I hope that wherever/whenever you’re reading this you have an enjoyable, relaxing Christmas. I’m not going to be posting for the next couple of weeks as I’ll be off for Christmas too. But come the seventh of January I’ll be back with my standard weekly articles on autism, and some exciting new projects. Let me take you through them.

The Poetry of Autism

This is a small, hand bound, made to order pamphlet of poems that will be approximately thirty pages long. I’m collaborating on this project with emerging artist and freelance writer Joshua Williams, who has a diagnosis of high functioning autism. Our poetry is highly personal, and is intended to portray the daily challenges of living with ASD, whilst also celebrating the unique perspective people with autism have on life. Here’s a sneak peak:

Mermaids Song

Today I am deep underwater,

Can barely hear your voice

Through the pounding of waves on the shore.

Simple movements stretch into hours,

The water pressing down on every limb,

Cushioning me from the terrible blows

Of reality.

My lungs compress to the size of satsumas

And I know I must swallow relentlessly

Till my head breaks the surface.

The Poetry of Autism will cost around £3:00, plus an additional £2:99 for postage and packaging. It should be available to order by late January/early February. Since each pamphlet is handmade by yours truly, don’t be surprised if what you receive varies slightly in appearance from the photograph.

The Beauty of Awkwardness

The Beauty of Awkwardness is another writing project I intend to undertake during the New Year. I want to write a book. Not a handmade, printed off in my bedroom book but something that I can publish through… well, a legitimate publishing house. The Beauty of Awkwardness will be a selection of entertaining, informative and true stories by people who are affected by autism. I want the bulk of the stories to be written by people on the autism spectrum. I will also be accepting stories from people with autistic friends and family members. The aim of this collection is to humanise autism. I want the world to understand that people with autism are just people, not robots, or simpletons or troubled geniuses, and certainly nothing like the portrayal of autism in popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Through this biographical and autobiographical material I will also be able to explain issues like stimming, sensory overload and social isolation in a manner that is both entertaining and easy to understand.

If you are interested in taking part in this project then please email me at gwengreenwood@yahoo.co.uk for more details. I am looking for submissions between 1000 and 3000 words, which I will edit myself. Alternatively, if you don’t feel confident with your writing but have an important story to tell, you can send me a couple of paragraphs describing the event in question and I will write the story myself. I’d avoid sending submissions before 07/01/15 as I will not have access to my work email during the Christmas break.

***

Merry Christmas everyone, and thanks so much for taking the time to read and share my blog. Christmas can be a tough time for someone on the autism spectrum, as we’re expected to surround ourselves with friends and family constantly, which can lead to sensory overload and uncomfortable social situations. Whether you have a diagnosis of autism or not, please take time to relax alone and recharge your batteries. It’s impossible to embrace the Christmas spirit when you’re overloaded and exhausted.

Good Night

x

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