"Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way."
The Holy Bible: The Second Book of Moses, Called Exodus: 23:20
One thing about living the writer's life is this: You have to be prepared to make a lot of sacrifices and learn to live on the edge. I always tell the students in my writing classes (especially travel journalism) "Don't quit your day job!" Because the truth is, until you get to be a best-selling author you are not going to make a lot of money out of writing. These days especially, free-lancing has become particularly grim and you're lucky if you get a measly $25 for a story. I've made up to $700 (including photos) but lately, the newspapers have formed their own little groups (umbrellas) and take very little free-lance material. So you're always on the look-out for new markets. And frankly, most of the internet markets don't pay much if anything.
I've managed to live a 95% writer's life for the last couple of years because I teach writing classes, though these are seasonal and I'm on 8 week contracts for them. Therefore I keep my name in one daycare which I sometimes work for, though over the past few months this has turned into a rare occasion. I don't teach during the summer other than the short four-week "Writing in the Park" memoirs group I did. So believe me, I am an expert at living on the edge. In fact, the past two months have been about as grim as they could get. My modest pension barely covers rent and utilities and any extra expenses quickly run the bank account dry. I've gotten used to not buying new clothes, carefully chosing where I shop for groceries, and scrimping wherever I can. It isn't always fun. I have no car but I have a bus pass which allows me free access around town and I walk whenever I can. Because of my low income I have a leisure pass that allows me free access to swimming pools.
When things happen like expected paycheques that dont materialize, and no calls to work, then I'm in a big fix. But thanks to my GUARDIAN ANGELS and very kind, generous friends, somehow I have managed to get by all summer, by the skin of my teeth.
In one respect, being home and not at work outside has given me more time for my writing. But that's the catch. No work. No money. And that's where the guardian angels have been so attentive, watching over me to make sure my needs are met. And they always are! From care packages of groceries to small loans, my friends have assissted me.
I'm sure my father is one of those Guardian Angels who are looking after me. Lately he's been very close, showing up in my dreams and always in my thoughts. And again today, there was 'help' when I needed it.
I went to pick up my pay and found it only covered one short day, not three as expected. What to do with the end of the month still almost 2 weeks away? I felt pretty close to tears, desparing over this endless plight of pennilessness. Decided to treat myself to lunch and think things over, say a few prayers, send some good thoughts to the cosmos.
Walking home down the Drive, along came a Guardian Angel (that lovely Frenchman whose smile lights up my world!) Had an inspiring, though short chat with him, then on down the Drive. Ran into my surrogate daughter/friend who I hadn't seen for ages. We went for coffee and a talk. Then, on the way down the street, we stopped to buy some autumn flowers to brighten up my apartment, and suddenly she slipped me $50. I was astonished! Such kindness. And now another friend has offered to loan me a bit more so I can pay my apartment insurance. See? The Guardian Angels are watching over me. I have a lot to be thankful for!
I thought my Memoir class was starting up today, but it was a mistake and not til next week and at that time my 3 night school classes also begin. So the end is in sight! Meanwhile I will concentrate on more writing. Have to fine-tune the last chapter segment of the novel and think about writing another travel article. After all, if you don't send things out to market you won't get any returns, no matter how small.
"When at night I go to sleep
Fourteen angels watch do keep..."
"Let brotherly love continue.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby
some have entertained angels unawares."
The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews 13: 1-2