Last Day at AWP

Saturday, 4pm

You can see people’s energy flagging…nonetheless, I enjoyed panels on “Leading the Double Life,” about the difficulties and benefits of having work in addition to one’s writing, and “I Lie You, I Like You Not,” a panel stock full of FSU friends—Roger, Forrest, Jessica and Jill—that explored what factors contribute to the likeability or unlikeability of a character. I enjoyed the “Purdue University MFA Program Anniversary Reading,” and was particularly entertained by Elizabeth Stucky-French, and poet Mairead Byrne.

I came back to our room at the hotel with every intention of answering some email and returning within the hour, but lost my steam upon seeing Susie already curled up on the bed. Katie showed up soon after, and we’ve decided we should rest up for the evening’s activities: Forrest has left me with an invite to the Suwannee Alumni Reception, and Tom has given Katie an invite to the VIP rooftop party…so we’re going to rest and doll up before heading back out, because if you’re going ot craash a party, you want to look good!

Sunday morning.

The Suwannee party was easy to crash, and packed to the gills…more hummus and crudite and open bar. I met plenty of strangers, and talked the photographer into taking our picture together, hoping that when they got developed, no one would no who the hell I was.

Up on the roof-top, it was a harder go. The bouncer had apparently been chastised for allowing in the wrong element on previous nights, and had enacted a “One plus guest” rule for the invitations. We had a small “Sophie’s Choice” moment in the lobby. Katie, who, unlike me and Suze, had not yet crashed a rooftop party, was an obvious choice, and Will and I generously abdicated so Susie could go with her. Apparently they made a good team, as they amused themselves by going up to writers they recognized and claiming to have been in their workshops. A number were polite enough to say they remembered. After a while one of the FSU professors caught on to what they were doing, and provided them with more names. They started to cap off the encounters by asking for pictures with their “former instructors.” Ohhh, funny but mean, I’m sure the pictures will show up on someone’s blog.

Will and I, along with a number of others who were turned away, returned to the hull of the Titanic–the hotel lobby outside the bar, and whiled away the time pleasantly enough talking to people til the wee hours. Finally we slipped out without saying goodbye to anyone, and my first AWP is officially at an end.

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