Friday, August 17, 2018

Introducing Nathaniel, one of the three new OA bloggers!

Let’s say you and I are supposed to meet up for lunch, but you forgot to ask what I looked like. Amongst other patrons, you’d catch a glimpse of a short, half-Filipino with noise-cancelling headphones on and a fidget spinner in his hand in the least lit and quietest area of the building. If your first reaction would be to throw your query at him for a critique, then, congratulations! I’d be happy to help you with that. My name is Nathaniel, and I’m the new Query Friday and Flash Fiction Friday host!

I usually botch first impressions unless the other person finds me pathetic or endearing, but hopefully when I tell you a little about myself, you’ll be more inclined to trust me with the pitch to your word baby. I’m a 25-year-old high school English teacher who teaches at an inner city public school in Portsmouth, Virginia. The best part about my job is showing slam poetry with swear words and not getting in trouble for it. Oh, and also teaching ninety darling ninth graders every day. Should I have said that first?

One cool thing about me is that I’m on the Autism Spectrum. I was hoping I’d be graced with savant math skills, but all I got was an unhealthy obsession with psychology and the need to respond to every, “Enjoy your meal” with “You too.” A lot of people are confused when I say that I like being Autistic. Wouldn’t it make my life so much easier if I didn’t curl up on the floor crying at too much light and sound, or be able to talk to people easier? Sure, but so would the world accepting me for who I am and not expecting me to be like everyone else. In all seriousness, I’m passionate about disability advocacy and write about it a lot.

Another thing I write about is being transgender, which I do over at Alternatives HR. (www.alternativeshr.com) I don’t have a traumatic coming out story—all of my friends and family accept me, and I have a job and a place to live. But I still dream of the day when I can be out at work, have a long dwarf beard and never be called “ma’am” again.

I’m currently immersed in the query trenches trying to publish my debut novel, which is a contemporary YA about eSports. I was a contestant in Query Kombat this year, (2018 if you’re reading this in the future) where I made it to the quarterfinals. Query Kombat is actually how I found Operation Awesome, with the help of Kara Reynolds!

To close this out, I’ll list some weird facts about me in a lightning round: I was once on Nickelodeon for about two seconds. I have an elderly tuxedo cat named Minerva. (Yes, she was named after Minerva McGonagall) I have three and a half mental illnesses. I genuinely enjoy working the graveyard shift. My favorite part about space is Europa because of the frozen oceans.

My Twitter handle is @natglanzman. Let’s be friends!

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