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.
Check Out These Great Upcoming Writers Conferences:
- Feb. 11, 2017: Writers Conference of Minnesota (St. Paul, MN)
- Feb. 16–19, 2017: San Francisco Writers Conference (San Francisco, CA)
- Feb. 24, 2017: The Alabama Writers Conference (Birmingham, AL)
- Feb. 25, 2017: Atlanta Writing Workshop (Atlanta, GA)
- March 25, 2017: Michigan Writers Conference (Detroit, MI)
- March 25, 2017: Kansas City Writing Workshop (Kansas City, MO)
- April 8, 2017: Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
- April 22, 2017: Get Published in Kentucky Conference (Louisville, KY)
- April 22, 2017: New Orleans Writers Conference (New Orleans, LA)
- May 6, 2017: Seattle Writers Conference (Seattle, WA)
- May 19–21, 2017: PennWriters Conference (Pittsburgh, PA)
- June 24, 2017: The Writing Workshop of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
- Aug. 18–20, 2017: Writer's Digest Conference (New York, NY)
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.