Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

orange county

I think all of the FBI business calmed down by Friday or so, and I spent most of the weekend moping around, trying to make some progress on things, but mostly just passing the hours from when I got out of bed to when I got into bed, and then making sure that I was sufficiently passed out for the in-bed hours, which always seems to be a trick, except when I take a mid-day nap that demolishes my sleep cycle. I didn’t have any grand Memorial Day plans, other than to not do anything. That always seems to be the plan on most weekends, and it never really seems like it happens.

I don’t know. I watched the movie Orange County this weekend. It’s not that incredible or mind-blowing of a flick, although Jack Black’s character is pretty good in it. It’s mostly the sort of build-up-tension-with-fakeouts sort of plot that would make a Julia Roberts movie look sophisticated. But the one thing is that it’s got a main character, a kid who wants to become a writer, and becomes obsessed with writing almost constantly. It’s similar to one of the things I took from the movie Almost Famous, the Lester Bangs character that talked about how on some nights, he just sat at the typewriter and wrote and wrote for hours. And both of those made me wish I was spending all of my free time writing for hours, just scribbling in notebooks until every blank page turned filled, or chipping away at some mystic novel and before I turn back to look, I’ve got a quarter-million words behind me.

But I don’t do those things, and I almost never write anymore, and that depresses me. And part of it is the lack of projects on my horizon, the lack of any concrete thing that I should be filling with words. And part of it is this general apathy because so many things around me are eating away at me, each one taking a tiny part of my energy. When it comes down to it, I sometimes have the hours to write, but I simply don’t have the motivation to sit in the chair and put my hands on the keyboard and make the cursor spit out words as it coasts from left to right in my document buffer.

I spent part of the weekend trying to think about reorganizing media in my apartment, trying to find places to put new shelves, trying to find new ways to stack books or hide boxes of magazines under other furniture or whatever else. I’m not saying I DID any of these things, I just thought about it, and then I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to look at shelves and other storage solutions meant to provide my life with more completeness. I didn’t find anything that worked that I wanted to buy that second, but I did see many things that I would buy at some point if I had money burning a hole in my pocket and wasn’t going on vacation in 19 days. Instead, I spent twenty bucks on a zen rock garden fountain for my desk, and rearranged the piles of bills and papers and other crap to get the thing assembled. It looks nice sitting next to the black-framed ViewSonic flatscreen LCD, since the bigger slate pieces are also black, and although the most frequent complaint about these things is the sound of the pump, it’s more quiet than the Athlon power supply under the desk, so no worries there.

Actually, I’ve always wondered about combining the two technologies: a water-cooled manifold on a CPU, with hoses that run out of a case and are connected to a display fountain up on the desk. The fountain would cool down the water, and it would cycle back into the case. Has anyone done this? It’s a thought.

Okay, awaiting food so I can eat so I can write…