033. Class, Class, and Internship.

Recently, many things have occurred. I’ve written a lot of stuff — including speedfics, other short stories for the competitive writing community I belong to, and many articles — and I’ve read at least three books (for school, mind you, although Ann gave me three books from authors she currently represents and I’m in the midst of one).

I’ve been remarkably stressed out lately, mostly because the last week of class is finally rushing towards me like a very unavoidable bullet train. Next week, I have the following things due on either Monday or Wednesday: my adapted screenplay of “The Hortlak” by Kelly Link; a paper on Horseman, Pass By and its film adaptation, Hud; the rough draft of my profile piece; the revision of my travel article; and the book Cold Comfort Farm. There are probably other things, due, too, that I’m blocking from my mind.

Magazine Writing has been incredibly difficult and exhausting. Our assignments could be fun if we actually had a decent amount of time to write them and research them, but as it is, I perpetually feel rushed and anxious about them. Luckily, for my profile piece, I have already done my interview. Which is actually a great thing that happened today: I met bellydancer Ela Rogers and her husband today, and interviewed her for my article, which will be workshopped in class, revised, and then posted here, as well as a few other places. She was adorable, enthusiastic, and so sweet; it was wonderful to meet and talk to her. She’s an inspiring and impressive person!

In other news, there are two job opportunities that I need to take a look at. One is a salaried position at Perseus, where I interned this spring. The actual job is an Editorial Assistant position, which is definitely in my interest — plus, I fit all the requirements and have worked there before, though admittedly in a different department. There is one major downside, though: I’m not terribly interested in the subjects the imprint works with — namely women’s health, pregnancy, parenting, self-help, etc. I don’t know how fun it would be in terms of subject matter. But can I afford to be picky? Here’s an entry level job in Cambridge where I can work and get experience and a salary, and … then you know, if I feel like picking up and moving to NYC, it’s not impossible. I’d just have to wait for another job to come around. But because entry level jobs in most of the publishing world require at least a year of experience, I’d have a leg up on all the competition elsewhere, if I’m young, out of college, and already have an assistant job. I will probably apply; what’s the worst that could happen?

The other job opportunity to pop up is a paid internship at  — guess what? The Helen Rees Literary Agency. Sound familiar? You bet. I work for Ann Collette, one of the three agents at the Agency. So even though I technically work just for her right now, this internship would be for the whole agency (and would start either August or September 1st). I want to talk to Ann about it, mostly because I want to see what her thoughts and advice are — if she thinks I should apply for this internship, I will. I love working with her, and it wouldn’t be the same thing, but I’m not sure how long she wants me to stay on as an intern anyway. So we’ll see.

Annnd that rambling post was a blog post. And even though it didn’t really go anywhere, I am tired and I want to go to bed. So the end!

023. A To Do List, In Paragraph Form.

The end of the semester is fast approaching. Typically, for me, this would mean that in a week in a half, I’d get to go home, relax, watch re-runs of Criminal Minds and CSI, devour many gyros from my favourite local restaurant, and spend time with all my New Jersey friends who, throughout the year, I’ve barely seen. But this is not a typical summer.

Technically, I believe my last real day of finals is May 3rd (give or take). And then four days later, I’m heading on vacation to the North Shore of Massachusetts for a week with some friends and my parents; then I walk in a commencement ceremony on the 16th. And on the 17th, for six days, I go home. Just for six days. And then it’s back to classes and an internship.

It’s a new internship: with a literary agent (Ann Collette of the Helen Rees Literary Agency), and I’ll be reading query letters and manuscripts, mostly of commercial fiction. It sounds like fun, and I’m quite excited about it. My classes are likewise going to be interesting. But this is it: at the end of this summer, I will no longer be a college student. I will be what I’ve deemed a Real Person, which means I need a Real Job and a Real Life Plan. All of these things are, unsurprisingly, terrifying.

Before then, though, I need to finish my thesis. “Finish” is not really the proper term, because when I turn it in it will hardly be complete; I won’t have written the whole thing (only approximately 50-60 double spaced pages of it), nor will it be ready for publication. But it will have a title page, a table of contents, an epigraph, the first three (or four) chapters, and a prospective outline of the rest of the book.

Right now, I have several things to do before I can turn it in: I need to come up with a proper dedication, and think hard about it. I need to fix any glaring errors in the text. I need to finish writing chapter three and perhaps chapter four. And even though I don’t need to, I’d like to have some preliminary cover art. I am, unfortunately, not particularly artistic and I don’t have any photoshop-esque programs.

Any suggestions on where to find some? Or ideas of what it should be? Or how to make some?

007. Point of View Dilemmas.

I finished rewriting chapters one and two from Lilly’s first person POV. I’ve sent it off to Ali, Jen, and Kate for feedback. But my personal, gut feeling is that it’s working out better this way. I feel like the chronology, the dialogue, the personalities of the characters are less … forced, somehow. I feel like they’re naturally falling into place instead of my hand pushing all these elements into place. Of course, granted, that feeling could just be attributed to the fact that I’ve been rewriting instead of writing new chapters, and so I already have a base. But I’ll see what they think.

In other news, I have some decisions to make. One important decision is about the Catharsis. I applied for assistant editor and didn’t get it. Which is fine, because they probably wanted someone who would graduate after Jess, so she could therefore take over the permanent position, whereas I’m leaving in August. But … man. Their prompts are awful, the website is awful and they refuse to ask for help (even though they self-admittedly have no idea what they’re doing), and their way of structuring editing is terrible. I mean … I like Jess a lot. I respect her, I think she’s sweet, and she’s a good writer. But she isn’t better than me, she’s got no real authority, and she wasn’t voted into her position. So what makes her feedback better than anyone else’s? And the fact that only one person edits all the pieces in one genre … that’s ridiculous. That’s what workshops are for. And I’m not a fan of the fact that they clearly don’t know how to run anything. On the other hand, I do like Jess, Kimya, and Christine, and of course some of the other people in the club. But do I really want to go to campus for something I don’t care much about? Am I really proud of anything I send to them? I don’t know. It’s a bit of a dilemma, and the draft for January is due in twelve days. And the application.

We’ll see what happens with that.

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