Of Characters and Things: Quinn Morgan

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.

Quinn Morgan.
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.




A Borking Potato and Char Siu Tofu

Today’s Borking Report….
Monday mornings are not the best Potato time and really who can blame him. The house was up early and he shuffled off outside to have his morning constitutional then shuffled to his living room bed. Then his Auntie called and there was a brief tussle in dressing him. It’s like dressing a limp toddler who doesn’t want to wear anything but his dinosaur underwear and who cares if we’re going to see grandma?
He had a lovely bork, came back and cavorted while we talked about tofu and how to prepare it… and I find out Auntie and her BF are using papertowels and their hands to press the water out of their tofu.
I gave them an unopened tofu press and said, welcome to the not doing that. We’ve been using tofu presses for centuries and maybe let’s not go backwards and use rolls of towels. Save the environment. Also, just twist the lever, put it in the fridge and walk off.
I also introduced her to char siu and chili crisps… and told her how to prepare it for pressed tofu. Well the char siu. Chili crisps go on anything.
Having a tofu press is great for removing all that excess water and then being able to soak it in a marinade or sauce to give it flavour. You also want to press the water out so you can deep fry the tofu after rolling it into seasoned cornstarch (potato starch works too) I think they call it corn flour but not to be confused with masa… a totally different corn flour.
Auntie also caught him in FULL BORK so…. this is him policing the neighbourhood and telling the lawn guys what to do.
From his Auntie Paige
Good morning!
Gus did not know I was standing by him for this picture and was shocked by it! He had otherwise been engaged in a good general Bork to tell the neighborhood to behave!
Thank you so much!
Best, Paige

A Borking Potato and A Quick Health Update

I don’t want to beat a dead kidney to the ground but… okay the kidney isn’t dead but fucking hell, it’s been a trial and a half in dealing with this. Got word I might be sporting all three tubes again because my body refuses to be managed. It’s like it is stubborn or something. So we’ll see. I need another surgery but when is the question. I do have to be in the UK in Sept so come hell or high water… or kidney bags, I’m going to go. Because I haven’t seen the Five in years and my heart and soul is hurting without them.

It was BORKING DAY yesterday and well, stuff kind of got away from me.
Mind you, Gus was raring to go and after struggling to get him dressed… which is something he does ALL the time… for some reason, he acted like he’d been the one pushing us to get him kitted up and we were somehow reluctant to do so.
The Potato can sometimes be an asshole.
But the weather has been cool in the morning and off he went. Trust me, you could hear him. Paige adores him and that’s lovely because the Potato can have opinions, sharing them with everyone… and her… as he goes about his route.
I love him to death but he’s an odd spud.
From his Auntie Paige:
This picture is Gus trying to decide who to bark at: the landscapers or the dog across the street. He chose to do both! 🙂
Thank you so much!

First Bork of June!

Today’s Borking Report!
Auntie Paige was on vacation and I’d been doing the surgeries so Borking has been missing from Gus’ life but today, the Potato was able to go out.
Of course, we were talking a bit and got scolded because he wanted to go and there was just too much chatting. He’s hilarious when he scolds because there’s absolutely NO mistaking what he means. We were holding things up and he wanted to go on his tour.
So off he went.
He came back so freaking happy and it took a bit to strip him from his kit. And I can tell it was a good walk because he’s PASSED OUT in the middle of the living room floor.
It’s good to be a Potato today.
From Auntie Paige:
Gus took a nice long pee in your neighbor’s yard just at the outset of the walk. On our way back we were a yard or so behind a chocolate lab on a walk and Gus followed with gusto! 🙂
Best, Paige

Sunday Morning… Go for a ride…

Well, despite what the Beatles say, no riding for me for a bit. I’ve been banned from driving until I get thru the meds but to be fair, I’m also the victim of surprise naps so driving isn’t in the cards at the moment but hell, the Firebird is SO dirty. Even sitting in the garage. So, I’ll have to sneak drive him over to the car wash (very close) and get him bathed.**

The weather here’s been nice and I’d love to write something. Which I might actually do a short story. That’ll be good. Something I can bite into and chew then move into something heavier. An amuse-bouche for my brain.

Right now I’m waiting for a boba order to show up. Thank God for Doordash. And that I live in San Diego and I can get boba delivered to my house. 😀

Hope everyone’s okay and well, that you’re taking a bit of self-care today. Remember, hydrate and breathe.

** I’m not serious. No driving for me. 😀

Recovering and Well, Stumbling Thru A Fog

Since I am piling up surgeries (Three by the last count), one of the main issues is that when they put you under and bring you back out, you’re kind of in a fog. Like stupid foggy things. Like forgetting your cat’s name. Mostly I’ve been taken medications and of course tending to the latest incision which hurts like a fucking son of a bitch.

So that’s been a thing.

All in all, aside from dealing with the Russian Roulette of “Which surgery did I get THAT pain from and should I tell the doc”, it’s been going okay. Lots of sleeping. And of course a struggle to regain control of my various body parts.

Gus’ Auntie Paige is on vacation so he hasn’t had a bork but I think he’s okay with it. Or he’ll complain to her that we don’t love him when he sees her next. Currently he’s snoring away.

I have discovered I need to re-read something in order to write the next one so that’s going to be my task this weekend. Which does happen. To get the feel of the book and also to remember who I killed. That’s very important. Also, refreshing what my brain remembers helps because things change in edits and sometimes my brain refuses to make that the new reality. That’s the worst of it.

Hoping all of you are doing okay. I’m going to try to re-engage in life now that hopefully I’ve had the last of the cutting into me. I leave you with the Pretzel of my cat, Gojira. Goji is an odd thing. Delightfully chaotic and loving at the same time. She’s a bit of a menace.

Mid-May Borking Report

Today’s Borking Report!
I was dead asleep when Paige arrived. I’ve not been sleeping well at night, joints and muscles hurting and well, today is also the day I go in to get a CT scan to see if things are healed up enough for me to get the tubes out tomorrow. So… if they don’t come out, I have no idea what I’m gonna do because dudes…
But this isn’t about me, it’s about the Borker who actually had to be rousted out of bed this morning. And then he decided he wanted to go potty BEFORE his Auntie got here. Then he went into full seal mode while getting his kit on in the hopes of a belly rub.
But Auntie Paige came and took him out. Which he apparently enjoyed thoroughly. And now, he’s snoozing in his bed, enjoying the mild weather and the light breeze we have coming thru the open doors of the house.
Sometimes, a Potato just needs a chill day.
From his Auntie Paige:
Gus walked to the stop sign and told the world he was there! 🙂 Then on the way home, one door over, he found some lovely grass to roll on and happened to get his muzzle off! It was so close to home that I just carried it with us and there were no incidents.
Cheers, Paige

Long Awaited Borking Day!

The Borks were postponed for a few weeks mainly due to my surgeries then Paige going on vacation followed by her making sure she didn’t get COVID so her tests were out for a day… came back negative and well, TODAY WAS A BORKING DAY.
Now yesterday I had a home visit from the nurses and the Potato was in the back of the house which can I tell you, he did NOT want. He complained and cajoled until finally he was let out to come visit and he went insane with joy and hyperactivity, which is so not his thing. But he got a lot of love and praise from them and he wheedled around for many scritches.
He does have another bout of spring allergies/hives so we’re waiting for his script to be called in so he can get some relief from the itchiness. He’s been getting wound care on the spots and wearing a donut which he hates. But soon, pupper.
So the Borking today was definitely something he was ready for. Paige forgot to text so we weren’t aware she was on her way which is normally when we kit up the Potato but she got here and he was all…. GET ME DRESSED! TIME TO BORK. He headed out for a good long bork and did trip a little bit but he’s fine. Probably just charging forward and not watching where he’s going. Because Borking is SERIOUS business.
From his Auntie Paige:
Here’s a picture of Gus looking resplendent in purple and blue! Like I mentioned he stumbled a little on our way back but seems fine- and even took a few minutes to roll on the lawn. 🙂
Best, Paige

Where the Hell Am I?

I had someone I adored dearly.
And in an odd moment, clearly lost their compass and severed contact with me after sort of painting me with an abrasive, toxic brush…
It was curious, hateful, and confusing but sadly I still miss them and keep wondering how the fuck did they get to there? Because I’m the same person as I’ve always been.
Well, minus the craziness in my guts.
Not to say that I couldn’t have been bitchy, mean, or grumpy while under the influence of all this shit. I hope not. But it is a clear possibility, along with poor spelling.
I mean, yeah… I’ve noticed a bunch of fellow authors I’d thought I had decent friendships sitting in silence and while that saddened me, I bear them no ill will. If they came back to circle around for friendship, they would be welcome.
Okay, not the ones that said they hoped I die of cancer or threatened me with dire physical things. Because those people seriously are not welcome. I don’t need to be pickled in toxic juices.
For the most part in my life, I do try to be helpful and civil and you know, I don’t always hit the mark. There have been times when I flat out am just a growly badger and snap and bite. I do try to apologize at those times. I also know I’m kind of reserved in a lot of situations, which I actually didn’t realize until a few years ago. So it’s been a journey of…. shit, let’s see who I am coming out of these surgeries and the removal of a source of intense constant pain.
It’ll be interesting. I hope I’m an okay person. I’ll still fuck up. I’ll still have Aspergers and people will still confuse me but you know what, so long as the neighbour’s cat likes me, I’m good.
It’s a weird space to be in right now and well, I’m looking forward to decorating it once I’m past the fog and noise.