Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Steamshoveling into a basement

I can’t wait to get all of my journals into HTML, so I can change the font so they all look like Motorhead album covers.

Last night, I taped about an hour of my rambling about Summer Rain. I set up the camera and taped it on the VCR using a VHS tape running on the slow speed. I don’t care about the picture too much, I just needed the audio. So this way, I can put 6 hours of discussion on each tape. And after an hour, I realized it will take a lot of fucking discussion to get this thing rolling. I am hoping that by the end of May, I will have enough notes to start an outline and a completely new draft of the book.

I brought Bill home last night and hung out at his place a bit, caught up with Jen and saw Liam. He was running all over, and talking about steamshovels. I guess he read this book, which I sort of remember from my childhood, about this steamshovel that digs this basement for a building and gets stuck at the bottom, so he becomes a furnace. Oddly enough, I had a dream last night where Liam kept saying “Boba Fett” over and over.

I started re-reading this Rupert Thomas book, to get an idea of what I want to do with SR. There are a lot of fine details about his writing that make it memorable. I think it’s because he never directly builds up his characters – they are built through strong incidentals. Instead of saying his characters’ age or height or looks, he’ll talk about the cigarette they smoke or their mannerisms in such a way that you build up the character based on your expectations of a person that would drink that kind of drink or whatever. And the characters really build in your head, come back to haunt you long after you set down the book. I like that.

I’m hoping to re-read about 5-10 books that contain pieces of SR that I like, and take a lot of notes on them. I also hope to collect together a bunch of music that will help me to write. I want to make tapes containing songs that I listened to in those periods, or songs that remind me of then. That’ll help me write a bit more. It’s too easy to listen to music that distracts me, or puts me to sleep.