Wednesday, January 7, 2009


One of the dorky little pleasures of my production-line submissions schedule (25-30 copies of a different essay every two months) and the time-scale for responses from a lot of literary magazines (geologic) is the selection of stamps for my self-addressed stamped envelopes1. Initially, I just tried to have a different stamp for each essay so that when the rejections came back I could tell what was being rejected before opening the envelope.

Lately, though, I've been trying to tie stamp selection to the theme of the essay. For "Faith and Reason," my essay on adopting from China, I found a lunar new year stamp:
For an essay on breast cancer, an obvious choice:

This month I'm sending out a piece on my conflicted feelings about suburban yard maintenance (I swear it's more interesting than it sounds), and so I was absurdly pleased Saturday morning at the post office to find this:
I said it was dorky...

1 When I referred to these as SASEs (pronounced say'-zees) in my writing group, everyone, without exception, looked at me as if I had three heads. Am I the only one who pronounces it this way? I'm trying to figure out where I heard it, and my best guess is the PBS TV show ZOOM. Sing it with me, you children of the seventies: "ZOOM! Z double-O M. Box 3-5-0. Boston Mass. 0-2-1-3-4. Send it to ZOOM!"

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