‘The Changeling Chronicles’ Update Post (Feb 2019):

Hey guys! This has been a long time coming. I understand my audience isn’t what it once was, now that this new blog has less followers, but nonetheless, it’s time I finally made an update regarding ‘The Tales of An Autistic Wizard’.

First, let me explain why it took so long for me to release an update- alongside the personal stuff I’ve been going through, I have made the decision to turn this series into high fantasy, as in a now completely fictional universe. To put it shortly this has meant in order to give you guys any solid previews for the next year, I’ve had to completely re-write my notes, and my existing chapters. 

That being so, I’m really happy with my choice, and consequently Max Hazelwood and pals will now be journeying through a completely fictional world of my own making! There’s still an emphasis on real world inspired mythology, but it does mean the narrative is taking a leap away from what it once was, with characters and plot being modified to reflect this. I’m so excited about it all though! Cities, countries, creatures, culture, and backstory, all fresh from my own mind instead of having to Google real world history at 3:30am.

[Image shows a labelled map of the western regions of the continent Wyssen]

My protagonists will still be neurodivergent. Max is still an ‘Autistic Wizard’ though autism has a different label in the TCC universe which I will explain fully in a different post. That said, I will still be explicit in all my representation, it just made sense to me that in a fictional world, my diagnosis label could be different.

I also finally have a new working title for the series. TToAAW was a temporary working title, my apologies if I never made that clear. It was just too long to stick with, even as I grew fond of it. The new series title will be ‘The Changeling Chronicles’ for the foreseeable future. And this is the title you’ll see on future posts and in the tags on my blog too. Hopefully it won’t change again.

(Googling the term ‘Changeling’ will come up with a lot of stuff, this is not the shape-shifting kind, but the ‘swapped as a baby’ folklore around disability- Max was instead ‘placed’ rather than swapped, it’s complicated, but I will explain it fully within the story, rather than a rushed out Tumblr paragraph. I’m rewriting the myth, and in doing so I’m going to explore past ableism in a healthy way.) 

Now, onto the new summary for Book One - The Capitoline Academy:

They say that some mortals were born to do great things. However, upon the birth of her only baby, Theodora knew her child was no mortal. His hair was the colour of the sunlit sea, raggedy and falling from his head like the long petals of a sunflower. His eyes glowed green and bedazzling.

The Midwife in the City of Solis said as much to her: ‘This is the offspring of a Fair-folk my lady, your child… he is a changeling!’

And so the son was surnamed after the nearest Fair-folk kingdom-  Hazelwood, middle-name Oberon, first name Maximus. As time came to pass it became clear he had inherited Elemental magic from his estranged family. Though from his mother he learnt humanity, and the ability to lie. 

What better candidate could there be for The Capitoline Academy than a disabled fair-folk mage raised by humans? This was a young man who could sprout flowers with thought, spin fire from his finger tips, and freeze up rivers with a cool and haunting gaze from those green eyes.

And this is where the reader’s journey begins. With an 18 year old Max Hazelwood journeying through the continent of Wyssen (image above), ready to begin his education at the recently founded Capitoline Academy (image below).

[Image shows a labelled map of The Capitoline Island]

The Academy is still a safe-haven for anyone considered “different” or “abnormal” as it was in my original announcement of the series. They key difference is that magic is no longer a secret to mortals, and that Max is voluntarily beginning his education instead of being forced by outside events.

The academy is not the only place in the story, and by book two in the series, the focus will move back into the Sunlit Kingdoms and other locations across Wyssen. Without spoiling too much, the war mentioned in the chapter below becomes an increasingly important part of the plot as the series progresses.

Magic in general is still an allegory for the autism spectrum at times. Most of the people performing magic in the series both mortal and immortal, good and evil, are therefore built using neurodivergent traits. As far as representation goes, there are still magicals with other conditions, including illness, mental health, and disability. Sexuality and gender also plays a large role for many characters.

Despite a focus on representation, this is very much a story that features diverse characters, rather than a story about diversity. I often find narratives that focus on autism for example patronising or clinical at times, I just want to see the hero of a typical genre/narrative with diverse experiences. That’s what I’m making.

As I’ve said before, the story means a lot to me, being a piece fiction with an autistic protagonist, and I want to do my best to balance representation, good narrative, and my favourite thing: escapism. I started writing it as a personal piece, to help me through my diagnosis, but it has grown beyond this. 

There’s so much I want to say, but many of you will not want to read much more of my rambling- so if you have any questions about the new direction or anything about the series generally, please feel free to contact me! 

I’m sure I will comment again on many things in the future: including Max’s friendship group- ‘The Fortuna Five’- like I did on the old announcement- however this post is already longer than I wanted- and I need to move onto something far better, something that I promised my followers many months ago!

Chapter One - The Journey Into Solis

As it is too long to paste here, you can now view Chapter One of The Capitoline Academy on my AO3- please take the time to leave any feedback if you can.

(Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/17885162 )

“When Max Hazelwood opened his eyes, his whole body ached. The cage they’d forced him into barely allowed him to sit up straight, and he summed as he evaluated the rusty iron that it was made of, that it wasn’t designed to hold powerful sorcerers, and had probably been stolen from the nearby hunting grounds around Erinstead…”

Don’t forget also, that I offer a newsletter containing further extracts for beta readers, just get in touch if you’re interested. 

Copyright © 2019 Jacob Durn / Jacob’t Jottings. All rights reserved. 

Reasons I don’t trust White People:

  • Exhibit A:

2 out of 3 White voters willingly cast their ballot for a man who has a thing for minors. I repeat: White Americans overwhelmingly voted for a sexual predator…TWICE IN A ROW.

Despite the GOP attempting to disenfranchise black voters at every turn, including closing the DMVs in every black majority district so that residents couldn’t get the Voter IDs Alabama requires, Black people are SINGLEHANDEDLY responsible for saving America from having a man in the Senate who openly said this country was better during slavery and that gay people should die.