A traveling meeting of the North Texas Troublemakers assembled this past weekend. The gathering included research, food, laughter, food, story swapping, ad-copy improvement, writing, and food and laughter.

The group started a few years ago, sort of. Like most mischief, it began with some passing comments, then some relocations. I “met” Lawdog, Peter and Dorothy Grant, and OldNFO through comments on their blogs. Peter and Dorothy happened to be on their way elsewhere and passed close to RedQuarters, so we got together. We hit it off from the start. They introduced me in person to the others, and again we got along well. We formed the “North Texas Pilots, Shooters, and Writers Association” (a shooting and flying club with a writing problem). Then more, and more writers, pilots, gun-fans, and so on gravitated toward northern Texas. A few folks who are not writers, pilots, or gun-buffs moved in, and a new name was coined for the group.

We’re a community of . . . heck if I know at this point. People who are curious, have seen the world (mostly), tend to be higher experienced* than our ages would suggest, and each have a wide range of interests. If there is one single commonality, I’d say curiosity. OK, that and a willingness to learn and to admit what we don’t know. All of us** are experts or close to it in a field, even if that isn’t our formal vocation or academic specialty. I think between us we’ve seen all the continents, although don’t hold me to Antarctica.

Otherwise? We’re all over the map in terms of interests, faiths, favorite foods, personal philosophies, looks, musical preferences, you name it. And we all get along, and encourage each other, and help out when needed. Its a voluntary community where we can disagree without being disagreeable. Um, with a few exceptions. Sugar or no sugar in cornbread, and marshmallows on sweet-potato casserole are topics that can get rather heated. Well, that and “what caliber for . . . ?”

We all want this crazy, loose group to work, so it does. I think that’s what makes any community function. Everyone agrees that there will be differences, and debates, and disagreements, and works around them, or lets things like “he has buffalo grass and I have Bermuda” go by. People are people. A working community finds ways to make the best of differences, and to tolerate a degree of eccentricity. But it won’t tolerate dangerous stuff, either. There’s a difference between “entertainingly eccentric” and “dangerously unbalanced.”

We’re a community by choice, self-selected to a degree, and somewhat off-kilter. And we like it that way. 🙂

*I will not say higher mileage. No, I will not.

**Not necessarily with an academic degree or professional license, although many of the group have a BA, MA, or multiple professional certifications. There’s a lot to be said for the slow accumulation of real knowledge over time, as opposed to getting an advanced academic degree.


13 thoughts on “Communities

  1. “He has buffalo grass and I have Bermuda” . . . but just wait until I introduce African kikuyu grass and it takes over the North American continent! Mwaaaahahahahaha . . .

  2. It’s never the clock hours, but always the mileage. Yes, it’s the extra miles that shook everything loose and broke things. After reading the anthologies and individual writers, y’all are having more fun than a barrel of monkeys armed with MP5s. Uh, did I just set off another religious war?

    • No, no, for that you’d have to insult the A-10 Warthog, or spit upon the teachings of Jeff Cooper… Of course, like any fractious community, you risk all of us uniting against you if you choose so poorly…

  3. I originally knew some of these folks from their blogs, then a podcast where I first heard them talking about Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International. I eventually (several years ago now) met OldNFO at a Larry Correia signing at Uncle Hugo’s. As a group, you guys provide an important part of what I read. Keep up the good work.

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