Peter the Paper Clip

About 15 years ago I went to a job interview.  As I do in most interviews, I mentioned that I am an author so my writing skills are very strong, maybe even exemplary.  This information usually goes over well with employers who know how important good communication skills are in today’s business world.  A misspelling on an ad or website can leave a bad impression with potential customers and may even make some people think you are a fraud.

Well, this particular employer didn’t like me telling him this, he took on a smarmy attitude and accused me of trying to “one-up” him.  I had no idea where this came from, perhaps a previous employee was a writer and showed him to be a fool, but I can’t say for sure.  He then picked up an object off of his desk and said, “So, write a story about this!”.  I reached over and took the object from him and said, “Be careful with Peter, you could bend him out of shape.”  I then took the paper clip out of his hand, stood up, and walked out since I had no interest in working for someone with this attitude.

A week later, I barged into his office and dropped a copy of Peter the Paper Clip on his desk and said, “I told you so.” He was sputtering something as I left but it was unintelligible.

Since that day, everyone who read Peter’s story loved it and I mean everyone from a 7-year-old girl to a 68-year-old oil field Roustabout; age, nationality, sex, etc. made no difference.  Everyone loved the story–except editors…I could not get the story published no matter where I sent it.  This may be due to the fact that the story appeals to everyone and more and more magazines and ezines are narrowing their focus to appeal to only certain audiences as they struggle to survive.  I get that.

It was not until I read a call for stories where inanimate objects are telling the tales that I thought I had finally found a home for Peter, and that I did.

As Told By Things is an anthology where items around you tell of their interactions with people and animals.  Imagine the stories an elevator can tell.  Well, Elevated reveals some of them.  So what about a whiskey glass, a dog toy, a map, and on and on.

If you want to read Peter’s story or any of the others, you can get a copy of the book here:


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