On the move
This spring has been –– and will be for the considerable future –– a blur. A lifelong New Englander, I, along with my adventurous wife, have sold our home and are moving to Michigan, where I’ve taken a job as the Upper School Director of Detroit Country Day School in suburban Detroit.
This leaves me with a foot in two different worlds at the moment –– working for the school I’m at and doing things for the one I’m going to (my official start date is July 1).
In regards to my “other job,” writing, it also leaves me with a host of questions: I just finished a manuscript set at a New England boarding school, which I hope will launch a new series. It’s off to my agent, and I’m awaiting word from her, as I start the sequel. Will she like it? Will she sell it? And, more importantly, after nearly two decades living and working at boarding schools, what will it be like to write about them once I’m removed from that world?
My proximity to the setting has led me to believe I created an authentic world and view into it, and I’ve thought about Hemingway’s ability to write about Michigan once he went to Paris. (Maybe I’m doing his reverse commute.) Perhaps the step to a day school will free me to write even more truthfully about the boarding school world.
"The writer's job is to tell the truth," Hemingway wrote in A Moveable Feast. "I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say."
This is still my favorite Hemingway quote, and I’m hoping (as I’m sure many of you do, too) that it sees me through.