Showing posts from November, 2011

all your e-mail are belong to us: in which independent bookstores get digital rabies

The other day, INTERN found a trampled but still legible coupon on the sidewalk for 15% off any book at a charming local bookstore on the little island she is temporarily calling home.

"Huzzah!" exclaimed INTERN. "What a find!"

She stuck it in her purse along with various other sidewalk finds (feathers, pennies, someone's bifocals) and went along her merry way.

Today, INTERN went to the bookstore and picked out a book to give to her big sister for Christmas (The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes, in case you're curious—INTERN's big sister is a crafty lady). When INTERN took her purchase to the counter, she presented the friendly clerk with her coupon.

That's when things got peculiar.

"Write down your e-mail here so we can keep you updated on our events," said the (really very friendly) clerk.

"Oh, no thanks," said INTERN cheerfully. "I'm just visiting."

"You'll still want to know about our events," said the cle…

thank you

...for all the tweets and comments and celebratory e-mails. INTERN feels like she has hundreds of fairy godpeople helping and poking and waving their wands as she stumbles her way towards published noveldom, and that is a magical feeling indeed.

In case you are curious, here are some questions and answers about INTERN's forthcoming books!

Q: Isn't summer 2013, like, a year and a half away? Why the long wait?

A: The summer 2013 pub date is timed to coincide with INTERN's release from the maximum security women's prison from which she has been writing this blo—oh wait, that's some other intern.

It would take an entire post to explain the logic behind pub dates. Most importantly in INTERN's case, the summer 2013 pub date for Book 1 gives INTERN more time to write a brilliant Book 2 (not a sequel) in time for summer 2014.

INTERN is still getting the hang of novels. She's inefficient, delusional, and frequently confused. This timeline gives INTERN more time to deve…

midnight unmasking ceremony

*eats dragon fruit*

*burns sage*

*dons ceremonial robes*

*shakes ceremonial rattles*

*reads relevant passages from the Tao te Ching*

*steals glance at clock*

*counts to three*

*scampers into the moonlight*


At this point, participants who wish to discover INTERN's "real identity" (as well as a totally unfounded rumor about this blog being defunct) are spirited over to this page (scroll down to the fifth item in the list).

Otherwise, here's the news:

Huzzah! Novels! Gamboling! Dragon fruit for all!

hedonic treadsorcery!

INTERN was so impressed by this thought experiment at Kristan Hoffman's blog that all she feels like doing today is telling every writer she knows to try it.

And that is SERIOUSLY all.

Help a Writer Out: In Praise of Mutual Aid

When INTERN was in college, she had the extreme good fortune of having a best friend whose parents were writers and well-connected in Vancouver’s small press scene. When INTERN expressed an enthusiasm for all things literary, they casually and with no great fanfare took her under their wing.

Over the next three years, they introduced INTERN to poets and editors in their literary circle. Lent her a constant stream of obscure books. Helped her produce her first chapbook. Let her tag along to readings and book launches. They were (and are) great people and the best mentors an aspiring writer could have asked for.

INTERN spent the weekend visiting these mentor-friends in Vancouver and also soaking in/trying to get a grasp on the Occupy fervor that has bubbled up in that city like so many others (have you guys seen Occupy Writers? Lemony Snicket!). And it made INTERN think about all the ways we can help each other, as writers and as people.

1. Introduce writer-friends to one another!


in which INTERN wrestles with a viper

INTERN is bored of Scandalous Revelations (and talking about herself in general) so today let's talk about snakes.

The poet Rumi has a great story about a traveler who was about to put on his shoe when an eagle swooped down and snatched it.

"Goddamit!" said the traveler, shaking his gnarled fist. "Stinkin' eagle stole my stinkin' shoe!"

Just then, he watched as a poisonous viper fell out of the shoe the eagle had snatched, and realized that the loss of his shoe had prevented an even greater calamity, namely being fanged on the toe by a poisonous viper.

Sometimes things that feel like setbacks are actually benevolent eagles swooping down to stop you from doing something really, really stupid. And sometimes things that feel like successes are actually tests of your ability to wrestle with the viper on your own.

Sometimes, INTERN feels like each person has a different question dominating his/her life—"Am I a good person?" or "Am I living right?&q…

Week 'o' Scandalous Revelations, Part 2: Truth and the Anonymous Blogger

One of the most frequently asked questions INTERN has gotten about this blog since its inception in April 2009 is "How much of it is true?"

When people ask this question, they are often referring to the more outlandish tales, such as yesterday's scandalous revelation or the time INTERN accidentally ingested part of Vampire Roommate's evil spirit absorbing tablets in her midday snack.

The funny thing is, the stuff that makes you say "Reaaaaally?" is the true stuff. It's the mundane details that INTERN has fiddled with—dates/times/genders/locations/ordering of events/identifying details of people and institutions—in order to respect the privacy of the people and institutions she's depicted. When she started this blog, INTERN was downright PETRIFIED of being discovered by her place of internment (she remains sworn to secrecy to this day). She therefore took great care to anonymize the crap out of every possible detail. Publishing's a tiny world, and…

Week 'o' Scandalous Revelations, Part 1: An Uncensored History of This Blog

As you may know from Friday's post, INTERN's days as an anonymous blogger will soon be coming to an end. In approximately a week's time, INTERN will be forced to step out from behind her Wizard of Oz smokescreen and reveal herself to all of you as the lowly Helga von Spinklehorn, hunchbacked, far-sighted, and possessed of the most enormous set of fangs you've ever seen.

INTERN is scared shitless. But also a little relieved. Because while anonymity bestows many freedoms, it can also make things feel a little, oh, impersonal after a while, and for a long time now INTERN has been craving the ability to share herself in a way she has so far been unable to do.

But first, INTERN promised you Scandalous Revelations. So here is the first one.

Scandalous Revelation No. 1: What's the Deal With That Photo?

If you've been reading INTERN's blog for a while, you may have noticed this photo in the upper left hand corner:

The appearance of this blog has remained unchanged for s…

a very short post about a very big decision

Due to a variety of Recent Developments of which INTERN will explain more in due course, INTERN has arrived at a point where it will soon no longer be practical (or indeed, desirable) to keep this blog anonymous.

INTERN is therefore declaring a Week 'o' Startling Revelations starting on Monday, culminating in a dramatic and shocking Unmasking to take place slightly later this month. Ladies and Gentlemen who are prone to fainting spells are encouraged to bring their own smelling salts.

But WHY?




Not to mention, WHO?

Stay tuned as the revelations start to fly...

the kindle swindlers; thoughts on ebook piracy

When INTERN and Techie Boyfriend were trekking in Nepal, the heaviest thing in INTERN’s pack was a copy of Vikram Seth’s 1500-page A Suitable Boy, recommended by several clever and tasteful readers of this blog. That book was the size of a dorm room mini-fridge—INTERN could have survived in the Himalayas for weeks just by licking the ink. Attempts to sneak it into Techie Boyfriend’s pack resulted in immediate discovery and expulsion.

So when INTERN spied a fellow trekker reading a Kindle at the tea house that night, she accosted him immediately.

“How d’you like that thing?” INTERN said, helping herself to a chair at the table.

He looked up, smiling. He was a blond-haired sales and marketing type from somewhere in the southeast. His face spoke of leadership seminars and rugy.

“It’s great!” he said. “Ever since I bought it, I haven’t paid for a single book.”

“Oh, like you’re reading classics on Project Gutenburg?” said INTERN. She had met a butcher, once, in small-town Oregon, who read Dic…