So instead, I've broken the story. Edited it down to a few snippets of text, key lessons learned, photos found and photos taken, random beverages consumed. I present it to you here in a mosaic or chiaroscuro structure, if you would like a label for it. (Writers like labels.)
It might not give you a true picture of what AWP is all about, but it does bring you a little closer to my rather blurry state of mind during and after that recent event. And maybe that's something.
Wednesday, March 6th.
Lesson Learned: Pre-register, and show up on the first day of registration if you can. (Bonus lesson. The fee for a replacement badge is $50. Do not lose your badge.)
Sonsie Boston in their Wine Room. Because, you know, wine and cocktails.
I look up and see another introverted male standing not far from my corner, glancing up from his own smartphone. We quickly look away after that terrifying moment of recognition.
He is wearing a porkpie hat.
Lessons Learned: Don't go to parties where you don't know anybody if you're not willing to make the effort to get to know people. Don't wear porkpie hats.
Beverages Consumed: One glass cabernet sauvignon.
Thursday, March 7th.
Lessons Learned: Use the Coat Check. Have Second and Third Choices on Your Schedule.
Looks like 80% of all AWP attendees are female. Why does the VIDA report continue to be so bad?
Lesson Learned: Take Better Notes. Go to Lunch with Sally Bunch. Don't Grow a Beard.
Seventeen pounds. Here's most of it.
Lesson Learned: Don't Go Crazy in the Bookfair. At Least, Not on the First Day.
Thursday Night, Grub Street's Get Lit party at Storyville in Boston.
Lesson Learned: People You Know Will Introduce You to People They Know That You Don't. Cathy Elcik is a Trusting Soul.
Beverages Consumed: Two Dunkin' Donuts regular coffees, one medium, one large. Two vodka collins's, two vodka gimlets.
Friday, March 8.
Another eight pounds.
Craft panels in small rooms with large audiences.
I win a Sundog Lit mug.
Back to Storyville, readings sponsored by The Drum.
Was Chris Castellani wearing orange pants?
Ask a roomful of fiction writers to tell you their greatest transgression. What are the odds they're making it up?
Beverages Consumed: Two Dunkin' Donuts regular coffees, one medium, one large. Three bottles of random German white beer.
Always stay awake for Richard Russo. Buy Amy Bloom's book.
Is this Saturday? Rise and shine, Sunshine.
Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right, Stuck in the Middle of the Story.
Handouts! Much sage advice.
Sex writers like reading their own work.
Sex scenes structure themselves. Desire, rising action, climax, afterglow.
Book Purchases On-Site and in my Amazon Cart:
DEVANGELICAL, Erika Rae
WHERE THE GOD OF LOVE HANGS OUT, Amy Bloom
DELICATE EDIBLE BIRDS: AND OTHER STORIES, Lauren Groff
NEWS FROM HEAVEN: THE BAKERTON STORIES, Jennifer Haigh
PRACTICAL MAGIC, Alice Hoffman
HOLY GHOST GIRL: A MEMOIR, Donna Johnson
CHARITY GIRL, Michael Lowenthal
THIS IS NOT YOUR CITY, Caitlin Horrocks
ANGELS: A NOVEL, Denis Johnson
NARRATIVE DESIGN, Madison Smartt Bell
THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER, Tom Perrotta
Final Beverage Consumed: Mudslide in a Red Solo Cup.
Thanks for Reading,