I have been ravenously social lately. I haven't felt like this since I was a young man. Honestly, I never felt quite this socially omnivorous, even as a young man. As much as I want to be around people, it's all because I want to enjoy them. I was a little more utilitarian about my relationships with people when I was younger.
This weekend, I attended an informal writers retreat. I hung out with eight other genre writers at a cabin a little North of Kalamazoo for two days. The whole experience was so much fun. It's always nice to get away. The drive was lovely, and the view out the back of the cabin, which looked out over a lake, was fantastic.
My fellow writers were polite, kind, and hugely funny. They were all very familiar with a certain cross section of fandom, and everybody except me knew everybody very well. The level of in jokes was staggering and pleasantly bewildering. I got very edumicated about FanFic, FanVids, and other kinds of new subcultural hybrids. It was like getting a free pass to somebody else's life.
I would have liked to get more writing done. I found it distracting to listen to a bunch of other people type, oddly enough. There was something hypnotizing about the patter of eighty other fingers on keyboards. But I still got nine pages done and reviewed some stories I'd been noodling with, and so felt good about that.
The organizer of the retreat seems to have a habit of collecting writey people that she likes and condensing them into a group. That's a great formula for a fun weekend: activity based socializing. I'm wondering how I could duplicate that locally without a cabin.
I liked every body there, which was very nice. Mer has a knack for collecting really nice people. As I mentioned above, I've been doing a bit of people collecting myself. What seems really strange to me is that my taste in people hasn't really changed in thirty nine years. People with marginal interests, often similar to mine, especially young women. Actually, I've been getting interested in young men, too. As a young man, I often felt like I was in competition with other young men. I don't, now, and their energy is often as good as young womans.
Why young people? Well, for the same reason I like hanging out with people who have marginal interests. They are doing things that they are passionate about. Largely, the passion of people in their twenties has to do with newness fo the things they are doing, I think. Much like I like my kid because she finds everything new. The newness that twenty somethings get exposed to is the newness of responsibility and discipline, of finding security. I like watching how other people handle those things. They are invariably better at those things than I was. I like to applaud people their new skills.
Anyways, huge fun.