Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Step by step

I did a bit more writing on POS, last night...actually adding 6 pages and establishing the first time Brendan sees Joanna. It's still rough but it works well enough to set up what happens next. Of course, he's only 12 years old so a bit young for a full-fledged love affair, but a crush can be fun, even when it expands into first love.

Got a 3-day weekend. I'd stopped thinking about things like that once I shifted to self-employed. But reality is, nothing will be happening with the Olympia Book Fair till Tuesday, because customs is closed even in England. So today I took a jaunt over to Erie, PA to drop off a package that our usual couriers weren't able or willing to deliver till mid-next week. It's a nice drive, thick with rolling hills and trees jammed up to within 50 feet of the roadway, and Lake Erie is pretty when viewed from a rise. Erie itself is a mess, but I'm finding the majority of cities up in this area are very poorly laid out (not that San Antonio's any better; it has streets whose directions were determined by where the cows wandered). I'm getting the feeling that any city laid out prior to 1850 is like that...unless they had a catastrophe and reworked their city around that -- like San Francisco and Chicago. But Rochester, Buffalo, Niagra, Erie...their streets just ram about like drunks on a binge. It's hard as hell to figure them out.

Parts of Paris and lots of London are like that, too. Berlin and Hamburg no so much, but they were decimated in WW2 so could restructure themselves. Paris' boulevards came about because the people in charge just decided, We'll do it no matter what and if the people don't like it, tough. But London didn't do much with restructuring after the blitz, mainly because the country was damn near bankrupt. Now China is pulling the same thing with Beijing and Shanghai...and doing a piss-poor job of it, if the news about it is correct (and I don't necessarily believe anything I read or see, anymore). Still...thinking about it, I'm sure the glorious buildings of ancient Rome came about in the same way -- You live where we want to put the Coliseum? Too damn bad, get out. And there are even stories of Railroad Barons having settlers killed if they wouldn't sell the right of way on their land to the railroads (this was during "Useless" S. Grant's administration, who until "W" was the worst, most corrupt president this country ever had.)

It may be human nature to force their way on others. I just read in "Mother Jones" about a Home Owners Association in Carrollton, Texas that sold an army captain's home out from under him...while he was on deployment in Iraq. They let the new buyer have the captain's $300,000 home for $3500 in back HMA dues, and the man then resold it and the new owner demanded rent from the captain's wife, who was still living there. And apparently that's legal in Texas. The captain is currently locked in a legal battle to get his home back...and it's not going well. hasn't changed much, even as civilization evolves. Which seems to be a sub-theme developing in POS. How sad.

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