I recently got back from Los Angeles, where I stayed with a good friend and commuted to AWP, a massive writing conference, to meet other Writers in Communities program directors as well as thirteen thousand or so writers who share my love of writing in one way or another.
I probably interacted with about sixty of those thirteen thousand, but it was enough to put my introverted brain on sensory overload. So, after a reading, a signing, and a few amazing panels, I returned to hike at Sherman Oaks then hang out with my friend and try to debrief as we ate Cheerios and listened to her pet pig snore (they can really snore).
|At the Black Fox Literary Magazine Table. Thanks, Black Fox!!|
|Ordering sweet potato fries with my new friend |
Sara Fitzpatrick Comito and my long-time (mid/long-time) friend, Isie.
- Tarot card readers will not always tell you what you want to hear.
- Food is fantastic in LA.
- Reading can be more dramatic when you need to make a quick exit after.
- Uber works in a pinch.
- Writing when overwhelmed is not a good idea (journaling for personal use only is).
- Chicago has great taste in short stories (see: recent acceptances in Chicago Tribune and Chicago Quarterly Review).
- I am not (you are not) who I know (who you know), but it's good to know good people nonetheless.
- I need to revisit the memory palace - I'm horrible with names. And faces. Geesh.
- Walking is medicine.
- Comparisons are usually destructive. Then again, they also motivate. Use with care.
- Cheerios are really great with banana and a pinch of sugar.
- Starbucks employees are far nicer in LA than they are in San Antonio.
- Acting is a fabulous ambition. Odds smodds. Go for it!
- Writing: Same!
- If you tell someone they're not going to like a thing, there's a good chance they won't like the thing. Contrarians are rare, precious creatures.
- This list is getting too long.
Three new story links this go-round:
"Help Wanted in the Midwest: On the Bus Line" at Cosmonauts Ave. Basically my memoir in 500 words
"War Muse" at Cheap Pop - a dystopic presidential story
"Gather the Ingredients" at Chicago Tribune's Printers Row (ask me for a link)
Use yourself as a character. Only reverse everything. If you're shy, make your character gregarious and assertive; if you're skinny, give your character more volume; if you're afraid of spiders, give your character a pet spider. Just write like that for 20 minutes. It'll be fun.