Friday, March 2, 2012
--I THINK OF YOU LIKE A CELEBRATION
...Greetings from Chicago, from Chi town.
Chicago is a wonderful city. It has much of the energy of New York, but the wide boulevards leave it feeling less congested and less intense, which can be construed as both good or not. And then there are walkway bridges at certain junctures where you're overlooking the river and all this extraordinary scenery of roman gothic architecture and skyscrapers that has the feel of something Italian and you almost expect a gondolier to float by singing.
And I know why they call it the windy city. Last night my face flew off. I tried to catch it, got hold of my jaw, but if just zipped off--frozen as it was--but alas it was useless.
There are advantages and disadvantages to not having a face.
Especially in crowded spaces.
Especially here at AWP.
...So, yes, AWP. How do I even start? This thing is a massive amoeba, a small city unto itself. Often it takes fifteen minutes until the elevator opens and even then you may or may not have to wait for the next one to be empty.
I've met so many fantastic people that I've either known virtually or that I've just admired. The list is very long. I may share that later.
I've been at a number of readings. Reading your work live is truly an art form. You can have a strong piece but if you don't deliver it in a compelling, theatrical way, it more or less will suck and people will drift or lean over and blather onto the closest friend seated next to them. I heard some really strong readers and some surprisingly weak, meek-voiced ones.
Sarah Rose Etter was a presence on stage, as was xTx. They slayed it. I heard them last night at The Beauty Bar for the Pank/Anamela reading.
I read earlier at a Connotation Press event. There were 28 writer/readers. I went second to last. It was a long, narrow, Irish pub with a loud, airplane motor-type air vent hovering above that you had to project over in order to be heard. It was a little like shouting, like yelling underwater.
I was nervous. I don't understand--why after years of speaking to throngs of hundreds every week when I was in the corporate world--I get nervous in front of a gaggle of writers.
But I was a little antsy.
Still, I think I did all right. I read "Missing Chance" (which should be here under "Words in Print.") It was my 9th acceptance ever, published in Elimae, and named one of the best 50 online stories of 2009 by Wigleaf magazine.
Writers are interesting people. For the most part, they're friendly and open. In some settings, when you're just meeting them for the first time, say, they are aloof or cold or even suspicious, which is odd and discomforting considering--Hey, we're both part of the same community, you jerk or B.
But I guess writers are just people. Even the famous ones, the populars ones. Even those you admire.
...I hope you had and are having a stellar week. Thanks for reading. I really appreciate it. I likely will not post again until I'm home, Sunday night, but then you never know.
...Here's something I saw/read that I thought was great in it's own way--
"The last time I saw him he was walking down lover's lane holding his own hand." Fred Allen
So much to say.