Monday, November 26, 2012

"Waiting for the Sun," revisited

"Waiting for the Sun" was conceived and birthed in three weeks. The website I wrote/edited for needed another article for the June 1, 2007 issue, so I set to work in early May with nothing but a basic premise - the disconnectedness between people in a crowded urban setting.

Armed with a strong intuition of the mood I wanted, but no clear direction of how to convey that mood, I began with several freewrites (done while riding the bus around San Francisco).

The most evocative passages from the freewrites formed the backbone of a rough draft; from there I had about a week to build and strengthen the transitions and do as many revisions as I could before deadline.

Surprisingly, considering the compressed time frame, my original vision was largely realized in the finished draft. The cold side of city life - people in physical proximity walled off from one another, caught up in their own little worlds - came through vividly. And there was a leisurely pace, a fully-fleshed atmosphere,  and a poetic voice that hadn't come out in my other non-fiction writing.

Though I liked the piece, my audience was mostly indifferent, for any number of reasons. The essay was too depressing. Or too realistic. And it lacked a formal plot. 

I quickly moved on to my next assignment with the presumption that this creative ship had sailed. 

And yet, a few of my regular readers loved "Waiting for the Sun." One of these readers recently re-published it at a new website, Secessio, a postmodern journal of political essays, poetry, and philosophy. Take a look, and while you're there, check out this interesting article about Antonin Artaud.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent read, leisurely yet tight. I especially liked how you avoided an overly elgiac tone with such phrases as "no dice," "haul ass," "whitey's lead," "jeans hanging down past his ass crack." There is a sadness to the alienation that city dwelling breeds but the dirty reality and boisterous "joie" provide some, often a great deal, of recompense.