Live Report From AWP…….

categories: Cocktail Hour

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 It’s noon at the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Program) in Chicago.  I start drinking again in about an hour.  This is just another way that AWP is not like my normal life. In my normal life I go to bed at 9:00 and get up at 5:00.  In my AWP life I go to bed at 2:30 (and get up at 5:00).  In my normal life I don’t drink 3 vodka martinis and talk to hundreds of writers.   In my….well, you get the point.

This morning I thought I had a panel on Thoreau at 11.  I was up and ready to go when I finally looked at the program and found out my panel was actually at 9.  I asked someone what time it was and it turned out it was 10:01.  My panel ended at 10:15 and I was staying a mile away from the hotel.  Kind of a nightmare….I had flown out here and would miss it.  But no!  I sprinted for a cab, told the driver to step on it, (“Hurry, man, I’ve got to talk about Thoreau!”)  and then sprinted into the panel with five minutes left.  Turned out that was enough time for me to quote Thoreau a few times–“The life that men praise and call successful”–tell some jokes and, despite my slamming heart, not die of a heart attack.

Now it’s fish and chips with some fellow writers and then the boozing begins again.  Then, thankfully, it will be back to my normal life. 


















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