Saturday, April 10, 2010

The conference that ate me alive.

Officially Day 2 of AWP was a good one. Here is the data:
  • I cruised the book fair for a good period of time, and bought some chapbooks for the Publication Center, collected a massive amount of witty, arty, or informational postcards, bought a broadside, also for the Publication Center, and got ideas of places to send my work.
  • I went to a session about digital writing. It was great. One thing that was great about it was I realized that I had, effectively, taught myself how to do everything that was in the session last year on my sabbatical. Another great thing, however, is that I learned there is an organization that will teach you how to both make digital stories/essays (i.e., video essays), and how to teach others how to do it. Thirdly, I realized that I could do this at my own institution, and easily. I could set up workshops teaching teachers how to make their own and how to teach their students to make them. And now, I have a few more resources to call upon.
  • [there was another panel in here that has stimulated my thinking about another thing or two, but other than demonstrating my session-going diligence and virtue, I am too tired to explain it. British blah blah critical research etc., many important outcomes will derive and the world will be a better place because I went to this panel.]
  • I went to the University of Utah faculty and alumni reading. Dr. Write was, it must be said, the hit of the program. She was excellent, reading the story that appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and reading it very well.
  • I ran into two former students of mine, both of whom went on to finish B.A.s in English and then MFAs. It was nice to think that perhaps I played a small role in their development as writers.
  • Rather than fleeing the social scene of the hotel bar, this time I stayed, and did some world-class schmoozing, at least in my league. That would be the Pee Wee League, but still. A girl has to start. Anyhoo: I think there may be a panel proposal for next year in the offing, I have been formally introduced hither and thither, and reconnected with some writer friends from the days of yore. The kind of thing, you know, that is supposed to go on at conferences. Whoo hoo!
  • AND THEN there was a reception given by the U of U people, and again, rather than fleeing, I stayed, I socialized, I reconnected. AND THEN there was dinner with friends at a French-ish place:
Our Party (charming! high spirited!): How long for a table for four (with a dozen manifestly empty tables surrounding us, and it was almost 9 p.m.)?
Our hostess: Oh (surveying her table chart) that will be 30-40 minutes, or maybe never. Let's just say: when hell freezes over. [not what she really said, that last part]
Our Party: Wha????

Our hostess: (faintly starchy) Well, don't expect to come to our happening boite with no reservation on a Friday night and get a table, hicks/rubes from out of town. [not what she really said, that last part--or any of it.]
Well, once we actually got a table, it was great.

BUT, the people, that was an exhausting day, what with all the schmoozing and the socializing and the extending myself beyond my comfort zone. And today? Today, Officially Day 3 of AWP, it was a full-on conference exhaustion situation.

I will tell you all about it later. Because it's time to pack (WOE) and go to bed (cue: sound of angels singing).


  1. You are, it must be said, too kind.
    Thanks for being my partner in crime. I'm sorry we got separated during the action, because I would have liked to have seen your schmoozing.
    But, it must also be said, we had a raucous good time.

  2. Will next year's proposed panel be on schmoozing?



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