My 19-year-old, Ella, promises that she's going to read my next book, If You Could Live Anywhere. Like, for real. She means it this time.

Not the first one, This Is Where You Belong. That book, she's only dipped into the index and found all the pages that mention her. A year post–high school, Ella's barely starting to see reading as a pleasure and not something to SparkNotes your way out of. But after a surprise Covid gap year of working and car-camping her way around the Southwest, where to live and what makes a great place for her is something she thinks about a lot. "I'm going to read it," she tells me. "I'm actually interested."

College first. She just moved to Salt Lake City, where she's unintentionally turbo-boosting her place attachment with hikes, outdoor concerts, and pizza excursions with new friends. Will she ever want to leave? Uncertain. But if she does manage to read If You Could Live Anywhere, I think the book will help her figure it out. (Maybe she'll just look at the index.)
Shameless self-promotion portion of the newsletter: Book #2, If You Could Live Anywhere, is emerging from revisions and heading your way June 2022! I have a story in the September print edition of Good Housekeeping (sorry, it's not online) about a New York City schoolteacher who was her students' 9/11 hero. And in the vein of writing about inspiring people, I won an award! Care to be in a magazine yourself? Email me about an inspiring or tear-jerking holiday experience you've had for an article I'm writing for Woman's Day.
7 items of interest
  1. A traveling beach ball is one of the weirder ways I've heard of to bring a town together.
  2. If I could start one place-based program in Blacksburg, it would be something like this.
  3. Sometimes you find a life-giving third place, sometimes you just lower your expectations.
  4. "I wanted to find a way to be happy here." I'm a huge fan of Kristin Tovar and the work she's done to make Tucson her place.
  5. My favorite story from the Olympics was how ecstatic Seward, Alaska, was for hometown girl Lydia Jacoby.
  6. Carolyn Hax, the WashPo advice columnist I read religiously, on how to make a place choice: "At any time, you can stop and decide to stay put." And if that doesn't do you, Eleanor Gordon-Smith chimes in too.
  7. An argument for time as the most ingenious urban design tool, especially during the pandemic.
xoxo, Melody
P.S.—As always, random bonus material for reading this far: You needed to see this magnificence again, right? This is SO my marriage. I got 100% on this quiz and have never been prouder of anything in my life. This book wrecked me; this one I chugged in a day. My daughter joined marching band (though not this one). Mildly infuriating indeed. Season 2 of this Parisian real estate reality show s'il vous plait! For your dad joke arsenal. A strange story from the publishing world. Modern dance at its finest.
Copyright © 2021 Melody Warnick, All rights reserved.

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Melody Warnick · 1006 Kentwood Dr · Blacksburg, VA 24060 · USA

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