|me, super tired at the weave table @ awp 2009|
I've been asked to be an AWP spy.
Spying on what, exactly? Not sure yet. My mission is still unclear. Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure I'll be the worst spy in history. Especially since I told you that I am one. Also, spies have to be short, like Tom Cruise. At 5'10", even if I was a man, I'd be pushing it. I will stick out in the hoards of other anxious, awkward writers like a big, loud, sweaty, sore thumb. Well, I'm not that tall, but I like wearing heels these days.
Yeah so, it's almost AWP and I'm blogging about it now since everyone does their requisite "AWP wrap-up" post. I'm breaking the rules. That's what spies do!
So I'm going to wrap up AWP before AWP. Here's how it will go/goes/went:
WEDNESDAY: After flying to Chicago (which is crazy stressful) I am jumpy and excited when I see all my Pittsburgh/Grad School friends at the hotel. I also run into friends from other jobs and cities and I'm just as excited. I grab a drink with my friends, feel happy and excited to talk with East Coasters for an hour or so. But also I start yawning because I'm so beat from traveling. Head back to the hotel room early and hit the hay, since I want to be awake the next day for an early panel. I call Sal before I go to bed to tell him I miss him.
THURSDAY: Sleep late. Because of the time difference, I say. Then spend too much time picking out an outfit, one that doesn't look like I took too much time. I also wear makeup. Since I'm starving by now, I pay lots of money for a dry banana nut muffin and an apple. I then make a trip to the Weave table to ensure that my minions have what they need, before I do a few laps around the book fair. Part way through the book fair, I panic from the crowds. I probably panic in front of a table for a cool indie journal that gives away matchbooks or shot glasses. It takes me 20 minutes to find a bathroom where I splash water on my face. Deep breath. While leaving, I run into a friend who's going to a panel that sounds interesting enough. I forget the panels I wanted to see that day anyway and I left my list in the hotel room. Meet up with friends for lunch. I promise someone I'm going to try to make it to her off-site reading, knowing I probably won't. Head back to the hotel room to nap. Wake up, hit an afternoon poetry reading with my favorite poet. Skip dinner. Too nervous, because I'm reading tonight. Then back to the hotel room again to shower and dress for the reading. Read. See friends. They tell me how they love my dress, because it's really cute. I introduce these people to those people. Following the reading I am either exhausted or energized. Either way, I end up back in the hotel room by 9:30. Because of the time difference, I say. Call Sal before I go to bed to tell him I miss him.
FRIDAY: See Thursday. Minus the reading. End the night getting tipsy at the AWP Social Dance Thing, where someone with the AWP takes an awesome picture of the crowd and I undoubtedly make an equally awesome face, like this:
SATURDAY: Book fair day. My friend Angela and I take turns making awkward conversation with writers at the Weave table. I meet some contributors who stop by. Chat with editors. Wander the book fair and spend more than my budget on books. Lunch at the table. People come over to the table to find out what I'm doing tonight. I say I'm not sure yet, but secretly plan hide in the hotel room and read the books I bought. Once I get to the hotel room, I'm in my jammies reading and journaling when friends try to convince me to hang out. I try to convince them to stay in and order a pizza. Neither of us are convinced, so I say goodbye to my friends, cuddling under the covers to watch Parks and Rec on my laptop. Before I go to sleep, I'll call Sal to tell him I miss him.
Whew. I'm tired just from writing that imagined account. If this is your first time at AWP, check out novelist Leslie Pietrzyk's advice on surviving AWP. I'm off to buy some spy gear.