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<ginormous sigh>

I’m home. After two weeks plus some on the road, I arrived back in Portland yesterday morning and stepped right back into the frenzy of my life–bills, writing, teaching class last night, and actually sleeping in my own bed. It’s a blessing and a joy to come home, to be home, to rediscover my writing desk and my bike and my pretty little life all wrapped up and waiting for me (okay, so it’s not all that pretty, really, but that’s one of the advantages of travel–when you come home, your life usually looks better that when you left it).

So, surely you want to know about Saints and Sinners? Well, it was amazing, of course. I got to meet some of my all-time favorite authors, including Dorothy Allison and Mark Doty. And then there are all the authors that I adore in my field, the ones I want to be someday (well, I want to be Dorothy Allison too, especially after meeting her. Holy shit, she rocked my world). But the authors in my field, as it were, that I got to meet: Vincent Diamond (who I roomed with even), Jolie du Pre, Dale Chase, Jay Laygon, William Holden, Shawn Clements, Becky Cochrane, Amie Evans, Greg Herren, Michelle Tea. And lastly there are all the authors that I didn’t know about that I’m now in lust with: Cynn Chadwick, Alistair McCarthy, Val McDermid, Robert McDonald…so many more.

The panels and workshops were both interesting and informative, and it was an amazing experience to be able to hear so many of these authors read their work. I came away inspired and renewed, ready to write again. And that is the best thing that could have happened to me after all the craziness of this month.

So, what did I learn?

  • Telling the truth of your life rocks.
  • The things that all great writing must have: story, character, language.
  • Being a writer might make me infamous, but it will never make me in or famous. Or rich for that matter.
  • I should probably write a book if I ever want to make any money at all.
  • The people that you look up to as writers are often just as cool as people.
  • New Orleans is fucking hot. Unless you’re inside, in which case the AC is fucking cold. But none of the coolers that are supposed to make drinks cold actually work.
  • The food is tasty, but it will kill you.
  • It is god damn good to be home.