Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She had to stop ballet lessons before she went en pointe, but she has been in A Midsummer Night's Dream twice. Her work has been featured in The Billfold, Yearbook Office, Unbest, and Who Are We Now, and she posts weekly Tumblr essays about earning money as a writer.
They asked me what it was like to be a freelance writer, and I asked them what it was like to start a college. Not everyone at the table was involved with Outer Coast, but a few of them were part of the planning team. They were all planning other things, too; that night the room was full of plans, with me as a reminder that plans can take you somewhere unexpected.
The Toast's previous literary pilgrimages can be found here. As soon as I say the word “Concord” to the woman selling rail tickets, I’m terrified that she knows everything about me. After all, if you don’t have a car of your own, you have to actually tell someone you want to go to Concord before you can get there. With a population of only 17,000, it’s not a destination for anyone to visit casually.
In the video, I'm seated behind an electronic keyboard with a few pairs of shoes balancing out the shot. I've brushed my hair until it shines even in the lack of light; I know enough to aim a lamp at my face, but I haven't yet invested in a professional setup or, in fact, in a camera better than my little Flip, which is balanced on a stack of books to get it to