Wednesday, January 30, 2019

How Fiction Writers can save 'The Culture'

If you are conservative, have ever been conservative, or are one of the wonderful liberals who listens to conservative friends without ending friendships, you have heard people complaining about ‘The Culture.’ What people often mean by it is that increasingly, ‘The Culture’ favors left-wing points of view and mocks or demonizes other points of view.

An example of this? The eternally-running Law & Order series. I’ve watched them for years, especially Law & Order: SVU. I’ve even named a kitten ‘Mariska’ after actress Mariska Hargitay. (Mariska the kitten is an elderly cat now.) But there are very many episodes of L&O:SVU that show a lot of bias towards Catholics and/or Evangelical Christians. Many issues have pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage, pro-child-transsexual messages, and people who have honest disagreements are invisible or demonized. (If I had a child with transgender feelings, I would NOT want him to wear dresses to school or in public when even girls mostly don’t wear dresses anymore. Being different gets a child bullied.)

Contrast that to the original Star Trek series. Back in 1966, television shows had to appeal to all viewers. Not just liberals, not just conservatives. Though show creator Gene Roddenberry was very liberal,  Star Trek episodes didn’t push his radical ideas. They were fun to watch. Some episodes even had strong appeal to conservatives. Any liberal or socialist messages you find in the original series were very subtle and so perhaps not intentional. 

It’s very difficult for conservatives and Christians to produce our own TV shows and movies and get them out to the public. But today is the best time ever to be a fiction writer, even an Indie fiction writer (one who self-publishes rather than getting a traditional publishing deal.) 

When I can’t get anything decent on television— no original Star Trek episodes, Bonanza, Wagon Train, Lawman or John Wayne movies— I read. I often read books by authors who are Indie or small press writers who are conservative or Catholic or something else I relate to.

One author I read is Declan Finn. I’ve known him online in various writer-groups for years now. His blog is on the blogroll of this blog. He has a new series out called ‘Saint Tommy, NYPD.’ It is about a cop who is experiencing some of the phenomenon some of the saints experienced during their lives: bilocation, for one. That is, he is given the gift of being in two places at once. Behind the perp he’s chasing, and ahead of him. His gifts give him the ability to deal with the demonic-evil criminal element in NYC. 

Here are the books in the series. I’ve read the first 2 and loved them, and can’t wait to get the third.

The benefit of turning to alternate entertainment is that left-wing messages in entertainment can affect us. We watch and watch, and before long we are saying, abortion isn’t so bad, euthanasia isn’t so bad, gay marriage doesn’t affect ME so why fight it, those bakery owners SHOULD have to bake a custom wedding cake for the gay couple….. It’s like brainwashing. When everyone in our entertainment thinks a certain way, somewhere in our heads we start believing everyone in real life thinks that way.

Writers and would-be writers: be encouraged. You have a chance to change the world for the better. ‘Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any praise, think on these things.’ And write about them!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Twitter: Tweeting Your Own Stuff Too Much

The other night I couldn’t sleep at 2am so I got up and went on Twitter. And there was this guy, a novelist, who’d written a lot of books. And he tweeted promos for them. One after another. With nothing else in between. With only seconds between one tweet and another. I got so sick of it that I almost unfollowed. And then he quit. And another author started. One book promo tweet after another. Until I wanted to unfollow him, too.

Chasing off your own Twitter followers is no way to sell your books or your blog or anything. Tweeting things that feel like an ad with nothing personal about them is just asking people to ignore you. Doing it three to five times a minute will get them to actively hate you. If you want to actually be effective on Twitter, you need to learn some rules.

The 9 to 1 Rule

An older rule in social media is to share 9 things about other people for every one you share about yourself. Because sharing nothing but ‘me, me, me’ makes you look selfish. Now, maybe you are selfish. Maybe that’s your lifestyle choice. But you don’t want other people to know that. 

Retweeting DOES NOT COUNT for all of the 9 items you need to share before you can tweet about you. Because retweeting doesn’t take any effort, and it turns Twitter feeds into echo chambers with everybody retweeting the same stuff. Actively seek out some other-centered material. An author might share a book by some other author, or share a book-blog or writing-blog not their own. A blogger might share posts from all the blogs he reads— you DO read other blogs, don’t you? Other Twitter users can share things from online about their major topics of interest.

What about the 1 out of 10 things you share that can be about you? They shouldn’t ALL be impersonal promos that feel like ads for your books or blogs. Social media is supposed to be SOCIAL! And this can be hard, especially for people like me with Asperger Syndrome/Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you don’t have social skills, it’s harder to be social online.

Some of your me-posts should share things about you. ‘I have a new cat.’ ‘We are on vacation in Antarctica.’ ‘A dragon crushed my car.’ And your promoting-something posts might have a personal touch. ‘I wrote a blog post about restoring monarchy to the United States, what do you think?’ Note: most of the time someone who reads ‘what do you think’ about a shared blog post will NOT read the blog post, and just tell you on Twitter what he thinks of the topic. Interact with these people anyway!

The Twitter Echo Chamber

Once upon a time, I found new people to follow on Twitter by clicking on interesting hashtags and seeing who was tweeting about that. Now when I do that, I find mostly the Tweets using the hashtag made by people I already follow. I’ve seen another person complain about that and speculate it’s a new form of shadowbanning. I’m thinking it may just be a way to keep people in their isolated ghettoes of a few like-minded Twitter users.

What I do is experiment with hashtags. I search new ones all the time. I sometimes find new people. And then there is the oppositional-trick. I don’t care much for politician Nancy Pelosi. So I go on her page, find something of her to politely disagree about, and do so. Other non-fans of Nancy see it and I may make new contacts that way. 

Once I do get those precious new people, I have to cultivate them. I retweet their stuff, or I comment on something of theirs politely. I care about them, if only for a few seconds. Because it means something to me when someone responds to me. OK, it also scares the heck out of me because I have Aspergers and poor social skills, but at least I’m not being ignored.  

Why Hostile-To-Conservatives Twitter Matters

Twitter, like Facebook, is actively hostile to some people. Conservatives, or people they think are conservative. Catholics and other Christians. Religious and/or conservative Jews. They ban or suspend people over something so mild it’s silly, and they ignore your complaints about death threats and virulent hate. And even doxxing, sometimes. (Doxxing is revealing your personal information so non-friends can call your home or workplace or threaten you at home.)

I prefer to use Gab or MeWe, actually, but they are smaller communities and not as active. Plus, it’s very common for people to start an account, follow people, and then just quit using it— for a while or forever. Twitter and Facebook, sadly, are where the eyeballs are.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Learn More about using Twitter

Twitter in 30 Minutes (updated 2018)  I just bought this book on Kindle. Since I live in a rural area, I have to drive to the local library to use their wi-fi to download the book to my Kindle since I can't download books to my Kindle over USB cable with my newest Kindle. Which replaced an older Kindle that stopped working. But I'm hoping to learn more about using Kindle better with this book.

Monday, January 28, 2019

If Walls Don't Work, Why NOT Build One?

Walls don’t work. That’s why you don’t have to build a fence around your backyard swimming pool. Physical barriers don’t work. Then what is the harm of building one?

If walls don’t work, building a border wall or barrier wouldn’t work, and that would be a waste of government funds. Like all the other wastes of government funds. Government funds Planned Parenthood, an organization which does absolutely nothing for pregnant women that plan on parenthood. They just do abortions and raunchy, ineffective sex ed videos to create the need for more abortions. Government gives summertime free lunches even to rich and middle-class kids! 

What would be the harm to spend a little money on the Wall, when in exchange you can get concessions from Pres. Trump on the things you do want? But the reason that F├╝hrerin Pelosi doesn’t want to spend even a little on the wall is that she knows it would work, and she doesn’t want to lose the illegal immigrant vote.

If walls didn’t work, spending a little money on one to placate people and get what your party really wants is no big deal. That’s what politics is all about. You negotiate, you compromise, you fund what the other guy wants to get what you think is really good funded. 

But if the wall would diminish illegal immigrate significantly, and your political party depends upon the illegal immigrant population for votes, you won’t compromise. You want the illegal immigrants more than you want to help DACA immigrants facing deportation. That’s why the Dems wouldn’t compromise. They don’t want immigration reform. They want illegal immigrants.

I remember hearing story after story of real human beings who had homes along the border. Some had so many illegal immigrants crossing their yard it made a trail! They experienced crime and fear in their own homes. And for some of them, a border barrier was built nearby and things got better.  Is there any reason why we can’t build more barriers where it is needed?

I’ve heard a wise guy say that if there is a wall, criminals will just use ladders. Yeah. Some human trafficker is going to get four bound-and-gagged, struggling girls out of his car and carry them up a ladder. And down the other ladder which has magically appeared on the other side. And somehow get a car on the other side and put the women in it with no one noticing. And the drug smugglers will have a great time carrying their cargo up and down ladders. 

Civil comments, without swear words, are welcome. Also, do you like the new larger print on this blog? I find it a bit easier to read. Let me know, though.

Some news stories you might like to read. Or not. 
Group of Border Patrol Wives Invite Pelosi To Visit TX Border Town
Video: San Diego Border Agents Argue Barrier Essential to Security
TX Found 95,000 Non-Citizens on Voter Rolls, 58,000 Have Voted

Saturday, January 26, 2019

When Kids Come-Out as Gay, Parents Mourn

Recently on General Hospital a character considered that her young son might be gay. (Because he likes to bake cookies and cupcakes, and that’s so gay.) And of course she has to be happy about that, though she’s allowed to worry that the ‘homophobes’ might be mean to the little tike.

OK, here is a reality check. When a child comes out as gay— at age 7 or age 30— parents will mourn. And it’s not because they are bad or hateful or not-Leftist-enough. It is just a reality. And facing reality is just so alt-right, isn’t it?

Now, why am I allowed to even talk about this? 
  1. I have same-sex attraction (homosexual attraction, ‘Gay’ ‘Lesbian’ status)
  2. I have parents and I came out to them
  3. The First Amendment has not yet been repealed.

Why do parents mourn? Shouldn’t they be glad that their kid, even if White, now has precious ‘protected minority’ status?

Parents mourn that their dream died
Parents may dream of grandchildren, of their child as a happily married, in the traditional sense, person. Of continuing the line. And also, of their child being the child they have come to know since that child’s infancy. Instead, that child is gone and a member of the LGBTXYZ movement is left in his place. 

Parents fear for their child’s life
When you reveal that you are gay, parents fear you might get AIDS— which can still kill you. They fear you might be murdered by a Jeffery Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy type. They fear you will get involved with the use of dangerous drugs popular in some Gay circles. 

Parents worry their child will go to hell
It’s not just that gay sex and sex before (valid) marriage are sins— violations of the law of God— according to the Bible. Promiscuous behavior is much more accepted in the Gay community. The Church and the Bible are widely rejected as ‘hateful,’ and those Gay people who don’t choose atheism or paganism often choose ‘welcoming’ churches that reject parts of the Bible that the Gay community doesn’t like— not just the things about sexual sin, but that Jesus was/is the Son of God, that hell/eternal punishment is possible, and that we don’t create our own reality since that’s God’s job.

Parents don’t want to be bullied
I have heard a story of a teenager who came out as Gay. He then informed his Catholic parents that they must leave the Catholic Church at once, or they would no longer be his parents. The Gay community deceives us into thinking we can make demands like that of our loved ones. Yet our parents can’t demand that we quit being Gay— or even suggest that we might TRY to quit being Gay. Because that would be hateful, while ordering your family member to give up God is perfectly fine.

Parents feel their child will have a less-good life
Gay people who embrace their ‘gayness’ miss out on things. Some, especially males, spend years in gay bars chasing after utter strangers to have sexual encounters with, instead of building a long-term married relationship. They fear you will miss out on having children, because for a gay person— even one with a ‘partner’— having children is a very costly proposition. They fear you will be trained to be involved in politics and activism instead of working to get better job qualifications or volunteering to help people in your community. 

Gay activists don’t want you to realize the truth about this matter, because they want you to be judging people instead. Only bad parents let you know their mournful feelings when you ‘come-out.’ Blame, blame, blame. I guess I should ALSO judge my parents harshly because they weren’t happy when my school said something unspecified was wrong with me (I got my diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome decades too late) and I’m sure they mourned that, too. In part because I was a clever child and they hoped I would do well. 

As a woman with same-sex attraction, I don’t like to think of myself as someone who caused my parents sorrow. Even though it’s true. But I don’t think living in a dream world, or else cutting myself off from my family for not reacting the way the LGBTXYZ movement demands they react. Sorry, if I have to choose between my loving parents and the cold, cruel Gay movement, the Gay movement has got to go.

Note to fellow Catholics/Christians: I believe the Bible teachings about the wrongness of homosexual sex acts, including the lust-in-the-heart bit. I have found that a celibate life is way more fun, anyway.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Demonizing MAGA/Hillary Hats

Let’s kill democracy! In every US presidential election I remember, about half the folks liked one candidate and about half liked the other. Even when one guy wins in a landslide, a very big chunk of the population voted for the other.

In a democratic republic like ours, we need to be able to accept that. Not everyone agrees with our choice of candidate. The other guys may be dead wrong, but they have the right to believe what they believe and vote accordingly.

But today some people play politics like it’s a death sport. Shoot to kill! Trump is a racist and anti-Semite in spite of being the most pro-Israel politician ever, having a Jewish people in his family, and having supporters from all races and religions. 

Some people want to outlaw Trump’s campaign hats which have the slogan ‘Make America Great Again.’ They say it is the equivalent of the old Democrat-party KKK hood. 

But demonizing wearers of MAGA hats, or of Hillary campaign hats (she DOES support killing unborn babies) isn’t any kinder than hating people for having Black or White skin. (I capitalized words referring to ethnic, national or racial groups, so I don’t say ‘korean’ but ‘Korean.’ It’s not that weird a practice.)

And in a democracy, demonizing half or nearly half of the citizens isn’t very democratic. We have to stay America whether the Democrats, Republicans, Whigs or Libertarians win an election. And people need to work together. Not just in Congress, but in real life. If your co-worker dares to say to you that he supported Trump/Hillary even though you voted the other way, will you treat him like the KKK treats an African-American? Or will you acknowledge his value as a human being and his rights to his (wrong) opinion, at least enough to sell McDonald’s hamburgers together?

Democracy means we all are allowed to have opinions and express them. If we don’t like that, instead of turning our own country into a monolithic dictatorship, why not just move someplace that already has a dictatorship or a one-party system? Good democratic republics are hard to come by.

My own personal MAGA hat is a knit cap with the slogan on it. I don't wear ballcaps, but in Upper Michigan I wear knit caps all winter. Even at night. Because my head gets cold and I can't afford lots of home heating--- I'm on disability. I haven't had problems with haters when I wear my MAGA cap, though a guy at the feed mill called me 'Mrs Trump' because of my bumper sticker. But not in a mean way, and he was putting 100 pound bags of grain in my truck, so I wasn't offended.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Should Covington kids be killed?

There has been a controversy for the past few days. There were some kids from a Covington, KY Catholic school at the March for Life. While going to their bus, they got caught in the middle between some Black Israelite racists and some American Indian ‘protesters.’ The two groups were quarreling because the Black Israelites don’t like American Indians any better than they like ‘Whites’ or Asians. An American Indian activist pointed out the Covington children as a better target for the Black Israelites. Then the Indian walked over to the Covington kids and beat his drum at them. 

There was a bit of video of one Covington boy smiling at the American Indian drummer. Some of the other Covington kids did a school cheer to drown out the profanity from the Black Israelites. Progressive and anti-life (pro-abortion) people made the video go viral by claiming that the Covington kids were the only aggressors.

There were internet claims that the Covington kids should be killed by locking them in their school and burning it down. (Because non-public religious schools are to be eliminated, apparently.) ‘Kinder’ harassers just wanted the kids punched in the face. They also ‘doxed’ or revealed private information, such as phone numbers, of the kids and their parents— even of Covington kids who didn’t even go to the March for Life and might even be pro-death for all we know. The Covington school had to be shut down the other day due to massive threats of bombings and school shootings.

Some Leftists did change their minds and apologize for nasty things they said. But others still believe the Covington kids are evil Nazis. Why? Because they were at the March for Life, because of the color of their skin, or because of the color of their hats, in the case of the few kids wearing MAGA hats. The dream of Martin Luther King Jr, that some day we would judge people for the content of their character instead of the color of their skin, is officially dead— battered to death by hateful online Progressives, Socialists and abortion activists. We aren’t supposed to have characters with any content these days anyway.

To be fair to the anti-Covington crowd: we already know that those on the Left are overwhelmingly OK with the killing of unborn children through surgical and medical abortions. Most also are keen on killing the sick, disabled and elderly through assisted ‘suicide’ and euthanasia, even for people who are unable to give their consent. Why should we expect they would cherish the right-to-life of teens who might grow up to vote the ‘wrong’ way? Many on that side of things have declared they want the White House to be bombed, because they want Donald Trump and his wife and children to die, and don’t care if they have to wreck a historic building to do that.

Leftists do have the right to be Leftists: but there are limits to freedom of speech. No one argues that a Mafia don has the ‘freedom of speech’ to order a subordinate to kill someone, and so should not be prosecuted for the murder. In the same way, when people utter threaten violence, dox people, and do other nasty things, they should bear the consequences. In the case of the synagogue shooting, Leftists felt that the shooter should have been punished for his first anti-semitic remark on social media. They don’t understand that it works both ways— both people they like and people they hate should be under the same rules. People who threaten to shoot up a Catholic school should be in the same degree of trouble as people who threaten to shoot up a synagogue or Gay bar or a Democratic convention. 

Covington Catholic School and the Coming Gulags
Author Declan Finn's video blog about the Covington stuff. I NEVER watch videos online normally, but this one, even though over 25 minutes, was worth my time.

Comments calling for anyone’s death are NOT welcome on this blog and will not be allowed. Civil and civilized comments are much preferred. Rude or hostile comments only published when unintentionally funny.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Feminism is about aborting female children

They've lied to us. They say, whenever the universal duty of women to support feminism is questioned, that feminism is just about being fair to women. And yet in the real world what feminists want includes that which is destructive--- no, actually deadly, to the most vulnerable of us.

In some parts of the world, like India, selective abortion of female children is very well accepted. There are centers which offer ultrasounds to detect the unwanted preborn girls, and abortions to clean up that problem. Since abortion centers are notoriously bad at handling the fetal corpses produced by their industry, there have been discoveries of wells clogged with female 'fetuses.'

International feminism doesn't care about that, being more concerned that all global restrictions on abortions be lifted and that Third World women be sold on the questionable notion that aborting their children will make them more prosperous.

In the United States, it has been proposed many times that laws be passed forbidding the selective abortion of females, or of babies of an undesired racial makeup. Feminism says 'no.' Women should have the right to abort all the female children, or half-Black children, that they want to.

To my mind, that means that feminism is more about shilling for the abortion industry than about doing anything that helps real-world women. Feminists even want to close down the pro-life pregnancy centers that offer actual help to pregnant women that don't want to abort their children. Many women have discovered that Planned Parenthood centers-- the largest abortion center chain--- have absolutely no help for the woman who doesn't want an abortion. You never hear of a Planned Parenthood center holding a diaper drive, or collecting used strollers, car seats, and cribs for young mothers in poverty. It's the prolife pregnancy centers that do that.

Feminism used to be better. I remember when feminists wanted to ban the dangerous I.U.D.--- a 'contraceptive' method that doesn't prevent conception, but which prevents newly conceived children from implanting in the uterus, and which causes health problems for women. I remember when feminists even made some lip service about getting housewives some sort of salary--- they probably meant a government program, and they gave that up quick because they wanted to force housewives out of their homes, even if it meant low-paying jobs that didn't even cover the cost of proper child care.

I know there are some misguided prolife women who call themselves 'prolife feminists.' I wonder why they are so set on linking themselves to a pro-abortion movement that doesn't even want them. Women have no duty to support a feminist movement that doesn't even care if women become the minority due to selective abortions, any more than men are required to join some 'masculinist' group they don't agree with. Even 'mere' women should have the right of freedom of opinion.

That large numbers don't think that is shown by an online discussion I read when Sarah Palin was a candidate for vice-president. They claimed that no one should vote for her because she was 'against women's rights.' I've never heard any MALE candidate dismissed utterly just because of having a prolife position, even though that would be 'against women's rights' as well. I guess that though people give lip service to the idea that women are equal, the idea persists that we are a lot less equal than men. At least if we refuse to bow to feminism we are.


Friday, January 11, 2019

The Strange Journey of the Western Genre

Television Westerns are undergoing a surge of popularity on certain cable TV channels. You can find them on INSP, Grit, Encore Westerns and many other channels. In addition, some channels brag about having John Wayne weekends where they show some of the most popular John Wayne Westerns. Usually they include ‘The Searchers’ or at least ‘The Sons of Katie Elder.’

Westerns in novel and short-story form started in 1860 with the first dime novels. These were contemporary stories of events in the Western states of the US— often featuring real-life Western men who’d made news either as outlaws or lawmen. 

The intended audience— men back East— were themselves sons or grandsons of the pioneers of their own regions. They had their own family and local pioneering stories about when their communities were first settled. They liked to hear about the same process going on further West. Both dime novels and Wild West shows created the myth of the West, of heroes and outlaws and larger-than-life men who were a bit of both.

A little later, pulp magazines got started. There were Western pulps, science-fiction pulps, mystery pulps, love story pulps…. Some of the stories in all categories were not well written, but others were gems that started their authors on the road to literary success. 

Westerns were beloved, but they also got a reputation of being shoot-‘em-up stories with poor characterization. Perhaps because mystery and science fiction pulp authors loved to use Western authors as a bad example.

The Western genre grew because of men who were good writers, and who also were willing to research the truth about the historic West. Louis L’Amour, one of the most highly popular of Western writers, had experience of life in the West himself— and he had shelves of Western history books as well. And he understood the mind of the common working man— fellows who didn’t read fiction for entertainment as a general rule— well enough to win such men over not only to his own novels, but to reading as a pastime. To this day, Louis L’Amour books are popular in the secondhand market, and in reprint. One might mention also that Louis L’Amour’s first book was of his own poetry, which included some fine sonnets. 

During my own childhood, Western television shows were common, though I thought I didn’t like Westerns because I hated ‘Gunsmoke.’ I still don’t care for Gunsmoke, though I watch Lawman, Wagon Train, Have Gun Will Travel,  and some of the other now-available shows. I also like Maverick, at least when James Garner is in it.

In novel form, Westerns are also still available. Most of the best are the fruit of serious historical research. There are also novels of the contemporary West. And, unfortunately, Western ‘romances’ which are often just a renaming of Western smut, written for a female audience. 

There are also cross-genre Westerns and ‘weird Westerns’ with zombies, witches and talking unicorns. And, of course, the movie Cowboys & Aliens. They may bow to modern political correctness by featuring modern-feminist women in the 1870s, and similarly out-of-place Black militants and political-activist Indians. 

I don’t care much for that myself. My own current Western WIP— though it’s weird, with space aliens stopping the Civil War, and lizard-alien cowboys— is going to allow the characters to be people of their own time. Admittedly a time that was different from the historical one, because of the alien thing. 

The greatest value of the Western genre is that the male persons in a Western story are often still allowed to be manly men. They don’t have to bow down to the opinions of feminist women, and they don’t have to wear dresses or show off a feminine side. They can just be men, and other characters male and female don’t judge them harshly for it. Not that a Western novel hero would give a hoot about what other folks thought of him. He’d live by his own code, a Western code, and do what was right even if other folk wanted to shoot him over it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Asperger Syndrome: Life Without Friends

When I was a little girl, I did have friends. We lived in Chula Vista, California, in a little cul-de-sac neighborhood that had nice families from many ethnic backgrounds. I was in 2nd and 3rd grade and I actually had a best friend— Shane Lopez, a girl from down the street. I also knew her two brothers and her older sister. I actually kissed her brother Robert— who’s now a gay Elvis impersonator. I swear, I didn’t do it! Maybe he made me ‘that way!’
For fourth grade we had moved to Tacoma, Washington. I remember my mother became leader of my Camp Fire Girls troop. She probably wanted to help me have friends. But, though there were kids I played with in Tacoma, none were more than acquaintances. At least, that was the way they seemed to think about me. I probably thought of some of them as friends. They just didn’t talk to me or come to my house or invite me to their house.
When I was about to enter 6th grade, my dad, a Kmart manager, was moved again, this time to San Jose, California. I was hopeful, since I’d had an actual friend last time we lived in California. I remember sitting in front of our San Jose house— just in front of the little palm tree— and waiting and hoping for other kids to come along. I didn’t actually make friends there, though. I had a few people I talked to in different schools. I even had an enemy, who tried to beat me up once, only she couldn’t hit hard enough for me to notice.
And so it goes. I was not diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome until much later in adult life. At the time, schools diagnosed me as bad, or weird, or unhappy. I was sent to various shrinks, who never diagnosed me and never gave me useful help on making friends or developing social skills.
I met people that I talked with when I was in college, and on my first job as a teacher. Not one turned out to be a long-term close friend. I failed at my teaching job mainly because I didn’t have the social skills to please the principal, even though he admitted I was a good teacher. I was foolish enough to quit because he questioned my commitment to my role as teacher. (Hint: never quit. If you wait til they fire you, you put in more time working and may become eligible for benefits or to sue your workplace for discrimination against persons with disabilities, if you get diagnosed as such.)
Since then, I have been essentially in solitary confinement, without the fun of committing an atrocious crime first.  I have gone without friends. There is no one in this world I can call on the phone for a bit of human contact except my 91-year-old mother. My blood relations don’t even call me to invite me to Christmas dinner, which is why I spent Christmas alone this year. 
But there are some bright points. A number of years ago, some Serbian-American guys from Chicago came to my place to buy a meat goat— they are fond of chevon (goat meat). They had some hunting land in our area and came up regularly. We became friends. One of them, Petar, retired to a house near where I live, and the other two may also be planning to retire up here. Of course, they don’t share any of my interests other than goats, chickens, and other critters.
I also have online friends. Online friends are not exactly like real-world friends. Sometimes someone who felt like a close friend stops using social media for a while, or uses it less or in a different way, so I’m pretty much cut off from them. And it’s always hard to figure out social interactions, even online. Should I take the initiative and contact them? Or would it be intrusive or creepy? Impossible to say.