2020 Hindsight Commentary: Five Seconds to Hold You, 6ix, Tram #7 to Heaven

I’m revisiting Timely Persuasion 12 years after releasing it / 17 years after writing it / 6000+ days since I jokingly told Jon Mack “maybe I’ll write a book…” with a new round of fresh eyed commentary. Today’s look at yesterday’s chapters is brought to you by Devics, The Lemonheads & Jens Lekman.

Five Seconds to Hold You

Feels there should have been a little more of a riff on the (unfounded) rumors that Kurt wrote most of the songs on Live Through This.

Covered, cover to cover.

My past self (via the narrator) citing a Reverend Horton Heat / Butthole Surfers bill “inexplicably” selling out is hilarious in hindsight.

The bench went back in time, so it should now be “missing” in the future.

Quibbles on execution aside, I do still enjoy the concept of the O Henry / Twilight Zone style arc of this chapter where he succeeds in controlling his time travel but can’t complete his mission due to a physical technicality.


Has that “drown my sorrow” typo has always been here? (I also can’t decide and/or can’t remember if it was intentional or a typo.)

This dual-leaguer stuff is unnecessarily confusing.

A “recent library memory” is a vaguely lame way to blink and lazy writing.

As the back room is described, the force of the bowling ball probably would have carried it out of that back room completely. Maybe his older self planted the ball for him to find, or stood back there to stop it.

Technically he threw Glitzy through the pins a month earlier, but with this time travel thing being so new to him I let him get that one wrong on purpose. He’s already acknowledged being bad at math outside of bowling.

If he was sitting on a stool when he blinked from the bar, the fall down bit should have happened again upon his return. (A better way to handle would have been to have him stand to specifically avoid that. It doesn’t say he didn’t….)

“Who injected you?” implies someone else was a possible answer.

“Stunned by this turn of events…” is a little over the top coming right after such a big reveal. Definitely a “show, don’t tell” moment.

Tram #7 to Heaven


That airplane blink should have blocked something important vs being a pure setup for the elevation rule. As is it’s mostly unnecessary.

The second half of this chapter (starting in the car with his father) is one of my go-tos for public readings. A nice midpoint section that tees up a lot of the overarching plot pieces without getting too spoilery. (Depending on the audience, I sometimes pivot to the first bowling scene or his first songwriting session with Local Boy since there’s no actual time travel in this section.)

Check out the original 2008 commentary for these chapters:

Five Seconds to Hold You  |  6ix  |  Tram #7 to Heaven

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