A Book Apart

Get to know Kumari Pacheco

Jul 06, 2022

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A woman with brown eyes and curly hair smiles and wears sunglasses.

Next up in our Meet the Team series is Kumari Pacheco. She tells us about the dreamy mountain view from her office, how thinking about her own story helps ground her in moments of self-doubt—and she shares a bunch of great reading recommendations!

ABA: What do you do at ABA? (What did you do prior? Or if part-time, what other work do you do?)

Kumari: I’m a freelance editor here at ABA; I mostly do copyedits and line edits. I’m also in school (class of 2023, woot woot) studying interaction design with a minor in writing and literature. My end goal is to become a full-time content designer! I’ve taken on two content design internships so far, and I really love the work.

ABA: Where do you live and what do you love about your home?

KP: I grew up in Saint Louis, Missouri, so that’s my homebase. However, my mom’s lived all around the country, including Texas, California, New Jersey, and New York. Saint Louis is a pretty cool city; we have the Arch, local businesses to spare, and an amazing amusement-park-thingy called City Museum where adults and kids alike can climb on repurposed architectural and industrial objects (including planes). It pairs well with my immortal inner child.

ABA: What’s the first thing you do every morning to start your day on the right foot?

KP: At home, the first thing I like to do is give my dog a good morning cuddle. She’s thirteen years old and completely blind but cute as ever! I named her Mei after a character in Avatar the Last Airbender (the emo one, of course). Hugging her always puts me in a good mood. :)

ABA: When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

KP: I looooove going to concerts. It’s become a favorite pastime of mine, though I’m always careful to choose venues with firm Covid-19 regulations. Half the time I don’t even know the bands I go to see; I just love listening to sound while the lights and colors wash over me. It’s super cathartic after a long day of…well, anything. It’s a great way to discover new artists too, so win-win! Besides that, I’m big on comic/bookstore browsing, anime -watching, thrifting, and traveling (especially to Mexico to visit my family).

Three musicians wearing black clothes, stand on stage near a keyboard under blue lights.

ABA: What’s your favorite thing to come home to after a long day outside of the house?

KP: A/C! A close second would be my dog (or cat, when he’s not being a turd).

ABA: What book have you read and loved lately?

KP: Ever since I started college, I’ve found myself gravitating toward short-form stories and comics (my brain cells can’t take much more, heh). Most recently I’ve been reading this comic called Saga. It’s a space opera: think Star Wars but ten times more graphic. I find it refreshing because it strays from common fantasy story beats and frames its characters in an often harsh light. I even wrote a short piece about it!

ABA: How do you make working remotely work for you?

KP: Well, I’ve been (un?)fortunate enough to only experience work in a remote space. The internships I took on prior to Covid were all remote, and the pandemic dashed away any and all in-person prospects—both for school and work. But it’s not so bad. Being an introvert helps, that’s for sure!

I think working remotely works for me because of my personality. I tend to be an introvert who thrives on deadlines and great work. I give myself space to know when too much work is on my plate, and I take a step back to organize it all. I prioritize my family first and make sure that they’re taken care of before I dive into work, which usually means I work mostly in the evenings and on the weekends. And yes, I do give myself a “weekend,” it’s just not always on a weekend day.

ABA: What is your favorite thing about your workspace?

KP: I have a pretty good setup in my Saint Louis home. My favorite thing would be my double monitor; that thing is a LIFEsaver. I also love the fact that my desk is in front of three windows, so I have a nice view of the street. I’ve witnessed the neighborhood hawk crash-land a few times while chasing a cardinal.

ABA: In moments of self-doubt, how do you recharge and rally to keep going?

KP: I like to return to the source of whatever I’m doing and remind myself of my goals. This breaks me out of whatever narrow ideation path I’ve gone down (begone, analysis paralysis!) and reconsider the problem. That said, you can never go wrong with a quick solo dance party—a headbang-er-y song is best for shaking things up.

ABA: Is there anyone you’re following the work of right now, who you’d recommend others pay attention to?

KP: Like many others, I really enjoy Margaret Atwood’s work. I actually got the chance to see her give a talk in Saint Louis a few years ago—lots of geeking out that night. Atwood has a way of illustrating futures that feel both viscerally nearby and completely outlandish. My favorite book of hers is definitely Oryx and Crake; it follows the effects of genetic engineering in food and the repercussions it would have on the human race.

ABA: Is there a piece of professional or life advice you’ve gotten that has always stuck with you? What is it?

KP: “There’s no use in making yourself sick over something you can’t change.” It sounds kinda negative at first glance, but there’s a realness to that point of view. I tend to worry a lot over the minutiae of every single thing I do, and these are things that I often can’t even affect through my own efforts. I’ve experienced burnout multiple times, all because I failed to recognize the things that were completely out of my control. Anyway, it’s something to work on! I’m just glad to be getting these experiences at my age. It’ll make my career down the road smoother and surer.


Get to know more wonderful folks who make A Book Apart go in our Meet the Team series!