What Moves Me Most in My Novel by Sally Basmajian


I love to make people laugh, and So Hard to Do frisks along merrily, replete with many slapstick moments. While I was writing the novel, I experienced several laugh-out-loud moments, especially when my characters started acting inappropriately—or in some cases, idiotically. Once or twice, I guffawed so hard I choked on my coffee and made rude snorty noises, but fortunately, I was all alone in my writer’s attic, and only my dog heard me.

But there are some serious parts of the book, too, and I hope readers will empathize with the characters’ pain. My younger protagonist, Jannie, had a very tough childhood, and she carried the scars into her adult life. While she was never officially diagnosed, all signs indicate that she’s neurodivergent. As a schoolgirl, her odd behaviors resulted in bullying, and as an adult, she’s viewed by co-workers as downright weird.

I find this very moving, even more so than the romantic angst she experiences in the story. As a parent, I spent way too many hours in IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings. I’ve witnessed bullying, not just by school kids, but also by a teacher who should never have allowed proximity to any child, neurotypical or not. And I’ve seen parents of so-called normal kids screaming at a defenceless six-year-old in a Tee-ball game when he didn’t quite grasp the objective of the sport.  

So when Jannie melts down because she feels she has always been thought of as a “weirdo,” my heart goes to her. I want to hug her and tell her things will turn out okay. I want to restrain my fingers from typing about her predicament and anguish.

Perhaps that’s why I seek refuge in humor. It’s my armor, and if I keep folks laughing, I don’t have to delve too deeply into my scarred psyche. It can be a very scary place!

Written by Sally Basmajian

3 Comments on “What Moves Me Most in My Novel by Sally Basmajian

  1. HI Sally1 I really enjoyed your book ! – I laughed, guffawed and chortled my way through it. I also appreciated the depiction of living and loving on the Autism spectrum.! ). But I have to say – my favourite bits were with the character Lola Divine! what inspired you to create Lola?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aha, you‘ve asked about my favourite character of all! Thanks for loving her. I can say truthfully that Lola’s existence remains a mystery to me. She appeared, fully fledged, without any conscious planning on my part. I never revised any of her dialogue—she would have resented me for tampering with her words!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, Katie, and thanks for enjoying my book! Please forgive me if this is a duplicate of a reply I attempted to post earlier on my cellphone. Technology seems to be tilting its pointy lance at me today! I did want to agree that Lola is the most delicious of all the characters in the book. She’s brash, glam, and very va-va-voom, not to mention, she has a heart of pure gold. I love her, but I can’t take credit for her. She appeared out of thin air and took over the storytelling whenever she entered a scene. Later, she refused to let me edit any of her lines!

    Liked by 1 person

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