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The Writer's Life

Northwestward Ho

Get out the flannel shirts; let the hair grow a little longer. Invest in a pair of hiking boots. We are northwestward bound.

My lovely wife, Dona, has achieved the goal she set when we moved to Michigan nearly eight years ago—this week she was offered the position as President and CEO of the United Way of Pierce County in Washington, and we’ll be off to Tacoma for the next chapter in this shared adventure before we know it.

! ! ! ! !

As a writer I can write anywhere, but to be headed to one of the country’s most vibrant writing and arts regions, well that makes me want to shout non-writerly things like amazing! incredible! awesome! I did my master’s work just up the road on Whidbey Island, and I still have many writer friends in the area. I hope to become immersed in the writing scene there, maybe even make some connections to get this writing career out of first gear.

We are still wondering if it’s a dream. Everything we planned has turned out even better than imagined so far. Don’t wake me yet.

So much to do. Dona will head northwest in January. I will stay here for as long as it takes to sell the house and handle the minutiae of exit strategy: job, utilities, eight years of junk in the house. The hardest part will be saying goodbye to my writer friends here.

The story continues… and it’s just getting started.


About Joe Ponepinto

Co-publisher, with Kelly Davio, of Tahoma Literary Review. Author of "Curtain Calls," a featured Kirkus Review. Married to Dona. Dad to Henry, the coffee-drinkin' dog.


30 thoughts on “Northwestward Ho

  1. Congratulations to you and Dona!!! On to the next chapter, in one of my favorite places around. Dreams do come true.

    Posted by Teri | November 23, 2013, 2:06 PM
  2. Dear Joe, I guess all I have to do in order to hit the hot-spots of writerly activity is trail along behind you as you move from Southwest, to Northwest, to far Northwest, all while seated comfortably in my own easy chair in the Northeast (another spot not unknown for writers). All the best to you and Dona, congratulations, and don’t forget about us armchair tourists as you go (i.e., there’s room here, if you care to exploit it, for a series of travelogue adventures as you eventually go, like “Where I ate the best chili/ribs/mac and cheese deluxe” or “where the locals and I hit it off big-time” or etc.).

    Posted by shadowoperator | November 23, 2013, 2:19 PM
  3. Congratulations, Joe and Dona!!! And congratulations to me, since I am right down the road in Lacey.

    Posted by Averil Dean | November 23, 2013, 2:26 PM
  4. Congrats Joe!!! and to Dona too. My guess is you will love it there. Lots of writing energy. Do stop by Hugo House to soak some of it in. maybe on my next annual visit to my old stomping grounds I’ll look you up to see how you’re doing. (BTW, it’s PIERCE County– you’ll want to get the wife’s job title right :-). ).

    Posted by Betty Ruddy | November 23, 2013, 2:37 PM
    • Hugo House is at the top of my list. And thanks for the correction. Good thing I am not designing her business cards.

      Posted by jpon | November 23, 2013, 2:46 PM
  5. Ausgezeichnet, Joe, and congratulations to both you and your wife!

    Oh, and the Grunge look…used to live that as a kid…and it’s my dream to return to (and get some wooded acreage behind the house, so you can get all Henry David [Thoreau] on your new self!)….

    Keep dreaming, man, keep DREAMING!

    Posted by fpdorchak | November 23, 2013, 3:08 PM
  6. Hearty congrats to you and Dona. It’s so fabulous when things you’ve been planning fall in place. Moving is the perfect opportunity to get rid of all the junk and change a little. I envy you.

    Posted by girl in the hat | November 23, 2013, 3:46 PM
  7. Congratulations to you and Dona. I have family members out there. It’s a beautiful area of the country. You’ll certainly be missed in Detroit, though.

    Posted by michellemorouse | November 23, 2013, 4:59 PM
  8. I shall miss you terribly.

    Posted by Jon Zech | November 23, 2013, 7:45 PM
  9. I wish you both the best. You’ll both be missed. I know that you’ll achieve all your heart’s desire.

    Posted by nadiaibrashi | November 23, 2013, 8:08 PM
  10. Congratulations! I am so happy for you and Dona. xo

    Posted by Darrelyn Saloom | November 23, 2013, 10:20 PM
  11. What exciting news, Joe – I can hear it in your words! A prestigious career step for your wife, and a new adventure for you both. The Pacific Northwest is breathtaking. Congratulations.

    Posted by Gwen Stephens | November 24, 2013, 12:31 PM
  12. Love it! So happy for Dona! I actually tear up when I think about it!!! Happy for you both! Henry, well I am a bit worried about how he will do in the rain…I think a great doggie raincoat needs to be purchased.

    Posted by Sadie B | November 25, 2013, 2:40 PM
    • Thanks, Sadie! We re ready to go. As for Henry, don’t worry about him getting wet. He’s like Newman on Seinfeld—he doesn’t work in the rain.

      Posted by jpon | November 25, 2013, 2:51 PM
  13. Congratulations to both of you! Outstanding!

    Posted by booksentinel | November 26, 2013, 5:14 PM

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