January 8, 2009

My first ever fiction payment

Probably not what you thought... I actually have been paid for three short stories in recent years and also some nonfiction, but my first-ever payment for fiction (and poetry) was waaaayyyy back in college. I happened to receive my check and contributor copies while my mother was visiting, so she made me pose with it. I'm glad now she did. Who has a photo of their first fiction payment?

This was for a poem and short story that appeared in a publication called "The Missing Link," which was the 1988 version of the UC Berkeley Engineer's Week publication. I don't know if they still do this or not, but it was your garden variety fiction and poetry literary one-shot magazine... with the addition of technical papers, engineering cartoons, and things like that. 1988 was the first year they opened it up to all students at Cal. I was in the Engineering school anyway, so had I known about it I could have submitted the prior year as well. I also got a short story (much better than the 1988 story) and poem into the 1989 version as well, but I don't recall getting paid for that. At left is the cover of the 1988 issue; below is a scan of my poem that appeared in the 1988 version. Hey, I was only 20 at the time, I think.

9 comments:

JaneyV said...

Aw look at you and your hair. What a proud moment. Your Mom was dead right to preserve it for posterity.

As I look out at my frost covered garden your poem warms me and makes me long for summer days when I can discard my shoes and jacket and bathe in the heat of the sun.

I hope the Unlucky Twenty-Six will bring you in another check that you'd like to take a picture of soon!!

bluesugarpoet said...

Love the photos from yesteryear (facebook ones especially)!

Publishing a poem in the "Engineer's" mag - that is awesome. You've always had a poets heart, eh? :)

blogless troll said...

Ditto Bluesugarpoet, that's awesome.

Nice jacket.

pjd said...

Aw, thanks Janey. If you want to see hair, though, you should check out my recent facebook photo adds... one from the high school senior ball, and one from 4th grade that looks like my hair was styled by a small flock of deranged crows.

BSP, yes, always a poet's heart. Unfortunately, it's coupled with an engineer's mind in a Greek God's body. It's hard being me.

BT, that jacket was pure 1980s. It's a college windbreaker, and I think I wore it every day for months. I loved that jacket. Of course now I cringe at the sight. But like I said, it's hard being me.

McKoala said...

The following words:

BSP, yes, always a poet's heart. Unfortunately, it's coupled with an engineer's mind in a Greek God's body. It's hard being me.

completely blew whatever comment I was going to make out of my mind.

Shiny jacket.

pacatrue said...

Yea to forward thinking photo taking moms!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Cool beans!

No money for fiction yet, so I've got time to take a photo later.

*sigh* You Greek God, you.

Robin S. said...

What a cutie! Was this taken the year you met Mrs. Pete?

pjd said...

McKoala, thank you for the compliment. On the jacket, of course.

Paca, yay indeed. Being uncool is what parents are for so when you grow up you can reap the benefits of their uncoolness. Since my older son is 12 and in 6th grade, I've been a card-carrying "dork dad" for over a year now. I'm OK with that.

Sarah, the money will come (hoping just because I've said it that it's true, to paraphrase a lyric).

Ah, Robin, it was around that time, yes. I met Mrs. Pete only a few months later, I believe. In a Victorian Novel class. (I needed to add an upper division English Lit class, and when I visited that one, I saw her and decided right then and there that I was entirely enamored of Victorian novels.)