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The Great Open That Is Colorado

Believe it or not, I'm still on the sicker side of things. The cough lingers, as does the exhaustion. I left MileHiCon early yesterday, reaching home in mid-afternoon. By eight, I was in bed. Before nine, I was asleep. I awoke twelve hours later. Now, I've been up an entire five hours, and could sleep again if I permitted myself to crawl under the covers. Sigh.

Ad my mother is still sick, and my father came down with the same thing a few days ago, so we've three of us in the house trying to function while working to ensure no one breathes on Dev and adds him the sick list.

But if you ignore the week I spent mostly in bed, and the following week spent mostly wishing I could just go back to bed all over again, and this third week that will likely be spent recovering from not sleeping all weekend, I've had a pretty fine October. :)

Between BarCon-ing at Sirens and attending MileHiCon, I've met more local, supportive writers than in the entire eighteen years I spent in Indiana. It's the "supportive" part that has really blown my mind. Someone spent over an hour giving me wide-ranging information and references on alternative health, local gardening,
fandom, book readings, gem and mineral shows, museums and more. Local writers chatted about their projects, my projects, who meets up where, who to get in touch with about what, and so much more. Local martial artists gave me a run-down on different options, and shared hours talking about technique and physiology over drinks.

Here's the thing: In Indiana, there is an underlying vibe of turf-protection. Everything was some sort of zero-sum game. Collaboration was a thing of tension, because it might reveal a person of greater skill and competence. And this wasn't just among the writers. It happened in the alternative health community and the school system, and among speakers and event planners.

Now, I don't want to sound like Pollyanna here. I'm certain I'll be hitting brick walls and assholes along the way. But so far, whenever I've said, "I'm new in town, and here's what I'd love to do in the area," the common response has been, "Hey, I know someone or something that might be able to help you!" You know what I got for years in Indiana? "We don't need anyone to do that, and if we did, we already have someone who'd do it, and since you haven't already done it for us, what makes you think we'd let you?" The only place I felt I was considered wanted and competent was in my dojo. Small wonder I so feared leaving it behind.

When I have more expendable time--and that might be awhile, considering what's on my plate for writing, for SFWA, and for what will pay my bills--I'll give you the details about the panels and the people I met. In the meantime, I can say I'm happier and happier every day that I made the move to Colorado. :)


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 26th, 2015 08:09 pm (UTC)
You are sooooo lucky. And I'm sooooo happy for you. I'm glad you've found good people where you are.

And, sorry to hear the sick lingers. It sounds totally like what I have with the lingering cough and fatigue, too. I'd thought it was a sinus infection, but all my kids have come down with it, too. Judging from the incubation period, I think I bought it home from Sirens.

Hope you feel completely better soon!!!

Can't wait to hear more about the con!
Oct. 27th, 2015 03:16 pm (UTC)
I think we all brought it home from Sirens. Mine kicked in the Monday night after the con. I'm totally sorry you got hit with it, too.
Oct. 26th, 2015 08:25 pm (UTC)
Sorry you're sick.

Honestly, though, I'm not surprised about the cultural differences. I've always had the impression that Indiana sucked.

It's also been observed (not by me) that in the West there's often a general helpfulness that's a relic of frontier times, when people who weren't neighborly died from the various local hazards.
Oct. 27th, 2015 03:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah. There are some things I liked about Indiana, but I don't think I realized until I decided to step away just how damned stifling it all was. I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Come to find out, the "wrong" was "attempting to do business in Indiana."

And I've had locals reference the lingering frontier attitude, too! Honestly, I brushed it off as another version of Indiana's "We're all neighborly" claims. Now I know who has the same definition of neighborly as I do. :)
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 27th, 2015 03:26 pm (UTC)
Hey, you're part of the good stuff, and I so appreciate it! :)
Oct. 26th, 2015 08:54 pm (UTC)
That is so very promising!!!!!
Oct. 27th, 2015 03:28 pm (UTC)
Very much so!

It's easy, too, to fall into regretting staying in Indiana as long as I did. There were valid reasons to stay through this summer, but none that were critical had I understood exactly how different I'd find the culture.

So I keep telling myself now I'm making up for lost time, and moving forward at last. :)
Oct. 26th, 2015 09:05 pm (UTC)
This sounds really, really lovely and just goes to show that things **can** be different in different places. Let's hear it for friendly, supportive people.
Oct. 27th, 2015 03:33 pm (UTC)
So different, yes. :) I am loving the encouragement and the openness!
Oct. 28th, 2015 01:42 pm (UTC)
Good news on the persistence of "frontier values" in your new locale; and, wishing you a speedy and non-contagious recovery!
Oct. 29th, 2015 07:24 pm (UTC)
:) Thank you, on all counts!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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