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Oh Dear [deity] Will This Ever End

Let's jump right into the cut this time, shall we? Starting from where I left off earlier, my continued correspondence with a certain other person has gone down rapidly, then back up again when I finally put my foot down, then fluctuated a bit over the past hour or so, leading to what I honestly feel is a fair and reasonable resolution. As before, what they said is inside of blue boxes, and my emails are inside of pink borders.

Beginning just after I sent him the last message in my previous entry, I decided to turn my thoughts about what would happen if this went any further without being resolved into an actual reply, leading to sending him this:

You know, I just had another idea. Building on your offer to post my version of Prized Possession on your site and Furaffinity with your next update, would that include removing the first version again? If so, this is what I have in mind:

Going through the entire story (which I would do for you), and replacing all instances of my name with unspecific references. For example, changing "Karadur! What are you doing?!" to ""What are you doing?!", somebody shouted." and giving you that version to post with your next update. You would also need to change the description to say it was written for a commissioner who wishes to remain anonymous, but think about it. That way, the disability theme and everything related to it is yours, meaning there's no name to connect to saying "The commissioner isn't, but yes, the disability is autism", and the commission itself - the book I have right now and story at heart - will remain mine.

I personally think that's a fairly elegant solution, but you'll have to let me know. Once again, I would do most of the work for you, and would only require that you remove the first version after posting the second, anonymized one.

Otherwise, what I said in my previous message still stands, as do the second and third paragraphs of the same.

I did, and still do think that if it were to have actually come to that, then the above idea would be a good solution, but it's still not the most sensible one ever, because it would just give him exactly what he had before - my story, with free control to do and say whatever he wanted to with, and I couldn't stand for that. Around that time I got to talking in MSN with Dan Skunk about that though, and how it bothered me that even though in his first reply Feathertail said that the story didn't belong to any one specific person, he was still saying it spoke of what he wanted it to. That led to composing the following reply, which I didn't mean to send as soon as I did, but accidentally clicked outside of the textbox and pressed the space bar, which caused the message to be sent. It was as follows:

...and since you've yet to respond, I would also like you to consider the following, in terms of who the story actually belongs to.

Setting aside the cost for the cover, illustrations, and publishing of the book, I have now sent you $202 for what was supposed to be a $40 story. In other words, I paid for it. Prized Possession would not exist if I hadn't commissioned you. I defy you to tell me that it is not *MY* story with those two things in mind.

You will either comply with the original request I made in that Pastebin message - remove / hide the offending comment, and my response to it, or be prepared to write a new story for me of equal or greater length to Prized Possession once I've saved the money for it again. And yes, I'm aware that your stories cost $50 now. I suppose that takes some of the confusion out of it, in that it equals $10 per 1,000 words. That's alot tidier, I must admit.

Those are your two options. I'm not willing to settle for anything else

The missing period at the end is because I wasn't finished writing it, but even so, it felt amazingly good to provide conclusive proof for saying Prized Possession belonged to me. What I didn't have the opportunity to mention in that message was that he may have written it, but wouldn't have even done that if I hadn't commissioned him, making it my story for once and for all. Unfortunately, as soon as he responded, I went into what might as well have been an anxiety attack. All I felt like doing was running away, probably downstairs to the cat room to curl up under the table and get away from all of this, meanwhile my heart was absolutely pounding, and I was getting very lightheaded and panicked too. It's fine to be assertive with somebody, but in my case, that somebody responding to my assertions sends me into a panic no matter how certain I am that I'm right, or justified to have said what I did in my previous message. It took, well, close to an hour, give or take to read his response, but when I did, I found the following:

I have been busy today, and was not able to reply to your earlier messages when I received them on my phone.

I am sorry for misunderstanding. If I am correct, you want me to hide [this comment] and [this comment]. Besides that, in the future you want me to

* Not refer to the Karadur in the story as if he were anyone other than you
* Not refer to you as either autistic or neurotypical
* Not write a story involving the statue room with the snow leopards

And if I am right, you take exception to my comment not because I said that being "hollow" is the same as being autistic, but because I said in that comment that you weren't.

Tell me what you want me to post in the place of those two comments, and I'll do as you ask.

The only thing of particular note here is the last point. There was only one snow leopard statue in said room. Not several. While it was never even just implied, the idea is that by the snow leopard statue coming to life and jumping into me, nobody else can come along and have the same thing happen to them. At least not until I cease to exist, theoretically, but that's kind of an unpleasant thing to think about. Also, be sure to note that the two instances of "[this comment]" in that message were links, but there's little point to including them in here. Once I finally read that response though, I wrote this next message up and sent it to him.

I can't look at those links, for the sake of my current emotional wellbeing. I trust you to be fair in this, because I'm sure you want to be done with it just as much as I do, so I ask - firmly - the following of you:

a] Remove any and all comments, including any and all responses to them where you implied or outright stated that I was or was not autistic, and replace them the comment provided below.
b] Never again imply or outright state that I am or am not autistic *
c] Leave the statue room of the cave in Prized Possession out of the new story you plan to write. I conceived that detail on my own, and I would like it to be one part of the world that I can keep to myself and eventually use in the future.
d] Not refer to me as a separate character again. If things go as they should after I send this reply, then that won't be an issue - I won't have any further reason to contact you, nor will you need to get in touch with me.

As for what I would like you to replace those two comments with, please use this:

For the commissioner, being Hollow is an all-encompassing term used to describe the way he feels, thinks, and acts. The disability referred to by that name in this story is based off of my own experiences as an autistic person, but it is not autism as such, because he would prefer that to remain ambiguous.

If you'd prefer to include an extra bit after that to mention that I asked you to say that, then be my guest. Otherwise, nothing more, nothing less, and if anybody continues to question you about it in regards to me, please invite them to get in touch with me.

* I take exception to this because I can't say one way or the other why I am the way I am. For the moment, I could say it's not autism or anything close to it, and give you every reason to tell people that I'm not, but what happens if, in the future, I find out that I am? As unlikely as that may be, I can't say for certain, and as such I don't want you to either. You're still well within your bounds to say that the disability in the story is *based off of* your own experiences, and maybe you don't want to compromise the definition of "Hollow", but if so, try to look at it this way: to me, "Hollow" is a catch-all term for me being the way I am. To you or anybody else, it could be actual autism. There's no problem with having different takes on what the word means, but it's not fair for you to say that it *is* what you want it to be for me.

This is the part where it slowly but surely starts to end. I've told him exactly what I want, and he has said that he will do as I ask, but of course, that led to its own exchanging of smaller messages in regards to exactly how the comment I wanted him to post in place of the other ones would read. I'm not going to provide commentary on all of those though, so things from there to where they stand right now are all listed below, in chronological order.

I am okay with not making statements about you. I am also okay with changing the comments and not incorporating the statue room into any future stories.

These two statements contradict each other:

For the commissioner, being Hollow is an all-encompassing term used to describe the way he feels, thinks, and acts. The disability referred to by that name in this story is based off of my own experiences as an autistic person, but it is not autism as such, because he would prefer that to remain ambiguous.

and

to me, "Hollow" is a catch-all term for me being the way I am. To you or anybody else, it could be actual autism. There's no problem with having different takes on what the word means, but it's not fair for you to say that it is what you want it to be for me.

The first one asks me to define "Hollow," while the second one seems to say that any definition is okay so long as I don't try to apply my definition to you (if the operative words in it are "for me").

How about I make a comment like the one you suggested, but instead of saying what "Hollow" is or is not ("not autism as such") I say how the two of us saw it. What I based it on, and how it resonated with you. Then in future stories I can define it however I want.

Alright then. How about

For the commissioner, being Hollow is an all-encompassing term used to describe the way he feels, thinks, and acts. The disability referred to by that name in this story is based off of my own experiences as an autistic person, but it to him is not autism as such, because he would prefer that to remain ambiguous.

If I understood what you've said, then those two extra words will solve this new dilemma, but if not, please let me know how you would say it, and we can probably reach an agreement.

Well, the structure is slightly off in that, so it should say

For the commissioner, being Hollow is an all-encompassing term used to describe the way he feels, thinks, and acts. The disability referred to by that name in this story is based off of my own experiences as an autistic person, but *to him, it* is not autism as such, because he would prefer that to remain ambiguous.

Well, the structure is slightly off in that, so it should say

For the commissioner, being Hollow is an all-encompassing term used to describe the way he feels, thinks, and acts. The disability referred to by that name in this story is based off of my own experiences as an autistic person, but *to him, it* is not autism as such, because he would prefer that to remain ambiguous.

I was just thinking that.

How about this:

For the commissioner, being Hollow is an all-encompassing term used to describe the way he feels, thinks, and acts. The disability referred to by that name in this story is based off of my own experiences as an autistic person, but to him, it is not autism as such, because he would prefer that to remain ambiguous.

I consider being Hollow to be the same as being autistic, and will be presenting it that way in future stories.

If that is okay with you, I will hide the previous comments and post that, with the disclaimer that you wanted me to make this statement.

No. This is going back into what you were proposing before. I get that you see being Hollow as the same as being autistic, but that fact should have no bearing on my story. If you wish to make that distinction with other stories in the future, then by all means, I can't stop you, but it will be up to the people who commission those to decide whether or not they mind you making that distinction for them. If you'll notice, my proposed comment doesn't include any sort of statement that says "This is what I see being Hollow as". It's supposed to be ambiguous, at least for my story.

Failing that, I have a possible alternative in mind, but I'd rather not present that, as I see nothing wrong with my message as is.

I'm okay with it being ambiguous for your story. Let me rephrase that.

I consider being Hollow to be the same as being autistic, and will be presenting it that way in future stories. It is not explicitly presented that way in this story due to the commissioner's wishes.

Is that okay?

One more compromise:

For the commissioner, being Hollow is an all-encompassing term used to describe the way he feels, thinks, and acts. I consider being Hollow to be the same as being autistic, and will be presenting it that way in future stories, but is not autism as such to the commissioner of *this* story, because he would prefer that to remain ambiguous.

Any better?

(that way we both get our "this is what it is to me"s in)

Fine with me.

I'll wait until tomorrow to post it, in case there's anything else that you'd like me to change.

I'll let you know if I think of anything, but for the moment, I don't expect to.

Thank you for your understanding.


And now, well... I'm not sure. My brain stopped working a while ago, which I can say with confidence is related to stress, so as I can't provide a better-worded response in here, I think that's the ending I wanted. Something that respects his aims just as much as mine, and does give the impression that Prized Possession is for and about me - not him or anybody else who could identify with the theme. Maybe this makes me look really selfish, but if so, then fine, I'm selfish. I'd rather refuse to share my toys (so to speak) and be looked upon as a miserable grump for it than I would sharing these things with people and having them be twisted around to suit their needs instead of mine.

I'm also curious what changed to make him so willing to do as I was asking. Did that message containing the words "defy" and "comply" really come across as I wanted it to? As mentioned somewhere above, I was talking to Dan Skunk as well at the time, and shared that message with him, which he said sounded demanding. Maybe a little muscle was all I needed, but I would be extremely hesitant to say the same thing again if I knew in advance that I'd feel how I did afterwards this time. But anyways, I'm pretty sure this is done with. My remaining issues with him only concern how he uses other peoples' commissions to write about himself and so on, but I have no right to complain about those when they're other peoples' stories. Thus it is time to close this cut, and move onto other things while it gets lighter and lighter outside.

I really can't think of much else to say right now though. I went out to Tim Hortons earlier after finding that I had more money in my checking account than I thought I did, and now I've won a free donut instead of a drink from my cup, but more than that it was fun for having a brief conversation with the guy who always gives me a hard time about walking around wearing nothing but a t-shirt in the "freezing cold". I ordered a sandwich, and shortly after that, somebody pulled into the drive through wanting one as well, but as I had ordered first, making the last bun that they had mine, the person in the drive through drove off, while the guy working started to chastise me by saying "Look at what you did!" and so on. I eventually interjected to say that the same thing had happened to me more times than I can count at work, leading him to ask where I worked, and from there, for some odd reason, if everybody talked behind each others' backs. As odd as that was though, the walk was nice, as was having that quick conversation with somebody else to remind me that there were other things to talk about in the world besides the state of a story that I commissioned over half a year ago.

What's also good is that the odds of Doctor Who being completely downloaded by Monday night are now 100%. It's finished. Before midnight, in fact, and all 774 files are now tucked away on one of my external hard drives, all nicely organized, and all consistently named. I'm kind of looking forward to him coming over here too, because I actually have to give him seasons 16 through 34 now, as 27 through 34 were all numbered four lower than they should've been. I figure those files will take a fair while to copy, so what can we do in the meantime? Same thing as before - head out to the other Tim Hortons near here, then come back, whereupon I can give him all the cardboard tubes Dad set aside for me to give him for his hedgehogs, eventually disconnect his external drive and send him back home, and only hope I can find those other two plastic containers before our last shift together.

Third, I now have a new icon, which I'm using for this entry only to show it off this once, and which will be used after this for any entries where I talk more about games or computer-related things than I do usual matters. It's cute though, and my only regret is that I haven't the presence of mind to write a coherent response to the author right now saying that I really like it. On a final note, I'm going to bed. Seriously, I might even skip writing an entry tomorrow afternoon just to have time to recuperate, but that'll be cut somewhat short by having to start work at 7 instead of 8. Then the day after that I will be required to wake up at 1pm to go to Heart and Stroke. Lovely and such, but my main concern for now is being asleep by or before 8am. It might actually be possible tonight too...

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