I got the job at the lit magazine! Yay! No more working at the desk. I worked my last 2-hour shift this morning, and I’ll start at the magazine next week. I was so ridiculously nervous in the interview that when the managing editor asked me what I like to read, I completely blanked on my favorite books, except anything by Murakami. I was sweating like crazy, which, I hasten to add, had partly to do with the fact that it was 90-some degrees and humid outside and I had just crossed the Common and walked up four flights of stairs. Still, it was embarrassing.
The managing editor gave me the reader test to take over the weekend, so I may become a reader for them as well as an office assistant/intern. The reader test consists of three short stories which I must evaluate and make recommendations on…which is what I was doing this summer at the literary agency, so I am feeling prepared. There’s a reason for everything, even though it doesn’t always seem like it at the time.
I had the first class of my memoir workshop last night. I think it is going to be excellent. Already I feel like my professor, who I will call R here, is saying things that are incredibly relevant to my Korea book project. It was an intense class, in a good way, though it made me worry a lot about whether I will be able to finish my thesis next semester. He talked a lot about how hard it is to write memoir, how it takes a long time, and how the process of remembering is the hard thing. That’s all kind of reassuring and scary at the same time.
He had us do an exercise for the second half of class…We had to think of a time in our lives that was interesting. (I was told that since I was already working on a memoir project I should use that time period, so I chose 1995-1996). Then he asked us to draw a map of our house and what was around it during that time period. Eek! I couldn’t begin to draw a map of where I lived in Korea, except in the most general sense. Which made me wonder how it is possible for me to write about it. Anyway, I panicked and drew a map of my neighborhood in SF. Then R. asked us to write a list of characters, as if for a play, of all the people who are present in the map and time you picked. We are supposed to write 2 sentences a day for a week on each of the characters, in order to find the one that sparks something…a longer piece, a question that needs to be answered, etc. So I would like to try and produce a map of my old neighborhood in Korea and really do this. I am thinking of trying to sketch out what I think it was like, and then maybe trying to find it on Google Earth, or something like that. Unfortunately, Google Earth doesn’t work on Macs, which is why I haven’t been able to locate a map before.
R., at the end of class, asked us if we knew who the mother of the nine Muses was. No one knew. They are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. R. said was Zeus power and Mnemosyne was memory, so if you think about it, power+memory= the arts. Which he thought was kind of neat. I like the implication, that your power+your memory= your art…your memoir.
I’m off to a party tonight at Grub Street with the daughter of a friend of my mother’s. I don’t know her very well, but she invited me, and it sounded kind of interesting. Apparently Susan Orlean (the awesome New Yorker writer, author of The Orchid Thief) is going to be there, which is both cool and intimidating. The whole thing seems intimidating, but it can’t hurt to go and meet some interesting writerly types.