$90.00 pledged of $1,000 goal
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By Michael Scott Monje Jr.
$90.00 pledged of $1,000 goal
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About

Clay Dillon knows nothing is right.  It's plain in every consequence to his actions.  He obeys the rules.  He obeys his mother.  He tries his best to help out the other children at school.  Still, he seems to have a hard time making friends, his temper is constantly in flux, and he can't shake the feeling that everyone he talks to is secretly making fun of him.  It was bad enough when he was very young and it was only his parents and his family doing it, but now that he's started the first grade, he has to face a world of people that he doesn't understand, and who don't seem interested in understanding him.

Clay's a smart kid--smart enough to be placed in the classroom that hosts the accelerated learning program... only he's not enrolled in it.  Instead, he watches and wonders what it is that everyone else has, what he's missing.

This book is the first chapter in a long writing project chronicling a life of autism.  Set in a first grade classroom in 1987, it shows not only Clay's inner life, but also the barriers to recognition that existed for verbal, average-IQ (or higher) autistics during the years after Rain Man and before the official inclusion of Asperger's syndrome in the DSM-IV.

My goal here is to be as uplifting as I am unflinching, and the episodes that make up the chapters of this novella detail the highs and lows that flying through life undiagnosed can bring.  Clay knows that he's not like the other kids, and he's smart enough to do a good job of hiding and suppressing his outbursts, but no amount of smarts will allow a seven year old to keep a lid on his emotions forever.

As of posting this Kickstarter, I have finished 5 of the 7 stories/chapters I intend to include in the project, and I've posted two of them on my site for you to check out.  Getting funded will buy me the time to not only finish the writing, but to take care of the editing and formatting process.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    AWARENESS: You will receive an e-book copy of the novella in your choice of formats (ePub, mobi, PDF) two weeks before it is released to the public.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    ACCEPTANCE: The AWARENESS reward, plus the standalone story "This Hollow Valley", featuring a grown-up Clay facing the breakup of his first major relationship

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SUPPORT: The ACCEPTANCE reward, plus a copy of the essay "Coming of Age in the Shadow of Rain Man" detailing my own childhood experience as an undiagnosed autistic.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    FRIENDSHIP: The SUPPORT reward, plus I write a standalone story from the POV of one of the supporting characters and give a copy to everyone who pledged $10 or more.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    BUDDY SYSTEM: The SUPPORT reward, plus I write a new essay about my childhood experiences as an undiagnosed autistic, which I will then include in the final edition of the book.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    SELF-ADVOCATE: The SUPPORT reward, plus I will write a blog post on the autism topic of your choice. (Minimum 1500 words, you pick the topic but not my stance.)

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Funding period

- (31 days)