This was started in the early 1990s, and A Sane Woman put on hold, because I got a modem.
It was local BBSs in those days (the web didn’t exist yet, the Internet existed but was difficult to get access to if you weren’t in college, and services like CompuServe and AOL cost money), and I quickly realized that 1) I wanted to post my writing online, for free, and 2) A Sane Woman was not paced properly for online reading. The rhythm was wrong.
Also, the chapbooks cost so much to make that I lost money on each one — so there wasn’t much incentive to try to sell a lot of them.
So, I put that project on pause and started the story that became U-town. It is primarily the story of a place, and it has a large cast of characters, but no clear protagonist. It is the most pantsed thing I’ve ever written, so it pretty clearly shows both what can be achieved by just letting things happen, and some of the problems, too.
Anyway, here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite parts, called “Like Crazy Paving” — a title that pleases me because it works on several different levels.
This is more than seven sentences, but after all it’s a very long book.
Then, suddenly, there was a pounding on the apartment door. “Pete! Pete! For God’s sake, let me in! Pete, please!” Pete opened his eyes again. It didn’t feel like he had been asleep at all.
Looking around, he wished he had a camera. Chet stood in the middle of the room, frozen in mid-tiptoe. He was coming from the bedroom and obviously heading for the door to the hall. He was carrying his shoes in one hand.
starling was sitting up in her sleeping bag, apparently startled awake, her revolver held in both hands and pointed right at Chet. Chet glanced from her to Pete, still frozen in place, and grinned nervously.
“Hi,” he said.