People loved it when I read at the Newtown Arts Festival – they laughed out loud – so I took it on the road, and read it again at an open mic just down the road.
Except this time, I bombed. The same exact piece and … crickets.
No one laughed. Maybe a polite chuckle now and again, with very few agains.
Bombing in public is good for you, once you get over being horrified. It offers real time feedback on timing, delivery, content, humor.
The feedback received was my story sucks.
So tail between my legs, I shelved it. Except coincidentally, the very next day my inbox had a timely ‘call for submissions,’ which are themes to write on-spec, at an editor’s request for potential publication. This particular site was a cattle call of hodgepodge prompts to write, and maybe they’ll publish, and maybe they won’t.
The request for such journalistic excellence that caught my eye was exactly what I had written about that bombed so badly:
“I am ashamed of my body hair.”
Well, well, well. Isn’t that special!!
Just so happens I had just the story for them! I sent in my bombed piece right away, and the editor liked it. They made a few changes, and picked it up. And “they” are a very, very big they.
You can read it on-line at some big-ass sites: Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, and Redbook. It’s all the same story, syndicated in these kick-ass publications which proves definitively, beauty is in the eye of the hairy beholder.