Wednesday, March 27, 2019


Good Morning!

It's Wednesday morning and I will be headed into the convention center later this morning. 
I crashed so hard last night that I forgot to take my insulin. It's no big deal because I woke up with a blood sugar of 85 this morning.

The flight was smooth - just a tiny amount of turbulence. Full plane and my wife and I could not sit together. She directed me to an open aisle seat and said she'd go back further. I guess you could say she picked out the seat for me and she did a good job.

There was a young woman in the middle seat with a small child on her lap and a carrier in the window seat for the said child.  A few pleasantries. And settled in. Somewhere over flyover country
I asked if she was from Portland. She indicated no, she was going to a conference. AWP? Yes!  That's where I am headed. (I mean as big as AWP is - where would they put another conference in the city at the same time.  I inquired as to her genre and she said poetry. This was the best random seating pick ever!  Her son was adorable and quite well behaved for his 6 months old and cutting first teeth.  After we landed I gave her my card and said, "I'm Michael." She said her name and we wished each a great conference. I 've mad a new contract in my own genre and haven't even landed in Portland. 

Above you will see a small assemblage of swag  I picked up at either Washington D.C.  or Tampa conference. Swag is one of the fun parts of the conference - to see who brings what. Today, I'm wondering, "who's got the swag? This will be the subject of a future post.

Time to go shower and dress. I will be heading up to midday. I have several hours of volunteer work and them tonight I will go to the  Braver Together Gayla with Cheryl Strayed. 

Thursday is when everyone gets crazy. 

Monday, March 25, 2019



There is writer's anxiety in the air.  AWP Portland is starting Wednesday. So this is the time where I try and get all my shit together.

Fortunately, I have a checklist from the incomparable Paulette Perhach who was offering services on curbing your AWP anxiety.

Okay, I'm not following it 100% - but it helps and even reminds me of some other things. One very important item not mentioned here was taking luggage with room for books on the return trip.  I have a big leather bag that I will sometimes collapse and pack into the suitcase with my clothing. Then I magically arrive with the means to make it home with my stash of books. I mean, who goes and doesn't buy books?


 Paulette also had a list of things to do beforehand.  Some of this I have already done. I have most of my schedule outlined along with a few options.

As for the list of 5 people to meet... I've got  3 times that many. That is not counting on new people.

Three people, who are doing what I'm doing?  By that you mean last minute stressing?  Right!


Everyone loves a game, right?  I've seen AWP bingo cards. Not this time but I am still looking.  Here is a little ditty that Paulette gave us
for further stimulation or perhaps frustration.

These are some of the items that were designed to make our AWP experience both beneficial and fun. She stressed the importance of not trying to be too hyped up to try and do everything. You can't. She suggests a balance between getting something out of the experience but allowing yourself to have fun too.

If you are getting too tired, cut back on a panel.  Maybe go off sight and get something to eat or drink. Maybe ask a friend to join you. Or just hit one of the Dickenson Quiet rooms for 30 minuter or an hour.
Call a friend and see if you can go grab a cup of coffee together.

All right, I still have a few things yet to do including moving  laundry to the dryer,

I will be posting on her daily during the conference.  At least that is my plan. From sitting out a conference a while back I can tell you that you start looking for people to live the experience vicariously through.

Meanwhile, I am going to leave you with this thought ~ Who ill have the best SAWG?

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Between Two People....

I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke