Hello internet, my old friend

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!

The LDR International Book Club

In Which Beth Keeps Her Books by David Malki!

“You do realize you have two copies of this book?” said the Barnes and Noble’s cashier. She held up the offending copies of  Jo Walton’s Farthing.

My boyfriend and I nodded, grinning. I had a feeling we’d be asked why.

“You can’t share?” she asked.

“We live a bit too far away for that,” I replied.

And it’s true. The Atlantic Ocean means that reading a book together simultaneously requires two copies. While we do have a fairly fluid library, we’re two bibliophiles. We enjoy reading books, we share favorites with each other. When I moved back to America, we wanted to come up with something we could do together apart from watching TV shows.

So we started simple. Both of us are fantasy/science fiction fans. We looked to an author who we both enjoy (and a book in his collection he hadn’t read yet): Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. We started slow, a chapter or two a week as he is finishing his PhD and I was interning/job hunting. Plus, we weren’t sure how well it would work.

Every couple of days we would read a chapter or three and then discuss what we liked/didn’t like about it, with the aim of finishing before his visit so we could watch the miniseries together during his first visit.

Mission accomplished!

We’re now in the middle of Farthing, an alternative-WWII murder mystery largely taking place at a wealthy home in the English countryside. It’s fun to read a book at the same time as a friend, to discuss what’s going on. “Can you believe what happened? What do you think will happen next? I really don’t like this part” are common phrases from us while we Skype.

Now, we think about which books to read well in advance. We’re thinking of reading Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker soon, and Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s fun to pick out a book and say, “we might both enjoy this, let’s read it together!”

Our international book group is a great way for us to talk about things we both love: books and reading. We still recommend each other books to read (from he, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, from me, Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother). But we have books that we read and discover together, even across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Far Off Places hot air balloon takes off!

Far Off Places, the literary magazine I cofounded with three friends from Edinburgh, launched on 9 March at the StAnza Poetry Festival in St Andrews, Scotland.

We’re currently selling single issues and subscriptions on our website. They’re digital copies, and coming soon, an iOS subscription as well (and we’re hoping to release a Kindle ebook version, starting with issue 2).

We hope to release a printed edition and pay our contributors! So that’s why we’re selling it.

Not content to take a break after our launch (or, more accurately, DURING production of issue 1), we opened submissions for our second issue, with the theme of the back of beyond. Submissions are due on 31 March!

Poetry should be no more than 40 lines (though we do accept short poetry as well), and short prose of 1,200 words. No serial novels/stories, etc, as the theme changes with each issue.

I did the graphic design/layout for the magazine! Like making our spiffy hot air balloon logo.

faroffplaces_logo