I first got to know Linda about 9 years ago. I was still working at Pacific Asia Museum but was planning to hand in my resignation after 9 years there. I was nervous about leaving and going it alone as a freelance Asian art historian. People with my skills are not on most headhunters’ to-call lists. The phone rang and it was Linda, the Director of Education at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, about an hour south of Los Angeles. She was looking for someone to write a curriculum guide about Chinese art and culture for her museum, as they were expanding their space and were planning on holding many more Chinese exhibitions there. “Actually I do,” I told her in a hushed voice and explained that I would be available in a couple of weeks. The timing couldn’t have been better. I left my job knowing that there was work out there for me.
On January 1, when I had decided I would start this Giveaway project, I was very unsure about whether I could keep up the giving and the writing for a year, and whether I even really wanted to even try. I went to a New Year’s brunch in our neighborhood and had a lovely chat with two lovely fellow mothers at our son Theo’s school. One of them was Staci, to whom I gave something on September 28, and the other was Jennifer. When I mentioned my Giveaway idea, they were both incredibly encouraging, which gave me the reassurance I needed to actually begin the project.