Indoor Dumpster Diving

This blog has been largely ignored. My main excuse is that I’ve been doing a lot of transcribing lately, and my transcription work, as well as being quite dull, is covered by confidentiality agreements. I’m a lousy secret keeper, so my best strategy is to just keep my fool mouth shut.

I have been doing something interesting lately. As my job hunt has been going nowhere and it’s obvious I’m going to have to be mobile to get my career back on track, I’m paring my possessions down to as few as possible. One easy way of doing that is going through the boxes of notebooks, clippings and such of my own writing that I’ve been carrying around for years, scanning the pages and sending the paper to the shredder.

There will be quite a bit on this blog about how it feels to read old stories and past journal entries. Today, I’ll limit myself to one piece I encountered today that I thought I’d lost.

When I was in Halifax, I had the chance to work on the 1996 Play music guide. I’ve probably got a journal entry somewhere that details exactly how I got into it, but I can’t remember at the moment. I was writing for The Coast and meeting a lot of musicians, both through writing for the magazine and just hanging out at bars a lot. At Play, I managed to get myself the title of Contributing Editor or Associate Editor or some other such nonsense title that would look good on a fledgeling music journalist’s resume. I didn’t get on the team in time to have my name printed in the guide, but I did do a whole lot of fact checking and copy editing on the directory listings and articles. I did get a good reference letter from the publisher, though. I wonder if that’s in my boxes of notes somewhere.

For the most part, though, my memory of this time in my life is kind of foggy. I vaguely recognize some of the faces in a group photo taken of the directory’s production team, and I know for sure that my desk was the one they were all sitting on. They were in a fairly sparse office, and I think one of the reasons I got the job was because I had my own laptop to bring into the space and they could get an extra volunteer without having to rent any equipment. I’m sure we went out for beer when the directory came in from the printer. Can’t think of where it was, though. My usual bars in Halifax were Gatsby’s, the Tickle Trunk, Maxwell’s Plum and the Birdland Cabaret. I don’t think it was one of those.

Anyway, that’s my frustratingly vague recollection of my time at Play. Stay tuned for more rambling walks through my writing career.