Some things to smile about (or…having a rich varied thought life:)

Some things that make me smile in no particular order:

Planning and partaking in art projects.

Generating a love for the arts and for reading.

Learning new things.

Reading an engaging book.

Receiving feedback about my book.

I received a book of cows doing yoga for Christmas from my middle son and I was dreading when December is due to come ’round because it gives me so much pleasure to see my silly cows on the wall.

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So I thought, why should I throw the calendar out at the end of the year? I’m not going to. I’ve got a decoupage/painting project planned that I will post at a later date!

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(photo below courtesy Elizabeth Williams http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/mississippi-schools-literary-lockers-give-cool-factor-reading/story?id=33159515)

These two teachers, (my kind of people) Elizabeth Williams and Stacey Butera,

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spent hours “arguing and fighting and crying” over which book titles would go on the Biloxi Junior High School hallway’s 189 “eyesore” lockers. The end product was worth it. Assisted by a team of about 40 volunteers, they spent the summer painting book titles onto the lockers so that the hallway is now a life-size library that they say has infused the school’s nearly 1,300 students with an excitement for books. It’s a simple idea, something I’d enjoy being a part of actually, and it worked better than these ladies could’ve hoped. Both teachers and students are now more aware of their local library and have a new passion for reading.

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fun facts… Did you know that a group of crows is a murder? That’s a common one, but recently I learned that a group of bears is called a sleuth. I did not know that. And I really enjoy knowing it. Some facts are just fun. There are charms of hummingbirds, for example. It must’ve been fun thinking these things up. You can see a wisdom of wombats. A dazzle of zebras… Here is a group of rhinos from Daniel Cox, arkive.org:

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The picture is nice, but another dimension is added to my enjoyment of it when I stop to think that this animal grouping is called a “crash” of rhinos! Yeah I’m smiling about that. I love words. That’s why I write and read so much.

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You wouldn’t think Alice Sebold’s memoir could make me smile because it deals with a serious topic, and yet somehow it is not only a courageous book, (that’s an understatement) but a funny one too. My head is still reeling over the hilariously bold quip she uttered to her father when he offered her some food the day after her attack. Have you read Lucky by Alice Sebold?

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I read it a few weeks ago and I still find myself recalling passages so vividly that I’ll never see a pink hair ribbon again in quite the same way. I’d read her fictional book The Lovely Bones, and enjoyed it and I have been meaning to check out Almost Moon… But Lucky I picked up on impulse. Rape is a serious topic and stirred many negative remembrances. (My perpetrator was not caught…) I scour the library for memoir every week, new and old, and often I’m affected. That’s the point of my reading it after all. When I receive feedback from my own memoir (Under The Banana Moon) it is always smile worthy.

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It isn’t every day that someone you went to school with not only reads your book, but takes time out to give you feedback. Here it is:
“I just got your book yesterday. I’m up to about page 50. It’s a pleasure to finally know some of the thoughts of that mysterious little girl who sat across from me at school.
…Just thumbing through the book I noticed a concept with which I don’t agree: the idea of “neurotypical” vs. “aspie”.
“Think of the Amazon forest, famous for its great biodiversity. All those beautiful variations of life resulted from genetic chance occurrences.
Neurological and behavioral variations in people arise from chance, too, and can be incredibly adaptive. The arrogance of a prominent surgeon may cause her to be labeled as “narcissistic”, but her associated, deep fear of failure and ridicule result in her ability to keep her patients alive in the operating room. In this day and age where information is recognized as a commodity of supreme importance,
“your gift of a rich, varied thought life, is a treasure of inestimable value.
“I knew an autistic boy, 8 years old, and very small for his age. He loved taking a flashlight and going into a closet, where he could stay for hours, turning it on and off…His other hobbies were climbing and taking things apart. He could climb up on my kitchen counter, up onto the cabinets, and if I didn’t catch him in time, could figure out how to remove the screws with his bare hands resulting in the cabinets being dismantled piece by piece. His mother and me would spend time just imagining what could have been going on in his mind! I don’t have contact with her anymore, but after I read this book I’m going to Waterbury to try to find her, so she can read it, and undoubtedly be encouraged by the knowledge that her son’s inner life may be as wonderful as yours.”
I responded to this feedback by saying in part:
It’s been a few years since the book came out. About two years without being a runaway best seller (how do the quiet speak loudly about their successes?) I COMPLETELY agree with you about the neurotypical and autistic landscape. For lack of a better description I used the common term: neurotypical. Is anyone neurotypical? I prefer “neurodiverse.” In many an autistic circle I “made waves” by rejecting the NT versus AC mindset. People can get very “us versus them.” And I don’t like that. END QUOTE

So that’s it blog readers, in a nutshell. To be told I have a rich and varied thought life is indeed a compliment and no surprise to folks who read my blogs on a regular basis. Being perceived as mysterious by my peers is very interesting. I love honest feedback. If you have read my book, please visit my facebook author page or amazon site and leave some feedback. It was never the Aspergers which lassoed my vocal cords; it was the double whammy of having the comorbid selective mutism. I can’t wait until a certain book on that topic (published by Jessica Kingsley) comes out on that very topic. It is a topic dear to me. Like Alice, I can hope I handle my woes with humor. I leave you with shade balls, because the phrase is so whimsical sounding and the concept so brilliant!

Over 90 million plastic balls cover the Los Angeles Reservoir in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. The city has completed a program of covering open-air reservoirs with floating "shade balls" to protect water quality.  The 4-inch-diameter plastic balls block sunlight from penetrating the 175-acre surface of the reservoir, preventing chemical reactions that can cause algae blooms and other problems.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Over 90 million plastic balls cover the Los Angeles Reservoir in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. The city has completed a program of covering open-air reservoirs with floating “shade balls” to protect water quality. The 4-inch-diameter plastic balls block sunlight from penetrating the 175-acre surface of the reservoir, preventing chemical reactions that can cause algae blooms and other problems. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

I really need the LIKES on my author page found here!  https://www.facebook.com/underthebananamoon

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