Sunday morning in the Lost Apartment and I am sitting here, swilling my coffee and feeling very rested and relaxed, which is absolutely lovely. I came home last night after the Saints and Sinners anthology launch/reading; because I was exhausted and Scooter was home alone since Friday afternoon when I got my Lyft down to the Quarter. (And my poor baby kitty was lonely and needy, too.) I’m going to leisurely get ready this morning before I head back down to the Quarter. I have to moderate a panel at 1 with John Copenhaver, Kelly J. Ford, and Marco Carocari; and then I want to see the TWFest panel right after, moderated by Jean Redmann, with Shawn Cosby as one of the speakers (I don’t remember the other panelists and I don’t want to get it wrong, and of course, have no program here to consult. I was very tired yesterday. I had an eight am breakfast yesterday morning before my panel (young adult fiction) and so of course, spent the night at the hotel only to not sleep a wink all night–I should have just come home and gotten up early yesterday, dumb decision–and so was dragging most of the day. I had a reading in the late afternoon as well–I read from “This Town” from Murder-a-Go-Go’s, edited by the divine Holly West, and it went really well. I was also in the same reading session as Cheryl A. Head, Margot Douaihy, Chris Clarkson, and a couple of others whose names I’m blanking on. Everyone read very well, and Chris was on my young adult panel (he wrote That Summer Night on Frenchmen Street, which I am looking forward to read); he’s very charming and fun to talk to and smart. He also lives in our neighborhood!
As always, S&S is a whirlwind and the time just seems to fly by every day. I’ve had the great good fortune to be palling around with my panelists–which hopefully will make the panel easier to moderate–and been having a marvelous time. I’m feeling rather inspired about my own writing and my career–S&S always has that effect on me; all writer/lit cons do, really–and while I slept amazingly well last night, I know I’m probably going to tire out easily today. I also forget that I am not used to being around a lot of people all the time, plus public speaking has always tired me out; I have such stage fright that always triggers an adrenaline rush that departs from my body once its over, leaving me drained and tired. I think I’ve also changed my mind about what my next read is going to be; Margot’s book Scorched Grace, which she read from yesterday, just sounds so inventive and clever and original that I think I just want to go ahead and read it instead of Christopher Bollen’s The Lost Americans, which I am also really looking forward to, and then I want to read Chris Clarkson’s book. I am a reader first and foremost, and there’s nothing I love more than discovering great new books and finding new-to-me authors. (There’s also a lot of great books coming out this year yet, too–a new Shawn Cosby, a new Megan Abbott, a new Lou Berney, a new Laura Lippman; what an amazing year for reading this is going to be!)
My books also sold out this weekend by yesterday afternoon, which was really lovely.
This is also going to be a rough work week, as I will be heading into the week feeling exhausted and tired already. But that’s really okay; I will survive and that will make next weekend’s rest and relaxation that much better and needed.
It’s always weird every year when the Festivals are over. It’s always weird to go into the literary bubble for a weekend and then have to reenter reality again. But that’s the way my life goes; this weird duality and parallel lives I am living this time around. And everyone is always so kind about my books and my panels, it’s actually rather lovely. I guess I have, just by sheer determination and dogged perseverance, managed to stick around this crazy business for twenty-one years as an author; twenty-six if you count when I first started getting paid to write, and somehow maybe settled, unknowingly, into a ‘respected elder’ place. I don’t know, maybe my work has been respected all this time and I, being the oblivious type who always takes compliments with several spoonfuls of grains of salt, never noticed because I always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. Something to think about, anyway, on those rare occasions when I can just sit around and reflect on my life, career, and the passing of time. (I know I’ve recently had some insights on situations and people in the past that I didn’t quite see or understand at the time; the wisdom from time passing, I suppose.)
And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. I want to eat something and get cleaned up before I head back down to the Quarter; my panel is at 1 I think. Talk to you tomorrow, Constant Reader!