Anjali Patel

writer & software engineer

there and back again

I said in my last post that updates are owed, and here they are:

Back in May, I reached my limit. After a slew of apartment issues, I said “screw this, I’m out.” And I did not just mean out of my apartment, I meant out of the city.

With the help of a friend, I moved almost everything into storage and drove out west to stay in New Mexico alone with my dog. It was an escape route I had fantasized about for years, a conduit for daydreams about adobe buildings, women-owned craft co-ops, and evening hours whittled away by writing in the waning desert light.

I had hoped to stay in Colorado after, but with remote work still an option for many, others had the same idea and short term housing was in limited supply. Each place that looked promising fell through at the last minute because someone put down a deposit in person or didn’t have a pet or was willing to pay more money. I ended up in a hotel with a decision to make: where to go next.

Originally, I had been keen to continue west until I hit ocean. But there was the reality of driving through desert and mountains and smoke and mudslides and swaths of flyover country alone for long stretches of time while working full time and caring for an anxious dog who cannot be out of my sight without having a meltdown. It was a romantic notion and maybe doable for someone braver or with more stamina. For a number of reasons, it felt like not the right time. I turned around.

So for now, my homebase is once again New York. My apartment is almost unpacked and starting to feel a little bit like home. I have my own office that I am looking forward to transforming into a full-on crafting/writing space. Also, I love the neighborhood — there’s a dog park and some truly phenomenal food options nearby. For now, I cannot ask for much more.

I’ve had several new pieces published since the last time I wrote: “Ember,” (Flash Fiction Online) a story about what happens when we unbridle and stand in our rage; “Bright Lights Flying Beneath The Ocean,” (Escape Pod) where I use my fascination with physics and the internet to sort through a fear of the future; “Monologue of a Wishing Well,” (Translunar Traveler's Lounge) which is light and snarky and very precious to me. I also have a story forthcoming in the “Bridge to Elsewhere” anthology called “Meteorites,” loosely inspired by Ray Bradbury’s “Kaleidoscope.”

I would have loved to have devoted any one of these stories and any one of my recent life developments to an entire post, but alas. Sometimes writing is just as much about the living as it is about the writing. These past few months, I have been putting the living first.

From the compost bin: #

"I put cinnamon in my coffee when I miss her, which is always."