Frequently Asked Questions
For those curious about Dan and his work, here are some interesting questions and answers.
Where do you get your ideas for SOIL?
Generally through trial and error, though most story lines have been inspired by experiences in my own life and others I know. I do not shy away from marginalized groups (e.g., overweight, gay, minorities, etc.) because I have been marginalized as well. Society tends to put down others that are different. I understand how many of those people feel, and they seem to understand me.
What kinds of challenges have you faced with your autism?
Growing up, I had trouble understanding other people, mingling socially, and making friends. This of course extended to romantic and sexual relationships as I got older. Other challenges have included difficulty with confusing or chaotic situations (e.g., driving), anger issues, and poor gross motor coordination. Probably most frustrating of all is trying to convince others that my radical opinions have merit, and the struggle to overcome the stigma surrounding autism.
People have called me a loser because I'm kind of like a big child, and I derive great excitement from doing things that others don't see value in like watching trains or admiring unusual objects, like culverts, stop signs, fire hydrants, shoes, or bones (skeletons). Those things are really no different than collecting stamps, going to concerts, or fixing antique cars. Why are those activities any less valuable if they make someone happy?
Can you describe the stigma you speak of?
I see that society tries to standardize people. I do not believe that people should be forced to be like everyone else. People should be free to do their own thing. Society tells people "where they belong" when they should really be providing avenues for people to find their own way and place in the world. Everyone is different and valuable. We just need to find where each individual will help (society) the most where they can contribute with their innate talents and skills.
Although autistic people often have dreams that are different and may seem worthless or silly to most, those dreams and/or aspirations may serve a useful purpose. Everyone can contribute if given the chance!
What have you accomplished despite your challenges?
I have held a part-time job for the last number of years at a local library, I have my driver's license, and I live independently in my own bachelor pad (ladies pay attention).
Can I get an autographed copy of the SOIL books?
May I contact Mr. Woodman directly?
Dan values his privacy and prefers to spend his time concentrating on his creative work. Messages may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you on Dan's behalf.