and then it was August...

Why hello friends!

Hilary here.

It feels ever so rude to let the INTERN part of this blog slurk off into the night without saying goodbye, especially since you have all been so friendly and generous and welcoming for so long, but there is a time to take off your cape and duck mask and speak in your real voice, and that time has come for me.

With that in mind, How are you all? I have missed you so much in these past few months of fretting and procrastinating and wondering how, exactly, to talk to you without my duck mask for protection (note to self: just freaking do it.) What are you writing? How are things going? What strange or shocking things have you learned? What have been your brightest victories and your worst disappointments? In short, what have I missed in this period of most egregious slurkery?

I am living far from the city now, in a cabin full of books on a dry and spiky mountainside in northern California. Our internet consists of a single ethernet cable shared between six adults; brawls frequently ensue. I have been so worried, lately, that I am not a Real Writer; that I am a girl in a duck mask holding a bag of plastic jewels; that I have lost my way and will never find it again. Sometimes I think I need to live in a cave for fifty years before I can say anything that's really true. I make all sorts of plans, about caves and mountaintops and scratchy robes, and end up loafing around in the hammock frowning at the treetops, wishing I was more rigorous or fierce or brave than I really am.

Objectively, though, things are pretty good. There is a king snake living under our cabin who eats the mice, and a skinny little green snake in the pond who likes to poke his head out when you're swimming, and a million tiny lizards darting across the dusty road; there is a telescope for moon-watching and a basket for mushrooms; what else do you need?

I have various pieces of news about my book, which has a new title (again) and is now called WILD AWAKE, and many pent-up thoughts about writing and publishing that have been piling up in my head while I've been trying to sort this whole INTERN/Hilary thing out. Mostly, though, I've just missed you, and I hope you all feel just as welcome in this space as you did when it was INTERN.

More to come over the next few days and weeks. For now, hello again. It's nice to meet you—for real this time.

Comments

  1. Welcome back! Nice to meet you back. I've loved this blog for awhile, it's nifty to see your transition.

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    1. thanks! I get so freakily anxious about making changes here, but I'm glad I did...as the weird old psychology textbook I found the other day says, generativity vs stagnation, man!

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  2. Congrats on "coming out" to the world, and your book deal. Please do tell us more about your novel. I love the title.

    Your home sounds awesome, except the internet part.

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    1. more to come on the novel soon! I love the new-new title, too...it has nicer vowels, and something like assonance but not quite (can you tell I've spent way too much time thinking about it?)

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  3. Welcome back! Snakes improve the quality of all houses, although I'm not sure about the one-Internet-Connection thing.

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    1. snakes are a joy. I am also enamored of the tiny frogs that live in the squash patch. Techie Boyfriend has been threatening to install a secret wireless port, so we shall see about this internet thing...

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  4. Oh, Hillary/INTERN, how we -- your ever-so loyal fanbase -- have missed you!

    My promise to you: If you write it and it is published, I. Will. Buy. It. (Regardless of the title!)

    (And, yes, I realize full well that one lousy sale does not mean a whole h3lluva lot, but, still, there it is, my promise to you.)

    Please beat back the heathens and reclaim the internet connection that is rightfully yours and keep us updated from time to time. We don't ask for much, only the faint glimmers of hope that you haven't forgotten us (yet)!

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    1. as I write, there are five unconscious people slumped at my feet. the only slightly bloody ethernet cable is jammed victoriously into my computer's jack. I SHALL PREVAIL.

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  5. Hi! :) Missed you too :) Slurkery aside, glad to have you back in any voice.

    Really.

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    1. hello Aimee! I promise I will stop writing these fretful explanatory posts and just be myself, now that the bandaid has been truly and finally ripped off. first person! 'tis is a thrill! glad to hear from you.

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  6. Yay, you're back! I can't wait to buy your book, no matter what they end up calling it.

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    1. Lynn! I was just thinking about you this week! wishing you much goodness!

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  7. Hello! I've missed you. Good to know that the self-doubt never really goes away (well, not GOOD. . . darkly amusing, I suppose).

    Louise Curtis

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    1. the older I get, the more I'm realizing how weakly material reality is connected to mental state/self-worth (after a certain basic threshold of health and non-starvation is met, of course). self-doubt is just a thing that happens, regardless of what you have or haven't achieved of your goals...

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  8. Your description of cabin life made me think-
    ~Intern has gone feral~

    But you are so a real writer, and I (so) enjoy your writing that I am (again SO) glad you are back.

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    1. but you know what, there is indoor plumbing! so I am more civilized than I have been at other points this year...

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  9. Welcome back!

    Been struggling with writing lately, to be honest, but it's been a fun summer for our family, at least.

    Nice to have you back!

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    1. wishing you a flash of inspiration on the writing front! I went through a bad writing month too, but seem to be pulling out....(I hope)

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  10. I hope that being part of the machine won't smother your voice, Hilary. I've learned that even self-publishing changes you; I can't imagine what it's like being caught up in Expectations. Keep writing!

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    1. Jane, thank you so much for this comment. publishing a novel has been VERY different from simply writing, and I will probably be talking a lot about that on here soon. you can't go on a journey of this scope--whether self-published or with a big 6--without having it test you in all sorts of ways both good and bad. I would be interested to hear more about your own findings...

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    2. Your post actually struck me so much that I found myself blogging about it, on www.janesteen.com. I too have been on a weird journey of self-rediscovery, and although I haven't had to change my name or blog title (traumatic much?) it's affected me deeply. I feel as if I've gone through some sort of weird grieving process for the carefree non-Author I once was.

      You've still got to go through the moment of realizing that your book is Out There, and even though you have a publishing company to hold your hand, I suspect it won't be easy. At least you have a ton of fans to cheer you on!

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    3. > publishing a novel has been VERY different from
      > simply writing, and I will probably be talking a
      > lot about that on here soon.

      Please, please talk about this. It's been on my mind too. Talk! I will talk back.

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    4. deal! it's nice to know that other people are thinking about this too. I will try to get a post up this week!

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  11. Welcome back! I'm not writing a book but still found your posts insightful and entertaining.

    Kind of jealous of the cabin living. Sounds like a lot of fun (despite the brawls).

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    1. oh, the cabin is ever so fun. we have a solar-powered record player and a box of strange old music. who needs fast internet, anyway!?! (well, me, but still...)

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  12. Hi Hilary! It's great to see you out in the sunshine!

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    1. thank you! and oh, how sunny it is in California...a little too forest fire-y, though.

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  13. Hi Hilary,

    Dudes and Dudettes, Hilary is a wonderful writer. Well, you know that from her INTERN blog, but read her already published book WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE. It's honest and funny and real. I loved it.

    Hilary, I'm looking forward to reading your next one, whatever its title.

    Bows,
    Kevin

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    1. Kevin! you have rendered me bashful with your endorsement of WTTJ. thank you. really. it meant a lot to me when friends made through INTERN slowly found out about that book, and I'm so glad you liked it.

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  14. Yay! A new post from...HILARY. Okay, I'm there now. I do have to admit I'm grieving the loss of INTERN. She was at once mysterious but wide open. Sassy but so very dear. And it's a little painful to let her go. But clearly, this Hilary chick is wild awake enough to have created her, and will continue to make the impossible real for us regular people. I'm excited for you! -Carrie Maloney

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    1. thanks so much, Carrie! I have grieved the loss of INTERN too. I did consider keeping INTERN going and not switching over at all. but I didn't want to keep playing that card forever just because it worked—after all, I've changed in all sorts of ways since I started this blog, and it almost felt dishonest to keep the voice of my twenty-two year old self when that's not the truest version anymore. (can you tell I have overthought this?!?)

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  15. So happy to see real actual Hilary here. HI HILARY!

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    1. hi Sharon! I put a letter in the mail for you (FINALLY.) it's nice to be here as Hilary at last.

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    2. I got your letter the same day I discovered real actual hilary was here... it was a good day. I will write back soon!

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  16. Some people are just awesome with or without their duck mask. I don't think there is any name you could go under that we wouldn't pick your writerly 'voice'.
    It's so great to finally see the writer behind the blog and I am super excited over the new title.

    Hopefully you won't take so long to blog now :P

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