4 April 2016 GOOD NEWS + #AWP16 Recap
Last Tuesday, I got the great news that I had been accepted into Jenny Offill’s Advanced Novel workshop at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver this summer. I was ecstatic–and terrifed. Dept. of Speculation was the book that got me reading again regularly, a book that made me laugh and cry, a book that I finished in one sitting, and the book that made me think (maybe) I could actually write a novel. I got to see Jenny read and talk with her briefly at an event in DC and felt a sort of kindred spirit, and I’ve only heard good things about her teaching. So I accepted the workshop (after much deliberation about childcare + $$). I have to have the first 20 pages of my novel for workshop ready to go by mid-May. I also get to attend craft seminars and readings and salons with other inspirational writers, including Claire Vaye Watkins, so it’s going to be pretty awesome. And I hope to come back with new energy and inspiration for the novel (which has been really lagging since the winter).
In other news, I made it home from LA last night in one piece…barely. I represented at #AWP16 in Los Angeles as more of a publisher than a writer. I spent the majority of my time at our table talking to writers and friends and selling books. As for the conference as a whole: downtown LA was kind of awful. There was a general malaise and I didn’t feel the same sense of community I had in previous years (especially in a city like Minneapolis). I loved meeting online friends and contributors, and reconnecting with my super awesome crew of writers/friends, but I felt like people were weirder and ruder than usual. Not to mention the bleakness of the downtown LA scenery and the lack of walkability.
But I’ll stop complaining now and count my blessings, which are many, and come in the form of writers I have been lucky to read and talk and work and hang out with. That makes up for everything, and I’m so grateful. I won’t miss LA, but I’ll miss all of you (you know who you are).
Today was a day of self-care: sleeping in, coffee in bed, the local hang outs with the family, some reading and a long nap, and Pho for dinner. I told myself I was not allowed to work (and told myself updating the website didn’t really count). Ready to get back to work.