Saturday, February 09, 2008

MIA? no. NYC!

I returned from New York on Sunday night with a mayjah case of "I think I'm going to cough up my lungs" hence the delay in posting.

Wait, let me go back for a second, I went to New York!

About two weeks ago, I left my cozy heated apartment to go on a whirlwind tour of the east coast. I hit Boston for 3 days, where I met my friends Sarah and Cobi's new puppy, Bea (aka Beatrix Samantha Kiddo), had a rousing Game Night! where I got to harass my friend Colin, just like old times. My awesome host Jean, let me sleep on her couch for 3 nights and we enjoyed some yummy food and long walks (and we didn't even get lost!)

Jean and Bea:

m.lady and the Colinator:

On Wednesday morning, I rode the Chinatown bus to New York City for the AWP conference.

I probably went to about 12 panels during the week and spent 3 hours at the book fair. There's a lot to discuss about the panels. There was the good (David Rakoff, Kim Addonizio) and the bad (I fell asleep during the William Kennedy/Russell Banks discussion) annnd the ugly (you know, to be a writer does not mean a person cannot also own a comb...and a mirror).

The panels I went to that I enjoyed most were the ones that made me disagree with the panelists. I like to disagree. I like to sit in my chair and think "oh yeah?"

For instance, during a panel on short-short fiction, the panel seemed to have a concrete set of rules for what they wanted from short-short fiction. Fine, okay, but where's the surprise. If you're reading only to check off in your mind the little list you keep of requirements for good fiction, aren't you missing the point? My favorite part of reading is the *feeling* the rush of surprise. The need to stop everything else so I can finish the damn book/story/paragraph. Anyway, that was one panel...

Another highlight of the week was meeting Robert Lopez and telling him awkwardly and quite drunkenly how much I like his novel and short stories. Maybe that isn't a highlight, maybe that is an instance that will always make me want to bury my head in the sand.

The conference was attended by over 7000 people, all of whom are probably trying to sell their book. yipes.

On Saturday, I went to Queens (what what) to see the lovely Mer and B, great hosts. We then went into the city to have a mini college reunion with Bert and Isafreak (and Isafreaks hubby, Mr. Isafreak) as well as Mer's high school buddy and friend to all, Cathy Pizzacato. We had affordable Thai (Pam in Midtown) and then a couple of drinks at a local watering hole.

B and Bert:

Isafreak and Mer:

m.lady and Bert:

Mer, such a lush:

Oh, and how could I forget?! I found heaven:

All-in-all a good trip.

Then my flight was delayed for 4 hours and I arrived in Chicago with the previously mentioned lung-evicting cough. Oh, these are the books I brought back, 13 pounds of joy in all!


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