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Personal assisting, Day One

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Personal assisting, Day One

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goth princess
So, I have dipped my toe into the Glamour of the Writer's Life, in my first day as Personal Assistant to the Hugo-Award-Winning-Author Elizabeth Bear, also known as matociquala.

Perhaps some of you have read The Fabulous Lorraine's description of a day in the life of a personal assistant, written about her job as assistant to Neil Gaiman.

Two things you should know about that: my job is not quite at that level of hectic yet, and I don't especially like mangoes.

My first important job today, before I even left the house, was to print out a couple of things that matociquala needed to sign, because I couldn't just do it there because her printer needed some maintenance. This quickly led to important job #2: send an email to a festival organizer, explaining that she'd sent the agreement intended for coffeeem instead, and could she please send the one with matociquala's schedule on it? Because it's a fair bet that matociquala wasn't the one supposed to appear on a panel with the topic "Married to an Author," where one of the other presenters was Will Shetterly. I now have the correct agreement.

I was also supposed to stop and pick up some office supplies, but here I failed: I got lost in the Forest of Big Box Stores around Buckland Hills, and couldn't find the ones for office supplies. eternaleponine reminded me tonight that the Office Depot is actually right next to the Borders and the Sleepy's Mattresses, and not hiding back by Guitar Center where I thought I'd remembered it, so there will be office supplies tomorrow. I have been advised that brightly colored folders are a plus.

Once I got there, the first thing to do was to greet the Giant Ridiculous Dog so he'd stop jumping up on me, and the next, of course, was to get a cup of tea. These jobs cannot be done without tea.

And then it was on to the Intimidating Boxes:





The task was simple enough, if not precisely easy: sort through the contents, and impose some sort of order.

matociquala gave helpful general outlines of the categories, which included Important Tax Stuff, Bills, Book Contracts, Royalty Statements, Personal Letters, Dog Stuff, and Things To Send To The Archivist. She also gave invaluable advice such as "You can use the shoggoth to dust, they can absorb anything."

It will all be very much tidier tomorrow when I come back with the file folders and a proper banker's box to put them in, but right now the system is book-related things ON the desk, bills UNDER the desk, dog stuff on a particular bookshelf, stuff for the archivist going into a shipping box, and tax materials in a shallow box,



One of the very first things I found was a set of directions to a house where tryslora doesn't live any more. This amused me possibly more than it should have. One of the niftiest things I found was a random scribbled note about Shadow Unit (it involved Gates and the all-you-can-eat shrimp at Red Lobster) on the back of an envelope containing, among other things, matociquala's birth certificate and Social Security card. I decided that those were important enough to interrupt her, so she could put them somewhere where I wouldn't risk burying them again in the rest of the paper. The envelope, I stuck in the box for the archivist.

Quite a lot of paper went into the recycling bin. I asked matociquala if she wanted me to bring my shredder tomorrow, not so much for any confidentiality concerns, but in case she'd want to use shredded paper as garden mulch or something. No, they do well enough with their kitchen compost, so into the recycling bin it all goes.

Tomorrow's agenda may involve recipe development for Goat Cheese Marbled Brownies. You have been warned.

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