Disclaimer: Hey, I own all this chapter. If Schneider wants to, I'm ready to throw down, because I will sweep the leg, Johnny!
All, I hope I made it clear in the last chapter (which was the LAST chapter), but this is not an addition to the story, so if you are interested only in the story, you're not going to find any here. You will find some information about how the story came about, how it changed as it was written, and other clean-up information.
I wrote at the beginning of this story that it was originally prompted by the Butch Walker song, "Passed Your Place, Saw Your Car, Thought of You", and I also talked about some of the changes from the song that happened as I went along. All of the chapter titles (as well as the title of the story itself) are Butch Walker songs. I usually chose the song because the lyrics somehow had something to do with the content of the chapter. On a few occasions I broke and used it just because the title of the song fit the chapter, even if the lyrics didn't.
The last chapters (which were originally going to be the epilogue...potato, potatoe) were in some part inspired by "Take Tomorrow", which was the name of another chapter and an offhand comment from Julefor about me killing off Mrs. Benson during the course of the story. "Take Tomorrow" was written about a friend of Butch's who died of cancer, and one thing led to another, and Julefor killed Mrs. Benson. If you have the time and inkling, look on Youtube for "Butch Walker Take Tomorrow" and select the video at the Abbey Pub in Chicago. Amazing (just my opinion).
There were obviously two other musical influences on the story, both of which are mentioned during the story. The first one was the song "If I Think of Love" by Lisa Germano, which is just a beautifully haunting song, as are many of Miss Germano's other songs (your enjoyment may depend on your ability to stand her voice). When listening to it, I just thought of Sam, and much of the chapter it was included in was written based on my interpretation of that song in regard to Sam.
The other musical connection was Ani DiFranco and her song, "Angry Anymore". Ani is a big part of one of my chapters in my first story, "Box Kicker". The song was included more for the fact it is my favorite Ani song than anything else; it was just kismet that it fit so well into what I wanted to say about the parent/child estrangement with Sam and her father. Plus, any time I can take to praise Ani, I will do so.
I have to say I had much more fun writing this story than I did writing "Box Kicker", although that's a tricky statement. "Box Kicker" wasn't hard to write at all for me. I like Freddie because he in some ways reminds me of myself, and the first two chapters of that story were about things that, if not directly applying to me, I thought about. The Ani concert was similar to a similar experience I had. It was easier to get in Freddie's head, plus the story was very contained to Sam and Freddie.
This story had a lot of issues. First of all, it was from a female's point-of-view. It can be difficult for any writer to use the POV of the opposite sex. True, I'd been raised around females all my life. I'm the only being in my house with a "Y" chromosome. Most of my friends, except for my best friend, are female. But thinking you know the opposite sex and actually delving into what you think goes on in their minds is completely different. Another issue was the huge cast of characters. As I wrote before, "Box Kicker" was mainly Sam and Freddie. In this one I had to worry about Sam and Freddie, Gibby, Spencer, Carly, Mrs. Benson, T-bo, Shiori, Steve, Kim, Melanie, James, David, Nevel, Ani DiFranco, Rika, and a whole host of children that became so numerous I didn't bother to name some of them. Some of the characters were only in a chapter or two, like T-bo, so were easily dealt with. Others I had to keep track of throughout, and poor James didn't have one stinkin' line of dialogue.
But the juggling act was fun. I include the juggling of Sam and Freddie's relationship throughout the years. There were a few times in the middle where I thought it was going to fall apart, especially in light of some of the comments I was getting. Writing "Box Kicker" was like swimming in a heated pool where you can stand at any point. Writing this story was like walking a high wire from skyscraper to skyscraper, with heavy wind and no net. There's a likely chance of failure, but, man, if you make it across!
No story by a writer of fiction, even one purported to be autobiographical, is entirely true. Likewise, there are very few stories in which the author does not slip some autobiography. In "Box Kicker", this included the thoughts on sidekicks and much of the concert. In this story there were several. Some of them people laughed at, and some of them people felt sympathy or sorrow for. I thank people for either of these reactions.
My final thank-you for reviews: Dani96, Moviepal, ShooshYeah35, Purple550, fireman35, and Elise Suzanne.
Dani96: I answered you earlier, but just to let anybody else know who cares, I based their age on an estimated birth year of 1994, so most of the characters would be around 38 at the end of this story.
ShooshYeah35: The webshow was filmed at the apartment. The "clean your room" thing was just a bit of comedy for the show, as evidenced by Cisco cracking a smile after he got out of camera view.
Elise Suzanne: Ouch, cold-hearted. Yes, she is dead. That was never the plan at the beginning, but that was just one of the aspects of the story that changed as I wrote it.
For those of you who care, here are the Puckett Rules included in the story. You can fill out the ones I didn't at your own convenience.
Protect yourself at all costs
When somebody hurts you, hurt them more.
Never back down
Never admit anything
Don't let emotions get in the way
Pucketts don't cry
Always keep your opposition cornered.
Never let them know you're nervous.
Nickname him into submission (applies to Freddie Benson)
Mama doesn't like surprises
Never avoid danger. Unless it's something that really matters.
Assure your dominance is acknowledged.
Revenge is sweet, and never-ending.
Even bad news sounds better coming from Carly.
Mama always wins.
Always have them believing you'll be late, so that if you're on time, they show some appreciation.
Lying isn't wrong. Getting caught is wrong.
I decide the next course of action.
Never show fear.
New people in my friends' lives are distrusted immediately and have to earn my respect.
If you feel unwelcomed and/or unwanted, go.
Mama doesn't always have to play to win.
And sometimes Mama does win.