Wednesday, April 13, 2005

AWP in Vancouver

After finishing my novel I joined the AWP (the association of writers and writing programs) following Kate's recommendation. Finishing made me feel like I maybe wouldn't wait tables forever and I could start dreaming of actually having a job related to my writing. And the conference this year was in Vancouver. I always wanted to visit Vancouver because of my early childhood exposure to the Kootenay School of Writing. A smattering of poets from that school came to Brown via an invitation from Peter Gizzi. Lisa Robertson came through the door carrying a whiskey bottle. Catriona Strang wore a Hockey Shirt and both postured queerly for my friends and me. This apparently is a Vancouver thing. I'll tell you more about it later. Nancy Shaw was there too. Less visually punk rock. More refined like Montreal. Of course the men figure less prominently for me (my prejudice) but Jeff Derksen and Kevin Davies were there too. I think of the group the only one left in Vancouver is Catriona but I'm not positive if she is even still there.

Anyhow, so Kate and I were off to Vancouver and it was a credit card vacation to celebrate me finishing the book. We stayed in one of the hotels recommended by the AWP and so we got the group rate for a semi-fancy businessman Marriot. We loved it. Especially the 24 hour indoor swimming pool and whirlpool and sauna etc. Mostly, I liked feeling like writing was a real occupation and it could get people to treat me well. So far it has only increased my skills and experience in the hospitality industry. It was nice to dream that it could get me room service once a year.

I like to eat more than anything so I got a food guide to Vancouver and the first thing we did after we got to the hotel was go to the Templeton Diner. On the way there Kate was convinced that people were staring at us because we were holding hands on the street. I thought maybe they were staring at us because we were babes. I don't know. You tell me, Vancouver. It was a long walk to the Templeton from the hotel but the guidebook said the milkshakes were great. When we got there it was the post-lunch hush and so we got to chat it up with the wiatress. She keyed in to our queer vibe and started talking about cute girls and everything and so we thought she was queer too. Turns out she's not. So maybe it is a Vancouver-thing this make the queer girls comfortable by making them think your one of them. I don't know. But it was extreme. Kate said the waitress was flirting with me and I have to say that maybe she was. Strange. The milkshake was good. The sandwich was good. The atmosphere was great. I went back a few days later and had a great Eggs Benedict.

OK. I'll continue this story after I get somethings done in the house...

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