On Thursday, the first full day of the conference, I planned nothing until my panel was over. Sylvia and I met up with Margot, a friend from Utah who now lives too far away, in a mid-western state. It was great!! to see her. We went to the bookfair, where we proceeded to run into more friends, HighTouchMegaStore, a friend from Utah who now lives in Vegas, VP Jen, Otterbutt, who was happily staffing her lit-mag table, and we made some new friends.
We returned to the hotel for much need caffeine and to meet with my panel peeps. Luckily we ran into Nick Flynn again, and while I was talking to him Emily, from the Tin House conference, showed up. She knows him AND she was on my panel. Then the others showed up and we went up to the panel room. The panel was fine, just what I expected. Afterwards, Sylvia went off to do something, and I had to get some food.
I wandered 6th street alone. I wanted a salad, but I was not optimistic. I stumbled on a Thai-Vietnamese place, so I went in. HighTouchMegaStore was lunching there, so I joined her. We had a great lunch and great chit-chat. We wandered back to the hotel, where we parted. I think she was a good girl and went to some panels. I went up to look at the pool, then I changed into my suit and went back to the pool. It was great, an eighth floor affair with free citrus water, but windy conditions. I swam, sat in the hot tub, swam and then returned to my room.
Had dinner with Felicia, Bert, the adorable Macy, and Margot. The food was so-so. The margarita was pretty good. It was fun.
Here I must pause to say I love the AWP "hosted reception." What this means is cash bar and free Hors d'Oeuvres. What does cash bar mean? The "host" has drink tickets, which they will gladly give you. Thursday night we made it to the University of Utah and University of Houston affairs. The Houston one was packed. This is where I saw Mark Doty and his boyfriend (hot!), Tony Hoagland, and various others. At the Utah one, I reunited with several grad students who moved on in my first years in the program, to various jobs around the country. Former Graduate Secretary Karl showed up with pics of his cute daughter. Sig, whose first book just came out, was there. All in all, it was big fun.
VP Jennifer and I went to the Walter Mosley keynote, which was great. I bought Devil in a Blue Dress (just finished it. good! worth reading!) and had him sign it. The talk was perfect. As Jennifer said, it was "shapely." He is a good speaker.
What happened next? I don't recall, so it must have been good. Maybe we had more drinks or something. I think I went back to the room thinking "American Idol" might be on, but it wasn't, so I watched some "Law and Order" of one kind or another. As usual, it takes me years to fall asleep. I am tired, very tired, and my blood sugar is all messed up due to alcohol, etc. Sigh.