While “normal people” went on “normal” dates, my husband and I went on safe-hunting expeditions, pulling a trailer with a winch.
It all began when we spotted a small safe at a house sale. I thought that the decorative painting made it cute. Though it was priced at $200, the sale was almost over. I told my husband to offer $50. Sold. We loaded it into the front seat of his car, drove it to his house, and positioned it as a small coffee “table” in his library.
Little did I know that this would stir up my husband’s latent safe obsession. He had purchased his for safe at age fourteen. We ended up advertising, hunting for and buying or being given safes. Unlike most safe collectors, we are not safe and vault technicians, legal safecrackers, nor do we have anything valuable to lock in them. We were enchanted with their decorative painting, intricate ironwork, artistic design, and craftsmanship.
I began to research safes, and wrote tales about our safe hunting adventures. We sure had some! There was a market for my writing, Safe and Vault Technology magazine, a trade publication for the safe and vault industry. I became a monthly contributor, and even attended their national conventions. This was my first regular writing gig, and I was doing well. Yes, this is also why I penned the novel, “The Right Combination.”
Confident in my writing skills, I became a regular contributor to a small local newspaper, “In the Neighborhood.” Interviewing local politicians, and fascinating people and events, led to me attending the Shaker Heights Citizen’s Police Academy, and doing a ride- along with a K-9 officer. My current work-in-progress is about a K-9 officer.
This led to me writing for a tabloid, “Focus,” with a “Baby Boomer and Beyond” demographic, interviewing more interesting people. A highlight was befriending a hot air balloon pilot, and riding in amazing hot air balloons, and joining chase teams. My novel, “Champagne for Breakfast” has a hot air balloon scene.
A lead had me discussing writing a history book for a local community. The committee, however, felt that I should volunteer my services for the project. After all, “What is there to writing. You just sit at the kitchen table and write.” Wrong. This project required hours, days, weeks of intense research. I told them that I am a professional writer, not a volunteer. The city decided against a written history. Instead, they compiled a photography book of old images of their city.
I decided to pitch the city where I lived about writing an updated history book. Thinking it was a great idea, the mayor decided to ask three writers to submit proposals. Luckily, I was one of them, and did land the job.
I spent months researching and writing. At the historical society, I asked why there weren’t many photographs from the 1960’s on. I was told that they weren’t historical, so they didn’t have any. I told them that history was made five minutes ago. Anyway, after writing the book, I was selected to coordinate its publication. I hired a graphic designer to help with layout, organized photographs, had additional photographs taken, and had the book published. This was my first foray into self-publishing. The book, “On the Threshold of a New Century: The City of South Euclid, 1967-1999” was a hit. I also had the original history book, up until 1967, republished.
I accomplished a milestone goal. By the time I was forty, I vowed to either obtain and MBA, a degree in Law, or publish a book. Though I took the exams, and applied, the MBA and law ideas were expensive. I really wanted the degrees for self-actualization, more than career advancement. Thus, having my first book published was my best, and least expensive, option. Plus, I discovered that I could get paid for writing.
Everything I’ve done has a been a stepping stone toward a new opportunity.