Life has been going by slowly but I am doing my best to stay positive. In the meantime I have been fulfilling those promises of ‘yea, we should meet up soon’.
I have also rediscovered an old project that I had set aside last year. And a way to revive it. I went to the British Library earlier this week and got myself a Reader’s Pass, which granted me access to the collections at the library.
The procedures to get hold of the books are strict, but that meant copies remain pristine. Before even getting to any room, you must show that you have a Reader’s Pass and that there are only pencils (no pens) and notebooks in a clear plastic bag. The only way to get the books is to place requests on their website at least an hour before collection at the main desks on each floor. There is also no removing books from the building. Everything feels systematic.
There is an avenue of research embedded in the pages. Can’t believe I didn’t think of becoming familiar with the library before. Doing research is exactly what I need to pursue this project.
And with this I’m hoping I’d be another step closer to producing a story of note. Keep Anika Noni Rose’s Almost There on hold for just a little longer.
Last month I was at Angel Station in London and I came across this signboard with a quote. I later learnt that it’s a daily creative initiative done by the staff at that particular station, and there’s even a website dedicated to it called Thoughts of Angels (I think it is sweet). I wish I’d snapped a photo of the one I saw that day but like everyone else I was caught in that hamster wheel of the city, going down escalators and up again. And down and up again. Anyway, the quote went something like this:
‘Don’t be afraid of going left. Because even when you are left, you are right.’
Aside from the wittiness of it being ‘uniquely Underground’, it’s thought-provoking. Not that I am saying that this rings absolutely true in every case, but when it comes to working for what you want, it’s a lovely little thought to ponder about.
I’ve been talking to friends recently about ideal working environments and lifestyles. It’s really cool – there’s a lot of travelling involved, a yacht with oysters, an apartment in New York, a commissioning editor, an award-winning film maker and more. (Me? I believe I mentioned it in my bio).
Dreams and desires make for fascinating stories; I recommend listening to someone’s story today. And which is why I’m asking you too: If you can have it, no matter how far-fetched it may seem, what is your ideal way of making a living? How would you like to live your life?
Why earn bread when you can earn cake?
So what if it’s not ‘practical’, ‘stable’ or ‘realistic’ – I think it’s always good to consider that sometimes and remind yourself about what you are working for. Perhaps it’ll tell you that you need to hop onto the next stepping stone in order to get there. Idealism, in moderation, is generally healthy for your growth.
Perhaps the next time you are going up and down escalators, you might wonder whether a hamster wheel is where you would like to be. Perhaps ‘staying right’ isn’t the best for you. Perhaps you will finally go left.
PS. My two weeks spent at Kyle Books was great. The publicity work meant that I got to experience what goes on within a different area of publishing. I’d only ever done editorial work before that so it was interesting to see how important it is to get the hype of the books out there by liaising with external publications. In the meantime, I’m doing my best to stay afloat in this never-subsiding pool of job seekers.
Let’s see. I’m halfway through my internship and everything is going great! Most of my duties are administrative but throughout the week I’ve had the chance to whip out the pen, scribble editorial markings on a couple of manuscripts and arrange photographs for the picture section of some books.
It’s a relaxed environment here. Kind of reminds me of when I was working on Concrete sometimes. It’s a good thing. Also the ‘don’t forget lunch’ or ‘don’t stay longer than you are supposed to’ remarks really add to that effect.
The colours of Borough Market
Apart from that, I’ve been meeting people in London. Mostly because my first few days in the big city was like being in a paradoxical place that seemed too loud and quiet at the same time. Plus there are weirdos about (although I suppose they exist everywhere). At least now that I have something to focus on, my mind won’t be allowed to wander off elsewhere.
And London, while it may not have a place in my heart like Norwich, does have its good sides. Earlier today I went to V & A because it was open till late on Fridays; it also felt good to unwind by a paddling pool listening to piano playing of famous old tunes. I also went to Borough Market and St Paul’s for the first time, drop in a random house-viewing and laid under a blanket of blue sky on St James Park. It’s the magic of distraction.
Afternoon Tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury, St Paul’s
I’m looking forward to the coming weeks though. Wish me luck!