I read that title as ‘The Greatest Snowman’ every single time, and get surprised by it every single time
But why.

probably because there’s not enough snow in my life

Me, sitting up an saying to myself in a stern no-nonsense voice, practically biting out:

“And now I’m going to sit up, and take my medicine, and go brush my face and wash my teeth and go to bed and not think about all this mess at all!”

…and I can’t even talk myself down without sounding like and idiot. True story.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve never grown out of the baby-talk. Not the one adults use to talk to babies, but the one when babies can just babble on and on by themselves or at someone, and when people speak back to them, they may have a genuine desire to communicate, but they kind of speak in entirely different language, about entirely different thing, without noticing. And sometimes I feel like I keep talking out loud because I’m waiting for someone to not only speak back in the same language, but also say something that I didn’t already hear the voices in my head say like 50 times before. Preferably something nice.

I howl. And I listen back.
And when someone answers but doesn’t say the right thing I, depending on my state, either sigh tiredly and turn away, or snarl back. And it’s stupid and not fair to anyone, but is life. Sort of. And sometimes I’m sorry for not being adult and sane enough to interact with everyone reasonably (and be properly grateful for everyone who tries to respond whether they’re helping or not), but sometimes I’m not sorry anymore, and I forget to care about pushing blameless people away, because I’ve been howling into the emptiness practically all my life. Yet still too stubborn to just shut up.

Liane Holliday Willey Pretending to be Normal


Linguistics and the act of speaking itself, have always been among my keenest interests, but I did not become immersed in the treasures they awarded until I studied them in high school. Words, and everything about them, hold my concentration like nothing else. On my over-stuffed bookshelf sit several thesauruses, a half dozen dictionaries, famous quotations books, and a handful of personal reflection journals. Language appeals to me because it lends itself to rules and precision even more often than it does to subjectivity. Put together in the right sequence, taking into account things like tone, perspective, implications and intent, a writer can tweak and bend words until they say precisely what they should. I am fascinated with the opportunities words provide. I love everything about them, especially the power they yield. Some words can please my eyes, given that they have the symmetry of line and shape I favor. Other words can fascinate me by the melodies they sing when they are spoken. Properly handled – with care most of the time – words can work miracles on my sensibilities and my understanding of the world, because each one has its own personality and nuance and its own lesson to teach.

Not everything about this resonates with me. But what it does is remind me of that feeling of absolutely needing words to be right. Feeling them as images and physical shapes, and getting very frustrated when I can’t manage to find the right words to form the right pictures, and when people ask ‘but what is “right”?’ like I’m preoccupied with something that shouldn’t matter… Or why languages fascinate me and I feel like I need to learn more and more of them all the time.


Sometimes, the care I give to words can throw me into an obsessive compulsive ritual. I typically end up spending far too much time selecting which word to use and too much time reworking a sentence so that it looks and feels and sound right. This all translates into fixation that can grind my thought process to halt. When I get like this, I cannot concentrate on anything else, not a thing, until I have found the perfect term or phrase I need. This tendency can make my experiences with the written word tedious, at least in terms, at least in terms of time and other missed opportunities, but never meaningless or futile.

Unfortunately, in my case, I am not in the place yet where I would be able to say that last bit, about it not being futile. Also because sometimes, when I try to think about it too much, I lose track of all words, their meanings lose all colours and get all mixed up in my head. To the point where something completely different from what I intended comes out, and I can’t even tell anymore. I’m chasing myself between these two extremes all the time.

The point is, that even on those shittier of days of mine, the image that still carries me through those shittier days is the one of me finally holding at least one of my finished books in my hands. And it’s not about whether people are actually going to read it, or whether I’m going to try to get it published in the traditional way or put some money away and work out how self-publishing works. It’s about making it solid, and putting it in right words that will paint the right images and connect into that story that I’m trying to tell. And that voice in my head that keeps telling me that I will never able to do it because I’m broken in the head and can’t even connect words in sentences properly (unless it’s an angsty blog post) can just go and… suck on something nasty.

When I finally find the right words and manage connect them in the right way for the story, reading them back, feeling the tiny parts of it really come alive, makes me feel like home.

Which always reminds me of the Alfred Kazin quote.


“One writes to make home for oneself, on paper.”

For someone who doesn’t really have anything else that feels like home, this is sort of important.

On my shittier days I can’t help but think about how, logically speaking, my specific Asperger’s likely makes writing not a thing I should be really focusing on.
I feel words a little differently from most people. I see them in specific pictures, colours, and tastes, I also often lose track of what they really mean, making up meanings and uses of my own. Sometimes it means that typos and mistranslations are the funniest things possible for me in the world, because of the pictures they make up, and sometimes it means that I think that “cooked a brow” is a thing, think “door” and write “tree”, and can’t stop thinking Singapore must be a hardly inhabitable country somewhere very cold, and that Eskimo live there (and it doesn’t matter that I know exactly where Singapore is and even had friends from there, my brain will still paint a Siberian scenery every time I say the word, since I was a child.) 
I’ve lost count of how many times I had to edit out logically impossible sentences, and, unfortunately, the important part is not that I manage to find them at some point, but the part where it takes me years and dozens of checks until I actually do realize that something is wrong with the way I described things.
It terrifies me how ironic it is that I actually work editing and proofreading things every day, when I’m like this. But, apparently, I’m pretty good at catching logical inconsistencies within other people’s writing, while I can’t notice them at all when I write them myself. 
I really struggle with putting things I see in words, and then I struggle all over again with re-arranging them into words that make sense to someone other than myself.
But the thing is, for some reason, I really need writing to be the thing for me. And I felt this way ever since I first begun reading. I started writing my first story when I was 8 or 9. I asked my parents for a typewriter, and they gave me Windows95. But when I first typed out the first chapter of my story, the people I was learning how to read good books from, read it without my permission and laughed so hard at the way I was using my words, quoting the ridiculous parts out loud, that I dropped any ideas of writing things. Because they were still quoting that stuff to me for years, and I felt hurt. And also because I understood that even though they were laughing, I still couldn’t see what was wrong with it at all, and it scared me. So I decided that I will be content enough with making up stories only inside of my head and writing only some things down in my diaries, because my handwriting is indecipherable anyway. I do wish I didn’t waste all those years now, but apparently learning to not hurt when people reject and dismiss the things that are important to you takes a lot of time. Or at least to hurt less and learn how to move on and try again.

I tell myself that I still can be optimistic and try to believe that I can do it. That I’ll just have to find a very patient person to ask to be my editor and comb through my my words to make sure I’m saying what I think I’m saying. But I still feel like an idiot stubbornly trying to swim against the current in the wrong river on most days.

I felt like a pretty dirty-minded person… when I found myself secretly taking a picture of a hair product on a shelf in my hair salon. 
But I just couldn’t help it. 
First, I saw the title and thought… “well. okaaay…”
… but then my eyes wondered over all the ‘xxtra hard’, ‘keep it up! all day!’ and ‘try it! you’ll like it!’, and I almost lost my eyebrows, because I didn’t even know what I was looking at anymore…
I probably need to try harder to keep my mind out of the gutter…