This is how I came to write "All Matter of Fantasies" for Arrive Magazine--the print pub for Amtrak (now defunct, sadly!):
I was asked to write a piece for their Your Family section by their lovely to work with editor at the time, Leigh Flayton. No more than 2000 words.
Great, I thought. I have several ideas, I told her: my love for fantasy football, the spell cast on me by the New Orleans Saints, my love for football, or (key word: not entirely clear in my transmission to Leigh Flayton) how I lost my daughter Vanessa on 9/11/2001.
She got back to me very quickly with the time frame and (the excitement in her voice palpable), "I'd love to read an essay about fantasy football, the Saints, and (key word: VERY clear to me the difference between or and and if not at all clear what to do about the slip) how they connect to the loss of your daughter."
I didn't respond right away. I slept on it. A lot. Eight hours a night for a few weeks. Then I went to have my car's oil changed. I was waiting and had awake mind time to finally conclude--no way I can do that in 2000 words. So I planned to shoot an email later in the day and after to scrape the egg off of my face. How to say: I meant or; you thought and?
I put on some music, cracked open the fridge to start dinner and craft first in my head the wording of the email I would be writing, when James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" came on. And the essay was ready was to churn right out of my fingers to the keyboard.
Want to read it? Click on the pdf icon in my Work and Play section!