I got to thinking about how sometimes we find ourselves isolated from the people we most need to connect with. I'm speaking in the literal, geographical sense now. We live on a lovely hilltop with a breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge. This is a small and wonderfully equipped town with facilities better and more numerous than any other place we've lived (except for me because I grew up in NYC). Still, as a writer, I find myself separated from the fertilizing influence of other writers.
This is, in part, a function of our situation in a retirement community with almost more to do than we had when we were young and working. We have one car. We don't often drive more than a few miles at night. And most important of all, we're transplants.
I'm a member of the North Carolina Writers Network, but most meetings and conferences are much too far away for me to get to if I can afford one. So...after more than ten years as a Tarheel by adoption, some of these notes address this. I wonder, for example, whether North Carolina writers are considered to be that because they write about North Carolina, or because they are North Carolina residents. If one is the latter (like me), is my writing that isn't about or set in North Carolina automatically excluded from the group I feel I ought to belong to?
Occasionally I feel called upon to explain that I'm only half a damn Yankee because my father was born in Memphis (TN, that is). I also remember my paternal grandmother trying to explain to me about a true superiority complex. She said it was what set a Southerner (NB capital letter) apart from the rest of the world. The Southerner, secure in the knowledge that s/he's better than anyone else, need not push, brag, or disrespect anyone. One of her favorite phrases (voiced in her east side apartment in Manhattan) was, "Noblesse oblige."
So you can see how sometimes the hilltop gets just a mite lonely, can't you?