Oh, don't worry! I haven't lost my life's work in a fire, nor has Robert left me. But I did lose my job--again. As little money as it brought me, my daily dog-walking job has been important to me, as it is good to have some kind of daily schedule and responsibilities. I was bummed when my puppies' daddy told me he won't be needing me now because he'll be working from home instead of traveling into NYC everyday. But actually, the news is not so dismal. His new job sends him off to different cities and he'll be on the road ten days a month. I'll still be taking care of Casper and Annabelle, but not as often, and not on a regular schedule. What to do? I immediately set out to find other things to do with my time, and specifically, other things to do with my time that might be sources of income.
So I applied for and got a part-time freelance copywriting job for an advertising company. My first task there was to write catalog entries about cheese. Here's an example of my artistry:
Scamorza means “beheaded,” and refers to the shape of this classic cheese, the result of it being hung “by its neck” to ripen. Naturally creamy white, the cheese takes on a delicate almond color when smoked. Made of cow’s milk, it is a chewy-textured pasta filate, or stretched curd cheese, delicious paired with smoked meats and mushrooms.
Doesn't that just make you want to run out and get yourself a pizza? It pays fifteen bucks an hour. I'm also writing copy for a friend who is starting a company to cater to people who need help moving around in their homes. He'll do things like widen doors to make them wheelchair friendly, and install non-slip floors and walk-in-showers. All I have to do is describe what he does. Although copy writing sounds easy and I can certainly do it, it is daunting because I'm always second-guessing myself and thinking I'm not doing a good enough job. I could write a whole short story in the time it takes me to eke out one silly paragraph about sturdy titanium grab bars, or olive oil infused with the essence of the rare tuber magnatus truffle! I'm waiting for my next assignment from the ad company.
Another thing I have been doing is selling stuff on eBay. I think my experience of emptying the homes of two elderly mothers in a short period of time has me looking at almost everything in my house and thinking, "Do I really need that?" I have collected all sorts of things, like antique glass bottles and dolls, because I know they're valuable to somebody, though I'm not interested in collecting them myself. I was shocked when I sold a little paper booklet of Halloween decorations from the 1920s for $65.00, and even more shocked when I sold my cheapie ceramic coin banks shaped like the Beatles in their Yellow Submarine outfits! Mom bought them for me from the close-out shelf at the Felspauch grocery store in Williamston, in 1972. They cost her $2.75 each, and had originally been twice that much. But the movie had come out in 1969 so they were already vintage by the time I received them. I didn't care. I cherished them, particularly because 1972 was the worst year in my parent's financial life. By that Christmas, nobody in my family had owned a single new article of clothing for about two years, so I knew they were a dear splurge.
In any event, I really didn't want to let go of my Beatle banks but I had no place to display them and they had ended up in my attic. I contacted a memorabilia broker to find out how much they might be worth, thinking I'd put them on eBay. He offered to sell them for me and two days later they sold for three thousand dollars. Yeah. THREE-THOUSAND DOLLARS. That's what I've been living on for the past four months.
In any event, my experiences selling things on line caught the attention of my friend, Ralph. He was a very successful antiques dealer until illness and a divorce knocked the stuffing out of him. He has tons of things to sell (mostly music and books) and he asked me if I will go into business with him, selling his stuff for a little commission. So I'll give it a try!
Anyway, here's the cover: