Numero Uno: today’s rock star sightings. Mary Gaitskill and Sapphire. Mary kinda scares the hell out of me. Sapphire read from PUSH and there went my mascara.
A. I am so zeroed in on Ander Monson I can hardly think. Man? Genius? Video boy? I don’t understand one word he says, not one, but I can’t break my gaze. He is like a rare animal, come in from the wild. Love it.
100. Fling your ink pot! It doesn’t matter what you write about, it’s how you write it, so. Write. It.
8. I just walked down 8 flights of stairs to avoid the elevator line. The other 10,000 people here had the same idea. All I can think of is the World Trade Center 9/11. And though I don’t really pray, I am weepy and praying.
68. Many of my sessions are in the Thurgood Marshall ballroom.
C. “The main joy of writing nonfiction is the tension between what happened and how you perceived it.” — Nick Flynn
14. Yesterday there was no time for food. I lived on a bag of trail mix I brought from home. Who are you people who “forget to eat”? I feel faint. Or maybe I feel faint because I saw Terrance Hayes. It’s a toss up.
39. I miss being 39.
Z. Stephen Elliott has a new tattoo RUMPUS on his arm. It’s striking.
3. Stephen Elliot says, “people need 3 reasons to read your memoir: perfect sentences, tension, and honesty.”. One of these makes it readable, 2 of these makes it really good, all 3 makes it phenomenal.
F. Flesh Machine, by I don’t know who, sounds like a book I must read.
15. I just ate a $15 cheeseburger in the hotel restaurant. I would have paid twice that. That’s how f-ing hungry I am and there are so many f-ing people that I can’t get close to the food.
10. I’m almost finished with Killing Floor by Lee Child, my first Jack Reacher novel. I do not read these kinds of books, yet I can’t stop reading it. There are 10 people on The List (if you’ve read the book you’ll know what The List is) and They Must Be Found! All 10 Of Them! Before Sunday!
I. In writing memoir, who do I mean when I say “I”?
J.D. Junot Diaz will be talking tonight. I saw him in California 2 years ago. I’ve missed him. Junot would make my Top 5 list of writers you must see in person. He’s that good. Live.
1. Off-limits topics in writing? Thank you to this panel. I stole your “Fling Your Inkpot!” slogan and put your comments in my bag to take home. Thanks for the inspiration.
99. An extra dirty, vodka martini might want to come find me for happy hour. I like those words together: happy, hour. My mother did not drink. Neither does my mother in law. I would argue that no 2 women needed happy hour more.
G. Roxane Gay, you’re the best, but I can’t fit your seminar in today. This makes me sad. I read your lengthy blog almost every day.
350 A.D. As for news, hue sight of men with whips, on camels and horses, took me back. Really far back. Or is that “aback”?
S. I just realized this morning why I’m really writing my book. It starts with an S.
This post is fantastic. Thanks for letting us live vicariously.
(that’s why i did mine)
i’m with lyra, GREAT post. i’ve already said thanks a million times (or, at least, three yesterday), but here it is again: THANK YOU.
i love the three things from Stephen Elliot and: “It doesn’t matter what you write about, it’s how you write it, so. Write. It. ” I’m going to print that out in 23-point font and post on my bulletin board above my monitor.
Careful when talking of fonts Amyg!
Rock on, Teri! Loving your posts.
P.S. My Junot Diaz gets a mixed bag review tonight. He was his normal charming, original, introspective, brilliant self. We swooned. We laughed. He answered a few questions and answered them with thoughtful care. But.
But … He seemed OBSESSED with fulfilling his 40 minute commitment. And when he hit his mark he said thank you very much and off he went to sign books in the back of the room. Wham bam!
40 fucking minutes. I skipped dinner, changed clothes, brushed my hair, left my cozy quiet hotel room, walked in the cold to a different hotel, got there a half hour early to save good seats —– for his 40 minutes.
Great post Teri. Your 99 made me snort coffee. And, fling your inkpot. Love it.
Re BL – Im keeping schtum for a few days.
Hope rest of AWP goes well.
I love these dispatches!
Stephen Elliott and his tat. Junot Diaz and his parsimonious time keeping. I feel like I’m there.