In yet another example of the irony that hangs over so many aspects of my life, I am suddenly finding myself in great demand as a freelance writer/editor/English language expert. This is happening because my position with my company is finally secure…and because commuting over an hour each way to a full-time job leaves lots of extra time to freelance. NOT.
It started in late Sept. when I rather foolishly accepted a good-sized fact-checking assignment for a London publishing house that I’ve worked for in the past. I did this because the fee would essentially pay for our Christmas airfare to the U.S. And besides that, Dr. Darling’s university project only lasted until October so she would the be in a position to help me full-time during the final two weeks before the Nov. 18 deadline. Well, we all know that didn’t work out exactly as planned when the Swede’s project was extended, and by the time I’d sent everything on to London, I’d promised myself I’d never take on a project that large again…at least as long as I have a full-time job elsewhere. (We’ll see how long that lasts.)
So in the midst of this chaos I was contacted by a Lund University faculty member who wanted input on her CV and application package for similar position at Stanford University, as well as a PhD student who needed to have his dissertation proofread. I took the CV assignment because it wouldn’t take much time, but I had to turf the dissertation (and the big money) off to someone else.
Then at the end of November I was contacted by the Information Office at Malmö University about translating some of their webpages into English. I had submitted a resumé there during my first year in Sweden and had cultivated a number of contacts around the university, but nothing had ever come of it until this request. I told the project manager that I didn’t think my Swedish was strong enough at this point to do translating, but I’d be happy to proofread the pages after they were in English, if needed.
He said he’d keep me in mind and I thought that would be the end of it, but damn if he didn’t e-mail me with a last-minute gig while I was in the U.S. over Christmas! Unfortunately the combination of my mother’s dial-up connection and "lite" version of Acrobat Reader made it impossible for me to meet their deadline, but this time when he said they’d "keep me in mind" for future projects, I believed him!
Before I had left for the U.S., another professor at Lund University called. He had an entire friggin’ *textbook* he was looking for someone to proofread for him sometime in January…so I sent him my CV and the names of a couple references. And while I’m waiting for him to decide if he’s going to hire me, another PhD student e-mails me about an article he needs edited and polished for an academic journal ASAP. So I’m in the midst of that right now, and suddenly the professor calls earlier today saying he’s ready for me to start on his textbook…which I assume is a sign that I got the job.
So I’m presently busy as hell and rolling in cash. But I can’t help but wonder, WHERE were all these people in the spring and summer of 2004 when we were flat broke and I was desparate for somethng to do?!!!