Things I’ve Written While Half-Asleep, Lonely, and Bored at Writing Conferences

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~Breakfast tacos so good, people don’t care they’re being sold at a gas station

~Falling asleep again

~Wish I had coffee and a nap

~Asleep again. And again! A MILLION TIMES!

~A house covered in coke tabs.

~New Braunfels is an old German town settled on the San Marcos River. Population about 35,000. Gets very high in summer & on weekends. Has a German flair to it – German food and festivals. Wurstfest. I am fruit Darling. Nothing makes sense b/c I keep falling asleep! Fuck! I’m such a… I just fell asleep again! It’s like I’m under attack! I can’t help it & I fear I’m going to embarrass myself. I did it AGAIN! I need help. I can’t keep my eyes open for longer than 30 seconds & long… AGAIN! TO DO: Write the history of the place. The HISTORY. And QUIT IT!

~Tom: A quiet man, balding, thin, glasses, tweed sport coat

~Terry: Former dentist, likes football & will talk too long about beer

~Bobby-Ann: Milquetoast, thin, shriveled, gray hair cut, not into a shape, just cut, severe part to one side, cardigan, a chin that blends into her neck

~Elizabeth: The Grandma. Farrah Fawcett hair style, round cheeks, smells like apple pie and cookies, frowns when black people are mentioned

~Oh my god, these people are so boring!

~Good writers, but poor speakers

*Become a famous writer so that YOU can give better responses*

~live 5 minutes away/ had to circle campus for 30 to find building

~went up 1-way street to find recycling truck coming down. Blocked.

~finally found the parking lot and the ONE sign, 5 minutes before Start

~ask a student about building, she doesn’t know anything

~man at registration was over it. First session was boring.

~I asked the question about NaNoWriMo, no one knew what it was

~water bottle spilled in purse

~no service inside building

~forgot cigarettes

~shirt came un-hooked AND unwrapped

~first bathroom was being cleaned. Had to walk across building to pee.

~got blood on my hands

~tiny stall

~hair is frizzy (humidity)

~2nd session better – louder/livlier

~woman won’t stop making bird noises & woodland creature noises

~ask question of 2nd panel – worst books ever? Little/no response (although an author who was in the audience answered)

~It’s amazing that I have any friends at all, much less a husband, b/c all I am is awkward & confusing to other people. But fuck them.

~Sat alone at a table for 8, 1/2 hoping someone would come along & I could make a new writer friend, but that’s not going to happen because it NEVER happens

~After lunch: Derthick Hall. Where TF is Derthick Hall? Not on map or in pamphlet


~I am falling asleep. HELP!

~I keep doing it. Maybe if I keep writing I wo… Nope.

~I wish I had gum or mints or something at all that I could poo… ->What? I…No! It happened again! Well, at least I have this pen & paper to write on so that when I fall asleep, I at least look like I’m writing or taking notes/reading what I’ve written. Ah! What shitty ha…

~I parked shitty the first time, so when I went to retrieve my phone, I fixed it, which will mean that the person who parked behind me now looks like an idiot.

~I am the first person in the lecture hall. By 1/2 an hour, probably.

~2 men discussing their beards: “Mine is soft. It’s head hair, not beard hair. Most people’s beards are real rough and coarse, but mine is silky.”

~Lights turned off as I sat in hall. Motion-sensored.

~Second session microphone has bad reverb. Every breath sounds like a Dalek.

-Afternoon Session-

~I am not a normal human

~Person (in a) Place (with a) Problem

~Wake up! Quit falling asleep! You!

~Make the most of your 45 minutes. Don’t be lazy. If you want to write, write.

~Tomorrow never comes; It’s always Today.

~Don’t write tomorrow! Write today!

~Write a book like a symphony: quiet LOUD quiet LOUD

~I am the only person in the room who doesn’t know anyone else. There isn’t a single person in this room who knows the sound of my voice.

~Make sure you focus on a person or a problem right away.


~Don’t fall asleep! Stay Awake!

~Oh my god I can’t even stay awake while I’m writing. Too little sleep/not enough coffee. A little bit bored. Calvin needs a haircut. Keep writing. Don’t fall asleep. This is important. Question time. Stay awake. Stop being shitty! You’re making yourself look stupid & being disrespectful to the authors! Kate Landers will be the guestnote speaker. Keynote speaker.

~Keynote Speaker, 2022: Kate Landers

~Become a better writer! Sell your shit. Damnit. Damnit. What kinds of notes are these?? Get more sleep tonight!

~Keynote with Wendell Berry

~The air conditioning is an antique, forcing air from its vents that turns into a true wind & blows the stage curtains like waves. At first I thought the actors behind were having trouble finding their way out.

~An old man wears a hoodie with his hands shoved down into his pockets. Underneath, his T-shirt declares “Black Lives Matter.” I realize that most of these gray-and-white-headed people are flower children, born in the 40s & 50s. They came of age in the era of civil rights & sexual liberation.

~I see one person I know – someone I’ve met several times, actually. But I know that she does not know me. I don’t bother to reintroduce myself. I’ve already ignored 2 people I know better than her this week.

~I know when I’m about to cry because a sour, wet pang blooms behind my eyeballs, the same way my salivary glands bubble forth at the threat of a sour candy.

~giraffe tastes like beef/hippo tastes like pork

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