Wednesday, March 30, 2011

exhaustion hunting the great spotted WIP-alump

Yesterday, INTERN was half-intrigued and half-horrified to learn about exhaustion hunting (also known as persistence hunting)—a style of hunting in which the hunter runs after her prey until it literally drops dead (or near-dead) of exhaustion, at which point, a festive barbecue ensues.

It turns out humans are the only creatures on earth who are capable of exhaustion hunting another animal. We can't run the fastest or gnash our fangs the fearsomest, but damn—can we ever hang in there.

Exhaustion hunters rely on their tracking skills to chase an animal over long distances without losing it. Whenever the animal stops in the shade to rest, the exhaustion hunter startles it into running again, until the animal is so weak and delusional it cuddles up to a thornbush and goes to sleep. From there, it's only a matter of carrying the animal's carcass back to your village in a victorious parade.


Writers are exhaustion hunters. INTERN can't think of that many other professions that cause people to ceaselessly pursue the faint or even invisible tracks of something as elusive as a story. And not just pursue it, but pursue it to the point of utter physical, emotional, and spiritual collapse.

Sometimes it feels like every writer INTERN has met over the course of writing this blog has an exhaustion-hunting story. The friend who waited months and months before finally hearing back from That Agent. The one who re-wrote his entire book three times. The one who has three jobs and a baby and still finished her novel. There are so many people out there with Serious Jobs and Serious Families and Serious Health Conditions and all sorts of other stuff going on and they still get it done. And not just get it done, but get it done in the hottest part of the day, in the middle of the desert, with nothing but thornbushes for miles around.

INTERN's big question today is: How the #%@$ do you do it? No really—how do you, personally, do it? What's your trick? INTERN has heard that long-distance runners (and presumably, exhaustion hunters) get something called "runner's high," a trancelike state of euphoria that occurs after one has been running for long enough. Is there such a thing as "writer's high"? Has it happened to you? Did you bag that spotted WIPalump in the end?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

did you mean: nag a ram?

Sometimes when INTERN is up very very late at night, she gets the urge to make anagrams out of her favorite publishing blogs' titles. Right now it is very very late at night and even the (temporary) pet newt Techie Boyfriend found for INTERN has gone to sleep (and she is nocturnal). So here they are:

The Rejectionist with "cretinise the jot," "entice jitters—oh!" and best of all, "eject thine riots."

Pimp My Novel: "envy limp mop"

Query Shark: "quark shyer"

Nathan Bransford: "hard nonfat barns"

Editorial Anonymous: "inanimately odorous" (!) or "aromatised oily noun" (!?) or "damnation—oily euros!"

Editorial Ass: "adroit lassie" (aww.)

Grab a Pen: "began rap" (sorry T.H.—it was either that or "pear bang!")

Perhaps next time INTERN is up late, she will anagrammize her favorite commenters (you've been warned!)

With love,


Friday, March 25, 2011

Special Topics in Calamity Novel Repair: Part 1

Over the next few weeks, INTERN will be running a special series on novel revision. Or, if you share INTERN’s alarmist tendencies and fondness for plays on book titles, Special Topics in Calamity Novel Repair.

INTERN, alas, is not one of those whiz-kid über-writers who can bang out a novel, revise it in a week, and have it shipped and ready to print while everyone else is still figuring out they have their pants on backwards (in fact, INTERN has her pants on backwards as she writes this post.) Quite the opposite: INTERN is one of those horribly inefficient writers who lumbers around like a crazed elephant, sowing disaster at every turn, and deletes not just sections but entire drafts before she finally arrives at the draft she considers done. If INTERN is lucky, this is a phase she will grow out of with enough practice. For now, though, INTERN is a die-hard novel reviser.

If you are the same way, perhaps you would like to come along with INTERN on a revision safari. Our Special Topic for today is redundant scenes. Hold on to your elephants. Here we go.


INTERN has seen countless first drafts which are littered with redundant scenes—scenes that unwittingly make the same point or convey the same information over and over again without bringing anything new to the story. Here’s an example from an imaginary novel let’s call Marcia Lopez Is Seven Feet Tall.

Scene 1: First day of school. On the school bus, kids point at Marcia and laugh at her for being seven feet tall.

Scene 2: School gets out. Marcia goes to the candy store, where the shopkeeper laughs at her for being seven feet tall.

Scene 3: Dinnertime. Marcia’s new step-dad laughs at her for being seven feet tall.

Scene 102: Climax of the novel. Invading space-aliens laugh at Marcia for being seven feet tall.

As you can see, all four of these scenes have exact same function: showing how Marcia is an outsider. Sure, the details get switched up a little, but there’s no forward motion at all. This might work in a picture book, but it gets old fast in a novel.

Other common culprits for redundancy include “getting-to-know-you” scenes, training montages, and scenes showing characters falling in love. Taken individually, any one such scene can serve an important function in your story. But when you show your characters twirling around a skating rink holding hands, then lying in a field of daisies laughing, then snuggling on a couch watching movies, and nothing is changing or moving, then you’ve got yourself some redundant scenes.
How do you recognize when your scene is critical to the story and when it’s redundant?

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. What does this scene actually DO?

(show the characters falling in love/show MC’s deepening dedication to becoming a basketball star/develop conflict between MC and her rival/etc.)

2. Do any other scenes do the same thing?

(yes/no/sort of/yeeeeees, but that scene where they lie in the daisies is just soooo sweet)

Obviously, it can take more than a single scene to fully develop a relationship or conflict. But the key word here is develop. That means in each scene, something important will have shifted. Instead of six “getting to know you” scenes, you’ll have one “getting to know you” scene, one “getting to hate you” scene, and one “getting to find out you’re my long-lost twin” scene. Readers will get bored if you keep presenting the same old information (Marcia Lopez is seven feet tall!) over and over again, no matter how many ways you can find to dress it up.

Once you stop writing redundant scenes, you will be delighted to find that your novel will mysteriously develop a greater sense of tension, conflict, and forward motion. Hurrah! Calamity fixed. Well, the first one, anyway…

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

love, fear, and the Pareto principle

One thing that always comes up when Techie Boyfriend talks about his work as a code toad/interaction designer is the 80/20 rule: 80% of the features take up only 20% of your total programming time, the other 80% of which is spent fixing bugs you never even expected to have.

This is phenomenon is called the Pareto principle, after an Italian economist who noticed that most of the peas in his garden (80%) were produced by only a handful of super-productive pea pods, while the majority of the pea pods lounged around in the sun growing the other twenty percent of the peas.


INTERN has a friend, let’s call him Egbert, who recently wrote a query letter for his novel. Egbert embarked on the query-writing project with joy and enthusiasm and promptly churned out several decent drafts. Writing these pretty-good drafts took him about two hours.

Soon after Egbert had written these queries, however, he began to fret. He really ought to get some feedback on them before proceeding any further. So he signed up for AbsoluteWrite and AgentQuery and SheWrites and the Nathan Bransford forums and a few other places for good measure. He spent several hours critiquing other peoples’ queries so he wouldn’t look like a critique-mooch, then posted his own for review.

Within a few hours, comments started flowing in. Egbert’s query was pretty good, except for the word “locomotion” which many commenters thought contained too many o’s. Two commenters thought Egbert’s query would certainly lead to requests; one mean-sounding commenter said that after reading this train-wreck of a query, she was dubiuos [sic] that Egbert’s writing career was going anywhere at all.

Egbert fretted over these comments and fretted some more. He stayed up late at night writing query after brand-new query in a desperate attempt to please every single person who had commented. He scoured the web for examples of successful query letters, reading just about every article that had ever been written about the art. Every ten minutes or so he checked all the forums he’d signed up for to see if there were any new comments.

This went on for several days, by the end of which Egbert’s eyes were listless and vacant in their orbital cavities and he had STILL not written the Query to Please All Query Experts.

Still he sat at his laptop and fretted, his forum-checking growing more and more compulsive, until he was no longer a writer but a soul-dead zombie, and the queries coming out of him read more like suicide notes than anything else.


Sometimes you write out of love and sometimes you write out of fear. First drafts, poems, and text messages to your significant other tend to fall effortlessly into the first category. Revisions sometimes drift towards the second, depending on the harshness of your inner critic, but can usually be pulled back.

Query letters, on the other hand, are notorious for ending up in the Fear category, even if they didn’t start out there. By fear, INTERN does mean mortal terror but also fear in the Buddhist sense—aversion to sucking, aversion to having this big stinking lump of a manuscript sitting on your desk for any longer than it needs to.

Egbert has good reason to be intimidated—after all, a lot of the query advice out there says you all but need a PhD in query-writing to do it right. Yes, it’s important to do your research and read QueryShark and get feedback from other writers. But when you’re lashing yourself onwards like an abused sled-dog, your query’s going to smell like Fear.


In Egbert’s case, writing a query was almost a ridiculously perfect illustration of Pareto’s principle. He wrote most of the sentences that ended up in his final query in a handful of inspired minutes. The remaining hours of fretting, forum-checking, and self-flagellation were largely (if not entirely) wasted.

Love and Fear are two very different places to write from. And as plenty of writers will tell you, five minutes in the former is worth a hundred hours in the latter.


In INTERN’s experience, the best thing to do when you find yourself in the fear-zone is to put your boots on and muck around outside until you realize that nobody else in the world except you has their brain in knots over whether or not you write the Query to End All Queries this afternoon. Trust the good 20% to keep you in peas for the summer and screw all the rest. You’re not a sled-dog. You’re a writer.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

why queries get rejected—a pie chart in the manner of Kate Hart

If you haven't seen the lovely pie charts over at Kate Hart's blog showing YA deals by genre and 6-figure YA deals by genre, hie thee over there—not only are they interesting, but INTERN has never actually seen a pie chart look so cute and fun you want to take it home and rub it behind the ears.

When INTERN stumbled across this post by Kathleen Ortiz, an agent with Lowenstein Associates, she was inspired to make a pie chart of her own (cue two hours of cursing at Microsoft Excel, enlisting Techie Boyfriend's expertise, and resolving to sign up for remedial math). Ms. Ortiz took a pile of fifty queries and jotted down the reason she either accepted or rejected each one. Here's an excerpt:

1- one sentence about book. I have no idea what form of fiction it is. Pass. (they also submitted the SAME query four the system. If you see "Thank you for submitting" after you hit "submit," then we got it.)

2- We don't rep romance. pass

3- Three paragraphs about the author. Nothing about the book. Pass

4- Asking if I would be interested in a fiction novel (groan). But it hasn't been written bc wants confirmation that I'm interested in the idea first. Pass

5- 350,000 words. Pass

6- memoir but no platform/credentials. nothing stands out. Pass.

7- We don't rep novellas. Pass

8- I really had no idea what the book was about. Too many plot lines. Pass.

9- Thriller that just wasn't suspenseful. Pass.

It's worth reading the full post to get a neat look at what goes on inside an agent's brain as she sorts through a tower of mail.

At the end of the day, here's how those fifty reasons charted up:


*INTERN gets out her laser pointer and twiddles it around at random, feeling very serious and professorial for about thirty seconds*

OK, INTERN is going to stick to looking at Kate's pie charts from now on instead of making her own. Twas a fun experiment anyhow!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

sunday special edition: your publishing horoscope for this week

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20):

New possibilities arise when you have an extremely vivid dream in which the most gorgeous boy you have ever seen burns a stack of library books while gently whispering the words “YA paranormal”.

Aries (March 21-April 20):

A critique partnership could flower into something more this week—isn’t it time you read between the line edits?

Taurus (April 21-May 20):

A literary acquaintance who previously spurned you will come back unexpectedly with an offer of representation. Proceed with caution—is she really the best match for your work?

Gemini (May 21-June 20):

Quick reflexes could prove extremely valuable when a freak power outage threatens to wipe your 110,000-word manuscript out of existence. The oracle has said this before and she’ll say it again: back up your work.

Cancer (June 21-July 22):

A work-in-progress will go in a bold new direction when a stranger comes to town, throwing your entire worldview into question and sowing romantic chaos among your close-knit and culturally-diverse circle of friends.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 22):

Sympathetic writer-friends can make a stressful period easier to bear. But beware the temptation to turn critique sessions into opportunities to get completely $%# hammered, lest your WIP become gin-stained.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

Patience will be essential this week as you await response to an important query. Resist the temptation to follow up by e-mail or telephone—good things come to those who gnaw their fingernails to the bone while hanging in agonizing limbo.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

Gossip about an acquaintance who has recently signed with a sought-after agent will reach you today. Don’t let yourself be overcome by jealousy—your turn is coming too. But in the meantime, perhaps your acquaintance would be kind enough to honor you with a glowing referral?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

Things may not go as planned this week when a dashing stranger taps you on the shoulder, asks if you happen to be working on a novel, and, upon finding out that you are, humbly inquires whether you would consider signing a four-book deal with Simon & Schuster, right here, right now. No need to query.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

Romantic turmoil ensues when your significant other discovers your ongoing flirtation with your critique partner, whose inline comments have become increasingly steamy over the past few weeks. It might be time for you to acknowledge that AbsoluteWrite is not a dating site.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-January 20): ←INTERN!

The aforementioned freak power outage takes a bizarre twist when Techie Boyfriend and the Ranch Hands go into the city for the weekend and you realize you are all alone with Creepy Caretaker and nothing but bobcats to hear you scream.

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19):

Disorientation results when you awaken in the middle of a cornfield, having resolved to draw your writerly inspiration from alien abduction experiences rather than dreams. Now what were those words that bald-headed extraterrestrial whispered in your ear again? “YA space opera?”


happy Sunday from INTERN.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

department of dubious dreamery

Recently, INTERN has been noticing a curious trend in YA author interviews: authors who attribute their inspiration for a character or an entire novel to a dream.

By now, everyone is (over-)familiar with the Stephenie Meyer Legend: had dream about sparkly vampire and unsparkly girl discussing the intricacies of sparkly/non-sparkly love, woke up, penned four-book series, laughed hysterically all the way to the blood bank. (Cue wannabe bestselling vampire authors everywhere popping Nyquil and repairing to their beds.)

When she first heard of this Legend, INTERN thought it was an unusual story. But since then, INTERN has stumbled upon tons of YA authors who claim to have discovered their novels in a dream.

Humph. *glares reproachfully at her decidedly non plot outline-producing or query letter-generating bed*.

While INTERN doesn't doubt that these YA ladies are telling the truth about their nocturnal inspiration, she can't help but smell some kind of culture-bound fish. INTERN wouldn't be surprised if, in five or ten years from now, dreams had passed out of vogue and authors were instead pointing to mescaline trips or divination as the source of their ideas for novels. Creativity is a mysterious thing, and the collective story we tell ourselves about it is as prone to shifting over time as the collective story we tell ourselves about diseases or gravity or gender or fruit flies.

So why dreams? Why now? Why not "my cat beamed the story to me telepathically" or "I've been working on this @$!#@ manuscript for so long I don't even remember how I originally thought of it"?

This dream thing has something innately glamorous and weirdly flattering about it, while managing to be humble at the same time. It says "I am subject to bursts of divine inspiration!" but also "I really can't take credit for this—twas the dream!" That's a pretty appealing story. Best of all, it's an acceptable explanation within our society—one that doesn't make you sound either calculating or insane.

Before she returns to boar hunting, INTERN wants to know: What do you make of this whole YA Novels Based on Dreams phenomenon? Do you get your inspiration from your REM cycle? Is this dream thing a convenient explanation or the gospel truth?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Writer, Confess! Have you ever used a real person as a character?

A little while ago, INTERN read about the lawsuit simmering over Kathryn Stockett’s novel “The Help,” in which a sixty-year old woman named Ablene Cooper is accusing Stockett of using her as a character in her book. Even though the character allegedly created in Ms. Cooper's likeness is depicted in a very flattering way, the experience of seeing herself (or what looks like herself) in a novel has her hot and bothered to the tune of $75,000.

This made INTERN scratch her head. Is it really illegal to use a real person as a character? What if you show them as being charming and intelligent and irresistibly attractive? What if you do the old gender switcheroo, or dress them up as a Deaf-Mute Bong Salesman or a Costa Rican coffee farmer? Who decides what degree of character-snatching is OK and what degree is punishable with a $75,000 fine?

In her quest for answers, INTERN stumbled across this blog about Writing and the Law, wherein she found the following quote by first amendment expert R. Smolla:

When an author wants to draw from a real person as the basis for a fictional character, there are two relatively "safe" courses of action from a legal perspective: First, the author may make little or no attempt to disguise the character, but refrain from any defamatory and false embellishments on the character's conduct or personality; second, the author may engage in creative embellishments that reflect negatively on the character's reputation, but make substantial efforts to disguise the character . . . to avoid identification. When an author takes a middle ground, however, neither adhering perfectly to the person's attributes and behavior nor engaging in elaborate disguise, there is a threat of defamation liability.

Humph. Deaf-Mute Bong Salesman it is.


Beyond the legal issues surrounding character-snatching, INTERN has long been fascinated by the emotions that suspected character-snatching evokes in the character-snatchee. One of INTERN’s earliest writer-memories is her big sister warning her, on pain of extremely prolonged and excrutiating Indian Burns, that she must NEVER, EVER, EVER write about her in a fiction, non-fiction, diaristic, poetic or journalistic context (INTERN realizes that by writing this sentence she is coming dangerously close to breaking this ban—but then again, INTERN’s big sister didn’t specificallty forbid blogging.)

On the other end of the spectrum, there's the endless parade of tiresome strangers in bars and subways who upon finding out you are a Writer, flatter themselves to think that surely you will want to use their story in a book.

INTERN can’t help but wonder if people fall into two camps: there are those who have a primitive fear of being Novelized the way the proverbial Lost Tribe fears the soul-snatching camera, and those who would consider Novelization—even in a negative light—the ultimate victory.

There are all sorts of arguments both for and against using real people in novels and stories. For example: "Truman Capote did it!" versus "Truman Capote's friends never talked to him again!" Using real people as characters can be disastrous in all sorts of ways, but if writers weren't allowed to do it at all, we'd lose out on a lot of good literature.

So, writerlings, INTERN is curious to know: Have you ever based a fictional character on a real person? Did that person go on to kill, maim, sue, or date you? What's your policy on character-snatching? Has anyone ever falsely suspected you of snatching them? Have you ever suspected another writer of snatching you?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Der Man Aus Tennessee: Ein Top-Western

Besides INTERN and Techie Boyfriend, there are three other semi-permanent residents at the ranch: two sweet and loveable Ranch Hands of the djembe-stoner variety, who like nothing more than to partake of some herbal medicine and spend all day pruning grape vines, and the inevitable Creepy Caretaker, a lecherous, pot-bellied hermit who lives in a house on the hill and whose main responsibility at the ranch is puttering around in an ATV searching for Hot and Available Young Ladies to woo, of which this vast and unforgiving landscape is in disappointingly scant supply.

Every month or two, Hippie Roommate and her high-powered boyfriend drive up from San Francisco for an all-too-short weekend visit in which they have just enough time to unpack their organic groceries, hold an elaborate tea ceremony with cave-ripened thousand-year-old Pu Erh straight off the plane from Xishuangbanna, fret over possibile mutinies among the Ranch Hands, and enjoy a brief dip in the hot tub before motoring off again in a leather-seated pickup approximately ten times more powerful than any other vehicle at the ranch. For a moment, everyone stands around observing their departure wistfully, because they are well-liked and interesting to talk to. Then, the Ranch Hands, INTERN and Techie Boyfriend return to what they do best, namely, frolicking, and Creepy Caretaker climbs back on his ATV to continue his grim search for booty.

One of the challenges of living at a remote and clandestine mountain hideaway is that INTERN is constantly running out books.

The first time INTERN ran out of books, she tried borrowing books from the Ranch Hands (whose interests run, unfortunately for INTERN, more to Eckhart Tolle than Tolstoi) and from Hippie Roommate's H.P.B (whose interests run to expensive 2,000-page volumes about the history of tea). Last week, she finally hit rock bottom. It was time to venture out from the ranch and find a bookstore.

As the crow flies, the ranch is a mere 6.14 miles from the closest bookstore (INTERN knows this for a fact; she just checked using this neat Distance Measurement Tool on Google Maps). In practice, however, getting to this bookstore involves a harrowing full-day journey.

First, Techie Boyfriend will declare that the Spaceship needs a full head-gasket change before it will be safe to drive. After that little spot of maintenance is taken care of, INTERN will chase out the family of badgers that has taken up residence in the back of the truck, and Techie Boyfriend will fire up the engine.

Once the Spaceship is (more or less) running, they will pull onto the first of several dozen unmarked dirt roads, their caravan clanking and shuddering in an ominous way each time they hit a pothole. Every quarter mile or so, INTERN will hop out to unlock one of a seemingly infinite series of security gates, each with its own combination. Every half mile or so, Techie Boyfriend will hop out to engage in tense negotiations with the local dr—er, understandably cautious, if rather heavily armed neighbors*, who control some of the dirt roads in question, while INTERN does her best not to look like a Fed.

Having made it this far on their pleasant country ramble, INTERN and Techie Boyfriend emerge onto an actual paved road, from where it is only a gorgeous thirty-minute drive (pulling over every few seconds to let a gleaming white Lexus or two whiz by in an awful hurry) to the charming little town in which the bookstore is located.

To date, they have only made this journey once. Knowing it would probably be a long time before they returned again, INTERN found herself in a state of great agitation. What if she ran out of books again in a week? It seemed like no amount of Faulkner or Gertrude Stein or short story anthologies translated from Japanese would ever be enough to last her more than a few days.

Then INTERN discovered the foreign-language section. Foreign languages. Of course! It was the perfect solution. As savvy grade-three teachers everywhere know, NOTHING slows down an over-eager reader more than a book in a language they DON'T UNDERSTAND.

For the past two weeks, therefore, INTERN has been chewing on this little tome:

That's right. Ein Top-Western. So far, INTERN has figured out that the main character's name is Wingo Rowan and that he is fighting the Comanchen und Kiowas for Kontrolle of New Mexico. Either that, or having a very long barfight concerning a dropped wienerschnitzel.

INTERN will keep you updated on her progress in untangling the plot. In the meantime, she is already in the querying stage of ein Top-Western of her own (Der INTERN Aus Kalifornia). Maybe that twenty-book über-deal isn't so far off.

*At this point, INTERN would like to make it absolutely clear that the ranch at which INTERN is staying is purely a Pleasure Ranch, not a Business Ranch, if you know what INTERN means. But folks are pretty territorial in these parts, regardless of which category they fall into, hence the Secretiveness of her location.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

INTERN returns!

When last INTERN poked her head into the blogosphere, she was grease-stained and coolant-soaked and half-insane from breathing in too many Spaceship Fumes whilst repairing the van she had been living in with Techie Boyfriend for the past six months. INTERN is happy to report that her days of living in a motor vehicle are now over, and that she is finally ready to return to a slightly less auto-shoppy existence—and to this blog.

INTERN and Techie Boyfriend are currently holed up at a secret hideaway in the hills of Mendocino County, California, where they spend most of their time studying cougar scat and making elaborate plans to catch wild boars using ingenious and entirely humane traps built out of manzanita twigs and duck spit (not to fret—INTERN is still herbivorous. But only until she catches her first boar.) Those of you who have known INTERN for some time will be intrigued to know that INTERN and Techie Boyfriend are living here under the patronage of Hippie Roommate’s high-powered boyfriend (yes, that Hippie Roommate! what a dear!) who owns pretty much the entire state of California. Vampire Roommate has slipped off INTERN’s radar—although last she heard, he was still working at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club (!!!) and sharpening his fangs in the bathroom mirror.

As you have no doubt already deduced, INTERN is no longer an intern any sort (unless you count cougar scatology) nor indeed affiliated with the publishing industry in any official capacity except as a troublesome author whose tendency to have no fixed address causes her publisher no end of despair. She has decided to come back to this blog (and this particular pseudonym, rather than FORMER INTERN or something awful like that) because over the past few months she’s started to feel a yearning to reconnect. She has done her months of wandering, put in her lonely hours, sat in her proverbial bat-infested cave, waiting for a vision—and now it’s time to come home. Oh yes, and she missed you.

Part of INTERN wishes she could report that during her six-month absence from this blog, she had netted some twenty-book über-deal or authored a mystical text on par with The Tibetan Book of the Dead or launched a dozen secret blogs she never told you about or spawned a batch hyper-literate octuplets who are at this very moment being interviewed by the New Yorker. But to tell you the truth, that’s not what INTERN did. What INTERN mostly did was sit in her bat-cave fretting over the idea of Quality and berating herself to get Serious about her Art*. Incidentally, she also learned how to juggle three balls. Neat-o!

Going forward, INTERN feels the need to make certain Declarations about this blog. You can probably guess what they are, but here goes anyway:

-INTERN reserves the right to de-anonymize at some point, at her sole discretion. This means you might check this blog someday only to discover that it is in fact written by a thick-ankled old snake wrangler from Bryan, TX or an eleven-year old Siberian orphan ensnared in childhood by Intern Slavers from New York (what? you don’t know about the Intern Slavers? what a scoop.) She probably won’t do it anytime soon (or perhaps ever). But maybe!

-INTERN also reserves the right to outsource this blog to India should her intensive schedule of boar-hunting and manuscript revision prove too cumbersome.

-INTERN furthermore reserves the right to shift the focus of this blog from writing to Jungian theory and drop some serious apocatastasis on your animas. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

Oh, screw declarations. You all know why INTERN is here. She doesn’t need to declare nothin’.

It’s good to be back.

With infinite adoration and gratitude,


*being cougar scatology.