I’m a Writer, but I’m Also…

Happy Tuesday, all!

Following along with DD’s ‘getting to know you’ theme, I’d love to hear what you do outside of writing! I know, I know, it’s hard to remember there actually is a world beyond our authorly sphere, but it does exist.

Are you an archaeologist? A proctologist? A sky diver? We want to know!

I’ll kick us off:

I’m a writer, but I’m also mum to my seven-week-old son, affectionately known as Lobster Baby, and a wife to my lovely Egyptian husband! I’m a proud Canadian and Brit, a London-phile (if that’s a word), and an avid traveller. In my former before-full-time-writing life, I worked in public relations, as a journalist, a teacher and a recruiter. I love running through Hyde Park and exploring the city.

Now over to you!

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  1. I do medical transcription on an as-needed basis here in my home office (usually at night to stay caught up, which is why I am up so early in the morning) to help keep the lights on and the cupboards stocked!

  2. Debbie Young says:

    I work part-time at a lovely charity called Readathon, which encourages children to read for pleasure. So I’m helping grow a future generation of readers for all us writers! :)

  3. Julie Day says:

    I am a full-time writer now after being made redundant in 2010. Am trying to build up my portfolio by having a go at being freelance now.

  4. Sibel Hodge says:

    I’m also half British, half Turkish Cypriot and now spend most of my time in North Cyprus where the weather is much better than the UK! I loved to cook, which I’ve also incorporated into my writing with recipe books. I worked for the police for ten years, and before that I was a health & fitness instructor, sports and massage therapist, and personal trainer, as well as many other jobs! :)

  5. Tamara Ward says:

    I’m a new mom… of an 8-week-old puppy! A mom of two young boys, a wife… I live in NC and enjoy both the coast and the mountains. I also write freelance for a local paper and play keyboard and conga in a church band! I do like loud, fast songs. Before resigning to be a full-time mom, I did writing and editing work for a variety of venues, including the state parks system.

    It’s great getting to know everyone!

  6. LM Preston says:

    I’m a full time Engineering Manager (a job I love just as much as writing and will stick with until I retire), a mom of four kids from age 18 to 9yrs old, a wife of 20 years a soccer mom (yeah I’m crazy and do that too!). Other jobs I’ve done on the side (part-time while working full-time as an Engineer) before writing was a mortgage lender, travel agent, professor for 4 years.

  7. Melisa says:

    I’m a registered nurse.

  8. I’m a full-time editor and project manager in a small publishing office at a university, and I am a part-time writing instructor/teaching assistant at the university as well. I also maintain a blog, where I have a food in historical fiction series, among other topics about literature and publishing. Somewhere amidst all of this, I’m planning my wedding to my high school sweetheart, who found me on Facebook more than 20 years after we parted ways. :)

  9. I’m a writer, and I’m also…

    a Reiki master
    an actress
    an expert seamstress
    more than a little psychic
    an amateur hairdresser (specializing in up-dos; related: played Truvy Jones in “Steel Magnolias” on stage)
    an amateur interior decorator
    a sister and a cousin and an aunt (and a daughter, although perhaps that goes without saying, and I may or may not have just outed myself as a closet Gilbert & Sullivan aficionado)

    What great fun! Now, to read the other comments. :-)

  10. Jill Hughey says:

    I’m a wife, mom, part-time administrative assistant, and for fun I take voice lessons – classical soprano. Tra la la!

  11. Merry Bond says:

    How wonderful to read what other people do! Thank you, Talli, for this.
    I teach writing in continuing ed at my local community college. Have two terrific kids who oddly enough at 16 and 19 still need “Mommy”. At election time, I also a chief judge. And I’m a wife of 20 years to a man who works (and travels) way too much. In my previous life I was a fund-raiser, editor, and nearly a high school teacher. And I took voice lessons too, Jill, except that they cost more than I earn with my writing, formatting and teaching put together, so I stopped — still sing in the choir though (tenor!).

  12. I’m the mom of 26-year-old boy/girl twins, the daughter of the pair is now married and has a Corgi and a Dachshund. I’m their grandma. I also have a 21-year-old son who will graduate from college in May. I’ve been married for nearly 31 years. I’m the executive editor of two community magazines: Northern Connection magazine and Pittsburgh FiftyFive+. I also do freelance writing for the website Popular Pittsburgh. I started out writing greeting cards, which I still occasionally do and have been a newspaper columnists. Since I have kids living in Georgia and Virginia and one at college, I’m on the road a lot. I love to read, write and travel

  13. Angela Brown says:

    Hugs to Lobster Baby, Talli :-)

    My life as an author has yet to reach full time so the full time thing I do is website support for a Fortune 500 company
    Single mom to a rambunctious girl I call Chipmunk
    Avid, though slow, reader
    Plus, I love anime, Hayao Miyazaki being an animation movie director I favor.
    I do a bit of singing and have been told I should be on the radio, not for the singing, but because of my of my voice lol!

  14. V.S.Nelson says:

    Full time writer these days but once upon a time I was a teacher, professor of History. Once I retired I took off to teach abroad (from the U.S.) I was blessed with living in counties like Egypt, Lebannon, U.A.E. , Qatar, Saudi, Kuwait among many. I’m a mother of 3 grown beautiful children, a grand mother and thanks to my other half a great grandma! Of course, I held many unusual jobs while I worked on my college degree. Working as a bartender, a PBX operator, a wildlife rehabber and even a sale clerk at Walmart helped meet the financial demands a young student had – and oh do I draw on those experiences in my writing.
    Wonderful post today, thanks for allowing us to share. V

  15. Bob Northam says:

    Bob Here. Author of that book about dialysis that you’re all dying to read!

    I retired at the end of 2011. I was VP of Finance for a Fortune 500 corporation. Now if that doesn’t qualify me to write a humorous book about a serious medical issue, I really don’t know what would.

    I live in Texas (yee-hah!) with my long-suffering wife. (Kidding…I think.) We have two adult children and one grandson. Our son has served in the U.S. Navy for 12 years, he is assigned to a submarine. I get claustrophobic just thinking about it.

    Great to read all these other posts. Very diverse group to say the least.

    Be good. And if you can’t be good, be careful!

    • Talli Roland says:

      Hi Bob! Wow, VP of Finance – yes, definitely qualifies you to write a humorous book! :) I lived in Longview, TX, for a few months. Such friendly people!

  16. Author and lunch lady–what a combination! :)

    Need I say more? Ah, I’ve worked with food off and on my entire life. I’ve also done office work, cared for elderly folks and played paralegal. But food’s the best because I don’t have to think too much about what I’m doing. Even with the new standards for American school lunches, feeding 200 daycare and elementary students is easy (it’s cooking for just two or three that’s tough for me!). And I do it all, with the help of a part time serving and clean up person.

    I can get lots of plot thinking and conversations done while panning up chicken nuggets! And that’s a good thing.

  17. My first job titles were Chicken Catcher and Corn Detasseler. I lived a somewhat normal small town life in Nebraska until I dropped out of dental school to become a stand-up comedian and founding member of The Groundlings improvisational comedy troupe in Los Angeles.
    As a voice actor I’ve been heard in hundreds of commercials, a few TV shows, and a movie. And it is my dubious claim to fame that I set a record for the most winning acts on The Gong Show (three). But then, I also hold the record for the most gonged acts (three). I’m living proof that in life, you win some and you lose some.
    Currently I work at Crutchfield Corp. selling consumer electronics over the phone and via on line live chat from my home office. Plus, on the side, I still record voiceovers for TV commercials at my home recording studio. Don’t be impressed, though; it is a USB mic on a stand in my home office, and I edit them on my computer and email them to the TV station.

  18. Wow, my contribution is going to be slightly underwhelming in light of everyone else’s amazing jobs/lives…LOL I’m a wife & mother to two beautiful girls (who fight constantly!), a 90 lb black lab/shepherd mix who thinks she’s a lap dog, two cats who can’t be in the same room without trying to kill each other, and a guppy who is my favorite of the bunch (though he’s two now, so Lord only knows how much time he has left).

    I scooped candy at a repackaging plant for my last job. Pretty monotonous stuff, though we could wear headphones & eat all the candy we wanted, so it had its perks. :-) I’ve been a full-time writer for several years now. I’m also a gardener & home canner and television junkie. I’m trying hard to wean myself from that last one, though I just recently found Psych, so it may be awhile yet. ;-)

  19. I paint in watercolor. This has interfaced with my life as an author. The cover of Big Dragons Don’t Cry, the first in my fantasy series, A Dragon’s Guide to Destiny, is a detail from one of my paintings. I will use another painting as the basis for No. 4 in the series.

    Beyong that, painting is relaxation for me and often just pure sensation.

  20. G. A. Donaldson says:

    I’m a freelance writer specializing in comedy, web content, and some offline writing. I’m also an internet marketing consultant. I used to work as a door-to-door salesman, as a printer’s assistant, many factory jobs, and as a farmer. Which is all great writing experience. My true love is writing fiction, although writing comedy is a close second. I live in a small town just outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

  21. Rena George says:

    Hi Tali, I have a life-long background in journalism, mainly newspapers, although I have done freelance magazine work.
    I’m an exiled Scot, now living in Yorkshire, mother of three, grandmother of two and a half. The ‘half’ is due in May – and we can’t wait! xx

  22. I’m a former English teacher, mom of two youngsters, and avid stand-up paddleboarder! I’ve run with the bulls in Pamplona, parasailed, skied downhill, and danced under the stars. I love seeking out the adventure in life and seeing the humor in things, which I try to incorporate into all of my books.

    Carpe Diem!

  23. I am a full-time dentist and a part-time author. The writing’s been slower since my boss semi-retired, leaving me the only full-time dentist on staff. *Sigh* Anyone know a good dentist I can hire?

  24. Up until last year, I was a library assistant at a public library. After we moved to a new town, I became an administrative assistant at a community mental health center that serves two counties, which has been a fascinating learning experience. Prior to all of that, I worked in university communications/public relations.

    In my spare time, I photograph cemetery headstones and work on random history projects for my blog. I currently have two guinea pigs and a lot of houseplants. I’m married to a high school physics teacher. I find folding laundry to be kind of meditative but hate vacuuming carpet.

    • SK Holmesley says:

      For me it’s doing dishes. Agree on the vacuuming, but my daughter-in-law does that – one of the many reasons I love her. :-)

      • Lily silver says:

        hey, a kindred spirit. I am a photographer, and my favorite subject is cemetery headstones and sculptures. I do digital but my favorite medium is black and white film!

        • I was one of the last groups at a local university to take an intro to photography class shooting on film. I learned A LOT about contrast and composition in that class.

          I’m really interested in cemetery art and just acknowledging the people who are buried on the prairie. Many of the old graves belong to people whose families would later move on and never return. It’s such an important thing, I think, to acknowledge that they existed and mattered and have an entire story unto themselves. My personal fascination: collecting photographs of Victorian headstones featuring hand art.

    • Talli Roland says:

      Ugh, I hear you on the vacuuming! And how fascinating – photographing headstones. You must get some great ideas for novels!

  25. Here I go:
    I’m another RN but retired. I’m the mother to a wonderful daughter who’s a web designer.
    I’m a newlywed (since June) when I acquired another daughter, a son, a son-in-law and my awesome grandson. So I guess that makes me wife to a wonderful, talented man who’s also a writer (and a blacksmith, a cowboy shootist, a silversmith…)
    I’m mother to one rescue dog and several rescue cats.
    I’m an avid reader and amateur historian who’s dabbled in reenacting (time-consuming and very expensive).
    And I’ve found that this year I’ve become obsessed with trees. I’ve started taking pictures of them bare-nakkid this winter (the trees, not me). They have such individual personalities.
    There’s more but it’s boring…

  26. Until last Friday, February 1st 2013, I worked for a guarantor of the US Department of Education. With another season of tax offsets looming, I jumped at the opportunity to move up to Northern California and into a little cabin by the ocean. I’ve lined up a part-time job at the local deli. I will be focusing on the final draft of my first novel and finishing several companion short stories to release beforehand. I’m diving in head first, I know, but it’s been a long time coming. Over the past five years, I got passed my whining and I’ve proven to myself that I have the discipline to write part-time while working full-time. Now, I’m going to work part-time and write full-time. Honoring my bliss.

  27. Talli
    You sound like you have your hands full- and writing is demanding and time just disappears.
    As for me, I began as a painter, but had to go to work. I ultimately became an art director, first in publishing, then advertising, in both NY and London. I wrote a lot of marketing plans, but never a story. After 40 (!) years, I woke up one day and began to write a memoir about a summer I spent in Austria, painting.(I had taken notes.) The book, which I’ve just completed, has taken me two years and has been an intense and emotional experience. But it also brought back my painting, and I have recently had two paintings accepted for exhibitions, one in NYC in March. I still do graphic design as well for a couple of clients. My book and my life are closely intertwined.

  28. Lily silver says:

    at present, I work part time as a library assistant. I run the circulation desk two afternoons a week. It keeps me appraised of trends and lastest releases in books. I also get to study a lot of cover art to see whats popular for different genres. (that helps me make decisions on my own covers) I am also a photographer, having become addicted to the art in high school….some thirty plus years ago. I like to dabble in watercolors to relax.

    • Talli Roland says:

      Lily, what a great job for a writer to have!

    • I’m a former library assistant! The first thing I noticed was how the big publishers would sneakily come out with very similar covers and titles at about the same time. I loved when a patron would come to the desk and say, “I’m looking for that book, it’s kind of read, and I think there’s a dog on it, and it was by someone like Robert or Bob?” And they really meant the one that’s blue with a cat and by a woman named Elizabeth.

  29. SK Holmesley says:

    W2: Currently searching for a contract or perm in IT in west Kissimmee, FL, after being laid off at the end of 2011 when my employer moved to the Cloud and axed their data centers. Have learned a first clue that a large corporation is facing financial difficulty is when they don’t renew their maintenance contracts, thinking T&M (time & materials) is going to save them money.

    Jobs: from babysitter (high school), to dishwasher (college), and file clerk to hardcore IT / infrastructure support (work), I’ve spent a career doing whatever my employer needed me to do to keep their business running.

    Personal: Live with my son, daughter-in-law, and 5 year old granddaughter here and have an 18 year old granddaughter in California from my daughter-in-law’s first marriage. We have a family owned partnership and write applications and books. The elder granddaughter just did the inset for the cover of the third book in my Taggert House Series (family drama, mystery–mostly skeletons in the closet, mildly paranormal–no vampires, werewolves, or wizards). I loved sitting on the porch and listening to the gossip when we used to visit my grandparents on the farm, and I tend to write sort of gossipy stories where everything is uncovered as the various characters ask questions when something catches their attention–like lazy summer days, sitting on the porch, catching up on the goings and comings in the lives of the people my mother grew up with. My daughter-in-law is a writer (epic fantasy — The Consortium Series) and an artist (she’s sketched all her characters–I keep trying to get her to sketch mine, but she’s so busy).

  30. I’m a pampered housewife, married 44 years, who sits around all day writing books and drinking coffee. I play classical piano for breaks. For fun I travel with my husband to nice resorts on business trips and visit grandchildren in California. My favorite pastime though is to eat supper on trays with my husband by the fire and watch British dramas like “Upstairs, Down stairs” and “Downton Abbey.” I serve tea in china teacups. Please give your precious son a kiss for me!

  31. Gail Kushner says:

    I am an artist who used to work as an environmental scientist. The scientific work gave me the skills I needed to interview people (psychics) and write in a cohesive manner. The artwork has been loads of fun. Now, when I do crafts fairs, I also sell my book. When I do book talks, I also sell my crafts. Kinda fun, eh?

  32. I’m a writer but my day job is working for the government but I am laid off (that’s part of the bad things happening to good people I mentioned yesterday). I worked in journalism and for a legal publishing company. I would like to make writing my full-time job and last career move, but my books aren’t selling that well. I’m also the mom of Jay, the cat from he**. No, he’s very cute and happens to be named after the hero of “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny.” His foster mom named him Jay and I kept the name.

  33. Christina says:

    This is fun :)

    I’ve been married 23 years minus six months, and that is a story unto itself. Maybe I’ll write it, or a fictionalized account, one day. I have a 19 year old son whom I homeschooled until he decided to get his GED at 17. My day job is an HR assistant, but I’m also self-employed part-time as a general transcriptionist. I also run a website and write fiction / non-fiction, so in reality I feel as if I have about three jobs. My goal is to be a full-time writer and be self-employed again. I’ve been writing and self-publishing for 1 year and I’m starting to see fruits of that now. I write under my name as well as under a pen name.

    I grew up in Georgia but now live in Alabama. I love living in the southern US but my husband and I want to travel for a while. We plan to buy a travel trailer and tour the country. We have two dogs and a cat.

    • Talli Roland says:

      Sounds like your life is very busy! And I love the southern US, too. I’ve only been to Texas and Louisiana, but it definitely whet my appetite to do more exploring.

  34. Deborah Jay says:

    Congrats on Lobster Baby!
    Quite a range of professions above, none like mine, though.
    I’m a rider/trainer/judge of dressage horses and have 2 books and many magazine articles published on the subject. It’s a very full-time job, but I love writing so much I have to fit it in somewhere!
    I’m surrounded by animals (love it) and they are my children ;)
    I’m not so far from you. Talli, near Brighton, in Sussex.
    And not enjoying the weather, just now!

    • Talli Roland says:

      I love Brighton! I’ve done the Seven Sister walk a few times, and it’s such gorgeous country in those parts. And what an interesting job you have.

  35. This was such a great idea, Talli! I’ve enjoyed reading what others do and have done. Some interesting folks here! :-)

    I did investigations for the state for 9 years and then for the family courts for 10. I’ve met some wonderful people, some not so great people and I’ve seen some downright evil things along with some that were awe-inspiring. Definitely have had a lot of experiences that I can use to make my writing more realistic.

    Before that, I worked as a grocery cashier, pharmacy clerk, in an accounting department, a law firm, delivered flowers and at a fried chicken place. I also cleaned my dad’s garage and ran and got parts for him (running really – I was 12 to 14 – and several places within a mile). Lots of jobs – some better than others. But they all taught me different things.

    I’m the aunt to three nieces and four great nieces and nephews. Our family is very close which I appreciate so much. I know I can always count on them. I’m also the mom to an 11 year old cat, Samantha, who thinks she’s a person. And did I mention she can talk? :-)

    • Talli Roland says:

      What does Samantha says? :)

      And I’m sure your past has spawned some great ideas, Rhonda!

      • Samantha says a very clear “noooowww” when I’m not getting her food to her fast enough. She also says “no” and “yeah” when I ask her a question and when she can’t find me, I can hear her through the house calling “mama”. LOL Yeah, I know. You all will think I’m nuts. But that’s okay. I’ve had several people turn to me in awe and ask, “Did that cat just say mama?” ;-) When my parents are visiting from out of town, I’ll tell her to go say goodnight to them and she’ll go to each one and say something that sounds a little like “niiiiggh” but it’s not as clear as the other. It’s fun to see her walk over to each and do that and then go to the door and wait for me. :-) I could be delusional, but like I said, other folks have commented on the things she says.

        • SK Holmesley says:

          I don’t think you’re delusional. We’ve had many cats over the years and a number of them would try to mimic words that were common and within their pronunciation range. My son’s first kitten used to see me come when my son called “Mom”, so took to calling me “Mom” too. Especially at meal time, he would sit in the kitchen and screech it as loud as he could. He didn’t necessarily know what it meant, but did know that the sound was sure to bring me running. :-)

  36. Alison Pensy says:

    It’s great to see what others do. I run my own tax and accounting business, so I’m in ‘headless chicken’ mode at the moment. I’m a Brit living in the US. I have traveled extensively and backpacked around Australia when I was 20. Married to my soul mate for nearly 12 years now. All my children have four legs apart from the chickens :-)

    I ride, I act, I’m part of a mounted search and rescue team and CERT team, I get involved in the community and I do Zumba and yoga in my living room, though not at the same time :-)

  37. Well, let’s see . . . I’m a retired legal secretary and administrator who now does what she wants to do — write! I’m working on my first book, a memoir, and have one essay published in an anthology. I blog at Healing by Writing (http://healingbywriting.wordpress.com) and am just returning from a self-imposed hiatus following some critical family health issues over the last year causing us to travel quite a bit. I also have just established a book blog for reviewing books (other than memoirs, which happen on Healing by Writing). That blog is called Found Between the Covers (http://foundbetweenthecovers.wordpress.com). I enjoy all aspects of writing, words, grammar, editing and proofing so feel free if someone has a need for another pair of eyes to contact me at salice78@comcast.net.

    In addition, my husband and I own a cottage industry designing and manufacturing artistic music stands (http://noteworthymusicstands.com). I also love to read anything in print and dabble in quilting, sewing for myself, and knitting. I think that’s about it, except my volunteer work with young moms.

  38. I consider myself a Jacque-of-all-trades: food waitress, cocktail waitress, bartender, went college for interior design, member of the US Navy from 1981-1988 where I was a secretary, bartender, studied Russian language and got to live in Iceland for a year, married a career Navy man after I got out and in Hawaii, where my daughter was born, I drove Nissan cars all over the island, worked as Assistant Manager at a JoAnn Fabrics, office and trust account manager at several real estate offices, created and maintained web sites for real estate agents, got a divorce just before 9/11 then got a job as a security screener for TSA at an airport in Alaska, and finally a bookkeeper, research analyst, technical writer and editor for 5 real estate appraisers in Alaska until my mother getting ill caused me to quit my job and take care of her full time, but this situation has now afforded be to stay home and write full time while my current husband is working in the oil fields of North Dakota. I have a son and two grandchildren. Whew and I do use some of where I’ve been and done in my books and I love the editing side of writing as well.

  39. Doug Welch says:

    I’m a retired community college instructor and now full time writer.
    Before that, I lived another life and, as a consequence, acquired a wide range of experiences.
    I served the U.S. Navy and my country in Vietnam.
    I repaired robots and automated equipment in the aerospace industry.
    I was publicity chairman of the California Belly Dance Association, formed a belly dance band, and then did a bit part in a major motion picture, “The China Syndrome.”
    I became a Manufacturing Engineer and served as Regional Chairman of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
    Finally as a Professor of Manufacturing Technology at a local community college, I taught robotics math, physics, chemistry and automation. Name it, and I’ve likely done it.
    I love science. If you’re writing science fiction and have a science question I’d be happy to help. (see my recent blog post at http://douglasrwelch.blogspot.com/)
    However, despite threatening to do so for many years, I’d never written a book. So as a retirement occupation I started writing novels. I love it and plan to continue it as long as I can type, scribble or speak.
    Doug Welch

  40. Pat Gragg says:

    What a lot of interesting people!
    I’m a full time writer, working on my third book of fiction. Novels have been my main interest since I was very young. I’ve worked as an editor/writer almost my whole life: tech writing for Microsoft and Boeing, PR writing for a variety of businesses, book doctoring, and so on. I have a large family in the area that takes up a lot of my time. I also paint in water color and acrylics and write poetry. I get together with other writers and occasionally, I get into a do-it-yourself mood, and fix up my apartment.

  41. I was off email for most of yesterday, so just getting back to reading about all you talented and “diverse” people.

    When I need an expert in something I’m writing, I’ll just put a call out on the WG2E loop and I bet one of you will answer.

    Thanks, Talli. This was great.


  42. deniz says:

    Aww, I missed this one! Let’s see… Day job I work at the United Nations. I also knit!
    Looking forward to reading everyone else’s stories!