This is the notes page for all the stories that make up my novel sleep now the angels.  After each story posts, this post will be updated.  There will be, for the most part, two kinds of notes.  The first is copyright notices – as I mentioned in the introduction, I have a tendency to quote rock lyrics.  Or, to be more precise, my characters have a tendency to do so.  One of them also happens to quote classic literature.  So, if I use words that aren’t mine, that will be reflected here in the notes.

The second kind of note has to do with the writing of the stories themselves.  Because they were written over a long period of time, I will put up a little bit about how I wrote them.  Nothing in the notes will give anything away about events further along in the book, but they might reflect back, so it’s better to read the stories first as they post, then come back to this page.

Table of Contents

  • The Philip Roth quote is from Patrimony, © 1991.
  • The Faulkner quote is from Requiem for a Nun, © 1951.
  • The Billy Joel quote is from “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”, © 1977.
  • The U2 quote is from “Walk On”, © 2000.
  • As I mentioned in the introduction, it was tricky how to put up the Table of Contents.  I felt it was necessary because the quotes are relevant to each part.  If this were structured like an actual book, those would be the first four pages (title, dedication, contents page, The Fall of the Sparrow contents page), then the other four pages would come in approximately (based on the original Word document) 155 pages, 180 pages, 280 pages and 305 pages in, just before each section.

The Wedding Party

  • This is a combination of some of the earliest work on the original Stories from the Halls and the earliest work when it became sleep now the angels.  I began this piece with the Springsteen quote and the notion that you shouldn’t wish harm on another person because of karma but instead wish harm on the building they are standing in, a view on karma provided by John Ramirez.  When I realized who the characters were, I wrote the rest of the story.  The flashback section was one of the original 1994 stories, in its proper chronological place in the story, but I ended up deciding to move it instead here, where I thought it was more effective.
  • The baseball references were all to the Red Sox until, for reasons that will be made clear in Aurochs and Angels, I changed them all to the Giants.
  • Mountain Lake, the Santiago River and Santiago Oaks University are all fictional.  Coronado, however, and the Hotel Del are real places and Mrs. Darcy lives at 1021 Flora Avenue, in a house which in reality was torn down in 2003 after my grandmother moved out, just down the street from Star Park, which is also real.
  • The epigraph is from “Lonesome Day”, © 2002 by B Springsteen.
  • Bruce acknowledges the Faulkner quote from Requiem for a Nun, © 1951.
  • When they first start dancing, Bruce quotes “My Generation” by P Townshend, © 1965 and “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)” by N Young, © 1979.
  • The Bruce Springsteen song that plays at the dance is “Tougher Than the Rest”, © 1987 by B Springsteen.
  • At the end of the dance, Bruce quotes another Springsteen song, “Bobby Jean”,  © 1984 by B Springsteen.
  • Without attribution, Bruce quotes from Ulysses.  The quote he read about the world breaking everyone is from A Farewell to Arms.  His Yeats quote is the epigraph to his collection Responsibilities.  He then quotes Yeats again, from “The Second Coming”.  At the end, Bruce quotes from Hamlet.  I believe those are all out of copyright protection, but if not, well then, at least I acknowledged them.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, mix Jim Beam and Kahlúa.  It is such an awful combination you will remember it for the rest of your natural-born life.  Absolut and banana liqueur, however, is a pretty good combination.

Flight 437 to Sky Harbor

  • This story began with the image of a girl in an airport and a title.  It was only later that I realized who the male character in this story was.
  • Rebecca, of course, is reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, © 1952.  Bruce quotes the first lines of the book.
  • Bruce is reading Confederacy of Dunces.
  • When reading the story, Veronica disputed the notion of having to read Ethan Frome in high school.  I pointed out that I had to read it in high school and in Grosse Pointe Blank, it is the book that John Cusack asks his old English teacher about.
  • I feel like I should point that when I wrote this story (2001) and when it takes place (2005), ALS was rarely referred to by that name.  It is really the last couple of years that have made the greater public aware of its actual name.
  • Rebecca quotes both the Yeats poem “The Second Coming” and Hamlet, just as Bruce did in the first story.
  • Bruce’s Faulkner quote this time is from The Sound and the Fury, © 1929.

Reunion Blues

  • As mentioned in the Introduction, I went from Stories from the Halls, which all took place in 1993-1997, to the first two stories, which take place in 2005.  So what about the eight years in between?  I had to decide whether I was just going to mention events in the stories going forward, or if any of the stories would take place during that time.  I decided that the best place to pick up the narrative was at their five year reunion, and this this story was born.
  • Only two songs are actually quoted and thus made explicit: “Putting the Damage On” by Tori Amos (© 1996, T Amos) and “Two Princes” by the Spin Doctors (© 1993, M White, E Schenkman, C Barron, A Comess).  But I’ve dropped hints at the other songs, three of which I share the same low opinion as expressed in the story (“Wonderwall” for Oasis, my most hated song ever, “Let Her Cry” by Hootie and the Blowfish, “One Headlight” by the Wallflowers) and one of which I love in spite of what Kayce thinks of it (“Mr Jones” by the Counting Crows).
  • The Tori song, of course, is extremely unlikely to ever be played in such circumstances, but I needed it for story purposes and it’s a great song.

Aurochs and Angels

  • When I originally wrote this story, back in 2001, Kayce was a Red Sox fan and wanted to be home before Nomar came to bat.  She liked the Red Sox because of the continual struggle for hope.  But this story takes place in September of 2005, by which point the Red Sox had won the World Series and Nomar was no longer a member of the team.  That required some changes.  Since, as is mentioned, she was born in the Bay Area, and since both her uncle and father are from the Bay Area, it was a natural change to make her a Giants fan and since they hadn’t won the World Series in over 50 years at this point, it fit perfectly.  Originally the story didn’t make use of a specific game, but since I had given it a specific day, I decided to incorporate in the exact game played that day, thanks to the Internet.
  • Bruce quotes, in his own head, from “Be True” by B Springsteen, © 1979.
  • Kayce’s description of the walk from ASU to her house is accurate as of the fall of 1997, when I lived in Tempe just around the corner from where their house is situated.  I can not guarantee the accuracy as of the fall of 2005.
  • Bruce and Rebecca’s feelings on Pynchon are not my own as is evident here and here.  I never threw a copy of Gravity’s Rainbow out of a window.  I did, however, throw a copies of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues out a window, which is where I got the idea.
  • The idea of an ASU basketball player printing money on his laser printer really did happen when I was a grad student there in 1997.
  • Spock does indeed say of Kirk that “he is a man of deep feelings” in Star Trek IV.
  • There are many references, of course, to the text of Lolita, © 1955 by V Nabokov.  The cover described in the story is the same one in the linked post, where I actually reprinted Rebecca’s paper in full.
  • Sting does indeed mis-pronounce Nabokov in “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”.  And he was an English teacher, so he should know better.
  • The references to Dark House, as well as the Alanis Morrissette quote will be made clear when that story goes up.
  • As far as I know, there is no publication called And Other Stories.  If there is, my apologies.  I thought it was a great name for a literary magazine.
  • Since there is no Jack-in-the-Box within 500 miles of my apartment, the most painful thing about working on this story was how bad it made me want a Sourdough Jack.
  • The last line of the story is somewhat inspired by the last line of The Human Stain.

The River

  • This is one of the original Stories from the Halls.  Unlike the story that became part of The Wedding Party, this one is the original story with a framing device.  So why does it go here when the rest of the stories form the middle part of the book?  The framing device is the answer, as that places it in the proper part of the 2005 narrative as will be made clear with the next story.  This has always been a difficult story to write and to re-write but it always felt like an important part of the story because what it’s really about is three boys who love a girl and their response to something.
  • “Ask Me” is © 1991 by A Grant / T Hernby.  The snide comment about the song wasn’t ever said in real life but is derived from something my friend Joe once said when I was playing the song “Luka”: ‘ah, my second favorite song about child abuse.’
  • If DKS is a real fraternity, I don’t know it.  It’s not meant to be a real one.
  • Let me be clear in case there is any confusion on this point.  I have tried, for story purposes to make what happens as legally questionable as well as morally unquestionable.  My characters consider this rape and absolutely so do I.
  • If you don’t recognize the last lines from The House at Pooh Corner, © 1928 by AA Milne, well, then you have my pity.

Last Light over Hayden Rock

  • This story contains an anachronism that annoys me but I refuse to change.  I wrote this story, which is set in the fall of 2005, prior to November of 2003 when I returned to Phoenix  for my sister-in-law’s graduation and discovered that, since I had left in 1997, the Ed Debevic’s in Phoenix had closed.  I decided, nonetheless, to keep it in the story.  If you are unfamiliar with Ed Debevic’s, I highly recommend going there the next time you are in Chicago.  Great food, great ambience, terrible service (which is kind of the point).
  • Kayce is listening to All That You Can’t Leave Behind, and lines are quoted from “Elevation” (the third song) and “Walk On”, the fourth song, both of which are © 2000 by U2.
  • I have, once again, quoted from Requiem for a Nun, © 1951 by W Faulkner.
  • “Ant”, quoted in its entirety by Bruce, is © 1990 by They Might Be Giants.
  • While most of the songs Kayce remembers her father singing are fairly well known, the major exception is “Bob” which is a fantastically hilarious song by Ed’s Redeeming Qualities.
  • The last line in part I is a twist on the final line in Theodore Roethke’s “Elegy for Jane“.
  • My version of People Magazine’s 2005 issue of 50 Most Beautiful People is fictional and I don’t know if Natalie Portman or Halle Berry were in it (but they should have been) and I later looked it up and it’s actually Julia Roberts on the cover.  Jennifer Gabriel, as a fictional character, is, of course, not in it.

dark house

  • While all of the stories in this novel are intended to be stand-alone, this one (and the two in the later interlude) was written as stand-alone.  It wasn’t written as intended to be written by Bruce, I just simply wrote it, and then when I reconfigured the novel, it worked as a piece of fiction written by Bruce, especially since I had given Bruce the tendency not to finish things.
  • As mentioned above, the literary magazine And Other Stories is fictional and is not meant to represent any actual such publication, if one exists.
  • I wrote this story in 2002.  However, because of the logistics of giving it to Bruce, that necessitated moving it to 1999.  Which meant changing a couple of references, as originally the director was Sam Mendes and the actress in question was Natalie Portman, neither of whom worked in that context if this story were really published in early 1999.
  • In case it confuses you, every time it goes into italics, time shifts (and so does narrative perspective).  I have already established that The Sound and the Fury is Bruce’s favorite book.  He got the idea from Faulkner because, of course, so did I.
  • “Thank U” by A Morissette is © 1998.  This quote has obviously been presaged by its mention in Aurochs and Last Light.  That Alanis quote had stuck in my head from the day her album was released in 1998 and finally I wrote a story about that idea in 2002.
  • Faulkner really did have two different novels that began with the title “Dark House”: Light in August and Absalom, Absalom.
  • If you are unfamiliar enough with Stephen King to know what film is being directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Bill Cuttner, it’s Eyes of the Dragon.
  • If you don’t recognize the line “Fuck me gently with a chainsaw” as being from Heathers, well then, you have my pity.

The Bet

  • Now we have hit the original stories from Stories in the Halls.  While Bruce is clearly the focus of the novel as a whole, in the original Stories, there was a rotating cast of narrators, with the concept that this was a bunch of friends on the night before graduation telling stories about their time in school.
  • The lyrics throughout the story are, of course, from “Every Breath You Take”, © 1983 by Sting.
  • “Somebody” by M Gore is © 1984.
  • The action of the Monday Night Football game place the action of that scene on October 11, 1993, or roughly a month and a half into their Freshman year.
  • The song that Tom quotes that Kyle was singing is “Be True” by B Springsteen, © 1979.
  • “Pictures of You” is © 1989 by R Smith / P Bamonte / S Gallup / R O’Donnell / P Thompson / L Tolhurst.

Our Own Private World

  • One of the earliest stories from when I first started writing Stories from the Halls.  It helped establish the characters of Paul, Kate, Laura, Sarah and Jim.  Originally, it had a couple more paragraphs that set the stage for the concept that these stories were all being told on the night before most of the characters (except Paul) graduate.  The one part of the story that didn’t exist in the original was the character of Xian.  Xian is the character from another novel, my “high school” novel, about a group of friends who grow up in Santiago Oaks.  It grew out of my original high school novel, about a bunch of friends who grew up in Villa Park and that I have worked on, on and off, since 1988.  But after I wrote Stories from the Halls, I re-envisioned the high school novel and placed it in Santiago Oaks.  Since Paul is the same age as those characters, it was easy to take a character and have Paul fall in love with her and then have her leave the school before the others arrive.  Though she will be mentioned in other stories, she never actually appears in this novel.  She is, however, a significant minor character in the other novel, which may someday appear on the blog in this same manner, since it clearly won’t ever appear in print.
  • The argument about Classic Rock goes like this.  Is Classic Rock designed by a time period or by a sound?  So, does new Tom Petty music still classify as Classic Rock?  Or only older Tom Petty?  You can make your own decision.

Summer Dusk: a romance

  • This story, when originally written, was entitled Rain in the Summertime, after the Alarm song.
  • As I have mentioned above (somewhere), the original concept of Stories from the Halls was that all these characters were sitting around the night before graduation telling these stories.  That gave a reason for all the multiple narrators.  However, how do you give a voice to characters who are dead?  Hello, epistolary novel.  I first read Dracula my Freshman year in high school because a fellow runner of the cross country team was telling us about it, and how it started with all these journal entries.  I loved the idea.  So, it was easy to make the transition to that there, the idea that these diary and journal entries were being read as well.  I no longer need that because I dropped the concept, but it still works to give them a more unique voice, more an everyday voice, than a story-telling voice.
  • “She’s an Angel” is © 1986 by J Flansburgh and J Linnell.

What Private Griefs…

  • If you are thinking, oh, this is Erik, so the title totally comes from Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 2 (“What private griefs they have, alas, I know not / That made them do it. They are wise and honorable”), you are only partially correct.  The title does come from there, but not directly.  I hadn’t yet read Julius Caesar at this time.  I actually got the title (complete with ellipses) from an excellent comic: Infinity Inc. #30.  It was a comic about the (then) final fate of the Justice Society of America and how their children dealt with the loss.  It seemed the right title for a story in which I gave the viewpoint to multiple characters to see how they dealt with loss.  It was always written with five narrators, the same five in the same order.  In fact, of all the stories from the original Stories from the Halls, this is the one which has been added to the least and subtracted from the most (I had a reaction from Rachel’s sister in the Sharon section originally).  Since the first two stories I wrote for the book had different narrators, it was an early decision to have as many narrators as possible and this one story took care of four of them who don’t get a narrative voice elsewhere.
  • Kyle quotes “Thunder Road” by B Springsteen, © 1975.
  • The idea that Springsteen writes about the people in the cars rather than the cars is not mine, though I absolutely believe in it.  I don’t remember when I first heard it but definitely by the summer of 1994, as it appears in the original version of Stories.
  • “Only the Good Die Young”, of course, is a B Joel song, © 1977.
  • Bruce starts to quote from “The River”, © 1979 by B Springsteen but Jenn interrupts him, for all the good it does her, since it’s also the epigraph to the story.
  • Bruce sings from “Modern Love”, © 1983 by D Bowie.
  • Supposedly, at one time, Forest Grove, which is the basis for much of the geography of Santiago Oaks, had the most churches per capita in the United States, but I’ve never found any data to back that statement up.  Nonetheless, I have given that title to Santiago Oaks.
  • Bruce, as Jenn notes, inaccurately quotes “Badlands”, © 1978 by B Springsteen.  He then accurately quotes a different line from the song.
  • Paul, of course, is singing “Mrs. Robinson”, © 1968 by P Simon.

What Comes Naturally

  • One of the original Stories from the Halls, with some changes, but basically the same story.  It is a complete coincidence that it posts the day after I got tickets to go see U2 on their 30th Anniversary Joshua Tree tour.
  • Paul quotes to Laura from “Luminous Times (Hold on to Love)”, © 1987 by U2.
  • The little bit of poetry that Laura quotes that Paul told her is the poetry from another novel.  It is worked in here, but it has serious significance in my “high school novel”.
  • The quote on Sarah’s wall is from “I’m Alive”, © 1993 by J Browne.
  • Veronica informed me while reading the story that Sally Ride was a lesbian.  It was news to me, and it was not intentional.  She’s just one of two female astronauts that I figure people can name and given how many obscenely tasteless jokes I still can remember about the death of Christa McAuliffe I had to go with Ride.  Besides, it flows right off the tongue as a nickname.
  • And so, here we have Sarah’s game, which makes this whole novel a difficult book to publish because of copyright issues.  Here are the songs in the game, in order: “The Times They Are A-Changin”, © 1963, B Dylan, “Get Up”, © 1989, Stipe / Mills / Berry / Buck, “The Meaning of Love”, © 1982, M Gore, “Enjoy the Silence”, © 1990, M Gore, “Kiss Off”, © 1983, G Gano, “Blister in the Sun”, © 1983, G Gano, “Born to Run”, © 1974, B Springsteen, “Big Yellow Taxi”, © 1970, J Mitchell, “Don’t Let’s Start”, © 1986, Linnell / Flansburgh, “Which Describes How You’re Feeling”, © 1992, Linnell / Flansburgh, “Try Not to Breathe”, © 1992, Stipe / Mills / Berry / Buck, “Red Hill Mining Town”, © 1987, U2.
  • Laura quotes from the “Finale” of Les Miserables, © 1985 H Kretzmer (English lyrics).
  • Then she quotes from “Just the Way You Are”, © 1977, B Joel.
  • Sarah sings from “I Kissed a Girl”, © 1995 by J Sobule and Laura responds with “Laid”, © 1993 by Booth / Gott / Glennie.
  • In her head, Laura quotes “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, © 1994 by T Petty and, also in her head, Sarah responds with “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, © 1991 by Nirvana.

Night Falls Fast

  • This began as the story mentioned in the introduction, “The King of Santiago”.  That story began with the title and worked backwards.  I liked the title and it gave me the name of my fictional town.  But, it also became clear later on, that the title and it’s use in the story didn’t actually fit the character.  So I had to drop the title and this was the title I eventually came up with.
  • That also means, as mentioned in the introduction, that this was the second story written, while I was still in San Jose.  Which meant that Sean was always destined to die, and that Rachel was always dead, before I ever began using her as a character.  Everything worked backwards from there.  Some parts of this story are quite new but the basic framework of it has always been the same.
  • There are no solid line breaks in this story because it all happens so fast in Bruce’s head, but the double spaces between sections is deliberate.
  • The Yeats quote is from “The Second Coming”, © 1920.
  • Bruce and Jenn are dancing to “Hand in Hand” by Dire Straits, © 1980, M Knopfler.
  • Okay, I might as well point out that when I was one of the people in charge of Freshmen Orientation at Pacific in 1995, I did indeed stand up on a table and say, “I’m Erik, and I’m in charge because I’m the loudest.”  I later ended up dating one of those Freshmen, who said she was interested in me from the second I did that.
  • Bruce is correct that Paul is quoting John Irving, specifically the last line of The Hotel New Hampshire, © 1981 by J Irving.  Then he quotes from the film version of The Last of the Mohicans, © 1992, screenplay by M Mann and C Crowe.
  • Sean quotes “Racing in the Street” by B Springsteen, © 1978.  Then he quotes A Farewell to Arms by E Hemingway, © 1929.

Winter Light

  • This was not one of the original Stories from the Halls, but it filled a gap that I kind of created when writing Stories.  When I originally wrote it, the final story (not counting the epilogue) took place at the beginning of Senior Year and was by far the longest story of the book so I didn’t write any more about their Senior Year.  Then, in the epilogue, Bruce, who is narrating, notes that he is the second last person in the graduating class (I think writing that is when I gave him the last name of Yale), with the exception of his wife.  I had married off Bruce and Michelle without developing that at all.  Also, Michelle was fairly under-developed as a character.  She had been a an early girlfriend of Tom and then had been a major part of The River (though mostly passive) but basically not included after that.  So, years later, when I went back to the stories, I decided I needed to develop the relationship between Bruce and Michelle, to write their love story.  At one point, I was going to move Summer Dusk and have it be the first interlude (rather than the fictional dark house) and Winter Light would be the second interlude, the two love stories, in different seasons, juxtaposed against each other.  But in the end, I moved both back into the main action of the middle part and made fiction the interludes.  But I had also developed the concept of Kayce.  I realized that What Private Griefs took place nine months after The River and when I had originally written it, Michelle basically didn’t appear in it (except for the group bit at the end).  Suddenly, I had an excuse for her absence.  And then things grew from there.  I wrote their love story.
  • If it seems familiar at all, that’s because a shorter version of this story appeared on the blog several years ago after I did a reading of it at the Booksmith during Employees Read from their Work night.  I had deliberately abridged it to fit a specific time period in which to read it.  This is the full story.
  • I have been through Gilroy numerous times because driving from one brother in San Jose to the other in Orange County, it’s the easiest spot to get off 101 and cut over to I-5 but don’t take Bruce’s take on Gilroy to be mine.
  • Here comes the song game again.  “Where the Streets Have No Name”, © 1987, U2.  But Bruce replies with the opening lines from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, © 1916, J Joyce.
  • Jason Compson, of course, is a character from The Sound and the Fury.
  • My college roommate, Jamie and I, indeed used to yell out “Death to all modifiers!” (© 1961, Joseph Heller) in our creative writing class.
  • Michelle quotes “Try Not to Breathe”, © 1992, REM.  Bruce, being Bruce, replies with a quote from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, © 1915, TS Eliot.
  • Bruce tries to win her over by quoting “Tunnel of Love”, © 1987, B Springsteen.  Michelle responds with the end soliloquy from A Midsummer Night’s Dream which Shakespeare wrote in @ 1595 or so but has never enjoyed copyright protection.  Then she teases him with Hamlet.
  • Bruce quotes Much Ado About Nothing with visions of the film in his head and Michelle responds once again with A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  • Bruce’s first line montage at the beginning of part II includes A Tale of Two Cities (© 1859, C Dickens), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (© 1971, H Thompson) and 1984 (© 1949, G Orwell) and then, without direct quoting, reference The Sound and the Fury (© 1929, W Faulkner), Rabbit, Run (© 1960, J Updike) and The Satanic Verses (© 1988, S Rushdie).
  • Bruce quotes one of the final lines of The Princess Bride (the book, not the film, © 1973, W Goldman).
  • Michelle quotes Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years”, © 1975.  Bruce responds with “Human Touch”, © 1992, B Springsteen.
  • If you don’t believe that description of the air, you have never been to LA.  I drove down to LA in college with my then girlfriend Kari.  As we came out of the Grapevine, she said “What is that brown stuff?”  “Air,” I replied.  “You can’t see air,” she said.  “In LA you can.”
  • “A Look at Existentialism as a Form of Black Humor” is, in fact, a paper I wrote in college.
  • Michelle and Bruce quote Hamlet to each other.
  • During one re-write of The River, I had changed the book being read aloud at the end from The House at Pooh Corner to The Princess Bride.  But, later, I realized I needed Michelle not to know the ending of The Princess Bride for the scene here, so I changed it back.  The film is © 1987 and is also by W Goldman.
  • In the argument over Greatest Album Ever, Bruce is parroting my views.
  • Paul is singing “Industrial Disease”, © 1982, M Knopfler and then follows it up with “Badlands”, © 1978, B Springsteen.
  • Once again, we have Xian, the character from another novel.  The story of her death is an actual story in the other novel, in which Paul becomes the character from another novel, except that he actually appears while Xian is only discussed.
  • Paul is singing “Hawkmoon 269”, © 1988, U2, then sings his own lyrics to “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”, © 1965, J Lennon / P McCartney.
  • The poet who said “Spring is like a perhaps hand” was ee cummings, in 1923.

mira a los ojos

  • According to a very old Word document, I wrote this story in 1997.  It’s a departure from my stories, both in length and style.  Given that, it seemed like a nice story to pop in as the new story from Bruce.  I also wanted its extremely short length (less than 1500 words) to be reflective that, even though Bruce finally wrote something new, it’s extremely short.
  • There is, as far as I know, no literary magazine called short shorts.  It’s not intended to be a real magazine.
  • It doesn’t have any copyright issues, though I will point out that it was Gertrude Stein who famously said of Oakland “there no there there”.

a different corner

  • I began this story when I first moved back from Arizona to Oregon in late 1997 as is evidenced by the fact that the original handwritten version is in a Sun Devils notebook that I bought at the ASU bookstore.  So it’s appropriate that I gave it Rebecca and had it appear in the (presumably) fictional Sun Devil Stories.  There are all sorts of other clues to the periods of composition of it.  There are fragments on sheets of paper that date from when Veronica and I were first dating and I had never heard of a midori sour before the spring of 2000.  The notebook has a completion date of 7 June 2002.  So I worked on it, on and off, over the course of four and a half years.  It was written as a stand alone piece and I actually considered trying to submit it to a magazine but thought the use of songs would create so many copyright problems that it wasn’t worth it.
  • The epigraph, clearly by B Springsteen, is from “Tunnel of Love”, © 1987.
  • “Blaze of Glory”, is © 1983 by M Peters, E Macdonald, D Sharp.  The use of all caps is from the actual lyrics printed in Standards.
  • Once again, the Springsteen quote is from “The River”, © 1979.
  • “Fortunate Son” is © 1969, J Fogerty.
  • Okay, and now we get into lyrics that I wrote.  Since they are not copyrighted and they have no music, feel free to create your own.  The first song quoted is called “Hope Springs Eternal”.
  • They raise the sky with “Till Victory”,© 1978 by P Smith, L Kaye.
  • Okay, a lot of my characters are derived from people I know and sometimes I use real things that happened.  But the only character in the novel who is actually named after someone I know is Melton, who is named after Ryan Melton, a friend of mine from college.  He is not whiny, but he does have an excessive love for the Grease soundtrack.
  • And now, we’re quoting “Atlantic City”, © 1982, B Springsteen.
  • “Throwing It All Away” is © 1986 by P Collins, A Banks, M Rutherford.
  • “Help” is © 1965, by J Lennon / P McCartney.
  • “Against All Odds” is © 1984 by P Collins.
  • The second song written by me is called “Promised Land”.
  • “Find a Way to My Heart” is© 1989 by P Collins.
  • Third song written by me wasn’t even written to be a song.  It was a sonnet I wrote for a class assignment, simply called “Love Song”.
  • “In Too Deep” is© 1986, P Collins, A Banks, M Rutherford.  I should point out that I love Phil Collins and Genesis.  Veronica hates them.
  • “Break on Through” is © 1967 by The Doors.
  • “Badlands” is © 1978 by B Springsteen but hopefully you know that by this point.
  • “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, © 1980 by I Curtis, P Hook, S Morris, B Sumner.
  • Now we enter the medley of songs that I wrote when I was ages 18-21 and are painful to look back at now, so I picked and chose the lines I felt least embarrassed about and threw them into the story.  The songs are called “Take the Stand”, “Beyond the Silent Night”, “Dream Away”, “The Sixties”, “Year of the Dragon”.  It concludes with “The Card Shark”, which I wrote when I was 23 but was mostly re-written for the story.
  • “Run the Sound” was written after a trip to Seattle in the spring of 1994.  It’s one of the songs I’m least embarrassed about.  It also provided me with a setting for the story.  The only line I added in was the line about the Troll and the Fremont because I didn’t first see the Troll until 1999.
  • The two final Springsteen songs are “Be True” (© 1979) and “The Promised Land” (© 1978).
  • I spent a long time writing the song “A Different Corner”.  From the time I began the story, it was always planned that it would end with them playing the song.  I always had the chorus in my head but the rest took quite a while.
  • The two John Lennon quotes are, of course, from “All You Need is Love” (which is also technically a P McCartney song, © 1967) and “Mind Games”, © 1973.
  • At one point I gave serious consideration to the events of this story happening on 31 December 1989 and having Rick acknowledge that in his good night, which is partially why there are no songs quoted in it from later than 1989 even though it is written by Rebecca in 2005.  But, I decided to just go with the final line I had and not place it at any specific time.

Fallen Angel

  • This piece and the remaining three that follow were never completed before I began this current project.  This and the next two existed in fragments and pieces.  This piece had originally begun in first person but I decided that all of the stories in the final part of the book should be in first person.
  • In many novels, you will see a disclaimer “a portion of this novel appeared in somewhat different form in . . .”.  Well, while it wasn’t published, the idea of a girl breaking her leg in a car accident began in a screenplay that I began back when I lived in Arizona.  That also took place in Arizona and the father was a teacher and basketball coach but everything else was different, as the injury was the impetus for the man discovering his wife was having an affair.  But, when I decided later on that there would be an impediment to Kayce playing baseball that would need to be dealt with in the final story (whose title makes it obvious it’s about her playing baseball) that I would take that idea from the earlier screenplay.
  • Kyle and Bruce banter back and forth with “Atlantic City”, © 1982, B Springsteen.
  • Yes, William Miller is an in-joke.  If you get it, kudos.  If you don’t, well then, you need to watch a certain movie again.
  • The song that Rebecca works herself up with is “Walk On”, © 2000, U2.

Where Angels Fear to Tread

  • This story wasn’t begun in third person but in first person.  However, it was being told by Sarah.  I re-conceptualized how I wanted the story to be told.  The only part of this story written before I began doing this online was the very beginning.
  • Sarah and Michelle banter with the lyrics to “You May Be Right”, © 1980, B Joel.
  • The lyrics to “Open Your Heart” are © 1986 by Madonna, G Cole, P Rafelson.
  • Writing this story, I suddenly had to create last names for Laura and Jim because I realized that Kayce wouldn’t refer to them by their first names.
  • It feels a bit weird to admit that you get emotional about something you have written.  But writing the transition of the story, where the narration is handed off, was extremely difficult.  It didn’t get any easier when, just a couple of minutes after writing “I have reached the end of my story”, my audio clip of the end of Return of the King came on with the words “Your part in the story will go on.”  I certainly did not consciously echo those words, but they have been so much a part of me for so long, I wouldn’t be surprised if my subconscious did.

Hungry Heart

  • Again, this story wasn’t begun in first person but in third person.  But most of the fragments that existed for a long time were various bits of dialogue and so having a first person narrator was irrelevant.  It was the first part, which is the oldest part, that required changes to make it be a first person narrative rather than a third person one.
  • This story contains some of the newest parts of the story (written well after I started posting the stories on the blog) and the oldest.  The “then” parts of the story began as a play called Pride, which even pre-existed Stories from the Halls.  It was the third of three plays I wrote my Freshman year in college and it originally didn’t use these characters.  However, when I wrote Stories, I rewrote Pride into the longest, final story of the book and adapted the characters as necessary.  Then I even re-adapted it back for the screen and used part of that for my senior writing project to earn my undergraduate degree in Creative Writing.  But much of Pride I found unusable – it dealt too much with religious reactions to Sarah’s condition and I decided to take out almost all of that and focus on Sarah herself and how her immediate friends react to it.  The part about how others find out about her illness changed many times over the years.  So, for some of this, it was writing new material and for some of it, it was dumping old material.
  • “Eat It”, © 1984 by A Yankovic, M Jackson.
  • Bruce quotes “Worlds Apart”, © 2002, B Springsteen, which the rules, of course, expressly forbid.
  • And now we’re into the game again.  “Good Vibrations”, © 1966, B Wilson, M Love.  “Walking on Sunshine”, © 1983, K Rew.  “Beautiful Girl”, © 1992, A Farriss.  “Death or Glory”, © 1979, J Strummer, M Jones.  “The Heart of the Matter”, © 1989, D Henley, M Campbell, JD Souther.  “One”, © 1991, U2.  “Turn, Turn, Turn”, © 1959, P Seeger / The Book of Ecclesiastes.
  • Kayce’s Springsteen responses are written by B Springsteen and consist of “No Surrender” (© 1984), “Land of Hope and Dreams” (© 2001), “Badlands” (© 1978) and “Racing in the Street” (© 1978).
  • Sarah responds with “Wise Up”, © 1996, A Mann.
  • Sarah and Kayce trade back and forth lyrics from “Atlantic City”, © 1982, B Springsteen.
  • Once again we are dealing with metaphysical issues at play in the closing lines of J Irving’s The Hotel New Hampshire.
  • And here we have the long promised reason why Kayce doesn’t always sound like the kid she is.  I’m not saying she’s really what Sarah thinks she is.  But Sarah believes it.
  • Sarah quotes Hamlet, of course.
  • Sarah breaks her own rules by quoting “Pink Cadillac”, © 1984, B Springsteen.  Then she and Kyle quote “Human Touch”, © 1992, B Springsteen.
  • Kyle sings “A Little Respect”, © 1988, V Clarke, A Bell.
  • “Gee, Office Krupke”, © 1957, S Sondheim.
  • Sarah’s favorite song is “Enjoy the Silence”, © 1990, M Gore.
  • “That’s What Friends are For”, © 1982, B Bacharach, C Bayer Sager.
  • Clearly Sarah, Paul and Jim were at the famous concert on 24 June 1995 in Golden Gate Park.  I was not there, but I have heard good descriptions of it from my friends John and Jay, who were.
  • Ironically, halfway through the stories, Veronica asked me if there would be any female narration.  I had already made the decision that the first three stories in this final part would have female narrators (some intermixed with Bruce) and that they would all end with Kayce, that hers would be the final voice of the book.
  • It was a sudden realization when I realized exactly what Sarah would say to Kyle before going to sleep, exactly what song she would quote, exactly what line.  “Hungry Heart”, © 1979, B Springsteen.
  • Michelle, of course, foresaw this eventual conclusion for Sarah and that Bruce and Kyle would need Kayce.  She could not foresee that Spider-Man 2 would echo her words between the time of her death and the time of Sarah’s.
  • “Somebody”, © 1984, M Gore.
  • This story was originally titled “Where Angels Fear to Tread” and the previous story was titled “A Thin Line in the Sand”.  But as I actually wrote the previous story, I realized that “Where Angels Fear to Tread” was the right title for it which meant giving this one a new title and “Hungry Heart” leapt out as I was writing it.

Kayce at the Bat

  • This story has been in my mind since this first grew out of Stories from the Halls and became sleep now the angels.  It was inspired, of course, by the poem “Casey at the Bat” but with a different spelling (and gender) and vastly different results.  But it informed the notion of Kayce as a baseball player.
  • The epigraph is from “Finale” from Into the Woods, © 1987, S Sondheim.  It came about as the epigraph by a happy accident, in that it was playing on my iTunes when I was writing the story and I realized it was exactly the right epigraph for it.
  • If you don’t get the name of my fictional band with a lesbian singer, I have a book for you to read and a television series for you to watch.
  • Kyle has clearly decided to include a quote from Sarah’s favorite song, “Enjoy the Silence” (© 1990, M Gore) on the tombstone.
  • The U2 line is from “One Tree Hill”, © 1987.