Life With A Side Of Autism

LIFE WITH A SIDE OF AUTISM

Friday, May 29, 2015

Let's Face This Friday - And DANCE!!


That was me, back in the day, dancing in a show. It was summer stock, and I performed five shows a day, six days a week, dancing under hot lights in an open-air theater in blistering heat and humidity.

Fun times, despite the conditions. And if one of us dropped from the torture, we all just danced over them and kept on going, because that's what you do when you dance.

And in that fine spirit of "The Show Must Go On," here are some of my favorite dance clips to groove you into your weekend.


Okay, maybe not that guy.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Had A Bad Writer Day Yesterday



And by that I mean, I feel like I'm a bad writer.

I'm not fishing for compliments, here (but do feel free to fling them at me, if so motivated). It was just a bummer day. I haven't sold a book in three days. On any of my platforms. Not one book. I mean, I was never selling blockbuster amounts to begin with, but this was just....nothing.

That hasn't happened in months, and worse, I really put a ton of effort into marketing this month, through multiple streams - reviewers, twitter campaigns...UGH.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Living Vicariously Through Myself


The words are always swimming in my head
The people, telling me their stories
The far-off places, the excitement, the romance
It's all there, and I savor it
I wrap it around me
I sink into it and I write it out
And I put it all down and I think 
There's my life
The life I want to be living
Right there, on the paper
Or the monitor screen
And it occurs to me
That I really ought to do something
About making it truly my life
With people and places
And romance
I really should
I just really should

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Search Engine Keywords Are Sometimes A Surprise



I try not to dwell on the "stats" page of my blog too often. It's not like I have millions of page views a day, here, but it's usually respectable enough for me. I've just found that getting all wound up about who's reading me and how often can get me way too determined to write clickbait instead of actual content. I'd much rather write something catchy once in a while and give you some meatier fodder the other days for those of you who do stick around.

One thing that I do find interesting is the list of search terms people plug into Google that brought them to my blog. Most of the time it's pretty generic, my blog name or a reference to an especially popular post, and sometimes, it gets....weird.

Monday, May 25, 2015

My Father Carries A Wound From The War That I Will Never Forget




My father is a Viet Nam vet, but unless you were part of our family, you may not know that. He doesn't talk about it much. If you bring it up, he'll acknowledge it and he is proud to have served his country, but he's never in all my living memory talked about it openly and without invitation. 

He was wounded there, and for his wounds he received the Purple Heart, which he keeps in a dusty box on the back of his dresser. I saw it once, when I was young and snooping around as kids do. My Mom yelled at me to leave it alone as it was Daddy's medal and very important. I remember asking my Dad what was so important about it, and he wouldn't answer me. 



Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy Friday - Time For Another Visit To The Land Of NOPE

Yay! Three Day Weekend (at least, here in the US, anyway)! No major plans, just chilling with the kids and hopefully getting the above-ground pool set up and filled. And writing, of course. Lots of writing.

But today....today I'm going to take you to a land of NOPE. We'll start our journey here, at this beautiful canyon:




And now on this remote island off the coast of Mexico:




Thursday, May 21, 2015

'Tis A Gift To Be Simple: In Celebration Of Simple Pleasures



Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning, turning we will come 'round right.

If you ever sang choir in high school, or were active in your church, you've probably sung that song at some point in your life. This is a Shaker song that dates back to the mid-1800's, reminding us all that the simple gifts are the ones you should cherish. Here, on the edge of Amish country, I'm surrounded by families that have chosen a simpler life. It's not the life for me, but I do see the appeal in it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Every Little Thing's Gonna Be All Right



It hangs on the wall in the upstairs hallway
Right between their bedrooms
Not overly large
And not frequently noticed
Just two little birds leaning on each other
And one little bird looking on
Three little birds
Reminding me
Every time I look at it
That every little thing
Is gonna be all right

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Never Blog About Politics Or Religion. Unless I Need To Blog About Politics And Religion.


Oh, God.

Oh. God.

God.

Don't talk about him much - at least, not in the internet.

And that's by design. See, I'm a blogger who likes to talk to all sorts of people and write about all sorts of people and hear from all sorts of people, and the surest way to alienate half of those people is to talk about God, or who you believe God to be, or if you believe in God at all.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pork Rinds, Miracle Whip And Other Guilty Pleasures


I bought pork rinds this weekend.

Not a big ole 5 pound tub like the one above, but a regular sized bag. To some of you that might seem unremarkable, but I haven't bought pork rinds in forever.

Come on...they're deep fried pork skin. They're a bajillion calories of almost pure fatty, overly-salty, artery-clogging, crackling death.

God help me, I love 'em. I forget how much until I break down and buy a bag. Maybe it's the association with my growing-up years in a small town in the Southwest. They're comfort food. Crackly, greasy, redneck comfort food.

I am so ashamed. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fun For A Friday: Time For Another Gallery Of Awesome Stuff

Welcome to the end of another week! WHEW. I'm ready to get my weekend on, but first...here's a random gallery of really cool stuff I've accumulated. Enjoy!

The dwarves from The Hobbit cover "Beat It."




Follow the instructions. Try to keep from drowning during the Sortie en mer.


Or, if you feel like exploring the universe, download Space Engine.



Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Tale Of Two Papers, Or Special Needs, Served Two Special Ways


This is a tale of two papers, pulled from two different pockets, right before throwing laundry into the machine.

On the left, we see a paper from David's pocket - obviously his form of doodling. He's essentially copied the menu options from several of his favorite Harry Potter DVD's, detailing out the Warner Brother's logo, the titles, etc. 

The whole page was covered in this. Front and back. Only instead of "Harry Potter," all the titles had "David Potter" in them instead. Because that's his biggest dream - to live in the movies he so loves to watch.

On the right is the paper from Anna's pocket - and looking at it (also detailed front and back), I assumed it was homework. It's not, or so she informs me. Just stuff about string theory and astrophysics that she found really interesting after doing some research on the internet. At home, in her free time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: I Can See You Shine


There she stands in the background
She always seems to stand in the background
Partly because she's never been one for the spotlight
Mostly because he usually demands the spotlight
But she has a light all her own
Glowing from the inside
Warming us all
As she stands behind, with her watchful eyes on him
And I tell her, as often as I can
I can see you shine, my girl.
I can see you shine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Ellie's journey with her son David has been one of joy, patience and discovery - one that changed the very framework in which she used to view autism. Through David's eyes, she's learned that an autism diagnosis isn't the end of the world - it's just the beginning of an interesting new one.
Available at Amazon for Kindle - and Smashwords for all e-reading device.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

So I Got Divorced Yesterday...And That Wasn't The Worst Of It



I came home from work yesterday, and just like I always do, I grabbed the mail. Inside the mailbox was a large envelope and it took me a minute to realize it was from the County Prothonotary's office.

I opened it right there in the driveway, and right there in the driveway, five days before what would have been our twenty-third wedding anniversary, I read our divorce decree.

Five years he's been gone, and it's finally official. Finally. And then I surprised myself, and in so doing I broke one of my absolute cardinal rules about getting a divorce: never make your kid your sounding board.

But it hit me with the force of a rock wall for a moment, and I started crying, leaning against the car, crying with relief, crying in catharsis, hell....just crying. I was going to pull myself together and then come in the house, but David opened the door, having heard the car.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Once Upon A Time Season Four Finale Recap: Only In The Bizarro Episode Do Hook And Emma End Up In Bed



We begin this evening back in the Enchanted Forest - whoops, no it's not. It's a TV, circa 1960-something, and our author Isaac is a TV salesman. His sales manager is none to happy with his lackluster sales techniques, and reminds Isaac that sales is storytelling and he "doesn't tell stories that people want."

Isaac hopefully opens a mysterious letter (because his personal mail is apparently delivered to the store) from "Star Publishing" and to his great delight, they're demanding an immediate meeting.

He shows up at the studio where Jennifer Beals filmed the finale audition sequence of "Flashdance," and the Apprentice is there to meet him. He tells Isaac that they're a very selective publishing company, and their previous author has died. (Nice touch - Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966). He sets out an array of pens and asks him to pick a pen. It's a test, and Isaac needs to choose the wand pen that calls out to him.

After it blasts Isaac with light, the Apprentice lets him know that the pen chooses the author, and somewhere there's an evil author with a pen that has a feather from the same phoenix inside it. Oh, wait. Wrong story. The apprentice invites the author to take a trip and opens the mysterious portal doorway, inviting Isaac to step through and find his destiny.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fun For A Friday: A Batch Of Totally Random Cat Videos

There they are...plotting against me...


I am a cat owner. I grew up a dog person, but ended up a cat owner and now I just can't get enough cat videos. I collect them like some people with real lives collect fine wine. Here are a few of  my favorites:

Starts off cute, ends up feral.


Lucifer is a d--k.


I have made a terrible mistake.


Cats being jerks


O Solo Meow


Cat Alarm Clocks


Brushing your teeth with a cat on your head


And we'll end with Cats and Babies! (I defy you not to be in a good mood after this one)

Hope you all have a great weekend, and for all you Moms out there - Happy Mother's Day!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I'm Trying To Write This Mother's Day Post, But It's Coming Out All Wrong.



This started out being a post about pieces of advice my mother gave me that were wrong. Complete garbage. 'Cause we're coming up on Mother's Day and I wanted to push the envelope a little.

You see, my Mom was born in a different era, and we were very different people. She was a wife and a homemaker who never had a thought or a plan or a dream to be anything other than my Dad's wife and Mom to the three of us. She did it well, too. God knows, we didn't always make it easy.

But sometimes, she'd say things that were well-intended, or seemed true to her, coming from the time she grew up in, and they were just....well, they were bunk.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: My Goofballs Help The Day Go By



The picture hangs on my cubicle wall
They took it in the photo booth at a family wedding
Presenting it triumphantly to me afterward
And we all laughed and laughed
It's on the cubicle wall
Just behind my monitor
And every so often during the day
That flash of red draws my eye
And I smile
And it's all good
No matter what
It's all good

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Escape Is Not An Option - Or How I'll Never Write The Memoir That Gets The Movie



Oh Cheryl Strayed. Oh, Elizabeth Gilbert.

I want to be you.

I want to strap on a backpack or grab a lone suitcase. I want to hike remote areas and jet to foreign countries where no one speaks the language. I want to immerse and cut loose and challenge and break down and rise triumphant to stand at the top of a vista and know I've earned the scars and worn my bones and skin with passion.

But see, the problem is...I have kids.

Wait - I shouldn't use that word. My kids aren't a problem. They're a complication.

No. Wrong word again. My kids are amazing, fantastical creatures that are a serious cause of joy in my life. But the fact is, I can't do any of what you did because I have them.

I have them, and they need looking after. And their Dad lives in another state, you see. So when we got divorced, I got primary custody and that means I can't just pick up and leave.

I couldn't spend a year in three different countries finding myself. I couldn't hike a thousand miles and push myself and work through my pain. I had to live my pain here, between these four walls. I had to get up in the morning and put a different face on to cover that pain while I got the kids up, and made breakfast.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 21 Recap: One Mother Of An Episode


Tonight we get the twisted Once salute to that beloved holiday: Mother's Day. Only in the Enchanted Forest, motherhood is rarely celebrated with brunch at the Marriott.

We start with Regina - and I'm talking old school Regina, snarky, powerful and dressed to the nines, interrupting a wedding just to rip the groom's heart out because someone dared to irk her a bit, on this, the anniversary of her true love's death. She visits Daniel's grave and there, laying in wait, is Cora.

Oh, Cora, how I've missed you and that creepy, condescending smile. 



Meanwhile, at a bar in New York, Robin and Regina are hashing out this horrible situation. Robin is understandably furious at being, y'know...raped by a maniac, but he wants Regina. He wants her and he's willing to work around the obstacle of a baby and a crazy faux ex. Regina is far less than enthusiastic at having a crazy babymamma in the picture for a lifetime, however.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fun For A Friday - Ten Great Moments Of Laughter



Today, we're going to laugh. A lot! Laughter is contagious, so here, get a snootful and don't forget to infect the world!

We'll start with one of the greatest movie laugh scenes of all time - Tom Hanks in "The Money Pit."




And this guy proves that laughter is a universal language: