Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Dead arm

I fell asleep for a couple of hours and woke up to find my left arm all fucked up, slept on and twisted around the wrong way. It feels like if I could contort it in just the right way, it will pop back into place and stop hurting, but nothing has worked yet. So I thought I’d start by bitching about that a bit.

I actually got out of the house today, to drop off laundry, pick up a prescription, and go buy books. Barnes and Noble was pretty nutso today, with lines out the door and lots of people running around with stacks of books. I got this new collection of Kerouac’s journals edited by Douglas Brinkley, which I was actually a bit reluctant to buy. It’s weird, because a few years ago, I would have dropped twenty or thirty bucks on any Kerouac stuff I didn’t already have. But the cottage industry has grown so much, and there are so many players that are seeking to twist things around to fit their own agenda. Kerouac’s family (really his wife’s family) has supressed so much of his writing and tried to mask any work that might suggest that Jack occasionally messed around with men or took drugs or whatever. And then the hippy crowd on the far left wants to comb over the fact that Kerouac was a Catholic, supported the war in Vietnam, and didn’t really care for the whole political thing that Ginsberg was into. So now all of these books are coming out, and you don’t know who to trust. It’s too bad, since Kerouac was such a working-man writer, someone with many sides but who came from a solid background and loved America as a whole, not just the two coasts but the whole country in between.

I got that book, and also some other random book from the sailing section, containing a score of tales about people dealing with extreme emergencies out on the seas. It’s basically Perfect Storm sorts of things, but a wider variety and not as dumb. I like reading it, because there’s this whole new vocabulary of different equipment and parts and pieces and knots and terms. And I like stories that are told on the road, even if the road is a shipping lane cutting across the Pacific. So I hope that turns out to be a good read. And I hope I don’t end up wanting to buy a boat by the end of it.

Not much else to report, other than that I’m enjoying having all of my MP3s on shuffle and feeding through the stereo. I found a plugin to take care of the volume normalization problem that works fairly well. There’s another method that puts some kind of gain number in the ID3 tags, but I haven’t fucked with that yet.

OK, on to writing.