I can easily say I’m a reader (who loves coincidence), but at the same time I feel pretentious calling myself a writer (especially a writer who enjoys coincidences). Connors seems to feel similarly. He jots notes while smoke watching, but mostly he reads. Connors writes Fire Season without revealing too much about his personal life, (evading a lingering focus on his brother’s suicide as well as recognizing how he forces a comparison of wildfire smoke to smoke from the towers on 9/11, which he witnessed) and instead he supplements his personal writing by writing about other writers’ lookout tenures; including Gary Synder, Norman Maclean, and Jack Kerouac.
I understand the need to connect with other writers (even via coincidence); just to at least have someone else who you can connect to with what you’re doing. I need someone else to say it’s odd, but not crazy, to sit at your desk and write; just as I’m sure Connors liked to know that others sat in a tower and watched.
Read the entire review X essay hybrid HERE.