March 1, 2012

AWP12 Day 2: Cinderella

View of Michigan Avenue from penthouse of The Cliff Dwellers the location of the Ragdale Reception

Despite my reclusive nature, I attended several sessions at The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference today. Most were Latino-focused, which was great. The last two times I've attended AWP there were very few. I also attended a session on Queer Writers building loyal audiences. It was informative. I was glad to see the audience had some queers of color. Gender and ethnic diversity on the panelists was good, but let's face it, most Queer/LGBT discussions about community always come back to the Gay white male experience.

Oh another thing happened. But first let me admit my blind ignorance when it comes to writers. I don't read as much as I should (thank you college for draining the joy of reading out of me). Apparently today I sat by, stood next to, shared jokes with, and rolled my eyes at some noteworthy people.

There was this one dude standing in front of the men's restroom blocking the path. Three guys stood in a line waiting for him to move. I mean, they just stood there. By the way, I should tell you that I had drank a liter of SmartWater during the previous session so I really needed to get in that restroom. So, I said, "Hey, Cinderella, move it. You're blocking the door." He sort of jumped out of the way realizing there was a line.

Judging from the reaction of those three guys who were waiting in line, I might as well have told Santa to go #!&* himself.

Don't get me wrong, Cinderella didn't seem particularly snooty or appear like he was above it all. I don't even know if he was a famous writer. Maybe he was just a guy who needed a place to stand in a crowded hallway and unfortunately, it was in front of the restroom. What makes it weird for me is that there were three guys, I'm guessing they were students, who were practically willing to pee their pants rather than ask Cinderella to move.

Why did I call him Cinderella? I don't know. It's the first thing that came to mind.

Anyway, I also attended two receptions, was asked to submit work to a literary journal, and was offered the opportunity to read at an off-site event tomorrow. I had to turn it down because I'm reading with the Latino Writers Collective and Proyecto Latina at an After Hours Salon that happens the at the same time. bummer.