Inktober 18/10/19: Misfit

Gail Simpson is, in many ways, a completely normal 32-year-old human. She has a flat, a dog, a leisure pod, a self-driving pod, an office pod and a sleep pod with inbuilt sensory entertainment.

But Gail has always known she’s different. When she told her teachers she loved avian taxonomy, it was a lie. A kaleidoscope barely entertains her for thirty seconds. More than anything, she just wishes everything could be louder. As she goes through life, she baffles everyone she meets with her odd habits and bungled attempts to bond with normal people. She informs tall people that they are tall, or disrupts everybody’s work by pointing out that it’s raining outside. She longs for a friend, but nobody – not even Gail herself – can see that, underneath her allism spectrum disorder, there’s a person worth loving.

That is, until she meets Dan. Dan doesn’t shy away when she meets him and asks a series of ridiculous and unimportant questions about his job, family, and whether or not he travelled far to get to this meeting. Taking her bizarre personality in his stride, he begins to see that allism doesn’t define Gail. She may be lacking in imagination or self-sufficiency. She may be clingy, annoying, and have a need to stand in doorways. But… does her disability also come with strengths?

Prompted by Dan, Gail finally shows the initiative she has obviously lacked for her entire life, and discovers the world of Allism Activism (or “Allivism” because allistic people are just awful with their portmanteaus). At last, she’s found her people: others who want everything to be loud. She joins a band and they invent a whole new genre: sensory soother music that ROCKS. The next thing she knows she’s rocketing to fame, and her life goes from pitifully empty to bursting at the seams. But will she forget Dan, the patient normal person who made everything worthwhile in her life happen?

Allist Celebrity is a commercial novel for adults, complete at 112k words. It has a standalone plot, but I see potential for a whole series of Gail’s clueless scrapes! A heartwarming and hilarious novel, it will make you laugh, cry, smile wryly, and wish that someone had told Gail the phone number of the Samaritans for God’s sake.

I, myself, do not have allism. However, I do have a niece with this heartbreaking disorder, so I have plenty of understanding of the condition. The idea for this novel was conceived when I saw her struggle to make friends. If we can start this conversation, we can persuade all the normal people to reach out to someone disabled and be their friend even if they’re rude and we don’t like them, or they claim not to need any additional friends. I’m proud to be an Allism Ally (or Allyist! As an awful, portmanteau-obsessed person with allism would no doubt say!).

I hope you have some interest in representing me, but whether you do or not, let’s get this trend started, and remind everyone that PEOPLE with allism are PEOPLE too. Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you soon.

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