This is me at the time of my first professional writing gig.
In 1976, I was an 8th grade misfit at an academically boffo but ideologically stifling Evangelical school. Girls in my class consumed True Confessions Magazine every month. (Who loves porn more than Puritan's, right?) Reading stories typically titled "My Father Sold Me" or "A Sophomore's Secret" or some such, I thought, "Heck, I can do that." I knew virtually nothing about sex beyond the vague "pulsing" and "engorging" alluded to in True Confessions and the "manroot" physiology of my book-a-day Gothic romance novel habit, so my erotic tragedies relied heavily on witty dialogue and lush descriptions of current pop music and fast food. For $1/page, I wrote customized stories starring a classmate and her made-to-order crush. If the real life crush failed to live up to expectations, a brief epilogue featuring his untimely death could be had for a quarter.
Word spread, and I expanded my business to a local roller skating rink, passing off the folded pages in the privacy of the grimy girls' bathroom like a drug dealer. On the first day of 9th grade, I was ironing my hair on the ironing board and branded a broad stripe down the front of my nose. This pretty much set the tone for my high school years.
Causes Joni Rodgers Supports
Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Research Foundation, The Wellness Community, Susan G Komen for the Cure