Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

A return to posting

After about 5 hours of hacking, this thing is up and running again. Sure feels weird to have all of the old entries on the server, and only one new one. I had to redo all of my interface here, and rewrite the C program that indexes everything, but it seems to be working. There are many bugs and rough-around-the edges things that need work, but it’s letting me enter in stuff, and it’s putting it on the web site, so that’s all that matters for now.

I have my Escort back. It feels weird to drive it after the Rabbit – almost like it’s a big car or something. It smells new, and the seats are more comfortable. I like the feel of it, and the interior, but it’s very sluggish. Going up hills, I kept grabbing for the gearshift to downshift. It also feels odd without a clutch under my left foot. Although I’ve cursed that car the last 34 months I’ve had it, I will miss it when it’s gone. It’s about as stable and well-adjusted as American cars get. Although my trips to Longview last year got to be a pain after a while, I will miss driving down I-5 on a nice, sunny day in that car. I’ve owned it longer than any other car, so it’ll always symbolize the beginning of my Seattle experience. And in 2 months, it will be back at the Ford motor credit office, on its way to another sucker.

I feel a need to update anyone who may have read my last journal and then got to the new one (or people who maybe read all of the old entries and then wondered what happened in the 6 month gap). So I guess I should run through the list.

I guess the biggest thing is that I’m single now. I split things off with Karena about 3 months ago. It’s hard to describe diplomatically in a public forum, but I guess I’ve been in the middle of some kind of weird identity crisis, and I wanted to get more serious about my writing. There weren’t any major dramatics, fights, etc. It’s hard to go into it any more than that, but I can describe what’s been going on with me, and maybe that will explain it more.

First, I’ve been writing a lot this year. I screwed around for a month or so, got a bunch of new computer gear with my tax money in January, and then decided to get back on the horse with my first novel, Summer Rain. In the middle of editing this book, I got to the point where I wanted to write full-time on it, and it became hard to do anything else. I thought about it so much, I *dreamed* about being in the book. And in all of this wanting to be a writer, and having a crisis about my purpose in life, I didn’t think I could live this bipolar life of working and being in a serious relationship, and writing. So, I got more into Summer Rain after the split, and then got into my second book again, Rumored to Exist. Right now, I’m supposed to be editing Rumored, but I’ve been blocked for a few weeks. So who knows what is next.

I bought a second car, another VW Rabbit like the one I had back in 1992. I was fixated on it after working on Summer Rain, since the car in that book is practically a main character. My old one was a 1980 diesel, 4 door, sunroof, 4 speed, silver. This is a 1978 gas, 2 door, sunroof, 5 speed, silver. It ran good for a while, and now this water pump shit started up. After I get that fixed, and a few other little things, it will be an okay car.

Since the beginning of last December, I’ve also bought a new stereo for the VW, a MiniDisc recorder, a bunch of computer crap, a bunch of books, and about 250 CDs. I’ve still managed to do okay with the bills – most of that was from a windfall of money at the start of the year, taxes and bonuses. I’ve been somewhat broke lately, and I am worried because the Escort has some paint scratches and I’m almost certain they will charge me $1000 for them when I return it. So I’m eating a lot of ramen and lunchmeat sandwiches these days.

I signed another lease on my apartment. Not much to say there, except that I’m too lazy to move, and I’m afraid if I move elsewhere, I won’t get any writing done.

My friend Bill Perry moved back to Indiana at the end of January, because his mom had cancer. She passed away the day before Memorial day, which really sucks. It’s weird without him here, since he moved me out here and he was kindof my default Seattle friend. He still works in Seattle (remotely) and shows up every once in a while.

Life has otherwise been very boring and routine, and maybe that’s part of the problem. I’ve been suffering fits of depression about what to do next. It’s not that I’m planning on quitting my job and backpacking across Tibet. It feels like the only interval after entering the corporate world is retiring, and that’s why people get married and buy houses volvo stationwagons and take package vacations and have kids and go to church. I don’t feel like I could do any of those things, but I almost feel like it’s expected of me. When I was in school, I always had goals – getting money for a semester, getting past midterms, getting through the semester, finishing requirements, meeting the right woman, etc. But it seems like life is a giant open frontier. I guess that’s good and bad.

It’s getting daylight out – I should probably sleep. More about this later.

06/06/98 12:23

I imagine I’ll be doing 9 entries a day for the first week, but the reading level will taper off with time. Bear with me.

As you can tell, I don’t sleep much on weekends. It’s very eerie to be sitting in bed, listening to a CD, and catching up on the paper journal as the sky turns from black to blue to broad daylight. The days are getting longer, which puts a cramp on a person who claims they can only write during darkness.

Although I am broke and tired, I promised myself I would leave the house and do something of interest today, and going to the mall doesn’t count.