Scotland trips and VICIOUS things.

I’m writing this on my last full day in Scotland, trying not to feel heartsick and bonesad. Truthfully, lovelies, I meant to update along the way but I got drawn into the city, the adventure. The thing about living in the future (six hours ahead of my old time zone) is that the world begins to feel kind of far away. Which is wonderful, when you’re trying to write a book.

But I thought I’d give you a glimpse at the mischief we–myself + Rachel Hawkins, author extraordinaire/traveling companion–managed while here:

+ We took a metric ton of photos from our apartment because um look at the view:

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+ We were thoroughly traumatized by the National Museum of Scotland, because it’s like walking into the internet. It is a natural history museum, a history museum, a cultural history museum, an art museum, and approx five other kinds of random ass museums PILED ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER. And there was a clock with tortured people and it was scary. As Rachel and I now say, that museum happened TO us.

+ We had cocktails at the Balmoral (which is pretty much what you can afford if you decide to go to the Balmoral.

+ We attended Beltane, a pagan solstice ritual on Calton Hill, overlooking all of Edinburgh. We came to refer to Beltane as the Tits and Fire Festival, because, well…

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+ We climbed Arthur’s Seat, a very, very high point looking out over the city. And then we took tea.

+ We went on a day-tour into the countryside and learned about William Wallace and bloody battles and lochs and such while listening to Scottish pop music.

+ We ate A LOT of food (seriously, we’ve been here for 14 days, and have not had a single. bad. meal. Good job, Edinburgh).

+ We bought wee heilan coos, AKA our new spirit animals:

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+ We discovered a corner of the city that is dead quiet, and also probably costs more to live in than the combined sum of our lives.

+ We walked down to Leith, by the water, discovered we couldn’t actually get to the ocean, and went to the pub instead.

+ We discovered millionaire shortbread and these little caramel candies with chocolate centers that we CAN’T. STOP. EATING.

+ We went to Greyfriars–TWICE–and discovered first through experience and then through research that it’s one of the most haunted places in the world. This is the tomb of George Mackenzie, a recognized poltergeist:

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You guys, you could FEEL THE CREEPY SH*T the moment you walked into the massive graveyard. We went in the first time knowing NOTHING about Greyfriar’s history, and had chills the whole time. Then we got home and looked it up, learned about its reputation, and promptly went back for more.

+ We hung out with the lovely Cat Clarke at a divine little bookstore near the university.

+ We discovered not one but two splendid little farmer’s markets and ate sausage rolls and crepes and can you see a pattern in this trip? FOOD.

+ We wrote at both Spoon and Elephant House, the two places where J.K. Rowling is said to have worked on Harry Potter.

+ We had an absolutely unforgettable time.

I have to be very honest, lovelies, and say I’m having a hard time letting go of this city. My bones are so very happy here. I’ve written a synopsis, 10k on my current project, designed cards, and finished a short story, all in two weeks. But there’s much more adventure to be had–I’m off to see a friend in Oslo, then set out on the research portion of this trip, to London, Prague, Vienna, Heidelberg, Strasbourg, Calais and York–and I know I’ll be back.

I’ll definitely be back.

But before I can come back, I have to come home for VICIOUS things! <–segue master right here.

Things are beginning to stir up in the VICIOUS world, lovelies!! We’re 4.5 months away from my twisted little comic book without pictures hitting shelves, and I’m getting bouncy.

In case you haven’t heard, I’m going to be at BEA later this month, signing galleys! I’ll be wandering the expo Thurs, Fri, Sat, but will be signing on Friday, May 31st, at Table 17, from 2-3pm. And you guys, these galleys, they are GORGEOUS, remember?

Photo on 2013-03-29 at 13.11

But not only can you get your hands on one of them! If you come to the signing, or find me during BEA, I will give you one of THESE:

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THAT’S RIGHT. VICIOUS TRADING CARDS.

A lot of you have wondered/mused/speculated how VICIOUS, my first adult novel, will differ from my YA. I’ve said that I think it’s as different as a book can be, while still being ME. But at last, you don’t have to take my word for it. You can take my words.

Tor.com has uploaded the first two chapters RIGHT HERE, and it would really mean the world to me if you’d click over and give it a look.

Here’s a little snippet for you:

Sydney eyed the grave, tightening her fingers on the wooden grip. Victor had already begun to dig.

“What if . . . ,” she said, swallowing, “. . . what if the other people accidentally wake up?”

“They won’t,” cooed Victor. “Just focus on this grave. Besides . . .” He looked up from his work. “Since when are you afraid of bodies?”

“I’m not,” she snapped back, too fast and with all the force of someone used to being the younger sibling. Which she was. Just not Victor’s.

“Look at it this way,” he teased, dumping a pile of dirt onto the grass. “If you do wake them up, they can’t go anywhere. Now dig.”

Onward and upward, lovelies.

Onward and upward.

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8 thoughts on “Scotland trips and VICIOUS things.

  1. Paige says:

    “But what fascinated Victor most was the fact that something about Eli was decidedly wrong.” LOVE THIS! I am so happy to have read the first two chapters, and eagerly await MORE. Also, Edinburgh: spent a week there last summer and had a visual of most of the places you mentioned, which was Wonderful. The museum? EPIC. Did you see the part on Neolithic history, the display of (sacrificed?) children’s bones? Well done Miss V! Thanks for sharing, and be safe in your travels! Xo!

  2. bhwrn1 says:

    HOLY MOLY you guys were SO busy! But what a fantastic tour you and Rachel had. I would love to see a picture of this clock! That museum sounds fantastic! And how cool you got to go to a Beltane celebration! I can only imagine that is total awesomeness over there! So different than anything we would experience here! And I love graveyards! They are creepy but also fascinating and inspiring! And shortbread? YUM! My friend from Scotland sent me a package a few months back! I am guessing she didn’t get to meet you, tho I know she wanted to while you were there 😦 That’s the one you signed the books for at BOW during the teen festival. I am very much looking forward to seeing you at BEA and will certainly be stopping by! EEP! You know I love to fangirl!

  3. the National Museum is our favorite museum and we always have to check out a thing there which we refer to as The Bone Box, aka the Monymusk Reliquary, which is our favorite thing in the museum (and also appears on old Clydesdale £20 bank notes):

    http://www.nms.ac.uk/highlights/objects_in_focus/monymusk_reliquary.aspx

  4. It’s so funny for me to see pictures of Edinburgh, because my best friend lives there and I have such a strong attachment to this city and everything about it. I’m so glad that you had a wonderful time! And the highland cows are adorable. ❤

    Will definitely be seeing you at BEA; I will drop everything to read VICIOUS! 🙂 As such I am holding off on the chapter samplers for now, though it is very, very difficult.

  5. LOVE IT and wish I could be at BEA. *pouts* Glad you had a wonderful time in Edinburgh.

    And VICIOUS? Can. Not. Wait. 😀

  6. Scotland looks amazing! I’m so glad that you’re enjoying your time there, and doing fun stuff apart from the productive stuff. Hopefully I get a chance to see you again at BEA!

  7. CJ Listro says:

    I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it! I was in Edinburgh for a conference last year and it was one of the most amazing cities I’ve been to. My friend and I walked into Greyfriars at 11:30pm and were pretty sure we weren’t supposed to be there, but it was absolutely the best time ever to see a cemetery. Prague I can attest will be just as amazing. Sadly can’t go to BEA, but I’ll be reading Vicious first chance I get!

  8. Amazing! I laughed at your description of the National Museum. My husband is from St. Andrews so we visit several times a year, but over Easter we went to the museum for the first time. I walked in the room where Dolly the Sheep was just peacefully rotating around for all to see and went, “WHAAAA?” Was not expecting that 😉 I loved all the 18th century goodies they had though, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s canteen and all that. Love your wee coos! 😀 Sounds like you had a fantastic time 🙂

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