The party’s over. I’m at the airport now about to fly through my hometown and then back home. (Yes, there is a little layover. Yes, I am looking forward to drinking whatever St. Louis beer I can get my hands on.) I’m at an empty end of the terminal in San Antonio Int’l, listening to the flight attendants and folks BSsing (and also now listening to Against Me!, ‘cause why not?), and I should be soon working on my thesis, because that’s just what’s got to happen now that I’ve had my fun. Bright side: I was good and didn’t buy too too many books, and so all of it pretty much fit as intended into my backpack. Traveling easy.
We woke up reasonably early, made coffee, kept bullshitted, moved around a little bit, kept bullshitting, and then Jules, Brooke, and I got breakfast at the Southerleigh (sp?) which had been recommended to us by a Lyft drive. Did not disappoint, the brown ale was pretty good, too. Conversations ranged appropriately and we obviously ran into other people from the conference. It was nice.
A man with a big bushy white mustache named John in a big F-150 with really fucking nice brown leather seats was my Lyft driver to the airport (there was a hotel, but alas: no cab stand, and at that point I wanted to boogie), and he had a big art thing of the state of Texas hanging from the rear-view along with some dog tags, coins and medallions and spurs on the dash, and it all felt appropriately Texas.
I am pretty sure I know someone on my flight back but not, you know, like that well, more “know of” than “know” or maybe “have met” but I’ll be content to put my head down and work and then attempt to sleep on the second flight. I will likely be luckless, but we’ll see.
Though I bought some books I’m pretty damn excited to rip into, I am still plugging my way through Perec’s A Void and enjoying it immensely. Was reading this morning and so pleased when one of the funeral guests was “Raymond Q. Knowall” (i.e., Quineau) and the retelling of Moby Dick, and just generally it is marevelous. Books are cool, is the point.
And now to try and go work on one.
I don’t know that I actually have much of interest to say, overall, about the conference. It was small, but that was a good thing for the vibe if very bad for the small presses, none of whom, I think, made even enough money to cover their costs of attendance (this is very bad), but since I went to a lot fewer (of the generally fewer) panels, they were all pretty good, with nice, in-person follow ups and so on, and that was good. I met some writers who seems pretty alright. I got a few books signed. I have a long(er) list of places to send work to, and a deadline now for rewriting a couple stories (a lot of them are done at the end of March). I am excited to work and that is, I think, the point.
Also, lol, learned that our program isn’t even a part of AWP anymore. Ah well. I’m about cooked through in any case.
Update, still in the San Antonio airport:
There are so many writerly types typing and writing on laptops and tables, scribbling with pens in spiral- and perfect-bound notebooks, and it is all very hilarious.
Also, turns out I can do more development work on my iPad than I thought. I should be writing prose instead of code, however. Doing some of both. Will re-balance on the plane, with the Internet inaccessible.
Update, near the end of the first flight:
We’ve just been warned of a bumpy way down, but I did get a lot of work done, so that’s nice.
Update, in the STL airport, it being the smallest world in the world:
So, when I was at the book fair yesterday I bought this book from this guy because he was doing a signing at this press, this guy with a book called A Room in Dodge City which is going to be a trilogy and we got to talking as my friend was talking to the press person and ended up buying the book, he signed it, and it was pretty cool. He’d actually offered it for free, now that I think of it, but I insisted on paying and I’m glad I did.
I’m glad I did because he was on the flight from San Antonio to STL (my hometown connection) and we ran into each other at Lambert and just had dinner! What fun! His name is David (Leo Rice) and we BSsed about Boston, about being Jewish, about the Kabbalah and beers and all sorts of things. It was really, really freakin’ nice. And now I’m glad I bought his book, excited to read it (though the other book he published that he was telling me about also sounds pretty/maybe more exciting), and it is the smallest world in the world. Pleasingly so. And anyway, I have about half an hour before boarding starts and I want to try and drink one more STL beer, and so, gonna go do that now. This may be my last update. We’ll see.
Update, after my second beer:
I almost missed my flight! It was delayed but then was about to leave before the delay. I was peeing when I heard my name called over the speaker. I wasn’t even still drinking – I was just sitting at the bar, reading A Void!
Well, all’s well. Made it fine. Now sitting in the middle seat between the smallest people I could find.