The Journey of SILVER BROWN

I Drink Your Very Essence

Ripping pages out of SILVER BROWN and scattering them about these wretched social media networks has all in all been a valuable exercise, methinks. When I first showed the manuscript to friends and relatives, some would give me honest critiques. Mostly concerning easily correctable oversights. A particular deployment of punctuation that was too unorthodox for their taste. Important details that weren’t revealed early enough in the narrative. So-and-so didn’t respond like they expected in a particular scene. Things like that. But overall, their impression was always positive. I have yet to come across a beta reader who outright hated it.

Other reviewers were all smiles, raving about how great it was. I’m glad they enjoyed it, of course. Wouldn’t dream of taking that away from them. But the thing about positive vibes is that they’re like intellectual candy. The dopamine rush from that candy is certainly an upper, but it’s a fleeting buzz that ultimately doesn’t nourish. I need a big ol’ slab of protein every once in a while. The kind of cerebral amino acids obtained by piloting this yarn through a medium that is well known for having no shortage of critics.


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I’m currently in the process of editing Act Two, which is a little more intensive with (hopefully plot-relevant) in-universe lore. To an extent that I’m starting to wonder if it warrants additional editing to Act One. A definitive answer to that query has yet to manifest itself. In the meantime, the first act as it is now is being offered as the main course in a literary barbecue. A research barbecue where I observe for myself which cuts of meat people find tasty and which they don’t, drinking in all that hearty broth from the people’s brainwaves. It’s been a damn good soup so far. If it was a literal soup instead of a figurative soup, it would have chickpeas in it and taste great with communion wafers and eye of newt. Can’t wait to see how that broth tastes when I start posting the chapters to come later that are actually weird…


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“But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?”

The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN

Now Playing: Final Exam Part II (The Late Show)

Facebook is like a knife. It can either be a tool or a weapon, depending on the intent of the person wielding it. The problem with their whole business model is that Zuckerberg operates like a unwashed crazy man in a trenchcoat who lives in his van and hands out knives like candy to all the kids in the neighbourhood. With little concern for the consequences. Educating the kids on responsible knife use is always somebody else’s job, and it’s even economically beneficial to encourage knife fights every once in a while in order to draw a large crowd.


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“They come in all these different colours! Come and get ’em!”

The questionable business practices of the guy who gave me this knife aside, I may as well put it to good (i.e. not evil) use. Spreading some of that good literary Nutella all over the bread of the Internets. Specifically, an encore presentation of the tenth and eleventh chapters of SILVER BROWN. One page a day, as usual. Designated in the book as Chapters Niner (not a typo) and Ten. Because the first chapter is Chapter Zero – an allusion to computer science, in keeping with the story’s theme.

These chapters got a better reception on Twitter the first time out than I thought they would, all things considered. I’ll probably do a bit more editing on them down the road, just not now. The storyline involves my main character swallowing something which brings out some of the uglier aspects of her personality. Kind of like the way some people get when they have their third stiff drink of the evening in one hand and their smartphone in the other.

I wasn’t sure what kind of public appetite there would be for such a plot development, in light of the sheer magnitude of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot the world has seen lately. The other day I read of the man who gave us the darkly brilliant Black Mirror, who recently announced his decision to postpone production of a new season. Not merely because of the coronavirus, but more so because he felt Black Mirror couldn’t possibly compete with the level of melancholy in the current real world. I ultimately decided not to pull a Charlie Brooker. If this or any other yarn was all unicorns and rainbows and sunshine, it would be überboring as a story.

Speaking of Black Mirror, the whole eerie quotient is part of what I love about it. A lot of the episodes could plausibly happen next week. Behold, the very essence of Instagram culture, magnificently captured on celluloid…


 

The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN

Now Playing: Chapters 5 & 6 (The Late Show)

A famous Zen master (can’t remember if it was Thich Nhat Hahn or not, but it most likely wasn’t) once described the Twitterverse (or something similar to it; the abnormal behaviour found on social media actually predates it by millennia) as an ocean full of gasoline. A collective monkey mind which the smallest spark will cause to violently explode. My former boss possessed such a monkey mind. I once casually described it in such terms to the executive assistant du jour. When the boss found out what I said, she went right ahead and proved my point in plain view of me, completely failing to notice I had proven it. How could she notice? She never had the beginner’s mind to notice such things. From her perspective, she was the stable genius who was always right, and I was always wrong. Because she went to Harvard, and I didn’t. The executive assistant (who also didn’t go to Harvard) quit in disgust a few weeks later upon realizing I was right.

Years later, she who attained Eternal and Everlasting Rightness during her time at Harvard went wrong. Very wrong. As in, attempted murder wrong. Going insane and stabbing a dude doesn’t fit any definition of Rightness that either I or the Crown are aware of. A couple of weeks before The Incident, she spoke to me on the phone. One final time. With a tone of voice that sounded very loving and motherly, she told me I had a “brilliant mind” and that she was proud of me. Make of that whatever you will. For me, it felt like a Luke-unmasking-Vader moment with a faint tinge of Lovecraft to it…


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…except she was a werelizard, so it was something more like this.

Since I obviously have plenty of practical experience dealing with monkey minds, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two over the years about channeling their energy towards more beneficial ends. In many ways, the outrage culture makes the Sea of Tweet ideal waters for the maiden voyages of new chapters. If a creative work of any sort can survive a perilous trek across the great ocean of gasoline, then she’s seaworthy and can be brought to port.

Chapters Five and Six of SILVER BROWN have had their maiden voyages already. Not only were there no devastating explosions to speak of, but I actually got some positive feedback to boot. Having passed the first test, these chapters shall now be archived at a rate of one page a day. On a platform with a significantly less restrictive character limit, allowing for the massive herds of happy-clappy types native to the area to pen their famously impassioned rants detailing why this author is assured of eternal damnation. In either title case or all caps. With the mandatory quota of at least three Biblical citations and a non sequitur reference to some “socialist” politician that apparently ruined their life. That platform being the Zuckerberg Tabernacle, of course. A late show is presently afoot there, for the benefit of those who missed the early show. Click or tap on Zuck’s head below to watch. The price of admission is your soul. Because it’s Facebook.


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