Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Reflections from the Tuba....

Update: My McSweeney's column is now up! Check it out here.

Can you identify this picture? 

If you said, "Oh, sure, that's Elizabeth taking a picture of herself and her brother reflected in her tuba at a Tubachristmas performance," leave me a comment. I'll be impressed. I just might send you a prize.

They say you don't really know what you think about something until you write about it. Well, I seem to have discovered that one of the major reasons I play the tuba is because I love watching reflections in the tubing. I realized this while writing a sample column for McSweeney's annual column contest. I titled my proposed column "I Like Big Brass and I Cannot Lie: Confessions from the Tuba World," and the first installment was a brief, lighthearted look at the why and the who: Why play the tuba? and Who is crazy enough to do it?

My inner critic decided to give me a last minute lecture on all the reasons why my column wouldn't get picked. I almost didn't submit it. My husband told me to submit it anyway. And guess what?

I got an honorable mention! And more, I get to write the column regularly for the next year for McSweeney's Internet Tendency! The first installment, which is that sample column, comes out this Friday, September 27. Be sure to swing by McSweeney's on Friday and check it out. And, if you have some time now, surf on over to see the winners and other honorable mentions that have already started to appear. You'll find columns demystifying Apple stores, analyzing pop culture with Christianity and humorreviewing athlete self-help books, and rewriting Russian classics, to name just a few. Soon there will be tubas involved...See you Friday! 


  1. I just today found your McSweeney's columns on the tuba. I googled your name and found this blog! I'm a reader and he's a tubist. We're both thrilled to have found you!

  2. Thanks, Drexedit! There can never be too many readers or tuba players in the world :-)

  3. I've read your McSweeny's columns and I find them to be interesting research, not just technical details on the tuba, but what goes on with the tuba and the tuba player. I've been writing some stories about women and brass instruments (the tuba the usual suspect). I also write a lot about coffee.

    Most of my writing is done longhand that I keep in a composition book. Most of my stories go to my friends and family. I've been writing since a young age. For the time being, I'll write on tubas and women drinking coffee (write what you know).

    I would also say that women tuba players are a diamond hidden in the rough.