That snip clicks to my latest blog. It’s been a long road, going on 6 years now. I think I’m finally ready to handle a phone meeting. Guess we’ll see what happens.
#TeamJanika is a thing, thanx to friends on twitter. I like having fun, so I belly flopped right in and now anyone can proclaim their devotion to #TeamJanika.
Anyone following my Pinky updates knows I’m working on final edit, but what you don’t know yet is that it’s actually a 2-book contract. Aspienado will soon be a real thing as an addition to Existential Aspie.
If you could go back in time and do one thing, what would it be?
I would go back and give my mom a big hug and tell her everything is going to be ok.
I’m writing for all the parents out there with aspie/autie kids. I’m writing for people still having difficulties bridging over to communication and social interaction. I’m writing because I’m able to now, after many years of hard work and professional assistance.
I’m writing because in all our broken ways, my mom and I loved each other like two ships crashing in broad daylight.
I’ve had 3 reps since I first contracted with a publisher. They are being very patient. I’m still here, juggling chainsaws and eggs, and yes, still working, but no, I haven’t crawled into my bed with the covers over my head. Just because this blog looks dormant doesn’t mean I’m not doing something. This blog is a placeholder. I write anywhere from 500-3000 words a day. Every. Single. Day. Some of them are public. Some of them are not. Once in awhile I do 5000 and then come up for air feeling very disoriented.
I had a plan a couple of years ago. It was a good plan. Great big stuff happened all around me, blowing up my 3, 6, and 12 month work schedule. I revamped, salvaged like a madman, and spent a crazy year recreating even though stuff continued to blow up all around me on a regular basis. I can complain about it, or I can roll with it and accept that this is my life and that’s how my stuff gets done, on the run in between the kinds of interruptions that would drive someone like Stephen King insane. Honestly, I’d like to see anyone be prolific and successful under my roof, but I’m rooting for moi in particular.
There is a book by Erma Bombeck called If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? I love her. She was very different from Stephen King. I doubt he ever produced a book with a manual typewriter on a card table in a corner of his kitchen full of dishes and kids. I don’t have an office, I don’t have hours I can block off without interruptions, and I certainly don’t have anyone to talk to in real life about the ups and downs of wrestling a pile of books out of one’s head when they’re all trying to come out at once while both my daughters are having babies. So I resort to other authors for therapy for the “unspeakable horrors of the literary life”, like Unstrung Harp, Or, Mr. Earbrass Writes a Novel by Edward Gorey.
My ADHD husband is being exceptionally patient with this process, and if he can be this patient, so can my publisher. If this runs on for ten years or something, yes, then I’m as bad as Larry from Throw Momma From the Train, but we’re not there yet and I don’t have any sign of writer’s block.
I’ve thought about shutting off my public content for awhile, including a vacation from twitter, but I remember what I was like before I found twitter and started up my public writing again, and I don’t see good things coming of that. I don’t see marketable content coming out of me shutting myself off from the world. If anything, all that will do is quickly kill the web presence I’ve worked so hard to reestablish. After some thought, I decided that family takes priority the rest of December and I’m going to enjoy the holidays, especially as so many in the recent past have been very difficult. I’m going to enjoy being public and sharing my life with my friends and family.
January will be a different story. I’m very tired of this dragging on and want this current project ~done~. I’ve also started plans on the next project. I’m ready to move along and start really having fun with all this stuff that’s in my head. I’m crossing all my phalanges that moving forward will continue to grow easier, as it has over the last couple of months. As I finalize the initial push onto a new track in my life, this blog will become my touch base for product. In the meantime, happy holidays!
Despite my negligence, I am getting roughly 10-20 views a week on this blog and on my way to 600 total views from 36 countries so far. I’m assuming most of these are Lexx fans or people who know me from twitter. San Francisco is my top visitor, so hello west coast, how’s it going over there.
Since I stopped updating this blog a couple of months ago, I made an abrupt decision to just go ahead and do a swoop rescue on my ongoing crippled blog salvage. A large part of what I’m working on in my book revolves directly around my personal growth as a spoonie aspie on social media in and out of very public fandoms, and I think it’s vital that the ‘blog empire’ I worked so hard on for so many years not disappear just before a book launch largely based on what a difference that made in my life.
I began with Xanga in 2004 and am currently one of their top financial investors. I’m not rich, but I paid to move 9 blogs, most of them private work I was doing. I still have faith in its future, but for now- ug. I went from beautifully mobile streamlined glossy magazine style blogs to scratch and dent third grader nonmobile blogs overnight when that server migration hit. Seven weeks passed before I could even get back into my blogs, and the dismal code smash that met my eyes was so depressing I almost lost heart. I have quite probably (and friends who’ve emailed with me in the past can attest to this) written 2 million words or more since I started blogging, much of it basically being held in private storage in protected posts.
It’s easy to archive, yes. But I had created an experience. Many a late night alone in the dark, in anguish and dread and fear and pain, I lurked the interwebs and found solace in other people creating marvelous distractions. I found other people alone in the dark, working to keep the monsters under the bed, making it through day by day with all their wide plethora of challenges that humans must face before we die. I found kindred souls whispering softly through my eyeballs into my brain, marvelous things they could do with gifs and paint and shop and movie maker and wysiwig and webcams. I saw the world changing, becoming a better place, because people who were stuck in their little lives found freedom in sharing what they love on the internet.
I am recreating the experience that disappeared on September 1, 2013. I am moving my blogs, post by post, laboriously recoding as I go, and reestablishing WHY I am here. I am the only person on this earth doing what I am doing. What I am doing is important. When I’m more done and that first book comes out, this will all make sense.
I decided in 2008 to go public with having Asperger’s, depression, and the challenges of living with autoimmune flareups and crippling fibromyalgia. Most people who knew me from fandoms had no clue. I expected to be boooed because I’d already been through some mud and rock slinging, but to my surprise I suddenly gained more friends and my traffic zoomed through the roof. Being an asocial aspie with fairly severe social anxiety, I panicked and shut everything down. I had people from all over the world contacting me wanting to know more, wanting my opinion on their own challenges, wanting a friend. It was pretty overwhelming. In hindsight, I can see that we were all going through the growing pains of becoming a public group mind together. Thankfully, twitter came along and suddenly all of that just made sense.
I figured out early on that I don’t like piling all my stuff into one blog. I don’t want my bad days mixed into my fun days. It’s also too much to expect readers to sort through the whole pile to find what they’re most interested in. I maintain a fleet of blogs for that purpose- to make it easy on the reader. Expecting someone else to work for the entertainment they get runs counter to being entertained, unless they like following clues and solving puzzles. Now there I can help you because I have a little fun easter egging, so if you’re in for a long night and have an itchy click finger, I’ve got ya. You can click yourself silly all over my blogs and keep finding new stuff to keep yourself distracted from whatever angsty monster is throwing socks at you from under the bed.
Since this is the first time I’ve ever spelled out what I’m doing, here is a brief intro to the basics. A few people have enjoyed chasing me around figuring me out, but in case you just don’t have that kind of time to stalk me and still want the spoilers, here you go.
It all started with Print Shop and snail mail.
before I ever had a blog
Then I discovered website building on AOL Hometown and created Yablo’s House, which disappeared along with AOL Hometown and I hope to recreate again because it was awesome.
I made my first blog to keep in touch with my daughter while she was away in college, and from there it morphed into a Lexx fansite and is now growing its own little empire (again).
My second blog was actually an alien. The graphic was created by Victor Navone and the character I created based on that graphic was born in the first version of ecritters that no longer exists. I’m wanting to turn mRpl into a book down the road.
My third blog was about my chickens. The original is gone now, but I’m slowly recreating that one, too. And yes, there’s at least one chicken book coming (in story form, nothing technical) and hopefully video. I’ve already got a musician for the soundtrack.
My most surprising (to me) blog success is my spoonie blog.
When Xanga announced the big migration last year, I realized I need a hub and cobbled together a ‘verified’ blog on wordpress. It seemed (still seems) haphazard, but I also realized in process how vital this action was to being a literal description of the journey we all take learning to own our public selves while we juggle our private lives, which is also another big thing in the book I’m writing. I think the awkwardness of this blog is ideal for making several specific points, which I’ll get to in the book.
I also decided a little after New Year’s this last year to truly embrace being public and bring my personal blog out into the light. For many years I’ve blogged through my ‘stuff’ privately, honing my skillz as a writer, but I clearly needed to finish integrating my whole self onto social media to continue my personal growth. If I can handle being this public, I can handle getting published, right?
I’ve got other stuff out there- tumblr, pinterest, facebook, G+, etc, and it’s cool that I can channel feed from wordpress and blogger to those, but the last thing I really want to do is become redundant. I mostly use these other media as a touch base for people who want to follow or lurk or stay in touch without having to follow me around making new accounts, although I’ve seen that happen over and over, which is quite flattering. I’ve learned to take my lurkers very seriously. Some of my lurkers have been with me from the very beginning and know every single move I make online. That used to kind of freak me out, now it’s sort of comforting.
“How’s the book coming?” I could say it’s on hold while I get this blog salvage rescue done, but it’s not. It’s just temporarily slowed way down. I’ve got 5 weeks to finish the blog moves. I started 6 weeks ago. Some of the original blogs will get axed and some will be abandoned as I move content, and some will be reinvested in even though I might not be doing much more with them simply to retain the history, but once it’s done, it’s done this time. Xanga can keep taking its sweet time, but no more sweeping editor updates plowing through my codes while I’m trying to get this book done. I’ve already completely fixed two entire blogs only to find them wrecked again from webkit updates, and I can’t take this any more. It’s time consuming and frustrating and way more depressing than it ever should have been. J’adore Xanga, but time’s a wastin’ and I’m really close to force choking the invisible powers that be that would send me reeling disastrously through another holiday season on broken blogs.
Please understand that any other blog host would simply have just disappeared, taking all its contents into a black hole with it. I’ve seen other howls of despair in the night, and shudder at how close this may have come to my own weeping and gnashing of teeth. I’m grateful that the Xanga Team has put so much personal time and energy that they didn’t have to into saving my 2 million words from annihilation and oblivion, and I know I’m going to look back on this and laugh, hopefully all the way to the bank.
Thank you especially to the lurkers who check this dotcom daily and weekly wondering what’s up and when will I be back making a real announcement. You guys are gold.
In the meantime, rest assured I am very excited about several writing projects and can’t wait to get busy on those, as well.
I sent my beta readers a few samples and decided from the way they commented and advised me to go ahead and put a little more detail in (I’m getting too good at summarizing my thoughts since the days of 10,000 word emails) that I would also put more focus into a style I was playing around with. The comments were great, from very different readers, so my content is good, but if readers are asking for more as opposed to less, I’m thrilled. So no, manuscript submission hasn’t happened yet. It will.
When I finish it will be organized like 5 different books layed out together like a layer cake into one book, so if someone is more interested in, say sex and death from my angle vs cognitive challenges at various ages, they can skip sections and continue to see progress I made in particular areas. This way a non-aspie reader can follow some coherence. Aspies can be notoriously wordy, and I tend to want to go off-point and then gather too much into one conclusion.
I figure I’m developing an atypical writing style that mirrors how I actually skip around reading (I read books backwards sometimes, starting at the back to help me grasp the front) and my beta readers love this idea. My goal is to create something that helps readers experience my world, not just by telling stories, but by leading them through the woods of my thinking while I tell the stories without us all getting lost.
My biggest challenge is presenting the stories from several points of view. I’ve already made a beta reader cry, so I’m having to be careful about how I share my views as an aspie child so that it’s easier to see both my mom’s and dad’s points of view, too, in a world void of compassion for parents raising difficult children while still learning the value of emotional health for us all as the stories go along.
You hear people ask “If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would you do?” After some thought, I decided that if I could go back in time as the age I am now, I would be friends with my mom and tell her everything is going to be ok. The most important thing I could give her is a hug every time someone told her she was doing it wrong.
This book will be for all the parents of children who are not yet ready or able to hug, and for the children who will one day wish they could go back in time and let their parents know- Everything is going to be ok.