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Showing posts from October, 2009

announcing NaNoReVisMo!

In honor of November's tank-like determination to actually happen despite INTERN's fervent wishes that it be cute, silly October forever, INTERN is announcing a new Month as an alternative to the imminent National Novel Writing Month that gets people into such a frenzy at this time of year

It's National Novel REVISION Month, baby, and it means business.

It occurs to INTERN as she types this that someone has undoubtedly already thought of the idea of NaNoReVisMo, and there are probably something like five hundred active cells of the NaNoReVisMo underworld in a thousand different cities (yes, five hundred cells in a thousand different cities. You do the math!)

But let's ignore that for a moment and forge ahead as if were a semi-new idea. Humor INTERN? Yes?

So. NaNoReVisMo.

Here's how it works:

You open a first draft from your (no doubt monstrous) desktop file of first drafts. Maybe you read it all the way through once, just to get in the mood. You start to feel daunt…

hail the robot overlords of novel-writing

This morning INTERN was going through her soon-to-be kaput computer's hard drive when she happened across a program called Writer's Dreamkit, a used-once present from INTERN's parents circa x-mas 2003.

Has anyone used or heard of it?

It's this completely insane novel-writing software that interrogates you at length about your characters and plot, then runs your answers through a baroque and frightening Story Engine and spits out a plot outline.

The best thing about Writer's Dreamkit is that it makes absolutely no bones about being a novel-writing robot. It doesn't try to put on a soft and friendly human face or pad its cold, hard plotting engine with fuzz. Writer's Dreamkit is like, "Hell yeah I'm a robot. And if you don't select your Impact Character's chief flaw from this pull-down menu in the next fifteen seconds, I'm gonna crash your system so hard you'll feel it for days."

INTERN was playing around with WDK all morning, an…

today, INTERN is reading her hippy roommate's raw food uncookbooks

...and if she reads another recipe like this:

DECADENT DONUTS

Core an organic apple and slice into rings. Sprinkle apple rings with organic cinnamon and drizzle with agave nectar. Now enjoy your delicious RAW donuts!

or this

BODACIOUS BURGERS

Core an organic apple and slice into thick, burger-shaped circles. Sprinkle with organic sea salt and drizzle with Braggs Liquid Aminos. Now sink your fangs into your hearty and filling RAW burger!

she is going to lose her shizz.

INTERN spent the weekend job-hunting, a task made ten times more interesting by the fact that Techie Boyfriend found a college friend of his (who is from Seattle!) wandering the streets in a manic episode, took him home, and generously offered him half of INTERN's dwindling stash of antipsychotics (Manic Friend's supply of said drug had run out several days before). Result: Manic Friend sleeps for the first time in days, and INTERN is overcome by a fit of uncontrollable frolicking.

It's all cool, though, becaus…

impressive boondoggle #63

INTERN has been thinking about the different ways authors (particularly non-fiction authors) cash in on their books apart from actual book sales. The most common side-project is public speaking. Next is instructional seminars, either in-person or online.

In her rambles around the internet this morning, INTERN happened across the website of Andy Behrman, author of "Electroboy," a memoir of bipolar disorder (and spokesperson for other mental illness-related stuff). And wow. This dude has taken the idea of the Book Spinoff to the next level.

The first thing you see when you go to his website is a plug for his "Services as a Consultant for People with Mental Illness(and Those who Love Them)". For a mere $225 per hour—PER HOUR—e.g. more than INTERN spends on food in a month, including splurges on the occasional avocado—he will talk to you on the phone or shoot you some e-mails about how to pick a psychiatrist, figure out how to get on disability, remind you to take…

author websites part 1.75: what not to blog

So you've made yourself an author website, your first book has come out, and you're feeling kinda famous. Kinda famous enough that you think people might want to hear about your daily life, your writing process, or your two cents on the latest tempest in the publishing teapot. Kinda famous enough that they might want to download a picture of your pet iguana reading a copy of your book and use it as wallpaper for their cellphone. That kinda famous.

So you decide to add a blog to your author website, where readers can do just that.

Now what?

Now you have to write content for your stinkin' blog. Or harness the power of globalization to hire a personal valet in India to write your blog posts for you for six dollars an hour. But do you have six dollars an hour to spare? No? Then it's time to write blog posts.

Lucky for you, INTERN has broken it down somewhat. Here are some guidelines to get you started:

PART 1: What's Hot:

-Publishing or book-related news and opinion…

publishing observations round-up

So.

INTERN went out to the plant store and bought herself a fern the size of a smart-car to fill the post-internship space in her life, and is feeling ready to take on the world. She is naming the fern "Head Ed" and will be taking assignments from it (envelope-licking and such) whenever necessary. Techie Boyfriend is a little concerned, but seems to buy INTERN's argument that she has to cope however she can.

Right now "Head Ed" is telling INTERN to write a round-up of Things Learned About Publishing before going on to write new things. So, anxious to please her new boss, here it is:

Round-Up of Things Learned About Publishing

1. On her first day of interning, INTERN was shocked to learn that the acquisitions editor listed in Writer's Marketdoes not necessarily always exist.

2. Editors can and will check the sales figures of your previous books. Fools who tweak their numbers get pitied. And not just by INTERN.

3. Getting a book deal is 10% reason for celeb…

tidings of imminent yore

INTERN has eaten her Goodbye Lunch of curry and various triangular fried things.
INTERN has opened her Goodbye Card and delighted that 9 out of 12 signees spelled her name right.
INTERN has taken one last wander through the book shelves and filled her backpack to capacity with irresistible Goodbye Books.
INTERN has made one last round of jovial conversation with the Head and Assistant Eds, the Editorial Assistant, and various and sundry other friendly publishing folk.
INTERN has cast last, loving gazes at the mail machine, the rare orchids in their pots, the coffee machine, and the red leather couch where she spent so many days reading queries and tinkering with stuff.
INTERN has taken the stairs down, carrying her bike on her shoulder, and said goodbye to the cheerful doorman.
INTERN is not even writing this from Big Fancy Publishing Office, but from a coffee shop a few blocks down.

INTERN is officially not an intern anymore, though she remains so in spirit.

"What now?" wonders INT…

author websites: read this

INTERN was going to write down more basic ingredients of an author website, but The Book Publicity beat her to it.

In other news, when INTERN was biking home yesterday evening, she found some free church pews on the side of the road, and, seeing her inspect them, a friendly construction worker offered to throw pews, bike, and INTERN in the back of his pickup and ferry them home. It was wonderful and exhilerating and awesome, and even though INTERN kept her head ducked down for most of the ride because she was paranoid about the legal snags of pickup bed riding in big cities, she managed to peek up now and then and look at the city and scare people.

Now INTERN's room looks like some kind of shrine to her Webster's New World Dictionary, which sits on one of the pews like a hymnal. Word of the day: granadilla.

But seriously: have a look at that Book Publicity post!

author website curmuddlement

In the past few months, several people have asked INTERN her opinion on author websites, particularly websites for authors who have not yet published a book or significant body of magazine articles/similar.

A few months ago, INTERN's response was a grouchy: "no! too many unpublished author websites INTERN has to look up as part of her slush pile duties are festering caves full of broken links and unflattering writing samples."

But arguments pro author websites for everyone (see Nathan Bransford's post on the subject) seem pretty reasonable, and INTERN's stance has shifted closer to the middle. Her thoughts on the matter now go as follows:

-A website is like a new puppy. Cute and fun, but, like your parents loved to say, "a big responsibility." If it's a blog, you need to feed it new content regularly or it will look abandoned. If it's a website written in some finnicky language, you'll need to know how to fix the code if something brea…

den of frivolity, take two

This morning on the train, the skinny young gentleman in the XXL white t-shirt sitting in front of INTERN was listening to Ludacris, loudly. Over the course of half an hour, INTERN realized that Ludacris might be moonlighting as a literary agent or publisher. Evidence:

"I've got hoes in different area codes."

Ludacris has successfully pimped foreign rights to his authors' novels.

"Move bitch, get out the way, get out the way bitch, get out the way."

Ludacris recalls the manner in which he butted in line to buy the new Dan Brown novel. Move, bitch!

"Lady in da street but a freak in da bed."

Ludacris recalls how one of his authors' novels only did modestly in bookstores ("da street") but totally rocked Amazon ("da bed").

"One day we on the autobahn swervin drivin,
next day we in the sun on the Virgin Islands."

Only the best book tours for Ludacris' authors.

" Let it rush through your veins, cause I'ma be the …