Disability

Narrated version here

I’ve been out about everything else, may as well be out about this.

I’m physically challenged, disabled, differently abled. Specifically, I have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and have since I turned 27 (a long time ago). I’d had the condition for close to 10 years before finally achieving a diagnosis in the time when we were told it was all in our heads.

Now, it’s getting more recognition, (thank all that is holy). Docs and scientists are doing more research on how to help us live better lives.

I read a thread on twitter today after yesterday’s disabled murders in Japan, and my gods. I literally gagged at the truth in it.

The writers experience of disability and ableist thoughts from others rang so true for me.

You see, I’ve been through the gamut of treatments and stop gaps and therapies. From heavy medication to exercise to eating regimes to new age therapies.

The people closest to me respect and love me, they see what I deal with and how I fight, every second of every day to have some semblance of a ‘normal’ life. (I’m not going there on how very ableist the phrase normal is, I know it, just pointing it out to those who may not. There is no normal, there really isn’t).

Yet… there is this pervasive concept EVERYWHERE, including from most of my extended family, that I don’t WANT to be healed, that I don’t take advantage of every option for ‘healing myself’. I’m supposed to do that you know? Heal myself?

Because… if I just put the right puzzle pieces into the right slots of my mind/body machine the fibromyalgia will magically disappear and I will finally ‘pull my own weight’. For anyone reading who doesn’t know, fibromyalgia is considered a life-long chronic pain condition. There is no cure, there is no magic wand and the only magic bullet that cures it has the number of the gauge on the case.

What is fibromyalgia? American College of Rheumatology    Wikipedia

The ableist privilege behind the kind of thought pattern that can believe I can heal myself, that I’m not trying or fighting… and worse if you actually SAY it to someone already suffering is phenomenal. Mind boggling.

I would never in a billion years choose to suffer this. I doubt I’d wish it on my worst enemy for more than a moment, and only then so they’d understand. If there were a magic pill or a therapy that would work or a drug that left my mind intact (some days, all I have left is my mind, I’m not willing to give that up) that would treat this, I’d do it.

I can’t begin to express how very horrible it makes me feel when I’m told (I’ve been told this so many times) that I’m not trying hard enough, that I need to bootstrap myself, I need to do x, y or z…

I’d love to have my life back. I sincerely would. I’d love to be the kind of mom and wife I used to be able to be. Drawing attention to what I can’t do with ableist thought processes vs actually helping, just don’t… please. If you don’t know how to help? Ask. Listen to the answer.

I’m a living, feeling, giving person. I am a gifted writer, I am creative and wonderful. I am not that behind my diagnosis, I am not that in spite of my diagnosis, I am a person. I should be treated as such, not as a burden. Not as a problem to be ‘fixed’.

I shouldn’t feel like I should die just to make other people’s lives easier. I shouldn’t feel like I’m not doing enough when I’m already fighting an exhausting gods damned battle every second of every day.

Enough ableist privilege. Please.

Hell… can we just get rid of all privilege while we’re at it and maybe try listening to one another? Of trying on sympathy and empathy instead of hatred and isolation of those who are ‘different’? I guarantee you, we’re all some variety of human. We’re all thinking, feeling, beautifully unique creatures who need community and acceptance.

Could we try that instead of wallowing in our privilege?

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On Rejection: From an Aspie Writer

I’m pretty open about having Aspergers. I’m so grateful that agents are asking more and more for #ownvoices writers to submit their work.

Yet, because they’re asking for our writing, it might help if they knew how someone neurodiverse might think about rejections. *Not an expert, and not everyone is out, so if there are aspie/autie agents hi! I’m only speaking for ‘me’.

Now… no one likes rejection. We human beings are social creatures and having someone tell you they don’t want your work hurts all of us. It’s part of the business, though, and anyone who wants to write for publication, especially traditional pub needs to accept that. I do, it’s part of the life of a writer. Hell… some of the most famous writers ever have received the most rejections. (Go here, you’ll see) so the concept of rejection doesn’t bother me, 98% of the rejections I receive don’t phase me. It’s the 2% I’m addressing. Those where someone has specifically requested more of my work after reading a query or a couple of pages.

Rejection. If you want to write for pub vs fanfic (which I love and have written myself) or to write for yourself, get used to it. You’ll feel rejected over self-pub by lack of sales too, so it’s not just for Trad.pub you’re going to run into it. This isn’t even touching on the concept of poor reviews or trolls bitching about what you write. (I get trolled a lot because I’m out about who I am, all of who I am).

Yet, I want to say something on rejection, especially for an aspie. Now, this may not apply to everyone with Aspergers, I only speak from my *own* experience. Victimized in school by bullies, I’m well versed in rejection. I’ve worked professionally in sales, I have a thick skin. I can take it, and I’ll continue to do so. I know the business of publishing as much as any ‘outsider’ ever can.

It can still throw me for a freaking loop, and here’s why.

I write so much into my stories and hell, not many people seem to like me in person, so I don’t expect a whole lot of people to like my writing… except, of course, I hope they do!

I’m aspie, and one way this makes a difference in my life is that I have a driving obsession to know WHY. About everything… why that bird looks the way it does at my feeder, why X, Y, or Z. (and the other 23 letters!)

So, rejections from agents and publishers bother me, like… a lot. The ones on query letters only are the least bothersome for me. Next step, queries with pages… those make me wonder what exactly the person didn’t like about my work. But for both of those I can brush them aside and not worry about it. The ones that are the hardest are those where an agent/publisher has specifically requested more of my work. If they tell me why they eventually said no, it makes such a huge difference to me.

‘Cause if they do…

I can slot it into a pigeonhole of ‘this is why’ it didn’t work there. That information would be invaluable to me (even if I didn’t agree with it, or if I didn’t like it,(and I’ve gotten both) I’d still have that information to use in future endeavors).

Without that little bit of information, it hurts more and niggles more than it probably does to a neurotypical person. (I’m not NT, I don’t know what it feels like to someone who is, I may be completely off base). I do know that in general, autistic individuals have fathomless wells of emotion. Even if it doesn’t look like we’re bothered or feeling something, trust me, we are. Yes, I know how busy agents must be, I know how hard it would be to write a sentence to each rejection. It would be so nice if they could, though, no, I don’t expect it. No, it isn’t going to stop me, but it may throw me for a day or two. I received one recently that almost made me stop writing, that’s how hard it was to receive. That’s my honesty.

I can’t NOT research something, it’s not in me. I can dive down the rabbit-hole so fast and hard in the blink of an eye, then spend hours there (wherever there is). It’s a trait of how Aspergers makes a difference in my life.

So, of course, I researched the industry of publishing before dipping a toe in. I know it’s the rarity to even get a rejection letter much less a reason for the rejection. Still, for me, personally, it’s like a burning itch I can’t scratch. An itch to know (and from history, that itch will never, ever, ever go away). To understand. ‘Cause trust me, I rarely understand other people, (waves from aspie-land) this obsession with how people work and why they do what they do is in part a self-defense mechanism for me.

Rejection sucks, it’s part of this business and I do collect rejections (I’m shooting for wallpaper, because at least then I know I’m trying) yet… if any agents or publishers read this… if at all possible on partials, if it’s something you’ve requested more pages on, please tell the writer WHY it doesn’t work for you, especially if you know they’re neurodiverse “It’s not for me.” Really isn’t enough. I don’t need a repetition of something you’ve already told me, for things important to me my recall is epic. (You should totally play me in geek trivial pursuit!) I do, rather desperately, need a reason why.

In a publishing industry where #ownvoices are being asked to submit their work, agents need to know how it works for us, and I know enough aspies/auties to hazard a guess that rejection probably bothers many of us as much as it does me. I can’t believe it would take more than a minute to give that bit of info to someone who you’ve already spent an hour or more on reading their work. A reason, even if it’s only a list can make such a difference in the emotions of ND people like me. Something like this would help so much. Now… on to the next rejection. 😀

  1. Didn’t resonate
  2. No market
  3. Too long
  4. Whatever reasons

I’m Kinky.

So, yeah. I wanna talk about me for a minute. (You know, I’m not fond of talking about me barring a couple of glasses of wine).

Still. The things I’d like to know about my favorite authors are going to make up a section of my blog posts.  I read some authors and I question, are they like me? They seem to be like me, but are they really?

That sense of connection, I think, is something a lot of us want with our favorite writers.

So, this blog post, hallo there! I’m Kinky!

I’m chuckling as I write that, because I don’t know how someone could write anything resembling kink and NOT be. At least, not if you’re going to do it well. Yes, I highly recommend researching anything you decide to write about, but that said, there are some things you just have to experience or you aren’t going to fully understand it.

Like the way a crop feels across your ass and how good the flicker of a skilled cane wielder can help guide a bottom deeper into sub-space.

What the rush feels like after either giving or receiving a skilled flogging.

Experience has its place, and yes, I live kink as part of a lifestyle.

I identify as being part of the kink community.

My personal tastes I’m not going to share, but I identify as a D/Top, though I have played the other side enough to learn what it feels like. Every skilled D has to do that (in my opinion) or, honestly, how can they help their s/b into the space, safely, that both D/s want to be in?

So, yeah. I don’t just write it, I’ve done it, I’ve lived it, it takes up a large portion of my mind-space.

Anything kinky I write is as accurate as I can write it, and no, my own experiences aren’t the same as any other person’s on the planet. I don’t claim they are. If I include something in my writing that isn’t something I have personal experience with (and no, not everything I write about is my own experience) I’ve talked with others in the community about it to be certain I’m getting it as authentic as I can.

Play safely everyone! You can check out my Links about Kink page for more info.

Links about Kink

 

 

 

Twitter blew up

So, yesterday twitter kinda blew up and an unapologetic racist got twitter dragged. I don’t have a lot to say about the inciting incident, but the thing I do need to say is that everyone needs to LISTEN.

It’s not the job of anyone who is marginalized to teach those with privilege to do better. So many people ask, ‘if not them, then who?’

I’m marginalized in many ways, (pansexual, chronically ill, sizeism, neurodiverse, I’m grace. I have body modifications, I’m pagan and kinky) but I have white privilege because by a trick of genetics (I’m mixed) my skin is pretty light unless I’ve been in the sun. It’s my job (as it is anyone’s who is light skinned in the year 2016) to be aware. To listen and read the stories of those who put themselves out there to try to teach what it’s like to live life in a darker skin. The teachers are there, all you have to do is a simple internet search to hear the stories of anyone who is marginalized.

Pick an issue, you can find out what someone’s experience is of being gay, grace, fat, aspie, chronically ill, religiously marginalized or penalized and those who are terrorized throughout their entire lives due to skin color.

The wrong thing to do when you go and read the articles? Is to tell that person that *they* are wrong because you either don’t like what they say, it doesn’t fit your perspective, or you don’t want it to be true.

Listen. That’s all. It’s a pretty simple concept. Listen and try to learn from the words of those who are speaking.

‘Cause I can tell you from experience when you put yourself out there to say, ‘this hurts, please stop’ and you’re told you’re in the wrong for feeling that way? It damages, it’s a form of bullying and oppression. It infuriates, it’s flat out wrong. No one likes to be wrong, but if you are… apologize, listen, learn. The end.

Fun things

Lookee! I figured out how to make a collage online.  (What? I live under a rock and write books… I hadn’t gotten around to it yet).

In any case, I present the closest I can come to my characters in Ilavani vis a vis real people. Skin tones aren’t right for half of them, and the other half are furry, so it’s a convenient lie (and pretty eye candy). More can be found on my Pinterest boards because I’m obsessive that way.

Ilavani Cast of Characters

Pantsing vs outlining

A friend of mine asked me how have I switched from ‘pantsing’ a novel to ‘outlining’?

Can’t say I totally have, though it’s something I’m trying to do because ‘pantsing’ or writing it by the seat of my pants, requires a lot more in the way of edits than an outlined novel.

I’ve always written by the seat of my pants; I’d get an idea for a character or a scene, and I’d write it without regard to plot or story arc etc.

…and while I’ve written several novel-length manuscripts, the first one to be worthy of the term Manuscript, and worthy of all the time I’ve put into editing and polishing it is Ilavani.

I had to do a total of four rewrites and nine edits on that puppy, just to get the beat sheets, arcs, and timeline right, then the micro edits for filler/filter words, removal of the dread pirate ‘was’, the bank robber ‘that’ and smoothing and refining.

So, at the advice of two critique partners I’ve been trialing the Scrivener program and I love it. For books two and three, I’ve taken my hen-scratched paper notes (really, after almost eight years of University my handwriting is terrible) on what I want to happen in books two and three and have put it into the storyboarding part of Scrivener.

From there I’ve made chapter and scene notes on where it should be. I have the rough draft of book two written and am working on three. It’s helped, and I can see where I should hopefully have fewer edits at the end of those two projects.

Here’s the part where I still pants it, and probably always will.

When I’m into the scene, I know what is supposed to be happening, and I start writing… well, the characters tend to take over and make it what *they* need it to be. (I’m just the writer, I don’t get a say you know). My outline is just that, an outline, a suggestion. Yes, sometimes the characters completely screw my outline up, the lovely little darlings, and I have to go back and fix my storyboard to take care of whatever little wrench they threw me. That said, it still works a lot better than the way I did Ilavani or any of my previous other works.