Last week, after years of pitches and no response, my first piece was accepted and published in HuffPost. I was beside myself with excitement. To me it was a huge breakthrough knowing how wide their readership is (According to my research and depending on who you ask, they have between 100 million and 368 million unique global visitors–and yes, I’m fully aware of that disparity so let’s just go with a zillion.)
The subject line in my e-mail pitch had some compelling words that I hoped would grab the attention of the editors and when one answered back within twenty minutes asking for a full draft I knew I had to make it shine. When I got a second e-mail from who became “my” editor (and after trolling his social media I discovered that he’s a gorgeous, tattooed, Jewish, gay man) and he told me how much I would be paid and that he would be sending back some edits and suggestions I was stunned and thrilled. With a round of three drafts flying back and forth, his brilliance and way with words and my hope not to lose my “voice” resulted in the piece below:
The second it appeared on the HuffPost site I spent the rest of the day obsessively refreshing my browser and watched as the number of “shares” went up and up and up. I was officially going viral. The piece had a link to my personal blog and my stats skyrocketed, strangers began following me and I started to get an endless stream of e-mails with their opinions on the piece. In the first 48 hours I was able to tell that most of the readership was within the United States which was no surprise. But when on the third day I got 200 readers from Argentina I got very confused. I e-mailed my aforementioned gorgeous editor and asked him if he had a clue as to why this would be happening and he didn’t. It wasn’t until I got an e-mail from a man in Buenos Aires with the link below that I was able to crack the case:
In a wonderful twist of fate I had the good sense to marry a Puerto Rican whose first language is Spanish and he began the process of translating. For some reason the writer alternated between calling me “he” and “she” and some of the details weren’t quite right, but the below words that captioned a picture of me had me laughing until I cried:
“Gayle Saks is one of the most famous bloggers about everyday life in New York.”
Suddenly I had become the Carrie Bradshaw, the lead character of “Sex and The City,” of Argentina. The thing is I’ve never written about everyday life in New York because even though I grew up on Long Island, I’ve lived in Boston for over 30 years. What I really should have done right away while I still had a captive audience is somehow got on the talk show circuit and played the part, have that caption in huge letters on the screen and then fled the country in preparation of being discovered as a fraud.
I don’t know how I can milk my 48 hours of being famous in Argentina. Can I start using it in my bio and in my pitch to agents to make them jump at the chance to have the honor of publishing my memoir? Should I come clean and admit that in the world of bloggers I’m smaller than a grain of sand and then do a rousing rendition of Evita’s “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina?” Perhaps I will be found, twenty years from now, holed up in a house in a teeny, tiny town in Vermont, a la J.D. Salinger, and some long ago Argentinian fan will step timidly up to my door and knock and when I answer I will hear the words, “Weren’t you one of the most famous bloggers about everyday life in New York?” There will be a documentary about my life with film of me ducking from the paparazzi, begging to be left alone with my cats and Argentinian pinot noir, and I will once again, fade into obscurity.