National Novel Writing Month

The Evolution of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’

The Evolution of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’

My NaNoWriMo novel, though it’s sort of a more chick lit-ish, YA, Gossip Girl-esque universe, borrows conventions and “titles” from fairytales, and my heroine, Kestrel Cruz, is the universe’s analog for Red Riding Hood (hence my NaNoNovel’s title, Lady Red).  So when this popped up on my Twitter feed, I couldn’t help but find it interesting.

If you guys are also fairytale-obsessed, like me, you may want to check out The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim, which explores the psychology of those “Once Upon a Times…” we’re told as kids.

Anyway, back to balancing work and NaNoWriMo life!


I’m INFECTED: My life as a Virus, Inc, intern – Week 1

Apologies for not updating much recently.  After seeing my FIRST EVER PinoyWrimo NaNoWriMo write-in last Saturday–complete with my shriek of “MAMA, LOOK!  THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!”–I’ve decided to totally lose my mind and juggle eight hours a day of actual work (as opposed to academic work, which all “adults” will tell you is easier than “real life”…nat.) with cranking out 2,000 words a day.

…I couldn’t even blog every day.

Yep, folks, it’s that time of year again!  The time when I join the mad noveling rush called NaNoWriMo, or, for the uninitiated, National Novel Writing Month.  It’s less a “contest” and more a celebration of suicidal insanity, when a bunch of like-minded individuals get together and decide to become Novelists (with a capital ‘N’) by the end of November (also with a capital ‘N’).  How do we do that?  By throwing 50,000 words together by the end of the month.

I’ve joined a few years, and actually won thrice, but by no means have any of my efforts gotten close to remotely publishable.  The whole point isn’t really to be good; it’s just to write, which honestly factors into the whole discipline aspect of writing…something I obviously don’t have since I can’t even be trusted to update my blog every day.


Well like it or not, I have to start showing a modicum of adult discipline because I am now WORKING!  Yep, you heard it right!  Lonelygirl is finally a productive member of society (as opposed to my former state of student/poseur hipster bum)!

To be fair, I’m only an intern, but since I’m not a fashion intern, my duties extend well beyond making coffee for temperamental bosses.  Actually, none of my bosses are temperamental.  Or will even allow me to call them “Boss.”  Believe me–the last time I tried, one of them shot at me with a Nerf gun.

Did I mention our office has Nerf guns?  Our office has Nerf guns.

I’m currently finishing out my first week as an intern at Virus, Inca digital/social media marketing agency located in the heart of Makati.  Our offices are a New York loft-type arrangement, sharing a building with a boutique traveler’s hotel (it’s not uncommon to see people with giant rucksacks stomping up and down the stairs) and, in a case of poetic justice (is that the right term?), a “Socialicious” Bubble Tea outlet.  It doesn’t have cubicles.  Instead, we have Ironman posters on the walls and a huge ping-pong table in the middle of our floor.  A giant penguin “standy”, pasted to the wall behind one of my bosses’ desks, watches over all us Business Development/Social Media people with a beady eye.  It’s probably the only thing vaguely intimidating about my workspace, unless you count the poster of Derek Ramsey that hangs above my desk.  (Before you ask, no, I did not put it there.  I’m more an Ed Westwick kind of girl.)

In my first week, I’ve helped (helped is the word; I do not take sole credit for anything, whatsoever) conceptualize, deck (i.e. make Keynote presentation), and pitch for two clients; sat in the brainstorming meeting for a third; and wrote copy for the running content plans of two more (I have also learned what a content plan is…but sshh, #spoilers!).  Everyone jokes that for a first week, my experience has been pretty “intense”–I don’t doubt that this is probably only a fraction of what “intense” really means in the agency world–but to be honest I enjoy it.  Enough so that I was happy that classes were canceled today…because it meant I could spend more time at work.

Seriously.  I am not kidding.  There is no fashionably hipster irony in that statement.

I won’t lie and say that the experience has been one hundred percent pleasant and ego-gratifying and fine and dandy.  Just as in my transition from high school to college theater, I’ve “failed” a couple of “auditions”–had my “bright ideas” shot down, or at first accepted but then scrapped when a better, more strategically-aligned one came along.  I even, in the interests of complete blogging honesty, nearly broke down in tears on my third day because I had to delete the slides I’d made a day before for one of my originally well-received campaign ideas, and I nearly fainted during a grill session when another of my brilliant (read: half-baked) ideas was shot to pieces by my actually brilliant boss (Virus’ President, to be specific).  But I didn’t cry and I didn’t faint, because 1) it would have looked really bad, and I’m too proud to look bad, even when I fail miserably; and 2) it was nothing personal–I wasn’t called out; my ideas were, and when they were it was explained very clearly why.  Which is, I guess, one of the reasons I’m enjoying this internship–I’m given answers, a clear roadmap on how to become better.

It’s a lot easier to accept you’re wrong, after all, when you have a clear idea about how to get it right the next time.

But what’s really great about the whole thing is that I’m being made to feel like I will be part of that “next time,” like I’m actually part of the process, even if I spend the majority of brainstorming meetings listening with wide eyes and scribbling furiously in my black Muji notebook (had to resist the urge to do that during the pitch yesterday).  I am not the “coffee-intern,” the outsider looking in.  Instead, I’m encouraged to put down roots, from helping brainstorm ideas and present to clients, to the little things like getting a work laptop (another Macbook I’ve yet to name) and a Virus email account (did I mention I was really giddy when I got that).  I’m not even introduced as an intern externally; instead, they call me a “Business Development Manager,” which may seem like just a group of nice words but they make me feel like I’m part of something bigger, like there really are, as we say in theater, “…no small parts; only small actors.”

(Even if, in the privacy of the Virus office, I am jokingly referred to as “Intern Two.”)

All in all, it’s been a pretty awesome first week.  All of my initial emo-Lonelygirl pre-work anxieties (see this post) have been more or less silenced (for now?), and another one that I didn’t mention was addressed too: that I’d have to eat lunch alone.  I’ve already made friends at the office, proving that people can indeed be united through the shared loves of Doctor Who, Les Misérables, Polyvore, speaking with a British Accent, music, Chuck Bass, or some combination of all of the above.  Lonelygirl is hardly ever lonely at the office really–not when there’s always a level of restless energy, music blaring from someone’s speakers, or laughter from “The Kitchen” (what we call our Creatives department).  My office reminds me a little bit of how backstage is like in theatre, actually.

Perhaps that’s why, in a funny way, I’m slowly finding I feel at home.  (D’aww…)



…Okay, sorry for the soppy ending.  I promise I will try to insert some proper cynicism and “corporate slavery” comments as befitting a person of my generation.  Operative word: TRY.  Honestly, the only thing I can really be cynical about are the winding stairs I have to climb down to leave the office.

At night.


After my co-workers have filled my ear with ghost stories.  *cue spooky ambient music*

…My office can’t really be haunted, right?  Right?!  Oh well.  Guess you’ll have to wait until Week 2’s update to find out!