NETWO Writers Conference: My Adventures in East Texas …

Just got back from a camp neat Pittsburg, Texas, in the eastern portion of the state, and the Northeast Texas Writers’ Organization Annual Conference. The conference went well and the attendees/organizers were remarkably nice. It seemed like every person I met with was just so pleased with my advice.  I think it was more their zest for life than me firing wisdom pearls all the time.

The conference was held at a Lutheran camp site essentially in the middle of nowhere, which was a rare chance for me to relive my Boy Scout days.  We stayed in cabins, not hotels, and nary a TV or iron was around.  There were instructions in our cabins concerning how we should treat fire ant bites. (At the risk of sounding a tad wussy, this concerned me.) I did return back to the cabin the first night to find a black spider right on my bed. He did not live long.


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So these past two weekends, I’ve had the chance to visit northern Vermont and eastern Texas. Here’s my breakdown after having visited both.  Burlington is a city full of super liberals. You’ve got a large population of college liberals there with the University of Vermont in town; restaurants state loud and clear on menus that their food is organic and the food made locally (because this is a selling point to the “localvores” in town); and every telephone pole is covered in signs for independent rock bands.  That’s Burlington in a nutshell. 

East Texas is (you guessed it) the opposite. It’s a hub of Baptist/Lutheran conservatives and you can’t go far without a sign or bumper sticker that praises God and/or Jesus. When we were served lunch, our placemats were the American flag. Our placemats!

But more so than the simple difference in political ideology and lifestyle is this: Vermont is self-aware that it is super liberal Vermont. East Texas thinks its way of thinking is how the rest of the world is, or at least should be. That’s Texas in a nutshell.



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One thought on “NETWO Writers Conference: My Adventures in East Texas …

  1. Angie

    Oh, please let me make one thing clear: East Texas is NOT like the rest of Texas! The other parts of Texas cannot STAND East Texas – not the people, nor the landscape! Please do not judge the rest of the state based on the most backwoods, inbred, ignorant hick-infested part of the state. Hell, if you ask people from other parts of Texas, *they* claim that East Texas (or anything East of US-59) is actually part of Northern Louisiana! Even Houston (which, if you look, is actually in E TX) calls itself SE TX, for fear of being lumped in with those rednecks.

    I know this is an old blog, but I just thought I’d mention it! 🙂


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