Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fragmentary Disorder

WOW there is so much.

I went to AWP. I workshopped a story that I kind of hate and it was well-liked. I went to an insane reading featuring some of the most interesting women in the nation. I caught a cold and failed to finish reading three! THREE! of the books assigned for homework in the last month. (Three! Who even am I?) I was awkward to Kelly Link and I hugged the writer of one of the best essays I've ever read. I spent way too much money and I can't wait to get my next tattoo. I had an epiphany or three. My apartment is messy and I (finally) don't give a hoot. I found out that at least one L.A. rooftop hotel bar has weird little waterbeds and is just as douchetastic and horrible as you might imagine, unless you're there with a clutch of badass women. I am itchy and miserable about all the ordinary job/school/cooking things in my life, but I am so happy to be living the life I have.

Oh, and Star Wars. Yeah. Whee.

Art by Paul Fricke

I want to put together a genuine AWP breakdown post, for the sake of at least one friend who wanted to know how it went down, but this will not be that. This is more of an "I'm still planning to blog here, I swear, but my life is hilariously messy and I need to find the narrative thread buried under piles of tote bags and book swag" post.

This is easily the least troublesome cold I've ever had. 3/5 stars, would get again if I had to. But it's making me tired and cranky and bad at concentrating and socializing.

My solitary goal for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference, or AWP, was to get as many tote bags as humanly possible. I got seven over the three days. Win! I also got a pile of books, and the advice I got to wait until the last day to buy books was correct. None of the presses wanted to ship their stuff back home, if they were located elsewhere than in L.A., so there were fire sales and how. I did very well.

I also saw many extremely famous writers and met a couple of them. I learned that prose chapbooks are indeed a thing, more so than in years past, which is encouraging. I drank free wine.

I am ready to revise some sections of the secret project after feedback from two readers. I definitely want to clip out its imperfections, but I want to do that without "fixing" it to any mainstream specifications. I hope I'll be able to set aside some time for that this weekend.

In general, my life has slowed down after a freaking insane March couple of months 2016 so far. (So, again, if I had to catch a cold, now is the right time.) I am having that old sensation of wanting my time back, looking forward to summer and no school schedule and reading piles of books. At the same time, I'm panicking slightly because I'll actually be halfway done with my MA after this semester, and then what?

Then what?

I want to apply for a crazy long shot Bay Area thing (again), and I'd like to teach workshops. But beyond that - and this was shored up firmly by the experience of AWP - I just want to write books. I want my life to go into the next phase, the phase where I can write books and see them in print.

I don't know how to do that yet. I thought I'd know, or be at the halfway point of knowing, by now.

Anyway. Stay tuned! Much more about AWP and other writing things to come.

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