Excerpt: 'Bag Lady Papers' by Alexandra Penney

Since the recession began, the art market has plummeted. I'm not going to make any money selling my photography. At least if I sit and type, I can hold back the panic. Panic? What's a worse word than panic? Hysteria. Implosion. Full-scale terror. Body-crippling shock.

I explain what's happening to Ed and tell him that I need work, does he have any ideas? Four minutes later he phones back and says, "Call Tina Brown, she wants you to do a blog on her new website, The Daily Beast."

This may not be the answer to my problems but at least it's a start, and when in a crunch, I've always lived by my personal acronym of 3A's: Activity Alleviates Anxiety. Of course I'll call Tina back -- instantly.

I'm traumatized by the events of the last 18 hours and I don't have a plan but a blog is a first step. I've never been too much of a planner with one notable exception – my finances. I've always been relentlessly curious and for the most part, I've followed paths that I thought would lead to unusual experiences and new adventures. I've strongly believed in carpe diem while keeping one eye on financial security. And I learned from early on that the only person I could depend on to take care of me was me.

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