Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Summer is over

Well, summer’s over. I just accepted an offer on a full-time job, which puts the kibosh on sitting around in my underwear writing unpublishable fiction and walking across the street for every baseball game I can afford. For the sake of not getting fired, I won’t mention where I’ll be working, but drop a line if it’s really bugging you. It’s a techwriter position, and everyone seems nice and the money’s good, so I’m excited to get started. (My first day is 9/24).

It’s weird going into this. My first instinct would be to stay home and do nothing, and giving up that freedom isn’t as easy as I’d thought. But I still have this bug in the back of my head that’s used to checking my Bank of America account a couple of times a day, and when there’s not money going into it on a regular basis, that makes me worry. Ditto that for the 401K and IRA. I interviewed at a few other places and I think this is a perfect offer and salary, but I still felt a little hesitant to accept the offer. I never felt like this before, but I think every time in the past I was given a job offer, I was living hand-to-mouth and needed to keep the paychecks coming to keep a roof over my head. Now I need to weigh the options a little more, and that nagged at me. But in the end, I took the job.

I am not really looking forward to a half-hour commute. And that’s odd, because I have a new car with no problems and good gas mileage, and I have the built-in iPod adapter and an iPod that currently holds 19.1 continuous days of audio. I also have the jitters about what my schedule will be, how I will need to dress (not in my underwear, probably), how I will read my email now that I have all of it coming straight to my Mac, and a bunch of other odd minor things that will probably sort themselves out in the first week with no effort. The big one is that I am not sure what this does to my writing schedule. I currently have my whole day free, and I’m getting zero done, so what happens when you add 8 or 10 hours of work plus an hour of commute? Sarah did point out, however, that the most productive period of the last year was when I started waking up two hours early, using my full spectrum light, and writing before work. So maybe some structure will kick me in the ass a bit.

Unrelated #1: Go to ParagraphLine.com – I touched up the design, colors, logo, and have been nipping away at the text. The next issue is very very close – I just need the ISBN and it will be ready. In the past when I bought an ISBN, it was from Lulu’s block of numbers, which means it was instant. This time, I registered as owner, which means a bunch of paperwork and a delay. Anyway, soon.

Unrelated #2: I got my new camera (Canon PowerShot A570IS) and it is pretty awesome. It’s very small and fits in my pocket, but it has a 4x optical zoom, and the digital zoom (x16) is actually pretty damn smooth. The camera has some image stabilization junk, like camcorders, so it’s easier to take steady shots at long distances. It also has built-in stitching support for panoramas, and the stitch software on the Mac can even make QuickTime VR movies very easily. There are a million focus and light adjustments on the camera that I will never understand, and a display that shows far too much information. It also runs on 2xAA batteries, so no worries when I run out on vacation. And it has so many small touches that make it nice, like how a shutter door closes over the lens when you turn it off, so it doesn’t get smudged or need a lens cap (like my last camera.) And it fits in my pocket!

And the perfect test of the camera – tonight the Rockies play the Padres, and I will be there, new camera in hand (or in pocket). But first, a million things to do here on the home front…