running on pacific time!

I was supposed to go to a few AWP sessions at 9am EST, but I just could NOT wake up. I slept 3 hours the night previous, and barely at all the plane, so I just crashed. The alarm went off. I winced. I hit snooze. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

As I lay in the hotel room, the rumble of traffic and accompanying horns slowly increasing in complexity and decibel (oh I love the city), I told myself silently, “Am I not on VACATION?!”

So there. I gave myself permission to sleep in. I’ll head over to the conference on my own time–if I miss a few sessions, so be it. The most important thing today, for me, is the John Irving keynote speech tonight, anyhow. And realistically, big crowds of people freak me out.

Last night, as I walked past the conference hotel, I said the same–that big crowds of people freak me out and that I might be back early from the conference.

My hubby said, “That’s because you’re such an introvert! Just hang in there, and open your mind, don’t give up too early. Give it a chance.”

Not many people in the world consider me an introvert. I told a friend at work that I am an introvert, and he started guffawing. “Yah. YOU. You’re REALLY an INTROVERT.” And resumed guffawing.

But I am. I’ve trained myself to be highly social and I love being with people one on one. But big large groups? I’m petrified.

Update: After two talks (the one about “how editors acquire books” was one I walked straight out of after 10 minutes–it was clear I’d learn nothing new there:  get an agent, get an agent, get an agent…and the outlook is bleak.  Nothing new to me) and a tour of the bookfair, I am back in my hotel room, resting up to attend tonight’s keynote with John Irving.

Despite my sensory overload, I managed to navigate quite a bit! I said hello to A Public Space (I was a founding subscriber and am friends with one of their contributing editors) and Sycamore Review (Hey I read their blog! The fiction editor, Jon, who happened to be there, offered me candy. Of course I happily obliged). And I briefly rendezvoused with Susan. But after awhile, I wished I could transport right out of there. Standing in the midst of the huge crowds, the thrum of crowd noise pressing into me, surrounded by people, I realized, “I need to get out of here!” So now I am in my upholstered chair, in my little room, feeling oh so much better.

Time for a very late lunch.

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