Monday, August 21, 2017

Tornado Alley Bliss

Guys. Guys. In the past 24 hours, I've driven 900 miles, given two presentations, and gone eclipsing with the hedonists of Hebron, Nebraska. Needless to say, my death is now imminent. But before I go, I need to tell you something. Come closer. Are you listening?

This. Is. AWESOME.

This tornado alley tour is barely half done, but it's already been the best, most amazing thing. I have turned tricks on Route 66. I have listened to George Strait's "Amarillo by Morning" while literally driving to Amarillo at the crack of dawn. I have been phone-coaching writers while doing 80 on highway 80 (hands-free, natch), preaching the gospel from town to town like some kind of redneck revivalist, buying gas and motel rooms with the wares I sell out of my trunk, and all of it, ALL of it made possible by one or more exceptionally generous, hard-working writer-wranglers in each of these magical midwestern metropoli. 

This photo is an incredibly deep metaphor for... something.

You know. The ones who put their own work on the back burner to make a good time happen for other people. The ones who turn a bunch of atomized, scribbling saddos into a crew, a posse, a bona-fide network of word-warriors. I tell you what: this industry is one of the most frustrating, archaic, long-odds masochism olympics out there - but Misty and Mike and Kimberly and Lynette and people like them are the lynchpins that keep the wheels bolted on and the literary world turning.

And just on the off chance that I happen to survive the night, this I vow: I am done chasing invitations to workshops and conferences. From now on, I am not waiting to be asked, much less asking to be asked: I am here for the people who are here for *their* people, and the rest of the world had better strap in and watch out!

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