SHARE: a novel in the making

I have been writing a novel in my head for years now. I once read something along the lines of “if you can’t find the perfect book to read, then write it yourself” … and now that I looked this up I found the author of this quote to be the late Toni Morrison… I had no idea who this was. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported in 1981 that, in her speech to the Ohio Arts Council, Morrison uttered what is now one of her most famous quotes:

“If you find a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

For some time now, maybe 7 years to be precise, I have started to gather pieces of writing I have done over the years. These include old poetry, existential questions, observations of my surroundings. Some are dreams, and half of those are fever dreams… night terror producing fever dreams.

When I wake up from a vivid dream I tend to write it down in as much detail and coherence as possible. Furiously typing these into my phone, full of typos thanks to my half open sleepy eyes and fat fingers. Dreams are not the only things I noted in the early hours of the morning. When I was younger, I partied a ton. Needless to say, I consumed a lot of substances which lead to rants in my head during sleepless nights. I also wrote those down and made some sense of the word vomit into my phone.

For years, I kept a notes app full of these random blurbs. I figured they could potentially make for fun parts of my novel. Below are the titles of some of these blurbs, dating back up to 12 years ago. Not to give away what future blog posts may be ;) 

  • 1950s
    • Miscommunication
    • Sentence structure
    • Timelessness
    • Robot Rock 11.21.09
    • Words: Dated may 12 2010
    • Life from the backseat
    • Socialization Practices
    • Walking crying dead clues

    April 27th 2010 236 am revisited

    • 8.25.10 Live form the center of the earth 7 light years below sea level we go
    • Way points (fast travel) and anecdote
    • Zombie car pile camp out dream
    • Pranks, Banana bread and Emitters
    • Party at a 5th floor apartment with an open back porch / staircase to the alley:

    The novel itself began somewhere back in 2015 or 2016 while I was listening to a song by Mathew Herbert called take me back.

     I was riding around UIC where I was working on my masters degree in Urban Planning. I remember clearly passing a bridge on my bike, while experiencing a sort of vision, a flash of a future where people would share music by just passing by one another. Difficult to explain, I perched myself on the curb, and started taking notes so as to not forget what I was thinking, experiencing, feeling, and wanting to do. So, I put the song on repeat (as you should right now) and wrote this:

    Inspired by the song “Take Me Back” by Mathew Herbert in the album 100lbs. 

    In an island somewhere on planet earth’s defunct waters where people learned to “share” at a very young age. Socialization no longer was what postmodern mothers had been instructing their children. This was a time in the third wave of the information revolution. Social circles had become shared-space and mind-melds. The 3W’s had ingrained dreams of a neo-capitalist normalcy once more. Children grew up sharing their life book with everyone from the moment their plinthome instructed their oratory skills.        


    This is a story of [a person yet to be named] who invents a device that allows sharing music with everyone more effortlessly. The device would take over nearby people’s sound devices and play whatever it was the wearer of the sharing device was listening to as they passed by another person. 

    The main problem in the story involves [the PYTBN] sharing their device with the wrong people. These people take PYTBN’s invention / device and use it for evil-doing. They attempt to re-instill an old economic system called capitalism that hadn’t been practiced for over two hundred years. They do so by using PYTBN’s device to influence a new way of thinking. The evil people mass produce this device and use civil spies to “share” information and brainwash people through diction, and music from over two hundred years ago.   

    The people of [the island that would one day become Eutobaria] rise up against this secret machine trying to dismantle their sharing society. They discover the secret invention PYTBN created, its power and magic, and help PYTBN track down the evil spies – with a process similar to a voight- Kampff test.

    And that is what started it all. There’s a lot to be modified, edited and rewritten but this one scene that popped into my head was the catalyst for a novel accompanied by a playlist. As my life is nothing without my personal Original Sound Track, I wanted this novel to reflect this very real aspect of my life. I refuse to do anything without music playing in the background, mind you it happens a lot, but I try to blast some music whenever possible. Reminds me of when I was a child doing house chores with my mom. Never a day went by that we didn’t play music while doing shit around the house. I went on to experience life with music and expected everyone else to do the same, and I come to realize this is not the case. So I appreciate those of you who do appreciate creating their very own OST =)

    Stay tuned :)

    Emmanuel Cortes March 17, 2023
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