Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lucyland excerpt time!!

per the request of a couple of people, not to mention the recommendation of an agent from one of my writing workshops, i've decided to take the initiative to actively advertise my novel (moreso than i already do, let's be honest here) by posting an excerpt of it here... i mean, really, it reads like a blog anyway. here is the very beginning (the VERY beginning. sigh. it seems like it was so long ago!!) of... well, Lucyland. (okay, so it's a working title...)

“I want to move to California.” I still remember the utmost longing associated with that thought process on my flight home from my summer in Europe.

While most of my fellow classmates at Columbia University decided to stick around the Big Ap for our program’s mandatory summer practicum, saving the world one non-governmental organization at a time, I decided to venture abroad to do an internship in Geneva, Switzerland. These summer practicums are seemingly designed to provide students with a better sense of their intended career paths and a more enlightened outlook on life. That’s what I thought… before actually embarking on mine.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely adored my summer at the World Health Organization. But I just couldn’t ever imagine working for a nonprofit organization for the rest of my life. I mean, where was the bottom line? The income statements? Where was the structural organization? This is the problem when an idealistic girl (excuse me, young woman) decides to try to mix and match an Accounting undergraduate degree with a Public Health graduate degree.

I know, right? Oxy-flipping-moron.

I remember talking to my friends who had come back from internships at big, bad consulting firms in Manhattan and loving the fast pace, the interesting work, and let’s face it, the hefty paychecks. But I also couldn’t help but remember my last summer in New York… and the joys that only humidity, non-air-conditioned six-story walk up apartments, and overcrowded subway systems could bring.


Maybe I’m just being a spoiled Midwestern girl, highly accustomed to space and air-conditioning and, quite frankly, the ability to drive to a Target and park in a spacious parking lot. But I also don’t think that hoping that a mouse doesn’t scurry through my apartment or daydreaming that my closet of a room will someday NOT cost $1450 a month is a sign of a healthy outlook on life. I mean, the mere effort that it takes to live in New York…


This is why my internship abroad changed my outlook on my young adult life. I realized that living in a big city doesn’t necessarily require living in complete discomf-

Okay. I know, I know. It was Geneva. Do its citizens know of any discomfort? Please. Switzerland itself is based on neutrality, for heaven’s sake. So, point taken, I realize that Geneva is kind of a utopian extreme. However, more to the point, more than a few of my fellow interns were also from all over the state of California and I honestly have never witnessed such state pride. I mean, the state pride that I had from going to Big Ten Ohio State University didn’t even come close to the pride and love that my Californian friends would tout for their state. It was during this summer that I realized just how true was the stereotype that most individuals who live in California never actually leave California.

And why should they? To this Midwestern gal, California sounded about as perfect as life could come by in the good ol’ United States. And so came about my little nugget of hope at a future life in California, a highly undiscovered, utopian terrain for my adventurous little self.

I remember announcing this thought (with great gusto, let’s be honest) to my parents, who already thought I had moved far enough away from the grand home state when I moved to New York. But California?

They merely scoffed. How many California recruiters actually come to New York? What a waste of time, my parents would say. Understandably too, as most students who are at Columbia actually do want to stay in Manhattan… despite the rats hurry scurrying amongst the overcrowded subway system’s tracks, the sidewalks overcrowding with garbage due to the lack of New York alleys (I mean, please. Once you find space for alleys, you let me know), the ever-permeating scent of nothing less than urine in the train stations…

Yeah, I’m not speaking from experience at all. Nor am I bitter in the least.


With those reservations still in the back of my mind, however, I conceded to my parents’ initial reservations and resigned myself to looking for jobs in New York. I mean, I am whimsical to a point, but when it comes down to it, practicality always gets the better of me.

But then, fate intervened.

Did a tall, dark, and handsome man sweep me off my feet and whisk me off to his homeland of San Francisco? Ha. I wish! Oh, and believe you me, I wished a lot. Did I win the lottery and decide to settle down on the West Coast, resting on my million-dollar laurels for the rest of my life? Right.

Rather, I met Summer, a fellow classmate who was from California and had such infectious enthusiasm about her previous job that I couldn’t help but get swept up in the excitement. I mean, her name was Summer- how does that not scream California goodness to the world? And of all places, would you look at that? Her former job was in San Francisco!

Now if that’s not fate, I simply just don’t know what is. One day I was wishing I could move there; the next, I meet someone who not only used to work there, but was readily willing to provide me with contact information for that company.

There was no way I was letting this go so easily. After all, you can’t mess with fate, can you?

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