Farewell, New England. Hello, San Francisco Bay Area.

Maybe you've noticed that I haven't been as active on the Fire Escape or on social media lately. Here's why: after 12+ years in beautiful Boston, my husband was offered a new job and we're moving back to the San Francisco Bay Area this summer. We'll be living in the East Bay, close to my parents and sister and near Saint Mary's College of California, where our sons attend and where I've taught a course on children's books for the past two January terms.

It's been a sweet season: we raised our sons here from second grade until the college launch. Our church is my home away from home. As for my writing vocation, the children's literature community here in Boston is nonpareil. I will miss the schools, colleges, and libraries I visit every year. Charlesbridge and Candlewick, two of my publishers, are here. My work has been enriched by New England organizations like the New England Booksellers Association, the Foundation of Children's Books, Primary Source, the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Grub Street, MSLA, MLABoston Author's Club, Associates of the Boston Public Library, and others. My books have launched at excellent independent bookstores like Newtonville Books, Porter Square Books, and Wellesley Bookstore, and supported by stellar libraries, including my very own Newton Free Library. Last but not least, my writing buddies have made this vocation ten times as fun and significantly less lonely. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am sad to lose you all.

For those in the Boston area, my friend Karen Day is hosting a farewell party for me in Newton on May 11 from 3-5. If you're interested in stopping by, drop me an email RSVP and we'll send you the address: mitaliperk-at-yahoo-dot-com. Peace be with you, New England. San Francisco Bay Area, here I come.