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Future Movement
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I was in a foul mood yesterday. The heat was getting to me, and I was tired and feeling unmotivated, but I managed to snatch some productivity from the jaws of ill-temper and lethargy. I cut my Koontz essay by over 500 words, bringing it in just under the word limit. Heather's reading it today, to tell me if it's comprehensible. I honestly can't tell. Tonight, I plan to actually write some fiction.

We also went for a walk last night, which we should really do more often, now that the weather's nice. As we walked, we talked about where we want to live next. It's pretty clear that we won't ever be able to afford a decent house in the Bay Area, so we're almost certainly going to move somewhere else in the next few years (first we need to get married, and then save more money, so it'll be a while). We talked about moving to Oregon, and about various college towns all over the country, and about what our requirements are for a place to live (besides a lower cost of living, of course, which is the main factor). My main requirement is that I never have to drive in the snow, because that annoys me; otherwise, I'm quite flexible. A town with a couple of decent bookstores and coffee shops would be nice, which is why college towns appeal -- housing is often inexpensive in such places, if you're willing to live a bit outside of town. I mean, Heather and I live in a major metropolitan area, but seldom take advantage of all the cool city stuff; we are essentially homebodies. She's less willing to move somewhere truly rural than I am, though. There are a lot of factors to consider. At least we have a couple/few more years to mull it over.

It's pretty clear we can't go on like this, though. I mean, in North Carolina I had a job where I made exactly the same amount of money that I make at A Certain Magazine. But in North Carolina, I paid about $200 a month in rent for a relatively secluded house, with a yard and front porch with a view of a horse pasture and some mountains. If I sold a short story, I could pay the rent there for a month or two. If I did some freelancee non-fiction writing, I could pay the rent for five or six months. I saved a lot of money. Now I pay almost $700 a month in rent for an apartment where people play guitar badly in the room underneath me. I have virtually no savings. My standard of living has plunged accordingly. So, yeah, at some point, we've got to go.

Suggestions welcome, of course.

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