A Far Off Places Update

Oh dear, another month gone and I’ve not made any posts!

Life’s been very busy here. Job applications, interviews, working part time, and my current project of Far Off Places. I’m doing layout for the magazine, which is really exciting. It is very time-intensive, but coming along nicely.

We’ll be officially launching the magazine on 9 March at the STAnza poetry festival in St Andrews. Which means that I’m finishing up the magazine, and some individual pamphlets. It’s a lot to be doing, but a lot of fun.

Also really good for refreshing me! Placing things in InDesign is actually really calming.

I’ll have a link here when the magazine does go live.

Also! We’re now accepting submissions for Issue II! Theme is ‘the back of beyond.’ We’re accepting subs through 31 March (of the written variety, but I’ll also accept sandwiches and yellow submarines).

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Welcome back to America

Well. I’ve been back in America for a week, settled back in my childhood home. My room, clean for over a year as I lived overseas, is now stacked with books, shopping bags, and the contents of my backpack vomited over the floor.

It’s not been a bad week, by any means. It’s been busy. I now have an insanely professional wardrobe, including a gorgeous navy pinstripe pencil skirt suit, a blue dress the same colour as the Scottish flag (or the TARDIS) and fantastic heels. I’ve applied for several jobs, had one interview (which didn’t end with me getting the job, but that’s okay, it was my first interview Stateside. I’m lucky and rather awesome, but not THAT lucky).

I also have a brand-spankin’ new mobile, a smartphone, which means I’ve finally entered the 21st century. Also I can now tweet from where-ever I am in the US, which is both really awesome and really dangerous.

I still haven’t managed to read much. I got halfway through Life of Pi whilst on the various planes from Edinburgh to Boston, but since returning I’ve been using my tablet for Skyping with those still in Scotland and watching the first series of Downton Abbey instead of reading. Oops, bad former English major.

Looking ahead to 2013…

I celebrated the end of 2012 and 2013’s beginning in my beloved Edinburgh with some of my closest friends. While a stack of dishes awaits me, I’m taking a moment to look at what lies ahead.

I’m making another international move and returning to the States. I wasn’t able to find a job that would sponsor me for a visa, so I’ve decided to return to the States when my student visa expires. I don’t know where life is going to take me, but with hope my roads will lead me back to Edinburgh. I’ve had an amazing, painful, life-changing time in the UK, and while I wish I could stay, it’s time for me to return to my native land.

I hope to return to Boston, where I lived as an undergraduate. I haven’t enjoyed all that Boston has to offer, and will get involved with the swing dancing community there.

In March we’ll be releasing the first issue of Far Off Places, the online literary magazine I started with three friends while living in Edinburgh. The beauty of it being online and organised through Google docs means that we can continue to work on the magazine while on separate continents.

I hope to take up blues dancing while living in Boston. I’ve heard that it’s the place to learn traditional blues in the US, and I’ve found that there’s nothing like dancing to keep me in a good mood. Blues complements lindy hop excellently, especially as some of the events I’ve attended have had blues after parties.

I will explore. I want to see more of the US (Seattle, New Orleans and San Francisco). I want to read. I want to learn.

Here’s to 2013, may it be a good year. It will be a difficult year, as I continue to navigate adulthood and try to settle in one location yet again. But it will, undoubtably, be a good’un, filled with friends both that I know and have yet to meet, pratfalls and maybe a few scavenger hunts through Boston.

2012: The Year of the Graphic Novel

In looking back at the books I’ve read this year, they’ve been dominated by a genre.

Graphic novels.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me well. I’ve always enjoyed a graphic novel or comic between the massive classic tome, but this year I found myself reading graphic novels almost exclusively.

It’s been awesome.

I started this summer, reading Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Art Spiegelman’s Maus. This trend continued through the autumn, where I read some fantastic books like Craig Thompson’s Blankets¬†and Grant Morrison’s dystopian epic The Invisibles.

Wow.

The thing I love about graphic novels is the art works so well with the story, especially in books like Maus and Blankets. The books have additional levels to them, and being a bookworm and art fanatic like myself, they are wonderful.

The stories are helped by the art, rather than hindered, making them more poignant and memorable. And I love them for it.

I can’t wait to start up my own graphic novel library. I’ve decided it will have Blankets, Maus and The Invisibles to start. What else?

Far Off Places

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.

Officially a Master of Science!

This Wednesday, I graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I’m now officially a Master of Science in Design and Digital Media, which means that I’m now signing everything with ‘MSc’ at the end of my name.

The ceremony took place inside McEwan Hall, one of the ancient buildings that forms part of the University’s main campus.

I looked like a wizard, dressed entirely in black, with a black robe. The only splash of colour was a green and white hood–I guess I’m a Slytherin? Pity, I always thought that I was a Ravenclaw (though my Gryffindor sister will say that the Slytherin is probably more accurate).

Anyways, Edinburgh has a really cool tradition. We get hit on the head with a cap made out of John Knox’s trousers and including a bit that has gone to space. It really beats the traditional handshake, and I think speeds things up a bit. Mum, being a medical professional, was concerned about spreading head lice.

It was a lovely day, a lovely ceremony, and a good opportunity to see my friends once again.

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