Greetings from Canada!

Wow, it's been -- six months? -- since I posted anything here. That's the longest gap in years, maybe ever?

I can explain. But in the words of Inigo Montoya, "No, it is too much. Let me sum up."

Starting in late October (2021), I had a series of shocks, some personal, some work-related, that basically brought all my writing to a halt. No progress on the novel, no short stories, nothing. I stopped submitting, stopped revising, stopped even thinking about the work.

The break gave me the mental space to deal with everything that was happening. It also let me re-examine some of the ways my life was structured, in particular where I lived and how that fed into my own anxieties.

In short, I've moved to Canada. Victoria, BC, to be exact, on Vancouver Island.

I'll post more about the experience of immigrating -- which has been an adventure, even for as short a hop as this one -- but a recurring thought I have as I walk around town is: I should have done this years ago.

Some history: Back in 2004, when Bush II won his second term, a lot of us liberals talked about heading out, to Canada or Europe, as a sort of "vote with your feet" protest. Some of us (not me, obviously) did it, and some of us stayed behind.

At the time, I thought of staying as a type of defiance. I was sticking it to the Republicans -- many of them in my own family! -- who chanted "love it or leave it." I insisted I was just as patriotic as they were, I just thought patriotism meant taking care of people -- women, children, etc -- that the GOP wanted to leave behind.

But now? Now I wish I'd followed the instinct to leave. I had a friend that moved to Vancouver, and while we stayed in touch he keep urging me to move out, that the city was beautiful and there was plenty of work for engineers like us. I laughed it off, but now I wonder. Getting into Vancouver in 2004 was still affordable (!), my wife and I could have built a life there before housing prices went through the roof and the number of doctors went off a cliff.

Better late then never, I suppose. Because it is beautiful up here, between the mountains and the forests and the sea. Victoria reminds me a lot of Galway, Ireland, in both the good and the bad ways, a blustery, scruffy port town with green growing everywhere you look.

And now it's home.

Written with: Ulysses

Under the influence of: "The Bends," Radiohead

Ron Toland @mindbat