Kourtnie.net

Kourtnie McKenzie-Williams. Writer.

Trip to AWP LA 2016, Part IV

The restoration project continues!

Once Upon a Time 😎 Super Crumble

So last Saturday, instead of busing, I take my car to the Los Angeles Convention Center to wrap up my adventure at AWP L.A. I have to check out of my room early, which means I have to move my vehicle anyway; so I figure, I’ll head to the West Wing parking lot, like old E3 times, when I worked for Atlus, a game company with a generous enough heart to comp parking fees.

I’ll parked my car nice-and-close, then waltz into the first wave of panels—in my imagination, it’s a literal waltzing, my feet bowing inward with plantar’s fasciitis, even though my Nordstrom Rack Coach shoes are lined with silicone—and I’ll be five minutes early, spirit in my eyes, the way a person looks after too much soju, too little sleep, and too much excitement.

But that’s not how it happens.

I don’t have to check out of my room early enough to wake up in a timely fashion—so I lollygag with a blue-something-brand tangerine, twisting the skin into a perfect spiral, not paying attention to the clock on my cell, thinking about if I’ve wiped the eye crust yet, (and about different ways I might write the word “eye” in a poem, back when I thought this spur of creativity was going to form into a poem)—then I miss the 9AM panels, just like the first conference day, and my spirited-eyed, super-reality crumbles.

Minor Derail from the AWP Report to Write about Craft

It’s just not a good craft choice to end a scene with the word “crumbles,” not without earning it over several chapters, in a voice that talks big that way.

Meaning Making 🤯 Existential Blogging Crisis

Issue: Purpose of a Blog vs. the Organic Process of Blogging

But if I could think of this blog as a memoir project, where I am constantly engaging in a conversation with the books I read, and the writing I’m trying to produce—and in this way, I could say, I’m developing a voice over several chapters; a voice that might have earned the word “crumbles” already—I’d be set, yeah?

Problem is, I’m not comfortable enough to write under the umbrella of memoir project—not consciously, anyway. In truth, I’m not comfortable with personal essays in general, much as I love to read them. I’m not comfortable with my memory, which means I’m not comfortable with reporting actual events filtering through my memory, and so I write fiction and poetry and whatever else lets my memory off the hook.

I like tricking myself by claiming I’m writing a series of blog posts to exercise different blog writing forms, Internet writing forms, public writing forms—ex., the book review form—and I like thinking that, as I evolve this small blog into a writing project worth attracting a readership, it would move in the direction of book reviews strictly, or some other formal form strictly, like all good little websites should do.

But that’s not how it happens.

Except—

But—

でも—

Doubt is incredible, isn’t it?

Listing 🤩 Saturday @AWP ’16

After a $15 parking fee over by the Convention Center’s West Wing, I run into the 10:30AM panel doing the bottom-of-foot sweat, (which is totally hideable in public, versus the under-the-armpits sweat,) and I eat a basket of $1.99 strawberries from the Hannam Chain Supermarket while starting something like:

  • 10:30AM-11:45AM: Everyone’s a Critic;
  • 12:00noon-1:15PM: Applying for an Individual NEA Fellowship;
  • 1:15PM-2:00PM: Romping around the Book Fair in a completely disheveled fashion looking for literary magazines and friends.

I’ll have a few other panels lined up to check out, like “Why We Innovate: The Case for Hybrid Genres,” and “Worlds Within the Other California,” yet I’ll decide to get on the road early, to head back Fresno.


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