Yippee ki-yay! I was going to run down this Wild West story and ride it to the big time
As mentioned in I Become a Crawling Thing, for a while I used to be what’s called a freelancer.
Basically, you’re a journalistic tumbleweed. You roll around trying to find an editor to hire you for an assignment at whatever pitiful pay you can get.
Scrounging for dollars back in the day, I rolled into a chamber of commerce office with a big tip for the magazine editor. One of my relatives had other relatives who claimed that one of their kinfolk actually knew Billy the Kid, the legendary western gunslinger.
I tried to do it all . . . and went down for the count
If you read the post A Spy Gets Me In From The Cold, you know I badgered my way onto a daily newspaper.
Finally, I had a steady income, and I got on-the-job training in being a copy editor.
Unfortunately, it all came to an end.
What’s that you ask?
Oh, not the newspapering.
The copy desk chief was really excited about my ability to edit news stories
If you remember from I’m Tagged as a Misfit, I needed money but I was striking out in finding a job.
In my interviews, I showed up overdressed, got pegged as a troublemaker, and channeled the Cheshire Cat.
Afterward, I sat at home lamenting the year I spent writing The Not-So-Great American Novel only to follow it with Western schlock that got whipped out of town by a New York City publisher.
Great. No book. No job. No money.