Gratitude post #12: The Middle


Say it loud: I’m Nebraskan/Minnesotan and I’m proud! And I’m grateful to be a Midwesterner.

Hear that big THUD that happens when those words land in empty silence?

This post used to be a rant about those folks in publishing who have no time nor energy to waste on those who live in flyover country. I decided not to be a hater, even though I was sorely tempted, when I realized most of the publishing folks *I’ve* worked with (from everywhere) have been OK with my Midwestern-ness. Instead, let me just celebrate a few examples of Midwestern brilliance, quietly chipping away at the East Coast and/or Left Coast myths that nobody talented lives here or is from here.

Take the former poet laureate of the United States, Ted Kooser. Ted is the fucking MAN, and he is so happening and fabulous, he is from Nebraska (via Iowa), just like me. I wept, for joy and homesickness, when he was chosen. In the Minnesota creative community, either emerging from here or living here now, barely scratching the surface, we have Kate DiCamillo, Pete Docter (of Pixar) and the Coen Brothers. Some publishing personnel might think that we’re square, stupid, and backwards, but let me tell you, Midwesterners persevere, just like the wind and the fields and the sunsets.

I love New York City and California–truly, I love to visit and I love the energy–but I also love my Midwestern writing community, my Midwestern publisher (who publishes fantastic writers from everywhere), and my Midwestern life. While I don’t glitter like CA or move at the speed of light like NYC, my Midwestern cool its its own gift, handed down from the big, wide-open sky.

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