In 2009, I went on a blogging spree and kept it consistently going for about a month (I honestly thought it was longer until I just went back and looked).
Then, I started a magazine called OCSPLORA, which—and I'm still a little shocked by this—I kept going for five years. Five! But then, when it hadn't really gained much traction in all that time (probably due, more than anything else, to my need to keep twiddling with it and changing things, and also the infrequency of our posting and super wide range of topics and formats...so, lack of consistency), I sent it to a cave to go hibernate while I became a novelist.
During part of those OCSPLORA years, I also kept up regular email updates, which I spent a fairly considerable amount of time on. And, since it was supposed to be a good old fashioned magazine, I edited, laid out, and designed four separate issues. I printed the first three (or had them printed), sent them out to a handful of subscribers, and tried to sell them at farmer's markets and random other places.
I’m so thankful I have friends and family all over the political spectrum, from one end to the other.
The people I most enjoy spending time with are the ones who know they haven’t got it all figured out, who are insatiably curious and never stop asking questions, who are willing to shift perspectives even if it means having to admit they were wrong or embrace as true a thing that should not be true according to their ideology.
And when you surround yourself with those kinds of people, there is no way to avoid having friends all over the political spectrum, not to mention the theological spectrum and every other kind of spectrum.
Living near Boston, it was easy to think no one in their right minds would vote for Donald J. Trump to become the most influential man on the planet. But when I got to Florida two weeks before the election, I realized there were many people in their right minds planning to do just that.
In two days, our family is making the epic voyage from our home near Boston, Massachusetts (specifically, the town of Natick) to a new home near Orlando, Florida (specifically, the city of Winter Park).
When we moved to Massachusetts in the summer of 2008, we drove a Toyota pickup truck, with most of our possessions in the bed, and towed our little Toyota Tercel behind us on a trailer. We had two cats with us, which we found in my parents' garage earlier that year. We had no jobs, no apartment, no friends waiting for us in Massachusetts. We were like voluntary exiles in search of a new homeland.
Toppenhof was a peaceful town in North Vermont at the turn of the twenty ninth.
Peaceful, but hard.
Everyone got along or else they got shot. Those were the rules, sometimes unspoken, sometimes not.
Veritable Brixton was a courier of sorts. People on the frontier needed things delivered and they'd pay good money to make sure a package went through to their dying aunt in Gibson Bay, or their corrupt jailer in New Calcutta.
It was an unsteady job, to be sure. But he enjoyed the work. Better than anything else he’d done for money.