Hello internet, my old friend

Edinburgh Expeditions, The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

My my my. I guess I have left She Thinks Too Much pretty silent. Nothing written since mid-2013! It doesn’t, however, mean that my life has been anything other than interesting.

The boyfriend I mentioned in my last post? Now my husband. The Englishman is happily settling in to life in the Northeast. Given that he’s lived through a couple of blizzards already, we can happily term him an almost-New Englander.

Far Off Places, the wonderful little magazine that I co-founded with a group of friends while still living in Scotland, continues to flourish. I actually made a trip to Edinburgh to speak at the Scottish Poetry Library. Annie (our fearless editor-in-chief) and I discussed how we started the magazine, how the hell we manage to keep it all afloat when none of us live full time in the same country, let alone continent or timezone, and what we look for in submissions. The evening included some great poetry readings by Niall Foley and Finola Scott.

Also on the Far Off Places front, we co-founders were interviewed for the University of Edinburgh alumni newsletter, Enlightened, in the early fall. It was my first time being interviewed about a project, which was very exciting. If you so desire, you can read the interview “Going places.” Tying in with this was our fantastic and shiny new website and look, designed by myself and our Q, Trevor Fountain. In addition, we’re also accepting submissions for our sixth issue, The Epistolary Edition.

On top of all this, I’ve worked for a Boston-area university, since July 2013. I’m still amazed that I’ve been there that long, it feels as though I’ve just started working.

Here’s to more adventures, and my remembering to blog about them!

Far Off Places

Edinburgh Expeditions

What happens when you combine four friends, sunshine and rain on Charlotte Square, and poetry quaffed like wine?

Clearly, you found a literary magazine.

After much debate and deliberation over names, mission and what sort of magazine we would found, we launched the website last week, opened our email to submissions, and wait for them to come pouring in. We’ve had several so far, which we are ecstatic about!

Far Off Places is the name of our whimsical collection of writing and illustrations, which we’re hoping to launch in March (provided that we have enough submissions). The theme of our first issue is Fairy Tales Retold.

Curious? Check out our website or leave a comment!

I’m very excited. I’m head of social media and art director, so that means I’m laying out the magazine as well as maintaining the Facebook page and Twitter account. The Facebook page is a little dull at the moment, but I’m going to be updating it more frequently soon.

A recipe for an unexpected meal

Edinburgh Expeditions

Following the success of The Recipe Given to Us by the Stoned Irishman back in May (onions, garlic, courgette, pasta and salmon in a cream sauce), we decided that we would have our entire meal planned by strangers. This included a toast, cocktail, and a three course meal.

Armed with a notebook, pen and bouquet of yellow roses, my friends and I hit the streets of Edinburgh to have locals and tourists alike plan our dinner party.

The cocktail was given to us first by a group of skateboarders in Bristo Square. The cocktail? A Jakeyboy, half Buckfast and half cider. We couldn’t find Buckfast, so this was nixed in favour of traditional cocktails.

An elderly gentleman gave us the starter–“You’ll want a soup,” he said. “A nice Scotch broth. Or perhaps borscht.” With the suggestion of borscht we also got a story about dining in restaurants in communist Russia. “And the ice cream. You never think of ice cream when you think of communist Russia, but they had the best ice cream.”

Our main was chicken/vegetarian curry (standard Scottish affair, but delicious nevertheless). The dessert a molten chocolate cake–I wasn’t around for either of these suggestions.

Our toasts came from a busker on the Royal Mile, a Portuguese saw-player who wears a top hat. “Salud” is the only one of the three I can remember. Other toasts came from ourselves, the British Navy of Nelson’s era (fittingly, the Sunday toast is ‘to absent friends’ and the occasion for the dinner was a going away party), and a favourite of one of my recently departed American friends which is not repeated in polite company.

We collected stories to tell through the night, including a very sweet one about what you see when you are falling asleep from one of the Royal Mile vendors. One of my friends is an accomplished harpist, so that night when I told the story, we had musical accompaniment.

We gave each person a yellow rose as a thank you for their contribution. The leftovers we used to make bouquets, and the roses are still going strong, sitting on one of the tables in my flat, fully blooming and only slightly touched by brown.

An eclectic evening, but a fantastic one, filled with friends, laughter and the happiest of memories touched with the sadness of our friend’s departure–but her adventures will be wonderful and I look forward to hearing about them.

A Minor Interruption

Edinburgh Expeditions

Ladies and gentlemen, please pardon the minor interruption to She Thinks Too Much. I’m running away to join the Circus  the new Number Two flying off to Scotland to study for my master’s degree.

Don’t panic, and do not adjust the dial on your television set. You haven’t entered the Twilight Zone.

I’ll be posting regularly. I’m just going to need a couple of days to settle into my new home and new city.

I’m really excited to be journeying to Scotland. It will be a completely different experience from when I studied abroad in Florence. For one, I will be receiving a degree at the end of it! For another, I’ll be there for a year. And for a third, I don’t think that I’ll be doing as much weekend traveling. I hope to get down to London at least once each semester, but trips probably will not be all that frequent. I fully think that my programme will keep me very, very busy.

Sunny Scotland

(C) Beth 2010

Excuses, Excuses

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

I apologize for my absence from the blogosphere. I didn’t mean to vanish. It sort of just happened.

But I’m back now.

Well, sort of.

I’ve left Italy for the sunnier weather of the UK (yes, there was very little rain, only last Sunday when I tramped across London with my friend C). I went adventuring up to Scotland, where I’m hoping to attend graduate school.

I do love adventuring, and places like Edinburgh. There’s an underlying current to the city that inspires me. The wheels in my head start turning, creating scenarios and situations. Boston is like that. So is Florence.

My favorite Scottish adventure was our hike up (and down) Arthur’s Seat, the mountain (or hill) near Holyrood Palace at the base of the Royal Mile. Legend has it that King Arthur hung around up there. It’s the result of a volcano.

We sat and enjoyed a pleasant lunch on another peak, watching the world below us. We were so elevated that the birds flew below eye level. A truly unique experience.

I see myself returning there, notebook in hand, plopping down on the grass and writing a short story. Years ago I wrote one that was partially set on Arthur’s Seat; it’s funny how painfully off I was about the environment.

Here’s to new experiences and silly mistakes in previous works!