So Sunday afternoon, I boarded a train with most of my earthly possessions (at least, all of the ones I care to enjoy for the next year) and headed out to Utah. I arrived Tuesday night, without a car, a job, or a place to live, but things have been working out really well so far and I hope to get all that stuff squared away in the next few days.
This was my sixth or seventh time traveling cross country by train, so I knew the drill. The hardest part is getting enough sleep, so I brought a blindfold and some earplugs, and that actually worked out really well. There were a lot of interesting people on the train, and I spent some time chatting with a few of them. The train is one of the easiest place to make friends, just because the people who take it tend to be very laid back and friendly.
Most of the time, though, I spent reading, figuring out my new phone, and writing. Made some good progress on The Sword Keeper, though it looks like I’ll be putting it on hold for a while to get Stars of Blood and Glory ready for publication. Wrote a little bit in Star Wanderers: Benefactor as well–man, whenever I need a good escape, it’s always fun to write a Star Wanderers story! I have no idea when this one will be ready, but I think it will turn out well.
The train arrived in Provo late Tuesday evening, and I spent the night at my brother in law’s family, where I’m staying until I find a place to live. Let me just say, it’s great to have friends and family to help you out when you really need it. My old car was in the shop, so I set out on foot the next morning in search of an apartment. Not much luck on that front so far, but I got my car back and found a few job leads, so it looks like I should be settled back down before long.
So why am I moving back to Utah? A lot of reasons, but mostly because I just really like it out here. I wanted to take a break before my next overseas adventure, catch up with some old friends and spend some time in a place that I know and love. It also helps that there’s a good writing scene out here, with a bunch of great local conventions and conferences in the spring.
I didn’t always like Utah, but it’s really grown on me since I first came out here for college back in 2006. The landscape is beautiful, with lots of amazing places to explore. The people are really friendly and easy to get along with, even if your political views aren’t conservative (though admittedly, it’s harder). The Mormon culture makes some things kind of quirky, but not in a way that makes it too hard for me to fit in. In fact, if there’s any place in the world where I “fit in,” it’s probably here.
Things are kind of upside down right now, of course, but that will change once I find a place to live. That’s going to take the focus away from my writing for a while, though hopefully not for too long. In the meantime, today is another day, so I’d better get busy!