Definitely an improvement! Although I was battling anxiety issues about the loud, crowded area in which our table sat, I was excited for the last day of AWP and wanted to make the best of it. I made it to the conference in the mid-afternoon and took over the table for about an hour. People seemed to be in more of a book-buying mood — perhaps because it was the final day and several tables had sales on their leftover inventory. So, I actually sold a few of our books and talked to a lot of folks who were interested in submitting their manuscripts.
In light of how fun Thursday was in relation to how utterly draining Friday was for me, I have developed several theorems. The first of which states that excessive bus trips drain one’s energy, especially if said bus trip is crowded and done in the rain. Secondly, when time spent at one’s respective table is greater than time spent walking around, one is sure to become exhausted. Thirdly, that one should usually try to eat all three of the standard meals in a day.
Unfortunately, all three of these theorems were working against me on Friday. I spent the morning in the office, which wasn’t overly busy or anything. But it meant that I had to catch a bus to get to AWP. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue either. But I had to walk to a different area than where I normally catch the bus and there was, apparently, an issue with the Red Line subway. This issue caused all of the Red Line passengers to spill over onto my bus. The seats filled quickly and then the aisle was completely packed with standing passengers. It was cramped and crowded and I just barely made my stop.
Read about the exciting set-up on Wednesday!
Some days, my train behaves itself when it comes to pulling into the city on time. Some days, it is like a disobedient child and stops several times so that its passengers can admire the scenic outposts of Random Train Yard and Dilapidated Suburb.
Of course, today — a day when I squished and squashed my regular schedule to make an early presentation on Chicago poetry — the train was delayed. Random Train Yard was not nearly as charming as it usually is.
Thanks to the delays (the fault of pesky freight trains, no doubt), I missed the panel on Chicago poetry. Drat! I hopped on the first available bus heading to the Hilton area and we slogged through traffic to eventually get there. I might have been late anyway, even without the train delays. Alas, we shall never know. And I shall never know what was included in that Chicago poetry panel.
I haven’t posted about it all yet, but AWP was a rather exhausting affair for me. It meant holding an unconventional schedule, being shuttled all over the city, and missing meals. By the end of the day on Saturday, I was literally ready to just keel over into my bed and forget about the outside world. Luckily, Sunday allowed me to do that, and I don’t know if it’s a residual buzz from drinking my first ever cup of tea last night or if it’s just a good night’s sleep and new lease on life, but I feel refreshed this morning! Sometimes it takes some time away to appreciate your drab, “normal” daily routine for what it is. It’s nice to be back in one place with normal eating hours and no more aching muscles.
Hope you’re all doing well on this fine Monday morning! Speaking of which, welcome to my new followers!
As I’ve posted here, I’ve been struggling with what to fill this blog with. Luckily, this past week gave me some great material to write about. This year was my first time attending the annual conference held by the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. The conference was held in Chicago this year and the company where I work purchased a badge for me to attend and help hold the fort at our table. I wrote up some thoughts on each day of the conference, so here’s the first one!
On Wednesday, AWP “began.” I use the cheeky quotation marks because Wednesday was only the set up day. There were no panels or presentations, so it wasn’t really a full conference day full of attractions. But I was there, so I thought I’d write about what it was like.