Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guest Blogger Nina Pierce - How Hard Can it Be?

Over the years I’ve had numerous jobs. And when I say numerous … I mean like over 50. Really. I’m the female version of George Plimpton. (Only he was into sports. And a writer. And he made TONS of money … but you know… kinda like him.)
Anyway, I started working when I was 15 at the local Micky D’s. This was the beginning of drive-throughs and when we used to make shakes the old-fashioned way, with a mixer. A squirt of flavoring and ice cream, then blend. That stupid machine and I didn’t get along. I can’t tell you how many times it exploded all over me. But my most memorable moment was when a container of strawberry topping slipped from my hand to the floor. It hit the tiles flat on its bottom which caused the most interesting eruption of strawberry sauce, easily 5 feet in the air. How do I know this? When it was done, it was dripping off my face and the brim of my hat, and down the front of my uniform. And all of this happened in slow motion in front of a lobby filled with the lunch crowd. FULL! Oh, yeah, that was a fun job.
Let’s see, I’ve worked at a jean store, a mortgage company, an aquarium, a frame store, a processing plant, an overnight summer camp, and a daycare. I’ve been a waitress, a “go-fer” for a game warden, a science teacher, a lab assistant, a janitor, an ed tech, a tutor, a resident assistant, a substitute teacher, and a secretary at a job recruiter and a real estate office.
Some of those jobs I didn’t really like. Being a janitor in a girl’s dormitory wasn’t really something I enjoyed. I’m not even going into the whole bathroom situation. Nor the job working second shift at a processing plant for computer components. I spent the summer straightening wire leads with pliers and boiling components in oil to watch for bubbles. *shudders* Those were long days. But the summer I worked on an island off the coast of Maine at an overnight camp was awesome. Working as a lab assistant, teaching physics labs in college was pretty cool as well. And I didn’t really suffer when I worked as a waitress. All those people to visit with … yeah, it was fun.
But I have to say this current job … this writing career I’ve chosen. Man, this is hard. Five years ago when I sat down without any idea about the publishing world I was in absolute bliss pounding out my first novel. Which, at the time, I believed was an absolute masterpiece … ummm, not so much! (I can confess now it’s hidden waaaay under my bed… never to see the light of day.)
I looooove stretching my imagination and creating plots. It’s a hoot when it all comes together. But sometimes it’s just work. Don’t laugh. Of course it’s work. I just didn’t expect it to be. And working for myself? Well, that requires more discipline than I have some days. It’s too easy to find something other than weaving new stories to fill my days. Like shopping on the internet, playing on twitter, visiting forums, or … blogging.
Writing is a difficult journey. It’s so easy to let things just slow me down or completely block up the works. To help me over this hump and support my career, I’ve joined a goal group through my local writing chapter of RWA. We’ve agreed to support each other in our writing journeys. It’s the habit of writing every day that successful authors develop.
It’s baby-steps that get a book written. 100 words in a paragraph, paragraphs adding up to pages, pages to chapters and chapters to a complete manuscript. Then voila … I’m sending a finished story to an editor! And I tell you there’s nothing more thrilling in this business than a publisher offering you a contract for your story.
So this may be a really hard profession, but it’s worth all the work. My favorite quote by Michael Kanin says it all … “I don’t like to write, but I love to have written.”

My most recent release, Healer’s Garden, a futuristic erotic suspense novel is available from Ellora’s Cave. It was a wonderful challenge to create a world that didn’t exist. A world where men are submissive to women and are used only for procreation.

Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8077-healers-garden.aspx

In the female dominated society of the 23rd century, mating with a male, even if it is to save the human race, is a distasteful task and one Healer Jahara Hriznek has successfully avoided—until now.

Brenimyn is a gifted breeding instructor at the Garden of Serenity. Forced to copulate with all females requesting his services, he yearns to find the one woman who responds to his touch. When Jahara arrives with the new class of breeders, Brenimyn’s body immediately aches for her, but convincing the stubborn healer that sex between a man and a woman is more than just an act for procreation proves to be a challenge he refuses to fail.

Jahara doesn’t want to enjoy the sinful rapture only Brenimyn brings to her body. Brenimyn has no intention of dousing the flames of desire licking at them until Jahara is completely his—body, mind, and heart. But when the government finds their loving relationship a threat to the natural order, there may be more than their stubborn wills at stake.
Healer's Garden Trailer

Nina Pierce on the web:
website: http://www.ninapierce.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ninapierce
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ninapierce


Nina Pierce said...

Hi ladies! It's cold and windy in Maine today. I'm looking forward to hanging out with you all and talking about this crazy business of writing!

Kelly Jamieson said...

Nina, great to see you here! Welcome to the Naughty Nine! Wow, you have certainly had a wide range of work experience! In my whole life I've had 5 jobs. Not counting the writing, which isn't full time for me, must still go to day job #5 :-(. But yeah, writing is still work!

Your book sounds so intriquing and I love that beautiful cover!

Amber Skyze said...

I like that Michael Kanin quote.

Congrats on the new book. Gorgeous cover.

Nina Pierce said...

Kelly - Thanks for having me! LOL! Most of it was because I had to put myself through college so I often had 3 jobs at a time. But I am very fortunate to be able to write full time right now.

Nina Pierce said...

Amber - Thanks! Syneca designed the cover and I just love it! And that quote is taped to my monitor for those times when I get discouraged.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Hope it gets warm for you soon, Nina! It'll be in the 80's here, but it's cold this morning! I liked the "soda" story.

I was a cashier at Wards when I was in college, handed a lady too much in change once--we both had hold of the $10, which would have come out of my pocket if she hadn't let go of it, and that would have meant nearly a day of wages for me. What's the expression--possession is 9/10ths of the law? Well, she was determined to hold to that law. And I was too. LOL I finally was able to get the $10 from her, but only after a very terse, "I'm sorry, but I've made a mistake, MA'AM. That's not your money." Like in, give it back or else! And we had one of those long gunfight scenes where two gunslingers are staring each other down before the guns clear their holsters :)

Nina Pierce said...

Terry - Are you kidding me? It wasn't hers! Doesn't that just irk you? *sigh* Glad you didn't back down. Silly shopper.

Nina Pierce said...

Terry - Are you kidding me? It wasn't hers! Doesn't that just irk you? *sigh* Glad you didn't back down. Silly shopper.

Meg Benjamin said...

LOVE that quote--that really sums the whole process up, doesn't it. Welcome to the Naughty Nine!

Erin Nicholas said...

Welcome, Nina!
My worst job was as a maid at a local hotel... wow. Or no, wait, it was detassling corn (that's an Iowa thing :))-- outside, in the sun and dirt, and the bugs... ugh! :)

But yeah, the writing is a tough one. And a fantastic one at the same time!
Thanks for being here!

BrennaLyons said...

You sound like me. In my lifetime, I've been a tutor, a waitress (the worst, I think), a secretary/assistant, a camp counselor (loved it just as much as you did), a cashier, a stock clerk (not as bad as you might think...not a bad job, overall), the assistant manager of a conveince store (nope...that was THE worst), an account exec overseeing an entire region of AAFES (okay...I admit it...I loved running circles around the IT guys and tracking fraud suspects), a bank rec specialist for NEXCOM (I loved backward engineering acocunting systems and doing IT), working in special needs child care (including owning my own company), a sub teacher, an editor, and an author. I've even belonged to a union, once in my life. I've probably forgotten something in there, but that will tell you how many jobs I've had...so many it's hard to remember them all.

I agree. I tell people all the time that writing is harder work than just about anything on that list, including teaching boating, fire starting, and archery to self-destructive 12 y/o boys. Rolling eyes.


Nina Pierce said...

Meg - Isn't that the best quote? Thanks for stopping by.

Nina Pierce said...

Erin - I didn't mention I did work one potato harvest pulling rocks from potatoes before they were shelved ... yep, a totally Maine thing. What doesn't kill us and all that! LOL!

Nina Pierce said...

Brenna - Are we twins? I think we held the same jobs. Well, except the 12 y/o fire starter thing. And yes, writing is probably the hardest and yet most satisfying job I've had.

alanarose said...

As a freshman in high school, we had a guest speaker in our keyboarding class that enlightened us all on the joys of creativity in the work place. She was certainly a shock to the teacher as she went on and on about the variety in her career path. Of course, back in the early 90's this was totally unacceptable and her speech was cut short by faculty, but I remember looking at her with awe in my eyes. This was how I wanted to live my life and for the first ten years of my professional life, that's exactly what I did. So thank goodness for people like you, her and me. We let others know that it's okay to experience and find the right fit to make you happy.

JIllian Hallowell said...

I've held a ton of jobs too. First at Sears, then to McDonald's which I loved. A couple of marriage proposals, jokes, an older man - stalker - and many laughs.

Writing beats all of those. I tried to explain how I write to a doctor today and he just didn't "get" it.

It was great to see you at the conference this weekend. I heard your workshop was awesome. Sorry I missed it.


BrennaLyons said...

I don't know if we're twins, but...

Jillian... When I worked at the convenience store, I wore a fake wedding band to try and keep the stalkers away. Still, I had them following me home from work...at least trying to.


Nina Pierce said...

Alanarose - Why would any teacher shut down someone who's talking about their life journey? As a former teacher and a current lover of all things teenager ... I'm bummed for the students in that room. I'm glad you found your round-about path anyway!

Nina Pierce said...

Jillian - A job is definitely made better by the people you work with ... and humor is everything.

It was great to see you at the conference. It was sooooo much fun. And the workshop? Ummmm, I have a different opinion. LOL!

Nina Pierce said...

Brenna - That is so funny! I can flirt with the best of them, but never had a stalker type at any of my jobs. *shudders*

PG Forte said...

Hey, Nina! Glad you could join us today. What a fabulous topic!

I've had my fair share of odd jobs. I did a lot of office work--worked for Pepsi, a large insurance clearing house, oh, and a socket screw company--American Socket Screw, to be exact--where I was the only woman in the office. Those guys could never understand why I found the company name so endlessly amusing. (the word is Acronym, boys--look it up!)

I've also worked in a dress factory, a bagel shop, a retouching studio, a grocery store meat department. I ran a lunch counter at Woolworths. I managed my husband's photo studio--and did some photo styling and set building on the side. I've co-produced documentaries, wrote scripts for films, educational videos, PSAs and commercials, and did some video editing.

I also worked with school kids for about ten years as a docent for a couple of nature centers.

My favorite job (other than the photography and film jobs which I absolutely loved) was working in a store that sold Native American arts, crafts, music, etc. I got to walk around barefoot all day, make sage tea and smudge people. :)

Hardest job was working in a veterinary clinic and kennel. I loved the work, loved the animals, but went home physically exhausted each and every day--and they were not long days, either!

I got so much good writing material out of all those jobs, and met so many interesting people, but nothing compares to writing. It's the best!!

Nina Pierce said...

PG - Good Lord woman! It probably would have been easier to list the jobs you HAVEN'T done. *g* Though all that experience certainly must give you plenty of fodder for your books. I think I may be a tad jealous. ;)

Tina Donahue said...

I agree with you totally, Nina - nothing is harder than writing, except maybe having a baby. (Note the maybe) :)

Nina Pierce said...

Tina - LOL! Yeeeeeah, that's really close.

BrennaLyons said...

Tina... If you think about it, the two are very much of a type.