Thursday, March 06, 2014

AWP 2014 Roundup

The journey started Monday in the bustle of Union Station and ended a week and a half later in a quiet, 5am, return to the same place. As expected, I loved the train, though, and slept on an off both day and night, occupying myself on the way out with an mp3 player of seventies tunes stolen from my mother and a trashy novel, but mostly staring out into the dark outside the train windows and taking photos during the day. Five states, two days, and the continuing thread were so many of these odd, impromtu dumps. A vintage car rusted out in the middle of a field. An odd assortment of busted washing machines and other detritus along a fence line. Almost as if the residents of the state just walked into the middle of nowhere and decided to dump all their old belongings. In one field, there were some adorable, slightly largish, white rabbits (snowshoe hares?) playing & frollicking amongst the wreckage. It would be a beautiful trip if it were summer, but now it's been mostly snow, sometimes more, sometimes less.

Seattle was definitely warmer, oddly not too rainy much of the time I was there and filled with all sorts of cool things. I always joked that I may go and never come back, especially after this winter, but I'm still true to Chicago, even if it greeted me with snow and obscene cold upon my return at 5am on Wednesday . Nevertheless, I had an awesome fun time where I was staying with some friends and fellow editors, full of excellent food, a ridiculously comfy bed, and so much fun my sides still hurt a little from laughing so much. The conference itself was amazing, crossing paths with so many dancing girl authors and online aquaintances., Also, really feeling the amazing support that so many people have for what we do with dancing girl press and the supporters/readers of my own work (I am always amazed and delighted to find that I have readers at The panel went off splendidly and the readings were both more wonderful than I could have imagined. As did my book signing for girl show at the BLP table, which at the point I started was nearly sold out already.


Leaving Seattle was sad, but after an excellent brunch on Sunday and some record store perusing, I was ready to get back on the train and surrender to my inner introvert on a nice quiet train ride (which of course, turned out to be less quiet and much longer (17 hours longer) than expected due to an avalanche in Montana, and which involved buses and trains and reroutes oh my..) But I'm excited to get home and get back to work and giving some thought to next years conference, which I do pan on attending at this point, (and which will hopefully be a much, much shorter train ride to Minneapolis.)

All in all, journey-wise, I did get a couple of poems written, read through some of my newest aquisitions from the book fair, including some excellent trades with Sundress Publications and a whole batch of fellow Black Lawrence titles, some Hyacinth Girl Press aquisitions from the neighboring table, and some other swaps. I'm not sure if it makes sense, but I feel both drained and filled at the same time. Drained from the endeavor, but filled with so many thoughts on work and projects and things for the future.


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