As a writer with a history (smirk) I have a lot of previously published material to share. You’d think Google would be of use here, but oddly enough, I find that I am all but un-googleable. Weird, right? I mean, for one thing, googleable isn’t even a word. And for another – if I were trying to hide my past, you KNOW somehow Google would have it come right up between “kitten videos” and “santorum”.
There are reasons for my unsought anonymity. Number one: I’ve changed my name since the “glory days” of my highly employable youth. Blame my spouse for this. Also the Gods of Spelling – if you went around with a handle like “Samselski”, you’d switch to “Rector” at the first available opportunity, too.
Number two: It’s the Economy, Stupid! The publications I used to work for have a habit of a) going out of business; b) not having enough money to maintain an archives online past last week; c) not having enough money to maintain an archives that is searchable; d) being sold to people who then want to pretend the previous ten years neeeever happened (not that I blame them); e) the boss died and the entire publication was summarily abandoned by its backers – true story, that, and a sad one; f) going out of business, and then pretending they were never in that line of work – what? a magazine? Never heard of it! – as if their lives depended on it. I’m like the pet you left behind when you joined Witness Protection. My writing is your abandoned pet!
Well, no more. I’ve been lugging these boxes of physical proof around three or four states, and I think it’s time they had a home. Also – it would probably help just a little if I could say “Here’s my previous writing experience! Right here!” and not have to carry around copies of every newspaper and magazine I’d ever worked for to hand out like flyers. (Not that I’ve ever tried that. But I’ve thought about it a time or two… when reeeeaaaaly broke.) The publishing industry may never recover from the last few years, but as God as my witness, I will never go hungry again! or something.
Hence, Flashback Friday.
Let’s all remember a happier time, shall we? We all had money to burn. I was a jean-size smaller, and didn’t look all haggard and scary to children yet. (It’s true. They fear me.) Sure, I was still pretty broke… and before 2005 I never had a car that ran properly (part of what made it so easy to sell the Mini before moving to Chicago, as it seemed I was about to run out of luck with that one, too)… and I was actually overworked… and, well, I hadn’t really figured out how to write with a “voice” without slipping into some truly hideous grammar… and, Oh, alright. I’m one of very few people on earth who can say that despite my economic sitch, my life *has* actually improved. I have a Haus, and kittens, and I get a lot more sleep.
Still… back then, I was living by my wits and my pen. (er…keyboard) I was meeting people who would change lives, having adventures, telling the community about charities and theater and fun things to do… I interviewed rock bands and classical virtuosos before they got famous, and several after they’d been famous… I was paid to try out new things, find new talent, promote every kind of event, be a guinea pig, and talk my way into places I had absolutely no business being in.
Features Reporter. Is there any better job? Hmmm… Ice cream taster? But see, as a features reporter, you can just do a story on ice cream tasters and have their job for the day! There is one job that is better. That job is Travel Reporter. We’re going to get some of those in here, too. Ahhh. It was the best of all lives… then I went and accepted a position on the Editorial/Online staff as “Community Liaison” and suddenly I was always behind a desk. Bah!
Oh, yeah – and then the industry died.
Anyways… if you find yourself stuck in the office on a Friday afternoon, bored and counting the minutes until you can be freeeee! keep an eye on the archives here. Peruse the ancient offerings of a very young reporter having a really fabulous run. Live vicariously, knowing that she, old and haggard and scary now, is living vicariously through these old articles, too.