Thursday, July 28, 2011

Holy Shit, Batman! (Comic-Con 2011)

After missing Comic-Con in 2010, I was excited to get back there this year. Due to some poor planning on my part and gnarly crowds I missed most of the cool programs and panels, but my girlfriend and I still managed to squeeze in a solid day and a half of ambling around, and with said crowds, that was plenty for us.

Beyond the great people watching, here’s some of the noteworthy highlights from this year’s nerd fest.

  • A Song of Ice and Fire: I missed both the HBO Game of Thrones Q&A session and the Epic Writing panel with George RR Martin, but by sheer dumb luck, I wandered by Martin at an autograph booth and nabbed a quick photo. He looks to be in good health, which is good news for those of us hoping he doesn’t croak before finishing A Song of Ice and Fire. I have to admit, I was a bit star struck getting so close to Martin—way more star struck than seeing Adam West, Lou Ferrigno, and two Playboy playmates. I’ve yet to read A Dance with Dragons (it’s been so long coming, I need to go back and read the first four books again first), but I hear it’s good. For a review, check out Ahi Kerp’s blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dirty Jobs

Sorry, hon, you can't pay me enough to do that...

In the course of trying to make a career of doing what one loves, we are often forced into making sacrifices and working odd jobs to make ends meet. Being a writer is no exception. People tend to have the misconception that being an author means you make heaps of money, live in a secluded manse, and hobnob with the intellectual elite. Not so much. If you need convincing, read Robert Brockway's hilarious (and depressingly too real) account of what it's like being a writer. And keep in mind, Brockway is a fairly successfully author. Those of us writers who have yet to find ourselves on a bestsellers list are even worse off.

About five years ago, I left my career in the health & safety industry to become a “real” writer. I was writing before that, of course, but simply didn't have enough time to write as much as I needed. So, I quit my job, picked up a few writing classes to teach part-time, and got to writing like mad. The writing has been good, and the classes fun to teach, but the money hasn't exactly come pouring in, and that's meant taking on whatever jobs I can hustle up—oftentimes jobs a one-armed hooker with no teeth would turn her nose up to. What follows is a sampling of the soul-sucking jobs I've worked over the years. Please share your own shitty jobs in the comments section below. It'll be fun to commiserate together in our collected misery!