Archive - February 13, 2010

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Myrna J. Aavedal (Chile 1967–68)
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100 Days (Or Less) Part Thirteen: Day Eight

Myrna J. Aavedal (Chile 1967–68)

Monday, November 21 6:54 pm MR. PRESIDENT, I want to tell you about my experience in the Peace Corps. I was 24 when I went off to training at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque – still a bit unworldly as I left my home in Montana. At the time I, of course, wasn’t sure what was in store for me, but I wanted adventure, travel, and an opportunity to use my nursing skills to help people in need. I was very proud that I had been selected to serve. Yes, I did get the adventure and travel, and I did use my nursing skills among needy people. I also got a lot more. The first surprise came when some of the Trainees who looked so good and talked so wise washed out of training or gave up and went home early. For me the Peace Corps was a . . .

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100 Days (Or Less) Part Thirteen: Day Eight

 I sit here religiously every morning-I sit down for eight hours every day-and the sitting down is all. In the course of that working day of 8 hours I write 3 sentences which I erase before leaving the table in despair…. Sometimes it takes all my resolution and power of self-control to refrain from butting my head against the wall.  Joseph Conrad Keep asking the question, “why?” As you reach the start of your second week you will have a stack of 5×7 character cards that spell out intimate details about the personal life of each and every character in your story, down to their waist measurement and favorite color. [The novelist Vladimir Nabokov, by the way, composed all of his books on index cards.] You will have a one page summary of what your book is all about, basically the ‘plot’ of your novel. You will also have begun . . .

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