This photo? This is where I live now. No more crazy city of New Orleans. I don’t live amongst towering live oaks and stately mansions. There aren’t any double shotgun houses around me now. No longer do I hear the rattle of streetcars as they travel in the neutral ground of St. Charles Avenue.
What I wake to every morning are the low tones of mourning doves and the scratch of palm fronds against my windows. My dogs and I walk along the water, marveling at the scurry of tiny fiddler crabs, and the grace of great blue herons. Mullet jump randomly.
I once lived where people talked about sidewalk side and neutral ground side. Here, we say gulf side or sound side.
This place makes me happy. I adore the beach, and I’m living a dream of waking up to the waves each day. Will my characters hail from here more than from New Orleans? Some certainly will, but my writing won’t abandon The Big Easy.
Sure, there will be more stories like Man of Few Words, but soon Big Bad Easy will be out, and that could only take place in one city–New Orleans.
I at least have my desk set up, my computer ready to go, and plenty of inspiration outside my windows. These seven boxes still packed? They can wait.