On the move: Answering the door when opportunity knocks.

During our seventeen years together, my wife and I have moved a lot. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. And neither one of us is in the military. Before I started to write this post, I tried to write down all of our addresses that I could remember and I came up with eleven “permanent” addresses—places where we lived for at least nine months. When I add in the various short term corporate apartments that we’ve also occupied, the total number of addresses is closer to fifteen. My godmother uses one of those old school address books and she grumbles that my addresses have taken up an entire section.

Some of our moves have been within the same city (back before we had much real furniture and when house flipping was the craze) but most moves have been across state lines and one was across an ocean. Mostly we move for my wife’s job but we’ve moved for my job too.

I worked in the aviation industry for almost fifteen years. First as an aviation economist where I forecasted demand for airports and then for the airlines where I forecasted demand for flights (yes, a Magic 8-Ball was involved). My skills were fairly transferable and, if one of our moves required me to leave my job, I was usually able to find another one in our new city pretty quickly.

For many years I didn’t mind changing jobs frequently. I met so many wonderful people and got to travel all over the world. Plus, I really liked the work. But eventually an idea began to percolate: Next time we move and I have change jobs, I’m going to take the plunge. I’m going to retire, at least temporarily, and finally write the novels I’d been plotting in my head for years.

Then one day the opportunity came knocking. Just as I was settling into my third year at United Airlines in downtown Chicago, it was time to move again. My wife’s job was taking us to Boston—a city where no major airline is based. But now that the opportunity had presented itself, was I really ready to take the plunge? And, was my wife on board with it? In the end, the answer to both of these questions was “yes”!

So, I did it. I left United and held off looking for a new job so I could write The Schuyler House. Like many authors, I’d always dreamed of becoming a writer but even I was surprised at how much I loved it. I often get so caught up writing that I forget to eat. I love food and that’s never ever happened to me before!

Two years have gone by since I left United and I really haven’t looked back. My second novel is due out in 2018 and I’m now hammering away on my third. And, not surprisingly, my writing is heavily influenced by the people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had in all the places we’ve called home.   

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