Time and tide…

Or perhaps it should be ‘Time and Resources’. I’m either writing, researching, editing, or selling. Or sitting back and wondering which hat I should wear next. Of the four tasks above, my least favorite is selling. Because it’s not just selling. It’s also keeping track of sales, mailing books out to the stores, and figuring out how to do something in QuickBooks when I can’t even balance a checkbook, and so on.

I really enjoy the first three – researching, writing, and editing (well, editing makes the first two worth doing, so it’s okay – it’s just not as much fun as the others).

But the business of writing – meaning, promoting and marketing and selling your work – that’s a far cry from being a creative writer. Not everyone can, or even wants to, deal with the business of writing. I know I don’t, but I have a need to earn a good living as a writer.

You see, I am apparently unemployable, and I find that extremely odd.

With all of my skills, experience and varied background, I can’t even get a job in a big box store. I know, because I’ve tried. Several times. I spent my early years doing just about anything. I’ve worked as a professional gardener, a silversmith and goldsmith, furniture maker/turner/carver, antique restorer and ornamental turner, and I’ve spent years in two armies and more than a few security companies as an armed officer both in the US and in Israel.

I’ve worked in senior management in a few high-tech companies and even started one of my very own – business plan, finding an angel to invest in the company, the whole nine yards. It took eighteen months of very long days, but I did it.

It’s odd, but I when I was looking for work, I wasn’t able to land a good-paying, full-time job here in Florida.

Which is not a bad thing, looking back on it, because now I’d be stuck in that job, worried about losing it and watching my pension, retirement savings and social security retirement benefits fade away like so much smoke.

Now I just worry about my social security benefits fading away.

In spite of my background and experience, I’m no kind of business man. So I have to be very, very careful about making decisions and pay a great deal of attention to details. I do it, but I don’t like it at all.

Enough griping. Tomorrow my sister and I drive to Gainesville for what I hope will be the very last eye surgery. We’ll stay overnight for the post-op visit Friday morning, and then drive back to Orange Park. I’ll be another few days in recovery, so don’t expect to hear from me until Monday.

I hope you have a much better weekend than I will.


About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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