Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Good news! The Highland Villager, a Saint Paul newspaper of distinction, recently purchased and published a blog entry of mine, “A Poor Person's Guide to Dating.” Woo hoo! Granted, it was not a huge sum of money, but it’s my first sale, at least since I was hooking on the side to put myself through college. The money is certainly non-trivial to me, however, since I am desperately poor these (and most other) days.

Last weekend I looked for a copy (okay, 10 copies) of the Villager at a newsstand in my neighborhood. I couldn’t find one, so I somewhat sheepishly drove over to Highland Park, the eponymous home of the newspaper. I went into Barnes and Noble, grabbed a bunch of copies and slunk back out to my car, feeling surprisingly guilty about taking 8 copies of a free newspaper and not buying anything.

While sitting in my car, I leafed through the Villager for my article. I found it on the op-ed page, I suppose appropriately enough. The poor little guy seemed sort of forlorn there, however. It had been used to being in the company of other Hulles blog entries; now it seemed a little bedraggled next to serious opinions about local elections and proposed zoning ordinances. But there it was, in black and white in a publication. It was even in a gray box, which made it stand out a little more.

I read my newly-fledged article, and was somewhat nonplussed. The content had been edited, of course, and while it wasn’t exactly emasculated, the piece’s underwear certainly fit a lot tighter than they did when it left home. But no matter. I understood the intent of the editor, and I couldn’t really blame him, at least this time. Besides, I was ebullient at just being in print. See woo hoo, above.

So now that I’m published – for money! – I can put down “Writer” under “Occupation” on my visa applications. Also, now I have an excuse for being broke: I’m a writer, dammit, I’m supposed to be poor. Don’t worry, though; even though I am now a famous author I promise[1] I won’t forget you, the little people, who believed in me when I was nobody.

As a postscript, I met the Highland Villager publisher last night for cocktails (I made him buy, of course) and received my check for the article. I cashed it at 8:01 AM this morning, and now have gas (my car does, that is), cigarettes and a full belly. And my cat will eat tonight as well. Thanks, Mike, for giving me a chance. And for the cocktails.

- Hulles

[1] This promise holds good until I get my first Hollywood screenplay contract.

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