The Story Behind The Essay

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(Sunday Paper, Volume III, Issue 5)

I have an essay in today's Boston Globe.

It's in the Address section, and you can check it out at this link.

(Though I can't imagine you found your way to this Sunday Paper before you read the essay in the Sunday Globe.)

I wasn't sure what to do about the Sunday Paper this week - I thought about putting it out on Saturday so it wouldn't conflict with the Sunday essay...and then I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give a little more background on the Globe essay.

So that's what this Sunday Paper is going to be about.


The picture you see above is the Google Street View of my house that the essay is about. It's a true story, the essay - I guess it happened back in the fall when we were down in New York to celebrate my daughters' birthdays. (Although it could have been before then, over the summer maybe?, because it seems like it was longer ago than a few months.)

I was going to just write about the experience in the Sunday Paper - that picture has been sitting on my computer desktop for months - then I thought, maybe it would be good to submit somewhere. 

So I did.

I've told you this before - a lot of my experiences in writing and comedy have been similar...a lot of the work besides the actual work of writing or performing is finding out where the opportunities are. So I always in the back of my mind have options of where to send stuff I really like. The Boston Globe has a few opportunities for freelancers in the Sunday Paper - two of which are the 'Connections' column in the Globe Magazine and the "My First Home" essay in the Address section. I quickly realized this essay might be good for the Address essay. (And I am now lucky enough to have been published in both spaces.)

I sent the essay out around Thanksgiving. I got a 'yes' on New Year's Day. It was published in today's newspaper.

Writing that out it doesn't seem like all that long a time period. But after those first few days and then weeks when you hear nothing you forget about stuff. So to get blindsided with a "We want to publish this" in the middle of a bowl game on a holiday is a really good feeling.

I hope you enjoyed the essay. I'm pleased with it. I especially like that last sentence. I like words, and I think my favorite part of this essay is the play on 'present' at the end.

And I love the accompanying artwork - I think being the artist who is commissioned to create pictures to go with these stories must be a cool job and probably would provide another interesting angle on how this all works.

(Interestingly, the newspaper version of the article has a different title than the on-line version...which was different than the title that I submitted. I saw it in the paper Sunday morning and thought it was the wrong essay.)

This 'behind the essay' thing might be fun to do more often...I guess it means I'll need to get more stuff published more places.

I'll work on it.


*I think I'll forego the usual categories this week since I've given you so much to read already between this and the essay itself. I will say it was a busy work week, which is always good, and I got out to a couple of mics and unexpectedly performed Friday night at a show I just went to watch so it was a good week. I think we're about due for me to give you a show rundown of where I like to spend my time in case you're thinking of hitting some more comedy shows. Maybe we'll do that next week.

*We can start with this: Monday night I'll be at McGreevy's in Boston at 8pm. I always enjoy being there. I'll mix a bit of new in with some of the old as I get ready for North Carolina - it's coming up fast!

*If you haven't seen other "My First Home" essays before, you can find them here. I enjoy them and seek them out each week - I enjoyed last week's ("On The Up and Up...") in particular.

*For what it's worth: I don't Google Earth hardly at all. After the time with my dad (he does this with my nephews often, it sounds like), I did it months ago to get that screen shot you see above. I haven't since, and I'm scared that one day I will and it will be a more recent picture and we'll lose that one moment in time I wrote about. 

*If you found the Sunday Paper through the Globe and my website, welcome. Thanks for reading. You can keep tabs on my writing by "Liking" the Facebook page or following me on Twitter. Thanks!

*Have a nice Super Bowl Sunday. I'm making some chili in the crock pot and I kind of overdid it on the junk food at the supermarket on Saturday and the table is set up in front of the TV so we'll be eating our faces off all day...making the best of a bad situation, as it were.