Hunter Dansin

Home for my words

In 2244 AI generates all artistic entertainment consumed by humanity. Art made by artists does not sell. Movies, holo-novels, real-novels, games, albums, and all imaginable forms of past and future media are simulated and generated by the content delivery mechanism at the rate of a few seconds per media. In the event that a human does make something on their own, it is drowned in the cosmic ocean of content and never seen by anyone but the creator.


Virginia Woolf as a lover

“She remembered, all of a sudden as if she had found a treasure, that she had her work. In a flash she saw her picture, and thought, Yes, I shall put the tree further in the middle.” — To the Lighthouse (84)

On page 84 of To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf describes how Lily Briscoe, squeezed by social pressure during dinner at the Ramsey's house, remembers “all of a sudden as if she had found a treasure,” that she can improve her painting by “moving the tree to the middle.” She then picks up a salt shaker and puts it down “so as to remind herself to move the tree.”

These are two rather mundane sentences. They do not evoke strong emotion and they do not have particular significance in the immediate context. But Virginia Woolf weaves them into the text, using the movement of the salt shaker to remind both Briscoe and the reader twenty pages later that to “move the tree to the middle,” does not simply mean improving one's painting; it also means finding purpose and value outside of society's expectations (for Lily it is to marry). Then, when Lily comes back to the Ramsey's many years and pages later, after Mrs. Ramsey's death, the reader and Lily are taken back to that flash of inspiration at dinner with a simple phrase: “Move the tree to the middle, she had said (102).”

For those who have not tried to write compelling prose, this example may seem underwhelming. But as with many masterstrokes, “moving the tree to the middle” can be appreciated by imagining what you might have done instead. Even if you had lit on the idea of moving the tree to symbolize Lily's commitment to her art, would you have been brave and innovative enough to recall it twenty pages later, not with simple exposition that a reader cannot miss, but with a glance “at the salt cellar on the pattern”? This use of the word “salt” enhances the tree idiom. It is a word you can taste. It draws the reader into Lily Briscoe's mind and lived experience. This is immersion. This is how Virginia Woolf rewards the reader for journeying into the human soul with her.


I met them in the margin of a used book, next to difficult paragraphs and subtle thoughts.

A penciled question mark told me all I wanted to know ? about their mind.


Living on the edge is a cliché until it is not, and life hangs on a flexible razor cutting ice at fifty miles an hour. The razor springs from weight and swings your legs. Land the other razor and believe in it or you will lose it and yourself. But you cannot think about this, if you want to be fast. It must be ingrained by hours of sweating in cold.

You do not chase powder or resort experiences. You chase speed, a faster line: the elusive satisfaction of successful execution. Bend the razor, release, land.


A 100-word story

Somewhere in the twilight fog lies the body. It is doing a lumbar stretch with the left arm pointing down the hill. I do not know how it got there. I found it when I came home.

A siren wails up to my driveway and the lights glow through the fog and the gravel crunches wet under the rubber. A cop steps out.

“Where is it?”

I point from my porch.

More sirens and soon the meditative, still atmosphere of my remote property evaporates into engines and camera flashes and tape. Twilight will pass soon, but what about the fog?

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed it and wish to support me, the best way is to purchase my novel, or buy me a coffee.

The PR man in my head shouts for all my pleasure and pride, making their case, telling me not to wait.

“Be the loudest and you will make it. Do not weigh or consider. Shout often and loud, and everyone will listen.”


A Revelation Fan-Fiction

What would it take for you to believe in a miracle? Would writing in the clouds make you believe? Or have you been fooled one too many times by bad faith evangelists? Do you need a subtle miracle, like a note passed under the table? Or, happily taking the note, would you dismiss it because of its subtlety? I have been asking myself these questions for the past two years.


I dreamed I was on a stage trying to yell a tsunami down with every word dipped in fire like whistling harpoons from my mouth

Please let me be right for once like a diving falcon


An experimental, stream of consciousness exploration of the leper's point of view in Mark 1:40-45.

“And a leper came” it's my own fault for being contagious. Skin melts off and corrupts. Can't go near a soul even my own. Don't touch me give me food maybe some figs. Living on the outside as a curse. Afraid of me because I am visible. Blame me for your problems push me out. Sin smells like me so you keep me far from you so as not to remind you of your faults. I'm too painful for you but I can't feel a thing nerves all dead except for shame.


It's a sad song

It's a sad tale, it's a tragedy

It's a sad song

But we sing it anyway

— Road to Hell (Reprise)

Hermes stands over a defeated Orpheus. The boy watches his lover sink back into the Underworld. He was only a few steps away from life but he doubted and looked back, breaking his contract with Hades. Eurydice must now remain in hell, and Orpheus can never go back. It's a sad song that turns out the same every time, so why sing it?


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