Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"A lighter life, at any price." -Amelia Gray in AM/PM

So last night I went to a reading at Sphinx and saw Celeste Gainey and Kayla Sargeson, along with some open mic readers. It was a pretty fabulous experience, sitting on the floor on patterned cushions in the small space upstairs, only about five feet from the microphone. I dragged my roommate and one of our friends along with me, and they seemed to like it. It is probably the most awkward thing in the world to ask people to a poetry reading because 99% of the time they don't want to go. It's sad, but it's the world we live in.

I could tell that a lot of people at the reading knew each other. I'm starting to get a vague idea of this big, connected group in the Pittsburgh writing scene (wow that sounds ridiculous when I write it). I've met a lot of them at Pitt's Writer's Cafe. There seems to be this whole group who teaches at/ went to/ is in Carlow's MFA program in poetry. I'm just glad that I'm starting to recognize people, either by name or face.

Also, just for the record, Stacey Waite was there, and I basically freaked out. I think she is so awesome, and one of these times I'm actually going to go up to her and say that.

I'm reading Amelia Gray's book AM/PM. It's making me feel a little bit stupid, like there's something that I'm not getting because I'm not smart enough yet. As I get closer to the end of the book, I am starting to see some of the threads between the stories, but I still feel really confused. From what I've read about Amelia Gray, people are always commenting on how emotionally affecting her work is. I'm not really getting it. I guess I'll have to finish it and see where I'm at then.

So for the last few days, my daily writing has just been full of me writing stupid play-form dialogue. I have this whole thing going where this girl is in the middle of a conversation, but she keeps addressing the audience. I don't really know where it's coming from, and I don't really like it. But what are you going to do? I'm trying to work on some short pieces, but none of them are coming together. Blah blah blah.

I'm hitting that burnout point in my fiction workshop. Don't get me wrong, workshops are about my favorite thing in the world because I like to know that other people do what I do, but when you're in a workshop of more than 20 students it just gets to the point where you need a break. That being said, it's a fabulous class, my favorite fiction workshop so far. It's just that the end of the semester seems so close and so far away at the same time.

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