Announcement: We’re Moving to the Sunshine State!
The rumors are true: we’re moving to the Sunshine State! There are a couple of wild cards that may shift our intended in-state location and timing, but it’s safe to say Florida, and it will be very soon. We’ll keep you posted.
I’ve had a long, happy history with Florida (see photos from the early years below); in fact, I’ve always felt it’s where I should be—as much as I’ve felt at home in Burlington, Vermont or in the state of Rhode Island, crossing the Florida line or setting foot on its soil was accompanied by an overwhelming sense of peace and belonging (I almost went to college there—I could have lived with my grandmother—but my father vetoed that). I love heat, I love humidity, I love palm trees, I love sand-orange-jasmine air. I can’t wait to have coffee and get ready for work—as I watch a lavender sunrise. Do the daily grind—and at end of it, hit the pool and sit on my lanai. Have a local Publix and Beall’s and Gooding’s and Steak ‘n’ Shake. It may or may not be a better life, but it’ll be a different, less haunted one, and the stress of reality is nothing when you’re doing it where your heart is.
This also brings exciting opportunities. I miss my days volunteering with sea life and history, and there are many more locations close by to do that than there are here. I was thrilled to discover there are several established writing critique groups under the auspices of the Florida Writing Association, conferences, and colleges, all within a short drive. I also have friends scattered all over the state, so no matter where we end up, I’ll be within a few hours’ driving distance of at least a couple of them. And let’s not forget what I truly love: attractions old, new, abandoned.
I’ve spent the past eight weeks on the toughest part: packing up the writing, journals, photos, books, scrapbooks (I actually finished that part just past Midnight on Independence Day—wow). Now that that’s done, the rest is cake—furniture? Dishes? Linens? Out it goes. Brighter items await.
Which brings me to The Goodbye Project—saying goodbye to my stuff, which I photograph and ditch. Every week I post the photos and the items’ associated memories. If any of you have issues getting rid of sentimental (but largely useless) objects, I can’t recommend this process enough. It has made it easier than I ever thought it could be. Those are filed under the Category “The Goodbye Project” right on this blog –and they’ll continue after I relocate, as I plan on writing about all the places and activities I will miss in the Northeast, like the Bronx Zoo, Newport, the Adirondacks in summer, the Garlic Festival and good old creepy New England cemeteries.
With all of this going on, it’s been tough keeping up with the writing career—and I had to take a pass on my workshop at the Norman Mailer Writer’s Colony in August, which saddens me—but gives another writer the opportunity of a lifetime! However, Literary Mayhem has commissioned an original horror story for January 2012, State of Imagination has retained “Denigrating David” for its July 1 issue, and GhoStory Guru and Read Short Fiction are still going strong. I’m also working on getting in a blog tour. More on all of that in my blog archives—most of those notes were posted in the past month, so check out postings for June 2011 if you’re curious.