TTC

TTC: Commentary 25

“Time & Tied” PARTS 80-81

4_chartreuselee

Old sketch of Chartreuse & Lee

1. Original Date Of Completion: OCTOBER 30, 2006
2. What I Was Doing: Part-Time Contract Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-Almost everything with Chartreuse was new
-Working out where Carrie was going, bumped back into this part

“Time & Tied” PARTS 82-83
1. Original Date Of Completion: MARCH 18, 2008
2. What I Was Doing: Full Time Contract Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-More Chartreuse; her timeline work was new
-Some of Mindy’s backstory with Linquist was tweaked
-Added Lee preventing further physical acts by Glen
-Inserted explanation of time travel by Temporals
-The language, now “Temporal”, used to be called “Sectoral”
-Added Julie/Clarke scene, to handle their relationship

EIGHT YEARS LATER

Back in Commentary 1, I remarked on how the earliest text file I had was from December 1999 – and that’s not when the story idea started, only the electronic writing. At this point in the narrative, we’re in March of 2008. Meaning at least eight years after starting to write. Did I have this whole plot in mind way back at the start? Oh, heck no. I tracked plot points, leaving myself useful threads as I went. That’s my style; probably part of the reason I’m good at serial writing.

TimelineUsed” was the last such text file I left behind, dated Dec 10, 2006. It got a lot more in depth than previous versions, by flagging more obscure names like Tracy Irving (Corry’s contact in England who knew Julie), by inserting Carrie’s departure from the present (then “Late May 2002”) and by pinning down Mindy’s identity (more on that in spoilers below, in case you didn’t catch that key part).

Despite the detail, eight years later, I was still trying to decide where to take things. And the writing was slowing down. Initially, I’d envisioned a five season (10 book) epic. By 2008, I wasn’t even sure if I’d get season two finished. Except I couldn’t set it aside completely, because I wanted people to read it, and I asked myself, who would read an unfinished story? That’s where I was at, mentally.

Then, in August of 2009, I saw “The Time Traveler’s Wife” when it first came out in theatres. (Which is rare, normally I give movies a few weeks.) That energized me enough to work through the remaining five episodes from this point forwards (which, after edits, will become 13 parts, not the usual 10). Ergo, before we continue into those final two arcs, let’s look at stats, and wrap up the Mindylenopia connection.

RANDOM STATISTICS

Bad news first. After an unexpected upswing in December 2016 (largely thanks to Mez and Tartra reading the archive), we’re sliding back down. January saw 464 page views, and we’re on track to inch up to 360 page views by the end of February. Which, admittedly, isn’t as low as it got in November of 2016 (220 views). But I still have multiple days with only two views. Hey, it’s not zero?

6_timtheresa

Old sketch of Theresa & Tim

Individually, only 7 people have seen Part 80 (“Vanishing Act”), posted back at the end of January. As Lightdefender has reminded me, by following the RSS feed, no page view would register… but I think it’s clear this story is gaining zero traction. The last time anyone looked at the start of Book 2 (“Missing Piece”) was back on Feb 4th, and a view for the start of Book 3 (“Talking to Herself”) requires tracking back even further.

The frustrating thing is that I know there’s interest in time travel out there. The TV show “Timeless” wrapped up it’s first season last Monday, and I was live tweeting along with tons of other people. There’s a new comedy time travel show, “Making History”, coming out in March. The movie “Arrival”, which has time travel as a theme, was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Why can’t I tap into this?! I’ve given two interviews in two months (a local author’s site, and a serial page on Facebook) and it hasn’t seemed to help at all. Is my story that bad?

Now the good news. In the past week, Paul Wandason has approached me about writing a guest post on his time travel blog. (“Time2TimeTravel”, find it there.) It could help, and has added a “like” to my Facebook page, bringing us to 15. I also have eleven blog followers, up two from 2016 – hello to sweetmotivational and cuteanimallove. John Golden commented this month. And I am still getting mentions out there: k-fish of Redwood Crossing offered an unsolicited plug back in December (that I only recently saw, oops) and Scott Delahunt posts me regularly to Facebook.

I have also, as of Feb 23rd, started posting Time & Tied on the site Royal Road Legends. (The turnaround for approval was surprisingly quick, a little over 24 hours.) I’ve reformatted Book 1 to split all parts in two, the way I’m posting now. I fixed my possessives (I hope), cut back on my overuse of exclamation points, and made a few other minor changes. The plan is to post there daily for the next half a year. (Yes, this tale is over 183 half-parts.) We’ll see how that goes. If you have any pull over there, maybe give a ranking? If not, it’s cool, thank you for simply sticking with me.

Incidentally, it’s worth noting that some of the early parts, previously published on this very site, have been edited as of the week of February 5th, 2017. (The Facebook banner was also updated then.) Notably Chapter 1, streamlined to have some better grammar, and Chapter 11, to include a brief appearance by Theresa. Honestly, I’d thought she was already there, alongside the first cafe reference. Somehow, I’d made a mental edit in my head. It doesn’t really make a difference, although Theresa has become a relevant character in the midst of Book 4. Speaking of…

SPOILER SECTION

XoversCSpoilers for the past are unavoidable, Book 4 pulls in all the plot lines.

At what point did the Mindylenopia/Theresa plot point come together? From the point of her banishment, I had it in mind that Mindy went back less than 20 years, and that she would be mixed up with Linquist, driving his alien vendetta (first seen in the abduction of Luci). The subsequent “Timeline” file, from before the start of Book 4, further postulated that Theresa was Mindy’s mother, while making it clear that Mindy was behind Julie’s reconstruction efforts. The “TimelineUsed” file (mentioned above) finally melded Theresa and Mindy – they were the same person.

As to foreshadowing? The cafe fire to start Book 3 was a happy accident (I forget why I’d decided not to have Theresa there), the couple lines of dialogue to Clarke post-Banishment were done in recent edits, and there’s one other much older Theresa item you may have forgotten about, which will help steer the narrative later. This is also why I know these random sketches I’ve been including in recent Commentary were done after 2005, given the presence of Theresa (above, with Tim).

Regarding the overall time travel plot elements, lots of the rest was originally there, but got shifted around. Carrie’s blowout with Glen was originally in Part 80 (day of the talent show). It was moved back to Part 78, which made space for the new Chartreuse romance (the classroom scene). Carrie’s letter to her father appears earlier now; it wasn’t revealed in the original until Luci read it aloud during the group discussion. Even then, they didn’t realize Carrie’s destination (her mom) until Laurie helped Frank connect the dots in the second discussion (the one after Glen and Mindy bickered).

The group also didn’t discuss Frank’s death until that second meeting. They couldn’t do it any earlier, because in that first draft, only Glen knew the truth. By picking up the dropped ball of the Carrie-Chartreuse romance in edits, I’d realized Chartreuse could be the vehicle to tell the group about Carrie’s Timelines, which made a lot more sense than Glen doing it. The tradeoff for Chartreuse’s torment was that she also got a surprise make out scene with Carrie.

I’m serious there – their kissing scene was new, yet felt necessary, and I thought that was everything. So I was just as surprised as Glen when Chartreuse blurted out Carrie’s love admission, then had her cry-fest extra-love confession with Laurie. Um, you go girl?

Back on the topic of changes, another shift was the talk of Future Carrie. Originally placed during Mindy’s technical talk, now bumped back to the day before (in that second talk, after the Glen/Mindy bickering). And all of the temporal theory talk (about burning dinner) was new. To be clear, the “one timeline” temporal thread in that talk was always the intention for this universe, but there was never any actual discussion of it in-story… and Frank’s question of Shady/Glen/Mindy affecting the timeline in different ways WAS valid. Wasn’t it? So we finally got an in-story explanation of time travel in Part 83. I hope it made sense.

Was anything else baked into original plans? Yup. The Venitis being in Miami, which is where Elaine disappeared. Planned since Book 2 or before. Hence why I twisted Corry’s ankle earlier – he’d taken Laurie’s place last time (saving Julie), but I wanted his sister on this trip. And Beth’s return from the 1950s was always planned in some way too. I mean, I gave her a hairband with a tracking device, for goodness sakes! Though I hadn’t known then that this was where I would use her.

So, at this point we HAVE been in Timeline Four since Book 1, Chapter 1 (as Chartreuse deduced). Even though the cause for it was in Book 3 (Mindylenopia). And if Carrie seemed a bit abrasive in Book 1, she has this whole dual protagonist/antagonist thing going for her. Antagonist of Timeline Three, Protagonist of Timeline Four. And yes, Future Carrie of Timeline Three IS a legit threat, as I had always intended for her to face off against herself somehow. Oh yes, we’re going there.

But first, we’ll see more Beth, who I had always intended to make more religious, due to Carrie’s “angels” assertion. Beth now has to deal with school – and someone else, who became religious while I did my edits. Know who I’m talking about? We are now halfway through Book 4, and heading back into a bit more character work. I hope you continue to enjoy.

Parts 80/81 were originally “Vanishing Act”, so that was Part 80a. Parts 82/83 were originally “History Lesson”, but uh-oh, I used that for the second part of “Flashback” way back at Part 28. So I went with “Remaking History” as Part 82a instead. (Weird that both parts use ‘8’ and ‘2’.) Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis to help spread the word. It helps.

Coming This Tuesday: Laurie’s out, Beth’s in.

TTC: Commentary 24

“Time & Tied” PARTS 76-77

3_julieclarke

Old sketch of Clarke & Julie

1. Original Date Of Completion: OCTOBER 1, 2005
2. What I Was Doing: Extended Occasional Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-Luci/Tim scene near start was revamped
-Some added explanations in Julie/Tim scene
-“Mr Francis” became “Mr Piquaud”

“Time & Tied” PARTS 78-79
1. Original Date Of Completion: SEPTEMBER 4, 2006
2. What I Was Doing: Part-Time Contract Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-EVERYTHING. Well, Corry’s blackmail plan survived.
-Some later information also retroactively inserted here.

 

BACKGROUND FILES

The timeline and character tracking files started to become really important around this point. Why? Well, the prior commentary showcased episodes completed in 2004. As you see above, the next entry was done in 2005. The next, 2006. Fun fact, teaching doesn’t leave you with a lot of time to write, hence the “September” completion dates. And while I have a pretty good memory, details could easily slip through the cracks (like the Chartreuse-Carrie romance angle, restored in edits and the new Part 75).

Timeline”, a file from Oct 23, 2004, was the file where I stored key events that had occurred – or would occur – in the story. This file was an update from the “TimelineA” file (referenced in Commentary 21). That new file adds in when Luci moved to town, elements of Mindylenopia in the present, and a bunch of future stuff is clarified – the file no longer ends with Glen going back in “Mid 2013”, that event is now “Mid 2027” (despite main events still occurring in 2001). There’s more, like 2025 being the construction of the first time machines, but that starts to tread on spoiler territory; we’ll revisit this at the next file update.

TimeCha5”, my character file (also referenced in Commentary 21) is a version from Aug 25, 2006. Bizarrely enough, the only update I can see from TimeCha4 (in 2003) involves the insertion of Luci’s middle name (Isabella) – it doesn’t even mention Megan. That’s the last update I would make to this set of files until 2014, effectively present-day. Sidebar though, last time I mentioned my inability to give characters last names… Megan’s name was originally “Megan Fallows”. (Megan Follows, anyone?) That was shortened to “Falls” in edits for the blog.

cry153_b

Jan 22, 2005

A few other files of note: An HTML file from October 30, 2006, linking to all the episodes thus far. It also included the titles for the next three episodes, implying I knew where I was going, mostly. Coupled with that was the image of a crystal swan I got off the internet (dated Jan 22, 2005). These were linked to off my personal Sympatico website at the time, so maybe old versions of “Time Trippers” still exist in web archives (the site was http://www3.sympatico.ca/gbtaylor1/tt.htm). And then there’s the last of my Comments Files, which are dated Sep 24, 2006 and Oct 10, 2006 respectively.

Scott Delahunt and I have a history that dates back to before this story. Back in the late 1990s, we would comment back and forth on our fan fictions and other works – eventually including “TT”. Starting in 2000, I kept many of those emails, for his thoughts on Episodes 2-5, 9-13, 15, 16, and 18. (Recall each “episode” is two parts, so those cover through to the middle of Book 2.) I obviously wasn’t careful about archiving, hence, gaps. In that same directory are these two 2006 files, which are not emails, but IRC (Internet Relay Chat) logs, about Episode 37 (Parts 78-79) and Pre-38 thoughts.

CHANGING EPISODE 37

But before we get into IRC, some notes on changes. Spoilers, but only for the above parts, if you’re not caught up. Episode 36 (Parts 76-77) didn’t need much adjustment. Having added the prior Luci/Frank scene in the library, the Luci/Tim scene was less Luci dwelling on her breakup and more wondering about where to go next. Julie also went into a bit more detail about Glen’s mental manipulations – the china cabinet line was new. Yet the arc ended the same way.

5_corrylaurie

Old sketch of Corry & Laurie

I started Part 78 thinking it would be an insert, doing a bit more with the Chartreuse-Carrie dynamic. Then I realized to properly address that, Carrie needed a scene with Glen too. So chunks of their talk from Episode 38 (coming up next) were transplanted, with the specific timeline references being new. The Chartreuse/Megan talent show vision issue, merely informed in the old 37, was then shown “on screen” instead. After which Chartreuse completely took over.

Episode 37 USED to be a Corry-Megan episode. In brief, Corry got Kim to knock Megan out, then they brought her out to the woods. They reset her watch (adding a fake time travel element, so she thinks it’s after the talent show), and then Corry leads Megan on a false chase after Laurie, culminating in the blackmail plot, at the train station. Two problems. First, the fake temporal element creates unnecessary complications (Megan doesn’t buy it), and second, Corry is portrayed as being the “good guy” – in a story where he scares the wits out of a girl, for blackmail purposes. Uhm, yeah, hard sell there.

So, Chartreuse became our new “good guy”, as she endeavoured to understand Megan, rather than deceive her. I went along with it, because: (1) It allowed me to explore Corry’s initial reasons for controlling the school. The whole story with Laurie and Josh smoking was new. (2) It forced ME to understand Megan. Every single religious element was new, and fortunately these rewrites were in time for me to retroactively insert Megan’s cross necklace into Book 3, at her first appearance.

Was ANYTHING kept? Well, Kim still made an appearance. Linquist’s cabin in the woods is in both versions. Ditto Frank’s sonic grenade, Corry dressing up like his sister, and his twisted ankle. Also Chartreuse doing the recording… except in this version, she turns it off, then chases Corry away. As a result, Megan is mollified instead of justifiably LIVID. Oh, Frank also appeared in both, though this time it was for the new scene with Julie, which helps to explain why they’re back on speaking terms in the next entry. Originally, he showed up mainly to collect his grenade, having helped Corry as a favour to Kim.

With all of that in mind, some thoughts from that IRC file on Ep 37: At the time, I’d mused on it being a “filler/setup ep, but it felt needed”. Scott agreed that Megan was a loose end. At that time, I wasn’t certain about revisiting Megan afterwards, barring Season 3 (FYI, she will return). And Scott also correctly pegged why I’d put Corry out of action with his ankle – do you see why? Talk later shifted to Scott’s story of the time, and whether Corry and Rita would get along, so instead of getting into that, let’s now look at how everything threads together.

SPOILER SECTION

XoversCSpoilers for the past are unavoidable, Book 4 pulls in all the plot lines.

The school plot is mostly wrapped up now. The school politics (between Carrie, Julie and Corry) were largely what carried us through Book 1, back when time travel was experimental. It led to Julie’s school story interweaving with the time travel in Book 2, ultimately taking her out of the picture. But I couldn’t leave Corry in charge for senior year – he would get too much of a swelled head.

In Book 3, as the time travel came more to the forefront, Megan was devised as a rival to both of them. Now, in Book 4, Megan is in charge – but letting the student body do their own thing (more or less). We even got a look at Corry’s school domination origins, to balance Julie’s earlier story. So while there is a bit more Megan to come, hopefully you feel like the overall high school aspect of the story has reached a satisfactory conclusion. Let me know if aspects remain unsatisfying.

Elsewhere, the time travel plot is close to firing on all cylinders. Are we in “timeline five”? What does that even mean? A lot of the earlier parts were instrumental in setting up where we’re headed, though I suspect (hope?) it wasn’t too obvious at the time. And as much as I might want to mention specifics here, it’s better (and more entertaining?) for you to see those things as they come up. It will be gradual.

Turning from plot to characters, originally, Megan was something of a cipher. She merely served her purpose by turning the tables on Corry (and Julie) for once. As I mentioned above, I didn’t delve deeper until these edits, when Chartreuse confronted her. As a result, Megan has now gained more of a personality, and there’s method to her madness. Religion was not an angle I’d expected.

I suppose you could say I’m Christian, in that I had a religious grandmother who gave me a Bible, I once did Sunday school, and I went to church… on special occasions. Yet my parents themselves didn’t insist on anything religious, so for over twenty years now, “Christianity” has idled in my subconscious. As such, lot of web searches were necessary for Part 79, to pull Megan into focus. Is she plausible?

To be clear, adding religion didn’t feel totally out of place, given how the concept of free will is tied to time travel. Consider: Megan baits people, to see what they’ll do. Well, when Carrie told herself to “talk to Chartreuse” to start Book 3 – was there really a choice there? Or was it predestined? However, religion IS edging out of my comfort zone, so don’t be afraid to call me out on inaccuracies, or to offer up some new religious insights.

As far as other characters go, we’ve been seeing more of Tim. Like Megan, aspects of him are also a cipher to me. I know he needs to take over-the-counter medication, and has an occasional stuttering problem, but I’ve never been sure whether those elements connected to something physical or mental. Only that it meant he kept mostly to himself. There’s no revelation coming there; let me know if you have thoughts.

Regardless, Tim is now part of the group, thanks to his connection with Clarke and Julie – Chartreuse’s old “two degrees of separation” (2DEGS) group has again been fully integrated. And a linguist will be helpful – did anyone see the movie “Arrival”, late last year? It’s not really like that, but there’s your precedent for language being used in time travel fiction. As Mez pointed out in a comment for “Bad Signs”, the language in Linquist’s logbook will now be referenced in dialogue using % markers.

Lee has also come more to the forefront, in helping to create the stalemate between Julie and Corry. He’s always been my satellite member of the group. They help him out, he helps them out, but he stays on the fringes… I’m hoping he comes across as the most “average” out of any of them. The “grounding rod”, if you will, a normal guy dealing with otherwise extraordinary situations. Things happen around him, more than they happen to him. Yes/No? What do you think?

I don’t believe there’s much to say about the other characters at this point. Laurie got some extra backstory in Corry’s story… Julie is coming back into the fold… Carrie is dealing with how she is destined to leave town. It will all play out shortly. In fact, after a bit more character work between Chartreuse and Carrie, plot effectively takes over. Also, temporal explanations. Stick around, won’t you?

Parts 76/77 were originally “Double Blind” which became the title of 77a, since 76 set up the issue of who to trust. Parts 78/79 were originally “Truth and Consequences”, which was the title of 79a, for very similar reasoning. Remember, you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis.

Coming This Tuesday: Carrie leaves. (The story doesn’t need a protagonist any more, right?)

TTC: Commentary 23

“Time & Tied” PARTS 71-72

1_carrieglen

Old sketch of Carrie & Glen

1. Original Date Of Completion: NOVEMBER 5, 2004
2. What I Was Doing: Extended Occasional Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-Added Chartreuse talking to Carrie on Phil’s behalf
-More done with the Frank/Luci scene

“Time & Tied” PARTS 73-74
1. Original Date Of Completion: SEPTEMBER 11, 2004
2. What I Was Doing: Extended Occasional Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-Cassette tape changed to a USB
-Altered ending for more Chartreuse, leading to 75

“Time & Tied” PART 75
1. Original Date Of Completion: AUGUST 13, 2016
2. What I Was Doing: Full Time Contract Teacher in Ottawa
3. Changes of note:
-*ALL NEW*

HAPPY NEW YEAR

If you were planning on time travelling away, and returning to the present, now you can’t – there’s no 2017 coins yet. Back in Commentary 15, I did a roundup of 2015 coins. Over 12 months, I had obtained 42, the majority being quarters and toonies. The roundup for 2016 is less, at 37.* I did manage one of each type, pictured below (Canada has no pennies any more) with way more dimes this year. First coins were in July. Last coin was a nickel, on Dec 27. Obviously part of the difference in count might be in number of purchases, though I think I got more sets in 2015 (e.g. 75 cents in change, all three quarters of the current year). Could also be less coins around this year though.

*: An earlier version of this post gave the number as 32. Five more coins were found on a corner of my desk early in 2017 (four quarters and a dime) and the photo was updated.

2016coins

2016 Coins

Serial Highlights of 2016: A guest post at “Legion of Nothing” in June, taking place right near the start of my T&T Book 3: “Power Play”. A guest post at “The Archive of Unusual Events” last week, playing with time travel in his universe: “13th Floor Concerns”. Two WFG reviews for T&T, by Inky Llama (Maddirose) in March, out of the blue, and ChrysKelly in August, after making the most comments of anyone (and that just across the first 27 parts). CrysKelly also gave me a shoutout within “Sanctioned” with MJ’s “Cats, School & Planned Parenting”, and k-fish mentioned this serial in the RRL forums.

Which brings us to December 2016, and what I would call a statistical anomaly. Since July peaked in views, at 942 with 230 visitors (due to the LoN guest post), and every subsequent month declined in both categories. Yet December had over 870 views with 126 visitors, with both Tartra (from WFG) and Mez (from TWF) starting to read and comment. Lightdefender and Scott Delahunt also chimed in with comments that month. I know it helps that more posts exist now TO read, but whoa. Thanks for all that.

For prior year comparisons, 2015 had 776 visitors; 2016 nearly doubled that to 1,450. 2015 had 2,208 views across 101 posts. 2016 had 5,495 views across 190 posts. Top referrers in 2015: 1) Twitter. 2) WebFictionGuide. 3) Facebook. 4) TheChaosBeast (Unruly) & InMyDaydreams (LoN) tied at 51. Top referrers in 2016: 1) Twitter. 2) InMyDaydreams. 3) Facebook. 4) WebFictionGuide. 5) TopWebFiction. (ChaosBeast still holding fast next at 52.) That’s not counting links in from my forum posts.

The most popular post for 2015 was actually the first entry in “Epsilon Project” (181) not the first for “Time & Tied” (149); now the first “Time & Tied” entry is on top (596) followed by the indexes and About Me page before anything else. Incidentally, as of today, my site’s been protected from over 1,000 spam comments. Anyway, that’s far too much on stats. WordPress does a yearly round-up anyway. (Compare yourself to 2015 if you like, links to come.) On to Book 4.

ABOUT THE WRITING

As I indicated in the prior Commentary, the initial order of writing was flipped here for Parts 71-72 and 73-74. It made more sense to start Book 4 with Clarke’s sister, effectively a time travel themed episode, versus the violin story, which was school centred. The other thing I decided to do starting in Book 4 was give each partial part it’s own title.

My reasoning for all the unique titles was that I wasn’t sure about inserting new episodes. My initial Book 4 writing back in the 2000s was jagged, and spanned years… so I thought I might need to include “half parts” between old episodes, to deal with narrative gaps. As it turned out, that never really happened, but I decided to keep the separate titles anyway. This is also why I shifted to two-parters for the second part of Book 3, as I knew I’d be doing it when we got to this point.

2_frankluci

Old sketch of Frank & Luci

Part 75 was the first completely new part – and to some extent, became the ONLY new part in the whole Book. Other “new” parts (upcoming) are better described as additions within existing parts, or even complete rewrites of the old material. Whereas dealing with the Chartreuse-Carrie romance came in outside the old framework. I felt there was a LOT to cover, not the least of which was how Carrie felt about everything. All of which I opted to write from Chartreuse’s perspective.

I didn’t want two entries (75a/75b) of only Chartreuse though, so there was the Frank-Luci scene to get some better closure on their relationship (while foreshadowing something that originally had no foreshadowing) as well as the Clarke-Tim scene which let me call back to Julie’s November birthday (while showing what Julie had decided after seeing Mary, instead of merely telling later on).

This worked out fine from an in-story perspective too. After writing the part with Mary Clarke (late 2004) I actually didn’t resume the writing for almost a year (late 2005), and hence I dropped in a short time skip. Part 75 now fills that void of a week or two, while trying to recover the dropped ball of Chartreuse’s feelings. Something that we will see more of later too.

Unrelated to the narrative, we have new pictures in this post for Book 4 Commentary! They’re not commissions, but old sketches I drew – of uncertain origin. Because I don’t remember when I drew them; I stumbled on them some weeks back in an old binder. They must have been after 2005, for reasons I will explain in a later Commentary, yet obviously it’s before the pictures I drew when I started this site, to accompany Book 1. Are they worse than those images? Better? I don’t know?

One last thing. I’m very bad at creating last names. Frank’s last name (Dijora) I created by mashing my hands on the keyboard and rearranging vowels. Tim’s last name (Whitby) is a region just outside Toronto. Glen Oaks was literally the name of some memorial gardens I used to drive past. And Carrie? Carrie Waterson? (Water’s-on?) Her last name was a riff on Carrie Fisher. (Fish/Water.) With the actress’s passing last week, this feels like a time to mention that.

SPOILER SECTION

XoversCSpoilers for the past are unavoidable, Book 4 pulls in all the plot lines.

The main dangling plot from the prior book was Julie, and why she was pulling away. That’s resolved fairly quickly – she’s rebuilding the time machine, in secret, supposedly due to a message from the future. Of course, she might not have told Mary if she’d known about Carrie’s deal with Clarke, involving Glen, but that’s what happens when people don’t talk to each other.

Also trailing in from Book 3 was the Frank-Luci situation. They do split up. I’m curious as to how you feel about that; I can say there’s a couple of reasons why I did it. Granted, I’m hesitant to mention the one that connects to time travel (you’ll see it narratively later), but I also wasn’t sure where else to take that pairing – and the large gaps in my writing at the time didn’t help for continuity. Plus, with Julie and Clarke as my on/off couple, I didn’t want to make Frank-Luci equally wishy-washy.

Relationship-wise, Chartreuse’s feelings for Carrie also trail in from Book 3. We saw that Carrie, while conflicted about it, brings Chartreuse back into her confidence. That’s actually new from the edits. I realized with the new Timelines 1-4, covered in Book 3, that I needed a sounding board for Carrie who was not Glen. Particularly with Mary not staying in the picture. Chartreuse was the natural choice. Carrie has now told two people about Frank’s death.

Plot-wise, outside of time travel, we see a bit of Corry and Megan and the school situation. It’s not going to be a major component like it was in the first couple books, but it is still there, as a thread that needs to be addressed. Plot-wise, more temporally relevant, I dropped that hint about Mindylenopia. She is coming back, and she won’t be the only incidental character who returns from prior Books. (After all, we saw Azure and Mary too.)

Laurie, Tim, Glen and Lee start Book 4 primarily in the background. Even Carrie is kind of in the background, curiously enough. They will get their chance later. I hope you stick around for it. Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis. There were 54 votes in 2016; we waffle between 3 and 4 votes weekly, depending on whether I remember to vote for myself.

A final bonus, here’s what was in the original 2004 “outline” file before I started writing what became the start of Book 4. The “BREAK” denotes the commercial break, where parts split:
-TEASER: Clarke tells Mary about the time machine.
-Frank explains to Clarke how there is no time machine to show as proof any more.
-Clarke speaks with Laurie about convincing Julie to talk to Mary.
-Luci speaks with Mary about her surfacing memories of Linford and childhood abuse.
-Corry speaks with Julie about talking to Mary.
-After BREAK: Carrie speaks with Mary about the death of Frank.
-Julie speaks with Mary about how she’s putting the time machine back together.
-Glen uses his mind powers to alter Mary’s perception of events, but not before getting her to tell him everything the others spoke to her about.

Parts 71/72 were originally “Shrink Rap”, which became the title of 71a. Parts 73/74 were originally “Four Part Harmony”, the title of 73a. Part 75 was brand new.

Coming This Tuesday: Tim ends up with a larger role.

TTC: Commentary 22

“Time & Tied” PARTS 67-68
1. Original Date Of Completion: NOVEMBER 24, 2003
2. What I Was Doing: In Ottawa, looking for a teaching job
3. Changes of note:
-Removed an allusion to nudity that felt wrong (given the in-narrative author)

“Time & Tied” PARTS 69-70
1. Original Date Of Completion: JULY 30, 2004
2. What I Was Doing: In Ottawa, after an EOT, looking for a teaching job
3. Changes of note:
-Altered an element of Luci’s backstory (see below)
-Different “split” (commercial break) location for balance with:
-Added Carrie’s mental conversations with herself (“Elizabeth”)
-Added references to various timelines at the end

an_frank

FRANK DIJORA
Commission from krakenface

BAD NEWS FIRST

Stats! For anyone who feels like their website views are horrible, lets see if mine are worse. “Time & Tied” started in April 2015. Here we are *20 MONTHS* later. We just finished T&T Book 3. There’s some fun parallels.

Right before starting T&T, I wrote an “April Fools Swap” entry for Jim Z’s “Legion of Nothing” site. April 2015 saw a surge of views from about 100 per month (for Epsilon) up to 300 per month (for T&T). Except by the end of Book 1 (in Sept 2015) I was at my WORST month EVER – only 91 views. (That’s page views, not viewers.)

Right after starting T&T Book 3, I wrote a “Guest Post” entry for Jim Z’s “Legion of Nothing” site. July 2016 saw a surge of views from about 300 per month (for Epsilon) up to 900 in a month. And now, at the end of Book 3 (in Nov 2016) we are at UNDER 200* page views for the month.

Yet it’s even worse. Not only has the site again plummeted to being less hyped during the climax of an arc than the beginning, Book 3 started running *twice-weekly* postings in September. (Including a “Previously” to help occasional readers.) So I have LESS hits on DOUBLE the posts! In fact, when Book 1 ended there were only 85 posts garnering those 91 views in a month. Now there are 176 posts garnering 190* views this month (projected). [*Final total: 220 views.]

Here’s how stats have looked on a weekly basis; the week before Sept 12 was when I shifted to TWO posts per week (can you tell??):

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-11-38-26-pm

Isn’t that worse? I feel like that’s worse. Hell, “Shattered Part 2” (from four weeks ago) has ONLY FOUR VIEWS. Only three days out of the last thirty have over 10 page views (across 170+ posts) and only one of those days is over 15. All this despite getting a 3rd T&T WFG review from ChrysKelly in August (and a shoutout in his serial last month!), which was actually quite good. (Bright spot! Also the blog now has 10 followers. Woo!)

Conclusion: Is the “Time & Tied” story THAT boring? Or that inaccessible? Will no one else tell their friends? I know, I know, I waffle back and forth on making peace with my stats (I’m great but I can’t market) and throwing up posts like this (I fail as a writer). I’m not sure where I am now, but hopefully YOU feel better about yourself. Moving on to story analysis.

JUMBLED ORDER

You might recall that Parts 65-66 were originally completed in April 2004. So the entire “Woodlands” section was written BEFORE those parts (Clarke’s trip around to visit everyone, in the prior commentary). In fact, “Woodlands” came right off Mr. Waterson spotting Mindy’s letter. I changed that here because it’s less like a speed bump now, allowing the prior parts to “arc” together by placing the Mindy fallout after her event, without interruption. Now, “Woodlands” arcs towards the Book’s final climax and denouement instead.

ttani

Old animals sketch circa 2003

I didn’t remove it entirely, because I thought we needed the mental break before the literal Luci/Frank mental “break”. It also foreshadows Glen’s actions (admittedly right before them, with no Clarke in between). Plus, hey, I wrote it, so why not. “Woodlands” itself was an attempt to recapture the “lightning in a bottle” that was Chartreuse’s story earlier in this Book about Tope Diamond. To that end, I think it fails? But does it still work as a comedy piece? … I hope so? (Does anything work on this site?)

There’s another jumbled order coming up – the start of Book 4 will be better served by swapping the order of the next two episodes, one acting as a better recap of this book’s events. Those will mark the last set of entires completed in 2004. Yes, *four years* of on-and-off writing, and the T&T storyline was getting away from me. I’d started it in University, then completed a year of private school teaching, a year of getting a formal Education degree at Queens, and a year of looking for high school work in Ottawa (and scoring a semester Feb-June 2004).

Speaking of teaching… yeeeah… as originally written? Luci was abused by a teacher, not a next door neighbour. (The “backstory element” I mention above.) Yikes. When I went back and looked at that on later edits, I had a serious WTF moment. I was not only disparaging my own profession, I was possibly making people wonder about me. (Hopefully NOT, I’m also not a misogynist like Julie’s father, but still, I imagine some cannot separate a writer from their works.) Changed at the first opportunity, and that’s the last I’ll say about it.

Something NOT changed was a sneaky hard date in the Woodlands story: Security Breach 08/22/88. That was the date of Carrie’s mother’s disappearance. And thus the date of the second time travel trip (Frank’s first). I didn’t see any other way to make reference to that in Hank’s story, so I simply left the cryptic numbers there… only if you’re reading this now, will you know it’s a reminder that no, I have not forgotten about Elaine Waterson. Hey, if that’s not incentive for Book 4, I don’t know what else is.

Book 3 is now DONE, as is Timeline 3, in a sense. The picture you see above is a sketch I made during the “Woodlands” writing. Laugh at my inability to draw. Let’s now get more into the rest, with spoilers for Books 1-3 only (not the one that’s incoming).

SPOILER SECTION

XoversCSpoilers for the past are unavoidable, I’m putting a bow on things.

Did we have character arcs this time? Carrie was, of course, coming to terms with her temporal abilities – first through interactions with Chartreuse, then everyone, then Glen, and finally on her own. Hence how I labelled the arcs. I’m not sure how much she grew as a character; in some sense, she’s regressed, closing everyone out again. I hope her motivations make sense. Did you see any growth?

Frank’s arc went from being unsure how to behave in a relationship with Luci to literally giving up his life for her. Luci’s ran in parallel, as she tried to figure out her own emotional well being, while coming to terms with how demons from her past were a hidden influence on her present. Julie’s arc was largely building her back up to the force she’d been in Book 1, following her psychological crash in Book 2. Clarke didn’t really have an arc; one could argue he needs to find himself, he’s so tied to Julie – and now she’s cut him off.

Secondary characters? Well, Chartreuse’s arc was tied to her increased romantic feelings about Carrie. It was cut off by Carrie (but will keep arcing forwards). Corry’s arc involved his hubris and overconfidence, and now that Megan’s in charge, he may need to admit he can’t handle everything he thinks he can. Laurie and Tim didn’t have much of an arc (they’ll get more later). We saw more of Lee’s family, but again not much to him. Glen hasn’t really grown as a character either, he’s largely tied to plot.

Hey, plot! Hello! Hopefully timelines make sense.

We got our first explanation of Timelines 1-4, and that WILL be helpful knowledge in Book 4 (don’t worry, no memorizing, it will be in context). They’re actually something that came out of the re-edits more than the original writing. We also got expansion on the “Future War” that Shady discussed back in Book 2. Glen (Glinephanis) and Mindy (Mindylenopia) are Temporals, in a conflict with the Mundanes. Carrie remains at the heart of it – she is tied to time.

Related, Temporals have the power to (temporarily) control people’s minds, the way Shady did. (Except Lee’s immune!) The time machine has now been destroyed, but Carrie has demonstrated an ability to time travel without it. Again related, Glen indicated that Carrie has the power to bring others along on the time trips she takes. (Alas, not Chartreuse?) There is a “temporal gun” that Linquist apparently invented for shutting down someone like Carrie.

Plot loose ends? I don’t think there are many, in that a reader potentially has enough information to extrapolate the situation however they like. Does Carrie succeed? Do the relationships come together? Does Linquist return? Well, hey, what do you want to happen? I feel like Julie and that note is the only element really dangling out there as “the author’s up to something”. (Am I wrong?)

With that said, there IS a lot we’ll be revisiting in Book 4: Julie’s note. Mindylenopia’s location. Carrie-Chartreuse as a relationship. Megan running the high school. Linquist’s language. Even Carrie’s mother, from way back in Book 1. ALL of which can be read about without prior knowledge, so PLEASE encourage some other readers to join in, maybe??

Do you think I missed anything in my analysis? Was there something you particularly enjoyed, or hated, about Book 3? Are you EXCITED for what’s to come? (Are you out there?)

Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis. I consistently seem to be hovering at 2 or 3 votes, so thanks for that.

Parts 67/68 were originally “Woodlands Detour” so, uh, “Woodlands Omen”, sure. It was a stand-alone effort, I felt like I needed a similar title. Parts 69/70 were originally “Do You Mind?” so the new title was the topical “Timeline Four”.

Coming This Tuesday: BOOK 4 Begins. Note to self, post the index tomorrow.

TTC: Commentary 21

“Time & Tied” PARTS 63-64
1. Original Date Of Completion: OCTOBER 16, 2003
2. What I Was Doing: In Ottawa, looking for a teaching job
3. Changes of note:
-Tried to fix constantly changing Point-Of-View perspective

“Time & Tied” PARTS 65-66
1. Original Date Of Completion: APRIL 9, 2004
2. What I Was Doing: EOT position, teaching computers at SWL
3. Changes of note:
-Venitis were originally leaving for March Break, adjusted to family outing
-Fixed conclusion, Carrie had reverted back to being really bitchy

cb_clarke

PHIL CLARKE
Commission, from Storm Cup Creations

TEXT FILE TRACKING

At this point in the writing, I needed to track a number of temporal events. I’ll save specifics for Spoilers (below), but will speak here of a file labelled “TimelineA”, last accessed November 19, 2003 (so before starting Part 65). It’s the first such splinter file; files updated later (and possibly in later commentaries) would end up with the names “Timeline” and “TimelineUsed”.

As I’ve mentioned, the original T&T writing used hard dates, so the file begins with 1955 (the visit to Beth) and runs through to “Mid 2013” (when Glen was sent back), the majority of the story taking place in 2001. So, yeah, we’ve passed that year. Silly hard dates.

Also, 2013 raises questions of Glen’s age… let’s just say early drafts had more to do with “aliens” and less with the final product you get here. I’m not saying aliens WON’T factor in, but if and when they do, it won’t be as initially envisioned. (One rough plan was to have a time trip land on a space ship.)

The other text file updated at around this same time was “TimeCha”, my Character file. I last referenced this file set way back in Commentary #8, when TimeCha3 first included character birthdays. This file, TimeCha4, last accessed Dec 4, 2003, incorporated a lot of plot elements to this point from “Season 1” (S1) aka Books 1 and 2. For instance, the date of Julie’s first encounter with Phil, reference to Luci’s missing day, the age of the Venitis were when they left Miami, that sort of thing. Carrie’s powers are also itemized in this file for the first time. And Chartreuse? She got promoted.

CHARACTER UPDATES

The original character file was kept roughly in order of importance/volume of content. File 3’s order listed: Carrie, Frank, Julie, Clarke, Luci, Laurie, Corry, Lee, Chartreuse, Tim. The new File 4 put Chartreuse after Luci, as a LOT had been developed about the Vermilions through her story near the start of Book 3 here. Azure and her cards were also included as a sub-point.

Then there’s the fact that Glen Oaks also got an entry at the bottom, including his cover story, and there was a section added for “Minor Reoccurring Characters”. That last section included Linquist, Beth Parker, Theresa the waitress, and the teachers to date (Fisk, Willis, etc). Amusingly one remark in Glen’s section is that he “may or may not remember his mission (trigger word?)”. In these rewrites, he remembers.

Not much else to discuss before spoilers; for now, I’ve made peace with my stats. October looks much like September did, with a notable difference – there were actually two different people commenting on a T&T post *in the days following publication*. (The discussion of banishment with Part 62.) That was a first, and it DID lead to changes, with Glen giving more information to resolve those questions in the subsequent part. Plus me realizing I may need some timeline clarifications.

That sort of pushback is how I’d always envisioned this. Yay! Two years in, and things are sporadically working as anticipated. Even if the month as a whole is down by almost 100 views (441 in Sept to somewhere around 360 this month, if I’m lucky), while daily tallies very rarely manage to claw their way above 15 hits. On a site with 165 published posts. [EDIT: October saw 345, I was massively optimistic with 360.]

Okay, I’m not looking at stats again for a while. Oh, and I don’t know why Phil has glasses in the commission; artist’s prerogative? Either way, nice background there.

SPOILER SECTION

XoversCSpoilers for Books 1 & 2 may now creep in, as some elements are unavoidable.

Here’s the thing. Even though a lot of the stuff in the old “Timeline” file doesn’t factor into what happens any more – I still don’t think I can talk much about it. Because TELLING you that ‘such-and-such’ won’t be a thing might squash some reader theories who think it COULD be. (Not that many of you are theorizing out loud, but still.) I mean, maybe aliens were really high up in your theories, and after what I said above, they’re lower?

I *will* say that the Timeline Entry for “Mid 2002”, which read “Glen gets Carrie’s friends to start the war against the aliens”… would turn out to not be a thing. There was enough causality floating around already, and ultimately I wanted most of the paradoxes to be centred on Carrie. Also, the original writing got even more sporadic going forwards, and that would have been even more to keep track of.

Somewhat related, any thoughts on the future war? Glen was pretty blasé about it in his talking to Clarke. And we only have his word on things, now that Mindy’s gone. Ah, and we saw Mindylenopia make her grand entrance and exit! Was she right, in the note she left for Carrie? You actually won’t have to wait too long for resolution there… we’re really close to finishing Book 3 now. As far as the Temporal/Mundane front goes, please stick around for Book 4. (Which I basically finished edits for today, yaaaay!)

Sidebar, the only people who actually got a decent look at Mindy in the present were: Carrie, Julie, Corry, Laurie, and Hank (yes, she was the “plainclothes officer”, that’s when she left the note). In faded light, add Lee, Frank, and perhaps Luci and Clarke. Not Glen himself. Isn’t that interesting? Well, maybe not.

Now, let’s tackle character. After the temporal action came together, I used Clarke as the vehicle there – much like I did in Book 1. (Does it work?) He’s a bit of an “every man”, in how he gets drawn into events. Where he’s savvy enough to say the right things, but not predict all the consequences in advance. And after he’s seen everyone, I dealt the death blow — Julie’s on her own again. Was the “farewell kiss” too mean? Frank and Luci are also on the rocks. Everything’s fragmenting (“shattered”) due to Mindy!

Guess what? It can (and will!) get worse, as I aim to conclude the book “Destruction” by having it live up to it’s name. But first, in the coming weeks, something more lighthearted… an episode that was actually written BEFORE the Clarke piece. I switched the order, so that the arcs work better, and because the tonal shift is a bit jarring in retrospect. You’ll see.

Final sidebars: Did you like the return of Clarke’s sister? She did feature in his flashbacks, way back in Book 1 (parts 11 & 12). I mentioned that in my remarks at the bottom of posts, but I don’t know if people care about those. Do you have any theories about what Julie was talking about last part? Apparently something to do with Glen, and a letter, but is it temporal? And do you see Linquist and his gun figuring back into things at all?

Parts 63/64 were originally “The Conspiracy Unfolds Part 2”. In my 2014 edits, I called the chapter “Banishment”, hence the lead-up “Blame Game” was new. Parts 65/66 were originally “Making the Rounds” so “Shattered” was the new title. Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis. I do get some referrals in from the “fantasy” subpage, where 3 votes is enough to put us on the board.

Coming This Tuesday: The bizarre chronicles of Hank Waterson.

TTC: Commentary 20

“Time & Tied” PARTS 59-60
1. Original Date Of Completion: SEPTEMBER 5, 2003
2. What I Was Doing: In Ottawa, looking for a teaching job
3. Changes of note:
-Hunt thinking to himself became talking to Melanie Willis
-Computer teacher is now Mr. Burke, another shout-out
-Added mention of Catholic religion

“Time & Tied” PARTS 61-62
1. Original Date Of Completion: SEPTEMBER 24, 2003
2. What I Was Doing: In Ottawa, looking for a teaching job
3. Changes of note:
-Carrie/Glen timeline discussion altered to increase coherency

an_juliel_bygen

JULIE LAMILLE
Commission from Gen Ishihara

CLASS SCHEDULES

I mentioned back in Commentary #8 that I’d created class schedules for my characters, following the writing of Part 18. Some months later, I photographed 2015 coins on the manual sheet for those schedules in Commentary #15. Hard to read there, so I’ve decided to provide them for you in this post. For a couple reasons.

First, to point out how Book 3 keeps the “Semester Two” schedule, importing it into “September” – I mean, why draw up a new senior year schedule? Second, because this is possibly the last time their courses are relevant to the story. Originally, it helped not merely to know where they were, but for the sort of electives they took. Fringe benefit, I then knew the classes when Mindy rammed the van into the library.

Most were in Physics. Carrie (and Laurie and Glen, identical to Carrie) were in drama. And Corry, well, you’ll see was listed in physics too, but it felt more sensible to have him meet Julie in the hall. (Maybe he was skipping class!) There’s no more focus on the school for the rest of Book 3, and when the school is revisited in Book 4, course schedules are unlikely to be a major issue. So enjoy!

JUNIOR YEAR aka SEMESTER ONE (Books 1 & 2):

NAME Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4
CARRIE ..Maths.. Home Ec PhysEd Geography
FRANK Maths French Chemistry Geography
JULIE Maths French Law Geography
CLARKE Maths Tech/Shop PhysEd Geography
LUCI Maths French Chemistry Music
CHARTREUSE Maths Home Ec PhysEd Music
CORRY Maths French Chemistry Music
LAURIE Maths Home Ec PhysEd Geography
TIM Maths French Latin Geography
LEE Maths Tech/Shop PhysEd Music

SENIOR YEAR aka SEMESTER TWO (Books 3 & 4):

NAME Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4
CARRIE .English. History Art Drama
FRANK English CompSci Business Physics
JULIE English CompSci Business Physics
CLARKE English History Biology Physics
LUCI English CompSci Biology Drama
CHARTREUSE English History Art Physics
CORRY English History Business Physics?
LAURIE English History Art Drama
TIM English CompSci Biology Physics
LEE English History Art Physics

Extra bits: I actually had lunch staggered, because that’s how it was when I was in high school. But Tim was the only one who didn’t have it between 2 and 3, for the Latin. I also tracked some of the minor characters, like Joe and Sue in Chemistry (recall Part 7, the chemical switch), that concert band was Monday evening (for most in Music), Choir was Tuesday (never a factor), Cheerleading likely Tues/Thurs for a game on Fri (Carrie + Laurie), Track team likely mornings (or Wednesday) not really a factor either.

STATS AND COINS

It’s October 2nd, so I suppose there’s some sense in looking back at September 2016. It had 441 views on the site, with 10 new posts under the new twice-weekly format. By contrast, August had 699 views, with only 5 new posts that month. So, MORE posts now getting LESS views. (Part 59b from 09/09/16 has 7 views.) Two days in September saw more than 30 page views (highest on the 18th, admittedly with 66) and the lowest count was 1 view on Sept 12th. To remove the daily fluctuations, here’s a screen capture of the overall weeks (current to Sept 30):

onoct12016

As you can see, we’ve been on a downturn since the spike to end June (when I guest posted). Everyone who joined via “Legion of Nothing” seems caught up, and… hm, I was going to say “no one new is really checking the place out” but early this past week there was a LoN hit from someone who made it to Part 17 before stopping.

I have had also some hits in from a post in the RRL forums, where kaleidofish gave me a reference (Thanks!), but those viewers don’t seem to get past Part 1. By the way, mid-September I rewrote the first paragraph of Part 1. Doesn’t seem to have helped. I think I’ll keep the new twice-weekly format though, barring complaints?

On a slightly brighter note, I took a trip to BC in September, and I got five new 2016 coins (four quarters and a dime), proving that you don’t have to live in Ontario to get coins minted in the current year. That brings the total to 21 coins (one of those from Hamilton, and five locally in the last week), now including one of every denomination (the toonie was the last).

Library60

This really was my school.

Speaking of coins – OMG, my childhood. When I was home for the summer, I found the case for an old geometry set. It didn’t hold mathematical implements. It held the coin tallies from coins I’d picked up in the halls while in high school. Yeah, that used to be a thing I did, picking up coins and looking at dates. I’ve tried to refrain, now that I’m still in school as a teacher, to leave them for the next generation.

The record papers mostly occur at the end of the year, so I’m going to assume it started some time near the start of 1991. Here’s the tallies:

DATE Pennies Nickels Dimes Quarters American*
Dec 23/91 292 12 15 0 17
Dec 19/92 389 13 14 1** 32
Jan 2/94 260 13 7 1 18
Aug 23/94 223 9 14 4 18
Dec 29/94 381 13 25 1 21***

*: American coins were all pennies, except a nickel ending 1992 and a dime ending 1994
**: Quarter marked as being from the coin slot in the pay phone
***: 22 counting a ‘British New Penny’.

I graduated 6 months after that, in June 1995. When found, the geometry case held 14 pennies (one is American), unchronicled. I must have decided to stop after December, but couldn’t quite do it. My childhood, gentle readers! Since that time, Canada began the two dollar coin in 1996, American currency became par with the loonie in 2007 (didn’t last), and our bills became polymer starting in 2011.

One last note before we hit spoilers, the original Computer Science teacher was given a name by me mashing my palms on the keyboard and adjusting vowels. It generated “Mr. Orbison”. Instead, you got “Mr. Burke” because he writes the math comic (x, why?) and is a pretty cool guy on Twitter. (Not saying that just because he let me use his name.)

SPOILER SECTION

XoversCSpoilers for Books 1 & 2 may now creep in, as some elements are unavoidable.

Major Plot is finally happening, thanks to Mindylenopia. The original writing didn’t have the emphasis on “Timelines”, with Glen’s idea of preserving “Timeline 3”; Future Carrie had sent Glen back more generically, due to clouded elements in her past. In retrospect, this seems a better way to explain it. My hope is the whole ‘Future Carrie in conflict with Past Carrie’ has been an element since the start of this book – and it will occur again.

The other major change in the narrative was actually Melanie Willis joining Dell Hunt in his musings about the school. As originally written, he was having a dialogue with himself, which, yeah, probably as boring as it sounds. This rewrite gives Mrs. Willis a bit more characterization, introduces Megan later in the scene (not at the start) and ideally made that part more dynamic. Musical pun somewhat unintended.

One other minor insert was due to my August work on Book 4. (I’m 20 parts ahead.) Namely religion, an element I tend to avoid (along with race, which I discussed in Commentary #4) primarily because I don’t know much about it. Yet a character convinced me to at least consider Catholicism, so okay, it’s been foreshadowed. If you were paying attention, you who know I mean. Stay tuned for Book 4.

That’s looking forwards. Looking back, other elements have been falling like dominoes – Julie is back on equal footing with Corry, we know who Glen is, what the deal is with Linquist’s logbook, Lee’s favour was called in, the time machine’s being put to use and everyone’s back in the know… hopefully the buildup was worth it. There’s been less in terms of characterization these past weeks on account of all that, but I still try, like with Carrie’s reactions to Glen. Remember you can VOTE for T&T at “Top Web Fiction” on a weekly basis. And comment, also an option (thanks John “Doc” Golden!).

Parts 59/60 were originally “Power Struggle”, so the new second title was “Under Attack”. Parts 61/62 were originally “The Conspiracy Unfolds Part 1” so “Fragmented Plans” was the addition. This means the next part would have been “The Conspiracy Unfolds Part 2” (essentially making for a four-parter), so lots of new titles next commentary. Oh, and that cliffhanger with Frank? Yeah, you’ll be waiting on that for a while. Sorry, not sorry.

Consolation prize, the original part grabbed “NEXT TIME” quotes to use after a “TO BE CONTINUED”. I present those heading out, with a side note that apparently Willowdale Park used to be called Placid Park; I had no idea I renamed it.

Coming In The Following Weeks:
[at the LaMille mansion] “What do you mean,” Luci began, “when you say that Frank is now somewhere in the FUTURE?”
[in Linquist’s old lab] “In my haste to act, I made a right mess of things,” Julie fired back at Clarke.
[in a warehouse] “You’re right,” Glen admitted. “You’re the one person we can’t risk altering directly, Carrie.”
[in Willowdale Park] Carrie spun to face Glen, placing her hands on her hips. “You REALLY think I’m ready to face Mindy?!”