I never feel more like a Floridian than when…

I never feel more like a Floridian than when I’m not here. I find myself defending my state, and being proud of all of the weird crap that happens here. And believe you me, there is a LOT of weird stuff that occurs in this phallic-shaped state of mine. Don’t take my word for it? Here are just a couple articles Buzzfeed has written about us: The 40 Most Insane Things That Happened in Florida in 2012 and 52 Examples Why Florida Is Still the Craziest State. I could spend a lot of time telling you about my parents’ antics (dancing in public, general shennanigans) but I don’t have the time. Here’s a quiz you can take to see if you’re from Florida (to be fair, I answered no to all of these questions, but maybe that’s because I was born in California). And while I could go on and on about how there are about a bajillion alligators that live here, I’d actually like to draw your attention to some other of our megafauna: AFRICAN LAND SNAILS. As in, SNAILS AS BIG AS RATS THAT CAN EAT THROUGH WALLS. LOOK AT THESE SUCKERS:

A SNAIL BIGGER THAN A HAND

Ridiculous, right? Thanks to Buzzfeed for this other great picture (and the article about them in general):

A snail the size of Florida…

Right? Pretty ridiculous. BUT, my point is, I kind of love my bizarre state. I don’t spend a lot of time here anymore, and haven’t lived here full time in about seven years. The longer I’m away from it the more I forget the terrible heat and the even worse humidity. Disney World becomes a place of joy and laughter, where dreams really do come true, as opposed to that terribly overpriced place where all you really do is stand in line and sweat out buckets and buckets. At least you get rid of some of your body’s toxins? The only perfume here is sunscreen and it is completely permissible to go to a fancy restaurant wearing flip flops. (I’m sitting in a café right now and literally everyone is wearing some type of sandal. To be fair, I’m about 300 feet from the beach.) It’s one of the only places where people spend more time inside when it’s a sunny day, because if you don’t stay in the air conditioning you will immediately die of heatstroke. Cold for us is 60F and you’ll find people wearing long pants and sweaters because they can’t take it. And there are poisonous spiders and snakes, fire ants, crab grass, crabs, RAT SNAILS, and the ubiquitous gator. All the land is really either swamp or beach, and it is completely acceptable for large large people to wear hardly any clothing. It is a dangerous, dangerous place. I’m so glad I’m home.

Ich Bin Ein Londoner

For the people who care, the title of this post has two significances–I shall address the most obviously one one first. I’ve been living in London for two weeks now and am starting to feel settled and like I’m sort of getting to know the city. In no way would I claim to know all there is about it, or that I’ve gone native. But I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it here, and I DO. Unabashedly so. Since getting here I’ve seen Rory Williams and Neville Longbottom (performing in the hilarious and heartbreaking play Our Boys), I was transported back to Kenyon (via Liberal Arts and lovely outings with fellow Kenyonite, Ariel), and, perhaps most importantly, am feeling comfortable on the tube. I know how to navigate the underground like nobody’s business. I’ve also been asked directions several times, on the street, in the underground, and twice in cabs (at which point I wanted to ask, “Isn’t it your job to know where you’re going??”), which always makes me feel native. To know directions, you must look like you belong there. And are a nice person. It’s nice to know that I look both like I could live here and that I’m not a crazy murdering psychopath who kills people who ask me directions. I think that’s a good image. Also, I’ve gotten my room in order! Where it really feels like my room. And this is the main point of the post, since many people have asked for pictures of my room. I’ve taken these at night, so sadly I’ll have to put my gorgeous view up later (think broad avenue and leafy trees), but for now, these will have to do.

                     

That’s a tube map but of Greater Shakespeare instead of Greater London. It’s fantastic. Not particularly useful geographically, but really fun if you know Shakespeare’s plays at all. Funny intersections and crossings. I love it.

Well, I’ll post sunnier pictures with views later. For now, the second reason for this post. The German title is no mistake–I’m going there! On Friday! My little sister is studying in Berlin this semester (Get it? Ich bin ein Berliner? Which actually means “I am a jelly donut,” so Kennedy got that one a bit wrong.) and my parents are visiting her. And they wanted me to come, too! Conveniently, it also falls almost exactly on her 21st birthday, and it will be the closest I’ve been to seeing her on her birthday in the past six years. Yay for Europe!

I guess there’s a third reason for this post…I got an internship! I’m going to be a literary intern for Ed Victor Ltd starting next Tuesday. I’ll be assisting the teen/children’s literary agent there, and probably doing some other general assistant stuff as well. I’m even getting paid a bit! It’s kind of a dream position, and I’m beyond excited to get started. It’s located super close to the British museum, so I might pop there after work sometimes. Wow. I love London!

Moby-Dick and a (sort of) Editorial Internship

Before I say anything else, I want to make it known that I LOVED the premiere of Downton Abbey Season 3. Now, on with regularly scheduled blogging.

There is an absolutely amazing and incredible thing happening RIGHT NOW. Every day for the next hundred plus days a different person is reading a chapter of Moby-Dick. Okay, in and of itself that’s not that exciting. In fact, there are probably hundreds of people reading a chapter of Moby-Dick everyday. But this time it’s been recorded and broadcast to the public for free. Free listening and free download! And artwork being paired with the chapters! And really great speakers reading the chapters! Readers like Tilda Swinton, Simon Callow and national treasure Stephen Fry.

For anyone who has read Moby-Dick (or at least tried), you’ll know it’s quite a long read. Parts of it are engrossing and parts of it are about the technical aspects of whale hunting and oil collecting. And I won’t lie–sometimes Ishmael is quite annoying. (For anyone who needs proof of this, or just an amazing rap about that epic whale-chase, check out MC Lars’ Ahab.) But this is a chapter a day! Read by fascinating people. These little snippets are the perfect daily dose of Melville’s grandiose work. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the more confusing parts of the book–you can let yourself become completely absorbed in the words, in the setting, in the feeling of what’s happening to Ishmael. And while he sometimes feels like an idiot, there are times when what he says makes perfect sense. All people are drawn to the sea, and Ishmael knows that because Melville did. Plus, you don’t have to spend the pittance on a physical copy of the book (or the nothing it would cost you to download it on an ereader, since it’s out of copyright) because all these downloads are FREE! Check them out at the Moby Dick Big Read, where you can listen to them on SoundCloud or download them on iTunes. Definitely, definitely worth it. Be cool like me and listen to one a day! Or save them up for a rainy day when you want to curl up and knit. The only thing that would make it better is if Moby had a best friend who was a narwhal and they both attacked ships together…

In the same (sort 0f) literary vein, I’m in the middle of a (sort of) editorial internship! I only say sort of because it’s all happening via the internet. It’s with Safkhet Publishing, which is based in Germany–thus the internet. I’m proofreading and editing a manuscript for a real live book! And it’s perfect, since it’s a fantasy-comedy book–it’s like the Geek Gods got together and did something nice for me. A lot of it is adding or deleting commas, but it’s exciting for me because it’s the first time I’ve worked on a piece that will most definitely be a real book. It comes out at the end of October and I’ll tell you all the name of it then. You should pick up a copy, cause it’s a funny book….but also it’ll have my name in it!

The best part about it is that it’s giving me some real-world experience with publishing. And something to keep me occupied as I apply for other jobs and WAIT TILL NEXT MONDAY TO MOVE INTO MY FLAT IN LONDON! Yep, it’s official. I’ll be a Londoner for at least six months. Hopefully longer. It’s a really lovely flat and I’ll post pictures once I’ve got my room decorated. Or maybe before that. Not going to lie guys–I’m pretty psyched.

Maybe a better title for this blog post would’ve been: I’m Katy and I’m really excited about everything right now!

Wow I Can’t Believe I Turned in My Dissertation

I DID IT! I turned in my dissertation. I’m almost as excited about this as when I finished NaNoWriMo. No, I’m kidding, I’m more excited about this. But my dissertation was 15,000 words and NaNoWriMo was 50,000. But I actually edited my dissertation and made it good writing and stuff…unlike this blog post!

In any case THIS is what my dissertation looks like:

 

Dissertation

 

And THIS was how I celebrated turning it in:

 

Strawberry Margarita

 

For the record, the Grill House in St Andrews makes delicious strawberry margaritas. Even if it is 2 in the afternoon on a Thursday. A glorious, glorious Thursday.

And now that my dissertation is in and completed, all I have to do now is find a job! That’s easy, right? If anybody has any publishing jobs anywhere in the UK they want to just hand me, let me know! I also need to finish the novel….and maybe then get it published. So my goals for the coming weeks are to get a job and finish my novel. As of right now I’m staying in St Andrews but will be (probably) heading down to London in about three weeks. There to also get a job and work on the novel. The UK adventures just won’t quit!

If people have any tips for where to stay in London, what to do there for fun, and other general tips, let me know! Also, if you’re in St Andrews and want a delicious margarita, call me up and let’s go.

OH YEAH LET ME NERD OUT FOR A SECOND: SEASON PREMIERE OF DOCTOR WHO IS THIS SATURDAY!

That is all.

A New Look

Hello world! With the conclusion of the Columbia Publishing Course (with the exception of the career fair on Monday and the alumni festivities on Wednesday), I’ve been feeling….buoyant. Like I can accomplish anything. I can soar through the sky…like a balloon! And my life will have much fly-soaring happening soon–I fly to Orlando on Wednesday and back to Scotland on Saturday. All of this buoyancy and impending airplanes made me feel like a change of internet scenery. So I present to you my new, whimsical blog. Whimsy for everyone!!