So take a day. Call it Day One.
Head to a tiny room crammed with participants and panel members. Give it shape, design, but not necessarily enough room. Fill the audience, every seat taken, every nook, every cranny, every inch. Security closes off hopeful participants from leaning in at the door. There is no more room, no entrance, no way. The fabulous five—Mary Kay Zuravleff, Lan Samantha Chang, Bich Minh Nguyen, Porter Shreve, and Hannah Tinti—sneak in from the fire exit. Ready, set?
Porter says straight ahead, cross country. Sam says 10 pages a day. Bich says TK! To come! Hannah looks at the crowd and says, I don’t know, then pulls out five skeins of yarn and plots her novel back and forth across the crowded room. Mary Kay promises lightning strikes. In other words, How to Keep Track of Your Novel!
Wander through poems and essays of the Afghan Women Writers Project and be moved by the courage of women giving voice to their cause.
Meander through the Hynes Conference Center and stare at the blowing snow outside.
Rave at the readings of the poets of The Darkroom Collective! Roger Reeves, Sharon Strange, John Keene, Tisa Bryant, Kevin Young, Thomas Sayers Ellis with saxophone! And Tracy K. Smith. Add Natasha Trethewey to introduce and shake!
No, you’re not done yet.
Pay tribute. Jake Adam York is honored beyond belief, so beautifully, so bravely. Take it to heart: fall apart at the seams.
First posted at Hothouse Magazine.