The Poker-Player’s Wife

My older son is 4 and he knows that dad works at a casino and sometimes his work takes 2 hours (bad day) and sometimes it takes 14 hours (good, but long day).

An Elegy for the “Non-Creepy” Realtor, aka Maggie Estep

Lately I’ve been hearing about writers in my Gen X demographic taking jobs in real estate — one of the more flexible, potentially decently paying occupations that, say, a middle-aged writer can qualify for with relatively little prior training. First it was the former bureau chief of an NPR affiliate station. Next, a colleague from a magazine I once worked at.

Oyster Pirate, Cruise Director: Match the Writer to the Wacky Day Job!

Some of these Famous Writers’ Wacky Day Jobs I knew, and others somehow I did not. Anyway, if you haven’t clicked on the link yet, let’s do a quiz! Match the famous writer with his or her source of income:

A) Kafka

B) Salinger

C) Vonnegut

D) Bram Stoker

E) Steinbeck

F) Orwell

G) Melville

H) Nabokov

I) Jack London

J) Jack Kerouac

K) Harper Lee

L) Robert Frost

M) James Joyce

N) John Galsworthy

O) Conan Doyle

P) Dickens

Q) Dostoyevsky

R) Agatha Christie

S) William S. Burroughs

T) Joseph Heller

1. Car Dealer

2. Theater Critic

3. Tour Guide

4. Cruise Director

5. Imperial Police Officer

6. Curator

7. Bank Clerk

8. Law Clerk

9. Ticket Agent

10. Dishwasher

11. Oyster Pirate

12. Cinema Operator

13. Blacksmith’s Apprentice

14. Barrister

15. Teacher

16. Surgeon

17. Engineer

18. Factory Worker

19. Exterminator

20. Apothecary’s Assistant

Jobs I Had Before Getting My Novel Published

Here's a list of the (mostly crappy) jobs I had while writing nine novels before the tenth book got sold.

Job of the Day: Fake Patient

Trigger warning: this NPR article about playing doctor makes the assumption that we all want or could have a “job that we love.” That aside, it’s an interesting look at a very strange profession.

Some of us are lucky enough to stumble into a job that we love. That was the case for Gabrielle Nuki. The 16-year-old had never heard of standardized patients until her advisor at school told her she should check it out.

“I was kind of shocked, and I was kind of like, ‘Oh, is there actually something like this in the world?’ “

Since Nuki wants to be a doctor, the chance to earn $15 to $20 an hour training medical students as a pretend patient was kind of a dream come true. Every six weeks or so, Nuki comes to Maine Medical Center in her home town of Portland, Maine, slips on a johnny, sits in an exam room and takes on a new persona.

It’s not only good practice for the doctors and good money for the patients. This job could save your life. Occasionally the doctors discover that play patients have actual dangerous medical conditions:

The Economics of Being a Stand-Up Comedian in the Midwest

Being funny can be expensive in a place like Grand Rapids, Mich., where comedians often have to travel great distances looking for a gig.