Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Novel Experiment Continues - Number 2

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their comments on the first novel excerpt that I posted. I found all of your comments and suggestions helpful. So I decided to post an excerpt from another novel that I have sitting on a back burner, waiting for my time and attention. If you have the time and the inclination to read this, the preface to "The Disappearance of Jack" I would be most appreciative. All comments welcome!

The Disappearance of Jack

It was a truly amazing thing, a world unto itself, and yet, a world unto all. It was a place where one could seek information relentlessly and anonymously. It was a place where billions of bits of ideas, lies, truths and facts converged in a maelstrom of information, only to be categorized, classified, compartmentalized, sorted out and put to rest in countless databases.

Sarah found it endlessly fascinating. Sometimes she would start with a simple search and end up spending hours jumping from one intriguing site to the next. If not for work, laundry, meals, sleep and the other mundane duties of life, she would be forever glued to her flat-screen monitor happily clicking away.

What was the harm in that? It was not as though perusing the universe in such a way was intrinsically wrong. In doing so, she had learned an enormous amount about the world and about life, both good and bad. Sadly, she had also learned that she was observing life, not living it. She was one of the silent ones who watch the events of the world unfold around them without ever making a peep. Sarah was certainly not one to put herself, or her ideas, forward for comment, and her rather awkward shyness contributed to her absolute lack of a social life. It seemed the only way to have a life, while not giving up her beloved on-line time was to use the same venue as a conduit, a pipe-line for meeting new people, communicating, exchanging ideas and information, making new friends.

That is just what Sarah intended to do. In the previous month, she had posted three on-line profiles at various sites to meet other adults, and she had installed two messaging programs. An amazing number of replies to her profiles had found their way to her e-mail account, and she was rapidly learning how to use the messaging programs to find others also seeking communication.

It was not that she didn't have a life outside the ether, you understand.
She worked a full-time job and talked with people all day long. A social life was something all together different, and the Internet was just a way of expanding her universe to include many things that would otherwise be, not only impossible, or unimaginable, but perhaps even unthinkable. Yet she could remain at a very safe distance behind a veil of anonymity, sequestered in the haven that was her home.

But that veil was thinner and much more translucent than Sarah could possibly fathom. She had no inkling just how expansive, how unthinkable, how unimaginable, and how very close to home her new universe could be.