Inspiration can come from the strangest places and from the most unlikely people; be it an actor or a rock band. They help you get through a difficult time or set you on a new path. They can make you see yourself in new light or encourage you to think creatively.

Recently when I lost my job I at first thought I could get through this but the truth was I couldn’t. I fell into a different kind of depression. Usually my depressive episodes are short and very intense and I have some very upsetting and worrying thoughts, and then it’s over. This depression was so mild at first I didn’t see that it was depression.

Like many others I saw Prison Break and The Flash actor, Wentworth Miller’s reaction do someone making a hurtful and body shaming meme of him. We all know how it went: he revealed he had depression and seeing that meme really made him to want to end his life, but instead he came out and just explained how it made him felt and the situation he was in and was met with a lot of positivity from sufferers of depression or from people who have been body shamed or just all round decent folk.

Since then I always kept Wentworth in mind. I knew him from The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. When I saw him as Leonard Snart in Legends of Tomorrow I started to see him in another way. I saw his struggle, the pain in his face. Whether it was really there or not didn’t matter. I related to him. He was just like me, going through the same things and his job was something I wanted to be.

But I wasn’t inspired to be an actor. I’ll get to that soon.

After I lost my job I felt defeated. I couldn’t just continue the jobseeking. I really couldn’t continue much anymore except play videogames, read comic books and binge watch The Flash, Gotham and Arrow. At times I would think how would Wentworth get through this?

The next thing that happened was I lost my confidence as a band photographer and started to avoid going to shows that I could photograph without media access. I decided to look up Wentworth’s Facebook page. There I found that he was helping to raise awareness about depression and I got to learn his story. I followed his page and most days I would find posts about positivity and self-care. His personal posts were so gentle, non-judgmental and with an open mindedness I’ve not seen in a long time.

When I found out he was a screenwriter I wondered how could he write when he was so depressed, but then I decided to give it another go and even though I went with writing a novel before the screenplay, it made me feel better. Wentworth’s posts also helped me admit that I had depression at all, something that I would only admit to as a part of my cyclic moods. Then, after writing on his page that it wasn’t difficult to admit to people that I didn’t think I could do my band photography anymore, I started to tell people.


I’m happy to say my confidence in my band photography has been restored since I photographed Anti-Flag, and because they share my political views I’ve been listening to them, following them online to keep me motivated. However, The Liberal National Party and One Nation have given me plenty of reasons to stay motivated; The Adani Coal Mine, cuts to welfare, lockout laws, climate change denying, etc. And because they’re an angry punk band they’ve also made me feel ok about not always being modest and inoffensive to people. In training myself to have adequate social skills I had to learn to see things from different perspectives, this turned me into the most polite and agonizing person to debate with, as I never said anything to get people angry and never reacted with anger. But as someone affiliated with socialist parties and fighting for change, this poker face persona I put up just doesn’t work. It’s ok to be angry, especially about the injustices happening in the world, insult people (as long as they’re from the LNP and voted Pauline Hanson) and use emotive phrasing.

I would not have these views if it wasn’t for a certain lead singer by the name of Dennis Lyxzén. First when he was in The (International) Conspiracy and then I went back to listen to his former band, Refused. Funny thing is Refused are now his current band and T.(I).N.C is his former band. Everything I believe in, the whole way I view the world, especially the blindness of society and the deception of the media, is because of him. I was inspired to read up about Marx, Guy Debord, and The Situationist International because of him.

It was guitarist of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, Tom Morello that introduced me to Phil Ochs though and for that I am so very very grateful.


It wouldn’t be right to not mention Phil Ochs on his birthday. Phil did not just sing folk songs that resonated with the far-left but the people he wrote about, he empathised with them deeply. It was almost like he was a storyteller and achieved what many authors try to accomplish: to go into the very psyche of the people you write about, that you become them. Some of his songs are real tear-jerkers for that reason, like The Spanish Civil War Song, There But For Fortune, What Are You Fighting For and Hands. Even his songs about J.F.K can make you feel something deeply for the slain President. It could be that folk music itself is very emotional with its soft guitar strumming and gentle-voiced singer, or it could be all the variables.

Phil’s story is a sad one and one I relate to. His most personal songs cannot be listened to by me when I’m going through depression without keeping a dry eye. There will never be another Phil Ochs in my opinion. He was one of a kind and too good for a world that doesn’t care.

Inspiration for storytelling can come from just about anywhere. Damien Walter is a writer I look up to and consider a teacher. My dad held the title of an Archarya (teacher) as a yogi. Would I go as far to call Damien, Archarya? He inspires me to keep writing my stories. I watch a lot of science fiction, read a lot of it and read comic books and watch its inspired shows, and this helps inspire some ideas or themes in my writing. I first was inspired to be a writer during the Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who. First, I was inspired to find out every inch of Doctor Who lore I could find. Second, I found Russell’s stories so emotionally heart-jerking that I wanted to become a writer myself.

I’ll give you a bit of explanation here: as an autistic person I don’t express a lot of emotion, I feel them very strongly but it’s a jumbled mess of sensations rather consciously understanding what they are (alexithymia), or rather this is how it was before. When around other people I got the same mess of sensations from them. I finally get to see how people use and respond to emotions because of the contained environment I’m in and my 100% engagement in the show. This is basically how I learn social skills.

The most inspirational of stories in TV and film are through science fiction. I’m often confused as to why Star Wars is so popular. I enjoy the movies, they are a fun sci-fi romp but they don’t inspire me to write. I get that from Star Trek, Stargate, Doctor Who, Ender’s Game and most science fiction stories that have more themes than just a fight against good and evil, and they need to have quite a lot of detailed scientific explanations in them. I call it nerd porn, ha. It’s more about the challenge of making these very complex ideas work in science fiction that excites me about them. Like time travel stories. I used to avoid writing about them because I got confused by them, but after playing Quantum Break and reading about how they explained it all it made so much more sense, so now it’s a challenge I take on.

However, while playing Star Wars: the Old Republic I did get somewhat inspired to create background lore.

Game developers Bungie also inspire my writing. Their lore for the video game Destiny comes from a lot of Greek mythology. The fact that they use this mythology and turn into a fantasy inspired science fiction world makes me want to create something like that on my own. The stories in video games are so cinematic these days many have inspired me to write stories.

There was actually a book that I was discouraged to read, the Book of Enoch and the Apocrypha in general. I was raised in a Christian home where Marxism, evolution and the Apocrypha was frowned upon. So naturally, the first chance I could find out about that stuff I did. And The Book of Enoch is especially inspiring to me because of its fantasy themes and it feels rebellious to make that the central focus for my first novel. It’s not your usual mythology used in science fiction so there’s an air of originality using it.

I could probably mention more people, books, films, issue #133 of Batman that inspired me but I won’t.


Out with the old, in with the new

For three years I’ve been working on my first science fiction novel but I always had doubts about it. There were just a few things about it that bothered me. For starters, the plot sounded more like an episode of Doctor Who than what you would find in a science fiction saga, which is what I was going for. Maybe The New Doctor Who Adventure series of novels which I have read quite a number of. Secondly, the story didn’t seem to flow. I want to tell a story where the action just propels it forward and doesn’t stagnate or pause and then have to be started up again. That probably made no sense. It only would if you read the first few chapters of my novel. I also thought it wasn’t sci-fi enough. I was way too literal and it all seemed so realistic it was kind of dull.

The point is I just wasn’t happy with it. I had exhausted myself with research. I looked into game theory, complicated physics I barely understood which I wracked my brain over to get a vague idea of what it meant, and studied science fiction while watching or reading it. I researched everything. I taught myself to think like a verbal thinker instead of falling into the trap most visual thinkers do like assume people see what I see in my mind so there’s no need to describe it. I even studied people when we sat down and talked together in a group. Often people stopped and just looked at me gawping at them. Oh, ignore her – she’s just learning social skills.

Lastly, I really wanted to jump start into writing a futuristic sci-fi story and had I stuck with the original story that wouldn’t have happened until book 3. I tell you what though I am going to miss Lochner and Mason, two characters I came up with that had a lot of personality.

I didn’t want to give up at first but because of my poor ability to concentrate or write with a completely cleared thoughts (it’s an ADHD thing) I felt writing a novel would be too overwhelming and I just wouldn’t stick with it. So, I decided to write the story as a screenplay. It was all working out fine until my worries about CG1 came in. If I was serious about this then I had to sell it to someone who was going to put high end graphics in it. Something told me that wasn’t going to happen. I don’t exactly live in the land of opportunity. I live in Australia whose film industry is kind of young compared to America, and they don’t exactly have the budget to make a movie like Super 8. By the way, my story was nothing like Super 8, more every sci-fi show I’ve ever watched mixed together.

My next great idea was to go back to writing books, but not a full length novel, maybe something for the YA crowd, or even younger, and maybe go the Orson Scott Card way when he first penned Ender’s Game – do it as a novella first.

By this time I had completely shelved the original story as another synopsis came to my mind from God knows where. Actually, I loved the sci-fi world I had created and still wanted to write about it and use similar themes because something in my brain was telling me people had to hear what I have to say. With all this talking about putting a label on normal – the timing was perfect!

As I type I have boxes of notes for the extinguished Working Memory novel. It all won’t go to waste. I’ll recycle it. Haha, kidding. I will recycle some of it but I’m sure I can borrow some ideas from it and put it into my new story.

I’m excited for this new project. For those that don’t know I have a highly visual thinking style and can basically dream up movies in my head – in just half of a day I watched a synopsis for this story unfold and by the end of the day I saw how it ended, when I was distracted by my thoughts while sitting on my couch while trying to watch TV – and if I can’t write down what I see I go a bit crazy. I’ve been imagining these rich environments with well developed characters and complete plots since I was about five years old. OK, it took a few years to develop my imagination in this way. I used to dream up scenes and then by age eight I was watching movies from beginning to end in my head.

You can understand why I’m so desperate to be a writer and share my ideas with the world?

I think my best way to write this novella is quickly and not worry too much about details yet. It goes well with my fast thinking brain and very short attention span, as well as the huge amount of focus I put into my writing when I’m capable of doing it that it leaves me completely drained. And writing it as a novella for a adolescent audience just takes a bit of stress off me because the language doesn’t have to be so pedantic and the descriptions not as in depth because that’s not what I’m going for. Also, I want to write for a young audience. I want my protagonist to be young not just because it was children’s movies that inspired me to be a storyteller but because I want to give my young nephews a story about a young hero they can relate to. Children who don’t quite fit the mold of what society thinks they should be will relate to the character, and so will some adults who grew up thinking that and who still have to put up with being seen as an oddball.

I just want to write something to completion to know that I can. I tried to get a basic 9-5 job but no one ever wanted to hire me so now I have to earn a living some other way. There’s the odd couple hundred bucks from a live band photography shoot but those are scarce to come by and I’m still not sure if I want to take it to a professional level. I feel like I was born to be a writer despite my learning disorder that I suffered with all throughout school.

Did I mention I’m excited? Well, I am. I really can’t wait to get started and update you all on my progress. But first I have to write a post for Autism Acceptance Month, which is almost completed anyway.