With modern technology, it seems like a no-brainer that you could write from anywhere in the world.
For the first year of my contract with my manager, I’ve lived in Tampa, Florida. I came out here in the “good months,” and was fooled by the glorious weather, super cheap shopping, and warm beaches. I grew up in Northern California, so a beach I could be chest-deep in, in clear blue water was something I’d only seen a shitty beer ads. I wanted to buy this beautiful, two-story, three bed + office 1950s home just an hour from the bay. I wanted to fence in the two acres of lawn and rainforest, have chickens, an herb garden, and a dog for my daughter to chase around. I wanted all that, and I wanted to work out of my home office, writing features that production companies trip over themselves to buy. Y’know, “the Life.”
Fortunately, I’ve come to loathe Florida. Despite living near the coast, summer seems to start in June and steams you alive until DECEMBER. I’m sure there’s a god someone forgot to please centuries ago, because there are numerous plagues on Florida. Child molesters, floods, hurricanes, bath salt zombies, and of course, insects.
Florida is like a crappier Australia.
“Palmetto Bugs,” aka ROACHES THE SIZE OF A GROWN MAN’S THUMB run amok, no matter the pesticides you douche your home and yard in. Let’s not forget the mosquitos (which are unusually fond of me), and Love Bugs (which, despite the rumor, were not created in a lab to kill mosquitos).
I could go on and on with this “Fuck Florida” rant, but I can’t damn it completely. I’ve met a handful of great people here. I’ve discovered a love of bourbon and absinthe, and I’ve mastered my apple pie recipe. My appreciation of hot wings and New York style pizza has grown immensely. And hey, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids got their start right in Tampa! While I’ll miss the dope-ass gyro place down the street, it’s clear that if I want to be taken seriously as a writer, I need to be with my people.
This is an industry built on relationships. I realize that every social gathering most faces are alit with the glow of their smartphones, but there’s a reason we haul our Macbooks to the local cafe to write, and it’s not entirely for attention. It’s for the connection. A connection I’m severely lacking 3,000 miles away from my home state.
A shout out to one of my favorite non-native, Floridia-grown stars, giving you the chills of anticipation and dare I say, the loneliness of my current state. All my shit is in Florida, but my heart and my future is in Los Angeles.