We're a little crazy, about science!

Another book chapter update

I haven’t talked about it much since there’s a lot of other things going on in life at the moment, but about a year ago I said I was picked to author a book chapter about my life basically (here). I’m really excited to tell my story in a cohesive and professionally edited way. I tell my stories here for sure, but this is more polished and better worded. While my blog writings are in the style of a written stream of consciousness (basically, I hardly edit what I write) this will have had several revisions.

Almost a year ago I pitched my story to a call for disabled students. The request was simple, a 3,000 words or fewer chapter about anything involving your disability and education. Well I was selected! It was surprising, but here I am writing away. The story has been done for basically the full year now. Or rather I put the story on paper and it’s been reshaped for clarity.

The editors have been amazing to work with and they both have given really good feedback and ways to improve the story. It’s been a slow process, I think we’re on version four now, but it’s almost ready! I’m very excited to see something I wrote in print. It just feels different somehow. Writing words digitally is fine, I do it all the time. Heck I even read books digitally! But having a physical version of what I wrote gives it some weight, both literally and figuratively. While the digital version will last forever (or long enough to be approximated as forever), the hard copy will rot. Yet even knowing this, a physical copy feels more permanent.

I’ve told my story so many times here, but this feels like the first time I’ve got it written out in a way that really captures the whirlwind that I went though. The edits didn’t change the story, they helped emphasize the points I was trying to share. It’s less of this *waves vaguely at my blog* and more like something you would expect from reading an autobiographical work. If I had to really pin it down, I think I would say that it’s less scattered and more focused.

My mind tends to get drawn all over the place and it doesn’t help that even when I’m writing these short posts I need to stop and walk away from it for a bit. Or something else grabs my attention, an email or twitter, whatever. Finding a way to focus on something is difficult and that’s probably the untreated ADHD, but it turns out being a veteran and getting that treated is damn near impossible. I did get treated once for a brief time and it was a short time in my life where I finally felt normal.

Anyway, see what I mean?

The editors help keep stuff like that from happening. They’ve kept me focused on telling the story without the random seeming filler (which always makes sense to share in my head, but I can look back and agree that it’s better removed). I’m editing the latest draft now and I should have it done today so I’m excited to see what happens next. There may be one or possibly two more edits, but it sounds like from the comments I’m basically finished.

Other book updates! They are paying us a small amount to tell our story, which I’m appreciative of because I would’ve gladly done it for free. They are also commissioning an artist to do portraits of the authors, which means I get to be drawn! I was turned into a comic book character for an outreach project for our lab, so it wouldn’t be the first time, but I suspect this will have a much more serious feel to it and less children’s book.

I don’t always look this confused… okay maybe I do.

It’s been a long journey and I’m very thankful to be part of it. The next update could very well be crossing the finish line. Of course, I plan on sharing the link to get the book once it gets published.

But enough about us, what about you?

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