Saturday, October 10, 2009

Let me count the ways

"I was at that stage of life when one has written a novel or two...."

--from the autobiography of Anthony Powell, author of A Dance to the Music of Time, one of the greatest novels ever written in my opinion -- and that of quite a few literary critics, too! He goes on to say that few people realize that authors -- authors like him who are reviewed in the London Times, fairly well known, getting good reviews -- make from their writing, and to say what HE was making then (about a hundred pounds a year!) and to list the ways he supported himself and his family.

My list is quite a bit longer (and of course I'm not saying I'm as good a writer as Anthony Powell!) -- but here all the jobs I've ever had, in chronological order, my version of the looking-back 10 years the other BRGs did awhile ago.


swimming teacher at country club

counselor at camp for state-run camp kids from Harlem and Bedford Stuyvesant

gas station attendant

factory worker (in Providence, at a factory that made display cases for costume jewelery)

soap opera script writer

author of short story in REDBOOK

creative drama teacher at local Y



editorial assistant, then editor, at small academic press
freelance proofreader and editor through the Word Guild
--while doing these two was also a live-in nanny: niether job paid enough to live on! So much for the "good old days" in publishing

TA at Brown

instructor at RISD (2nd longest job, lasted 5 years!)

instructor at Harvard Summer School

writing teacher at DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation)

freelance writer:
--in Boston:
-Harvard School of Public Health, Bachman Information Systems, Arthur D.Little (favorite job ever: a mathematic genius there told me his ideas and I wrote them up in a way that could be understood by others -- this was a final report on a project which they needed to get refunding. Yay! The Air Force refunded it!), MUMPS Collaborative
--in California:
mid-Peninsula Open Spaces, NeXT computer, Facility Planning News

hostess at California vineyard

stablehand for woman who exercised her horses wearing diamonds! This was weird!

secretary at law office -- also weird! The whole town (well, 109 people) was engaged in a massive lawsuit, over the right to ride on what had formerly been horse trails open to everyone. New Money had put up locks; everyone in town took sides in this matter when a rider and a property owner came to blows....this was in Woodside, California.

secretary in Physics Department of Stanford University (2nd favorite job ever: had my own little sunny bright yellow office with a view of the Palo Alto Hills, everyone I worked with was really really smart, especially my boss)

writer for Fidelity Investments Web site (longest job: eight years. Also most lucrative --$100,000/year. Is it crass to say this?)

children's book author (soon will have been doing this longer than I worked at Fidelity, yay! And while doing this I have been/am also a:)

freelance editor/ghostwriter for adults writing self-help books

spy (pretend, for the Go Game. Still, I did wear a trenchcoat, sunglasses and say a secret password--unfortunately not at a dark bar as I had imagined but in the closest thing Mystic has to a hippy hangout)

ghostwriter/work-for-hire author for children's books

babysitter--becoming favorite-job-ever, but perhaps it's too soon, and bad luck to boot, to say that. I do love my kids, though.

1 comment:

Meghan McCarthy said...

Those are a lot of jobs! I've had my share as well. I didn't know you were an astrologer. That's an interesting one.