Monday, May 08, 2006

Life is Short at the Washington Post

Find a way to give insight into your life in under 100 words. Authors of selected entries will be notified and paid $100. Send text (accompanied by a home phone number) via e-mail (lifeisshort@washpost.com), fax (202-334-5587) or mail (Style, Life Is Short, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071).

And here's a recent example:

I stood in my son's room where he was doing his high school homework. Looking down at his desk, I saw a paper on which he had gotten a B-plus. Though pleased, I asked him, "How come you didn't get an A on this?" He looked up at me and asked, "How come you're not making millions and millions of dollars?" I thought he had a point and let him be.

Tony Gittens, Washington

5 comments:

Marianne said...

Hey, I like that piece... wish I had some witty comment to make, other than 'B plus' ain't bad in life... some days, I feel more like a D! A case in point: I sent my novel out March 11th to an editor who had agreed to see a rewrite. Since this is a large publishing house that doesn't look at "unsolicited" manuscripts I was excited by the prospect and had worked hard on the revisions. I gathered my courage and finally wrote her a few days ago to ask about the manuscript. Two months had passed since I mailed it to her...Ok, here's where the feeling like "D" comes in rather than an "A"... The manuscript never arrived in the first place. She never got it. Sometimes this writing thing feels like running through mud.

Larry Keiler said...

Oh, she says she never got it. Really, she's been using it to wrap her fish in.

Marianne said...

lol - so now my writing's only worth wrapping up fish???

Okay, okay, fish are fine (I'm a Pisces remember).

I grew up in United Empire Loyalist country, Eastern Ontario along the St. Lawrence, and one of the things I remember so clearly is the fish and chip shop. They'd put the orders in brown paper bags, twirl shut the top (really), and then wrap up the whole thing in newspaper. It was such a treat, after church Dad picking up fish and chips for Sunday dinner (that's noon lunch in today's terms - we only had dinner and supper). There were five kids, so that was an extra large family order. I still remember the fish and chips being "unwrapped" - and yeah, we'd often read the news twice - once when it was delivered, and once again when we had fish and chips. I thought everyone ate fish and chips this way, until in my early twenties, a friend who grew up in the suburbs of Ottawa came "home" with me to visit my family. She couldn't believe fish and chips came wrapped up in newspaper - we sat at the edge of the river eating deliciously greasy chips and thickly-breaded haddock. She also couldn't believe that we actually went SWIMMING in the river. She was petrified of the idea (this was a very strong swimmer, a lifeguard and speed swimmer) - she had only been in swimming pools her whole life...

Marianne said...

oh btw, I sent off that fishy manuscript once again, and went online at Canada Post to watch its travels on the way to its destination in TO. It arrived - maybe this time it will end up as lining in the kitty litter...

Larry Keiler said...

Larry thinks it was Arthur Treacher who introduced him to the concept of wrapping fishy chips in paper...(not having grown up anywhere near Camden Town...) Remember Arthur Treacher? He was sidekick for some variety show host...Mike Douglas? Regis Philbin?...anyway, he was the English butler type, who then branched out into fast food fish...

Since then, of course, Larry has been to lots of fish places where they wrapped it up in newspaper. It's possible he once saw Marianne's novel...

You really swam in that river? The closest Larry ever got to swimming in a river that big was when he nearly drowned in the Breithaupt pool.