My recent investments in writing fiction have been on my first novel. I’m planning to publish sometime within the next 18 months. Given it’s set on today (i.e. Halloween 2012, which it still is as I’m sitting here in Chicago writing [blog time is set to China Standard Time]) I thought it might be nice to share the beginning draft with the internet and see what people think? Please leave feedback in the comments or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
from Annabell’s Universe(TM)
Draft: Please do not cite or distribute without the permission of the author. Also, note some sections have been [REDACTED].
By Charles Jeffrey Danoff
This is a work of fiction, whose characters and events are fictitious. Where the names of real places, corporations, institutions, and public figures are projected onto made-up stuff, they are intended to denote only made-up stuff, not anything presently real.
Annabell’s Universe is a trademark of Charles Jeffrey Danoff.
Draft of “hashtagPhilosophyPhuck” Copyright (C) 2012 by Charles Jeffrey Danoff. All Rights Reserved.
CHAPTER NEGATIVE ONE
Dear Professor Wallace-Woolf-Quinn-:
I hope you enjoy reading my novel.
I did my best to satisfy your PhD thesis requirement: use words to create life. I modeled off the Bible, that is a narrative so profound ignorant people believe it to be true if educated individuals of power tell them it is.
I used the em dash, internet slang and html tags to create more room for readers to see the life inbetween the prose. What really drove the work was figuring out what could get a 13-year-old, fictionalized version of myself to kill herself? Bingo: The hashtagPhilosophyPhuck.
Your Devoted Student,
* * *
Wed. 31 Oct 2012. 00:00 GMT 00:00 Local. Bloomsbury, London.
God, Allah & Buddah are just 3 (o’ many) synonyms 4 questions we haven’t answered yet.
Wed. 31 Oct 2012. 00:39 GMT 00:39 Local. Bloomsbury, London.
- What do you think happens to the fluids in your mind and/or the time-space balance reality we mostly seem to be sharing together when sleep hits?
- I think my responses to your questions would be about as useful as an Asimov-ian robot’s. She says.
- Are you real?
- Yes. She says.
- I mean I’m answering your questions, right?
- I see what you mean. While I am real I’m also (really) only a figment of your imagination engaging in this dialogue with you in your dream. Perhaps me speaking to you at this very moment is evidence you are dreaming, so maybe what happens to the ‘reality’ you mentioned is that suddenly imaginary friends are able to respond to your questions? In any event, I am now reminded of a quote from a book you just read, she says.
- Right. So you’re not real?
- When you wake up you’ll remember me right? she asks.
* * *
0 Quote from beginning of Tufte book.
1 ”Hofuku did not give his friend an answer, because it is impossible to give a verbal interpretation of our way. Nevertheless as a practice these two good friends discussed the Bodhisattva’s way, even though they did not expect to find a new interpretation. So, Hofuku answered ‘Our discussion is over. Let’s have a cup of tea!’” from page 55 of “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Sunryu Suzuki (ISBN 0-8348-0079-9)
Wed. 31 Oct 2012. 00:40 GMT 00:40 Local. Bloomsbury, London.
- p@ get up! Suzie quietly yells in p@’s ear as she relaxes her two fingers, which had been strongly pinching his lower back.
- Wher’s my dream pa-, Dammit! I forgot to put it by my bed, p@ says.
- What was that noise?
- I farted, I don’t know, probably just some drunks crashing into something outside. I heard it too baby, just as you were pinching me to wake me up, OK?
After frowning following his initial explanation Suzie smiles and says nothing but turns over to fall asleep facing away from him.
<em>I can’t believe I forgot to put my dream pad and pen next to my bed AGAIN! Gonna go quietly grab that from my bag …. OK!</em>
- Alright, now if I have a dream that I remember when I open my eyes in the AM, write it down, he whispers to himself walking back to bed in the hope it’ll make him more likely to do the it. Then he gets going on his interior monologue <em>Now all I gotta do is fall asleep. This is always the part I hate the most. Other people seem to be able to just lay down, then pass out in a few minutes, but not me. I just lay here awake for at least a bit every night. Then I get thinking about what happened in the day.</em>
p@ places the dream pad on his bed stand. Like many of us, he’s physcially in 1 time/place: bed, but mentally in another: solipsism, luckily for you, he soon slips into sleep and quickly enough he’s aware he’s dreaming again, but only observing?
- Why do we need a villan? Plenty of modern works lack them.
- Well, how can we have an Annabell’s Universe without a villan?
- Do you think readers will think our conversation is akin to those shadowy cliques that conspiracy theorists believe run their universe? … And if yes, how foolish are they? Annabell doesn’t have any idea what’s going on here and she’s the author. What the fuck power(s) could we have? … Back to your point, what kind of villan?
- Someone who wants it without shame?
- Someone you wouldn’t want to spend the end o’ your day with?
- If you sleep is up to me, she says.
- Who was that?
- I don’t know, you must be hearing things. Returning to the villan.
- Could it be Sherlock Holmes? Reincarnated somehow?
Wed 31 Oct 2012 00:45 GMT * Tue 30 Oct 2012 19:45 Local * Wicker Park, Chicago
A man is behind the wheel. <em>When I get tired, it’s amplified if my clothes are dirty, if I am constipated or bloated, if my money situation is not as sound as I’d prefer, if I haven’t written, if I feel …</em>
- Do you ever ask yourself ‘is way too much of my fiction a sad excuse for a journal?’ John asks.
- Yes the man answers after shifting attention away from his stream of consciousness, simultaneously grabbing the bowl with his right hand as John grabs the wheel with his left hand, smoothly guiding the car down the straightaway.
- Hey listeners, what do u know about this hashtagPhilosophyPHUCK blowing up social media atm? the voice from the dance hit radio station cajoles.
* * *
3 Radio was the first dominant mass communication tool of the 20th century and even in the early 21st while television in its prime and the internet a decade into being mainstrem, radio still held massive sway in the world, especially because it was safe to listen to while people drove their cars[a].
a Yes, people still drove their own vehicles in 2012.
Wed 31 Oct 2012 00:48 GMT * 00:48 Local * Bloomsbury, London
- Where do you think we all go?
- What if the bible and the whole idea of God was just invented in the early 20th century and this whole ficticous history complete with Jesus, Popes and the Crusades was all made up and presented to those of us born in the ’80′s as reality?
- You didn’t answer my question he says.
- What kind of silver spoon bufoon are you? was the reply.
- Enough with the non sequitors let’s get back on topic.
- What were we discussing? Ah yes, the villan.
- I think it has to be someone who genuinely believes what he/she is doing is for the betterment of our species, i.e. the exponential leaps forward in physics and visual art that occurred around the end of World War II.
- But why do we need one?
- We don’t ‘need’ one, it’s just all stories, or maybe just those worth hearing, or … usually involve a problem, right? The other gentleman listening non-verbally acknowledges that he hears the point. Typically those problems are centered around a villain and given there is nothing new under the sun, nor any original stories to tell, we may as well embrace the fact we’re un-original and throw in the villain.
- What about Annabell?
- I’m listening.
- Say she tries really hard to save the world, but then realizes the world doesn’t need to be saved, UNLESS there were a true villain on the brink of world destruction, and given she is able to arrive at said conclusion, obviously she lives in a world sans said villan, so in order to reach her goals and to get our species to the most realized level of our own potential, she needs to become the villain strong enough to put the world (or at least humans) on the brink of elimination …
- I hear ya and I know I brought up the villain, but it sounds kinda boring and jerk-off-ish when you put it like that, he says. Then again, it’d be nice to have something readable. What about the battle for good ‘n’ evil w/in us all?
- The royal us? he asks.
Wed 31 Oct 2012 00:50 GMT * Tue 30 Oct 2012 19:50 Local * Wicker Park, Chicago
All of us here in Chicagoland from Kenosha NorthWest to Gary SouthEast, are children of the greatest city in the world: Chicago. The wonderful parts of our lives, and the struggles, come from her, John thinks to himself as the car turns South onto North Avenue at Six Corners, watching Chicagoans enlightening themselves with libations and colorful attire in anticipation of Halloween’s midnight arrival.
Seeing a White 91 jersey, John’s attention pivots 2 the Jordan Bulls. One of the most magestical aspects was how MJ’s grace and domination of the game was such that it allowed his teammates, even those like Dennis Rodman who’d burned bridges in the past, to find redemption and eternal glory in the game’s lore.
- I like people who can word a question in a way that acknowledges they already know the answer and that said answer that makes the person forced to answer look bad Steve says, out of the blue, keeping his blue eyes on the road.
- Can I get an e.g.? John asks.
- Do you think Ford installs turning signals as a luxury item? asked to a cop who just made a turn without signalling is an example Steve says.
- When exactly did you decide his unsheathed device wouldn’t impregnate you? asked to a teenage non-raped mom playing the victim card could be another? John suggests.
- Jesus dude, that’s fucking rough. Steve replies as Electronic Dance Music, or just Electronic Music to some, provides a rhythm and sonic guide for their drive, with acceptably brief commercial interruptions, over the radio.
* * *
4 – [REDACTED]
Wed 31 Oct 2012 * 00:52 GMT * 00:52 Local * Bloomsbury, London
p@ lives on Gordon Square in London’s Bloomsbury neighborhood; origin of ze Bloomsbury Group, those muckracking writers, painters, art critics and 1 special economist of the mid twentieth-century.
He works for Life Writers (LW). If you accept employment with them, you can’t ever be a Life Writer (aLW). You’re welcome to write your own fiction, obviously, but the honor and privilege of being aLW, where literally the only thing you are allowed to worry about is writing fiction, is denied from those who’ve been employed by the firm. Going theory amongst low-on-the-totem-pole-employees (like p@) is a certain separation from LW and aLWs is neccesary for the stories to evolve as they should. Every year all of the organization’s rules are subject to review by employees and officers, to try and be reduced allowing for more efficient operations and less bureaucracy, save this rule. At the moment; however, he’s still dreaming.
- You think it’s true that human beings can endure anything, save death?
- Depends on what you mean by endure, you trying to say there are no possible long-term consequences to an extreme situation that are unbearable? Trying to say something critical about people who commit suicide?
- Well you added contextualization to my original statement as well as asking if your interpretation of the statement was correct … which of those 2 would you like me to address first? I can’t do both at once.
- Jeeze, alright. Point overall is similar to what Gately was getting at in ‘Infinite Jest’ that human beings are so much more amazing than we realize and we have the power to endure any hardship, so long as it doesn’t literally kill us.