Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Inside Out - Identity, Culture, and Books in Bako

You can be an outsider and welcomed in. They're not mutually exclusive things. Often I feel like that, actually, more often I just feel outside.

But not in Bakersfield.

Honestly, I am a strange bird in Bakersfield. I'm a progressive Christian who drinks wine, rides on the back of motorcycles, paints, listens to hiphop AND folk music, and writes genre fiction. Even though my clothes are all a few years old, they're generally good quality stuff. You can't find organic cotton khakis everywhere...

It's no wonder the land of oil fields, Buck Owens, stetsons, and orange groves would be a little thrown by my preferences.

Regardless of how people think of me, they have been incredibly gracious and welcoming. Even though I am clearly a little weird, I have never felt like I wasn't wanted. It is a nice change from other places where I have lived, and I appreciate it every day.

This experience I am having in Bakersfield, I know, without a doubt, is playing out for Khloe in LOVERS AND RIVALS. I hadn't thought about it until today when I knew, despite differences in culture, I was still welcome. It is something that any outsider can appreciate. How do you deal with being in and out simultaneously? How do others? I lucked out a bit more than my main character, which was frankly unexpected. I am, however, so glad I was wrong.
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