Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Writing a book in an empty forest

I have put a small news page for info as I get the Necrokonicon ready for print. It’s located here. I have been incredibly depressed as this book nears completion, mostly because I am almost certain in my mind that nobody will buy it, read it, or even understand why I would do it. And a lot of my lack of excitement has to do with the fact that this isn’t my pride and joy baby or whatever, but just something that I have to do so I can get it done and move on. The reason I am doing this is not so I can be the next Dan Brown. I don’t expect every Oprah-watching housewife in middle america to rush out and buy my book. I’m just doing it so I can stop fucking writing about Indiana. Because as long as the glossary is sitting on my site, every time the IU Foundation takes one of my old favorite places to eat and shop and turns it into a new parking lot or Urban Outfitter, I won’t feel the need to break my train of thought and go research it from the piece of shit Bloomington newspapers that don’t publish articles online unless you send them a DNA sample and buy three subscriptions, and update the stupid site, for fear some dumb fucker leaves me a comment telling me I’m an idiot because I don’t know the facts about a store that I’ve never visited, in a state that I largely avoid, that happens to be built on the ground of a 7-Eleven where I bought a Coke once, in 1989.

I watched that movie Art School Confidential last weekend. The bullet review is that it’s okay – too much of an attempt to slap a serious plot on a Clerks-type film, but some good jokes here and there, and Malkovich plays a convincing weirdo, if you can believe that. There was this whole subplot where the main character was doing what art he thought was best, but was running into problems where everyone else was doing really stupid “art” shit that was essentially worthless, but was praised by the teacher and others. And he goes to visit the Malkovich professor to discuss whether he should change styles or work on finding his own voice or whatever, and he realizes that the teacher has been painting giant paintings with just a triangle on them. And the teacher praises his attempts at work and says that maybe someday, after 25 years of hard work, he can find his own voice, like the stupid triangles paintings that he’s turning out.

I guess that sums up about what I’m thinking now. The Indiana thing is dead and gone for me, even if I have an almost-complete book of stories about Indiana, and at least two half-done, all-dead book maunscripts about it. I’m sick of writing neaty-neat prose because people just look for the plot points and the predicable story, of which there are only about 12 possible ones, total, in the world. I know just about everyone hated Rumored to Exist, or didn’t get it, but it’s the closest thing that I’ve wrote to what’s in my mind. Writing soap opera dreck in novel form is bullshit. When people started inventing cameras, painters stopped painting Polaroid-portraits of people. In a world as fucked up as the one we live in, I shouldn’t be forced to say “Oh, it’s The Sound of Music, but with gay cowboys” when I’m thinking of ideas for a book.

I want to write the books that Kilgore Trout was supposed to write in Vonnegut’s books, and I want to get to the point where I can write them just as fast. I want to write stories that Crispin Glover would say are too fucked up to print. I don’t want to have paragraphs and chapters and lines and arcs and subplots and all of that shit – I want to find a way to make a total braindump of sheer anarchy readable somehow. I want to do this, because I can only occasionally find writing that’s like this, that I really like. Mark Leyner’s books were the first that really made me think the revolution had arrived. And his last book was a stupid worthless trivia book. I want more books like this, and I can’t find them, so I will write them.

So fuck all of you for not buying my other books, and I don’t care if you buy any of the new ones. I am writing to fill my bookshelf. If you happen to look at what I put out there and like it, great. If you write similar stuff, or can point me to some similar stuff that I could buy, even great. If you don’t like it, you’re always welcome to to buy the latest plagarized, fictionalized, non-fiction book from Oprah’s list and act like you’re smart.

Fuck, am I ever glad I’m going on vacation. In two weeks, I will be on a plane (first class, no less), going to Alaska. I bought an extra battery for my laptop so I will have enough juice for the flight, and I’m ripping a bunch of movies from DVD so I can pack those on the drive. I still don’t know what the hell we are doing, but I plan to buy another Alaska book or two when we’re out tonight, so we’ll see. Lots of photos, hopefully. And maybe some flying, like a little seaplane or whatever.

Okay, time to go read…