This weekend I'm going to New Orleans to find a house! Beginning in August I'll be teaching at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, a conservatory high school with a fantastic creative writing program.
A few weeks ago, when I was interviewing Michael Cunningham for Time Out New York, he revealed that he had lived in New Orleans, a long time ago, before he had settled on what he wanted to do with his life.
"I almost moved to New Orleans, years and years ago," he said. "I"ve always wondered what would have happened if I had. I mean, I was there. I was staying with a friend and just loved it. I thought, why not just stay here? I was still in my 20s and still a little tentative about this whole notion of 'writing.' I thought, given what I know about myself, I might move to New Orleans and write a novel, or I might move to New Orleans and wake up at 75 with a cocktail in my hand, sitting on a veranda realizing 'I guess that was my life.'
"The woman I was staying with was applying to medical school and she didn't have a typewriter. And we actually couldn't find anyone who did have a typewriter. That was when I began to think 'This isn't a good sign.'"
Of course, Cunningham knows that an awful lot of writers have called New Orleans home, but his concern was that he was considering living there at a time when "the jury was still out" as far as his path was concerned. "It's one of those places where 'living there' is in fact what you are doing with your life."
And that, I think, isn't a bad thing at all.