Poughkeepsie to Grand Central, Book in Hand
October 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
Once, long ago, I decided that I didn’t want to get a degree in law or economics, or anything else that might make me sound like a person of immediate use to anyone. Instead, I decided I liked to read, and I wanted to write.
Now, with my MFA diploma in its red folder tucked discreetly between my back issues of Tin House magazine and my photocopied First-Year Writing lesson plans, I am in a strange new city, without a job. Well, I shouldn’t say that, exactly. There’s a lovely restaurant on the ground floor of my building that gives me a couple shifts a week. I don’t have a career.
I haven’t published anything, so there’s no chance of getting hired for a full-time academic Creative Writing job. No one knows who the hell I am, so there’s little chance of my resume leaping out of the inboxes and dazzling the few editors looking for assistants at Penguin or Simon and Schuster.
But still, not all is lost. The reason I’m in the Hudson Valley at all, my decently employed partner, is patient and supportive, and I have a tidy internship at a small play publishing company on 7th Avenue, for which I wake at 5:45am every Tuesday and Thursday and board the 7:00 train from Poughkeepsie to NYC.
The pay is small enough not to count at all when held up next to the train fare, but there’s time to write, and there’s the hope that one more line on the resume will make all the difference.
What this all means is that I’ve had plenty of moments in these past months, staring out the window onto the great Hudson River, to remember all the books I was going to read before grad school took over, and to fantasize about ventures which would make even less money than I’m making now, like starting my own theatre company or hell, writing this blog. But I also try to reconcile all those things: my love for reading and responding to books, my passion for storytelling on the stage, etc. I’d love to get paid someday to write about the stories I love, but until then, there’s this.
Here you’ll read my reviews of the books I read on the train, the stories I love that keep me wanting to break out that laptop, despite the snoring stranger beside me. I love folk tales and theatre, novels and short stories, and especially well done retellings, which means you’ll probably get to hear my two cents on the batch of new fairy tale themed shows starting this fall, as well as my forays into the world of the YA novel. Enjoy!