I think of Key West as my home port; this small island surrounded by very large oceans is a resting place for me, as it is for the migrating birds that come here, and also a point of departure.
I’ve lived here for more than twenty years now, all of them in the same house with the same man! This kind of stability is so important – at least to me – as a writer. From here I can go out into the wider world. And it’s a rich melting-pot of people, stories, rumors, happenings, as well as weather.
My community is here, the community of writers and artists and readers and people interested in the arts that a writer needs. It’s where the yearly Literary Seminar brings new writers, both famous and not, to our island. It’s where the Studios of Key West host visiting writers and artists, film-makers and musicians, just two blocks from where I live. It’s where I can hear good music, and see great movies, and go to the theatre to see good plays.
But the friendships we’ve nurtured here over the years are what really make it for me; we let each other go, we welcome each other back, we know what we are trying to do, we encourage each other to do it.
Then, of course, there’s the weather… beautiful, mostly warm, and ever-changing.