A little Talk on Autism

I am autistic, but not so much people notice when meeting me. Specifically I have a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome, diagnosed when I was in grade school.

My particular brand of Asperger’s Syndrome has probably changed who I am a great deal, but the effects themselves are small. Mostly, I face challenges dealing with space and sound, in addition to some social challenges.

These days I like to think I’m still pretty normal, as least as far as geeks are concerned.

Anyway, I don’t know how much there is to say about this issue. That’s why I don’t talk about this very much. Moreover, when you are as mild an autistic as I am, life isn’t that much more difficult. The world is getting easier for those with my sorts of social issues, thanks to the internet especially.

I guess this came to mind this morning, perhaps because of the strange dreams I had this morning. Now I realize how silly this sounds. I’ve got some exciting news coming up. I look forward to sharing with you in the coming week or weeks.

Here’s a reminder for all of us. It’s always good to be kind to each other.

Thanks for reading.

4th Street Fantasy Report

Some amazing stuff went down over the weekend. And now I am exhausted from sheer lack of sleep. The place was a party of 200 writers and fans. And I enjoyed it greatly with only one hiccup of bad attitude in the middle. But when that hiccup happened, I managed to be honest and polite, and actually got cheered up by some of the other con-goers.

Panels were inspiring.

People were pleasant and interesting. And I think I fit in, at least on one of those accounts.

Yes sir, I think I will go back again next year. God willing.

Oh, and there was singing up late on Sunday (Early Monday, really). A choir of geeks and writers directly behind where I sat, celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage with beautiful voice at around 1am.

A lot of fun. Well worth what I had to pay. This year I think I went in with a better attitude, and that really paid off. Now its time to get back to fiction.

There probably won’t be as big a gap in my posting, for a few weeks at least.

Thanks for reading.

Funk

I’ve thought things through a bit recently, and I am beginning to think that one of the key things that has me depressed about writing was that the group I was a member in fell apart a few months ago. I was submitting to that group regularly, and I definitely was sad to see it go, at the least, on hiatus.

Why was I so sad when my writing group fell apart? Deep down, the group had become a crutch for me, both emotionally, and as a writer. I wanted to rely on the group to make my stories better. I had forgotten the point was, at least in large part, to learn to be better. Now I’m beginning to get some of the things they were talking about. But I still felt crushed without the bi-weekly feedback. I need to start putting work in front of readers more, even if only trial readers.

If the above realization is true, and it certainly rings that way to me, I may be able to simply conquer this funk by engaging more readers with my work.

I hope the convention I am going to in a few days will help me refocus.

Thanks for reading.

 

The Art of Discovery

Discovery writing is what I always used to do when I engaged in a novel, though usually with an idea of where I want to end up. Lately, as you know if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, I have been stuck a lot.

As much as I’ve mentioned joy in action in the past, I think I had lost that path. The time is to take joy in storytelling and move on from this funk I’ve been in since I graduated from college.

I’ve gotten stronger as a writer. I’ve made some connections out there in the world. And now it is time for me to get back to the roots. And those roots involve doing exactly what I want to do with my stories. Paradoxically however, giving myself exactly what I want out of a story doesn’t work if the delivery is too obvious, because what I want, in part, is to be surprised by a story. My loose outlines allow for this, but I think situational outlining is even better.

What do I mean by situational outlining? More or less what Stephen King talks about in “On Writing” when he describes his process. Develop a situation and see what happens, like a roleplaying game. Build a rocket and let it fly wherever it goes when it is launched (As dangerous as that sounds). I am going to try this, with as complex a situation as I desire, and see what happens. But first, I’m going to see about ‘setting’ my situation as the next step for one of the books where I am currently stuck in the middle. A new status. A shift in focus perhaps. Forward motion in the story.

Hopefully I’ll remember to let you know how this goes.

Thanks for reading.

Burnout

When I went to Church this morning I already felt done with the day.

That, obviously, is not a good way to start a week.

What happened to me here? Probably the same thing as every day lately. I woke up.

This post is negative, but that’s because I feel negative. I have a lot of difficulty putting stuff onto a page that I don’t feel at some level myself. Each time this happens I can’t help but beat up on myself. I feel ridiculous, and dumb enough to engage in some major self-hate behavior.

I don’t know why this happened today. I guess it could have been the dread of Father’s Day. It could have been my continued frustration with the writing process, or more accurately, the lack of it. And now I’m kinda dreading going to this convention at the end of the week. I don’t like to write these words, but I may be closer to quitting than I’ve ever been.

Do I really want to make the stuff I’ve been working on? I don’t know, but it sure as hell seems like every project has been hitting a wall at this point for the past 8 months. Ever since I finished the last book, I’ve been burnt out.

Time to give up? Maybe. Maybe not.

Sorry for ranting, and as always, thanks for reading.

Incessant Confusion

Things get cluttered where I work, not helped by the fact that I work from home.

I have notebooks upon notebooks. I have scrivener files, and word .docs, and .txt documents. I have countless stories running around in my brain, battling for the spot as the next novel I write.

I think its time to calm this stuff down. Time to try meditating again.

In the past I’ve been terrible at meditation. Even five minutes of quiet is hard for me to manage. But I think this is important, and necessary to increase my enjoyment of life. Discipline may be difficult to learn, but it should be wonderful once built up enough to be useful.

Not much else to say, really.

Thanks for reading.

Asuras

My mind does funny things in church.

Something I heard during the service today sparked this thought about the metaphor of the Asura in Hindu mythology. Asuras, for those not aware, are Hindu demigods of great power and questionable moral standards. What occurred to me in church today was the way the nature of an Asura can apply to the real world.

My personal belief is that it is difficult for someone with power to be ‘good’. And I put ‘good’ in quotes there because of the somewhat silly nature of the concept of absolute moral qualities. This belief snapped together like a lego set with the concept of the Asura. The very powers that give them influence over the material world weaken their moral compass to some degree. Not all Asuras were ‘evil’. I’m not hugely familiar with specific elements of the mythology, but it is my understanding that these demigods can get what they want through force, and that often degrades their karmic balance.

But Asuras really aren’t all that. They’re actually very weak in the cosmic sense. They remind me of the people who wield power in the modern world. Morally and spiritually they are not stronger than ordinary people. But they hold material power that tempts them with its misuse.

I don’t know why it fit together today, of all days. However, I think this line of thought is important to me. Seeing these potentially corrupt leaders and businessmen as ordinary people who simply do not always have the willpower required to do what is ‘right’ or ‘good’ increases my compassion for them. Another personal belief of mine is that compassion is nearly always a good thing to increase.

I don’t mean to preach, but I liked the metaphor, so I thought I’d share it here. Thanks for reading.