autumn jabberwockery

Today INTERN's heart is full of despair. She wanders, listless, from bookshelf to filing cabinet to mail machine, the Bermuda triangle of busywork, then retreats to her couch to listen to some Ravi Shankar on headphones while re-proofreading a manuscript about the ancient druids.

The internship will be over in a month. INTERN is not sure what to do with herself. INTERN is not generally the month-in-advance planning type except when she's feeling despairing, in which case everything is fair game. Therefore, it would be helpful if readers could vote on the following:

In a month's time, should INTERN

a) get some kind of menial hipster job and stick around the city
b) sell her organs on the black market and stick around the city
c) attempt to find some kind of publishing job, somewhere
d) be a fire tower lookout like Jack Kerouac (this is a legitimate option)
e) hitchhike to northern British Columbia to live on her friends' commune (also legit)
f) move to somewhere cheap and rural where INTERN can be a lumberjack and techie boyfriend can run a greasy spoon
g) ?????

Input appreciated.

Bob Marley says, "Trust the universe and respect your hair." INTERN's hair is long past the point of respectability, but as for the universe, we'll just have to see.

Comments

  1. If you like working in publishing, then the answer is clear. And if you didn't, well the answer is still clear. Either way, the world is your oyster!

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  2. Become a professional blogger??? Add some ads to your blog to make money? Hey, don't leave and don't give up. You will find something, your to much of an intelligent smartass with a mind of her own to hide out in some commune!
    (and I mean this as a compliment!)

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  3. Hey oringis was my dang word. No Ing or is words!

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  4. City, city, city! Communes and back to the land are for when you are old and creaky and happy to trade stimulating companionship, human interaction, and sushi for delicious vegetables and a nice view. Trust us. We know of which we speak. We GREW UP THERE. Also, you know where you do NOT want to be in November? On a commune in the northwest with a bunch of soggy, cold, miserable hippies. BC is for the SUMMER.

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  5. I say c)! Although f) is very tempting.

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  6. Oh, no! We'll all miss you!

    I vote for C - you belong in publishing!

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  7. Publishing jobs have spread out across the country (Go, Internet!). It sounds like both publishing and the city are high on your list. Which is the greater priority? There seem to be pockets of pub industry-related jobs in places like Denver. You might even be able to afford to eat every day. On the other hand, it's not The City. Where is your heart, Intern?

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  8. B. Because it's gross, and I like to be gross sometimes.

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  9. I thought you'd said "jabberwocky" and I was confused, but now I see you said "jabberwockery," which is completely different (but which also doesn't answer the question of your future) (which, as a mom of five living in the suburbs, I feel unqualified to weigh in on--other than to say that driving a mile to the nearest Target is much underrated--if not exactly figure-improving, nor intellectually edifying.)

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  10. You would also make a hip agent. You have connections. I also agree with Alice, monitize your blog.

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  11. You're too damn smart and intuitive to give it up if you love it. My two cents.

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  12. I live in British Columbia. Where is this commune?

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  13. Come and live in France and be a spy. That's option g I suppose.

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  14. Drag your techie boyfriend to Fayetteville, WV where he can work at/manage any number of fine restaurants and INTERN can write and hike and write some more. Plus, cost of living is plenty low.

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  15. My advice is to quit feeling despair. It's a time waster and fogs up letting you hear what your gut and the universe is trying to tell you.

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  16. a to c simultaneously - you'll need all of these to stick in the city, which is where your beautiful cynicism belongs.
    Keep d and e for your vacation time... Maybe even some volunteer lumberjacking?

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  17. How about C in another place, if you're itching to move around? Like publishing in California or Denver, like PP said?

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  18. I would have said F if you would have worded it this way:

    f) move to somewhere cheap and rural where INTERN can still be involved in the publishing industry (because others in the industry can be found in every nook and corner of the world, not just NY) and techie boyfriend can work for a company there.

    :)
    G.

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  19. I hope you stick to publishing, but maybe you want to do more writing? In that case I vote for the rural option. I'm all about going rural.

    I also like Diana's suggestion to look for publishing jobs outside of NYC. I don't get the appeal of The City, myself. It makes me feel very small and I always want to give all my money away to bums whenever I'm there.

    I hope your heart at least upgrades from despairing to pensive soon!

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  20. Do you love publishing so far? If so, (c)

    If not, (d) or (e). (Although, as a native of B.C., I warn you our weather is about to get not-so-fun.)

    If still undecided, there is only one answer: Nudism.

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  21. I vote for a and c in conjunction. The benefit of menial hipster jobs is they slow the cash hemorrhage while you look for a "real" job.

    A "real" job, by the way, has nothing to do with compensation. It is a real job if it meets the following qualifications:

    1. Gender specific clothing is preferred at work.
    2. Some sort of benefits may eventually be available.
    3. The median age of the employee pool exceeds 23.

    Good luck! The only thing worse than having a job is looking for one.

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  22. I like B--too bad it's illegal. Guess you need to go with C.

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  23. The Universe has a way of smacking you in the head when you need it. You'll know it when it comes - just stay open. (and I like the blogging idea)

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  24. Write chick lit about young women in the publishing industry who can inexplicably afford highly expensive lifestyles! (You can do this while selling your organs on the black market. That's my new theory about how Carrie Bradshaw stays solvent. Think about it, why else would she be so skinny without exercising? Those kidneys add water weight!)

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  25. Option C. You picked that internship for a reason, go make something with it. Plus you might find a different city you enjoy more!

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  26. Hang on by your fingernails like the hawks on fifth avenue if you have to, but stay in the city!

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  27. Do what the f*** you are going to do. I never took advice and look where I landed up ... £7.00 on a scratch card. So who's the winner?

    No one can advise a talent like yours. Do it.

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  28. I vote (c) publishing or (g) ?????. Especially ????? if it involves wrassling in Jello. Then, you can write a book about it called Eat, Slip, Jiggle and make eleventy billion dollars, because that's how (c) works.

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  29. Whatever you do, please blog about it! But, if you're not an intern, will you have to change your nom de plume?

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  30. Umm... You're very skinny, so you must not need food. Why do you need a job?

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  31. I like C and F. But while there is a lot to be said for living the country life, and even more for greasy spoons, I personally like you where you are: in publishing and blogging about it. Where and in what capacity is the only question you should be asking.

    C'mon publishers--give the girl a job!

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  32. C) if you've liked the intership so far.

    I agree with The Rejectionist, you are way too young to leave the city! Besides, cheap and rural is... well, cheap and rural, sounds boring as hell to me.

    Above everything else, though, you should remain a blogger. You are funny and witty, virtues not to be wasted on farmish environments (pearls before swine, anyone?).

    You rock!

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  33. Start your own Editing business:)

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  34. Speaking as an previous back-to-the-land hippie, I've never regretted moving to a mountain farm back in 1975. It's where MY heart is. Even so, four years ago, I managed to become a published author with a NY house and am on my sixth book for the same editor who somehow manages to understand Appalachian.

    I always thought a fire tower sounded pretty cool. And you could probably keep blogging -- I'd sure miss it if you quit.

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  35. If you choose D, will you still have internet access? I am tempted to pick C out of sheer selfishness because I want to keep reading your amusing publishing insights, but I could be convinced to back option D if and only if I can be guaranteed amusing existential-thoughts-as-I-write-in-my-watchtower blog posts.

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  36. I sort of look at this like a Venn diagram. 1. What kind of job would you like? 2. Where would you like to live? Where is the overlap between 1 &2?

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  37. I just found your blog. And like it. I even added you to my blogroll. Soooo, if your intern ends in a month, does your blog end, too?

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  38. Come to San Francisco and intern for Chronicle Books.

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  39. c.

    Why not try and find a publishing job in NYC? I'm going to miss your posts. Of course, the money sucks, but... Or maybe a literary agency? That might be kinda fun. Do some networking where you work for the next month. They owe you.

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  40. I say go for "C", stay in the city, and get techie boyfriend a job at Starbucks. the free coffee (1 lb per week) and benefits (>25 hrs/week) plus the caffeine should keep you fortified while you search.

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  41. Oh yeah, and whatever you do, don't stop writing your blog. Your smartass humor is refreshing and I may use you in the future to look over a manuscript!

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  42. If your life philosophies orbit around Bob Marley's hair theories, I'm thinking you might suffer culture shock by moving out west. Better stick to the big city. Nothing personal. Just saying...

    But if you change your mind and move our way, here are a few pointers from a true blue westerner:
    a.) clap at inappropriate times during symphonies
    b.) greet people--that's right--GREET people friendly-like when you pass them on a sidewalk
    c.) remember that milk comes from COWS, not grocery stores; try to keep that in mind when making economic commentary in public
    d.) at a four-way stop, the lady always goes first, regardless of the right-of-way law

    We'd all love it if you continued your blog, but what are you going to call yourself when you're no longer an INTERN?

    LUMBERJACK?
    GROOVY COMMUNE GIRL?
    ORGANLESS STREET VENDOR?

    Go into publishing. You know you want to!

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  43. You could, of course, spend a year on the commune and then write your memoir:

    Commune: A Year In the Life of a Commune.

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  44. Ahem. The City around here is San Francisco - give the west coast a shot. Mess around with menial and underpaid yet interesting jobs until you're almost 30 (a super burrito can last at least 2 meals) then become a bada** super agent able to nurture with one hand and strike fear with the other.

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  45. I agree with The Rejectionist - definitely NOT e) or f) until next spring!!!

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  46. http://movetophilly.com

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  47. If you cannot land another job in publishing, follow tradition and become an agent!
    All you need is a postoffice box, an email account and a letterhead.

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  48. I also vote for C. The publishing world needs you. Oh, hell, I need you; I look forward to your posts daily.

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  49. I vote 'yes' to fire tower and 'no' to selling organs.

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  50. C or E. Because dude, the stories you could tell later about living in a commune! And you obviously love publishing or you wouldn't be interning. So, if you want to go the writing route, E. If you want to go the publishing route, C.
    If you can't decide between the two, flip a coin.
    Hugs and good luck!

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  51. Definitely go into publishing, you know your stuff! But whatever you do, keep up the blog. I really look forward to it.

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  52. I guess the company you interned for doesn't have any openings? It seems life would be easier if people could just transition that way - from intern to employee at the same place. Oh well. Good luck!

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  53. But the issue we've all been skirting here: does one's label change from INTERN to HIPSTER when one acquires a.? If so, then absolutely c., in whence the label would appropriately leap to ASSISTANT SOMETHING.

    Best of luck, INTERN!

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  54. Figure out what you did as a child that made you happy, brought you joy and was the most natural expression of YOU!

    Next, figure out a way to make a living at whatever this was.

    Focus on contentment with life... happiness, like sadness, comes and goes.

    Be like the willow tree, bend but don't break, during the storms of life.

    (If none of this works... you and Techie consider the movie, BONNIE AND CLYDE!

    Haste yee back ;-)

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  55. Choice (a) while you pursue choice (c). Rural is for old and cranky, like me. I live in a very small town and love it, but that was after I had lived from coast to coast in all varieties of cities.

    Besides, what would you blog about in a Fire Tower? I've actually been in one. You get to point where you actually hope for an act of arson, so something (anything) would happen.

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  56. Easy. Come to SF Bay Area. You get an underpaid web editing job in SF. Techie bf gets a six-figure job in SilVal and you both live HEA.

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  57. 1. You make fun of hipsters, Intern. They'll smell an ulterior, diary-filling motive as soon as you show up for an interview. 2. Right now, your kidney is your 401K. Think long-term hold. 3. As somone pointed out, BC in winter is brutal. Are you thinking of Canada for health insurance reasons? If you lumberjack there, you could hurt yourself, bring down the medical care system, and ruin our relationship with our neighbor to the north. 4. Forget the fire-tower lookout fantasy. Beetles are devouring mature pines in the Northwest. Also, and don't take this as an insult, you're a people-person, Intern. 5. You have a way with words, Intern. Go for C.

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  58. What ever you decide, do it with passion!

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  59. Be a fire lookout. When will you ever get an opportunity to that again?

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  60. Hmmm... Well I'm pretty sure your experiences as an intern are publishable (not necessarily in the form of your current blog, but you have a distinctive style), so if your hunt for a perfect job comes up empty you could always try your hand at writing a book, become a famous author and help little lost author souls.

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  61. Your internship is coming to an end?! Nooooo!!!

    INTERN, your writing is truly fantastic--you really don't find such a perfectly honed comic deadpan voice like yours very often, so I’d hate it if you stopped writing this wonderful blog. On top of the comedy and real, honest-to-goodness sound advice you give aspiring authors, I really like this sardonic and strangely ominous “character” of THE INTERN and would find it an awful shame to see it fade away.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, so I suggest that you capitalize on it! Definitely monetize your blog like others have suggested, but expand it--try to increase publicity for the blog and get more people reading. Try to churn out your fantastic entries on a daily basis. In fact, see if you can get a writing advice column as THE INTERN syndicated in a writing-related publication of some kind.

    Then, make a full website and design a logo/print up some t-shirts/pencils/stickers, etc, with your INTERN logo on it (you'd be surprised what ppl will buy paraphernalia for off the Internet these days!). You may even want to see if an artist friend will draw a comic sketch of you (the lugubriously shaggy-haired, bra-less figure of THE INTERN is very sketch-friendly~) and maybe add a one-panel comic of INTERN's misadventures to your website or print them on coffee mugs, etc... The possibilities are limitless.

    In short, people like your "character," so turn it into a franchise if possible. :P If you need moola in the short-term while you build your INTERN empire, find a menial job in the City and work on getting a larger body of material so you can get yourself that advice column gig. But whatever you do, don’t stop being THE INTERN—it’s too good a thing you’ve got going here to give up~!

    -Red

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  62. Stay in publishing! Team up with The Rejectionist and Moonrat and form the scariest publishing house on the face of the earth. Pile scalding sarcasm on EVERY instance of really bad writing till they all GIVE UP.

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  63. Your internship is coming to an end?! Nooooo!!!

    INTERN, your writing is truly fantastic--you really don't find such a perfectly honed comic deadpan voice like yours very often, so I’d hate it if you stopped writing this wonderful blog. On top of the comedy and real, honest-to-goodness sound advice you give aspiring authors, I really like this sardonic and strangely ominous “character” of THE INTERN and would find it an awful shame to see it fade away.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, so I suggest that you capitalize on it! Definitely monetize your blog like others have suggested, but expand it--try to increase publicity for the blog and get more people reading. Try to churn out your fantastic entries on a daily basis. In fact, see if you can get a writing advice column as THE INTERN syndicated in a writing-related publication of some kind.

    Then, make a full website and design a logo/print up some t-shirts/pencils/stickers, etc, with your INTERN logo on it (you'd be surprised what ppl will buy paraphernalia for off the Internet these days!). You may even want to see if an artist friend will draw a comic sketch of you (the lugubriously shaggy-haired, bra-less figure of THE INTERN is very sketch-friendly~) and maybe add a one-panel comic of INTERN's misadventures to your website or print them on coffee mugs, etc... The possibilities are limitless.

    In short, people like your "character," so turn it into a franchise if possible. :P If you need moola in the short-term while you build your INTERN empire, find a menial job in the City and work on getting a larger body of material so you can get yourself that advice column gig. But whatever you do, don’t stop being THE INTERN—it’s too good a thing you’ve got going here to give up~!

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  64. I say c if you like publishing. Just make sure you'll have health insurance. You're poorly paid at lots of publishing jobs, but the biggish places and university presses will have health insurance. Hipster jobs: often no health insurance. Hipster jobs get old fast. Also, there's lots of jobs at magazines--people move around frequently.

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  65. a) or c). Give the city some more time to see what it has in store for you. You can still leave in a year, or six months, if you can't stand it. (it= the menial job or publisher's job or life in the city).

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  66. D or E. I'd go for D if it really is an option. I'm curious though, fire season is winding down. Where is this lookout?

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  67. My vote:

    1st choice: (c)
    2nd choice: (e)

    But meanwhile, start working on your book! I agree with Redcrest. You have a great writing style and dry wit.

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  68. Wanna intern next summer at a biodynamic CSA?

    Learn to grow your own to supplement your future weed grazing and bark gnawing?

    Why don't you and techie walk the Camino de Santiago this winter?

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  69. I vote C and (as someone else also mentioned) professional blogger :-)

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