I know these are usually done on Mondays, but let’s talk about My Town Tuesday. As I sit here in this vile state with an awful economy, frigid temperatures, and about a foot of ugly, dirty snow on everything I’m prone to contemplate why I’m still here.
First of all, because Becky and I both seem to have bucked the trend of unemployment in the area and have good jobs with good benefits. Also, both of our families are here and that makes it very nice for Spenser. But what about before Becky? Before my new family life? Why did I stick around?
It’s not like I didn’t try to get out of here. I lived in New York City for a while. But while that was a great experience, I realized I have no business living someplace that expensive if I’m not willing to work a hundred jobs and sacrifice greatly to live there. Once I came back, I ended up eventually in Ann Arbor and that seemed to be good enough for me. It had everything I liked about New York — independent cinema, good restaurants, lots of bookstores, a good theater community, a good writing community, etc.– and was cheaper by comparison.
I toyed with the idea of being a screenwriter or TV writer for a while, but the only step I took to getting out to LA was applying for a couple of fellowships. I suspect the reason I never moved someplace else, more specifically some place warm, was fear. I’ve never been good with money and most of my independent living adventures resulted in me living back with my parents for a time. That’s all well and good when you’re close to home, but on the other side of the country it seems a bit harder to pull off.
My other brief consideration of moving someplace warm was a time I wanted to move to Florida so I could go to grad school at Florida International University where Dennis Lehane, among others, had studied creative writing. I even went so far as to attend Sleuthfest in 2003 where some of the staff were attending. It seemed like a good idea because grad school would provide more stability than just up and moving someplace for the fun of it. But on that one I took the easy way out, again more out of fear than anything else.
So there you have it. But I still tell Becky every now and then that we might have to move to LA if I get a screenwriting or movie offer that I can’t refuse. And these days she seems more than happy to go along with that.