Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

indexing hell

This is a quick test to see how things have survived the move. Not everything is hooked up yet. It looks like the time is screwed up – I am entering this in PST and the server’s in EST, so it looks like my entries will perpetually be 3 hours off. Bummer. I’ll be back to write something meaningful after I beat the indexing program over the head a few times and make sure everything works.

12/06/98 23:46

That wasn’t fun. My little indexing program written in C was not that portable – it contained a bunch of hard-coded pathnames for speakeasy, and I had to break out gdb to find out why it wasn’t running after I recompiled it (a missing slash.) This system isn’t as convenient as the old one, but I think I’ll eventually get it running okay.

It sure is weird being at bat again. I have many truly paranoid fears about my audience and people running across my writing, especially since I seem to be leading a dual life right now. But, I’m sure about 3 people are reading this, and it doesn’t even look like my site appears on any of the search engines yet, so I guess I don’t have that much to worry about.

All of a sudden, a million projects have fallen out of the sky. I’ve been spending my odd time getting rumored.com up and running, and I wish I could work on it full-time. It looks so threadbare right now, simple HTML everywhere and almost no color or pictures. But it has some good content started, and I hope to whip up some stylesheets and more universal design and navigation for the whole thing when I get motivated.

Summer Rain still continues. I’ve been working on it almost every night, trying to finish the final third. There are some real problems with the dynamics of the last 15 chapters, but I’m slowly chiseling it out. I never did finish the middle third – I got about 85% done. I wanted to move on to something fresh, so I’ll have to go back and get to that later. The book is now over 200,000 words, and it’s going to need at least another 50K words before it’s close to done. I don’t think that will happen in 1998, but it might by next spring. I love working on this book, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s unsaleable. It has been fun and I think my friends will enjoy reading it, but it’s probably going on the shelf after its completion. I needed to get all of the autobigraphical bullshit and first-novel gaffs out of my system, and at least I’m learning a lot from it.

Rumored to Exist still sits on blocks, as does the unnamed time travel book. I probably worked on Rumored since I last wrote in here – actually, I’m sure I did; I had a pretty good run with it before I went to NYC in October/November, and got it “halfway done”. I’m anxious to finish it and unleash it on the (il)literate world, but I’m not motivated to work on it right now. It takes a special sort of highly focused, almost manic work ethic to drill away on that thing, and I’ve been too wiped out lately to do anything with it.

Other stuff – some potential writing and HTML jockeying for Rock Out Censorship; The next Dear Death column and assorted reviews for Metal Curse. Something else, but I forget what. I have a lot of ideas for various web projects, but no muscle to put behind them. And I’m journaling more than ever on paper – pages and pages a day. I got behind this year, and I’m trying to catch up before the end of the year. It’s stupid to push it when I have nothing to write about, but I’m trying to fill my notebook by December 31.

Life has been somewhat miserable lately, which is slowing my productivity. It’s the part of the year where it’s always fucking dark outside, and we’re getting the Noah’s Ark treatment with the rain out there. My car is about ready to fall apart, and has a substandard heating system in it. Driving a 200 pound VW in the 100 mile per hour windstorms isn’t leisurely. Since I think every car trip will be my last, it means I don’t get out much these days. The cabin fever and lack of any daylight reference means I become completely nocturnal on the weekends, and then during the week I am plagued by horrendous insomnia. This destroys me – last week I was going to bed and then waking up at 1 or 2, unable to fall back asleep. That makes the days a zombie death march, and destroys any work I need to do after my day job. I’ve been trying to get on some vitamins and supplements and adjust my schedule a bit, but it’s hard. I wish I had 30 or 40 hours a day to write, but I don’t. I’m learning the gentle art of scheduling, although I wish I could just write when I want.

And Marie isn’t here, and I’m not there. She will be here on Xmas, for a few days, and I will be there, maybe sometime in Feb, athough it isn’t cleared yet. I was in New York for the first week of November, and we had a lot of fun. I finally saw Conan O’Brien’s show live, and also caught a Daily Show taping, among other things. I miss her and I miss her cats. I can’t wait until we are on the same side of the country together. Plans are afoot, but until they are solid, they are top secret.

New computer. Well, mostly – I tore out the motherboard and put in a AMD K6-2-266 with 64MB RAM; I also swapped up to a 6.4GB drive. I went up to the latest version of Slackware as my main boot, and broke down and put in a second boot with NT 3.5.1, just so I could run Office in extreme emergencies. After some minor snafus, it’s all running fine.

Lots of other stuff, but I feel like I’ve been at the computer all day (I have!) and I think I’m going to Safeway or something, just to get out of here. I hope I can update more, but no promises…