I post these first in my Facebook Group and now will be posting them also here after a bit of time has passed. So without further ado… or a don’t… The first Of Characters and Things.
I’d actually wanted to do character studies for a while now and I think I am going to keep these posts only in this group then post to my blog later. There’s no way I’m ever going to do a Patreon because the pressure of having to come up with new content on top of writing and doing life in general is just too overwhelming. I would want it to be stellar content and well let’s face it, sometimes isn’t in the mix.
I was actually trying to decide what I would do first or rather who I would talk about first because there are quite a few things that I have thought up of in my mind and have never really written down. Of course I thought up them in my mind where else would I think them up? I’m doing this using DragonSpeak because it’s actually a good way to have a stream of conscious conversation about the topic and I don’t have to really stop and mull over what I want to say. Because a lot of things that I’ll be talking about in these kinds of posts aren’t really fully formed but rather are ideas and feelings that I developed while writing a certain character.
So bear with me as I begin this series that we are going to call Of Characters and Things.
I wanted to start off Quinn because he probably is the character that is the most raw and possesses echoes of me. I have always been very open about having Asperger’s so I wanted to write a character that wasn’t defined by his diagnosis on the spectrum. One of the biggest challenges that Aspies face is the inability truly read other human beings. I would say I constantly spend a lot of my life not only trying to fake having proper responses to everyday situations but also having to parse out what people really mean.
Sarcasm is lost on me for the most part and it is very rare that I actually am sarcastic. I work very hard to modulate my tone to inject a bit more humanity into it but oftentimes I know I come out sounding flat or disinterested. Even when I think I’m sounding excited. It’s hard to push to reach a level of expressed emotion that more neurochemical people can read. And the times that I do get excited, it’s usually about things that people are trying to figure out what the fuck I’m talking about and how the hell did they get trapped into a conversation about a particular moment in that Japanese history? And if you really want me to lose my shit, start me talking about color spectrums and their impact on our everyday lives and their cultural significance.
So, with my own self-awareness and armed with the knowledge that no matter how hard I try that I would never truly understand how most people think, I wrote Quinn Morgan.
Quinn was an interesting study of both ambition and Zen. In a lot of ways he is water compared to the rocks and fire in the Morgan family. All of the Morgans are their own forces of nature and in Quinn’s case he is actually someone who eases around conflicts and interferences. In Sloe Ride, Quinn is having to draw lines for the first time with his family. Habitually, he would either agree and do his own thing or go along with whatever direction someone tried to push him. But he was getting kind of sick of it. He already had conflict with Brigid and most of that is personality and her lack of understanding about how Quinn functions.
This doesn’t make her a bad mother. A very large obstacle — probably one of the largest Aspies face — is that we work so hard to appear human, that people forget we’re just pretty much confused lizards. Seriously. That’s kind of how I feel most of the time so I knew that Quinn would also have to feel that way. But then how do we navigate our world, especially when we don’t fit into it?
We either take things on faith and go forward the best we can or we get angry and resentful. Or a combination of both and in Quinn’s case, he’d reached the point where he became a combination of both. Especially when Rafe reentered his life and turned everything upside down. Up until that point, he functioned fine. He had his teaching, his cat, the squabbles with his brothers and sisters, and a sanctuary he could retreat to when the world got too loud.
So really what could he do when the pieces of his broken heart that he’d thought he’d put together began to ache again even when he was home and safe?
Rafe couldn’t be trusted. Not really. Drug use was rampant and he’d burnt through so many relationships but the Morgans promised they would stand by and Quinn knew he could never really stop being in love with Rafe Andrade.
You see, he wasn’t in love with the rock star. He grew up as the satellite of the Four Boys, always in the shadow of Connor, Kane, Sionn and Rafe. Skipping grades meant he attended classes with them but was never really involved in their extracurricular activities because he was too young. Perhaps it was puppy love or maybe there was a deeper connection between them but one thing was engraved in stone, Rafe did not even look at the third Morgan boy.
It was too much of a risk to his place in the Morgan family. They were really all he had, his only support system and messing around with a very young Quinn would mean his feet would be kicked out from under him and he’d be left out in the cold.
Or so he thought. Because Rafe, while charismatic and fairly intelligent, is kind of turkey stupid about trusting people to love him.
Quinn knows that. As an adult and more experienced with how people think and feel, Quinn instinctively provides Rafe the kind of support he truly needs. And Rafe gives Quinn the space and acceptance to be his own kind of weird…and Rafe kind really loves Quinn’s kind of weird. All of the quirks and twitchy things are what make Quinn and Rafe easily flows around Quinn’s need to have the spice cabinet arranged alphabetically or that the mustard on his sandwiches have to be on the bottom piece of the bread unless it’s pastrami in which case there needs to be tons of mustard on both sides. Or that the forks have to be a certain direction in the drawer or there can’t be any smudges on the bathroom mirror because Quinn can’t see around them. The absolutes in Quinn’s world, the it-must-be-this-way things are what Rafe accommodates without question and with a consistent support.
There’s no ‘can’t you just be normal’ moments with Rafe and Quinn. How does that saying go? What is chaos for the fly is normal for the spider.
And Rafe works hard to make sure Quinn’s world is normal for Quinn and for an Aspie that is such a rare thing. Because people forget. People don’t remember sometimes stuff just has to be a certain way and when they run headfirst into that wall… that invisible wall… they get annoyed, frustrated and angry at the person who’s just trying to force some of their logic on the chaos around them.
So that’s this bit of Quinn.
You can find Quinn and Rafe’s story in Sloe Ride.