All right, you all think you want to know what the SSRLP was, do you? Fine, I’ll dish. Right here, right now.
I’m sorry I’ve been offline so long. It’s been tough to get on and when I do I have other things I have to do even if I don’t feel like it. But last time I did get online, some of you stated you wanted to know about the SSRLP. I figure there’s no harm in telling you now. I hope.
Some of you emailed and asked it involved a novel. No, it doesn’t. It does involve writing, though.
So, my buddy JES heard me moaning and groaning about my job sitch back in October. He contacted me and said something to the effect of, “Hey, I can connect you with these guys I know who do writing projects, some of ‘em technical writing. Want me to introduce you?” To which I eagerly replied, “Why, yes … yes I do. Thank you!” And so he did, being a man of his word and honorable.
The person he introduced me to ended up contacting me by email and asked me to set up a time to talk on the phone. I did. He missed the appointment. I thought, Not good. He set up another appointment, and this time he kept it. He spoke with me for about fifteen minutes and basically left me with a “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” sort of departure. I figured what the heck … it was worth a shot, right? I went about my life.
About three weeks later, guess who calls? That’s right, the contact. He gets in touch with me while I’m walking through Wally World. He asks if I have a few minutes to discuss a project he thinks I’d be a great fit for. I said “Sure!” – after I got up from the floor. (No, I didn’t expect to hear from him again.)
He tells me he wants me to write a book. A technical book. About PowerPoint. Specifically, he wants me to write a book about PowerPoint 2010. The company puts out a series of books overseas, similar to our For Dummies books, and they want authors to walk readers through using hardware or software in baby steps with simple wording and a few page elements which enhance the task-oriented information.
I almost had a heart attack. I told him I’d let him know. My beloved wife stood beside me grinning like a Cheshire cat. “You’re going to do it,” she said. “I don’t think so; it’s not something I can do, I don’t think.” The guy on the phone says “Why not? You can do it. Tell you what, send me a sample table of contents and I’ll present it. If they don’t like it, they’ll pick someone else.” “Oh,” I says, “uh … okay. Sure. I’ll try to get that to you as soon as I have a chance.” I hang up. My wife continues with the Cheshire grin. I explain she should wipe the smirk off her face because I have to compete for the project and since I’ve never, in my entire 13 year (at the time) career, used PowerPoint (never mind the 2010 version, which isn’t even out yet!), I’d have little or no chance at it.
I was wrong. Long, LOOOONG story short, I got the project. Over the next – what? five? six? – weeks, I wrote that book. I had a lot of help from my precious LOML and from the experienced author the agent put me in touch with to guide me through the process for this book. The company is very stern and inflexible about the format and the requirements; no problem. It made the book easier to write, once I got the hang of it. And it was a paying gig. Not a ton of money, but something.
So, I haven’t seen the money yet, and I will be a published author. I don’t know when yet. And it won’t be under my pen name, which I reserve only for fiction writing. But it’s something and I enjoyed doing it, even though it was tough at times and I barely (!) made the deadline.
I’m waiting to hear back on revisions and corrections and for the money to arrive. And that’s the long and short of the SSRLP.
Feel better now that you know? I didn’t think so.
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