Tag Archives: UCA

Looking Ahead: AWP in DC

So Wordamour and husband are headed to DC this week for the Associated Writing Programs Conference with lots to look forward to.  So much, in fact, that we are going to have to pace ourselves.  And we’re at a hotel that’s a whole metro ride away from the conference so there will be very little going back to the room between events to de-stress by lying on a hotel bed staring at mindless tv (my de-stressing MO, if you haven’t guessed).

I’m on two panels which I’m very much looking forward to.  Fiction Writer’s Review gave me a shout out as a contributor when they listed contributor’s panels here.  I love Fiction Writer’s Review–if you’re at the Book Fair, check them out.  Better yet, subscribe to their blog.

Besides the panels:  Focus group on creative writing books for Bedford St. Martin’s with a free lunch and a stipend, dinner at Meskerem (a fondly remembered Ethiopian restaurant from my salad days in DC) with Anna Leahy and Cathy Day and friends, dinner with grad school pals Kelly Stern and Deb Moore, dinner with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law in from Maryland one night as well.

A publication party for Erika Dreifus’ Quiet Americans, which my husband reviewed here.

A whole group of students is going from UCA this year (and I know they will behave themselves so others can follow in future years.  Right? Right.).  Colleagues Mark Spitzer and Garry Powell. Former student, current Roosevelt MFA Heather Cox.

The Toad Suck Review will make its debut!

Glimpses of my British friends, Graeme Harper and Paul Munden among them (and the annual payment of my NAWE dues).

And the bookfair.  And more panels.  And somewhere in there, my birthday!

Good Lord!

I’ll be blogging about it all!

Bye y’all!


PS A shout out to my mother, who is making all this possible by staying with my kiddos!  Thanks, Mom!

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Of books, birthdays and debriefings (from AWP, that is)

We returned from New York yesterday, after three flights.  FYI, three flights is AT LEAST one flight too many, especially if you don’t like to fly. 

Well, it happened–I went over the luggage weight limit.  I had 39 lbs to work with but ended up with 66.  This means I picked up 55 lbs worth of books and journals at the conference (I may not be doing the math right, but it’s close enough and I’m in a hurry). 

This necessitated a frantic scramble at the baggage counter.  John only had 5 lbs of space in his bag, so I had to figure out a way to shed 10 lbs.  I did this mostly by stuffing my carry on (I couldn’t even close it) and yes, I left behind two literary magazines and two issues of Poets and Writers at LaGuardia airport.  Oh well.  Hope someone out there enjoys them.

Besides all the info I picked up, attending AWP is sort of like watching your life pass before your eyes.  I spent time with friends from George Mason (age 22-26), UL Lafayette (26-30) and UCA (30+).  In fact, if Bill Lychack had been able to make it, I could have gone all the way back to my undergrad days. 

Which makes one somewhat rather reflective, since it coincided with my turning 41 today.  In one of my favorite Jim Croce songs, he sings:

If I had a box just for wishes, and dreams that had never come true–the box would be empty except for the memory of how they were answered by you. . .

My box has been pretty much emptied in the last twenty years. To wit:

I always wanted wavy hair.  Now, thanks to a good haircut and the hormones of the middle years, I have it.

I always wanted someone to cherish.  Now I’ve been married to the love of my life for 15 years.

I always wanted to be a mom.  Now, with a little help from modern pharmaceuticals, I am one. Twice over.

I always wanted to be an aunt. Thanks to being  married to someone with seven siblings, I am one. Fourteen times over!

I always wanted to spend my days with words and I never wanted to leave college.  Now, I’m a college writing teacher!

I had a “friend” who once described me as someone who was “too easily pleased.”  But if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years, it’s the old saw that contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want but the realization of how much you already have.  And if that means I’m too easily pleased, well, I can’t help but see it as a compliment as I look forward to whatever the future holds.

Bye y’all,



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