Got into Adam’s taxi. (I know, fun coincidence, right?) Adam is polite, pleasant, and not overly-aggressive in his questions. Some drivers are so bored it’s like you’re the entertainment, right? Can’t say I blame them.
Anyway, we’re having a pleasant conversation about my trip to a conference, when Adam turns around in his seat at a stop light, looks directly into my eyes, and asks the question he’s obviously been dying to ask since I answered to his second question, “I’m a writer.
The question? Why don’t writers anywhere in the world make any money? (Adam is from Jordan and has seen a thing or two.)
So here I am at 7:30 a.m. in a strange city, explaining the reality that lots of folks take a cut before the writer sees a penny: publisher, distributor, publicist, bookstore. And how most of our publishers don’t pay travel costs for trips like this one. (Can’t afford to, of course, at least not the small ones.)
Adam listens earnestly, nods vigorously. We have become kin. Taxi drivers don’t make much, either.
Adam has moxie, though: he owns several taxis, is his own dispatcher, constantly on the phone directing his drivers, even as he carries on our conversation with perfect timing and courtesy. A great talent, that one.
When I get out, he stops me as I am counting out ones for his tip. “That’s enough.” He stops me one dollar short of what I would have given him, accepts my card with the book cover on the front.
Pity the poor writer. She can’t drive a taxi.
“Write something yourself,” I suggest.
Adam’s Taxi in Raleigh. Call him.
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