Monday, October 15, 2007

Working Girl

I was in the bookstore browsing books on Jamaica and Bolivia (in perhaps-vain hopes of leaving town for an upcoming holiday) when I came across a book I had written two pieces for.

It's a National Geographic hardcover called Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips. By the time the editors were desperate enough to put out the casting call that found me, most of my specialties had long since been written by others.

Nevertheless, I contributed a few pieces and they even paid me promptly. They put my name in teensy type at the back along with a few hundred other names. It irks me to have to buy a copy. I'm guessing they don't go around handing out $40 hardcovers to the writers. The postage alone would be mind-boggling.

Less irksome is that the page the book falls open to is a piece that my pal Amanda wrote. (Damn you, Castleman. You and your falafel got a good spot.)

I also worked on another book that just came out, or maybe I didn't. I just shot off an e-mail to Kelly to find out. "Um, Kel, I know I am going to look stupid, but is that the book I contributed three pieces to, one about robot camel racing in Kuwait, one about camping with hippos in Uganda, and one about eating Ethiopian food?"

I wonder if I'll have to buy that book too.


Marie Javins said...

Yay, Kelly says:

"YES, all three of your stories are in this big book -- now, they may have also appeared in little books earlier this year, or they may have been saved for this big one, which has over 300 experiences that did not appear in the little ones

You have three author credits (listed in the rear index only), for these:

#379: Camping with Hippos in Murchison Falls Nat Park (great huge photo of hippos and it is the first one for the East Africa section :) page 224

#388: Share and Share Alike: Making a Meal of Injera (also with its own page and photo of food) page 228

#495: Robot Camel Back Racing in Kuwait page 289"

I'll check my PO Box before I buy these books. Maybe a copy awaits me there?

Amanda Castleman said...

National Geo's British book packager was a little cheesy with complete lack of contributor copies.

I might buy it on Amazon for $26. If I can be arsed.

(Knowing my ego, I'll probably buckle, though...)

I contributed to "Frommers Dream Vacations" – another glossy hardcover roundup – and the publisher sent FIVE freebies, plus a plumper paycheck. Much better style!

Anyway, congrats on the new book credits, Ms Marie! And I really doubt any amount of cool placement can top ROBOT CAMEL JOCKEYS, easily the coolest assignment EVER. Ax.

Marie Javins said...

I just buckled and bought both. Made easier by free shipping and a $14 credit for last-quarter referrals from people who bought books through this here blog. Thanks, everyone!

Amanda Castleman said...

Wow, I just discovered "damn you, Castleman" has three whole Googly hits, all courtesy of you.*

May you always damn me with praise, Marie! Ta, Ax.

*Guess I was somewhat relieved that various exes hadn't chimed in... Or that I wasn't – yet again – being confused with the environmental studies Amanda Castleman or my lil penpal AC who worked at a car wash.

For the LAST TIME, people: I was NEVER a cheerleader. Shouldn't that be painfully obvious?