Blogs by Laura Spinella
This has Nothing to do with Pitbulls
7/29/2010 11:22:34 AM
The second I sold a book came the question: So when are you quitting your regular job? LOL to that and the equally amusing: Where does your book tour start? While Iím, of course, flattered by the rock star illusions, quitting my regular job hasnít crossed my mind. Before BEAUTIFUL DISASTER sold, I explained my job by way of two veins: writing that I get paid for and writing that I hope to get paid for. While the latter has become a reality, Iím hardly in a position to let go of the guaranteed cash. Iím fortunate to freelance for a local newspaper, (just outside the Boston loop) covering the real estate beat for the past five years. Prior to that, I wrote for a regional magazine and newspaper on Marylandís Eastern Shore. Newspaper or magazine writing may not pay the mortgage, but it pays enough bills to avoid employment that would mean certain doom for meóand the job. The idea of a nine-to-five environment sends me into a panic attack: insurances offices, grocery stores, and hair salons tending to incite the most caustic arrhythmias. But the idea of spending day after day in a dark corner with a lap top and no human contact, Iím okay with that. So goes the mind of a writeróor maybe just somebody with a social anxiety disorder.
Anyway, the beauty of freelance writing is the flexibility. I cover our Home Portrait section, which means I spend a couple of days each week in strangersí bathrooms. Well, thatís the short cheeky answer I like to give. The job runs the gamut. It takes me to ho-hum duplexes that I can, at this point, produce a decent piece on if I suffered an aneurism while touring, as well as multi-million dollar estates in the ritzier suburbs of Boston. Naturally, theyíre fun to see. Who doesnít want to know how the other half lives? Iíve even learned curious nuances of high end living: Buy a Wolf over a Viking if youíre going for the six-burner, professional grade stove. The repairs on the Viking are astronomical. Rich people have just as much laundry and bills lying around, but generally a better library. And hereís my chronic pet-peeve: If youíre paying anything over 1.5 million for a property there should be a pool. I donít care if you like pools or donít like pools, if you spend six months a year in gated community in South Beach. For that kind of money you should get a pool.
For the most part Realtors are friendly people. Iím not the buyer or the seller, I have no dog in the hunt, plus Iím there to say nice things about their listing. That generally translates into a nice conversation and a low pressure situation. Not that the past five years havenít resulted in a moment or two. Once I was scheduled to tour a median priced property, nothing special from what I could gather from the pre-tour photos. The Realtor had been anxious for the story, apparently needing to move the property. The homeowners were present, which is not my favorite situation. In this instance one of two things occurs, they follow like a shadow, making me feel as if the Artful Dodger has been summoned to pick pocket their property. Or they want to tell me about the thirty years theyíve spent in the home, everything from the baby book memories to the upgrades. The memories arenít so bad, but when they whip out the notebook noting the washer change to the kitchen faucet in 1991, weíve got a problem. I digress, back to my median home tour. Upon entering this particular house I sense a tense vibe. The husband is standing on one side of the kitchen, unwilling to make eye contact with me. The wife looks like sheís ready to burst into tears, poised at the opposite end. I get the feeling Iíve interrupted some intense shouting. Seriously, the air is still vibrating from the decibel level. I donít really have a choice except to ignore it and go about my business. The Realtor suggests we start in the bedrooms, which is odd but okay with me. Maybe these two will decide to take it outside while Iím noting the amenities in their master bath. (FYI put your money in the kitchen, not master bath amenities) Weíre just about to retreat to the opposite end of the house when the wife screams, ďNo! You canít leave me and sell my house!Ē With this she lunges for the butcher block set of knives. No kidding. Iím not sure if sheís coming for me or going for him, but the husband manages to tackle her before the paring knifeóor worseómakes it to her hand. At this point, the argument picks up from where I guess it left off, the wife rather hysterical that her husband was not only leaving her, but leaving her for a man. Bug-eyed and short on breath, Iím thinking that a month in a dark corner wonít produce that scene.
And people wonder why I donít quit my day job.
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More Blogs by Laura Spinella
Home Field Advantage - Thursday, February 17, 2011
Transaction Complete - Saturday, February 12, 2011
We Are Go For Launch - Wednesday, February 09, 2011
And This Happened Where? - Wednesday, January 12, 2011
December Perspectives - Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The Show Must Go On - Tuesday, December 07, 2010
A Drum Roll, Please... - Friday, November 26, 2010
One Author's Eye Candy - Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The Witchcraft of Writing - Wednesday, November 03, 2010
The Eureka of Cumulative Research - Thursday, October 14, 2010
There's Something Odd About Us - Monday, September 20, 2010
Summer Whine - Saturday, September 11, 2010
This has Nothing to do with Pitbulls - Thursday, July 29, 2010
Artistry & Bad Brakes - Monday, July 19, 2010
Pack Up Your Troubles and Just Get Happy - Friday, July 09, 2010
Character Analysis 101 - Sunday, June 27, 2010
Ticket to Travel - Thursday, June 17, 2010
Bound for Publication - Monday, June 07, 2010