Been trying to content myself these past few weeks with the fact that my new book — Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War — is scheduled for release next week. It’s been wonderfully distracting to consider forthcoming interviews and reviews and keeps me from getting too depressed about, you know, an actual job.
The novelty is quickly wearing off. I go back and forth, feeling somewhat good about the accomplishment but at the same time realizing how ephemeral it all is. The window of opportunity for the average author is very brief if s/he is lucky, there’s a little buzz and attention, but that quickly passes. I’m not manic about it, but when I have the need to include the Amazon link in a blog entry or email, I sneak a peek at the rankings. That it came in under 40,000 I consider a success and believe it will improve … albeit briefly… when it officially drops on April 25.
The rest of the time, I’m plugging away, looking for employment. That‘s been discouraging. As I’ve said here before (ad nauseum?), there doesn’t seem to be a great demand for the kind of writing I have been doing over the last decade-plus, both in terms of quality and compensation. It’s kind of made me question my choice of career, although to be very honest, it never was a choice as much as something that dropped into my lap after my last lengthy period of “leisure.” How could I say no when the NJ Jewish News offered to take a chance on me even though I had no formal education or training in journalism? And although I am proud (a word I normally hate to apply to myself) of getting to the point where I won a couple of awards, it obviously wasn’t good enough to a) keep me from losing that job when the publication was taken over, and b) impress others to snatch me up when I became available.
So I’ve had to start thinking outside the box simply because the severance ran out and unemployment insurance is very soon to follow. Thank goodness the mortgage is paid off, but I’ve still got to be bringing in something, if only for my own sense of self-worth. I’ve applied for positions I never thought I would, which could very well put me in a situation where I could be working for someone half my age who would mess with me just because s/he could (think Randy and Hurley/John Locke on Lost). On the one hand, it’s honest work but on the other, I can;’t help feeling it’s a significant failure/character flaw on my part that I can’t find something more “appropriate.”
Today I had a preliminary phone interview for one of those possibilities. A highly rated company as far as work environments go. Took about 30 minutes and answered the kind of questions that seemed like no-brainers when it came to giving them what I thought they wanted to hear. They seemed to lead me in certain directions when it came to issues of flexibility regarding hours and minimum salary, but I know they have a script/flow chart to follow, so NBD.
Now I wait for someone to determine if I’m company-worthy. Jolly. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking. Maybe something will turn up at zero-hour. With my luck, I’ll actually find a great situation… and North Korean will drop a nuke over my house.