Wherein I Meet Mario… Yes. THAT Mario.

I’ve been so busy with the Aspie Dialogues and getting into the Autism at Work Initiative, that I realize I’ve been neglecting the Aspie Epilogue something awful, lately.

I actually meant to post this a couple months ago, but I think we all know my dirty, little secret with this site:

I get distracted from it very easily.

Never mind that, though. I’m here, now, and boy, do I have something awesome for you all! (And it’s not the gratuitous amount of commas in that last sentence.)

Back in May (This is that late, I know. Other projects. What can I do; I can only spread myself so thin…), I attended Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia with some friends of mine.

Oh, yeah! I also met a Power Ranger. Go figure!

Oh, yeah! I also met a Power Ranger. Go figure!

You may ask yourselves, “What does any of this have to do with the Aspie Epilogue, Jon?”

I’m getting to that…

You see, I also met Charles Martinet. He’s better known as the voice of Nintendo’s Mario. Hey! That goes back to the title of the post! How about that!

It's a-him! A-Martinet! ... Wait a minute...
It’s a-him! A-Martinet! … Wait a minute…

Yes, I met Mario Mario’s voice actor in the flesh. I was also extremely lucky enough to have received this very special message from the Mushroom Kingdom’s favorite plumber, himself:

I happen to know from my prior experience working with the Kinney Center that Nintendo’s games were a giant hit with the teens with ASD whom I had the distinct pleasure of working with. For whatever reason, Mario always resonated with these teens, and they could not wait to go home and play some Nintendo when they got home. So much so, that the Kinney Center eventually bought a Wii to use on location as positive reinforcement.

I, for one, would like to echo Mario’s words above. You guys make the Aspie Epilogue and the Aspie Dialogues what they are. Without you, we are nothing.

So, it is with this, that I would like to award Charles Martinet with the HONORARY PUZZLE PRIDE AWARD 2015.

Web

You guys are more Super than the Super Mario Bros! You’re #1!

The Aspie Dialogues Gets Pulled Over

Sorry, I’m a little late with this one. I had a scratched cornea just as I was getting ready to edit this, which pushed my ability to edit this back a week. Better late than never, right? I’m trying some new things with this one, so please leave any feedback you may have for it in the comments section. Thank you!

Announcing… The Aspie Dialogues!

Hi, everybody! I wanted to check back in while it’s still Autism Awareness Month with an exciting cross-collaboration between the Aspie Epilogue and my other website, CGE Studios. I call it…

THE ASPIE DIALOGUES! *cue trumpets*

What is it?

Why, it’s a monthly companion video to the Aspie Epilogue, of course! I wanted to bring CGE Studios and the Aspie Epilogue together to create something truly unique to the discussion of Autism Awareness and the next steps it needs to take. I’ve been working hard to bring this particular episode out while it’s still Autism Awareness Month.

*Psst… There’s still 75 minutes left. That still counts, right?*

Why create a video series in conjunction with the blog? The blog’s not ending, is it?

Chillax! The blog’s not going anywhere! I just wanted to expand the conversation about Autism Awareness to more audiences. The blog will still continue as planned. In fact, viewers can even suggest new topics for the video series to discuss. In May, we’re going to discuss a topic that’s hitting hard and close to home for many people, right now. More on that when I post it.

Where can I watch this fabled video series of legend? I must see it!

Easy there! I love the enthusiasm, but let’s keep the excitement manageable. You will be able to view all the episodes of The Aspie Dialogues right here on The Aspie Epilogue! See how easy that is? In fact, here’s the pilot episode below. Enjoy!

I hope this was a happy Autism Awareness Month for everyone! I’m looking forward to next year! Peace out.

Changing Directions…

By now, I’ve noticed that I haven’t received submissions for this year’s Puzzle Pride Campaign yet. At this point, I have no reason to suspect that I will by the deadline. That’s fine; I haven’t really been pushing it as hard as I should have been, and that was entirely my fault.

However!

Yes, there is an attachment to this statement… However, I do have something really nice to share with you all, possibly in its place.

I don’t want to talk too much about concrete details, but I assure you it is coming.

…in May.

I promise this will be good. Just hang in there with me on this.

That’s it for the Puzzle Pride Campaign news for now. As for Carry On, my original screenplay…

I have entered it into three competitions at the same time. I’m hoping at least one of them will bite. If not, then I will engage in a massive revision I’ve been brainstorming about. I find out about contest #1 in June; I won’t know about the others until July.

I do greatly appreciate everybody who has liked the screenplay on Skripteez.com so far. You all are wonderful! Let’s keep the momentum rolling on that!

I’m not sure if there will be a Puzzle Pride Award recipient this year, but I promise you will enjoy what I’m working on this month in regards to the Aspie Epilogue. Suffice it to say, I want to foster conversation, or dare I say… “dialogues?” You’ll understand when you see it.

Have a wonderful Autism Awareness Month, everybody!

Big Announcement Just in Time for Autism Awareness Month!

Before I get to the big announcement, I just want to address the lack of nominations for the Puzzle Pride Campaign I’ve received. I really want this year to be a success, so I’m going to extend the deadline to April 30. That’s not really the best case scenario I was hoping for, but it is what it is.

Perhaps, people don’t feel as comfortable putting themselves out there as I do, and that’s okay. So, what I’m going to do instead is tweak the rules a bit to something more people might be comfortable with.

1. ANY Puzzle Piece can be nominated for this award, now. That includes parents, siblings, caretakers, friends, family, and the actual Spectrumites (Is that a word? It is now. :) Patent Pending!)

2. You now have until 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 30, 2015 to submit your nominations for the Puzzle Pride Award.

3. You must contact me through either my email listed on the site’s contact page, the Aspie Epilogue Facebook page, or through any other means listed on the site’s contact page.

4. Please inform me WHY this person or these people (if you’re nominating more than one person) has been so inspirational to you. This is important. There’s no right or wrong answer here. Just go with what’s on your mind from the bottom of your heart.

Now that we have that out of the way, I’d like to address the big announcement:

I recently set up a Skripteez account to promote my graduate thesis, a 108-page feature-length screenplay called Carry On.

After nearly a full year of getting nowhere in screenwriting contests with this screenplay, I’ve decided to take a different approach to getting my screenplay out to its intended audience. If I’m lucky enough, it may even fall into the right hands to get optioned by a studio. I don’t know if I’m that lucky, though.

So, what does any of this have to do with the Aspie Epilogue? Here’s the screenplay’s logline (NOTE: Loglines are extremely difficult to write, as they must boil down, in this case, 108 pages into one sentence.):

A teenage Aspie must win a contest to appear on the latest hit reality show and impress the girl he likes.

As for a more detailed synopsis of the screenplay, here’s that, too:

Raising a child on the Autism Spectrum is difficult, but growing up as an Aspie can be overwhelming. Nobody knows that better than Jude Dunn (JD).

Whether fighting high school bullies, getting the girl, or simply winning a spot on a new hit reality show, JD wrestles with what it means to be an Aspie. Through the support of his friend, Amy, and his band, The Nitro Pumpkins, JD begins a journey through 12th grade that will impact the lives of everyone he meets. For some there will be a happy ending; for others, not so much. Will Amy ever know how JD feels about her? Will JD clinch his rise to fame? The scars of the past will bleed as JD battles his greatest foe: himself.

When I watch a character with ASD in a movie or on TV, 9 times out of 10, I see a robot or Rain Man. That doesn’t really do the ASD community justice. If you meet an Aspie, you’ve met one Aspie. ASD affects different people in different ways. Parenthood on NBC is as close as I’ve ever seen to a TV show or a movie “getting it right.”

In Carry On, our Aspergian protagonist, JD, is more lively than that. He’s colorful, he’s irreverent, and he’s vulnerable to his own self-inflicted insecurities. What brings him down could very well be the very personality traits that could someday lift him up. He just needs to learn how to balance that fine line of when to say something and when to shut his mouth. We all have those moments.

This isn’t just another ASD flick trying to raise awareness of ASD. Rather, it’s a film that shows how universal ASD is through the eyes of one Aspie with his own symptoms and coping methods.

If you would like to read Carry On, it is available on Loglinr for free. Just follow this link.

I will continue to keep you updated on my progress, as I try to get a buyer for the screenplay. I have also entered it in this year’s Page Awards Screenwriting Contest. I won’t know how that works out until July at the soonest.

Until then, find peace with yourself, within yourself. And don’t forget to nominate your favorite candidate for the Puzzle Pride Award this year!