Wednesday, 8 May 2013
A Big Move
Sometimes the dice get rolled and your whole life turns upside down. That's just what happened to my husband and me over the past couple of months. Budget cuts to post-secondary education from the Alberta government required Mount Royal University, where my husband is employed as a tenured associate professor and I am employed as an administrative assistant, to make some deep cuts, and they suspended the fine arts diploma program, among others. My husband was declared redundant, since he teaches music and drama, so we have decided to return to Ontario, where Reid will have more teaching and performing opportunities. We will probably head off the last week in July, our furniture in a truck and our Toyota in tandem, and plan to head for Hamilton. We've never lived there before, but there's a GO Train to Toronto, and the real estate prices are at least half of what they cost in the greater Toronto area. Reid will pick up some part-time teaching hours at a nearby college, open a private studio, and work with his agent to find performing opportunities. The plan is for me to stay home and write, after thirty-plus years of working as a clerk/administrative assistant in the insurance and post-secondary education industries. We hope to buy a house we can put a basement apartment into to help with the mortgage payments, so we'll be flying out to Hamilton in June to look at properties. The next three to four months will be crazy and stressful, but exciting.
I will be able to treat my writing as a full-time career and give it the time and energy it requires to be successful. A meeting with the Calgary IPAC group in April, where Dave Reynolds of the Calgary Chapters-Indigo bookstore chain spoke about getting your self-published books into Chapters on consignment, and new promotional ideas from my e-publisher, Books We Love, have made me realize that it will take a heck of a long time to finish my next book, Town Haunts, if I continue to write on a part-time basis. Since the best strategy to a successful career is to keep publishing books, I'm really glad that this opportunity to pursue my dream on a full-time basis has opened before me; glad, but scared.
So, now we need to sell our house in Turner Valley, find a loving home(s) for my daughter's two cats, comb through our accumulated junk (again) and pack up, find a place to live in Ontario - oh, and finish out the next couple of months at Mount Royal. "Easy peasy" my daughter, Kate, would say. And say goodbye to our youngest daughter, who will be staying here in Calgary as she pursues her acting career. We've put down roots in St. John's, Waterloo, Vancouver, and Calgary, and Laura is one root who will flourish here a while longer, until she realizes her dream to live in England, that is.
Goodbye, Alberta. Welcome home, Ontario.