Crazy Daze

Not really crazy — just busy as all get out. Having a full-time job sure gets in the way of all that other living you might like to do. Heh.

I went to the Northern California Book Reviewers awards tonight in San Francisco and saw, chatted with or met so many writers. Like Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kim Addonizio, Lynn Freed, Brenda Webster, and so on. So many. And movers and shakers in the SF lit world — Joyce Jenkins was there, and Richard Silberg, and Larsen and Pomada, and others who are just beginning to make their marks. It was fun, it was cool, it was entertaining in its own way. But — may I just say this? We writers are not a pretty lot. There were a couple of the sleek and chic but most writers are fuzzy, gnarly, craggy and unkempt. What’s up with that, anyway?

So my buddy Nick and I played a rousing game of Asshole BINGO to pass the time. (Never played? It’s a gas — in a crowd, a meeting, a classroom, a party, choose who your free spot is — the one who is guaranteed to be a jerk or a fool. Then pick four others who are likely to behave idiotically and whoever gets BINGO first has to use the word BINGO in a sentence in front of everyone. In our case, we just kept saying our letters as we passed each other, as clearly, no one cared about anything we had to say. So who’s the asshole?)

We chose Birkenstocks as the free spot — looking for anyone in Birkies. Then I chose elbow patches on a jacket, wildly inappropriate earrings, a long grey braid and a T-shirt with a free speech or literacy slogan on it (“I read banned books,” for example). Nick chose a knitted cap on anyone under 40, Joyce Carol Oates glasses, and I can’t recall, two other items. If we found anyone with those items, we’d get a letter, and all five wins BINGO. So guess what? We weren’t even in the door before Elbow Patches came walking in — on a woman, no less. A greyed woman with little braids and dreads gave me I, some Birkies walked in (free spot!) and that was N, and though I didn’t see them, Nick said I got G with some scary earrings. I never did see the T-shirt, though. Nick got the free spot, but his Knit Cap took it off before entering the room, and we saw the JCO eyeglasses but they were red, not black, so they didn’t count.

We also heard some delicious gossip and made some new aquaintances, who will, I hope, make an appearance at Literati this year. We snickered and rolled our eyes and made biting comments under our breath as other people won awards and we sat there biting our nails and playing Asshole BINGO and trying not to be jealous.

I know, we’re hopelessly puerile, but what are we if not oversized puerile idiots? I ask you…

Tomorrow night I go for the Big Fish (my juicy catch of the day for Literati). Wish me luck; I’ll report back if I catch him, or just end up with a handful of smelly fishscales and an empty belly.

Advice for Aspiring Writers: It never hurts to ask.

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