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Old 03-07-2011, 11:37 PM   #1
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Please - Chapter 8

I wrote a chapter where the only dink is Sam. Everyone else is pretty well behaved. Even Bono.

This is fiction. The next chapter might be more of a summary building up to bigger and better (and maybe sexier) chapters.

Falling Slowly

I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react
And games that never amount
To more than they're meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You'll make it now



Faith sipped her coffee hunched over the latest Spin magazine. Their interview was this afternoon. The first really big interview with a really big publication. She had heard other bands get burned by journalists. Her homework was to read every interview she could to see where those bands went wrong. She was so engrossed in a Rage Against the Machine article that she didn’t see Bono sit next to her. She broke her concentration to look up. He looked surprisingly alert for the morning after his birthday celebration. She had declined going onto the next club after dinner. She couldn’t keep up with these real rock stars. Bono had looked a little disappointed and claimed it was his one birthday wish that she would join them for dancing. She laughed and claimed she needed her beauty sleep. She just needed a night to curl up in her bed and watch television. They had not stopped since hitting Las Vegas. She was asleep before midnight.

“Morning,” she said.

He smiled brightly. “Good morning.”

“You are pretty chipper for the day after your birthday celebration,” she said.

He dumped some cream in his tea. “We took it easy. We went to one bar and had a few drinks. We were home by 1:30, I think.”

“No redheads, huh?” she asked.

He rubbed his forehead. “No....not enough whiskey. You turned in early.”

“We have an interview today and a photoshoot. I didn’t want to be wrecked for that. I came back and went straight to bed,” she shrugged.

He bit his tongue. He had a smart remark right there, but he knew it was not the moment. “Very responsible. What you reading?”

“Well, we have an interview with Spin. It’s our first big interview. I know your words can turned against you. I’m trying to avoid having us look like asses. It’s a big thing, and i don’t want to screw it up,” she shrugged. “Anal, I know.”

Bono chuckled. “No, I’d say that you’re using your head which most don’t do. You know you are in a very important place right now. You want to take advantage of the publicity around you.”

“How do you do it? You never sound foolish in interviews. So many of the bands nowadays come off so whiny, self important,. I don’t want us to sound like that,” she closed the magazine.

“Take it seriously within the band, but not on the outside. We’ve been crucified in the 80’s for being too earnest. Then we decided to have a bit of fun. And some got it and some didn’t. But we pretended like we knew the fans got it and that was the most important part. Critics hate Pop. In all our interviews, they can only go on about how it was supposed to be a techno album. We never said that. Now we’re getting blasted for that,” he scratched his head. “So, I’ve been in a band for over 20 years and still don’t have all the answers. If you have a sense of humor, you should be okay.”

“You also had the benefit of having the fans behind you. We’re not quite there yet. Plus, there’s a special chemistry within the band. Together for 20 years and still have that passion. How do you do it?” She asked.

“I don’t know. We’ve been asked that question a lot. I’m sure we will in years to come. Maybe it was our circumstance that we came from. Maybe it was the era when we formed. I don’t know,” he shrugged. “I think it having the same passion. We fight. Larry and I in the studio get into a row daily. I see that in your band.”

“I think we have it in most of our band,” she glanced around her.

“Sam?” Bono raised his eyebrows. Faith nodded. “Yeah, I see the chemistry with you, Alex and Ryan. Sam seems to be on the outside of that.”

“He’s more concerned with losing indie credibility,” she quoted with her fingers. “We were a small band that had success in New York clubs. It’s not like we signed to SubPop.”

“Yeah, I figured he’d be more invested, just for his relationship with Alex,” Bono said.

“Yes,” Faith sighed. “That happened after the band was formed. I warned her about the risks and the possible fallout, but you can’t stop something like that once it’s starting.”

He gazed in her eyes for a moment. “Yeah, that’s true.”

“I don’t think I could do it. It’s a bit too close for comfort. But I suppose you can’t control your feelings. You can only fight them for so long,” she noticed he was staring a bit intensely at her.

He looked down. “No, I suppose you can’t. Hopefully, it will work out and they live happily ever after.”

“Or we can survive a break up. It will all come down to Sam’s commitment to the band, which in my mind, is a little in question,” she sighed.

“You’ve taken on a lot in the last few months. There’s bound to be growing pains. I’d say around 1981, Larry, Edge and myself joined a bible study group and that caused a huge rift with us and Adam. We weren’t sure we’d survive that. I had Adam be my best man when I married Ali to bring him closer to us,” His eyes clouded at the mention of Ali.

There was a pause as Bono pushed his eggs around thinking back to his wedding day.

“I’m sorry about that,” Faith offered. “You know....I heard the press conference was brutal. Have interviews been the same way?”

“The problem with a press conference is that it only takes one to ask the first fucking question. After that, no one cared about anything else. Part of that is my issue. I can be vocal and wear my heart on my sleeve to the dismay of my ex-wife and some of my mates, like Larry. I’ve had to be more reserved when it comes to my private life. In a one on one interview, it’s easier to redirect with humor or self-effacing humor. So, it hasn’t been an issue yet. And it was known that the journalist who went out on the limb, fell from a very high branch and is now not interviewing the big names like before,” he offered a sheepish grin.

Faith looked at her watch. “I better get ready.” She offered him a genuine smile. “Thanks for the pep talk. Luckily we have great mentors here.”

He felt his face warm to a blush. “You’re welcome. Glad to help.”

He watched her leave the room. Perhaps this was the right approach. In the weeks they’ve toured together, she avoided him at all costs. Earnest Bono was having better luck than Devilish Bono. This whole dating thing was brand new to him. The women he was with right after Ali left had thrown themselves in his path. They came to him. And they were very short-lived. He wasn’t ready to open himself to anyone. Not when every time the phone rang he hoped it was Ali asking him back. And Ali had been the first woman he ever really pursued. She had been resistant to his charms. Like Faith. Eventually, he wore Ali down and the rest was history. Faith seemed even more resistant to his usual tricks. He rubbed his eyes. The whole dating thing was exhausting. A dark thought crossed his heart. If he was trying to move on, was Ali doing the same? Had she moved on already? How would he know if she were seeing someone? It’s not like he was in Dublin to hear the gossip.

“Hey,” Edge plopped beside him. “You’re up early.”

“I behaved so I feel pretty good,” he wiped the darkness from his face.

“I was thinking of going to a guitar shop downtown later. Want to join?” Edge munched on his toast.

“It’s nice of you to invite me like a real guitar player,” Bono smiled.

Edge shrugged. “I’m here to boost your ego.”

“Thanks,” he smirked. “I think I’m going to check out the stadium.” He stood. “I’ll see you at dinner?”

Edge shook his head. “I’m having dinner with Morleigh. She leaves for LA tomorrow. I won’t see her until we’re in Oakland.”

Bono felt a sliver of envy that Edge had someone to have a quiet dinner with. He knew that even they had their problems.

“Is she still thinking of moving to Dublin?” he asked.

Edge made a face. “That doesn’t look likely right now. She doesn’t seem keen on splitting the difference of New York either. Since the girls don’t like her much, she is hesitant to set up home in a different country.” He ran his hand over his face. “It’s a bit of a mess. We do better when I’m touring the States. Eventually, I have to go home and that’s when the trouble starts.”

Bono nodded and gave his friend’s shoulder a squeeze. “I hear ya, mate. Okay, I’m off.”

Edge pushed his toast in the yellow yoke. Last night with a few wines, he and Morleigh had a disagreement to curl what was left of his hair. He made the mistake of spilling his dreams to her. A house overlooking the bay. A few kids of their own. Warm nights by the fire. She raged against him. What about her career? She would put her body through the destruction of childbirth and he still got to be a rock star. She didn’t want to be stranded in Dublin. She didn’t want to be trapped like Ali. That set Edge off. She had no right to compare their relationship to Ali and Bono’s. He referred to Larry and Ann. They were still in love and happy. And what about Adam and Jocelyn? They were blissfully planning their wedding. The fight went round and round until they were too exhausted to fight or make up. They slept with their backs to one another. Morleigh drifted off easily while Edge stared as the curtains and clock. Should he cut his losses? He didn’t want to end up divorced again. He and Aislinn were finally no longer legally bound to each other. He was ready to move forward with Morleigh. But if they were already having issues, would they just get bigger? He never wanted her to give up her life for him, but it bothered him that was how she saw it. Things seemed so much easier when they toured together a few years ago. He missed the feeling he had as they discovered one another and fell in love. Could they get it back?






Strict Machine sat on the couch around the telephone. The first few questions were pretty basic. How did they meet? How long have they been a band? What was it like to go from recording on their own to having a professional producer? Who wrote the songs? What was it like to have U2 as musical godfathers? Faith noticed that a lot of the questions were directed to her. She made sure that they the rest of the band answered them. As a lead singer, she expected this - to be singled out. And with the sudden love affair with female singers, or rock grrls, it made it harder for the men in the band to stand out. Sam’s brow furrowed every time Faith was asked a question. He appreciated that she tried to involve everyone. Didn’t the interviewer know there 2 women in the band? Alex was happy to not have the spotlight in her face. Faith was better at it than she was. All she wanted to do was write and play music. She knew interviews and photo-shoots were part of the deal. It wasn’t the part she liked most.

From the interview, they were whisked to the stadium for the photo-shoot. They were starting to feel like really rock stars. From interviews to wardrobe to posing in front of a photographer. They posed back stage and on the huge PopMart stage. The photographer had them sit on a golf cart. He insisted on taking a few of just Alex and Faith, then Faith alone.

Sheila sat with Strict Machine at a picnic table. Meanwhile, U2 took the stage to soundcheck.

“So, it seems that your album is doing very well in the UK. MTV Europe has been playing ‘Kiss With a Fist’ quite a bit. Your album has reached the top 100. So, what’s next?” she asked.

“Um, you tell us,” Sam said.

“Well, I’ve spoken with U2 and they have expressed interest in you joining the European leg of the tour. That runs from mid-July to the end of September. They want you to take second billing in Europe,” Sheila said.

Faith and Alex looked at one another. “Are you serious?”

“We could schedule a tour in the State of our own. Larger clubs, but I think you would be better off on the PopMart tour,” Sheila said.

“But we would headline a smaller tour,” Sam said.

“But we’d get more exposure in Europe,” Faith glared. “That sounds a bit better.”

“Aren’t you worried about riding their coat tails?” he asked.

“So? We are getting more fans by playing to larger crowds than we would headlining our own tour. If our album is making waves in the UK, we need to go there while the iron is hot,” Ryan said.

Alex turned to Sam. “Isn’t this what you want? To make a living doing this? Or did you want to just play gigs every other Saturday night and work your day job?”

“No...” his voice trailed off. He wanted to be Kurt Cobain and stand by his musical integrity. He hated that people felt they weren’t a real band because they didn’t pay their dues and travel America in a tiny van. They went from playing clubs in New York and the Northeast to flying in a huge jet and staying in posh hotels.

“Dude, if we don’t take this opportunity, we’ll have to beg for our old jobs back. It’s like getting called to the big show and breaking your hand getting into a fight,” Ryan said.

“We don’t know how long this will last. We need to ride it and take as much while we can,” Faith said. “If they think we are good enough to stay on, we need to take it.”

Sam looked at Sheila. “Isn’t it a little weird that they want us? I mean, they don’t have the other bands tour for this long. Rage is off on their own tour soon. Oasis is on for just a few dates. They don’t normally do this, right?”

“It was likely that 2 bands would go a whole tour together a few years ago. But those other bands have more radio play and a few major label releases under their belt. They can afford their own tour,” Sheila somehow knew Sam was the squeaky wheel.

“I wonder if this has anything to do with Faith and Bono,” Sam muttered.

“What?” Faith turned on him.

“We all know he wants you. Maybe he wants more time to, you know,” Sam suggested.

Alex punched his arm. “You apologize. You’re being a total asshole about this. Did you think they actually believe in us and know that’s it’s hard to make it out there? Maybe they want to pay it forward and help us? Why did you have to go there? She didn’t fucking deserve it!”

Immediately, he regretted what he said. He wished he could swallow those words as he looked into Alex’s purple face.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled.

“I’m sorry Sam, you’ll have to do better than that,” Faith stalked away.

“You can be a real dick, you know that?” Ryan took off after her.

Alex huffed. “What is wrong with you lately?”

He shook his head. “I don’t know. I’ve never dome this before. I didn’t picture it being like this. Sometimes I feel like we aren’t connecting and if we were in a smaller space we would.”

“In Europe, you get second billing. That means, right now, you play to a couple thousand. In Europe, the stadiums are larger. You’ll be playing to tens of thousands. Imagine if just a quarter of them buy your record, your t-shirt,” Sheila said. “And please do not think that U2 book their supporting acts based on Bono’s libido. For your sake, I am going to forget you said that.”

After a 15 minute cool off time, Strict Machine reconvened at the picnic table. Sam apologized until he was blue in the face and promised to be on his best behavior for the remainder of both tours. Strict Machine would sign on for the European tour. While they took the stage for their soundcheck, Bono and Edge were interviewed sitting on some crates behind the stage for a entertainment channel to be aired before they rolled into Canada.

Alex hung back, deciding to get a ride to the hotel with Sheila. After Sam’s ugly display, she needed space. The middle of their first major tour was not the time to break up with him - as much as she felt the desire. He’d been a pain in the ass lately. She hoped he got his frustrations out and he could enjoy the moment. Sure, the crowds weren’t as rabid for the music like they were at home. But quite of few of them were getting into the music. Faith worked hard every night to involve the audience and get them to listen. She even managed to engage Alex to come out of her shell. Maybe that scared Sam.

“I thought you all left,” Edge said behind her.

“Oh, no. I wanted to hang around a bit,” she tossed her cigarette on the ground.

“Heard you decided to stay with the circus,” he sat beside her.

“We did. Thank you for the offer. I don’t think we could ever thank you enough,” she said.

“You’re good,” he shrugged. “It’s the simple. You get the crowd going and they don’t really know you yet. We considered it, but then Sheila told us how you’re getting airplay in Europe, it made sense to lock you up before another band stole you from us.”

“It’s exciting. I’ve never been out of the States. Well, I went to Canada once.” She tucked her hair behind her ear. His shirt was translucent and she found her eyes wandering across his chest.

“If nothing, it’s a great summer vacation,” he teased. She nodded in agreement. “Are you busy right now?”

“No, I just didn’t want to sit around the hotel. Faith and Ryan went to go to the pool,” she held up her pale arm. “I burst into flames in direct sunlight.”

“I’m going to a guitar shop downtown. Do you want to go with me?” he asked.

Her eyes widened. “Absolutely!”

He smiled at her enthusiasm. “Great. I’ll get someone to take us over.”

Her stomach flipped. “Great.”

Tucked away on a side street in a run down part of the neighborhood sat a narrow house. A hand-painted sign hung on the patio over two rocking chairs with chipped paint - Uncle Joe’s Guitars.
Alex glanced over at Edge as the car pulled up along side.

“I know. It’s not much to look at,” he nodded following her eyes. “But Joe restores some beautiful guitars. I buy one every time we come to town.”

Edge hopped out and turned to offer his hand to help Alex out of the car. She stared at him for a moment. No one ever helped her out of car like a gentleman. Certainly not Sam. Hoping her hand was not clammy, she slipped her hand in his. It was soft for a guitar player. The tips of his fingers were a little rough, but the palm was like silk.

“Thanks,” she mumbled. She didn’t ask where Morleigh was today. Right now, she didn’t care. She figured that Sam was pacing at the hotel waiting for her. Their last words were short.

An old man with long white hair and gold teeth ambled out onto the porch. “Mr. Edge. Sure is good to see you back in town.” He squinted at Alex. “And you brought yer lil’ lady with you.” He tipped his faded cap. “Ma’am.”

“Uncle Joe!” Edge hugged him.

“See you got yerself a proper hat,” eyeing Edge’s cowboy hat.

Edge absentmindedly tipped his hat. “Uncle Joe, this is Alex. She is also a guitarist.”

“You play?” Joe asked. Alex could only nod. “Well, come in and take a look. I got something to show you, Mr. Edge. I’m sure ya’ll find something you like too Miss Alex.”

Edge leaned close to Alex as Joe wandered back through the screen door. “Joe’s a bit of character.”

His scent filled her nose. “Seems like it.” She followed Edge into the house.

Alex had never seen so many guitars in one place. Both floors, ceiling to floor all guitars. Alex’s mouth hung open. Some guitars had seen better days. Other’s where shiny and pristine, restored to their original glory.

“He has them by brand. Fenders are here in the front and Gibsons are on the second floor. Acoustics like Washburns are in the back,” Edge explained.

“Funny,” Alex mused. Edge gave her a questioning look. “I always considered Fenders be a higher end sound where Gibsons had a fuller lower tone. Just funny that they are on the top floor.”

Edge smiled at her observation. He had never thought much about it. “You’re a Fender girl, right?”

She nodded. “It seems to be the guitar of my generation. That all the effects pedals. I do like the higher tones and crunchiness of Fenders. But I have to admit that watching and hearing the tones you create on Gibsons, I think I’d like to try writing some more stuff on a Gibson. It feels like a more....adult sound.”

Edge laughed. “Adult sound? Like adult contemporary?”

“No, just a more sophisticated sound. Like, okay, I’m done just making noise. I’m ready to make music,” she explained.

He nodded. “Okay, I see what you’re saying. I wouldn’t call what you do just making noise though. I’d say you have a sophisticated sound already.”

Alex wandered up the stairs to the Gibson room. “On the next album, I’d like to be able to experiment with different sounds. Like in our song ‘Times Like These’, I’d love to put some strings or orchestration behind it. Really fatten it up. But we tried some keyboards and it just sounded cheesy.”

It was nice to discuss music with someone so pretty. Her eyes came alive when she spoke of music. He could tell that she and Faith really shared a passion for the music they created.

“Have you thought of adding loops live?” he asked as he plucked a sunburst Gibson from the wall. He inspected it before handing it to Alex. “Here, try this.”

“You mean, like prerecorded music while we play live?” she frowned.

“You know that Dallas is under the stage helping us out for some songs. Our music on the last few records demands that this is really more than just four us on the stage - even if a few are hidden underground. We could add some orchestrations to a song and see if you like it,” he shrugged. “If that was something you think the band would be interested in.”

“Who would man the board?” she asked. “If we did add some strings to ‘Time Like These’ or one of our other songs.”

“Well, I don’t want to speak out of bounds, but if we tried a song or two, Dallas could be talked into it. Or one of the other engineers. What do you think the others would say?” he plugged her Gibson into a nearby amp.

“Faith would be all for it. She was the one that tried to add the keyboards before. And Ryan is for anything that makes the song better,” she paused. “Sam is the purist. He would be happy with just a guitar, bass and drums. Faith has talked about doing a piano solo during the show, and he has never been on board with that.”

“You did that the night we first saw you. It was very good. Faith has a powerful voice. I think it would work. Even on our stage,” Edge sat across from her in a old green velvet chair.
Alex sat the Gibson on her lap. It felt heavier than her Fender. She fingered the neck and strummed lightly. It had a nice clear and low tone that vibrated across her thighs. She blushed having his eyes on her. He had the most serene blue eyes she had ever seen. In his presence, she felt calm and excited at the same time.

“I think Sam is getting out voted on that. She’s been practicing a cover on piano that sounds amazing. We thought about making that our second to last song or just before that,” She shrugged. “Sam was an asshole today, so he will have to agree to just about anything lately.”

Edge wanted to ask more. He knew they were a couple, but no one would know it from their interactions in public.

“What do you think?” He asked as she strummed and stroked the guitar. He watched her thin fingers deftly move over the neck without a second thought.

She smiled. “It’s nice. Different wood.”

Edge nodded. “Mahogany. It’s a beautiful wood.”

“I can see why you love it so,” she said.

Edge and Alex spent several hours talking and exploring Uncle Joe’s guitar. Alex fell in love with the Sunburst Gibson that Edge picked out for her. Another day, she sighed. She didn’t happen to have $1200 to plop down on a new guitar that she wouldn’t be able to use right away. Edge took home one of Joe’s restored Gibson ES guitars - the one he had set aside for Edge. After a tall cold glass of Joe’s sweet and spiked iced tea, Edge and Alex loaded back into the car. Edge had considered buying her the Gibson Sunburst she held so lovingly. He felt it would be inappropriate for him do so. He could always call Joe and have it sent to her after the tour as a thank you gift. That wouldn’t be over the line, right?

Alex looked dreamily out the window. She wished she could move a little closer to Edge. Her heart raced as she watched him play guitars at Joe’s. She couldn’t shake those feelings after they left. There was something that pulled her to him. In her mind, his arm was wrapped around her shoulders as his new guitar rested on their laps. Their thighs touched as their fingers entwined. When she opened her eyes, she was aware of the space between them. Now, she would have to face Sam. She was sure that he would be pissed that she disappeared for the afternoon. As Edge stared out the window, his mind was heavy with his fight with Morleigh. The afternoon had been so pleasant and easy-going. He wished that he could tell the car to find a restaurant where he and Alex could just escape and talk music and life. Neither of them wanted to deal with what waited for them at the hotel.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #2
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I've been following this wondering when Bono was going to stop being such an arse, and I enjoyed this because he wasn't! I can see why he's acting like he is but he's not a particularly likeable character yet. This whole Alex/Morleigh thing could get messy, as could Faith/Ann. It's interesting that in both this and Mysterious Ways your Larry is still attached to Ann yet attracted to someone else so has to extract himself from that relationship first.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:12 PM   #3
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It's a bit easier for Larry this time since there are no kids. But by having the obstruction there at first it does allow Bono to try - even if he's not very successful. And he goes back and forth between faltering idiot and nice guy. He is trying to get over his demons.

Alex/Sam/Edge/Morleigh is pretty complicated. I like messy relationships....in fiction.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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I love Falling Slowly, good choice... Alex+Edge is making me happy. I'm also glad that Strcit Machine seems to be doing well in Europe... I've been hoping they become popular.
(Funny you mentioned Times Like These in this chapter. I was gonna comment about it in its original chapter that that's the first song I've heard of that you've chosen. I don't like it )
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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I chose that song because, well, I do love it - and because of the lyrics. When Faith sings, "I'm a new day rising I'm a brand new sky to hang the star upon tonight" it sort of resonates with Bono. The song is about new beginnings and starting over. It makes him think that he needs to do that.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:32 PM   #6
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Alex and Edge were a nice little break from the Faith and Bono angst...you've thought out Strict Machine's goings-on quite well, with Faith all concerned about the interview going wrong and the breakup possibility not being a good idea.

I'm now ridiculously curious about what bands I listen to have what types of guitar...aaa! I really don't know as much as I should...

I really hadn't thought about Morleigh's career being potentially wrecked by having children. Man.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:50 PM   #7
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Hey there was no Bono/Faith angst. Everyone for most part played nicely. I'll admit that I did enjoy writing the trip to Uncle Joe's. Most of this was written in my head while on a terrible long run.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:00 PM   #8
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Well, they're more angsty in general ^^ I mean, Morleigh hasn't actually left Edge, and he's not actively trying to get into Alex's pants then again, that's probably good because Sam would flip...

I miss writing in my head...it's been more planning, lately, instead. Sounds like fun
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:32 PM   #9
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I think Bono is angsty enough for everyone.

Planning something new?
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:53 PM   #10
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Nope, still writing Out Of Control...I have a couple major changes in plot coming up, which is partially why I haven't written the next chapter yet (that and no time), plus I have so many characters to deal with at once! It's hardly gotten easier since I switched timelines...

I have no idea what I'd write after this ^^ it's a long while from that
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:17 PM   #11
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Dear Lord, was it over 10 days ago since I posted this?? This next bit is taking for-freaking-ever. But I am working on it. I hope to have something post by the end of the weekend, but it encapsulates all three New York shows. Some minor character developments - or hinting to revelations.

So, i just wanted to let people know, I am diligently plugging away.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:21 PM   #12
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Cool

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Old 03-19-2011, 09:03 AM   #13
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Dancing out in space
Posts: 5,735
Local Time: 05:13 AM
I miss Please...
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