Wednesday afternoon I went to get the mail, after having put in a short day at the loathsome telephone bank job— which however much I detest, and however much I fear that I have no aptitude for, even though I am getting passingly skilled at their legacy data entry system, and can answer most stupid guest questions now from off the top of my head without looking at their fact-book website… oh, where was I? Oh, yes, the horrid part-time day job, where I am about the first to raise my hand and volunteer to leave, when the incoming calls begin to lag after I have put in a couple of hours. Of the class of ten that I trained with early in July, there is only another person and myself remaining, still putting on a headset and grimly tackling the intricacies of setting up for a shift, logging in to a computer database system that was cutting edge, the very latest word … about three decades ago.
At the time I took the job, having bills to pay, and knowing that I wouldn’t see any income from my books until December, I knew very well that the average tenure was about six months max. This is not the subtle way of saying that yes, Sgt. Mom has been fired again—no, this time I plan to leave on my terms and if I can endure—to leave only after scooping up enough of the time-and-a-half boodle earned through working on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years…
Or maybe not. Life is short, too short to put up with working at a corporate call center. It is not the way I want to spend a minute of my life any longer than I have to, and at this point I might even boycott the casino/resort chain involved for the rest of my natural life. I have come to despise their insanely complicated guest services software program, their once-size-fits-all sales protocol, their demands that we treat their guests with every consideration yet not spend more than 340 seconds or so doing so… a whole long set of contradictory demands placed on phone agents. I’d walk in the door and begin to shake with suppressed resentment about every aspect of the place – the restaurants, the room facilities, all of it. I would hate it that much, for reminding me of the phone bank hell. Nope, the only good thing about this job is that it is a regular paycheck. Something to consider in this time of economic stress… but as they ruthlessly cut back all the part-timers hours at the end of October, there is absolutely no guarantee of that not happening again after the year-end holidays. With luck, they will be done with me at about the same time that I am done with them. Work for the tiny local micro-press is already picking up, almost sufficiently to replace those hours. Capitalism, what a concept, hey?
In the mail yesterday was the final hard copy proof of the final volume of the “Adelsverein Trilogy” – a satisfactorily fat paperback with a gorgeous color cover – I looked at it and thought ‘Oh my, did I really write all that?‘
Yes, of course I did – a long and complicated family saga, full of dreams, drama and ambitions, set in a place that I have come to know and love (even though I came to it quite late in my life) an epic chock-full of historic detail, fascinating people, interesting events… a sort of Texas version of Gone With the Wind. I have great hopes for it, and have posted many sample chapters here, as I wrote them. Being that much of the Trilogy is set in the Hill Country, San Antonio and South Texas generally, perhaps many of these hopes will be realized. The story of the Adelsverein colonists and their descendants has much wider appeal, across a couple of genres – so there you go. I will be ordering quantities of each of the books of the trilogy over the next few days, in order to fulfill pre-sold orders, and to have enough for upcoming signing events. If anyone wants a set, to be delivered by the release date (and in time to have autographed copies in time for Christmas!) please order them as soon as you can. I get a break for ordering 50 books at a time – and I probably won’t put in a massive order again until after Christmas.
End of one road, and the beginning of another. After Christmas, I will start on the next project, tentatively called the Cibola Trails Trilogy. I’m a writer, it’s what I do.