Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 301 – Special Announcement
I AM WRITING A NOVEL
Preamble to Official Announcement:
Time's river in its flow
Sweeps away all human endeavor
And drowns in the depths of oblivion
Peoples, Kingdoms, and tsars. –Gavrila Derzhavin
So, what are we left with? Dana, Danaism, and the Dana Fan Club. For the uninitiated the Dana Fan Club is a mystery. If you ever stumbled upon the towering diamond mountain in the hidden Kingdom valley that houses the Dana Fan Club you stood before it knowing you were not equal. There are Dana Fan Club members and then there are other humans. I respect my fans.
I will let Catherine the Great speak for me:
"Who can know me so well to describe me so pleasantly that it makes me weep like a fool?"
Ah fans, the acknowledgment of greatness known to the few. Dana fans of the Dana Fan Club category know me. For them and for other Dana disciples I am going to write a novel. It will be an entertainment, a gift, and a symbol. Sunrise will never look the same again. Life on Earth will change. Some Dana Fan Club members and others upon hearing this have said, and I paraquote:
'No Dana don't do it. You have already blessed us beyond measure with your stories and your essays. We don't need any more. Find a nice quiet part of the north end of Jomtien beach and watch the gays pair off. Relax.'
Sorry, I can not abide (novel word) by this. I am going to write a novel. It's in me and It's got to come out. Ever tell a man with bearing down pains not to take a dump? Same thing. It's in me and it's got to come out. I am going to write a novel. Don't get me wrong. I love my fans, especially the gifts from my fans. One fan, a Mr. Slongdorp Boogermeister of Berlin, Germany sent me a life-sized sculpture of myself made out of toothpicks. He said it took him six years to make. I believe him. He offered the personal information that the prison authorities let him take it with him when he was released. Which just goes to show that good things happen to good people. Another fan, a Ms. Fontoo Kang (or Ms. Kontoo Fang–I can't really remember) of Macau sent me a six foot tall replica of my genitalia made from used tongue depressors (she is a nurse). She said that one very special tongue depressor had made a journey in and out of her vagina and she challenged me to guess which one it was. So if you see me sniffing the replica of my genitalia you know what I am up to.
Note: You know, my life is no different than anyone else's life, it's just that I write this stuff down. Anyway, what follows is the official announcement regarding my novel.
Official Novel Announcement:
Well, Stickmanbangkokites and Dana Fans and trackers of literary history; I am gearing up to write a novel. That's correct, you heard it; after years and years of international begging from the 'great novel' deprived I have decided to apply literary baum to the open festering wound. Or something. Anyway, I have a story idea that amuses me which was key for the project; otherwise you are just a hack writer writing for yourself. I am going to write a novel. It's not my usual form of text expostulation but I have pulled the short form short story taffy as far as I can: it's time. Feel the vibration under your feet, hear the horizon bugles, feel the hairs on your neck rising and tingling? It is time.
The title will be The Story of Min and it will track an Essan lady from age 18 to age 38, so it is a partial biography told as an autobiography (Min narrates). There are some text interruptions by me and by Chiang Mai Kelly. We are both main characters.
All the mechanical decisions and some of the writing has been done: page size, page number, font, margins, front & back covers, word length, number of chapters and titles, introductions (5) and first chapter and last chapters are written, paper weight, kind of binding, advertising and distribution and fulfillment system, etc. Not all of the outlining is complete but that is mostly just grunt work. I can do it.
The introductions (5) are by myself, Chiang Mai Kelly, Pattaya Gary, 500 Baht Walt, and Fa. Hopefully the surprise ending will cause the reader to reflect on what he has just read. I love the surprise ending. Others will question it's veracity or believability. It's a novel folks, you have to believe.
The novel has no agenda. It is just a story to entertain. There will not be any 'teaching moments', or political points-of-view, or sides taken on controversial subjects (condoms, Aids, etc.), or arty-farty text presentation experiments, or really any plot. The wonderful thing about biographies is that they release you from the stresses of plot. Min tells the story of her life over a twenty year period. Simple for the reader and simple for the writer. Since she spends most of those years working for me (Dana) and Chiang Mai Kelly in Pattaya, hopefully hilarity and human interest will ensue.
Chapters will be short, writing style will be quick and lean with little use of traditional storytelling tools like metaphors, flashbacks, etc. No long freestanding educational asides, political diatribes, comma heavy adjectival detail, excessive length, personal issues, obtuse references, or multi-layered storytelling. The Story of Min is not Melville's Moby Dick. I know who I am not, and I am not Herman Melville. Nobody will learn anything. People taking offense at the story will be trying hard to take offense. Min is not an offensive person and mostly does not do offensive things. Ok, she is quick to kill people but no one is perfect and I am not even sure killing people is a bad thing providing some thoughtful targeting is employed.
From first keystroke to the last keystroke I expect to pound out this novel in eleven days. How is this possible? Because I'm a friggin' genius and I can do everything better than you, that's how. Ok, maybe I need to rethink that (lately I've been getting these headaches). Anyway, I figure it'll come in at about 97,000 words, the same length as Stephen Becker's novel The Last Mandarin, but without some stupid plot to get in the way of my wordsmithing talent. Plot is such a bore when what most of us really want is excess emotion, impulse, chaos, anarchy, bladder bursting laughs, and sex. Anyway, 97,000 words is 8818 words/day or 367 words per hour. 367 words per hour? Easy. I could write 367 words per hour with both hands tied behind my back. I can easily go eleven days without sleep on ya ba, HGH, testosterone patches, intravenous caffeine drip, genius moments, smelling salts, pinpricks to the ear lobes, and electric shocks to the testicles. And yes, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking: Electric Shocks To The Testicles would be a great name for a pre-op tranny rock band. But let's try and concentrate on The Story of Min. At approximately 97,000 words it will not be a big mother of a novel: just the right size and weight for reading in the bath or in the bed which is how most people judge novels.
Of course the first draft will also be the last draft. There is never a need to rewrite genius. You knew that. I might have to delete the 18,000 word sex scene (I had a terrific headache when I wrote that) and replace it with an 18,000 word description of Min's knitting needle collection. Time will tell on that one. I'm sure Dostoevski was faced with similar choices. Anyway, this novel thing is a lot of goddamned words. As a back up Chiang Mai Kelly and Union Hill have agreed to come to my sixth floor ocean facing suite at the A.A.Hotel on Soi 13/0 in Pattaya and type for me as long as I can provide them with those hats that hold beer cans and a flexible tube that goes to the mouth. Fa will be in charge of replacing the empty beer cans with new beer cans, and I will narrate the novel. I know you probably want to, but do not give me too much credit for this idea. Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost was written the same way. Bye-the-way, there is a rumor that Milt (I call him Milt) was blind. Blind drunk is more like it. History rewrites itself. Bye-the-way, is Beer Can Hats another great name for a rock band or is that just me? I almost digress.
Anyway, I'd like to pound out the words to this story. I see it as a nice combination of athletic event and mental challenge. As outlined, it is all original; borrowing from no other writer's style or content. No CIA agents, no AK47's, no bitter westerners, no cross cultural clichés, no detectives, no drug trade stories, no 'history of Thailand' inserts, and no ghosts. Should be fun.
Yes, there is a picture of Min.
Postscript: How good will this novel be? How epic in scope? How visionary in concept? How riveting in detail? How original in imagery? How funny and fun? Well, the question is longer than the answer. The answer is a handful of diamonds flung against the sun. This will be a greater novel than any novel of any living 20th or 21st century novelist. This novel will set the bar for a new set of standards in novel writing. Future creative writing classes will refer to 20th and 21st century novels, and then; The Story of Min.
Living novelists will burn their books in public immolations of literary ego. Schools, and publishing houses, and libraries, and bookstores will light bonfires of their own out of respect. Dean Barrett will stop flogging his novels and sell my novel door to door from Mae Sai to Betong to New York to Godthab to McMurdo Sound. He will also do booksignings for me. The Texas Lone Star Saloon in Washington Square is no longer available but I am sure he will find some wonderful place to do booksignings dressed up as me. I can't be everywhere and consorting with readers gives me facial tics. He asked me if this would absolve him from having to follow through on a swandive of acceptance (more on this later). I told him he would have to let his conscience be his guide. Children.
Anyway, The Story Of Min will cause the Earth to tremble. Poorly combusted materials from joyous and thoughtful bookburning pyres will fill the air and blot out the sun. A literary winter will follow. Crops will fail and millions will starve. Societies will crumble and evolution will take a breather. I will have to step in and stop it. For this I will be granted the Nobel Peace Prize, for the book I will be banned from twenty-six countries. By the end of the second year of publication twenty million baby girls will be named Min, and Thai legislators will file a bill to rename Thailand Minland.
In anticipation of living novelists committing suicide due to comparison of their novels with my novel, something that will come to be called comparacid; Fanta and Union Hill and Pattaya Gary and Fa and 500 Baht Walt and Chiang Mai Kelly and Marc Holt from Oz have already started design work on the thirty story klieg light lit Swandives of Acceptance tower to be built in the Maritime Park in South Pattaya on the same site as the Church of Dana. Living novelists who have accepted their (and my) literary station will be flown in to Bhumi at my expense, brought down to Pattaya by tranny helicopter crews, and taken up by elevator to the top of the tower. Once in place they will do a comparacide swandive of acceptance. Their last stabs at immortality on Earth will be in service to me and The Story of Min. Oh happy day.
Is this novel The Story of Min going to be the Great Expat Novel? No, it is not going to be the Great Expat Novel. Is this because I lack the drive, vision, and talent for the Great Expat Novel? Don't be silly. It is because my bone marrow writer instincts tell me that producing the Great Expat Novel might lead to my own suicide. Not comparacide, that would not be possible; but suicide as a marker of final human endgame evolution. A plunge to eternity with God's hand rising up to meet me. It's too soon for that.
Think of The Story of Min as an exercise; a literary yoga basic, an introduction and mastery of form alerting my neurons, and squidodian axons, and atomic instincts, and chemical processes, and electrical abilities to the inevitability of the Great Expat Novel. Stay tuned.
So keep an eye on your Pattayamail newspaper for a calendar notice regarding Swandives of Acceptance Day. Anybody who is anybody will be there and many of these anybodys will commit suicide (comparacide) out of acceptance of my novel. Stripped naked and bouncing at the edge of the Tower of Acceptance diving platform on the balls of their feet, a copy of The Story of Min in each hand; they will take off with arms outstretched and reflect on the way down on the joy of giving, giving themselves and their longtime literary aspirations to Dana. Most of them are strangers to Danaism but it is never too late for lesson one. Their wide and widening eyes drunk with eternity will watch the ground rush up. At last their lives will have meaning.
Min will travel down from her bar in Bangkok to start and end the festivities. After the opening fireworks display, the pink Lycra suited tranny skydiving show, and the ladies dressed as commas and semi-colons wrestling in mud; I will be lowered by helicopter in a flaming hoop of fire. Soi dogs will bark and people will pose for pictures with bodies plummeting behind them. It will be a party. A Swandives of Acceptance party. Nothing brings joy like acceptance. That's how good my novel will be.
Admission free to Dana Fan Club members, and priority seating given to followers of Danaism and Church of Dana devotees. Oh, and Dean Barrett will be at the entrance selling books. You knew that.
So is Dana back, or is this just an encore?