Jobs, Jobs, Jobs - Part 2
Between jobs, I worked as a legal secretary, one of the strangest occupations I’ve ever had. I would be called in by law firms when they needed temporary extra help or when a regular secretary was on vacation. I got these gigs through an employment agency to whom I lied, telling them I was experienced in this very specialized field. The firms’ demands entailed my understanding what a Writ of Habeas Corpus or a Petition to Expunge was and how to type one perfectly, so that it wouldn’t be thrown out in court. I would have to sneak around the office to phone one of my lawyer buddies to find out what these strange documents were all about and how to type them correctly. I was paid a significant amount for me at the time. But I was always scared of being exposed, of doing irreparable damage to the lawyers and clients, of being shamed.
After I left, I started to write. With two friends I created three of what was then called “non books”. That meant that they were short, had illustrations of various kinds, they were funny and publishers loved them. We had a great time lying around my village apartment, writing and complaining about our bad dates. We laughed incessantly, went out for neighborhood Chinese food where we continued to work, were each other’s best friends and created little books with perky titles like EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD THAT’S THE SAME AS SOMETHING ELSE BOOK, YOU HAVE A HANGUP IF… and WHATEVER HAPPENED TO…?” They were all published.
For a few years, I worked as Publicity Director at a few publishing houses, serious work. Random House and William Morrow. I accompanied authors on their book tours, sometimes had to fight them off, oh yes, I remember that 2 bedroom suite in Chicago, that’s enough about that. But I made significant contacts for my future journalist work. And became committed to becoming a full-time serious writer myself.
Three years passed as I rambled through these absurd jobs. I did publicity at Elektra Records in the day when they had only eight employees and everybody was sleeping with everybody. In my mid-twenties, I got serious about becoming a journalist and gave up being an overfed flack. I borrowed money from my rich brother, bought a new Royal typewriter and sat down to write.
After those few years in publishing, I never had another job in an office.
Well, except for the every Monday gig at TV Guide in LA, where I was then living. I wrote a gossip column called “Grapevine”, for which I got most of my info from publicists and their press releases. Occasionally, one would slip me a really vital piece of TV trivia, but I was also invited to every lunch and soiree in the television business.
In those years I wrote eight more books : Children’s books, including DOLPHINS AT GRASSY KEY, a diet book for Cosmopolitan, a serious tome about the sexual freedom of the 1970’s, my best-selling ETERNAL BLISS MACHINE. A million magazine articles which took me all over the world. This was my career for fifteen years. Until it wasn’t any more, until I wanted to do something totally different. Musical theatre. But yes, another book, during pandemic isolation. MY MOTHER WOULD HATE THIS BOOK, published last year. Where am I headed now, I wonder several times a day?
MY MOTHER WOULD HATE THIS BOOK is now available in hardcover, paperback & eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or order through your local bookstore. https://www.amazon.com/Mother-Would-Hate-This-Book
Check out my website and blog for stories and more: www.marciaseligson.com