The Invisible Moth

Autistic Author Confessions

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I have confessions to make. Yes, plural.

First, I am somewhat purposefully neglecting my more complex WIP…also known as Volume 4.

Why? Well, after delivering a bombshell in Volume 3 (no spoilers, I promise, for those of you not yet caught up), I’m finding a proper encore a bit hard to create. It’s almost like stage fright.

Here’s my second confession: The stage fright comes after a series of rejections from book snobs.

Should I really care what book snobs think about my little fantasy masterpiece? Maybe not? But here’s confession 3: I do.

I went through a very, very rough experience in the spring, with trying to expand my local promoting, and it falling flat on its/my face. Confession 4: I was really wondering if I should just throw in the towel on this whole indie author thing.

There are times I wrote several pages of a new draft for Volume 4, or for a playing-around-with-ideas prequel, and then just literally shredded them. (C5)

And since I am poor and paper and ink can be expensive when you’re on a tight budget, simply chucking drafts is a blow to the wallet and the self-esteem. (C6)

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I felt so worn down by the lack of progress that I almost put How To Be A Savage on hold indefinitely. (C7)

Finally, I pushed through to finish the bloody thing, almost out of spite at my obstacles. And after some of the early feedback I’ve gotten, I know it was worth it.

Now I’m diving back into Fire and Wind, and am determined to have the (3rd – C8) draft done by the end of summer.

Despite knowing part of self-publishing is doing the marketing yourself, I am very loathe to promote the heck out of Savage. (C9) I is tired.

For the sake of my own mental health, I left Goodreads last year, and therefore am not monitoring if my new works are being listed on that site. This not happening will slightly hurt the marketing aspect, but I am willing to leave it up to any GR Librarians I may know.

(C10) I am hoping someone will put Savage up on GR. And start the ball rolling with a glowing review. One of the few things that’s kept me going in these last several months of hell is knowing I do have a support base.

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After feeling for quite a while (far too damn long) like I was sleepwalking through life, I am ready to attack at least my writing, for the sole purpose of enjoying writing. I am DONE with what the book snobs think. They can go away and do something unpleasant and metaphorical to themselves. (C11)

Also, I’m not going to keep apologizing for not having a new book ready to publish every 6 months. (C12) Books will be ready when they are ready, and that is that; amen.

If there’s a lack of writing announcements, I may have to find more ways to add content to my newsletters; I’ll figure it out. (C13)

I’d told myself that not going to Realm Makers this year wasn’t a big deal. I think I lied to myself. (C14) To all of you going, have the BEST time and take a million pictures to show the rest of us. While money and travel are always concerns for me, I do continue to pray that one year soon I can overcome those issues, and the utterly terrifying idea of being around a crowd of mostly strangers for 3 whole days, to join all of you. (C15)

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I’m going to stop beating myself up because I haven’t had a book signing yet. (C16)

My focus for the next couple of months is going to be the writing itself. The process. The plotting, getting to know my characters again, remembering why I have to keep sharing their stories with others. Recapturing the passion.

And, boy, do I need it. I won’t lie and claim I’m not fretting about my birthday coming up next month. I feel OLD. Absolutely no one will make me feel better by pointing out that next year I shall become the meaning of Life, the Universe, Everything. In 2019 (!), I do NOT want to be 41, and am being a whiny baby about it.

I do feel that I haven’t achieved enough for having been on the planet this long. (C17) I have found peace in the acceptance of factors beyond my control and situations or issues I can’t solve on my own. But Time seems out to get me right now, and the thought of what I still need to accomplish (like putting my boys’ future in good shape) is certainly intimidating.

I need to learn how to paw slap this mentality away. (C18)

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This would be a really good point to recall that when I was turning 31, I wasn’t an author yet; but was successfully, finally, finishing a college degree, and slowly molding myself into a rockstar autism parent.

I hadn’t started a blog yet; but without going on the journey of studying Early Childhood Education and becoming more familiar with social media, I wouldn’t have known what issues special needs kids and their parents are facing, nor been brave enough to get my own opinions on the screen.

I hadn’t yet finished the 5th draft of what would become Masters and Beginners; if I wasn’t querying agents and receiving rejections back then, I wouldn’t have felt spurred to dive into NaNoWriMo in 2016 and at last complete the manuscript that launched my self-publishing endeavors.

Without having the guts, and the don’t-give-a-damns, to attempt this undertaking, I wouldn’t know many of the friends I’ve met since they first read my blog, my Twitter, or my books.

I can’t believe I almost didn’t do it. (C19)

In spite of all the downsides, I’m really glad I did. (C20)

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The Invisible Moth, writing

How To Be A Savage And Other Tales: It’s In The Wild!

How To Be A Savage And Other Tales

So, a million years ago, some of you might remember that I was attempting to pen an Own Voices novel with an autistic protagonist. I legit gave it my best shot for easily three-quarters of a year, and then absolutely could not do it anymore. Writing even fictionalized novel-length material about your actual life and mind and heart is a lot harder than I anticipated it to be. Hence, a few months back, I decided to wrap it up, and just publish what I had.

Well, the thing was, after editing out the parts I didn’t like or that wouldn’t make any sense with the piece no longer being a novella, it was…short. So, I did a little digging, and found some flash fiction on my blog and on White Fang’s (he hasn’t updated it at all lately, lol, sorry, folks), that we’d always meant to do something with, but never got around to it (his especially). Therefore, in the end, I produced a still meager but fitting compliation of How To Be A Savage and…other tales. Hence the title.

Anyway, after various hiccups, we are ready to go! This little book is available for purchase at the link below, and there are a couple of advance reviews pending for the near future.

You can find How To Be A Savage And Other Tales here:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-be-a-savage-and-other-tales-daley-downing/1132169666;jsessionid=43E9903D4A897529342EB30291C75ADD.prodny_store02-atgap18?ean=9781987086355

Barnes and Noble will ship to many different countries, but if you’re having trouble obtaining a copy, please let me know, and I can arrange to be the middle man on delivery.

I feel like a broken record, but thankyouthankyouthankyou to everyone for your support, your patience, and never making me feel guilty when writing or editing or publication seemed to take forever. Opening up my very soul for this project was daunting, to say the least, and getting that ongoing virtual cheer from my community every time I wanted to give up honestly did help push me over the finish line.

And could we have a round of applause for White Fang’s author debut!

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books, The Invisible Moth

Happy Bookiversary!

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So, I’ve never been very good at the self-promotion thing… One of the hardest parts, for me, about being an indie author is that you have to do most of your marketing and advertising yourself. To this day, I still get a little shy when people ask the age-old, “What do you write about?”

But apparently I’ve managed to explain it well enough in the past 2 years that people maintain an interest in my work. Yes, it’s really been 2 years (tomorrow!) since I officially released Masters and Beginners (Volume 1 in The Order of the Twelve Tribes) into the world!

To say I was nervous doesn’t even begin to cover it. I was so ready to become a published author…except deep down, I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone to actually read my book. What if they hated it?

It’s the chance you take. Blessedly, if anyone has a less than favorable view of my titles, I have yet to hear of it. And the praise and encouragement I’ve received has certainly helped in keeping my nose to the grindstone (because believe me, it is a grind to write, edit, format, submit, release, and promote all your own stuff).

But at the end of the day, I do get to admit that, yes, I wrote that.

And that feeling can still be exhilarating.

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Not to blow my own horn…hmm, okay, actually, yes…I’ve made it through the third book in my series (and one of these days the fourth shall finally appear as a finished product). And I managed to squeeze in a collection of short stories as well (and am currently working on a second montage, of flash fiction).

Despite the fact that writing itself is often a solitary act, creating a book is anything but. I owe so much gratitude (and will be shouting it for quite a while) to my cover designers, beta readers, reviewers, and overall writing tribe. To all of you who have helped make this venture worthwhile, thank you, thank you so much.

Here’s to the next two years of The Invisible Moth publishing!

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blogging, The Invisible Moth

Do You Have to Have a Theme for Blogging?

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I’ve touched on this in the past, but I’m thinking more and more about it lately. On the whole, I struggle with sticking to a layout that’s pretty rigid and too predictable; this may sound surprising to those of you who know I’m on the autism spectrum. But I, as an individual, get bored easily, and if things always stay exactly the same, never providing the opportunity for growth, then that rankles me.

To a point, it helps your reader base if they can more or less know what to expect when they return to your site. Humans are creatures of habit — even neurotypical ones — and they do like routine and not having their socks knocked off at every turn. And while I generally stick to the same bunch of topics, I know that setting those boundaries too strictly will eventually do me in.

Some pros of having a theme for your blog:

  • Readers who like to view recurring content and discussions won’t be disappointed.
  • There are memes, tags, and challenges to follow for many different categories and subjects, so you can find a lot of source material when you’re not sure what to post about.

Some cons:

  • It’s too easy to run out of ideas, tags, challenges, memes, or get bored with all of the above.
  • You can feel too fenced in or limited, and may purposefully avoid bringing up an important topic because it doesn’t fit in with your “typical fare”.
  • Posting to a tight schedule can become time-consuming and stressful.
  • All of this creates disenchantment with blogging itself, and you wonder why you started this in the first place.

Okay, I’m being a little dramatic.

Or, am I?

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I’ve only been blogging for 3 years, and in that short time, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go, take a hiatus only to never return, or their posts grow more and more infrequent, and they’ll claim it’s just life, but the fact is, they’re enjoying the break from the unnecessary stress that can come from trying to develop and maintain a popular site.

Those who started blogging just for fun don’t really feel they’re missing out on much by quitting (especially when it isn’t fun anymore). But some of us are aiming to create a brand — like yours truly, since being a self-published author means doing all the marketing oneself — and keeping up this platform becomes important.

At least in some capacity. A lot of indie authors reach a point where we need to devote more time to actually writing, editing, formatting and designing, rather than the meme of the week. Though readers — who are bombarded with literally millions of options of titles/series/authors — will often respond more favorably to an indie author who has a medium where they share some personal details, offering a connection to the person behind the work, rather than the email address that endlessly spams you, “Buy my new book!”

Hence why I try to keep this space a combination of discussion, updates, and random thoughts, not simply newsletter-ish content.

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Especially when I don’t have anything significant to announce. Or, when it would all amount to, “I’m still struggling with the same WIP I complained about 6 weeks ago.” People get bogged down by that.

Plus, there’s more to me than being a writer. Yes, I hope to earn at least part of my living from book sales, and be known around the internet as an author first, blogger or Twitter persona or stay-at-home mom later. However, I do have a life away from my manuscripts — and that life helps fuel my inspirations, plots and characters, so it can still hold interest for my readers.

And not all of these things are books. Which is a major reason I’ve always been reluctant to classify myself as solely a “book blogger.”

When I first came to WordPress, I was really unsure what I wanted my niche to be, or if I even wanted to declare one. After several months, I realized that nailing down a few particular subjects to commonly converse about with others would aid my focus, and in building a base. (A base is a big deal if you’re undertaking a more expansive endeavor, like launching your author brand.)

So I turned to my reading habits and writing plans — and it did help. But now, it’s become complicated.

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As I mentioned above, posting about my writing, as opposed to seriously sitting down and writing, can begin to feel like a stall tactic. And that is not how I spend the majority of my life (even when I wish I could), because there are so many other aspects to my day.

Also, as I said, I tend to get bored easily. When something starts to seem stale, I itch to go after new stuff. This doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly abandon my plans for the rest of my fantasy series (don’t worry), but I will give up sticking to a schedule for reviews or announcements.

So, I guess from here on out, I’m declaring my blog a non-niche or theme-less one. Maybe it’ll be a little more difficult to explain what my blog’s “about”…or, will it be easier? I won’t have to worry that it doesn’t fit into a particular category or group. Realistically, I’ll reach more people by diversifying, not less. And I won’t start to become discouraged by what is, after all, my own platform.

Shaking it up can be good.

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The Invisible Moth

Four Out of Nine Lives

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So, a general fact about me is that I do not math. And I do not like to admit that I am getting older. Somewhere around 16 months ago, I declared that I am not even keeping track of my own age anymore; I knew I was somewhere around 38, and I was leaving it at that.

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So imagine how horrifying it was to realize…I am going to be 40.

Yes, as you read this, I will be mere hours away from turning (or maybe even just have turned) 40.

EEP.

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Why is it so scary, though? Realistically, it’s because I am officially older than I want to be, or can be and still remain cool. (According to popular theory.)

I, quite frankly, want to prove that I can be a nearly-middle aged mother of two and stay cool.

(Hush, White Fang, yes, I am already cool.)

I also don’t want to believe that my best years are behind me.

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Has my life gone exactly the way I wanted it to? No. But whose does? A lot of things have gone just fine. I could have many more regrets than I do. That ain’t half bad.

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It’s only been since I lived out my 30s that I finished a college degree, revitalized my dancing career, published a book, and had my second child.

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If I can get all that done in a decade when most people are finding themselves settling into boring, humdrum jobs and routines, then imagine what I can accomplish in the next 10?

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The Invisible Moth

Half Year Wrap-up (HOW Did This Happen?! I’m Announcing a Bounty for Thieves of Time)

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And, yes, I am aware that even this post is late, since we were actually halfway through the year about a month ago. *Cue soft endless screaming in the background*

I have concretely determined that there is something nefarious at work, with regards to the way time seems to vanish in the blink of an eye anymore. As Empress of the Universe (remember, Kyle Robert Shultz appointed me somewhere about June; I have the Tweets to prove it), I formally declare that anyone who knows who the thieves of time are, you may go forth and hunt them down and take back the hours and days they robbed. I am positive that, after my issuing this decree, we shall all see approximately a week and a half added to our calendars.

So, attempting to keep the whinging to a minimum, here we go with a recap of what has happened so far this year, and what hopefully will come soon.

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Due to some health issues in January and February, I was not able to do as much writing as I had hoped. However, I was finally successful in completing and publishing Volume 3: Healers and Warriors. It is absolutely on sale at Barnes & Noble’s website, along with all of my other works (search me up on Goodreads for all the specs). (Sorry, folks, this is as close as I come to shameless self-promotion.)

In reading, I surpassed my challenge some point betwixt April and not-yet-spring. And since I didn’t stop reading then, the numbers are continuing to climb. (My goal was 50 books finished before December. I am now currently at 70 read. Not to brag. Seriously. Just sharing.)

In family life, Muffin is now 4, White Fang will be starting 10th grade far too soon (does anyone hear some wailing?), and I do not feel at all ready for fall.

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So, as we prepare to enter the last quarter of 2018 (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I am making some important decisions.

Don’t worry, I’m not swanning off to herd goats in Albania. (Apologies for confusing my animal metaphors.) However, I shall be sticking to my “new” plan of blogging less often, and diversifying what I post about, to keep the ideas plentiful, and the time limits less strict. Probably I’ll be on Twitter less, and if you tag me for something and I never get around to it, this has nothing to do with your lovely self; it’s all about me not over-committing.

I also do not have goals for continuing on Wattpad at this point. I never really gave Wattpad a fair chance (early on I was experiencing technical difficulties with it, and this really turned me off the notion of using it more frequently). But it all comes down to time. To those of you who have supported me on that site, thank you, thank you, thank you, truly. And I am working on putting together the full novelization of How To Be A Savage, which is in the next bit of news.

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My hopes for 2018 were to release at least 3 books. Hahahahahahahahahaha… BUT, it is only August, not Thanksgiving. Hence, I still sincerely plan to publish How To Be A Savage before 2019 is looming, and maybe even the Order of the Twelve Tribes prequel. (Yes, there will be a prequel. Go ahead, flail; I’ll wait.)

The other major thing I’m already deciding not to do is NaNo in November. In theory, it could help an author’s who behind catch up; but in reality, it will only serve to stress me out. Therefore, I am not declaring a novel, a title, or a word count goal for that month. I will simply do what I can whenever I can, and not feel guilty. (My sense of guilt around NaNo mostly fled last year, when I realized we have to pay for our prizes.)

Otherwise, I am proud of myself for having made it through the publication process again, even in spite of major health difficulties, and I intend to keep pushing on until actual time runs out on this year.

(By the way, all illegal Time Turners found can be turned in to the Doctor. The TARDIS makes regular appearances at conventions in California and on streetcorners in London.)

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blogging, The Invisible Moth

Life, the Universe, and Everything

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(Or, a Brief History of Time. Or, maybe, A Short History of Nearly Everything. Yes, I am mercilessly robbing titles and subtitles from Douglas Adams, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Bryson. If any of you don’t get these references, come see me in the comments, so that we can properly educate you.)

Anyway, here’s what I’m gearing up to discussing: Those of you who have been around this blog a while may remember that I haven’t always focused on conversing about and promoting books (either what I’ve read or what I’ve written). Over the course of months and months, I debated whether to make the theme of my blog family life with autism, or just reading, just writing, or reading and writing, or… Too many combinations began to wrestle each other for supremacy in my brain. So, after debating, “Do I even need to stick to a theme?!?!”, I opted for concentrating on promoting my work, and encouraging other indie authors and readers of indie publications.

Well, I’ve done that. (Hopefully with a fair amount of success?? She looks down to the comments section to provide clarity on that front.) And I am immensely grateful to those of you who have shoved my blog links in the faces of faceless internet folks (hmm, does that make sense?), and insisted that everybody in the world read my posts, my published titles, my random quips on Twitter, and even my grocery list. (Sorry, guys, but my grocery lists are pretty functional and not exactly amusing or insightful.)

However, now we reach the crux of the biscuit: There is so much more I want to discuss. So many topics I want to cover. I’m really tired of theme-sticking (I feel sticky enough, dang it), of wracking my brain to come up with a subject within said theme that I haven’t already posted on, of feeling boxed in by said theme-continuing-method of blogging.

When I was about White Fang’s age, I decided that when I “grew up,” I wanted to be Erma Bombeck. She was a woman who made us laugh, yes, but she also made us think. She wanted her readers to take something away from her weekly columns — whether it be a much-needed chuckle, tears, or the inspiration to behave kindly and lovingly towards each other. I read her column every Sunday for years, until she passed away, and then I read her books. Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry formed my earliest notions of attempting to write about serious things presented in a humorous manner.

They convinced me that it worked.

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While I’ve chosen to try to make my career as an author, I am not just a writer. I’m also a mother, a dancer, an autist, a person of the 21st century. My inspiration that goes into my published titles has come from a variety of life experiences, from places I’ve been to, people I’ve known, books and films I’ve loved, cats I’ve treasured, music that made my heart sing and my body dance.

I’ve traveled (a little), I’ve stood in line for the latest Harry Potter release, gone horseback riding, watched a winter storm roll in to the beach in the dark of night. (Admittedly that last one was not the wisest idea, considering we were standing literally on the sand with the wind and waves ramping up, and the roads off the island were going to be closed any minute… But it was cool.)

There’s so much to this rich tapestry of life. And while I can’t ever hope to cover absolutely every single thing I may want to discuss on this platform (I’ll have forgotten 2 or 3 minor ideas by the time I post this, for the love of Pete), I’m sure going to try.

I’d never describe myself as fickle, but when something loses my interest, I have no qualms about leaving it in the dust. I don’t mean abandoning anything serious, like family, or flossing; but in the last several months, I feel as if I’ve talked about tropes, genre norms, character cliches, whether all the installments of a series should be the same size, and just what the heck headcanoning is until I’m blue in the face. I still totally love reading, and will be writing more of my own novels, and keeping up with my fellow bloggers, even if they tend to focus on these topics.

Though, when it comes to my own online spaces, I’m ready to diversify.

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When I’d only been blogging for a little while, all the advice I came across said the same thing: Decide what you’re going to post on, and keep to those subjects. The public doesn’t care for blogs that are all over the place.

Well, who cares? Who decided these people were the “experts” on blogging, and what the public does and doesn’t want? (Probably the same folks who are running corporations into the ground by continually rolling out ill-advised products many consumers then refuse to buy.)

Ahem.

So, looking ahead for this blog: I’ll be posting probably once a week or so throughout the summer, about whatever strikes my fancy at that point. There will still be relevant and timely updates regarding my publishing empire, but otherwise…this shall be the start of a journey.

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Fantasy fiction, self-publishing, The Invisible Moth

Volume 3: Title and Cover Reveal!

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Yes, everybody, here it is! Making its in-person debut at Realm Makers this year, Volume 3 of The Order of the Twelve Tribes shall be called Healers and Warriors, and this is the cover you need to be on the lookout for. Another fantastic design by The Kyle Robert Shultz (#shultzwithoutac), Healers and Warriors will be available in paperback in the very near future. You can find it on Barnes&Noble.com even if you can’t be at Realm Makers, and online purchases will be possible long after the conference is finished.

I don’t have a concrete release date yet, but I estimate around July 1st. A limited number of autographed copies can be acquired through Kyle at the Realm Makers conference July 19th-21st (so hunt him down while you can — but please be gentle, he still has other covers to create for me). And, as previously mentioned, if you need to place an online order, you’ll be able to do so anytime after I approve Volume 3’s publication.

There have been a few bumps in the road to release for this one, so I (and Kyle) greatly appreciate all of your patience and ongoing support. I’ll be back with more updates soon!

Autism, Children's Health, community, family, Parenting, The Invisible Moth

Mind the Gap

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Note: As usual with my more serious discussion posts, I have attempted to soften the blow with some very lovely pictures.

Do we all know what “mind the gap” means? When you step onto a train, and there’s a space between the edge of the platform and where the actual floor of the train car begins? And they have signs and warnings, “Mind the gap,” because they don’t want anyone to accidentally get hurt?

The reason I chose that title for this post came from thinking about things where there are major gaps between one issue and another, gaps that really need to be bridged if we’re going to get anywhere.

So, when I was a young mother, and had a primary-grades child diagnosed with autism, I heard a lot about how autism was “bad.” It would create major obstacles for him in school, in future life, in trying to get a job, get married, have a career, function on his own in society.

And, feeling an immense amount of society-induced guilt, I tried my hardest to get my child to change his natural behavior. Encouraged him not to stim (even though it cut back on anxiety), forced him to try to conform, insisted he not spend too much time alone.

After a couple of years, I saw that none of this was working. And more than that, it was beginning to dawn on me that I was reliving a dangerous pattern.

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When I was young, I behaved differently than my peers, and I was told not to. Teachers felt my desire to play alone, to engage in solitary pursuits, was harmful. I was instructed to read less and take up more interactive hobbies, try a sport, join a club.

So I tried. And I was miserable. I couldn’t understand some of the social cues, and that made me sad and mad, and that led to worse inner experiences, because I couldn’t understand or deal with all the emotions I felt.

So I gave up trying. By the time I was a young adult, I just wanted to be left alone to behave how I wanted to.

Then White Fang’s father — and a bunch of other stuff — happened. Not only did it change my life forever (because White Fang was born), but it also started me on a path of self-discovery.

Having a child that shares the same spectrum I inhabit, but doesn’t rest on the same space I do, and only occasionally visits, has made part of this path more complicated. One of my first questions was — if it was so easy to diagnose him, why not me? What’s the big difference?

It turns out there are many, many women who are now adults that either were suspected of being ASD as children and weren’t diagnosed, or were considered “in an introvert or geek phase,” and therefore passed over for diagnosis. 20 years ago, most psychologists in North America were looking for autism based only on a very specific set of criteria; so if a female child wasn’t showing significant language delays, or regularly made eye contact or was able to tolerate social interaction, they were deemed “probably not autistic.”

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This idea was totally wrong.

Mind the gap…

Though we’ve entered a new age of research regarding autism, I truly don’t think we’re yet at a new age of how we approach and understand ASD. Quite honestly, it concerns me. I want my kids to grow up in a world where differences from the norm are accepted, where ways they perceive and react to life is just viewed as part of the whole grand human experience.

I don’t want my son to be told he can’t go to this or that church because he’s an abomination that “needs to be cured”. I don’t want him and his future wife to be told that, since they “run the risk” of having a child on the spectrum, they should engage in pre-natal genetic testing that may “help” them decide whether or not to bring this life into the world.

Mind the gap…

I don’t want Muffin coming of age in a culture where he has to constantly shout into the void that his brother is not a freak. I don’t want to live out my remaining days surrounded by neighbors and acquaintances that keep giving me funny looks, or determine my value as a person by how many public events I attend. I want to know that the struggles and achievements of Temple Grandin, Cynthia Kim, myself, mean something good for the future.

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Most of all, I want to know that for whatever purpose God put me on this Earth, with autism, it has been served.

“Sometimes even shooting stars find wishes that missed their marks… But when the night gets too dark, and the road home seems too far… We’ll see the sun come up again… We will climb higher than we’ve been… We’ve got a fire that burns within” — Dragonhearted (by Try Hard Ninja and Captain Sparklez)

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blogging, community, family, health, Mental Health, Parenting, The Invisible Moth

Life With A Toddler…

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(Originally posted in February 2016.)

“Are we out of the woods, are we out of the woods, are we out of the woods yet? Are we in the clear, are we in the clear, are we in the clear yet?” — Taylor Swift, “Out of the Woods”

Why are there always more crumbs in the same exact spot I swear I finished sweeping five minutes ago?

That was the longest snack in the history of mankind.

Okay, wash the tray, wash the dishes, wipe down the bib, the floor, the chairs… Put his clothes in the hamper… “Don’t throw that!”

Get a load of laundry started…put him behind the gate while I run to the basement (yes, run, run for your life)… “Stop kicking that door!”

Wake White Fang up…empty the dishwasher…keep one eye on the TV for the local weather forecast… Where’s my coffee? Oh, in the microwave, of course.

Cooing, babbling, giggling, and battery-operated toys singing nursery rhymes. Yay. Sigh.

Wow, I want cake. I don’t care that it’s 7:30 in the morning. How else do you expect me to get through the day?

He’d better take a marathon nap later.

Send hubby off to work…finish the vacuuming…thank heavens, Thomas and Friends is on.

Crying. Even Elmo isn’t cutting it. He’s spilled pureed fruit all down his clothes. He’s yawning and rubbing his eyes. Deep breath.

Diaper change. Fresh clothes (again). Time for bed.

More crying. Ignore it. Make more coffee. Open up blog. Wahhh, wahhh… Ignoring…

Yay, new posts to read!

It’s quiet back there. Ahhh.

Tidy kitchen. Put laundry in dryer. Dance around living room to Taylor Swift. Work on blog.

Wow, he’s been sleeping a long time. Some kind of miracle… But, I’ll just go check…

Oh, God, look at that sweet face. Those tangled curls, those little fingers, closed around the edges of the blanket Grandma made, the blanket I have to sneak off to the washer every now and then, to get rid of the bits of applesauce and yesterday’s crackers.

He’s sleeping peacefully. Yay.

But he’s waking up soon, right? So I can pick him up and hold him tight, feel that soft cheek pressed to mine?

‘”Are we out of the woods yet, are we out of the woods yet, are we out of the woods yet? Are we in the clear yet, are we in the clear yet, are we in the clear yet? Good.”