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Portland Reality April 2, 2009

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Admittedly, when I head to this wonderful Maine town, I have visions of what it will be like. I see myself sitting in the hotel room, writing blog posts to my heart’s content. I envision sneaking out on rainy afternoons to take in a movie. I imagine long walks on the promenade by the bay, birdwatching. I see myself chatting up bartenders, a cocktail or wine glass in my hand, a friend on either side of me. I hallucinate about the good food I’m going to eat.

And yet, more and more, I find myself working most of the day.

The economy has been scaring me as much as it has everyone. It seems that I’m getting less work, although I’m afraid to get out the books and make the year-by-year comparison. I’ve already lost a job this year by insisting the client pay me at the rate they paid two years ago. I do have something new lined up, but there’s a delay in the start date. So last week I went begging.

I didn’t come up empty-handed, but in obtaining a small job, I discovered that yet another client is changing how they pay (from hourly to per-page, which often means the copyeditor will make less). Because of the light nature of the book, I figured I might still be able to make a decent hourly rate, plus I figured I needed to try to make enough money while in Portland to offset what I was going to eat in its fine-dining establishments.

So I worked on that book during my first three days here, in addition to my regular journal chores. And I nearly hated it. It was essentially a book of quotes, something someone might purchase for a friend but never for him/herself—an impulse buy. It was filled with every e-mail forward we’ve all received over the last half-dozen years.

Maybe what depressed me most was that this is the kind of book that can find a publisher these days, while very good writers have work that will never, ever be promoted.

Still, I was thankful for the job. I have to be. But now I find that I haven’t even read blogs in three days. I certainly haven’t been writing.

Is it really that I am so much busier that I seem to get so little accomplished? I fear that in my old age I’m simply becoming less efficient.

And Portland, this town I love, becomes just another place to chase my own tail.

Dinners, though . . . the food here is a dream.



1. Cedar Waxwing - April 2, 2009

I’ll have to get to Portland someday. I think I was there once, but long ago. (nope, just looked. We went to Bar Harbor)
I hope you continue to find work, and hope it is of the more interesting sort.

2. helen - April 2, 2009

Oh Indigo, you should be writing a book because it would be the sort that people would want to buy for themselves. And it will be a bestseller, so that all those visions of Portland will become reality.

Thank goodness for good food. And good company.

3. Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb - April 2, 2009

Well, at least that awful book will be really, really well edited!

4. Mali - April 2, 2009

I’m with Helen. Write a book. And keep eating good food with good friends. Life is too short not to.

5. Joya - April 3, 2009

I third Helen. I’d buy a book by indogo!

Abominable that junk is getting published while good writers are going unheard (unread?), but I hope the jobs keep on coming. Scary, scary times, indeed.

6. indigo bunting - April 3, 2009

Lali: I’m not so sure. It got rather boring. I could have fallen down on the job.

As to me writing a book, well, it seems I don’t have enough time/energy/ideas to write a blog entry! But thank you for the kind thoughts… (when I wrote that, I was thinking my blogging buddies should be getting published, it’s true…as well as a good friend with a good novel…)

7. Alesia - April 3, 2009

Mmm, I fourth Helen. Or have you considered screenplays? A friend of mine said she’s making gobs of money in LA doing re-writes. Oh, then you’d have to be in LA. Nevermind.

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