Simplicity = Happiness (guest post)

April 6, 2009

When asked to write several blogs as the current Inkberry intern, I decided I would write once a month.  Well, it is now over a month since I last posted, so here I am again.

Things are going well, here at Inkberry.  There’s quite a lot going on around here this month as well!  On top of our usual, poetry group, critique group, and WordPlay, we are also sponsoring a reading at the North dams Public Library, and have joined up to sponsor with MCLA at a reading taking place at Gallery 51.  Also, at the end of the month, Inkberry is collaborating with the First Congregational Church in Williamstown, the Willimas College Chaplin’s Office, and the Queer Life Coordinator, to have a Psalm writing workshop.

Though my duties as Intern, rarely change, I almost always have plenty to keep myself busy.  My computer skills are also rather favored here.  I think, thus far, my favorite intern “duty” would be creating the advertising flyers.  I think it’s my favorite, because not only do I get to use my writing and editing skills, but I also get to use my own creative liberties (even though the flyers follow a particular format).

With only about a month left of school, I’m enjoying the feeling of having a real job, as the current economy has made it clear that it might be awhile before I have this experience again.

Ultimately, I think I would love to be a novel editor, just so long as I always have nature and animals in my life.  If I had to chose between happiness and a million dollars, I’d chose happiness, as all a million dollars can do is buy more stuff.


Jobs, and Words, and Cows– Oh My! (guest post)

February 23, 2009

Normally, I am usually more of a blog “stalker” than a blog writer, but that’s not to say I’ve never contemplated it. So, I present to you, my first official attempt at blogging, as Nicole Pervere, the newest Inkberry intern.

First of all, I am absolutely enthralled to be experiencing what it’s like to have a “real” job. I love the independence that Inkberry gives me to work at my own pace, and to not have my hand held every step of the way. I like that I am able to learn from any mistakes I might make, instead of being in fear of doing something even slightly wrong. For this reason I really enjoy working for the Inkberry staff.

I’ve just realized that this is an awfully formal sounding blog, and I am not a terribly formal person. (At least I’ve already warned you that I’m not an experienced blogger!) Anyway, the horrible work experience I alluded to above, is from a job that I have been working at for far too long. I usually work at said job (I won’t name any names) when I go home if I’m feeling desperate for money, otherwise, I’ll take painstaking measures to avoid it.

When I’m not dreading working while home, I like reading and writing (which I don’t do nearly enough of anymore!), spending time with friends, and animals (yes, animals; I love them all), and believe it or not, I’m a pretty avid videogame player, and from time to time, I’m not too bad at it either!

I love nature and the outdoors, and could never give up the country life. In my future I see myself having a couple dogs, and couple (orange!) cats, some chickens for fresh eggs, ducks because they’re just so cute, and a vegetable garden for fresh veggies all summer! As for a future job, well, that’s pretty much still undetermined, but I do really enjoy editing other people’s writing.

I also love baking, and eating what I bake, and eating what I’m baking in the process of making it. Luckily, I don’t bake too often! Once I learn to cook decently well, I think I’ll make a pretty good wife someday! 😉 But for now, you can find me here, diligently typing at the keyboard, or, practicing the current love of my life, yoga!

Or, you might find me hanging out with this cow!

Or, you might find me hanging out with this cow!

Worth 1000 words

February 15, 2006

We hadn’t done any filing in a very, very long time.

Three cheers for our new intern Jessica!

We’ve hit the bigtime!

February 1, 2006

Today came irrefutable evidence that Inkberry’s hit the bigtime: there’s a coffee drink named after us.

I hit the Cup & Saucer this morning on my way to work, meaning to get a simple cup of joe to fortify me for my day, but when I saw the Inkberry Au L(a)it on their board I had to order one.

It’s a mocha café au lait with a hint of raspberry (better that than a hint of actual inkberry, since I don’t think inkberries are edible) and a drizzle of raspberry on top. (Whipped cream optional.) It’s sweet. It’s chocolatey. It’s delicious.

And it’s yet another reason to frequent our new java joint. Where we returned for lunch — Emily, Linda, Angela and I had a lunch meeting to talk about our fifth anniversary Inkstravaganza, so naturally we headed across the street to C&S, where I took great delight in pointing out our new beverage on the chalkboard.

Thanks, Cup & Saucer. (And hey, if you’re reading this and you live locally, drop in and try one! Mmmm…delicious.)

There’s a new place in town!

January 4, 2006

Those of you who don’t live in small towns may not completely understand the excitement that prevails when a new eatery opens its doors around here. I still remember when the Thai place opened in Williamstown, the next town over from here; for weeks, any time one ran into a friend or acquaintance, the question was not “how are you?” but “have you been to the new Thai place yet?” We take our restaurants seriously here in northern Berkshire.

So believe me when I say I almost jumped for joy when I saw that Cup and Saucer had finally opened, right across the street from Inkberry central.

The place that now houses Cup and Saucer used to be the Appalachian Bean. We held a reading there last March, which was great fun. They weren’t the best joint in town, but they were convenient, and friendly, and everybody liked having them there.

Until they went out of business last summer. Brown paper immediately went up, covering the windows, along with a “Coming soon: cup and saucer!” sign. First it said “Coming soon: October,” then that was scratched out and it said “Coming soon: November,” and by December I had more-or-less given up hope that we would ever see a coffee shop in the old Bean space again.

But lo and behold, the place is open! So Jill and I took our two new interns, Elizabeth and Ann-Louise, there for a celebratory lunch.

The space is as wide-open and echo-y as ever. They spiffed up the paint, and put blue oilcloth on the tables. On the back wall, they’ve painted their logo above a small stage which currently sports several tall stools. (Could folk music and improv comedy be in our future?) And, best of all, the food is good. I had a cup of “Fire and Rice with Chicken” soup, a southwestern delight filled with sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers, chicken and rice. (I wouldn’t call it “fire,” myself, but it had good flavor to it — and hey, I come from Texas, so I may have unorthodox notions about what constitutes spicy food.) Jill and I shared a roast beef sandwich, which turned out to be grilled, and quite delightful.

I’m a big fan of Brewhaha, around the corner on Marshall Street, and I intend to keep going there. I love their food, their coffee, their décor, and the people who run the place. But Brewhaha isn’t open on Wednesdays, and that’s one of my two North Adams days each week. Something tells me I’ve found my new Wednesday lunch joint.

Sitting in the Inkberry classroom, stickering calendars with address labels, I can gaze across the street into the windows of the Cup and Saucer. One of these days I might have to head over for a cup of hazelnut coffee and a slice of that chocolate lava cake. Huzzah.

We survived another fund drive!

November 12, 2005

Three cheers for the annual fund drive — and for making it through Mailing Day!

Inkberry’s annual appeal is always a major endeavor. Once a year we send out 1400 letters — the product of eight or nine different mail-merges — to everyone in our database, seeking renewed support from those who’ve graciously donated in the past, and hoping that some of those who haven’t will choose to do so this year.

Writing the letter gets easier every year. Back in 2000, before Inkberry had put on its first program, convincing people to give us money was a tricky thing; though we still work hard on crafting the letter, these days it’s a lot easier to make ourselves look like a real organization that does real things because, well, we are and we do. 🙂

So we wrote the letter, and ordered new letterhead, and printed up reply slips, and stamped our return address on a few thousand small reply envelopes. In the days leading up to today, Jill and Cassie (and Emily and our board member Linda) stuffed envelopes with reply slips; we printed mailing labels; we wrangled with new toner cartridges and sailed through technical difficulties. Today was the final push — Mailing Day.

We gathered a team of fabulous volunteers who folded, stuffed, labeled, sealed, sorted, and stickered the entire mailing in just under five hours. Millegrazie to Emily, Daniel, Cassie, Jill, Amy, Chris, Enid, and Vern for their help in getting the mailing together!

Jill will haul the flats of letters to the post office in the coming week; hopefully, by Thanksgiving, donations and memberships will start rolling in. We do our best to operate on a shoestring, but running an organization requires funds; the annual appeal is one of the best ways we know to raise those funds. So if you’ve been considering donating, please do! Even a small amount helps — and knowing that you support us (emotionally) enough to support us (financially) makes all of the work worthwhile.

Long live the library!

September 16, 2005

The last few weeks have seen some awesome changes to the Inkberry space. We’ve repainted; our classroom is now a warm lemon yellow, and our library a dovey kind of bluegrey (that’s thanks to intrepid adventurer Jill and a passel of college students; more on that shortly). And as part of that process, we had to move the contents of our library, and then move them back. The shuttling of books from room to room reminded me just how neat our Writers’ Resource Library is, so I figured I’d come wax rhapsodic about it for a minute. Especially since we just got some really neat new donations of magazines and books.

The original idea behind our resource library was twofold: we aimed to collect journals (so writers could get a sense for where to submit their work) and books about writing and publishing (because it’s always fun to read other peoples’ accounts of the writing life), and we aimed to provide a comfortable and cosy space where writers could congregate, hang out, work on their writing, or just read in a friendly environment. Along the way we wound up with a good collection of other stuff, too: novels, poetry, even a handful of fascinating books on science and philosophy.

Having given up our enormous and ancient cabinet-mounted television when we moved upstairs, we decided to shell out for a real TV recently — so now we can watch our collection of Lannan Literary Series videos of poets reading and discussing their own work. (We’ll also be using that TV to watch literary movies in our Salon Series, which begins in a couple of weeks — more about that soon.) And Barry Goldstein kindly donated several chairs, including a wooden rocking chair that I might have to commandeer for the office because I’m so fond of it already.

Meanwhile, two boxes of books just arrived in the mail. From Pat Schneider (of Amherst Writers and Artists fame) came a bundle of her books, including Writing Alone and With Others (book and dvd!); from poet David Lehman (who read here a few years ago) came another box of books for the Lehman Collection, which includes all kinds of books, journals, and limited-edition chapbooks, most autographed and many with notes and letters to David tucked neatly inside the cover or flap.

Here endeth the paean of praise to the Inkberry Writers’ Resource Library. It’s currently open on Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 1-5pm, and by appointment, so if you’re looking for a cosy place to write (especially once winter weather sets in), or if you want to browse our stacks, please drop by! Inkberry members can even borrow books and videotapes, for free, for up to two weeks at a time…C’mon, you know you want to…