At the beginning of September, I moved from Portland — where I’d lived for 14 years, having gone there to get away from Utah — back to Utah. I thought for the first 10 years or so in Portland that I’d never move back. Every time I visited I was reminded of why I was glad I no longer lived there. But then I started to miss my niecephews and Utah friends more than before, and a desire to move back start to grow within me, tapeworm-like.
There was no specific reason. As a freelance writer, I could live anywhere that had movies and the internet, and these had both recently come to Utah. I chose Provo (rather than Salt Lake) because that’s where most of the people I wanted to be closer to live.
A few days after I arrived, an old friend reminded me about a full-time writing job that had been posted two weeks earlier. It was the last day applications were being accepted, so I quickly slapped together a résumé and cover letter and applied.
Last week I was hired. I start Nov. 4. It’s a full-time salary with benefits, such as a grown-up would have. The pay is much, much more than I’ve been making lately as a freelancer. I’m very excited and grateful.
My employer? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You’ve heard of it, yes? I’ll be at the Church Office Building in downtown SLC, in the same department that produces the church magazines (whoops, Church magazines — gotta get used to the house style), but I’ll be writing material for a new, different project, the details of which haven’t been announced yet. My friend who told me about the job, previously an Ensign editor, will be my team leader. I have to get up early and wear a suit every day. Life is full of trade-offs.
The commute will be convenient because my apartment in Provo is coincidentally within easy walking distance of the FrontRunner train station. Much like Sheena Easton’s baby, I will take the morning train, work from 9 till 5, and then take another home again to find my cat waiting for me.
I’ll still write some movie reviews on the side, though not as many as before. (I recently posted my 4,000th, by the way.) I’m still editing Crooked Marquee, still doing the Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider podcast. I’ll keep seeing a lot of movies, as I do enjoy seeing movies.
And I’ll keep providing the EDS-ASAP service, wherein I send an email with 2-3 sentences of reaction immediately after seeing a new movie. This was a Patreon perk before; now it’s the sole reason for the Patreon. If it’s worth a dollar a month to you to get these emails from me — most of which will now be the closest thing to a review that I write — you can sign up here.
If you’re already a Patreon contributor, thank you for your service. If you were contributing mainly because you knew I needed the money, you can cancel in good conscience (or reduce your pledge to the minimum of $1 if you still want EDS-ASAP). If this is the first you’re hearing of all this, well, I sent you an email and a message through Patreon, so don’t blame me. Anyway, now you know.
I’ve been freelancing for 16 years, and while it has its advantages (no suits, or even pants), it’s also like treading water. Sometimes you’re barely staying afloat, and even when you are, it’s exhausting. I look forward to crawling onto a desert isle for a while. Money doesn’t solve every problem, but it sure solves the problem of not having enough money!
I miss Portland and my friends there, but Provo is obviously where I should be now (but ask me again mid-winter).
So that’s what’s up with me. What’s up with you? (Question is rhetorical.)