Now What?

It’s ME, in an ugly sweater. Photo by Holly Ecker

There is more to that picture, of course, but I don’t reveal everything. When I way “Now, What?” I refer to how confusing some thing have become lately. Not politics, nothing from Washington has surprised me lately, but with the way life as a writer and a resident of my neighborhood has been churning.

I received the email notifying me that it’s time to renew my RWA membership this week. I can’t do it until they demonstrate that they’ve once again become a stable platform for advocacy and promotion of people writing romance. (Please don’t call them ‘bodice rippers,’ although there is this subgenre of erotica that, ahem.) They were always seemingly a rock of stability in an ever evolving world of publishing, but various developments have shaken that view considerably. For a more comprehensive view of how things developed in the organization, I invite you to read Nora Roberts’ Blog Post on the matter. I am still a member of SCBWI, but now each time I see something from them I flash onto the RWA scandal, and even though SCBWI doesn’t deserve it, I’m sorta off on the idea of large writers’ groups. Sorry, world. I’ll get better, I’m sure.

In my neighborhood we have been plagued the past six months or so with waves of homeless people sleeping in the wash (Flamingo Wash, the one that goes through the parking garage of that hotel you’ve heard about) and, in some cases, contributing to thefts, vandalism, noise, and of course, that stuff all humans make that most of us flush away. I’m not Pollyannaish enough to think that a neighborhood should all be clean and “nice.” In fact, I kind of dislike the concept of “nice,” especially when applied to language. But, that said, even though our house is fairly secure, a lot of neighbors are rather upset because their house isn’t so much secure, or they are Pollyanna enough to think nobody is going to drive off with their car if they warm it up out front, or both. (There is no need to warm up a car built since the mid-1970s, if not earlier. When I  lived in Minnesota, you’d take off as soon as you could get that sucker into gear.) While my sympathies vary somewhat with the circumstances surrounding each incident, I do not appreciate having my neighbors all upset over what is in fact a wide-spread social issue. Which means that action must be taken on local, county, state, and national levels if we want a peaceful neighborhood into the future.

There is a neighborhood group working with the county and Metro (the Las Vegas Police Department, headed by our elected Sheriff) to come up with solutions. And I’m pretty sure that there are solutions, but they all involve changes in behaviors and attitude not just amongst the homeless, but amongst the neighbors as well. Sigh.

Now What?

I guess I have only to wait to find out, huh?