My arrival at AWP began about 1400 yesterday afternoon when I pointed my trusty Jeep northeastward and headed for Washington, DC’s Union Station. I made a brief detour into my old neighborhood to “my” Barnes and Noble for a chai and a snack. And to get in practice for AWP’s Bookfair, I bought two books. Around six I discovered I can still deal with DC’s rush hour traffic and made it to Union Station in about a half-hour.
Which meant a three and a half hour wait for the train to depart, but Union Station is primo for people watching. And apparently I must look like a nice person. Every beggar in the place asked me for money.
The snow-apocalypse hadn’t yet started when the train pulled out at 2210, and I had already finished one of the books I bought at B&N. I settled in to catch a nap–not so easy when the conductor announces every stop along the way–but I managed to get about five hours of sleep overnight in a series of naps. I woke to a beautiful sunrise near Mystic, CT, and I got a little artistic with the photo I snapped in Instagram (below, left).
The train arrived in Boston a bit early, there was a cab waiting right away, and, lo and behold, there was actually a room ready for me with a great view of Boston (right).
My regular Politics Wednesday blog post, lunch (chowdah, my absolute fave!), and a nap later, and I was ready to pick up my registration materials for the conference. Just me and a couple hundred others.
Now, the good news is a sky-walk connects the hotel and the Hynes Convention Center, the location of the AWP Conference–no treks through Boston’s notoriously chilly and windy weather. The bad news? You go through a really, really great shopping mall to get there. (I have my eye on a set of Russian matryoshka dolls, and there’s a Vera Bradley store.) Very tempting.
I’d already looked at the conference schedule on-line, and, as usual, AWP offers a bounty of panels and reading, and I spent at least an hour figuring out my schedule for the next three days, only to discover I’d left no time for lunch. Oh, well.
Here’s what’s up for tomorrow:
0900 – 1015 The Ten-Minute Play: The Essential Ingredients
1030 – 1145 Small Worlds–Flash, Sudden, & Other Very Short Fiction Internationally and at Home
1200 – 1315 The First Five Pages: Literary Agents & Editors Talk
1330 – 1445 Launching the Literary Journal: New Editors Confess
1500 – 1615 Women Writers in the Contemporary Literary Landscape
1630 – 1745 Bending Genre
2030 – 2200 Keynote Presentation: A Conversation Between Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott
A full day–but I can’t wait.