You Know You’re a Writer When…

                                                                                  

 

 

 

 

Next week, more than 2,000 of us will be attending the RWA writer’s conference in San Francisco. So, I got to thinking about job descriptions. Jobs are hard to explain. I’ve had all sorts, starting as a young teenager—tomato picker, waitress, prison volunteer, venetian blind salesperson, blueprint designer, RN, medical writer (still do this freelance), television researcher, and where I’ve found my niche, novelist. I think I was destined to be a writer because ever since I can remember, I’ve wondered what it would be like to be in the other person’s shoes. 

 

Waitress taking my burger order? I wonder if she has family waiting for her shift to end. Person who rotates my tires?  I wonder what kind of music he listens to. Doctor advising me on a bout of bronchitis? I wonder if she had a hard time finding a parking space.  I can spend hours researching  job details to include in my novels. They’re the attitudes and hidden agenda of each character, whether the person is an undercover Mountie pretending to be an alcoholic drifter (the hero in KLONDIKE FEVER) or a gold miner who’s just struck it rich and has it all stolen (the heroine). 

 

There must be things about your job you wish you could explain to others. Difficult things, funny things, things only people in the business understand. Well, in honor of the upcoming RWA conference, here are a few humorous confessions from my life as a writer.

 

You Know You’re a Writer When…

by Kate Bridges

 

Have you ever tried to explain to your friends or significant other the headache of yet another revision,  or dilemma of three main characters whose names all start with F? Getting through the daily writing grind takes energy, hard work and a sense of humor. You know you’re cursed—blessed—to be a lifelong writer if the following signs apply to you… 

 

10)  You’re breathless at the sight of your thesaurus. 

9)  Even brochures in the doctor’s office are interesting research to you now.  How to Manage Bunions.” 

8 ) You love or hate movies on a whole new level.

7)  Your partner wants to give you an extra special birthday present. You get the choice of a romantic dinner and night out on the town, or to upgrade the hard drive on your computer. You choose the hard drive and a sandwich.

6)  Those painful childhood memories are suddenly very valuable. You wish you had more painful memories to draw upon.

5)  You spend more time deciding on the names of your characters than you did on your own children.

4)  You look forward to once-a-week grocery shopping for the social interaction.  

3)  When you enter the home of a new acquaintance, you feel strangely suspicious if there are no books in sight. 

2)  You enjoy starting hypothetical arguments with your partner—the ‘what if’ scenarios. “If I died tomorrow, how soon would you begin dating someone new?” 

1)  You’re thrilled to discover the word ‘infection’ was in use in 1875!

 

What are some of the jobs you’ve held over the years? Inside the home, or out. What was your very first job? Are there any details—positive or negative—you’d like to share?

 

Kate Bridges loves the writing life. She drove her husband crazy with hypothetical questions while writing KLONDIKE FEVER. She loves the smell of libraries, running her fingers along the crisp edge of a new pack of paper, and buying pens in every color.  www.katebridges.com.

 

 

 

 Link to a book on Amazon:

 

 

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59 thoughts on “You Know You’re a Writer When…”

  1. Yes, yes, yes! I’m sitting here nodding along with each of these. Quite a few apply! LOL

    My first job was babysitting the neighborkids…but my first real job was working at a Little Caesar’s and that was packed full of different job descriptions- dough maker, sauce maker, inventory/orders, cook, phone receptionist, cashier, customer service, dish washer and janitor.

    I’ve worked at as cashier, office management as well as inventory and shelf stock/rotation at grocery stores, keyboard printer in a factory(at that time we printed keyboards for Lexmark laptops..), I’ve worked in a potato chip factory(in several departments), daycares, a cardboard factory- if I had a box stapler, I’d know how to use it! LOL

    The last job I held was at a Save-A-Lot in my hometown. I ran the register, stocked shelves, did the bread orders and helped out in the office, and my boss had started training me to help in the produce and dairy departments, quite possibly to take one or the other as my dept.

    Of course, plans changed and I met my husband, so I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost 7 years. I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was ten, but it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I finally started taking my writing seriously again. Working on my 8th novel right now.

    Great blog, Kate! Gave me a good smile to start the day.

  2. Hi Taryn! Loved your comments. Wow, you’ve had a lot of different types of jobs. The keyboard printer factory sounds like a great job to include in a novel (contemporary of course). It’s really different but so specific. I wouldn’t be able to handle working in a potato chip factory, I’d be sneaking all the profits into my mouth, lol. On the other hand, it might be one of those situations where you’re surrounded all day by them, you grow tired of eating them.

    Wow, 8 novels? I’m very impressed. Congratulations! What a healthy work ethic. You started writing the way I did, too, as a stay-at-home mom.

    Glad you could relate to my list! 🙂

  3. First off love the cover on your book I’d get it just for that alone! I worked as a photographer for over 12 years, still do some weddings on the weekends now and then but lost my studio when we moved. The things i’ve seen and heard between people when getting their pictures taken i’ve learned to pick up on things from people in a short period of time for somereason their like a open book when you go to take their pictures, it’s like a personal thing. I’ve seen the kids that were afraid of their parents, the ones eager to please the ones that are all about life, the sad ones are the young teen that had nearly no confidence in them selves and some others that had to much. Especially the families that were hanging on by a thread but in public you’d see the as the perfect family. The thing i loved most is i feel there’s beauty to everyone and i took the time to find it so they could see it. Interesting post this morning. This made me relize how much i miss having a studio to do what i love most. I’ll have to do something about that. Thanks

  4. Lori, what a touching post. Thank you! All the little details you mention that you pick up on between people are so real, and so fragile. What an insight you have. (and great help to me if I ever have a photographer in one of my novels.)

    I hope you get a studio again. If you can see so much between people, I bet the sensitivity shows in your photographs. 🙂

    Thanks for the compliment on my cover, it means a lot coming from a photographer!

  5. Kate,
    I can so relate — especially to 4 and 5. My daughter’s names were a snap compared to naming the hero of my next book. And I’m just off to buy a birthday card. I spread out my shopping so I can see someone other than the dog every day. lol

    There’s also: When the postman’s arrival with a parcel is a matter for dread instead of excitement, because it probably means a set of proofs in the middle of a deadline.

    Thanks for a great Monday morning grin.

  6. What a thoughtful post, Kate. I’ve had a day job most of my life. The longest one (23 years) was one I loved. I was a content designer for children’s educational software. In my work I wrote reading, math and science lessons, little story books and even songs. Some of my children’s books are still available on Amazon, not all of them under my own name. It was fun and fulfilling for a long time, but now I’m content to divide my time between novel writing and goofing off. Life is good.
    🙂

  7. Just glanced at your lovely photo and your little bio. Running your fingers along the crisp edge of a new pack of paper? OWIE! I felt a paper cut just thinking about it! Thanks for the smile.
    🙂

  8. Michele, good luck on naming your hero! 🙂 It’s hard to choose, isn’t it? It’s got to roll off the tongue just right, and suit him as an adult. Have fun with that card-buying! And you’re so right about the mailman. It must’ve been quite a thrill back in the Wild West to get a letter, because it likely wasn’t a bill or junk mail…

    Thanks for dropping by!

  9. Hi Elizabeth, I didn’t know you were so involved with children’s software. I think I would have loved that job, too. I’ll have to go look up your books on Amazon. What name are they published under? You haven’t strayed too far from that job, with your current novels. It is a wonderful life, isn’t it?

    LOL on the papercut. Thanks for posting!

  10. Great post, Kate, and it’s all TRUE. Upgrade the hard drive? That’s so sweet. Dinner out? Ho hum.
    🙂

    I also love paper. I love all weights. I love newsprint. Construction paper. Very strange how interesting paper is to me.

    I haven’t had that many jobs in my life. I was a stay-at-home mom for 27 years and married and started having kids right out of college.

    My worst job and, oddly, one I’ve mined for a lot of gold. Right after I graduated high school, I worked at a factory that made grain trucks. The kind hauled along behind a semi.
    I mainly mowed the lawn and filled in for people on vacation, bending iron and using power tools. That was semi-interesting to see all the bits and pieces of a truck.

    BUT I also painted the lunch room. I had to take all these rectangular ceiling tiles down. I painted the metal grid that held them BLACK, and the tiles WHITE, then replaced the tiles.
    Only trouble………….
    When I’d take the ceiling tiles down DEAD MICE would fall down on my head. They were dead on top of those tiles, some caught in the insulation, just hanging there, maybe to drop later.

    NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Everytime I’d reach for a new tile, I’d be wound up so tight, trying to keep it level or tilt it AWAY from my head, using the tile as a sort of umbrella for the raining mice.

    I already hated and feared mice–still do. Seriously, I think I suffer still from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome.

  11. Hi Mary!

    Oh, a fellow paper-lover! 🙂 Whenever I hit Staples, I have supply fever.

    Wow, your job building trucks sounds really interesting and unusual. Bending iron? You even know the lingo! I can see you putting that into a story, with a blacksmith as a hero, or a woman who forges something.

    Oh, yuck on the dead mice! That is soooo awful. What a wonderful and vivid description, though, lol!

  12. Hi Kate – great post! My first job (other than babysitting) was sorting screws into different buckets. Slot-heads here, star-heads there. . .not a lot of mental stimulation going on there. 🙂 Also worked as a hot dog vender, in a pharmacy, in a variety store, as a chamber maid, and for 6 doctors which was a great job. Now I work very part time at our local independent book store. Can you say dream job? 🙂 I loved your list of “you know you’re a writer” – laughed out loud at some of them. The DH thought I was nuts when I paid $19.95 to have a $5 catalogue shipped to me. But it was the 189-something Sears catalogue! I still get giddy just thinking about it. Thanks for a great read this morning.

  13. Great post!
    I have worked in jobs from cashier in fast food restaurants and coctail waitress to full-charge bookkeeping and insurance sales (current).

    The only job I haven’t had yet is full time stay home writer 🙂

    PamT

  14. Great list — I can sooo relate! And great cover, too!

    A couple of jobs I’ve had – secretary (back when it was called that) and department manager in a large department store (women’s wear and accessories). To this day I can get very excited about purses and wallets.

  15. Hmm. jobs…corn detassler (a horrid job for a short girl–I hadn’t had my growth spurt yet!) Girl Scout camp counselor, office drone, office manager (different offices 🙂 ), nursing assistant/care staff member, paralegal, cook, deli manager, lunch lady/kitchen manager. And some of those more than once.

    I spend lots of time with my favorite name books to find those correct names. That’s some of my favorite research.

    Along with most of your list, I know I’m a writer (or just somewhat odd 😉 )when school supplies show up in the stores. Ah, the search for a new pen. Or like today, a new composition book with a cool black and white cover. And some new sharpies. Oh, someone, please fetch mah smellin’ salts.

  16. Hi Laura! That was a wise investment in the catalogue, IMHO, lol! Sorting screws? I bet you’re handy with a screw gun. I’ve always wanted to work in a bookstore. 🙂

    Hi Pam–your jobs sound like good background research. I’m sure that day is coming when you’re a full-time stay at home writer, too! It’s a bit scary when it happens, but fun.

    Margaret, hello! Thank you! I’ve seen you when you’ve been excited about purses (something you bought in NY). I didn’t realize the history behind it, but now I fully understand, lol!

    Lizzie, you made me laugh with your smellin’ salts. Corn detassler–that’s a good one! You also sound like you’ve had quite a variety of jobs. Ohhh, don’t get me started on those sharpies. And the new post-it note colors? Lime is my very favorite.

  17. I detassled corn, Lizzie. Is that not close to the worst imaginable way to make money? Yeesh.

    I always pressured my daughters into working as waitresses in high school.

    Two reasons.

    One) Being a waitress is excellent practice for motherhood. Seriously, taking orders, dealing with cranky people with a smile and serving food, that’s about 75% of motherhood. Come to think of it, it’s pretty good practice for marriage, too.

    Two) Being a waitress is excellent motivation to go to college.

    I used to tell my girls, “Those ladies work HARD for their money.”

  18. Here’s a variation on Number 8 about movies.
    You know you’re a writer when you predict the end of every movie.
    Or, when you fail, you’re nearly in awe. Great unexpected twist!
    Or, when you fail, you’re thinking, I could have done that sooooooo much better.
    Or when the dialogue is going back and forth you’re rewriting it, sparkling it up, in your head.

  19. Hi Kate,
    I loved hearing about all your jobs! My work life has been fairly snoozer…I was lucky to work in my dad’s office during summer breaks from college and taught school after that. I did have a job once in those funky drive-up photo booths (remember them or are you all too young LOL?) that were about 3 feet x 3 feet square inside. But I got free film!

    My hubby should have been a screenwriter. He can figure out the ending to anything. The job I have liked best is being a mom. I’ve always loved words, so for me, teaching writing and grammar to high schoolers was great fun. It sure helped me hone my own skills.

  20. Kate, I forgot this. I attended a workshop on blogging yesterday (Charlene did a great job “exposing” you fillies LOL) and the main theme was cross-reference, linking, getting yourself out there…so could I post your book cover and the “you know you’re a writer” thing on my blog?

    (Mary let me LOL.)

  21. Lizzie and Mary–now I’m intrigued. I grew up on a vegetable farm but we never grew corn for the market. What is the point of detassling corn? And what’s so awful about doing it? Do your fingers get greasy and do you see a lot of those awful white worms?

    Mary, again–lol on the movie variations. You’re so right! Sometimes I can tell who the villain is simply by the way he said something in the beginning. And yes, I love it when I’m surprised. But I do hate a depressing ending…sometimes I think they make them depressing just because it is the most surprising and shocking thing the writers could think of…

    Colleen–thank you! Camp counselor is a great first job! I always wanted to go to camp, but I guess my farming parents didn’t see the value, when I had all the green space right in my own backyard, lol.

    Tanya, hello! You’re lucky to have found the opportunity of teaching–such a great job you love to do, and that blends so nicely with writing. And being a mom, of course! Nothing beats the importance of that.

    You gals are coming up with some interesting stories and backgrounds!

  22. Tanya, lol, sure go ahead and post it–my cover would be nice along with my name, lol, thank you for asking! I also submitted the list to my newsletter chapter, so it’ll be ‘out there’ and published in more places shortly.

    I’ll have to go check out your site!

    That’s great about Charlene–I’m sure she did an excellent presentation.

  23. Hey Kate, fascinating blog and the photo isn’t bad, either. 🙂

    The jobs I’ve been paid to do from past to present:
    – Mother’s helper fm Fri after school til Sun.
    – MacDonalds – from counter to crew chief
    – secretary
    – Teletype Operator in the Canadian Armed Forces including the following bi-yearly trg:
    – auto & semi-auto rifle and sub-machine gun
    – gas hut for chemical warfare awareness
    – local jail chaperone
    – greenhouse owner/worker
    – TV/film industry extra

    Okay, those are the ones I can think of at the moment although I get the feeling I’ve missed some.

  24. Detasseling corn.

    This is corn that is going to be sold as seed for next year.

    They cross pollinate it. So they plant two rows of oh….drought resistant corn maybe(or disease resistant or weed spray resistant…and two rows of super high yielding corn. Then they go through and cut all the tassels off the high yeilding corn so it can’t pollinate itself but rather is pollinated by the drought resistant corn.

    Watch about this time of year in corn fields, sometimes you’ll see one with two short rows and two tall rows. That’s seed corn.

    Then, because the detasselling maching isn’t perfect, they send scads of hapless teenagers walking through the field to pull off the tassels of shorter corn or just now emerging tassels or any tassel that was missed for whatever reason.

    Cold in the morning. Corn leaves are sharp enough to cut…like paper, I mean they don’t cut all the time. Mud because of irrigation. Then hot, hot, hot in the afternoon, the shade of the corn is actually nice them. Super early in the morning hours.

    And honest, sometimes it seemed like our bosses, slightly OLDER teenagers, were walking along behind us laying a cat-o-nine-tails across our backs. Talk about a power trip.

    We rode 45 minutes every morning, at about 4:30 a.m. in the back of a cattle truck to this field.

    Bring your own lunch or starve.

    Walking beans is similar but now they just spray weed killer on the beans so that job no longer exists.

  25. Hi Kate,

    Love your blog! My very first job was a telephone operator way back in the 60’s. I was fresh out of high school and thought working was so cool. lol Especially as a telephone operator. I hate to confess that I did listen in on people’s conversations sometimes. I know, I’m terrible. Confessing makes me cringe. Once, there was this man and wife having an argument. He’d just caught his wife in an affair. The man was one of my old teachers in school and it made me feel really awful, but at the same time it was intriguing.

    Other jobs I had was working in a Timex watch factory, a waitress, and an insurance company data entry clerk. Glad I’m just a writer now!

    Hope you have a great time in SF at the RWA conference. Wish I was going!

  26. Hi Mary, I had a friend who spent summers detasseling. She said they’d wear big black garbage bags with head and armholes cut in to protect against the elements LOL.

    I hope this goes through. I tried three posts that never made it 🙁

    Charlene rocked at the blog workshop, Kate.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me post that to-die-for cover. Sigh. And your words of wisdom. Go check it out. http://tanyahanson.blogspot.com

  27. Other jobs I’ve had
    Bakery…you don’t wanna know where those donuts have been…trust me. Lost that job when my Bakery burned down…it was NOT my fault.
    restaurant…my two bosses, husband and wife. She stabbed him. Lost that job. it was NOT my fault.
    secretary in college. I had the extreme privelidge (I’m not kidding) of walking all the way across campus to use the ONE COMPUTER on the campus of Wayne State College. This is 1975. I think they had those huge…wall sized computers, but this was a little one. State of the art.

    Did a lot of baby sitting.
    The trucks of course, 110 degrees, coated in grease all day everyday.
    Burger King. That was pretty fun.
    Small town newspaper. Loved the job. I’m still a columnist there. I write a book review column. I’ve reviewed a lot of the P & P fillies books. Don’t get too excited. Circulation 900.

    Now I’m a GED Instructor and novelist.
    Beats mice falling on my head.

  28. Oh, I was also a radio DJ and sports announcer in college. And for one semester I was the radio station manager and director of the evening news on TV.

    Listening audience…near as I could tell? Radio zero. TV station TEN. All of them there in the studio with me.

    I mean we did some majorly stupid things and no one ever mentioned a word. I once got locked out of the whole building and couldn’t get back inside for about a half an hour. Not one complaint from disgruntled listeners about dead air. Including from my professors. They didn’t listen either.
    Pretty fun.

  29. My first job was working for the school couselors – mostly clerical. The only good thing was being able to snoop in other’s files lol. Then after business school I went right into secretarial work. The only other job I’ve had is working for a court report out of my home. I enjoyed hearing about the different cases but I went crazy not knowing how they ended lol.

  30. Great post, Kate. The only jobs I’ve ever had was reporter and then public relations. The latter drove me to writing fiction. But to be a reporter you must have endless curiosity, and I totally relate to wondering what the waitress does when she’s not waitressing, etc. Whenever I drove in Atlanta to the newspaper, I would always gaze at all the apartments and office buildings and wonder what the people in them were doing. I always have to know everything about anyone I meet. Some call it nosy. I call it intellectual curiosity (g).

  31. Anita mae, thank you for the compliments!
    Wow, what an impressive list of training. I sure won’t mess with you 🙂 Where do you live in Canada, and tell me more about being an extra in TV/film! (how often do you go, do you have an agent?)

    Mary–thanks for that great description of corn detasseling. Now I know exactly what it is, and I’ll look for the corn rows of different height–it sounds vaguely familiar–I’ve probably passed these cornfields on the highway and never realized what they’re all about. Your comments keep me in stitches! You would make a STUNNING radio DJ. And lol on the one computer–I remember those days back in university. Those cards we had to fill out and mark with pencils. Boooorrriiinggg!

    Linda–LOL on the telephone operator. You made me think of Lily Tomlin. A Timex watch factory would’ve been cool. Hard on the eyes? I heard somewhere that in Japan where they have a lot of these factories, they give the workers a short break every hour to go look out the window to allow their eye muscles to ‘exercise’ seeing long distance vs. close-up–supposed to decrease eye strain and the need for glasses. Thanks for the good wishes on RWA–tomorrow’s my last day here, then I’ll be leaving for California. Will miss you all!

    Tanya–your site is very cool!! Wow, you are so fast at putting that baby up. Thank you, I feel honored! Very beautiful site–I will come back when I have more time to snoop.

    Jeanne–that’s interesting. It would’ve drive me crazy, too, not knowing the outcome. Thanks for dropping by!

  32. Kate, I haven’t held many jobs because they all seem to involve children. I started babysitting with neighborhood kids when I was 10 and on through highschool. I got married shortly out of highschool and did child care as I raised my children. Now I have two jobs. I work at school as a paraeducator, mostly working in special ed. My other job is one night a week I work at a newspaper. I label, stuff and bundle two small town newspapers. I love both of my jobs.

  33. Hi Pat, lol on the term nosy vs. intellectual curiosity. I bet being a reporter was fun and I bet you were good at it. Must’ve been hard, though, to take the bad news sometimes.

  34. Hey Kate, I live in SE Sask about 90 mins above North Dakota.

    My teen dd started with the extra work 4 yrs ago but now it includes my 10 & 13 yo boys, me and dh as well. We have an agent in Regina. Most of our work is in the city but frequently go on location like to Rouleau SSW of Regina. In fact, I have to take the boys there to work on the Corner Gas sitcom set tomorrow. I’ve work 4 times on CG already since the season started end of May and the boys a couple times. A couple wks ago, the boys were 30 mins NW of here working on the new Adam Sandler movie (he’s doing it w/his brother and it’s a horror flick – yuck!) But the boys were in an innocent schoolyard scene. The boys and I also worked on different episodes of the new In Justice crime series.

    I keep waiting for that good ol’ western to be shot here. I’d love that!

    The film/TV season will go on until Nov or so which is good b/c the money I make there goes to pay my ACFW conf and contest fees. 🙂

  35. My firt jobs were for babysitting but I earned enough money to go to college by working at a very hot job in the summers. It was in Yuma, AZ in June and I worked on a cantaloupe packing shed putting those little stickers on them that say Extra Ripe or some such. Talk about hot-I think daily it was about 110 degrees or above. But the pay was sooo good for a robotic-like job. Of course, my scholarship helped alot too. One of teh worst jobs I had was walking dogs and picking up after them. ugh

  36. Greetings Kate!

    Nice blog! I totally relate to the things you listed!! Been writing in one capacity or another since I was in grade school. Just finished my first novel (Book 1 of a 6-book series) and I’m submitting for an agent &/or publisher, so needless to say, I’m excited!!

    Jobs I’ve had through the years:
    –Receptionist Car Dealership
    –Car Salesperson
    –US Air Force – Desert Storm Veteran
    –Administrative work
    –Software Trainer
    –Training Manager

    NOW:
    –Artist (wood burning… http://www.EnchantedWoodz.com)
    –Novelist (www.EnchantedWoodz.com/arialburnz)
    –Contractor (still do some corporate training part time to take the “Struggling” out of being an Artist!)

    Charlene Sands introduced this site at the LARA (LA Romance Authors) RWA meeting on Sunday. LOVE my Hunk Fan!!!

    Thanks for the post!!
    Gina Candido (a.k.a Arial Burnz)
    http://www.EnchantedWoodz.com/arialburnz

  37. Hi Kate,
    Great fun with your list! I’m a list person too. Love em. How about you know you’re a writer when you come upon a stranger who is reading your book and you’re a mass of nerves and tingles!
    I haven’t actually had the experience yet, but I’m imagining!

    But this one is for real … you know you’re a writer when you see a really great looking man and your spouse catches you checking him out. “It’s for research” you say … and it REALLY is. “Hmmm, how would I describe that jaw, those eyes, that body?” Sad, isn’t it? 🙂

  38. My first job was working as a nurse’s aide in a
    hospital. It was the same hospital where four of
    my aunts had also worked. They worked there in
    the days when the job description included not only patient care but also scrubbing floors and cooking and serving meals. By the time I worked there, I only did patient care. I was a junior in HS, the funds I earned paid for all my senior expenses!

    Pat Cochran

  39. Anita Mae–how interesting about Corner Gas! And now your whole family’s in on it. That’s a funny show. SE Sask–I think I drove through the area on my way to Alberta many moons ago. It’s pretty. A Western would be great!

    Joye–I can’t handle the heat very well, but I love cantaloupes, lol! That’s great about your scholarship. 🙂 And the dog-walking would be a challenge.

    Hi Arial! Wow, what a huge list of accomplishments. Congratulations on finishing your first novel, that’s a major leap forward. Thanks for dropping by–glad Charlene could entice you–and am also happy to hear you like the hand fans!

    Charlene–LOL on someone reading your book as you accidentally walk by–that would be so much fun. And checking out a hunk for research…hmmm. 🙂

    Pat–It sounds like your family has a lot of history at that hospital. We’ve come a long way in job description, that’s for sure. Sounds like you worked hard and got a lot out of it.

    We sure are a talented bunch! 🙂

  40. Oh Kate, I think I’m gonna have to link to this post! I loved the painful childhood memories one!

    How everything is fodder for research is really quite shameless, isn’t it. All for the greater good, I say!

  41. Hi Donna! I think the childhood memories is my favorite, lol, it’s so twisted. By all means, please link away!

    I notice you’ll be blogging with us Aug 2–that’s wonderful! I’ll be in transit from San Francisco, but I look forward to reading your blog a couple of days later! 🙂

  42. My first job was picking green beans for a cannery when I was a teenager. I have been a clerk in a drug store, a supervisor at a flower bulb farm, a plaster statue pourer, a clerk in a fabric store and a maintainence person for a school district. My favorite job is my retirement.

  43. Estella, I was reading along and then had to laugh at your last sentence. I think you said it best! The flower bulb farm sounds very interesting–the fringe benefits would be great, in learning how to care and handle flowers and which bloom best in the area. Thanks for posting!

  44. back to add to the detassling stuff. Back in the dark ages when I did it, there weren’t any machines–we had to walk the rows and pull the tassels off all the stalks. And I was short. Now, while corn smut is disgusting, that didn’t bother me so much…I freaked with the spiders!

    detassling in an irrigated field eased some of the heat, though since at that time it wasn’t center pivot, we were walking in cold water–or mud. There were days when they almost didn’t let us on the busses after the mud fights. 🙂

    And I forgot one of my favorite jobs–how could I? I was a baker for awhile. When I left, they had to hire two people to do my job. Honest.

  45. I forgot one – the most recent 🙂

    When Donna came on, I remember telling her once that I used to be a goat owner and that was my most recent job too. We owned up to 80 goats and just sold off the last of them 2 yrs ago before I went back to writing.

    Waving at Donna…

  46. Kate – where do you live? From something you said above I’m guessing Alberta.

    We owned land in Teslin, Yukon for a few years. Gorgeous place.

    Did you ever live or just use it for a setting?

  47. Kate – where do you live? From something you said above I’m guessing Alberta.

    We owned land in Teslin, Yukon for a few years. Gorgeous place.

    Did you ever live there or just use it for a setting?

  48. Hi Kate,
    I had to smile at your post! I agreed with all the bulletpoints! One thing that shocked me as I was buying furniture for my children’s rooms (several years ago ) is that as I was looking at bookcases, my husband asked me “what for???” I just assumed that all kids had bookcases in their rooms–even if, like mine, they were old wooden crates stacked up. However, I learned something about my husband that day–he did not as a child have book cases in his room. He is also not a reader today. So, to your list, I would have to add–“Gets excited about buying new book cases.”

  49. Lizzie–oh, the spiders! Yuck! I can relate to the mud, though, having grown up on a tomato farm.

    Anita Mae–you’re the first goat owner I’ve ever met, lol! I live in Toronto now (I grew up in southern Ontario) but lived in Edmonton for several years. Never lived in the Yukon, but took a research trip to the Yukon and Alaska before I wrote the books. It was stunning!

    Hi Kathryn! I can definitely relate to the thrill of a good bookcase, lol. Nice to see you here!

  50. Waves back at Anita Mae, and at Kate again….

    I didn’t list my jobs…

    I grew up on an apple farm, so if there was something to do there, picture me doing it. My first job was at Tim Hortons. Back when you had to wear the polyester SKIRTS. Yuck!

    Then it was on to University. I worked at The Bulk Barn as a cashier, which was a fun, great student job. I also worked at the horticultural lab, sorting potato leaves. Exciting, yes? But it was all uni students, and they were testing for disease and we had a great time.

    After university I went to work for the provincial government as a secretary, tax hotline operator, data entry clerk and Receiver of Revenue, all contract positions. I moved to Calgary and worked as an admin for an environmental agency and then a civil engineering firm.

    I had babies and stayed home, then became a lunch room supervisor and school assistant before selling my first book and staying home to write full time!

    Donna

  51. Morning Donna! You’ve had quite an assortment of jobs. I can relate to the apple farm. Never worked at a Tim Hortons, but sample their coffees and teas a lot. And your story has such a happy ending with writing full-time! 🙂

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