Thursday, October 09, 2008

QLiterati! Last Night

I set my clock for 6am last night, an hour of precious early creation given up to the goddess of sleep that would help me make it through the day without going postal on anyone. Typically, I'm up at 5 as that guarantees one hour until son number 1 drags his sleepy ass to the kids' computer to check webcomics, and another before I have to wake son number 2 from his peaceful slumber to get him ready for kindergarten and another day with a hope of happiness.

That extra hour was sorely needed this morning, as I was uncharacteristically awake last night at midnight, having enjoyed an evening of QLiterati! at the Portland QCenter, even though I was literally in the spotlight for once--as a featured author--instead of an appreciative audience member. My wife and I even went out afterwards for soda, fries and chitchat with a dear supportive friend, as our in-house babysitter (only daughter) put younger son to bed, and the older son can fend for himself most days.

He is 16.

Last night I got to read from my book, sit next to Ariel Gore and soak up her writing advice (and snag a copy of How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead), listen to Alan Rose read from his spooky tale, The Legacy of Emily Hargraves, and hear about Tamara Stoner's Pink Pea Productions' new show Dottie's Magic Pockets--a kid's show for the kids of glbt parents we can hope will be picked up by a network and showing on a station near you. The Open Mike readers were fun as usual, and I predict that Jason Zenobia has a sparkling literary future ahead.

Jacob and Diane Anderson-Minshall hosted with aplomb, and I learned that they will share the dais with Ariel, Marc Acito and me on the Queer Panel at Wordstock November 9th. Wordstock fans willed the house, so there was a lot of talk about this fairly recent but rapidly entrenching Portland institution.

There was some joking that except for Alan, it was a hip, queer mama line-up, so the topic of finding time to write was inevitable. Ariel Gore talked about writing at stop lights, read a poem about writing at the laundromat (I don't remember the author), and spoke about her students who manage to take classes but don't seem to put pen to paper. This was good timing for me. It has been a long dry spell as life has gotten in the way, family crises have taken first place in the race for my restricted energy supply, and writing avoidance has taken the form of other artistic endeavors. But I've cleared my desk--literally--cleaned up my act, taken out the trash, trimmed the bushes, and bulldozed the debris out of the laundry room. My excuses, the rolling soot in the path of my mental river are washed away. I have hours to myself, and the blessing of a room with a door that locks, and pages to fill with ink.

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