Dispatches from the Mountain

I did not get hired for the spring at the Chocolate Lounge, but I was told that I would be considered for their summer crew that starts training in late May. When I asked the manager if I should be actively pursuing other work, he gave me a definitive “yes.” Meantime, I sent in my application for the emerging writer residency at WeirdNameCoolSchool and dropped off a handful of resumes at other shops in Asheville.

If ever there were an indication of the job market, consider this: I left a resume at one coffeeshop that, despite the fact they are not currently hiring, has received 40 resumes in the past two weeks. Forty-one if you count mine. I put in two calls locally to some connections and now must sit back and wait again. Too much of this and I start to go crazy, losing my resolve and my ability to focus. There are still over a dozen applications I have pending, stretching from coast to coast.

I’ve written one art essay per week for the past three weeks in a row and have one more to go this week. If I can get a hold of the ever-busy editor of another mag I write for regularly, I may have two more essays lined up after that. None of this pays until publication—anywhere from 4-12 months from now—but it feels good to have work to do and know that, eventually, money will come from it. Until then, I chew my avocado in small bites, calculating how many chews are equivalent to twenty cents per word.

In other news, my six-year-old Mac crashed this week. Through immediate prayers, on-the-spot incantations, and a loudly exhaled breath, I was able to resuscitate it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. This, more than my car, is my engine in life.

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