Well helloooo!! Obviously this is not a Round Robin, which is basically the only thing I've been doing on here since I MADE my website. So I'm trying out something I made up called "This Week in Progress." I've been doing a lot of new things lately, including temporarily moving to Great Britain AND signing contracts for two novels and a novella. But back to Britain--WHUH? MOVING?!
Normally I live in New York, USA, where there are beautiful swaying cornfields and country music with twang, and go to college at a SUNY college (which I'm having withdrawals from, ahhh!). BUT since December I wrote 12,458 emails and stressed enough to give myself permanent under-eye moons, and now am currently sitting just off campus of the University of Nottingham. Yeah, like the Sheriff of Nottingham? Sworn enemy of Robin Hood? I watched the movie with Kevin Costner when I was applying, and royally freaked out. Yes, there is jet lag, and confusing product names, and ACCENTS I have no prayer of understanding, and nobody knew what I was saying when I asked were the "carts" were at the grocery store, but I saw a castle today AND have had insane ideas and insights for writing.
In an art-historical-con-adventure WIP I'm editing, Monet Evanesce, the MC goes from Switzerland to NYC on a moment's notice and bums it in an abandoned apartment (ARGH, I almost wrote 'flat.' MY BRITISH METAMORPHOSIS HAS BEGUN)--I took three flights to get to Heathrow, London, and arrived with five hours of sleep from twenty-four-plus hours of travelling, all my clocks were wrong, I missed my bus and I was starving, but one of my main thoughts was "Oh yeah, I totally had his emotions down for that scene!"
Jet lag is weird; it's been two full days and I'm JUST pulling out of it. Before, I wasn't hungry and was extremely exhausted, lonely, and overall messed up. I couldn't draw, write, or even open Monet Evanesce to edit. It's like I was empty. THEN I started walking around, and signed up for a Ghost Walk underneath the city, and today a new friend from Seattle and I found Nottingham Castle, stopping afterward to eat at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, reputed to be the oldest pub in the England. I'm still majorly weirded out that I'm allowed to buy/drink alcohol here and classes don't start until next week, so this week is party week (ugh, no thank you, really), movie festivals, tours, fiestas, buying school supplies, registering for class, getting our lives together, etc.,etc.
Coffee shops here, thank God, are pretty abundant. I hate tea (tell no one this). All my bedding, mug/plate/bowl, cold-weather-gear and *sheds tear* coffee machine got held up in customs and SHOULD be here by tomorrow, but I'd found a place nearby called Bean that makes a mean cappuccino and looks like the sort of place I'd love to do homework and maybe even write.
My mind has been compartmentalizing all these interesting things I've been told or have overheard, just cultural things I didn't get back in New York:
*there are bird that LOOK like crows but have white bellies and wing tips; they are very pretty but apparently are magpies and attack bikers/walkers. Sometimes environmental ignorance can be really dangerous...?
*people will assume things based on your religion such as alcohol drinking/swearing. I wasn't using any profanity with this boy I just met, because it's rude to swear in front of someone when you don't know their preference where I come from. The boy patted me on the shoulder and went, "Look at you, not swearing. Good honest Catholic." I took the compliment, then explained I wasn't nearly as strictly religious as I seemed.
*"A CROW NAMED SINCLAIR": Doesn't that sound like a book title? The girl I rode to Nottingham with worked at a zoo for five years and knew a lady who'd befriended a crow. She'd put food out for him and so he'd come right up to her every time because they have facial recognition. Just a quirky thing that would go well in a story.
DOWN STEREOTYPES: a boy I met was born in Canada, has white-blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin and a very Brit-European accent, almost American at times, but he's lived in Hong Kong and grew up in Shanghai, China, and loves to speak Cantonese. Like, wow. That made me realize people from the other continents travel a lot easier than Americans can. Two New Zealand boys on our coach bus to the University came up through Vienna/Germany and Prague before getting to the UK. One of them warned, "No! Remember what happened in Prague!" to the other when we got dropped off at the wrong place and he started to wander off.
I still don't know what happened in Prague.*
*(It did make me think of The Avengers, though.)
*KIND-OF-TRUE STEREOTYPES: Uh, yeah, lots of British people do say "You alright/okay?" instead of "what's up" or "How are you?" which was kind of jarring because I wanted to say, "Fine, thanks!" but that doesn't make sense unless I say "I'M fine, thanks." They also say "love," "bless," "brilliant," and are generally very polite. I missed my stop on the tram and had to stand in the dark with a man fixing the ticket kiosk, and he asked if I was alright, if I was a student, where I was from, and chatted with me so I wasn't awkwardly standing by myself. And the tea section in the grocery store? HUMONGOUS. The smell of tea leaves smacked me full in the face, and it was all packaged!
Basically, it's really nice because I'M doing the adventuring for once instead of writing it...and it's almost as exciting! Luckily my edits for my contracted books won't come for a bit so I can handle the culture shock, soak up Europe and MAYBE even edit while I'm here, but we'll see. I'm sort of learning to say "yes" more and so far it's led me to seeing pretty sunsets over boating lakes and wandering outside a castle. :)
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