Voltaire Is Right

Over this past weekend, Desirée Lee, our daughter, and myself made a trip over to Reno, Nevada for a family function. We left on Friday afternoon, spent the night is Sparks, Nevada—a suburb of Reno—attended the function Saturday, spent Saturday night in Sparks, and then made the trip home on Sunday. We were in the Victorian Inn while staying in Sparks, by the way. We were in Room 110 in case you’d like to stay in the same room in which two bestselling, award-winning authors stayed.


The trip over went smoothly, because our daughter slept most of the way. Coming home Sunday? That turned out to be a whole different matter. Sadly, our daughter has inherited my motion sickness. My own motion sickness is one of the reasons I’m an urban hermit.

Due to her motion sickness, we had to make several extra stops on the way home. One of those stops was at the one and only place to eat in a very small town. I don’t want to give the name of the town, or the establishment here, and risk upsetting any particular individuals. I’m trying to be better than that. The sign at the edge of town gave the population of this little burg as 750-something, if I remember correctly.

So, we stopped. Desirée and I were, as usual, wearing our pentacle amulets. Both of us are pagan, for those of you who didn’t already know. I’m Wiccan. She’s eclectic pagan. The place was busy. It seemed as if everyone in town was there at the same time. We went inside, and ordered. Everyone kept staring at us. Looks ranged from disgust to horror. Eyes would focus on the pentacles we were wearing, and then either narrow in anger, or widen in fear, before looking away. We ordered. We got our food—just a light snack to give our daughter’s stomach a bit of time to settle. We ate. We left. Granted, we weren’t there for long. But during the time we were there, the general feeling was one of open hostility toward us.

When we were back in the car, and leaving, I asked Desirée, “Was it just me, or did you have Voltaire’s song Hate Lives in a Small Town running through your mind, too?” She just laughed, and replied, “This is the kind of place that song was written about.” I, for one, was glad to be gone from that little town.

Why am I devoting a post on a blog about writing to talk about this? Partially, it is, I’ll admit, just to vent a little. But it’s also partly to repeat something I’ve said over and over and over and over again throughout the years—never upset an author! We spread word about all kinds of things. We communicate. That’s the very heart and soul of what we do as writers! Cross an author, and you’re liable to find a caricature of yourself in a book or movie. Granted, unless the stuck-up bigots in that town we stopped in know enough about paranormal, fantasy, and horror literature to recognize authors of such works on sight—which I highly doubt—then they didn’t know we were authors. But still…

Okay, I guess the point of this post really is more venting than anything. I just want people to open their minds. Just because someone doesn’t share your belief system doesn’t make them a bad person.

After that stop, I truly do need to agree with Voltaire, though—hate really does live in a small town!

Scott Harper

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