Oops, it is November 26, and I'm just noticing that illustrator Dawn Phillips tagged me on her blog — and mine — for the 7 Random Facts About Me meme 10 days ago . . .
Bad, bad blogger, Lisa!
Here's my list:
(1) I bailed on a writing gig last week. My role was to write a slew of Little Readers. These books truly are fun to write. But my development-group client repeatedly changed the schedule and assignment content/tasks/fees with no dialogue, no advance notice, and no pleases or thank-yous.
I'd already been increasingly uncomfortable with the company's (lack of) communication style in the months leading up to the work. And, a quick exchange with a colleague confirmed that others out there in our small-ish world of freelance children's writers had already sworn off working with this client due to BAD experiences. So when my first assignment finally arrived, late and completely different in every possible way from what had been confirmed the day before, that prompted me to finally just say no thanks.
To other writers out there: Remember, you ALWAYS deserve to be treated fairly and with a modicum of professional courtesy. Your time is valuable, and your writing is work.
(2) I am ambidextrous. Thank goodness, so says Wikipedia, that I don't shoot for sport. Apparently, though, the condition might be good for my word-processing skills. Seems I'm in pretty good company — Michelangelo, Einstein, Beethoven, Gandhi — not bad. I like this quote I just found: "Ambidexterity is neither a goal to aspire to nor is it a gift from God. Instead, it is first and foremost the mark of brain damage." That might explain some things.
(3) Speaking of word-processing skills, I never took a typing class in high school. This was back in the day when (a) people used typewriters; (b) everybody took typing class for an easy A; and (c) some guidance counselors were still telling girls that they MUST have good secretarial skills to "fall back on." I remember being insulted that my assigned counselor didn't want to talk about my college/career aspirations and adamant that I'd be the one with the secretary working for me and so shouldn't waste my academic hours on such a useless class. Instead I needed to study world domination and such.
I started needing to type nonstop right away in college, and so, luckily, typing proficiency followed. Joke's on me that I became a writer and editor, both of which require quite a lot of the clickety-clack.
Just the other day I saw a report on the average salary of executive-level administrative assistants. Upon growing up and entering the workforce, I quickly learned that administrative professionals do demanding, highly specialized, crucial work (and that EVERYONE could benefit from developing great secretarial skills). But gee whiz, I didn't realize just how lucrative the job category could be. I think I coulda been a contender. Darn you, my smug, surly, sexist guidance-counselor man!
(4) I recently brought home a bag of half-priced books, and I don't know where I put it. I know that at first it was in my office, right under my desk. But now? No clue. What's more, I'm not entirely sure I know what all is in the bag. I just know the bag exists. One might rightly guess that I experienced a wee episode of emotional book buying. (Come on, you know you've done it too!)
(5) I replaced my dog's office bed a few weeks ago. She seems to be missing her old, worn cushion and hasn't been spending as much time with me during the day. She'll come in, sniff the new cushion and kick it around, give me a forlorn look, and then go flop down in the adjacent family room. Did I mention that the old cushion was flattened out and discolored and maybe even smelly — and old? At least now I have a better picture of what the draw was in here.
(6) I'm not really working today. I'm sitting at my desk, willing to answer the phone or an email if necessary, but I'm mostly goofing off. My to-do list includes tasks like finding a new pumpkin pie recipe, scouting shopping sites for holiday gift ideas, and burning CDs of the new holiday music I've downloaded. I needed this day.
(7) I happily post a meme when I've been tagged, but I rarely tag other people. I always either feel too busy or too lazy to check other blogs and see whether they've already participated. I suppose this practice is kinda spoil-sporty of me, but I didn't forward chain letters in the 70s and 80s and I don't pass along modern-day email forwards either. Drag!