Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

default apologies

Enter the standard disclaimer here about never posting and needing to post something more often and how I’m going to be pissed ten years from now when I go back to find out what I was doing in 2014 and find out that entire months went by with no updates.

I’ve actually done well with writing in my paper journal, and force myself to write a page or so before work every day.  I used to write in a paper journal every night, for decades, and that slowly fell off after getting married (not to blame the institution or the partner, just the change in evening routine, or something) and now I’ve been burning through pages at a steady rate, which is nice.  I did switch from the standard spiral notebook to a leather bound book, a larger digest-sized Moleskine, because spiral notebooks tend to disintegrate at the edge of the page where the wire goes through the punched holes, and the processed paper attracts dust mites a bit more during long-term storage.  I also like the feel of the leather books, even if they are half the page size and cost five times as much.

I just published a book, and am now quickly entering the post-partum depression that comes with it.  I now come to expect this to happen, and there’s no easy way around it, although it feels like taking time off makes things worse.  I don’t have a next project at this point, just some vague ideas and a new unnamed manuscript that’s got about 14,000 words of wandering in it, maybe pieces that will end up as flash or short stories or will get folded into something longer.  And I have over 60,000 words that were cut or left over from Atmospheres, and no idea what will happen to those.  This tends to happen on each of the books, and it’s sort of like making yogurt, where a bit of the leftover ends up starting the next batch, although yogurt is much easier to make.

I’m having this great internal struggle about what to write next.  I feel like the current style of writing, the stuff in the last few books, has run its course or started to blur together from book to book, and there needs to be a giant leap-frogging into something radically different, but I’ve been ho-hum about everything I’ve read and seen lately.  I want to write a novel, something that can’t be confused for a bunch of short stories or look like a patchwork of leftover crap bound together in a single volume.  But I don’t know what that is, and I can’t force it.  I hope I can figure it out soon.

What else… I have been taking bass lessons from a guy here in Oakland.  It’s good, but it’s work.  I’ve had a lot to learn, with music theory and all of that, but I also have a lot of bad habits to break and new technique stuff to take into consideration, and that can be overwhelming.  But it’s good, and I feel like I’m slowly progressing.  We also work on stuff where he’s playing drums and I’m playing along, and that’s a lot of fun.  I still suck, but it’s better than sitting around watching TV.

My new car is still very nice.  It still smells like a new car. I’ve only put gas in it once since I’ve bought it, and managed to get about 375 miles on 8.1 gallons of gas, which is lower than I think I should be getting, but I’m still getting used to how to drive a hybrid.  There’s a trick with getting the EV system to work and the gas engine to shut off while at cruising speed, and once you change driving style to get that happening, your mileage improves.

I’ve been reading a lot of Jonathan Lethem lately, trying to get down all of his stuff.  I’ve hit all of the first-tier books, and now I’m going through the novels that are less critically-acclaimed, although I seem to like all of them.  Nothing so far tops Chronic City, which is still one of my favorite books ever, and I will probably end up reading it for the fourth time soon.  I’m also thinking about an Infinite Jest re-read over the summer, but who knows.  Gravity’s Rainbow and Ulysses are both sitting on the shelf with a bookmark on page 12, staring at me.  Someday.

I just found myself re-reading old blog entries here, and I am dumbfounded by how much I updated this thing two or three years ago.  I should spend more time on here.  And I sometimes think about pulling together some of those old posts and putting them into a book, although I guess if you wanted to read them, you would have already read them.

Allergy season is starting.  Not looking forward to that.  At least the Benadryl will help me with the weird dreams.