Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

The long walk to W384 Intensive Writing

I love it when it’s cool in the early morning after a hot day. There’s a certain charge in the air that’s unexplainable, not just the relief from the heat, but a somnolent, undisturbed feeling.  It was 83 yesterday, and I woke up to 55, and it was wonderful, even if it will be back to the high 70s in a bit.

In the summer of 1992, I had this 8AM writing class.  I was one of the only guys in the class and we talked about metaphor and Susan Sontag and I wrote a paper about the Pink Floyd song “Two Suns in the Sunset” that I’m glad I lost a long time ago.  (I wrote about this fictionally in Summer Rain.)  I used to stay up late every night, meeting people at midnight at Showalter Fountain, then wallowing in depression, sitting on computers or just walking around campus.  I’d maybe sleep a few hours in my pizza oven of a flophouse room, and wake up for the quick walk across campus to Ballantine for the writing class. During the day, the temperatures would hit the 90s, but in the early morning, the temps would sometimes drop into the 60s, and campus would be empty at that time of day. Those walks have permanently burned into my brain, and I think about them every time there’s a morning like this, and I feel that mixed state emotion of fulfillment and emptiness that a quiet, early morning can bring.

I think this work of progress is now paused.  Still not talking about it, except to say that I got a third of the way through the first draft and felt like the writing was too wooden and not me, and I needed a break to pick up some steam.  I think I need to watch a bunch of David Lynch movies in a row and get back to it later.  It’s still a good idea, and it’ll keep, but I need something else right now.

I’m still more or less writing daily stuff, automatic writing, brain dumps of whatever happens to hit at the time I sit down to write.  Sometimes, these are absurd and hilarious and end up in a book like Atmospheres, but they also become these nostalgic things that make me think about writing another book like Summer Rain, which I feel like I can’t do.  Maybe it will end up being a chapbook of some sort.

I was going to write more about nostalgic writing, but I should probably just go do some.