Archived Post, 2012
All my life, I’ve lived in large cities–Buenos Aires, where I was born; Miami, where I grew up; Cambridge, where I attended college; and Los Angeles, where I live now. My high school class had over 800 students; my college class over 1,500. And yet, I’ve set nearly every story I’ve ever written at a small school, in a small town. (So much for writing what you know…)
I’m sure friends who grew up in small towns will disagree with me, but it sounds kind of charming to have grown up in a small place, to have memories filled with one group of people, to travel home and find almost everyone still there, mostly unchanged. Like locking up your childhood in a snow globe and giving it a good shake every time you want to revisit it.
My childhood isn’t as intact or easy to get back to. I attended elementary, middle, and high schools in different parts of South Florida, with so many kids that I could never know them all, everyone mostly scattered now. My core group of friends scattered by more than just geography.
Family isn’t immune, either. My sister lives in New York, my dad lives in Spain, and my mom remains in Miami. So I perch in my adopted city, and I write about new (and smaller) places, new (but familiar) people, new (often magical) stories–a collection of snow globes I can always shake and revisit.