Stuff People Seem To Want To Know
Alumna of Columbia University, NY, NY (Columbia College, BA in comparative politics with a minor in architecture), University of Wisconsin-Madison (MA in science journalism) and The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY (AS in Baking and Pastry Arts).
Senior editor and writer at Atlas Obscura. Former senior editor at Discover. Previous employers include The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the U.S. Department of State.
Aside from all four time zones of the continental U.S., I’ve lived in Antarctica, New Zealand, Russia, Germany and Canada.
Stuff I Feel You Should Know
I am a high school dropout (this is true). I applied to get into the college I really wanted to attend while I was a junior in high school. Even though I didn’t have the credits to graduate or get a GED, Columbia accepted me. I never looked back.
I have been to all seven continents and earned a paycheck on four of them.
I really love oatmeal. But only proper oatmeal. Not that “overnight oats” stuff and definitely not the garbage full of nuts and fruit and maple syrup. Steel cut oats, water, salt. That’s it. People who know my culinary background and ask what my favorite food is tend to be very disappointed when they learn this.
I’m a beekeeper and also make wild-fermented mead. In addition to wrangling my two rescue dogs, I volunteer as a dogwalker at a local shelter.
Who Is StoriesThatAreTrue?
That would be me. Back in 2009 when I moved to New Zealand, a former journalism professor (and current mentor and friend) demanded I start blogging again after I’d taken a break during a particularly tumultuous year. I set up Stories That Are True, another WordPress blog (not to be confused with StoriesThatAreTrue.com, with which I have no connection).
I stopped updating that blog in 2012 when I ran out of free media space (lots of photos from New Zealand, Antarctica, Australia, Norway and elsewhere). When I set up GemmaTarlach.com, the author name of StoriesThatAreTrue followed me here. I know I could fix that in a minute or so, but it would complicate the volunteer webmaster work I do for a charity event as StoriesThatAreTrue. Maybe one day I will change it and own up to all my posts/webwork. But it is not this day.
Words I Take To Heart
“Be cunning and don’t panic. Rely upon the agility of your wit.” – Professor Eugene Rice, advice on taking his notoriously difficult European History midterm but good counsel in any case.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – JRR Tolkien
“Season fearlessly.” – Chef Justin Hoffmann