a chapter, some comments, and an international holiday

New Chapter

The new chapter (In the Hotel Bar) is done. At the moment, it’s only available in the full-chapter version, since dividing it up into parts (as I usually do first) will require some fancy PHP coding, which I haven’t done yet.

The reason it will require fancy coding is that there are two versions of the chapter, one for people who haven’t read the earlier novels, and one for people who have. The second (longer) version contains a lot more background information, specifically on the family, which would be tedious and irrelevant for people who haven’t read A Sane Woman and U-town. The A Visit to Perry chapter was like that also, but that only involved inserting or removing a few extra paragraphs here and there. With the current chapter, whole parts will be added or subtracted, which will require setting up a system which will renumber the parts automatically as you read. As I say, I’ll do this, but probably not right away.

At the moment I want to get a little more work done on the next chapter (Undertown). I’ve told a couple of people that the chapter after that might be called Undertown Evolution, but apparently I’m the only person who thinks that’s funny.


Bloomsday was Friday, and it made me think of the influence of James Joyce, and specifically Ulysses, on what I’m doing.

The influence is strong, but mostly indirect. Joyce was not the biggest influence on my writing, but he was a huge influence on Samuel R. Delany, the author of Dhalgren and Triton, and William Burroughs, for two examples. And they are probably the two biggest influences on my writing (at least the two most influential writers). Their writing is very different, but neither would have done what he did if Joyce hadn’t come first.

more comments on “Curse the Darkness”

As promised last week (and I’ve removed the promise to do it in “a couple of days,” since I didn’t 🙂 ), here are the rest of the comments Cyndi made on the Curse the Darkness chapter of U-town.


Cyndi pointed out that if you miss Daphne’s first appearance (or space out when you’re reading it), you could easily read some of her later appearances without figuring out that she’s a human being. I was not really aware of this (since I’m always aware that she’s a human being), but I can definitely see how could be true.

As for why she acts like a dog (most of the time), she doesn’t say. It started as a sexual game with Carl (with Carl, “sexual game” might be redundant), but obviously she found it suited her. If you ask her why, she’ll bark, and perhaps she’ll lick your hand.

Petronius and Chesterton

The way Pete and Chet call each other “Petronius” and “Chesterton” is just a drunken joke which took on a life of its own, as these things can do. The main thing is reflects is that these guys have spent quite a bit of time drinking together.

Vicki and Paris

As Cyndi mentioned, Vicki and Paris are both very young, and they start to move toward being friends, but then when he asks her if she wants to join his gang, this bothers her. And she doesn’t trust him the way she trusts Pete, maybe because she’s pretty sure Pete doesn’t want anything from her.

Vicki and Pete

Vicki was troubled by Paris’s offer for her to join his gang, and she first thinks of talking to Pete about it, since Pete is familiar with the people involved, but when she goes to talk to him, he’s obviously too wrapped up with his own (and starling’s) problems. She really doesn’t want to dump new problems on his head, and he probably wouldn’t have a lot of attention to devote to giving her good advice anyway.

Pete and starling

At the end of the chapter, though, when Pete figures out what’s been going on with starling, he finds he has even more to occupy his attention than he did when Vicki dropped by for her visit. This is connected to the moment in the Prove It chapter when he found himself saying, “[…]and she’s a friend of mine.”

She has become his friend, much to his surprise, and this makes some problems even more difficult to solve than they would be otherwise.

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