So recently there has been a bright light in the dark tunnel of unemployment, I have been lucky enough to be the recipient of the Queens Writer Fellowship! Zora ONeill, better known as the Roving Gastronome is the benefactor of this esteemed award. Being a writer herself, and working on a book, Zora works at home, and as we all know, “working at home” is simply a euphemism for “how many ways can I distract myself and procrastinate…oh, I totally need to re-do my floors. Right now.”
And so the QWF was born. From Zora:
“The Queens Writers Fellowship is essentially the second desk in my sunny office, here in Astoria.
It’s open to any Queens-based writer or general freelancer who needs to buckle down and get sh*t done. I work better when there are other people around to keep me honest–it’s the coffee shop effect. But I think it’s much better to be at home, where the coffee is basically free and people won’t steal your stuff when you go to the bathroom. ”
All I can say is, greatest Fellowship ever. After the initial hellos, we were off to the kitchen where Zora hand ground coffee beans then prepared a magnificent cup of coffee. A quick coffee klatsch ensued then it was upstairs to the office. Work hours are broken up in half hour increments, when an alarm sounds and you have ten guilt free minutes to surf the internet – pre-planned self-distraction, without the guilt. Brilliant! After a few solid work hours, stomachs started grumbling, and even though it’s not advertised, lunch is included! Zora whips out the cast iron pan and in goes the bacon. mmm. bacon. A few minutes later BLs on Quinoa bread is served (alas even the QWF is on budget, no lettuce to be found). And to wash it down? Soda mixed with mulberry syrup Zora brought back from the Middle East. Deeelicious and oh so exotic.
A few hours more work, and then the day came to a close, with a substantial amount of pages written. Oh and upon departure I was given a free issue of Lucky Peach Magazine (a $10 retail value).
Eat your heart out Fulbright.