My wonderful friend the wonderful writer Aunt B. populated a good portion of the Best Of Nashville 2009 issue of the Scene, adding her warm and open take on the the things she thinks other Nashvillians should know about (including the fantastic blog by one of my other friends, Rachel Walden.
Because of Betsy I have a limited stay on my boycott of all things Scene, and I was merrily thumbing through the entries when I came across a plug for the Music City Romance Writers group. I assumed such a thing existed, but had never looked into it because of lack of nerves and preoccupation with niggling things like being well enough to take a shower.
But I figured I should join, because such a thing would be very good for me and very good for my discipline.
All the meetings are held at some retirement home. In Franklin.
I’m trying very hard not to use the other eff word (Franklin being an eff word to me right now), but come ON! Every time there’s a Nashville Writers’ Workshop it’s at the Factory. In Franklin. Or the Barnes and Noble. In Franklin.
Do we see a pattern here? I live in Hermitage, which is a suburb of Nashville. Unlike Franklin, which is ANOTHER CITY. If I want to go to Franklin it’s nearly an hour drive. To another city. As a suburbanite I grew up living outside the main city but going to the Downtown Library for any and all city events. My Sci Fi club met at the Library. My young writers’ workshops were at the library.
To me it seems only fair that an artistic endeavor meant for the people of a community would be held at a central location.
But ever since I’ve come to Nashville anything other than song-writing requires a jaunt to the posh neighbouring city of Franklin. In that way it has become a self-selecting group of those who can afford to live inwhat is considered the wealthiest county in the United States.
Yes. The whole country. When you factor in cost of living and per-capita income, Williamson County (not part of Nashville) is wealther than Beverly Hills, Valley Forge and Aspen.
And the egalitarian part of me gets a little bit miffed that so many of the things that are ostensibly part of Nashville get absorbed into the gaping maw of monied Williamson County. Struggling writers, poor writers, writers just getting their start–all of whom could really use a thing like a local chapter of a national writers’ organisation–are effectively barred from attending.
Franklin’s parasitic relationship to Nashville bothers a lot of people. For the past 20 years I’ve heard arguments about Williamson County residents using Davidson County goods and services while paying the bulk of their tax dollars to another municipality. I see both sides of that equation and have never really had a dog in that fight.
But now I kind of do. Because it seems only fair that something called the Music City Romance Writers would be located in….the music city.
To paraphrase Lisa Simpson: “Why would they hold our city’s writers’ workshop in another city?!?”