Yeah of course I miss it
Roads Go Ever On 19: Missing LA
💻 what I'm up to 💻
First of all, an update about the timing of this newsletter: we’re doing Thursdays now! With Disney+ dropping new episodes for their series on Wednesdays, my Wednesday mornings are no longer free. Recently, they’ve been filled with Loki (which is why I missed the last newsletter, my bad). So every other week still, but one day later.
That out of the way… I am 1000% loving Asheville. Being here has been such a positive change for me. But it doesn’t mean I hate LA. I miss it! Especially now that the world is opening up again and I could actually see my friends if I was in LA. Did I loathe LA once? Yep. I moved to the city in 2007 from Ohio and spent the next six years working a stressful job in pet food and spending two hours a day commuting (on the 405, the worst freeway I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing). I was ready to get out of town in 2013. So I did and it was the wrong decision. I mean, that wrong decision also involved other factors, to be clear. But I came back to LA in 2015 as a full time writer without a commute and it was like experience the city for the first time.
When folks in Asheville ask where I moved from, I say LA and their reactions range from visible disgust or surprise. Then I get defensive. Los Angeles is a beautiful city. Yes it has a lot of layers and struggles, like any other sprawling city of its size. But at sunset the colors in the sky have the most beautiful gradation along the horizon—it’s unlike anywhere else I’ve been. Just this lovely turquoise orange I can see when I close my eyes.
So no, I didn’t move because I hated it. I miss lazy weekend days driving out to Neptune’s Net to sit at a table with a sticky surface covered in rings from the day’s beers and eating a pile of fried seafood. I miss the quiet kitsch of Kahuna Tiki and its delicious sushi rolls. I miss meandering Disneyland days with pals where we mostly sat and ate and talked instead of hustling onto rides. I miss shoving bao in my face on Sawtelle and going to B Sweet for indulgent desserts.
But I wanted a home, and a yard, and to not share walls with other people. I wanted nature—just an explosion of green things. And I just wasn’t in a place to afford that in LA. Couldn’t imagine ever being in that place. Even if I could afford a postage stamp sized home, the pricing infuriated me.
Here I have that home, that yard, that space. I live in a temperate rainforest so green things are indeed exploding (in fact, I’m desperately overdue to do some yard work). I have nature coming out of my ears. I’ve named the two baby groundhogs who visit our yard daily (Pietro and Janice). But yeah, of course I miss LA. I cannot wait to visit.
All that to say, big changes are always gonna have cons. They’re gonna be scary. But also… they can be so, so good. So much that all the positives overshadow the negatives. Do whatever you need to do for you.
📘 my book things 📘
Here’s a cool thing I’ve had in my pocket: I contributed to Karen Hallion’s new The She Series Book! You probably know Karen Hallion's art, and if so you've seen her portraits of women (fictional and historical) paired with a word. This book collects 100 essays and portraits of influential women in history and features a TON of incredible writers I’m honored to be alongside. You can back the project on Kickstarter now!
And just for fun, I recently interviewed Vanessa Marshall about you know who’s recent appearance on Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
📺 what I'm watching 📺
I’ve mentioned Loki before but season 1 just wrapped yesterday and wow. I won’t spoil anything. I’ll just say I’m so happy to have more Tom Hiddleston and that I cannot believe Marvel has set THAT up. Kevin Feige. What a genius.
The Dark Knight Rises
Yes, I just watched it for the first time. No idea why it took so long but probably has to do with the fact that I’m not the world’s hugest Batman or Christopher Nolan fan. Even though I liked the other two films in the trilogy well enough, I spaced on the conclusion… for nearly 10 years apparently. And I quite liked it! Anne Hathaway as Catwoman? Come on. I had no idea about the Talia twist either. Plus the ending gave me warm and fuzzies, though I’m upset that we’ve never seen JGL as Robin.
📚 what I'm reading 📚
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
The tag for this book is Wall-E meets Hatchet, and that covers it. It's an illustrated middle grade novel in which a robot, Roz, lands on an island in the middle of nowhere and has to learn how to survive and befriend the local animal population. It's heart-wrenching in places but overall very sweet and I adore Brown's illustrations.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Picture this: a sapphic romance with a rad cast of supporting characters set in New York with a sci-fi twist. That's One Last Stop and I tell you, it works. August meets the perfect woman, Jane, on the subway... but that woman has been trapped on the subway, displaced in time since the 1970s. August and her friends have to figure out the mystery to save Jane. I know, it sounds like "HUH?!" but I promise it's a blast and the romance is very feel good.
🐳 something whalesome 🐳
I like wholesome things and the whale emoji is cute so: whalesome!
🍃 creativity corner 🍃
Here I’ll share tips and tricks that are helping me write, imagine, and/or stay productive.
Let’s talk about notes and research. As I’ve mentioned before, I love the research part of any project. Sometimes though I need to take notes without knowing specifically what I need. For example, with The Wheel of Time TV series coming up, my history with the books is about to be important for my job. So I’ve started a reread since it’s been a long time and the books are high fantasy and complex AF. I know that I need to take notes but I don’t know exactly what will be relevant to the TV series. To catch a bunch of ideas, I started a Wheel of Time bullet journal. I numbered pages, I left plenty o’ room for a table of contents, and dove in.
I have a page for article ideas, to note mentions of the Age of Legends, to note mentions of particular prophecies—I’ve been building it as I go. When it comes time to write articles, I’ll flip back through my notes and can jump to specific page numbers rather than relying on a wiki. I did this for The Clone Wars once with great success.
📃 quote of the week 📃
“There is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” - Leonard Cohen
Randomly this came to me not from hearing Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem,” but from my daily meditation through the Calm app. Those daily meditations have the wildest subjects sometimes, but I’ll be darned if Tamara Levitt doesn’t make them work. Anyway, it just hit me about imperfections, or at least, perceived imperfections.
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re making time to do whatever makes you happiest.
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