Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This Wouldn't Happen To A New Yorker

I was reading last month's issue of Locus Magazine (a SF semi-pro mag popular with trade professionals), and it mentioned Clarion West's 25th anniversary session this summer. Clarion West is a SF writing workshop I dream of attending some day, although it will probably never happen. I can't afford to take six weeks off from work and fly to Seattle, although that would be a blast. The workshop's proximity to the Sci-Fi Hall of Fame and various SF-related shindigs that go down in the city around the same time make it quite the learning experience for up-and-coming writers in the field.

There's also Clarion in San Diego, another one I would love to go to but will never make it there due to the long distance and cost. You West Coast people have an unfair advantage when it comes to all the cool sci-fi conventions and/or workshops within easy driving distance. Especially those of you in SoCal. Boo!!!!

Anyway, I was reading the article when I got to the part where it said someone had gotten into the dorm during class and stole 4 of the students' laptops. That truly sucks. Luckily--and this only goes to show you the awesomeness of the close-knit SF community on a whole--a bunch of writers and instructors passed word of the theft along the network and were able to gather up enough donations to completely replace the stolen laptops, with the leftover funds going to the workshop. Cory Doctorow, one of the guest writers in attendance, even donated his entire instructor's fee to the cause. Wow!

Still, it got me to thinking back to my college days in a quaint little village in rural Vermont. And how many of the students would leave their dorm rooms unlocked. Except for me, the kid from the South Bronx who knew better. I don't care if I'm shacking up in the Dalai Lama's temple -- no matter where this city kid goes, it's not without locking up EVERYTHING I own. Twice!

I never understood people who are so naive to believe that no one will steal your stuff when you're not looking. Not locking your door is just asking for trouble, as far as city folk are concerned.


  1. i can't tell you how excited i was when clarion moved to san diego. but it isn't something for me, alas. the six weeks is difficult AND i'm concentrating on novel writing now. but but but-when i found out NG was a faculty member this past summer, oh how i wish i could have applied! =)

    at least i got a foto with him.

  2. Yeah, yeah you know it. I've been many places and it always amazed me how naively trusting people are. Mostly white and asian people. A few country Black people. My friends would always be buggin' about me lockin' shit up and I'd look at them like they were completely stupid. I KNOW they'd heard stories of or knew someone who's shit got taken so why wouldn't you do the simplest thing to protect your shit? Lock it up. I know cats who'd leave their damn cars unlocked to run in the store. Sometimes with the KEYS still in the ignition! Stupid. I know a guy who's car was stolen doing that shit. And people say I'm crazy! I lock up EVERYTHING! Leaving your things unlocked is like putting your complete trust in people you don't know. How monumentally STUPID is that?! I don't get people. Actually , I do get it but I ain't writing it down now. Good post.

  3. I think it's more of a rural vs urban thing, as opposed to white vs black thing, actually. Like you said, even "country black" folk make this mistake. And it's not a slam against rural and suburban people. I *wish* we could all live in a world where such trust is the norm.

    And, Cindy, yes I remember reading NG was one of the instructor's this year. That's always an added incentive, when someone you really admire as a writer is one of the guest instructors.


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