I joined my first writing program in San Francisco in 2006 and it was great. But—it was just that, a writing program geared toward including a lot of members. The structure was based on a community numbering around 50 different writers. I got a lot of work done in the program (started and finished my first novel), but I didn’t make the close friends I was hoping to find there.
In 2006 I was living in San Francisco, working at a private detective agency, and thinking about picking up writing again. I had moved to San Francisco in 2004 and I had quit drinking in 2005. For the past couple of years I had felt lost and confused. I didn’t really know what to do with myself if alcohol wasn’t going to be a major part of my life. I’d used it for a long time to numb myself and block my emotions—especially those emotions I felt around writing.