2020 Hindsight Commentary: Wounded Kite at :17, 18 and Life

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 Pavement and Skid Row.

Wounded Kite at :17

Still my favorite chapter title!

A few too many “from the pains”

Technically it’s not a frozen thing anymore after it comes out of the microwave.

He jumps into the time travel sex ed theory a little too fast. (Everything in this chapter seems to happen a little too fast.)

The Local Boy version is called “Don’t Know When,” but I suppose the narrator would use the proper song title.

When the dad realizes who he is it should have gone: “Dad sat on the couch. A smile seemed to come to him slowly. It was a sad smile just the same.”

If past me claimed that GnR never released another good original song post Izzy Stradlin, that would arguably still be true today.

Wrong “acknowledgements” again. (And I’m not exactly sure how he was going to “discretely thank the original artists” in said misspelled acknowledgments.)

Doesn’t make sense for the dad to reference the “nagging doubts come to you” Carter lyric unless he learned that song — which he shouldn’t have by the 1 per artist rule. (That said, “The Only Looney Left in Town” would have been a great Local Boy song…)

The ending bit and cliffhanger save the chapter.

Despite the nitpicks of being over-explainy and rushed, story wise this is one of my favorite chapters.

18 And Life

…and then I negate the impact of the cliffhanger immediately after the chapter title. The first three paragraphs of connective tissue don’t really serve a purpose. “Over the next several weeks…” would have we a better starting point.

The Local Boy artifacts in the basement most logically belong to the narrator, but I don’t recall why he tries to pass them off as belonging to the mom. (His subconscious would encourage him to collect them even if he didn’t want to.)

“I’ll do some damage one fine day” is an example of a shoehorned lyrical reference that tries too hard.

Memory gap section would have been a perfect place for “What am I doing in this dive bar?” I’m trying to remember when past me discovered that song.

I wonder if the phone number ending in 5234 (LBDG) made readers think it wasn’t real and couldn’t be dialed. (It’s still live, and directs callers to study.lb-dg.com to download a shorter version of the questionnaire. That was a really fun side project.)

“…in a latent show of our impending separation” isn’t exactly how “show, don’t tell” is supposed to work.

Similar to the last chapter I still like the plot points here, but things seem to move a touch too fast.

Check out the original 2008 commentary for these chapters:

Wounded Kite at :17  |  18 and Life

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