|Jersey City, NJ|
Three weeks later I was in the kitchen helping get dinner together when the phone rang. It was an editor from New Jersey Monthly saying they'd like to publish my story. I was excited! My first call from a real editor. And then she offered me money!! Hundreds of dollars!!! (Okay, three of them.)
I'd never been paid for my writing before. I was happy enough just to see something of mine in print. Months later the piece appeared in the magazine on the last page. They had re-titled it, the more politically correct, "Summer in the City." And then soon after, I got it. My first check for writing! My initial crazy impulse was to frame it, which was totally out of the realm of the possible, so instead I think I photocopied it while the real thing went toward something pretty practical. Probably baby furniture. Or maybe the electric bill. The money is long gone, but the memory of that first feeling of an editor thinking that something I wrote was good enough to pay for-- that still makes me smile a little.