In Which I Get To Talk About My Novel

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Spotify playing “If I Could Tell Her”.  Check.

Four scoops of Dutch chocolate ice cream. Check.

An evening of hanging out with the best people in the planet despite having been with them in person for so long a time it’s an injustice. Check.

No writing. Check.

April Camp NaNo is going wonderfully. And I mean that, when you compare it to last year, when  only started seriously writing three days before Camp ended, not too bad! I think. 😀

Just Come Home is on hold for now, which is great, ’cause I get to talk about my new WIP, which you definitely can’t copy or steal because I will find you. And I will exact a heavy revenge.

Image result for i will find you and i will kill you gif

Introducing my WIP, under the working title of….

The A’s & B’s of Normal!

*slow claps* *very fake claps*

The A’s And B’s Of Normal
not the final cover so don’t get any ideas

But, uh, what on earth is The A’s & B’s of Normal?

Thus the brief description. (I have a description! An actual description! BEHOLD!)

Synopsis

Ricky Kisame isn’t your normal 13 girl- but she really means that when she says it. She has an attention span the size of a gnat and an unidentified adverse reaction to classrooms and anything remotely resembling four walls enclosed and with no windows. Add that to her perpetual hyper-excited nonstop energy and talkative self, brothers that have their own quirks and not-normal selves, parents who are practical geniuses and believe the best in their kids, her homeschooled brain, and the fact that brain can answer Algebra 2 questions and college level stuff in all the ways nobody expects, and you have the makings of an almost genius.

Oh, did Ricky mention she has ADD? She can’t concentrate if her life depended on it.

But snap, if she isn’t gonna try!

The Story Behind The Story

If you don’t know, April is not only the month of pranks, the first Camp NaNo, and the month of the earth warming and changing from snow to grass in two seconds flat. It’s also Autism Awareness month. (More on this in another post… maybe. :P) At the time this story was created though? I didn’t know that.

I’m hyperactive. That goes for my head and my mind and my tongue and my arms and all of me. Fidgeting in my seat is essential to being able to concentrate, and a million tabs in my brain are open 100% of the time, and at least 75 are blasting music that I can’t shut down. Writing this post took me forever because I literally pushed aside my laptop to walk back and forth a couple dozen times.

And apparently, that isn’t normal.

But that’s okay.

If you know my brother Jacob, you’d know he’s the sweetest, kindest, selfless, quiet guy anywhere, and when he smiles you can’t help but smile too. You’d also know that he doesn’t talk much, is on the timid side, and when other kids his age are off driving and getting jobs and being independent (TM), Jacob’s still trying to figure out freshman year.

But that’s okay.

My other brother may have a little hard time interacting with people, but he can look at a computer and see new things to figure out and break and put together and technical stuff is right up his alley, even if asking someone how their weekend was is a tinge harder.

But that’s okay. 

They have a name for people like us. Neurodivergents. Basically, some people’s brains are different from other people’s brains. It’s a pretty simple (and fancy sounding) definition, huh?

There’s just a slight problem.

And that is that people tend to look at the label and forget the thing labelled is not a thing.

It’s a person. And that person isn’t some case subject thing, another number in the statistic of people who think differently. That person is just another kid with hopes and dreams and ideas and thoughts and God made them. God made everyone equal, but equal never meant the same. Every mind is different. And that’s okay.

And… I mean.. y’know.. people don’t really get that? There’s a TON of stuff on autism and dyslexia and ADD and ADHD, but not very much on the people who have all of these differences.

So in a way, I guess, The A’s & B’s of Normal is an attempt to say one thing:

God made you special, and He loves you just the way you are.

Trust me to ramble on for 50k or less on just one thing. 😉 Say hi to Ricky, you guys!

Ricky's Mood board

Ricky, Ricky, Ricky. She is crazy. And that’s probably why I love her so.

It’s been a ton of fun to get into Ricky’s head and writing out her thoughts. She’s a riot in the funniest ways possible, and I hope I do her justice. 🙂  Along with this crazy are Lute, Natey, and Jose Kisame, and the 4 of them wreck havoc in their world.

Well, Ricky does plenty of that on her own, but the guys help some.

Right now she’s stumped, as you would be, at a rather long test. I got some work to do.

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Will this be a flop? Probably? Will I mess up a lot? Guaranteed. But is it worth the research and time spent to learn even more about this so called “disorders” and what they really are?

I think so.

Is it worth getting into someone’s severely disorganized head and writing my own off? To get into a dozen different characters and settings I will never get to step foot in?

Yes.

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What You Really Should Know About The Spectrum Because I’m Getting Tired Of The People Who Think They Do And Clearly Don’t

I don’t want to open a can of worms.

Okay, you know what? I do. I want to open this can of worms because it’s been too long. This stigma with special needs kids, with “disabilities” needs to end. I know nobody reads this but at least it’s out there. Waiting for maybe someone to see it.

Don’t worry, I actually kinda know what I’m talking about this time. My brothers are autistic/ dyslexic/ have Asperger’s.  And guess what? That doesn’t make them any lesser than anyone else. Okay, so here goes….

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Know that there are different kinds of autism, based on a spectrum. 

See, this is the thing people don’t understand. They might come across a really jumpy kid who won’t register a thing they say, and they’re like, “ohh, that’s autism? That makes sense,” but if they see another kid who’s pretty normal, except for some minor differences, they won’t believe it.

Welcome to the spectrum. It’s like wearing glasses. For some they need it because their eyesight is bad, others for reading, and others because one eye looks like an egg. Or something.

See, there are varying kinds of autism and that’s not an indicator of how disabled you are. It’s an indicator of how your mind works. Some kids zone out completely, they don’t hear anything or anyone and live in their own world. Other kids are sociable, but everything they say seems pre-recorded, and they repeat stuff a lot. Still other kids are normal- but then just a smidge different. Some have treatment, and others don’t. So don’t go thinking all autistic kids are in the same boat- because the differences can be drastic.

Know that autism is NOT a disability. 

People always avoid my brother because when they talk to him, he speaks in soft, quiet monosyllables and because they don’t understand. But if you know Jacob, you’d know he carries a lot of work wherever he is, he’s the friendliest soul around, he’s a major Cars nerd, and he loves Ferdinand. You’d also know he doesn’t like people yelling, too loud sounds, or questions pointed directly at him, like, “What’s wrong?” It’s not that he doesn’t know the answer, it’s that he can’t communicate with whoever’s asking because he communicates in different ways.

Jeff, a kid I babysit often, has a different form of autism. He always has this thing with lights. Turn ’em on, turn ’em off, give someone epilepsy with toggling the switch; he’s fascinated by lights. Now if you ask him what’s wrong, he can’t tell you because you’re just in the background to him.

Are these kids “disabled” or “mentally challenged” because of this? No! I mean, if you were to apply that reasoning for autistic kids like that on me, I should be having ADHD or dyslexia or something. Lemme ask you. Are people who wear glasses disabled because they can’t see properly without them?

You know as well as I do the answer is a flat no.

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Stop, stop, stop, stop, for the love of everything sane in this world, stop treating older kids- and anyone with autism- like they’re not capable of thinking and understanding.

Lots of people have tried to figure out Jacob every way possible except the understand-the-way- they- think-and-communicate-on-that-level method. Maybe it’s too much work for them, or maybe they don’t think they should bother. How about not bothering at all? In the past week, I’ve seen my brother threatened with bodily harm to stop crying, demanded to know what’s wrong, told big boys don’t _____ or _____, had people say out loud that they hope he grows up and make sense in front of him like he won’t be hurt because he won’t understand. I know about a quarter of you mean well. But often those people do the most harm.

Fortunately for Jacob, he forgets people’s cruel blunders better than I do.

The truth is..he can 100% understand you if he wanted to. Unless you’re shouting or he doesn’t like the topic. Then he’ll go off to another thing to do, because you aren’t interesting. Which frankly, is my common response too.

Not all kids can though. Some kids need to go to a school (my brother does but we can’t afford it) and need treatment. That doesn’t mean you have any right to treat or think of them like vegetables.

So if you’re in a situation where anyone, autistic or not, is a. crying b. panicking c. not responding to you, how about NOT saying, “big boys don’t cry/panic/ not respond”. Thank you. Of course, unless you run into me. Then there’s a difference.

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I don’t want to make Jacob the poster child for anything. Because he isn’t perfect and can get on my nerves like everyone else in the planet. I want him to have a normal happy life with people who understand.

But things aren’t looking fair for people like my brother. If you can’t think a certain way, then you can’t pass the SAT or ACT tests, go to college, graduate, get a job like everyone else thinks you should. *glowers at laws and cultures*

Maybe if more people actually knew about autism, they’d think differently.