I am editing a book at the moment. I’ve sent it out to readers before. I’ve gotten some feedback. I’ve queried agents about it in the past. This is be the 7th time I seriously edit it, and it will also include the most major changes to date.
I’m not really sure how to describe the feeling of editing a book I started over two years ago and have never stopped believing in despite flagging enthusiasm at times. It’s a book about life and a speculative afterlife. It probably fits in the genre of urban fantasy pretty comfortably. Anyway, I think it’s this book that hung like a specter over my current work in progress rough draft all summer. Part of me knew I needed to work more on it, but another part of me simply hoped that it would be good enough after five and half drafts. But the queries came back with form rejections every time. And yet I know the idea is good. The problem is, as was once said: “Not in our stars, but in our selves.” Or rather, I don’t blame the concept. I blame my still too-weak fiction writing abilities. I’m not even close to technical perfection in the craft, but even more bothersome is my lack of understanding.
I don’t like to complain about being autistic, but I in-part blame this for my lack of ability as a writer. It’s a trade-off, though. I achieved a greater degree of understanding of the technical side of writing during high school because I had very few friends and thus, little else to do. But in the time since then I’ve made my own version of friendships. Thing is, I still don’t understand the way people work as well as most, or at least I don’t feel like I do. But this isn’t a rant about autism. This isn’t a rant about the problems I have with writing. This isn’t even a complaint about how often I’ve thought I wasn’t really alive because I felt like a shadow without the ability to react the way other people did. No, it’s not meant to be any of those things. This post is supposed to be about my way of making friends.
Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
When I make friends it usually takes a long time, even these days. I make friends over the course of months and years, not weeks. I think it might be the autism in-part, because I work slowly socially. Meeting a person I don’t mind and have stuff in common with is not enough. I also need a lot of time hanging out with them before I even realize we really get along. And this is the vague way of putting it, but let me give you a real-life result of the way I make friends. My two oldest friends were originally better friends with one of my brothers or the whole family, and I only got to know them better because the people I knew them through left the area but I didn’t.
Anyway, I get disheartened a lot. Few friends. Less Money. I have a nifty thing I tell myself at times like this though. Actually I have two.
“I am a very lucky person.” – The mantra a professor gave me on my trip to India.
And something I heard in a dream recently:
“Straighten up grandpa.” – My grandpa really should have done that years ago, but I think whoever said this in my dream was talking to me. Yet I’m no grandpa.