One of the main issues for the candidates is employment. Of course this topic concerns all of us. I mean, who here often has more month than money? *raising hand high and waving madly* Especially authors. The amounts of our royalty checks fluctuate, the work we put in often far outweighs the money we received. Add to that piracy and it can be frustrating…sometimes discouraging. Freakin’ depressing...
Enter moi. I’m not going to blog about the state of the economy or how hard it is to make ends meet. Authors are no strangers to hard work. I’ve heard people talk about actors sacrificing for their art, but authors are the biggest sacrificial lambs I know! Which started me thinking…what exactly have we done in the past to earn a check? To make ends meet? To draw the 30th just a wee bit closer?
I remember in college, I donated plasma for cash. They gave me $45.00, a honey bun and orange juice. And I gave the honey bun and orange juice right back to them as soon as I came to from the dead faint outside the clinic. I won’t name any names—for I don’t know if the statutory limit has expired—but a certain person who used to work at McDonald’s would bring food back to his dorm after closing and sell the leftovers to hungry college students…
So I polled my fellow authors and asked them to divulge some of the weirdest/craziest/most desperate jobs they ever had. And boy did they DIVULGE!! LOL! Here goes:
“I sold flowers on street corners in a bikini in So Cal! Yeah, that was a few kids ago...A former coworker saw me and thought I'd joined a cult. Freaking hilarious!”—Dalton Diaz
“I actually did the blood thing too, in grad school. The worst though had to have been a legitimate temp job when I worked for an agency. I had to spend one day as a dressing assistant at a fashion show. Shudder. That was such a PIA on so many levels.”—Cindy Spencer Pape
“I got drafted at an audio gig I was working to help dress for a huge cirque stage performance. There were literally moments where a hot, buff, arrogant ass would walk up to me, hold out his arms and I would have to unzip him and physically undress him down to his flesh colored man-thong and redress him because they were too "in character" to dress themselves. So disgusting.”—Sidney Bristol
“The summer I worked for a diaper service. People actually had to count the soiled diapers that came in to know how many clean diapers to pack for the next order. Happy to say I wasn't a diaper counter--got to work in the office.”—Mardi Ballou
“Worked as an advertising copywriter, writing things like Chinese beer commercials. Took two Miss Maryland and two Miss Virginia beauty queens singing and dancing at Veterans' hospitals for the USO. Was an extra in the 1940s-set mini-series, War & Remembrance. I also put a mic on Jimmy Carter's son for a TV interview and was almost wrestled to the ground by the secret service because I started to pull up his shirt to hide the mic cord.”—Marcia James
“I had a paper route while in nursing school. My husband planted Venus Flytrap seedlings to sell!"—Jessica Lee
“I once participated in a study of productivity - typing while walking on a treadmill. It was done in some guy's basement in Maryland and I took my then boyfriend/now hubby with me. I think I earned maybe $40 but it's been 30 years! I was tasked to type ‘War and Peace’ as I recall, tho not the whole thing thankfully! I did see years later a mention of the results of the study in a magazine article, so it was at least legit.”—Betty Bolte
Are you laughing yet?? LOL! I learned a LOT about authors I admire!! One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from my father. “Make sure you do something you love waking up to in the morning.” I spent so many years in a field I hated that being able to write for a living is a blessing—a rich blessing. So no matter what the economy says or those dirty pirates do—may your hard drives catch the equivalent of a computer STD!!—we have the best jobs in the world!! Hey, from the stories above, we really do!