Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

AfterStep, AfterSeattle

I have been editing Summer Rain. That means I am reading every chapter about a million times and trying to find the most minute of errors. I figure if I can do about a chapter a day, I will be okay. I also figure there’s no way I will keep up that pace for more than a week.

I went for a long walk today, about two miles round trip. I live vaguely near 181st and Broadway, so I headed south of there for about 20 blocks and then back. During the trip, I listened to the Henry Rollins album Come in and Burn in its entirety. Although this album never caught me that much when it came out about two years ago, it made more sense while actually walking the streets of New York City. The whole album is about the desolation and confusion of the big city, and I guess it never hit me while I was driving from Denny’s to Denny’s in Seattle.

Speaking of Seattle, I was watching the show Frazier tonight. I know it isn’t really filmed in Seattle, and in general TV writers don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about, but it felt strange to hear all of the vague references to Seattle geography and instantly know where all of them were. They didn’t throw any tough ones out – the U-District, Fremont, etc. but it reminded me that I’m not there anymore.

There are many times when I don’t really realize that I have left Seattle, or at least times when I think I’m still on some kind of extended vacation and my apartment will be waiting for me just the way I left it, even though everything from my apartment is here. Sometimes, there is the overwhelming feeling that I am in New York – it’s hard to be standing in Union Square or Penn Station and think anything else. But when I’m staring at a computer screen and listening to the same old CDs, it’s possible to enter this stateless feeling where I’m working hard and I think “after this chapter, I’m going to hop in the VW and go to Safeway.” It doesn’t happen so frequently that it is dehabilitating, but sometimes it freaks me out.

I’m still having trouble finding a writer’s group or any other writers around here. I realize that’s as stupid as saying “I’m having trouble finding any skyscrapers around here” but seriously, all of the things I’ve found on the web or in free catalogs are the 10-week beginner’s course thing. It’s the same deal everywhere – the teacher spends a couple of months telling you what to do and how to write an outline, blah blah blah. I want to meet with other writers and critique chapters and stuff. I guess if I look around enough, I’ll find something. Besides, I’m getting a lot done working on my own.

Ever mess with the AfterStep clock? It’s pretty neat, I like it. I’m too chicken to go with the whole AfterStep window manager, but the clock is neat.