Yesterday I landed in Seattle for the annual AWP writing conference, along with about 15,000 other aspiring/inspiring writers. As predicted, there are a lot of mid-forehead bangs, black-rimmed glasses, and colorful tights, which I approve of, of course. I ended up next to Benjamin Saenz on the flight to Seattle, whose work I read for a Chicano literature class last semester and really admired. After taking a few minutes to work up the courage to speak, I introduced myself and complimented his work. We chatted for the rest of the flight – he gave me advice for the conference, told me about selling his mom’s homemade burritos for cigarette money as a child, and recommended that I drink bourbon with a little honey for my allergies. Oh yeah – he also had to text Sherman Alexie to meet up for coffee. No big deal. So anyway, my conference was pretty much made before I even landed in Seattle.
My traveling companion Sydni and I took the metro to our hotel, checked in, and made a fast turnaround to head to Pike Place Market for dinner. The market was pretty much boarded up, but we found this cute pizza shop. We then ventured over to Rachel’s Ginger Beer, where I ordered a hot toddy for my allergies. (Not quite a bourbon and honey, but I think it did the trick.)
This morning we had breakfast at Biscuit Bitch, a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that had quirky shadow boxes and really tasty biscuits. I ordered the Canadian, complete with peanut butter, honey, and bacon. The rest of the day was a bit of a blur – going from panel to panel and working the Superstition Review table at the book fair. I was totally overwhelmed by all of the talent I saw at the panels and the beautiful magazines at the book fair, not to mention the free stuff people keep handing me. No idea how I’m going to get everything home, but here’s what I’ve collected the first day. Two more to go!