Friday, April 22, 2011

Still Employed, Pulp Writers Continue

Friday, April 15, 2011 - Long Beach , CA

It's a quarter to eight in the morning and I'm lying in bed, a bit out of it, but feeling pretty good after about nine hours of makeup sleep (this work week was particularly crushing and sleep free). It's been a week since I've touched this diary. I'm not being lazy, just far too busy with work. Plus I really haven't had all that much to say; the day-to-day grind has been pretty much all that's going on, all that's been occupying my mind.

Some interesting news has come down the pipe, though. Despite the looming state budget cuts I've managed to hold on to both my teaching jobs; I've been scheduled in the fall for two classes at each school. That I've kept the Irvine job doesn't surprise me too much as that that district has a lot of money in its coffers. That I'm still at Santiago Canyon College, which is much poorer, has caught me a touch off guard. Adjunct teachers like me come cheap, though, so I guess they're targeting more expensive cuts than us. However, its come about, the situation looks pretty good for me. I've lost enough classes that I can begin my transition to full-time writing in earnest, while still having enough teaching work that I won't come close to starving while doing it. But a part of me, I must admit, is a little disappointed that I tossed completely out of the teaching profession. I was almost looking forward to the struggle of having to make my way with the pen; it would have forced me in a big way into the new life I want so desperately. Now that I can take my time about it the transition is going to lose some of its urgency and glamor. I'm not complaining, though. I've lived on starvation wages before in my life and the romance of the situation exists mostly in hindsight. Plus, I'm a bit too old to really want to take on that kind of stress again ...

As I've said, there really hasn't been much going on for me besides work. In my few free moments I've been continuing my exploration of "pulp" writers. I finished From a High Window, by Raymond Chandler and Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming. I enjoyed both a great deal, especially the Chandler book; he's such a good writer, so lean and incisive. The story was great in this novel too (not enough dangerous hottie femme fatales for my taste, though). My next Chandler book will be The Lady in the Lake. I've already started Moonraker, the third book of Fleming's James Bond series (the LB Library doesn't have Live and Let Die, the second in the series). I read a lot of these Bond books years ago, but I can't remember reading this one; it doesn't yet seem all that familiar. Readings these kinds of books is really good for me, I'm starting to realize. It's been a long time since I've read mostly for the sheer enjoyment of it. I hope to keep this trend going for a while - the fun I'm having with these books is making me feel downright human for a change!

OK, off to the eye doctor for a checkup and then a fun day doing errands. Just another day in the exciting life of the great writer Rob Woodard ...

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