*****UPDATE (9/30/2021)*****
I've also posted the first chapter of that other project I'm always talking about on here in my A/N. It's titled SCORPIO. Feel free to check it out if you want to.

A/N (July 31, 2021):

Hello everyone! This is my first novel. Hopefully, reading it will be an experience you will not forget.

There will be NO vampires, werewolves, fairies, princes on white horses, magic, impossibly hot dudes, lusciously sexy chicks, dystopias, love triangles, evil misers out to kill the teenaged protagonist, or other YA tropes.

Instead, I will attempt to accurately reflect life for a college freshman during the nondescript school year spanning 2017-2018 in a style that I can only describe with a mathematical equation:

(Perks of Being a Wallflower + The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman) * Ulysses

(All three are wonderful books, BTW.)

This is a book I hope you will be able to unwind with, to relax, laugh, and cry with, to alternately nod and then shake your head at. There will be many Easter eggs along the way, as well as allusions to contemporary and classical music, literature, and movies; references to math and science; whiffs of Wall Street; twinges of romance; and a whole lot of living vicariously. Everything takes place in the real world, although the names of certain institutions have been changed for the sake of probity.

Some other ground rules:

I will update once a week, usually over the weekend. I am trying out an experimental form, so there will not be "chapters" in the usual sense, but episodes instead. Most of these episodes are short, so rather than limiting myself to one chapter per update, I'll be adding on a couple thousand words at a time.

Comments are ALWAYS appreciated. Feel free to drop me a line with your thoughts in the reviews down below or a PM.

To all those kleptomaniac Swiper-the-Foxes out there looking to steal some IP, hands off. Why? Sub-point A: I will litigate you in this life; and... Sub-point B: St. Peter will throw you down into plagiarism purgatory for the next life.

That's all, folks. Let the ride begin...

To Miss Catherine

From a once upon friend

This is how Aurora of Appleton came to be. A baker united with the daughter of a butcher, and their son became an architect. A fisherman united with the daughter of a tenant farmer, and their son became a soldier.

The architect united with the daughter of a travelling merchant, and their daughter became a data scientist. The soldier united with the daughter of a migrant worker, and their son became a mechanical engineer.

The data scientist united with the mechanical engineer, but their daughter had not yet determined who she would become. It was certain, though, that she, Aurora who was called Ari, like all of her ancestors since mitochondrial Eve, would survive innumerable catastrophes—whether natural or imagined, man-made or psychological, or a combination of these—with small joys sandwiched in between.

The world ticked on despite the Y2K bug that had crept in at the end of her birth year.

Then, an oversized disco ball dropped, smashing the bug, the previous year, the previous decade, the previous century, and the previous millennium. The Queen unveiled Voss, a catwalk dominated by madness incarcerated inside a glass box.

The Twins fell when the calendar dialed the emergency number. Anthrax was delivered through snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night.

SARS launched an attack against humanity with metaphorical micro-missiles. Fathers resigned when secrets with their sons came under the spotlight.

A vessel intended to sail to the New New World exploded instead.

It was confirmed that the state had no weapons of mass destruction.

Birds launched an attack against humanity with metaphorical micro-missiles. Katrina wept.

Stem cell research was stemmed.

The unveiling of the iPhone ushered in the era of the smartphone to thunderous applause. Biofuel development was fueled.

Big Auto received a big check. Vampires and other supernatural beings became the most sought-after boyfriends in young adult fiction. The Queen's disciple ruled the runway—absolutely FIERCE.

Pigs launched an attack against humanity with metaphorical micro-missiles. Madoff made off with billions, got giddy for a while, and then pled guilty. The King sang no more. The Queen created Plato's Atlantis, an otherworldly fantasia under the sea.

The Queen ended the show of life. Oil floated in the Gulf. Tesla set up shop on Wall Street for seventeen dollars a share.

Multiple shades of gray replaced the solid neutrals characteristic of print. Fukushima threw a tantrum on an island. A modern-day Cinderella married her Prince. Floods swept through Main Streets in river valleys. People occupied Wall Street.

A star was drowned. Elementary schoolchildren were attacked by a actual micro-missiles.

Runners geared up to go twenty-six point two, and they would have made it, too, but an explosive cocktail ended the race instead.

Camels launched an attack against humanity with metaphorical micro-missiles. Militants absconded with a harem of schoolgirls.

Actual micro-missiles unjustifiably rained down on humanity. Ugly s-s-sneakers became a coveted item of impractical beauty.

Mosquitos launched an attack against humanity with metaphorical micro-missiles, now equipped with a technological advance that could shrink the heads of babies. The former Prince went the way of The King. The motherland of Shakespeare demanded a divorce. It became known that Flint and Steel should have been called Flint and Lead.

And finally, the Sun decided it no longer wanted to watch the greatest show on Earth, and it hid its face behind a total solar eclipse.