Before we get started: I’m going to be at Conversations and Connections in DC next month, and so should you. There’s really no other conference like it, and it has a very friendly vibe. I go even when my appendix has burst but I don’t know it yet. It’s that much fun.
And one more item: The Northville Review will publish a theme issue this summer! I am pretty stoked about this. If you are an NR alum, you will get an email soon unless the NR Google mailbox doesn’t have your address anymore. If you are on the mailing list, you will get an email soon. If you are neither of those, you will probably have to wait a little longer to find out more. But not much longer.
Okay, so. I went to see a high school production of Xanadu on Friday. The performers had headset mics! There were smoke machines and flying horses and live music! My sister’s roller derby teammate helped with roller skate training — listening to the derby girls sitting near me freak out at the stunt quality was good times.
On Saturday I went to the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair. It’s in a really cool venue and they get good vendors — both print and art. I hit my budget for it very quickly. I would’ve liked to figure out what the food cart out front was selling — the line was ten people deep the entire time I was there — but it was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella.
After the Book Fair I holed up for a while and wrote. That turned out to be a fantastic idea. One of the wisest purchases I’ve made in recent years = an extra strength battery for my laptop.
I make the drive to western New York state often enough that there are rituals. On the way out, I always stop at the Pattersonville rest stop because there’s a 75 mile stretch or so before that with no break whatsoever. On the way back, I always swing through the Oneida rest stop because there’s a drive-through McDonald’s, and the only time I do McDonald’s is on these trips. It’s not even the cheeseburger I look forward to. It’s the giant cup of fountain diet Coke.
There have been times I have arrived at my destination hoarse because I sang along with the radio for the entire trip. Didn’t happen this time, though.
All of this means that I might very well be the only person in America who has not seen The Hunger Games yet. I will probably remedy that this week. My daughter wants to see it. That’s my excuse for doing lots of things.
Most of the reading I did on my trip was Elizabeth Ellen’s Fast Machine. Whoever designed that book deserves an award. The interior layout of the book is 1970′s mass market paperback. It makes me think of the Joyce Carol Oates books my mom devoured when I was a kid, or Judy Blume’s Forever. Which also works with the collection itself. It’s a book that should be passed around with paperclipped pages and highlighted passages. I’m really enjoying it.
And, as it happens, I have an extra copy! First one to email embfitz at gmail gets it.
I read Kevin’s review of Echolocation at almost the exact right time while I was reading it, so now I’m stuck with the feeling that he’s said everything I would want to say about it, and better than I could have. So here’s the tl; dr version, and imagine that I am using my Battlestar Galactica Fan Girl voice: If you like Myfanwy Collins’ work, you need to read it. Just trust me on this.
Someday I’m going to write an essay about my favorite episode of Battlestar Galactica. When that day comes, gods help you all.
What is an MFA story? Maybe a little related: As a product of that era’s MFAdom, I can relate to some of this.