Showing posts from January, 2010

R.I.P. J.D. Salinger

Another great one has died and the world is a little weirder and lonelier knowing the great writer who brought us Holden Caulfied has breathed his last.

If INTERN was having one of her "acute paranoia" moments (which she is *totally* not), she would see an OBVIOUS AND SINISTER connection between the fact that Salinger died on the same day as Apple revealed its new iPad. (That, and the freaky weather, which Apple also controls).


questions re: Evil

Last night, INTERN went out to hear a panel discussion about the impact e-books are going to have on readers and writers. More than once over the course of the evening, a panelist or a member of the (publishing industry-heavy) audience used the word “evil” to describe either themselves, their publisher, or another publisher (e.g. “OK, so I’m a publicist at one of the big evil publishers and…”)

As she sat there, INTERN started thinking about how weird this was.

For one thing, the word “evil” gets bandied around a lot. Consider the following not-so-uncommon formulas:

“Evil” = Big 6 publishing conglomerate+Risk-Aversive and Market-Driven/racism*2

“Evil” = self-absorbed nutcase + print-on-demand technology*shockingly terrible cover design.

“Evil” = Agents who reject anybody for any reason(wrath of millions)

“Evil” = Publishers who print “those awful books people actually buy” + people who buy those books, thereby encouraging publishers to publish more of them

“Evil” = The publishing industry i…

on billfoldic transduction

a monograph by techie boyfriend

I have just received sad news from our dear INTERN: travelling alone in The Big City, she has been pock-picketed. Why this kindly creature should be marked is beyond me, but I have taken it upon myself to request, nay demand acts of vigilante kindness directed toward the object of our mutual admiration.

But first, the story...

In this episode, INTERN jets to The Big Apple in the course of her bloggerly duties (no, truly, didn't she tell you she was talking @ NYU? I am so very proud). She finds her meager billfold snatched from her pocket whilst frolicking innocently amidst the glory of the NYPL.

A description of the pilfered purse: INTERN's wallet looks like its about 15 years old, fading black, is decorated with the peeling image of a california raisin in roller skates, contains no credit cards, and probaby carries less than 14 cents in cash. Should you find it when digging through a NYC dumpster (you know, The Economy), you know what to do.

But on…

beware the ides of intern...

INTERN has been posting a little less frequently these past couple weeks, because she is starting her new internship in exactly seven days and has been taking advantage of her last little bit of time pre-full time internment to:

-gossip w/Hippie Roommate re: Vampire Roommate (Apparently, the girl who had INTERN's room before INTERN got on Vampire Roommate's bad side (or the VR got on *her* bad side) and they spent the last three months before said girl moved out hexing one another. Says Hippie Roommate "I was always tripping over bowls of salt water and rusty nails." INTERN is glad she dodged that bullet. Sheesh!)

-scrounge together some kind of acceptable outfit for a fancy reading she will be working at as part of her first week at Venerable McPulitzer Publishing Co.

-help Techie Boyfriend construct an astrolabe.

-gossip w/Techie Boyfriend re: Hippie Roommate's new manfriend (a soft-spoken, generous, intelligent 45-year old businessman (!) whose moodlit apartme…

why you really don't want to get published (part 2)

-Somewhere out there, a publicist will start sending out extremely misleading press releases about your book and yourself. These press releases will make highly dubious claims as to the unsurpassed quality of your book and the charm and charisma of your person. Also, they will (mistakenly) claim you live in Pablo, Montana (when you have in fact never even been to Montana) to cover up the fact that you are, effectively, homeless.

-The author photo you provide to your publisher will be stretched, squashed, pixellated, and maybe converted to sepia so that you look as much like a post-apocalyptic iguana as possible.

-Reviewers you don’t know and have never met will be sent advance copies of your book. Though there’s no way you can know this for sure (yet!), you are certain that they are at this very moment flipping through it with an expression of smoldering disdain (or, alternatively, stifling their gag reflex).

-Though there’s no way you can know this for sure (yet!), you are certain …

How to Attract Interns: A Guide for Craigslist Posters

Recently, INTERN has being seeing lots of posts on craigslist looking for "interns" that look sort of like this:

"Hard-working, slef-motivated intern wantd for online fashion magazine. U will be writing 20-30 cutting edge fashion articles a day and posting them to ourwebsite. 30 hr/week commitment reqd. This is an entirely work from home internship, prefect for ppl with busy schedules. Unpaid, w/oppurtiny for advancement."

or this:

"Nubile—er, reliable intern wanted to assist established author with day-to-day tasks. You will be working from my home office on tasks including mail, word processing and occasional light cleaning. Must have own transportation and BE TOTALLY RELIABLE AND RESPECTFUL. NO BACK-TALK. I offer a letter of recommendation and the possibility of college credit. SCENT-FREE household. Unpaid."

or this:

"E-book publisher seeks research intern to conduct online research for business textbooks. 40 hrs/week. You will send us a da…

in which evil gets ingested orally

Yesterday morning, INTERN packed herself some crackers and cashews in a ziplock bag and went off to spend the day in the library. At midday she took a break from her labors and went downstairs to have a snack. As she devoured her crackers, she slowly became aware of a strange taste. She was hungry, so she resolutely ignored the strange taste until it became rather...overwhelming.

Annoyed, INTERN stopped her scarfing to inspect the contents of the ziplock. And found two whitish, nearly transpararent cubes of some sort of chemical giving off the harsh scent that had infected the food.

At home that evening, INTERN questioned her roommates about the incident. Now, INTERN has never mentioned this before, but her HIppie Roommate is not her only roommate. INTERN also has a male Vampire Roommate whom she has never had cause to mention because he spends all his time in his room with the lights off, nursing a bong the size of an office water cooler.

INTERN's Vampire Roommate tends to onl…

the infants are coming!

INTERN is staring a birthday in the face (tomorrow, actually) so thoughts of age have been on her mind. She went to the library yesterday to check up on the new YA novels and actually felt creepy for being there, even making up excuses of "professional interest" to justify her lurking presence (and definitely not, um, to justify wrestling the latest Laurie Halse Anderson novel out of that little thirteen-year old girl's hands and running away with it.)

Then something creepier happened. INTERN more or less fled from the new books section (too many fresh-faced youngsters about) and perused the other YA stacks. Then it so happened that every book INTERN picked off the shelves (OK, two books, but whatever) were indeed written by 13-year olds. The first was In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, whom INTERN had never heard of, and the other was something by Gordan Korman of This Can't be Happening at Macdonald Hall renown, who was INTERN's absolute f…

holy. crap. look.

INTERN doesn't normally post photos on her blog, but she stumbled across the following last night:

Twi-mania: it has sunk its fangs into organic chocolate.

Someone tell INTERN this is just an innocent coincidence.




in which INTERN is a threat to public health

Waking up with a cold: sad.

Eating a cubic inch of raw ginger root in an unsuccessful attempt to nuke said cold: alarming.

Rasping with victory after finding a dirty blister package of expired Sudafed between the couch cushions: pathetic.

Teaching five piano lessons while half-delirious with fever: inadvisable.

Being bundled up in a blanket and read out loud to by Techie Boyfriend from David Brin's The Postman. For two hours. With voices. : AWESOME!

NaNoReVisMo #6: Electric Kool-Aid Conflict Test PART TWO

Back in November, INTERN posted about a curious phenomenon she noticed when flipping through a stack of library books: wherever she stuck in her thumb, she was never more than two or three sentences from a clearly identifiable internal or external conflict.

In the intervening weeks, INTERN has been doing more experiments in her (padlocked and bat-infested) Book Laboratory, and has noticed another phenomenon among published novels, memoirs, and even some non-fiction.

INTERN observed that at the end of every chapter in any novel she picked up from her pile, she was left with at least one, but sometimes two or three, Questions. The existence of these Questions produced in INTERN's fevered little brain a desire to keep reading, if only to find out the Answers.

As INTERN continued the experiment, she was horrified to discover that even when she thought a particular book or chapter was trashy and poorly-written, she would still experience desire to keep reading if the Questions were sa…

resolutions a'heapful

INTERN’s New Year’s Resolutions 2010

-Preemptively get full sleeve tattoos of Paul Celan poems in the original German so that the (undoubtedly uber-sophisticated) Other Interns at Venerable McPulitzer Publishing Co. can see that INTERN is Serious about Literature.

-Overcome fear of police officers, border guards, mall cops, and friendly but square acquaintances who may or may not have spotted INTERN before she ducked behind the nearest bookshelf wearing a large sweater as pants and a slightly muddy tea cozy for a hat.

-Overcome fear of/desire to mate with Espresso Book Machine.

-Self-publish thinly-veiled, completely “fictional” “novel” on Espresso Book Machine.

-Philanthropic goal: Design simple, crank-powered Kindle à la One Laptop Per Child so desert nomads and children in third-world villages can read the New York Times on glare-resistant e-ink display.

-Delete embarrassing photographs of self with Espresso Book Machine from hard drive.

-Overcome fear of acquaintances in general.