All of his way through university studying English Literature, Daniel Jackson was working on a novel, ‘The American Pentangle’ in his spare time. It was a book of beat poetry. He was hoping to have it finished by the end of university but still had quite a bit to go.
He took an unorthodox road after finishing university. He packed his rucksack and laptop and headed for Chicago. He secured accommodation at a mens shelter. In the mornings he would stand on the busiest street corner and read chronologically from his book. He started to build quite a following. One man in particular would listen to him for about half an hour. The short, portly man approached Daniel one day and asked, “Is that your own work?” Daniel replied, “It is, Sir. It’s from my unfinished novel. I’m looking for a publisher. The mans eyes lit up. He handed him a business card and told Daniel to drop in at his earliest convenience.
Daniel dropped into the building the next day and met with the man. “Give me 10 minutes,” he said. I’ll run copies off for our proof reader and continuity readers and give you one to take back with you.” Daniel was over the moon. “Thank you, Sir.” The man said, “Please, call me Andy.”
Daniels afternoon routine was more hectic. He would go to the library to gain internet access in order to research for his book and write like a man possessed. Whilst doing so, Daniel thought that even if his book was published, it would be a long time before it hit the bookshelves and the odds of it selling well were slim. He decided to become a freelance journalist. He learned at university that you could pick your own hours, subject matter and each article submitted was worth more money than that of a conventional journalist.
Six months passed and Daniel still hadn’t heard from Andy. He decided to take on a 6 month temporary position with a local newspaper, more to see they operated than anything else. He was paired up with Margaret Simpson. They shared the same office. Straight away they hit it off. There was humour with a hint of romantic innuendo involved even though Margaret was married. On the way to assignments they would have to arrive 10 minutes early in order to compose themselves after a journey filled with hilarity. They were both as good a journalist as each other.
When Daniels stay at the newspaper was up, as he got to the front door, something made him turn around. He walked straight back to his office and there was Margaret crying her eyes out. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “You,” said Margaret. “I’ve met nobody like you.” Daniel handed her his email address and Margaret did likewise. From that day on they emailed each other daily. It was usually comedic but now and again there was that romantic touch. Daniel began to wonder if her marriage was on the rocks.
3 months into his second novel and waiting to hear from Andy Daniel received a knock on the door. It was Margaret. He was briefly excited to see her then noticed that she had been crying. Tears and make-up were running down her face. He invited her in and asked, “What’s wrong?” Margaret said, “He’s left me.” Daniel threw his arms around her. She did likewise. They held each other for several minutes. Daniel whispered in her ear, “I’m so sorry.. I don’t know what to say.” He offered Margaret a seat. As they let go of each other Daniel could smell alcohol. Before he had time to offer Margaret a coffee she pulled a bottle for gin from he handbag, part of which had been consumed.
Daniel sat on the couch next to Margaret and said, “What happened?” Margaret opened the bottle of gin and took a hefty swig. She then produced a piece of paper. “I found this on the table when I got home from work yesterday. Daniel looked at it. It read: ‘I’m leaving you. I have been having an affair for 6 months. You won’t see or hear from me again. I’m interstate. You can’t contact me. The house is yours. I’ve sorted it with the lawyer.’
Margaret had spent all night and the next morning walking around the empty house, confused. “I had to get out Daniel. I thought I was going nuts. You were the first person I thought of. I haven’t told another soul.” Daniel was now thinking on his feet. “Okay,” he said. “I’ll drive you to your house, you’ll pick up what you need and you’ll stay in the spare room for as long as you need to.” Margaret was ever so grateful. Daniel added, “I have 3 rules.” Margaret looked serious. Daniel said, “I smoke cigarettes and I swear.” (She already knew this. Daniel added, “I don’t have illicit drugs in my house and while you’re here, my house is your house so make yourself at home.” Margaret began crying again. “Come on,” Daniel said. “Let’s go and pick your gear up.”
On the way back to Daniels house, Margaret wanted another bottle of gin. Daniel agreed and bought himself a bottle of whiskey. He figured he wouldn’t be writing that night so thought he’s have a drink with Margaret. Daniel never drank when he was writing so he put his journalistic work on hold for the night.
As the evening progressed the pair got progressively more drunk. Margaret was drinking twice as much as Daniel but they were equally as drunk. All of a sudden Margaret, Margaret said, “I’ve got a couple of plans. I’ll sell the house, downsize, move closer to here and go freelance as a journalist.” It hit Daniel like a hurricane but as he had a few puffs of his cigarette, Margarets plan made perfect sense. “What if the house takes a while to sell?” she said to Daniel who replied, “Then stay here until it sells. Easy.” They gave each other a drunken embrace.
Margarets house sold in 6 weeks and she moved to a smaller house 5km from Daniels. She then approached her boss and told him that she was going freelance. The boss was disappointed but wished her all the best and wrote her a glowing reference. A further month later, Daniel received a letter in the mail. Margaret was busy working on a story. “They’re going to publish me! They’re going to publish me!”Margaret got up and cuddled him. “Well done,” she said.
The letter went on to say that the book would be placed in every major bookshop in America and would also be available online. “That’s where your money is,” said Margaret. “Online. It gives you an instant global reach.”
Within 6 months, his book was flying off the bookshelf. The publishing company were having trouble keeping up. It was soon in the Top 10 Best Sellers. A few weeks after this Daniel received a letter telling him that his book had been nominated for a National Literary Award. The event was in 2 weeks. Daniel obviously asked Margaret to accompany him. He took her shopping for a dress now that he could well and truly afford it.
When the evening arrived Daniel was a bundle of nerves. Half way to the event he realised he had forgotten his glasses. All he had were his prescription Ray Ban sunglasses. “Oh, no,” he said. “Don’t worry about it,” said Margaret. They look fine.”
When they arrived on the red carpet, amidst other nominees were a flock of journalists from all over the world. Daniel placed himself between Margaret and the press but she knew what she was up to. She pushed him towards the press. Daniel was glad that he wore his Ray Bans as the camera globes flashed constantly and he was bombarded by questions. He simply smiled, waved and moved along the red carpet that felt like it was 5km long.
When they took their seats, Daniel would become uncomfortable when large TV cameras would focus in on him.. Finally it was time to announce the winner of Daniels category. When the winner was announced Daniel was distracted, playing with his fingers. As the winner was announced, the crowd stood cheered. Daniel looked up. He saw Margaret standing, cheering and looking at him. He couldn’t hear her but lip read her saying “You’ve won.” Daniel looked surprised and made his way to the stage. There were 2 hostesses. He didn’t know which one presented the award until one stepped forward and handed Daniel the award. Daniel moved up to the microphone and said to the other hostess, “…and what do you do?” The crowd laughed.
Still distracted by the large cameras moving in front of him, Daniel awkwardly began, “I won’t take much of your time. I don’t have many people to thank. I’d like to thank my parents and of course my publisher for showing faith in me. Las but not least I would like to thank my best friend in the world, Margaret Simpson.” Margaret began to cry. Daniel concluded, “That’s about it from me.” He then turned, not knowing which way to go. The second hostess led him to the backstage area. “Ah! So that’s what you do.”
During the TV break Margaret was led to the backstage area. On spotting her, Daniel rushed up to her and said, “Get me out of her….and quick. They asked a waiter to call them a taxi. On the way home Daniel said, “I thought they were going to break my back with all the back slapping and break my shoulder with all the handshaking. “Look at it this way, Daniel. You’re a millionaire now….if not more. Daniel casually replied, “Yeah. I guess. There is that.”
As Daniel painstakingly made his way through his novel, Margaret was struggling for ideas. So was Daniel. What started as an espionage story was becoming a love story. He said to Margaret, “Why don’t you try childrens books?” Maargaret thought that this would be too easy. Daniel pointed out that childrens novels were 90% imagination, You’ve certainly got that,” he said. He added, “What I do is 90% research. Einstein once said that intelligence will get you from A to B whereas imagination will take you everywhere.” That was it sorted. Margaret.
Their books were released in the same year and made the Top Ten Best Seller List. The only problem was that they couldn’t go out the way they used to. They were too famous.
They continued writing books whilst living in their humble abodes. They saw no need for opulence. The only socialising that they did was when they would invite friend to Daniels house for parties. Even this was a rare occurrence. They were invite only affairs and the press were kept well away.