“If the words are alive….”

Aside

“If the words are alive….”

My life recently has been a seemingly endless string of Julia Cameron’s artist’s dates. It’s been a month since I climbed to the upper deck of the Megabus and traveled to Chicago for AWP . Though I live in Milwaukee, less than two hours by car, train or bus, from Chicago, I rarely get there. I was born directionally challenged with small-town girl blood still flowing in my veins. Milwaukee is a smaller, manageable city with a big-town friendliness and feel. It has become home, with occasional trips to fill my mountains, trees and oceans needs. Chicago scares me. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love the energy and the pace of big cities, but I can only take them in small bites, or I feel overwhelmed and a bit claustrophobic. I need more sky than big cities offer. I’ve dreamt of living in Paris, but I suspect I’d be better off planning to live in Paris for a month, rather than forever.

Chicago, the small slice of it I saw as I scurried from workshop to workshop at AWP, did not disappoint. I can’t quite say the same for AWP. Don’t get me wrong. I learned a lot. I listened to some fabulous, and some not so fabulous, speakers. But the schedule, the pace, the format itself was grueling. There was no free time built into the schedule. Workshops went non-stop, so if you took a break (as I did and had to), you knew you were missing something.

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