I have problems fitting in. I won’t lie. I try my best, but somehow feel comfortable around smaller groups of people, or even fictional people. I like people, in fact I’d call myself a humanist, but from a very early age, connecting with most people has been something I’ve had to work hard at. In truth, most people have to work hard to talk to me, as I’m not the greatest conversationalist, and that is a severe disability in this life. Monitoring myself, gauging what’s appropriate to say can be tiring, so I’ve become quite quiet these days. Perhaps you think I’m oversharing? Maybe you’re right. But maybe a small part of you wants to read on? I might disclose something inappropriate? The thing is, I don’t really care what people think of me in this virtual world, but put me in a room full of strange or even familiar people and my mind begins attempting to scramble out of my body, out and up into a place I’ve made for myself in fiction. A place where my alter ego exists, a woman called Alexand, or maybe Katherine, or perhaps if I’m feeling brazen I can turn into a man, I’ll call him Juba Apfvarzian. I love the way his name rolls off my brain. These are my characters, my family and friends, as real to me as anyone I’ve met in this physical world. You may like to meet them? You can visit them here. You see, the best part of being a writer, is becoming someone else, going places you couldn’t possibly travel to in reality, and taking people there with you. That’s when I truly connect with other people. Of course human emotions are the same in fiction as they are here, and I am a very emotional writer, but going to their world is so liberating, it’s almost like finding a part of the afterlife. (I’m a recovering Christian but I’ll talk about that some other time) In a way I have emancipated myself from having to exist completely in my physical body, bar the mundanity of an 8.30-17.30 job which pays the mortgage but is slowly draining me of creativity, and identity. When I write, I become part of someone else’s life. Cheryl stops existing, and finally people listen.