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Showing posts from 2013

A Place Between Breaths

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Next week on Tuesday, November 26, my second novel, A Place Between Breaths, will be released -- hitting Amazon shelves first in Kindle* and paperback.  Soon after, it will be available at your local bookstore and library.

I'm very excited to share this story with you all -- and a bit nervous too.  While there are some mystical elements in this story, it's not as dreamy as Dream of Me.  Explaining exactly how this story created itself in my noggin is pretty much a spoiler, so if you really want to know, see me after you've read it.

Here's what the back of the book tells you:

When FBI Agent Rachel Mueller flies to Mexico’s Copper Canyon to recover the body of a missing American college student, she's partnered with Mexican federal agent Marius Suarez, a man she knew and loved years ago when he used an alias and worked undercover for the DEA. 
Working together while trying to sort out their troubled past, Rachel and Marius discover evidence of more murders – all commi…

My Au-some Autism Playlist

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“Music expresses that which cannot be said, and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo


We all find ways of coping with the challenges of Spectrum life.  I run, I write.  I pray a lot.  Music is also pretty high on my list.

When the love I feel for my children  – the joy, the fears, the admiration, the protectiveness – builds up inside me to the point that it is inexpressible with mere words, I turn to music.  Maybe it’s a sad song that mirrors my fears, or a rousing anthem that spurs me toward my next goal.  Maybe it's one of those angry songs that rails at the inequities in life.  But if a song grabs my heart, it's because it has expressed something that mere words cannot.
These are those songs – it’s my Au-some Autism Playlist.  While they don’t all, word for word, match every emotion I have felt during the past six years since we were diagnosed, they do represent a nice spectrum of feelings that, to me, represent what’s most important in this journey – Love,…

Out of Left Field

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What’s wrong with this desk?
If you are quickly finding room for ascetic improvements, back up a minute.  I’m asking a simpler question:  If you need to take a test and you walk into a classroom full of these desks, are you going to pull out your #2 pencil or are you going to tell the instructor you have a problem?
Roughly ten percent of us are going to ask for a different desk – the one in the picture does not work with our neurology.
No worries, right?  Left-handedness is no big deal.  Schools usually have accommodations for Lefties – many desks are universal these days.  Sure, we’re going to leave the test with a big smear of lead across the side of our hands, but no one is going to point at us, stare at us or whisper about our neuro-differences.
But that wasn’t always the case.  It was not so long ago that Lefties were treated severely by educators and even parents until they “learned” to use the “correct” hand.  My grandmother was spanked by a school teacher and had her left han…

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: Raising Kids on the Spectrum

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“I can remember the frustration of not being able to talk.  I knew what I wanted to say, but I could not get the words out,  so I would just scream.”  —Temple Grandin

How can you be heard if you can't speak?  How can you tell your story if people don't understand your language?  How will the neurotypical world know what living on the spectrum is really like from day to day, if we don't show them?
From the day my son was diagnosed with Autism, one of my biggest concerns was whether people would take the time to understand him.  So when Chicken Soup for the Soul announced last year that they were publishing a book of personal stories about kids with Autism and Asperger's, I knew I wanted to be part of it.
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: Raising Kids on the Spectrum hits bookstore shelves today, marking the sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day and the beginning of Autism Awareness Month.  My story, "The Art of Hope," can be found on page 48.
As a contributor, I recei…

Bluegrass

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I’m turning a corner, ducking under low beams, rummaging through a thrift shop by myself, when suddenly, I’m not alone.
She is not really here, but I smell her scent on the air as if she has just come to lay her hand on my shoulder.  Bluegrass Perfume.  It’s too rare to be worn by another shopper.  If you ask for it at the Elizabeth Arden counter, they may have one bottle, tucked away in the back of a cabinet.  Besides, when I turn in a full circle, I confirm what I already knew.  I am alone.
It’s been fifteen years since we lost her.  My sisters and I called her Nana and she was ours and ours alone.  We had no cousins to share her with – my mother’s only brother died in infancy – but we shared her with everyone.  Our friends, our dates – eventually our husbands – all felt welcome at Nana’s house, where the living room was cooled by the constant buzz of oscillating fans, the pristine kitchen smelled of Wrigley’s Double Mint and the pink and mauve-tiled bathroom was always open for pedic…

O, Love!

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If you are alone this Valentine’s Day, I am writing this for you. 
Whether you ignore the day, share the occasion with friends or spend the holiday alone, you should know that romance does not belong to the paired, the settled, or even those flush with new love.  It is not encumbered with hearts cut from paper, chocolates or rose petals. 
It is not trademarked by Hallmark.
Can love be bought and sold?  Is it exchangeable for a diamond pendant or a candlelit dinner? 
And is a heart that hopes less tender?  Is a heart that has lost less true?
I’m not cynical and I’m not trying to be maudlin, just real.  Because when I look at the true masters of romance – the poets – I can’t help noticing that the stuff they write is too deep for Valentine’s Day.  Here are some of my favorite bits of poetry on romance – and none of it would work on a greeting card.
Love leaves.  William Butler Yeats wrote of this in a heartbreaking poem called “When you are Old,” calling on his long lost love to rem…

All That Echoes -- A Review of Josh Groban's new album

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Long anticipated by fans, Josh Groban’s sixth studio album, All That Echoes, was released on Tuesday, February 5.  
Don’t you love the title?  I won’t say that Josh has been reading my blog, Wake of Echoes, but I will say that great minds think alike. I got my copy in the mail Monday (happy dance) and have since pretty much hijacked my husband’s fancy stereo.
When an artist has a fan base that ranges from tweens to great grandmas, there’s always a chance that he’ll begin to appeal to one end of that spectrum at the expense of the other – especially when new producers are involved, which has been true of both his fifth album, Illuminations (Rick Rubin), and All That Echoes (Rob Cavallo)*. But not to worry.  Josh is not a wedding singer, an opera wanna-be or a Vegas gonna-be.  He’s not going to press an album every two years filled with easy-listening vanilla, just because it would sell. 
All That Echoes solidifies Josh’s genius as a musician, not a crooner, though his voice is unparallele…