Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Novel Debut

So guess what?

I am writing a book.

Did you really think I was reading science books in the bathroom to become smarter?


No way.

Dumb is the new beautiful.

Anyways, I was reading those books because I was doing research for my novel.


It is a love story set in the CERN Large Hagrid Collider.

I do not want to give too much away, but the characters are named Jan (pronounced 'yarn' with no 'r' sound) and Mahuelda, pronounced ( ma-hwell-da).

On the surface it is just a love story, a little bit boring actually, but underneath is all kinds of ruminations about particle physics, basically the conclusions of my findings.

I thought I would preview a few scenes for you, and then tell you something exciting that happened to me concerning the book.

This is from when Jan and Mahuelda first meet:

He brushed back a few strands of hair from his forehead.

"Did you do it, Jan?" the supervisor asked.

Jan looked down.

"Did you use the Collider to shoot BB's at Professor Sult's  buttocks?"

The little voice in Jan's head begged him to laugh at how the supervisor said the word "buttocks".

Buttix, you heard it. He said buttix. Oh come on, are you dead inside?? Did you really not hear that?

Jan dug his fingernail into the palm of his hand to hold back a laugh.

The supervisor let out a long sigh.

"This is not the first time we've had problems with you, Jan. You were the one who, what do you call it? Ah yes, blew me a raspberry during my speech on the mating reticules of the double negative electron."

The supervisor leaned close to Jan, his hot, pickled herring breath blew full across the desk and filled the room.

"I can forgive a great many things, Jan. A great many-"

Jan interrupted him suddenly by saying Awoo-ga and pounding on the desk. His tongue lolled out almost comically oversized and his features became lupine in appearance.

One of Jan's long fingers pointed to a spot over the supervisor's shoulder, beyond the glass of the window.

A great brute of a woman was covering the hallway in long strides, her trajectory leading her straight to the door of the office.

"L-l-l-ady coming," Jan managed to sputter out.

"That's the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to me," said Mahuelda, who was mysteriously already inside the office. Because of the mystery of physics.

They had unmarried relations and afterwords drew complex formulas on each others bellies with markers.

It was only when Mahuelda was vigorously scrubbing herself off in the shower that Jan realized one of the formulas he had written, the one just over her belly button but slightly obscured by the roll above, might have been the single most important revelation ever reached in science, so important and significant that it cannot be written here, because of a lack of understanding of what that may even be on the part of the author.

"Don't finish that shower!!" yelled Jan.

But it was toooo late.

The End.

I mean, To Be Continued.....but maybe The End, because I got kind of bored with the novel.

Which might be for the best, because when I sent a copy to my Aunt Bindy, who is an editor at a publishing company, she had this to say:

"You know, we don't really publish fiction."

"But," she tried to be delicate as I stood there staring up at her with amazing puppy dog eyes and a quivering lower lip, "but I thought I could give you a little constructive feedback."

My heart sank. Feedback? Who the hell wants that? I want cash and a chance to shake Oprah's hand, maybe do that thing where you tickle the person's palm in the middle of a handshake, or maybe say, "Hey Oprah, how do cardiologists shake hands?" (begin to giggle because the coming joke is so hilarious)
And then pump her hand to simulate the beating of a heart.

And then pull her real close in a discovered betrayal hug and whisper, "I hate your magazine because the covers always have a picture of you on them. You need to hear this. Nothing about you is as great as you seem to believe".

Aunt Bindy interrupted me: "I think I could say the same thing about your novel."


My arms still hung in the air, fiercely clasped around invisible Oprah.

"I'm sorry Gweenbrick, and as you are flesh-and-blood, I would like you to know the joy I usually get from rejecting writers is considerably diminished in this instance.
But your book....it's really quite bad. The characters veer from fart-obsessed middle schoolers to drunken castoffs from an Ingmar Bergman movie. Not one scientific element you present has even the least bit of authenticity to it. You describe the Collider as being 'real big and differenter looking than you would think, until you looked up internet pictures of it'. What is that?"

"When Jan and Maheulda kiss, you write that 'their tongues alone knew when to change from particle to wave tee-hee.' Who is saying tee-hee in that sentence?"

"I am so sorry, but really, really the whole thing is just an unintelligible mess."

"Haven't you ever heard of 'writing what you know'?"

I began to cry.

"Of course I have heard that, Aunt Bindy....of course...but I just don't know much about stuff. I thought I would...I would, you know,  write 'what I don't know' and see how it came out."

"It came out bad," Aunt Bindy whispered, "it came out real bad".

We both hung our heads. After awhile, I reached out to pat my Aunt's knee in comfort, and she delicately blocked it.

This whole post was written while watching one of my students flip endlessly through the same issue of Oprah, over and over again, on today, the first day of school.

It is a work of fiction, except for the part about having an aunt.


  1. Your discovered betrayal hug with Oprah rivals the one between Michael & Fredo Corleone.

    1. Thank you! It was in the same spirit as that famous hug.

  2. Unmarried relations? Oprah-bashing? An Aunt Bindy??

    Oh how I've miss you so.

  3. Do you mean Bindy, Steve Irwin's daughter? Does the blood of the Crocodile Hunter run through your veins?

    1. I knew I had heard that name somewhere, but I couldn't place it.Thanks Cynthia Buttpaddles!

    2. Your welcome Gweenbrick Buttwiper!

  4. Also not a work of fiction, the utter differenterness of the LHC.

    And I think you've nailed physics pretty accurately there.

  5. The chemist in me just wants to say, "pure Au". Now back to finish the last ten percent ....

    I liked Hagrid instead of the real Hadrid, I started thinking, a collider that gets rid of large hags.

    1. I am unable to turn off the stupid parts of my brain that always want to turn everything into sound-sort of alike jokes, or really stretch it and sound nothing alike jokes.
      thanks for appreciating it Esb!

  6. "The characters veer from fart-obsessed middle schoolers to drunken castoffs from an Ingmar Bergman movie." Who wouldn't want to read a novel like that?!

    Also, if I should happen to meet Oprah before you do, I would be happy to deliver your discovered betrayal hug for you. Very happy, indeed.

  7. "Because of the mystery of physics."

    I LOL'ed IRL. Rare, really.

  8. Though couched in "a work of fiction" you are a brave, brave man to speak negatively about the mighty O... bwahahahahaha

    1. Between you me and the bedbugs, I really don't enjoy her very much, though I have to admit I am not her target demographic

  9. I saw a rap on You Tube performed by the particle collider sciency types. It was pretty, well, um, diferenter.

    1. Sounds awful and awkward-please send me link

    2. Here you go:


  10. I'm glad to hear that the true part is having an Aunt, not the line "I began to cry".

    But where are the illustrations? Particle physics comics are the easiest: just dots and squiggles, with a little curlicue once in a while.

    1. really? I should have done some research on it...but I have such limited time to blog right now that pictures are hard to eake out

  11. When I started reading this post, my immediate thought was, "Oh shit, Gweenbrick is writing a book. It's going to be way better than anything I could ever hope to produce with these useless drawing-fingers of mine!" but then I realized you aren't really writing a book, and I felt a strange combination of relief and disappointment, because whatever you wrote would undoubtedly be hilarious and lots of people would want to read it, including me.

    1. I do not have the attention span to write a book, I can barely get through one blog post without switching topics a million times

  12. THIS IS MY FAVORITEST POST BY YOU EVER!!! I DIED laughing. At 7:30am, which is an enormous feat. More please!

    1. Thank you so much! That is such a flattering thing to say!

  13. "Did you use the Collider to shoot BB's at Professor Sult's buttocks?"

    At first I read it as "Professor Slut" and laughed, then I realized my mind flipped the letters.

    1. I let you down. I will try to use the word slut more on this blog.

  14. I would so buy your non-existent book, and then attend the theoretical book signing and obtain an autograph. And I'd like to imagine you'd sign it, "Because I am at least as awesome as Oprah, cheers!" Your imaginary book just made my day, thanks!

  15. Gween to Oprah, "You need to hear this." Bwahahaha My new favorite mental image.

  16. I really loved this post. Let me tell you something about me that you never cared to know, I love weird. I love things that don't make sense. If Halloween and Free Cake Day were both happened back to back, that wouldn't make me as happy as this post made me.

  17. "...said Mahuelda, who was mysteriously already inside the office. Because of the mystery of physics."

    Just great. Great.

  18. your Aunt Bindy doesn't know genius when she sees it.