When I was a teenager, I committed a minor crime. I’m pretty sure it was a misdemeanor. Maybe it was as low on the pole as a petty infraction. Decades later, I come clean in a piece called “Department of Penitence.” It’s on the record now, in Volume 18 of The Offbeat.
One of the best publication experiences is when the envelope with your contributor copy arrives and you rip it open immediately (even though you’re making dinner for three hungry boys) and you scan the table of contents to find a friend—a very, very good friend—in the same issue (even though you had no idea you’d both happened to submit pieces of different genres to the same magazine in the same time period). You text that friend a photo of the TOC with the words: “It’s magic!” Dana Perry, I’m so happy to share these pages with you.
My issue of The Offbeat, containing my criminal act, set against a wholesome, regular, righteous Friday-night activity: making chicken-and-rice soup for my family.