Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Okay...OT has worked itself into 4 parts, and I'm done with two of them. This half worked itself down to 56,600 words, which is still more than HTRASG, en total. I may still be a bit on the wordy side, here, but it's better than it was. And when I go through it, again, it'll get tighter. I hope.

The second two parts stand at just under 60,000 words, but I'm thinking I'm going to get rid of one subplot; it comes across as a repetition of what's already happened. Thing is, it's also a catalyst for Jake to force a few issues...but at the same time, it's not fresh and as interesting as it could be. Which irritates the hell out of me -- falling back on the tried and true.

Well, at least it reads better, so far.

Chicago's been interesting. From what little I've seen of it, so far, it seems like a well-managed city with a decent transportation system. I turned in my rental car and was able to get from Midway Airport to my hotel in less than an hour on the train and bus. I'm staying right around the corner from the Hancock Tower, one of the city's high-rise icons.

I've also seen some I. M. Pei works, that were milestones in architectural history, and I'm only a few blocks from the water tower that kept standing after the fire of 1871. Sunday's a down day, so I may get some sight-seeing done. This town's been a major source of interesting architecture over the years.

When we were headed for Grand Forks, ND we passed through Chicago. We changed trains here and had a nine-hour layover, so went to the Natural History Museum. I still have the pamphlet from it. I was 13. I was impressed with the city, then; it's even more fascinating now.

One thing that wasn't impressive -- I was last in Chicago 15 years ago, actually in Lake Forest. But one day I came down and had a steak dinner at McCormick and Schmict's...and it was the worst meal of my life. A Caesar salad loaded with more garlic than lettuce; I could not eat it. A steak that was rare when I asked for medium-well; the waiter took it back and the chef tossed it on the fire, again, so of course it came out like beef jerky. A potato that had been rebaked at least twice...which you never do to potatoes. A glass of wine that was middling, at best. And a wonderful seat right by the kitchen. The damn thing was a la carte and cost me $100...and that was with them comping the potato!

Haven't been back to a M&S restaurant since.


Michael said...

Glad OT is coming together. It will be worth the struggle I'm sure.

Chicago is on my list of cities to visit in the next year or so. I almost went earlier this year to visit a friend but ended up cancelling.

JamTheCat said...

I'd think it would be an interesting town to visit, as a tourist. The area I was in -- Magnificent Mile -- was well kept and clean, and pricey. But when we went to a restaurant just a mile and a half away, it was like NYC without the trendiness or gentrification really having taken hold, yet.