I live in Santa Cruz not because I choose to, but because I have to. I am here under false colors: people live here because it's beautiful or they love to surf or they went to school here and never left or because couldn't find a better, cheaper house over the hill, and they've brought their work with them. Or they live here because they've retired: either they're old, or somehow they have money. Whereas I am thrashing about trying to leave behind my status as most-loved, least-published writer in America and am not settled in my life. This had better not be as far as I can go professionally; and I hope that my current solitude is not permanent.

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