper. It’s certinally the only Seattle newspaper that’s going to publish a story about jacking your Mom’s purse, even if it is told in an amusing way.

The story doesn’t freak me out as much anymore. It’s a commodity. I’m just another struggling writer sending his work around. I realize it’s not the kind of story you can tell at a party (or even an AA meeting, it turns out). But I like to think it works as an essay.

Let’s see what The Stranger thinks.

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Murder She Spoke

Alice Sebold is on tour for her new book, and last night Kennedy and I went to see her.

I read somewhere that writers have responsibilities that go beyond writing, namely buying books and attending readings. Because I feel guilty buying so many books, this idea is immensely satisfying for me. It’s not just another book to pile in stacks on the floor, it’s an investment in my career. Readings are something else altogether. I never feel guilty about going to readings. Instead I feel uncomfortable, especially in the little receiving line to get my book signed. Even though I know Alice, last night was no different.

Alice remembered me, which was nice. I presented Kennedy, but this seemed to baffle Alice. One of the guys I work seemed shocked when he heard I was taking my daughter to the reading. And I’ll admit I wondered if it was the right thing to do myself. Alice’s big theme is violence to women, and her new book even features a matricide. But Kennedy got so excited about our date after I first suggested it, I didn’t have the heart to leave her at home. Lucky for me Alice picked something to read that didn’t require any explaining.

So another reading under my belt. Alice looks pretty much like I remember her, except a little bit older.

Speaking of writer responsibilities, last week I submitted my story, The Solution to All My Problems, to Tin House, primarily because their Spring issue is themed “Off the Grid,” by which they mean “stories about people that function out of the bounds of “normal” society.” It probably behooves me to do more research on journals, but the deadline for submissions was fast approaching, so I just made sure they publish non-fiction and sent it out.

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I Sent Ira Glass An Essay About My …

This American Life is one of my favorite radio shows.

The danger with submitting an essay to them is that when they reject it, I may be too hurt to continue listening to their show. And that would be a shame, because I really like the show. Earlier this month, I sent them my story, The Solution to All My Problems.

I’m also looking at some other journals that don’t mind simultaneous submissions. For the next issue of Tin House, the theme is “Off the Grid.” They’re looking for nonfiction “by or about people or institutions that function (or don’t function) out of the bounds of “normal” society.”  

This story sort of freaks me out. Now that I’ve sent it to my writing group, I feel compelled to keep sending it out until I find it a home. If I can’t find it a place on public radio or in a nice lit mag, I’ll send it to the Grapevine.

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