中秋快乐～ Happy Mid-Autumn, my loves! 🌕🥮🎑
Ok, now some writing ramblings:
My current novel draft is titled V6. The word count clocks in at slightly over 52,000.
Today, I went back to read V2 and V3—it kind of shocked me how they present a drastically different novel altogether from my current draft (where are the genetic similarities?!) and they will probably never see the light of day. They will float in the Google cloud, untethered, the DNA lineage from which the current baby descends. 🧬👶🏻
So here are some random excerpts from these GDoc relics, for your amusement (and my own haha).
[V2] SoulCycle in augmented reality? 🚴♀️
“One kilometer left, questors!”
A drop of sweat fall into January’s left eye. Her smartlenses watered, the wasteland blurring.
Her thigh muscles ached. She was cycling uphill in a Mad Max-like wasteland. The group was in the last stretch of the high-speed chase. The sun overhead was blindingly white, but there was no heat. As her feet pumped the pedals, the vehicle surged forward on a yellow, dusty road that disappeared into the horizon where the silhouette of a fortress awaited. All around her stretched an endless blanket of sand.
“You’ve crossed the Wasteland, questors! The quest never ends! See you all next session!”
The wasteland receded. Confetti showered on her, the flakes disappearing before they touched her sweaty skin. Words began floating before her.
Our arable lands are becoming deserts. Every dollar you spent at True Quest is matched by ByteCent to reforest our lost greenery.
As the electronic music prelude to the True Quest theme song began, January tapped her left cuff to switch off the AR filters and the room reverted to its clean lines and simple furnishings: a bunch of stationary bicycles in a darkly-lit studio, with glow-in-the-dark bonsai trees. Other questors—all slim, panting, and of various skin tones—were now stretching, gulping their customized Soulwaters, or softly gossiping in circles.
January grabbed her Soulwater from the cup holder. Today’s flavor tasted saccharinely sweet. Usually, she would have hated it, but the water matched her mood. January looked around the dim studio, thronging with sleek shadows—all the women with their ready-wearables and athleisure couture from the New York Fashion Week’s S/S collections, sweat-resistant au naturel makeup, and the modest discreetness of their minimalist aesthetic. On the outside, January melted into these shadows, but her thoughts couldn’t lie. The appearance was easy: sneaker-heels, photosynthetic GgG (Gucci goes Green) shirts, and a flash of Tiffany silver or Cartier gold to coyly convey sustainable luxury and ethical living. How long had it taken for her to get here? To this lifestyle of ‘enlightened entitlement,’ where wellness was a status symbol, productivity was a precept, and everything was done mindfully—shopping, eating, sleeping, parenting, learning, working, and working out.
[V2] Girl meets boy for the first time after he gets into car accident. (There’s no longer a car accident in V6, phew.) 🥺
He was pale-faced, half of his face bandaged, engulfed in blankets, his shoulders still straight. A wisp of glamor still lingered—barely there, like dust that glints when the angle is right—on the upward tilt of his left eye, in the pinkish-red of the rims, on the feather tip of those heavy lashes.
She had prepared herself for scrawny or scrunched up, skeletal or sickly, but instead, he looked sober. Somehow, the spare setting purged every trace of boyishness from his face.
Under the fluorescent lighting, motionless on the hospital bed, he didn’t look quite human—a half-mummified mannequin, or an uncanny sculpture, or a new-age Frankensteinian invention just off the surgical table, not yet ready to be unravelled.
I’m like a cold-eyed observer, she thought, gazing upon a painting.
[V3] In this version, everything becomes first-person. A world with holographic apps. 🌟
Download GEMINI UNIVERSE? The window prompted.
Staring at the “Play trailer” option, my index finger tapped the air.
Full Immersive or Augmented? The window asked. I doubled tapped the former.
G—and it could only be him—appeared, three feet away from me. Loose white t-shirt and black jeans. No shoes.
“Hello,” the hologram said, eyes crinkling, “welcome to my world.”
My reading capsule was still bright, for optimal reading, but his hologram had an otherworldly quality, standing under a spotlight as though on a dark stage. Suddenly: a couple beats of crashing drums. A pulsing bass. The light around him rippled.
“Come on over,” he said, beckoning with a raise of his brows. The VR effects kicked in and the capsule faded away. I was now in a dome, surrounded by galaxies of light sticks. At the heart of the planetarium stood G, now in an all-black ensemble with a jacket that flashed trending profile avatars of fans. He was softly crooning in a vertiginous ring of light. The tune was melancholic, but his voice was surprisingly good, almost familiar. I had probably heard it somewhere, on one of my friends’ livestreams or 360-statuses.
“Experience my concerts wherever, whenever.”
The scene rippled and now we were in a bedroom. Oh! I was in someone else’s body, looking at the world through his eyes. G’s! He/I was waking up, brushing his teeth, walking into a—I’ll never forget this moment—jaw-droppingly expansive closet that was bigger than my bedroom. I could only catch a glimpse because the shots were spliced rapidly. The next moment, I saw him picking a recipe from his food printer and tapping a spoon against the marble countertop. And then it was him on a plane, waving to screaming fans at arrival, ducking into a vehicle. His hand comes up towards his face and blocks the lenses. Blackness.
“Experience how I live,” said his voice.
“And have me in your universe.”
A few functional scenes dissolved in and out. Easy purchase or bookmarking of any outfit or look by tapping on G and adding the item to the cart or mirror. Augmented meals. Exclusive concert sets in the living room. Giving my smart assistant the Aural x G premium update.
“See you there.”
The darkness lifted gradually and I was back in my capsule.
I was still reeling from the quick final scene—essentially, my smart assistant could take on his hologram likeness and speak in his voice. What would having G so close be like? Could I even name him something else? Or was the whole point to have him—singularly, authentically—in my world?
The trailer was not entirely the life story I was expecting. It was invasively intimate, thrillingly voyeuristic, more about tying my world with his. I could already envision how gruelling it was going to be, wading through all the information on his life when every brush of the teeth was documented.
Dear reader, always happy to hear your thoughts and ideas on the future of entertainment, love, and inequality!!! x
Onwards with V6 in October!!! 💪💪💪
Have many yummy mooncakes,