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Misfits & Matches

“You can’t grow without acknowledging that we are all made up from the weirdness that we try to hide from the rest of the world.”
― Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things


In this newsletter, I’ve included a flash fiction story about misfits, and I can’t get the word out of my mind.

I feel camaraderie with the word whenever I hear it—in my life, I’ve been a part of a great many groups but belonged in few. I don’t say this for the pity, nor do I begrudge anyone any eye rolls, because I look at it as a scientist would study a moth’s wingspan; interesting, noteworthy, but with distance.

Ultimately I’ve come to terms with my tendency towards being a misfit. I have a strange, slightly macabre sense of humor and an ingrained need for equanimity that makes social interaction difficult at times. I don’t like gossip, and petty frustrations can get on my nerves.

These traits have leaked into every aspect of my life, even to my reading and writing habits. I’ve all but given up on bookstore trips, as my tastes lean towards the ‘odd’ and quirky’, which isn’t really a category (it should be!) Writing summaries for my own fiction is near impossible, and categorizing it is always a challenge as I bounce between archetypes.

One of the most difficult things in my life has been seeing this as the strength it is instead of a weakness. Now, for all my self-confidence issues, the way my brain processes ideas differently than others is something I can take pride in. A lot of us are taught that in order to be intelligent we need to breed conformity, but our ability to innovate relies on our ability to deviate from standard ideas and create new ones from those foundations. Creativity relies on the misfits, the weirdos, the strange ones, the people who see the world from a different perspective.

So to my fellow misfits, I want to give you permission to have pride in the way you look at the world. Be joyful for the parts of you that make you different, the parts of you that make you who you are.

You’re in good company.

There are some people when you meet them that have a quiet sense of worldliness that transcends language. Even though our ‘meeting’ was over a few paragraphs across miles, I got that same sense of composure when I ‘sat down’ with David Rae to talk about his dark fantasy novel, Crowman (which I reviewed last week), along with his upcoming works.

 
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Whenever I write long fiction, I always create a Spotify playlist that fits the 'mood' of the piece I'm working on. This could include songs that fit the area of the world, fit the mood of a certain scene, or fit the attitude of a certain character.
 
Though The Fable of Wren has not been released, and is instead being queried for publication, I thought I'd give y'all a little inkling into that world through some of the songs that were the backdrop for writing it.
 
Lou Willingham and myself started the #RueLouPrompts on Twitter, where every other week we challenge writers to create a flash fiction story (500 words or less) based off a prompt we provide. This week's prompt was "I'll be your misfit."

It wasn’t that the dog was ugly, per se.

It’s fur was sparse, mismatched lengths in a mottled grey and brown where it hadn’t been shaved. It’s skin was pink with tiny bumps raised along the shaved areas—the adoption card said it’d recovered from mange. It was medium height, longish but not long, with legs that were shortish but not short. An in between that wasn’t quite enough of either to be cute, but rather came off as odd. In the low light of the shelter, it’s eyes—her eyes, the car said—seemed jet black, like they would suck your soul from your chest. Like she could devour you with just those beady black eyes from where you stood.

Okay. Maybe she was just a little ugly.

But so was he.

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Next Week in Sparks:


We take a look at Tiny Tales by Jana Jenkins, a quirky little book of hundreds of microscopic stories that run the gamut of genres and moods.
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