Monday, March 9, 2009

Riding the Wave

My inauguration stories are still getting picked up, so says my Livewire editor. Last week, she sent me a link to one of my stories in Wave JOURNEY's Travellers' Tales section.

This reminds me of two things:

1. Waves: Lawrence Weschler (my professor this semester and a man of wonder) encouraged our Fiction of Nonfiction class to read Bill Finnegan's excellent piece on surfing. It ran in two parts in the New Yorker in 1992. Beyond being a great exploration of the attraction of surfing, it uses surfing as a metaphor for writing. How we're all out in this dark soup of the ocean trying to figure out which stories are waves worth riding, and which ones are just going to peter out. I find myself thinking of this each time I dive into a new piece, desperately hoping it's the kind of story that will make me yell "Cowabunga" at some point.

2. This story: The first time this piece was picked up, the father of the little girl I interviewed and quoted at the end sent me the following e-mail. I thought it was adorable:

Please pass on my sincere thanks to Kashmir Hill for her inclusion of her interview of my eight-year-old daughter in her January 18th story about D.C. stores and vendors during President Obama's inauguration. Lelia will remember the event forever and was thrilled to be interviewed by a reporter. That the piece was featured in NYC Pavement Pieces is particularly gratifying to me. I am a graduate of Pratt Institute and for eight years lived in the West Village, seven of those years on Bleecker Street, a mere seven minute walk from the front door of NYU Law School (I timed the walk as part of my LSAT preparation). I have missed New York every day since leaving and would return in a New York Minute if the right opportunity arose.

As the grandson and son of newspapermen, I have a special appreciation for journalists. Please keep up the good work and let Ms. Hill know that I intend to check out her work at Above the Law, although I suspect it only will add to my current anxiousness about being a lawyer in 2009!

I was touched by this. I wrote back to him to thank him for the note, but warned him that Above The Law is a bit depressing these days. It seems like 80 percent of what we write about concerns layoffs nowadays, unfortunately.

Second Thoughts [Wave JOURNEY]

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