Friday Fictioneers with a Sting

Friday Fictioneers LogoThe influx of some spring-like (and summerish) weather doesn’t combine well with putting your butt in the chair and writing. The lure of outside is too strong. Yes, yes, I know I can take the laptop outside and enjoy the weather while writing, but what can I say. I’m easily distracted.

And this has been a week where we needed distraction from an all too intense reality. Boston has always been a city after my own heart. I loved the time I’ve spent there for work and for pleasure. I was just there in March for AWP, lamenting the fact the snowfall didn’t allow me to play tourist in Boston’s fine museums and art galleries.

So, take an intriguing photo, twenty-four hour news reporting about terrorists, and you get something pretty dark, even for me. So dark, in fact, I’ve impulsively decided not to post it. If this hadn’t been a week where the face of the inhumanity of terrorism was a smiling, eight-year-old boy, maybe the story would have been appropriate, but today it’s not. And I never censor myself or my writing; however, it’s a matter of sensitivity.

Instead of the first thing that came to mind, you have “Empty Nest Optimism” instead. If you don’t see the link to the story in the title, scroll to the top of this page, click on the Friday Fictioneers tab, then select the story from the drop-down list.

AWP – Arrival

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).

Sunrise

Sunrise east of Mystic, CT.

Boston

Boston, MA

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.