An interesting chapter, and you can see that I'm trying to change the story up a bit. This one has updates on several characters. While part of that was just to keep them fresh in everyone's mind, and to reintroduce the older characters so all the 'newbies' doesn't seem like so much flotsam and jetsam, one of these is setting the stage for a whole new storyline that's approaching.
It was also an interesting chapter because I wrote almost the entire chapter before deciding to 'redo' it. As a result I gutted most of it (aside from the initial sequences involving Alex, Leanna, Ally and Betsy), and then simply summarized what happened during the day in the phone call to his mother at the end of the chapter. But when I reviewed the chapter later, I realized I really didn't like the way it worked. The problem was, it took a tender moment where Alex tries to demonstrate his love and affection for the two people closest to him, and trivialized it as being 'immaterial'.
That's the reason why this chapter is now so long. It went from around 7K words to over 12K. I ended up with the new stuff AND the older stuff, with select pieces removed if they led off in directions I didn't want to get into (there were a series of incidents in the mall where Alex continued to meet 'normal' people who were excited to be meeting him in person).
You'll also see this same trend continue in the future (trying to adjust my writing, not deleting, rewriting then reintroducing the old material again). I'm trying to adjust the story based on the repeated complaints about how hard Book 3 is to read. You'll notice it specifically with chapter 34, but I'll address it again once we get there.
One more note of interest, just before posting it, someone pointed out that I screwed up, forgetting that I had Kelly and Frank mend their problematic relationship (it had previously had Jenny asking if her parents were going to divorce). As a result, I had to go back and completely rewrite that whole segment. But I like how this one worked out. I like Alex's people getting along, both the guys and the girls.