i just can't wait to get on the road again...

I've driven to Boston, stayed for less than 24 hours, and driven back. I've driven home from the Bay State leaving after midnight, pulling over to sleep in front of a rest stop parking lot outside of a Starbucks, and made it on time to work at a Barnes and Noble in New Jersey by 7:30am. I've been through more states in a weekend than some people have been to in their lives. Once, I drove north for 6 hours with no radio in my car. I sang most of the time and cursed the annoyingly catchy song (by the Barenaked Ladies that they used to play at work at least once every ten minutes) that I couldn't drive from my head or remember all of the words to. But I've never done what I'm doing over the next two weeks.

On Thursday, immediately following the Poetry & Drama Quiz I'm administering to my Experiencing Lit students,  I will be driving to Boston. Gigantic Sequins has an event celebrating the winter release of our 3.1 issue, featuring four great fiction writers, three of whom are featured in the new issue, one from 2.2. I am making the trip to visit my lovely friend Elise, who will be introducing a little boy to the world some time next month. I am hoping that he and I will share a birthday. Then, on Saturday, Gigantic Sequins is taking part in the resurrected reading series, Dirty Water, featuring readers from four other literary ventures: Redivider, Boston Review, Madras Press & Black Ocean. I'll be driving home Sunday morning to host an intimate Oscars gathering Sunday night. (I'm rooting for The Artist as Best Picture).

But that's not it. Tuesday, immediately following my Experiencing Literature class (we're reading our first short stories for that day and going over some "Elements of Fiction"), I'm getting in my car once again. This time, I am driving to Chicago for the AWP conference. I chose not to fly for various reasons, none of which are that I am afraid of flying (I'm not.) But I also didn't realize it was a 13 hour trip when I failed to buy a plane ticket. I have a lot to lug for the magazine, and... I've always wanted to take a road trip! I never imagined, though, it would be a solo drive. I'm selectively burning CDs for the trip, mixes and full albums. I am scoping out when and where I may wind up stopping over night. And I am asking lots of Chicagoans about parking. I think I am more worried about having to drive home alone 13 hours straight than I am about driving there.

(Sequined bunny mask I perhaps may be wearing at the AWP bookfair at one point or another.)
AWP was in DC last year, a much shorter trip, but I am glad to be going again this year. We are sharing our table with some of the best people in the litmag scene, the folks who run Big Lucks. Geoff is going to help me to design a table cloth for our half of the table with various things we bought from a Philly Fabric Outlet. And Big Lucks and Gigantic Sequins have a reading at Beauty Bar along with Rose Metal Press, Knee-Jerk, and Magic Helicopter Press titled "Before We Go".

The drive to and from Chicago is pretty much a straight shot. I am probably going to need a straight-up shot of something after I arrive, but I am up for the adventure. I look forward to donning black & white, chatting with fans of our journal, and meeting contributors whose work I know in print, but whose faces I have not yet met in person. Stop by Table O10, the Gigantic Sequins / Big Lucks table to say hello if you will also be in Chicago during the conference!


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