Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Current projects I will never finish

I put Past Masters Vol 2 on shuffle yesterday and now I have “Hey Jude” stuck in my head. I also listened to the song “Rain” 58 times, and I am convinced that the Beatles were real, real, real, real high.

There is a good article about John Sheppard in Time Out Chicago. Go read it.

I was talking to Vijay Prozac the other night and he asked about what my current projects were. And it’s a hard question to answer, because I have like 20 things up on blocks and half assembled, like Trans Ams in a redneck’s front yard. So I thought it would be fun to make a list:

  • Untitled photo book (Temporarily titled “Places I’ve Been”) – a maybe 100 page glossy coffeetable book that is tons of photos from various trips I’ve taken in the last six years. It has taken forever because a) the BookSmart software is painfully slow on my Mac and b) it’s very hard to look at a thousand photos and find the best six. This book will be publically available from blurb.com, but it will be like $40-$50 so I expect nobody to buy it. But if I owe you a birthday gift over the next year or two, this is what you might get.
  • Book #3 (at one time titled “Zombie Fever!”) – This was an absurdist book about a zombie epidemic, written at a time when I thought it was funny to write a zombie book. The zombie thing has been so thoroughly driven into the ground in the last couple of years (spearheaded by that total piece of shit Romero film last year) that I took out all of the zombie stuff and started over. It’s now a very Apocalypse Now-oriented (which of my books isn’t) story about a guy trying to assassinate a Columbian drug kingpin in Las Vegas who is obsessed with Scarface and Carl’s Jr. and stockpiling plutonium, but meanwhile an alien invasion is about to happen, and a bunch of other stuff. There are one or two little pieces of The Device, a book that was part of Rumored to Exist, and there are some pieces of Rumored that didn’t make it into the final draft. I am almost a third done with it, but it’s going slow.
  • Tenth Anniversary book of this journal – I’ve been thinking about it a lot. On 1/1/07 I will start throwing crap against a wall to see what sticks. Then I’ll start going through the journal and see what I want to keep. (The crap part is just a side hobby of mine.)
  • Memoir Book – I have a bunch of notes on a memoir book I want to write. I bet David Sedaris is really shitting himself about now, right?
  • Six Year Plan – I still have this pile of stories about Bloomington I want to somehow shore up into a readable book. It probably won’t happen anytime soon, even though I have 100,000 words invested into it.
  • Air in the Paragraph Line #12 – Yes, that will happen sometime in 07.
  • Fake self-help book – I have like two or three perfect chapters, and someday I will finish it. Maybe I will do a glossy color book in one of those odd pocket sizes with glossy pictures of business people shaking hands or whatever. I also have this vague idea to do one of those half-size books in calendar form, with 365 days of negative and pessimistic thoughts on it, i.e. “December 15 – Remember that for every project that you worked on that failed, the common denominator was that you were somehow involved.”
  • Nonfiction book containing Larry Falli’s theories on earwax and clown makeup – Someday this masterwork will be completed.

Okay, my half-hour of UV light is done. Time to take a shower and go off to the slaughterhouse.