I have a 5 day rule about any epic event, say AWP Chicago. I stop recording. I think nostalgia creeps in, colors things wrong. I just park the event in my memory vault (of course, to bring up later and view–while huddled in some rainy tent in Colorado, some hospital bed in Arkansas while my broken bones heal, some platinum/dried manure rocking chair years from now in Bangkok). I left Chicago 5 days ago, and so this will be my last photo or post posted (post posted? Redundant?) about those lost (the good lost–where you stumble into Shangri-La, free cold, cold beer, devout Buddhists who also do Indy Lit readings and want to play you in disc golf, or sushi tossing, etc.) shredded days of broad shoulders, the shrugs.
John Wang offers a refreshing LIT. I say, No, I will not accept your refreshing LIT. I will take 3.
A truly cool guy. Good heart all the way, I felt. Good vibe. Hope to meet him down the road and we drink for freedom, or for Amphibians, or for that space right before the both (true conversation).
The Urban Elitist interviews Tao Lin about how to make money as a writer. With so many writers giving books away at AWP, I think some of you need to realize you should make money with your writing. There is no shame. Why do people feel shame? This from a guy who writes book reviews for NewPages where they pay you in the very book you review.
My next mortgage payment I am going to send the bank a book. I am going to send them a book with a note that reads, “Here. Here is my payment. Read this. Maybe you will grow, alongside your throbbing gallbladder, a dollop of integrity, or a soul.”
I was about to read at Quickies and I glance up and there is Robert Olen Butler, at a table….
Do you have any celebrity stories? I remember once years ago in Memphis Andre Agassi bought me a glass of wine. At the Peabody Hotel. He said, “Man, you look like you need a glass of wine.” Then he walked away. That was a good day. Later, on the taxi ride home, the cabbie insisted he take me to a strip club. I guess he was getting kickbacks from the clubs or something. I detest strip clubs. But he kept insisting and insisting, like I was a chump, like I was going to let a cabbie destinize me, mind-jack me of my free will, my existential birthright. I forget the rest of the evening.
This photo is for Emma.
From the Chicago Literary Scene Examiner, concerning the off-site AWP RUI reading: “Sean Lovelace (who’s RUI quickie last night on guns, cocaine and action figures won the crowd)…”
Word on that.
Here’s more AWP photos, notes. To follow the rules you have yourself made is an illness.
The final Chi-town AWP 2009 photo I will release to the public. This is me with two big-time short-list Pulitzer writers (one is vomiting into the garbage can, so I cropped her PhotoShop in the interest of discretion, but that’s cool–the writing life is torture, all that paperwork, adoring fans, etc.). We went to the Joyce Carol Oates after party and they wanted to return to my hotel for drinks. Fine with me, ladies.
“Never play poker with a tattooed lady.” –My dad.
“Sean, why do you have to use that F word in your blog?” –My mom.
(Fuck, I don’t know why, mom)
I drink oily coffee and write words at the kitchen table and look outside, at my boccie balls buried in the snow, an odd juxtaposition. When I think of boccie I see sunshine, green and golden hues, and sweet, sweating 16 ounce gas station beers; Tuscaloosa, Alabama and my friends heaving the boccie balls around a sprawling grassy field, a city park, a jagged stone ruin of a Civil War era courthouse. We called this “modified boccie,” or as we would tell others, “We don’t really play the game like you’re sposed to.” Stuart (an athletic madman/freak [in the good way of freak]) hurling the heavy clay balls into the sky, moon-shots rising, rising, then arching down with ferocious intent, into mortar walls, brick stair steps, ricocheting off crumbling cornice edges. Stuart actually split boccie balls in half while playing; we all did, I shit you not. Maybe except for Will, who preferred to open his hand and drop the ball nearby, plunk. Will and his titanic gin and tonics (this was a man who would order triple straight gins at restaurants, served in a tall water glass, to the rim). Myself, the others–Charlie, Mark, T.J., Don–our little demented clique, sipping beers, sprawling on the grass, talking shit and tossing boccie balls. Metallic taste of canned beer. Rustling breeze. Silk-blue sky. A crystallized moment, Georgian idyll. Fuck. I do miss it. I do. You turn your head one day, look back, and find your friends scattered, your boccie balls scattered, your mind, well…I guess some things are obvious, and here: