Shameless self-promotion

I am pleased to tell you that I will have an article published in the March issue of Indianapolis Monthly magazine. Yesterday, as seen here, I was treated to professional makeup and hair styling, then photographed.  That’s why Think Kit’s prompt got kicked to the corner.

Last Halloween, Julie and I visited daughter Jackie’s best friend, Kayla Goodfellow. (Fun story in itself: Jackie and Kayla, along with Kayla’s twin sister, Kristy, were best friends in high school in Guttenberg, Iowa, where I served my first congregation. Kayla and Jackie both went to graduate school in Indy and then made it their home.) Kayla commented how she’s enjoyed reading my essays, then reminded me that her husband, Daniel Comiskey, is the deputy editor of Indy Monthly. “You should contact Daniel about writing an article,” she encouraged me.

The next day, I contacted Daniel about writing an article.

He efficiently replied to my email, explaining the parameters for pitching an article and warning me that they receive loads of ideas from freelance writers and can take very few. Half-hoping they would find my pitch out of their zone, they swung and hit it. They would take it on spec. I was to write 3,000 words, submit it in two weeks, and work to follow their suggested outline so as to include my personal story, a history and explanation of transgender, and then tie it to the hot Indiana climate regarding civil rights for LGBT citizens. Even if they decided not to print it, I would be paid a bit; if they took it, the sum would be five times greater.

The five-times-greater sum arrived in yesterday’s mail.

From late November to two weeks ago, my life has been a flow of emails between Daniel and me. I have never been edited before—unless you count droves of people walking out on my boring sermons; certainly a form of editing!—and, at times, it hurts. Why didn’t they like that? How could they change my words to this? But, they are the pros of the prose and it is their magazine, so my attitude has been this: Set your ego aside; learn the process.

Daniel informed me that they are making me March’s featured contributor. They would want a bio and have my portrait taken. That brings us to yesterday.

I was hooked up with Wil Foster, who owns Rock Candy Photo, just north of Indy in Noblesville. Check out some of his work here:

Wil loves working with Danelle at French Pharmacie, in the Indy neighborhood of Broad Ripple. She is the makeup wiz. Sebastian is the hair hotshot. Danelle secured Sebastian for me. I sat in their chair yesterday afternoon, soaking in their pampering, ignoring their grunts and groans at the challenge they’d been handed. (Okay, I made up that last part.) Their talent was equaled by their fun and caring personalities. I am tremendously gratified to have been placed into such talented, amiable hands. Check them out at then click on “team.”

Looking as I’ve never looked before, I headed north to see Wil. Like me, Wil was born in Michigan. Unlike me, when a toddler he was whisked to Australia, where he spent his entire youth, his father serving as a Wesleyan missionary. Wil returned to the states for college and got stuck here. He generally sounds like an American, but Australia comes out in certain words and phrases. And, yes, after the photo shoot, we talked about our Christian faith, how we both don’t fit the mold of those who hold traditional beliefs, and how important it is that we reach out to the fringes, to the hurting of the world.

Wil: “They told me your portrait will cover a full page.”

Me: “No one has ever sinned so badly as to be punished with turning the page of a magazine and be presented with a full page of this face.”

Wil encouraged me to bring several changes of clothes. After the first outfit change, he spied my purse—ever the attention-getter and conversation piece!—and suggested it be included in several shots. Wil showed me exactly what Danelle and Sebastian did: He knows his craft and he is a blast to work with. If you live in metro Indy and can use the services of any of these folks, run, don’t walk, to schedule an appointment.

Indianapolis Monthly has a readership of 200,000. I am hopeful for a good response to my article and, now that I can say I am at least a quasi-professional writer, I hope to have the door of opportunity opened to me.

Check out Indy Monthly: Their magazine is an impressive thing to behold and read, tremendously diverse and informative. The website is crammed with useful info, covering every topic a person could desire to know how to navigate the Circle City.

Where Indy is located, much warmer weather arrives in March. Since I always find myself wishing February to get a move on so that I can welcome spring, next month I will be more antsy than ever.

I will try not to be hard to live with.


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