Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Diversity in writing Part 2

I am back writing about diversity in writing. Diversity is also about the authors who write the books. It is this that is the hot topic between authors because although BAME authors might get on the list for winning top awards, they might not win it in the end.

When I came to draft this post, I could only think of a few BAME authors who write for adults and children. As I write for children, I shall start with the few I have thought of.

Malorie Blackman, Patrice Lawrence, Catherine Johnson, Candy Gourlay, Chitra Soundar, Sarwat Chadda, Bali Rai.

After I drafted this post, I put a message on Facebook about this and got a few more names of children's authors in the Minor Ethnicity, and they are Jewish authors. Here they are: Keren David, Miriam Halahmy, Hilary Freeman, Judith Kerr, Meg Rosoff. It was raised that in traditional publishing authors might not be allowed by their publishers to write about Jewish events. Only a couple have recently.

For adults I could only think of Mike Gayle and Zadie Smith. If you can name more BAME authors who write for adults, let me know.

Next post will be another diversity post. Diversity is not just about BAME authors, there are disabled authors too, like me.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

An Aspie and her anxiety

My anxiety about going out has come back. I believe it is because after I had the kidney infection, I stayed indoors for over a week, with the only outside space I went to being the garden. I can go over the road to get the paper OK. But when I go shopping locally, I've felt my stomach flip with anxiety either before I go or within half an hour of being out. This causes an IBS flare up.

On Friday, I went shopping with my mum. I was fine before we went, so I thought that I would be OK. But, no, just as the bus got to the centre, I felt my stomach flip. I tried to put my anxiety into words; why did I feel anxious? I've been here before and I was OK. (Something I read to do in the current issue of Top Sante). It worked for a while but after walking round shops for half an hour, I had to stop. Luckily the centre has public toilets where I went. I was fine after that. It is so frustrating to me me and my mum as I feel that it spoils the shopping trip for us. I might have to sit for longer before I go out, or try the talking out my anxiety more. I hope to get back to normality soon.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

An Aspie in hospital

Two weeks ago it was my turn to be admitted to A&E. I suddenly got terrific pain in my left side, with a fever, feeling faint and being sick. It was a kidney stone passing down my kidney to my bladder that caused the pain (found that out last Friday) and a kidney infection. It was my first time in hospital knowing I have Asperger's. Here is how I coped or not.

In A&E I didn't think it was as noisy as I expected it to be. There was lots of people and light. From there I was taken to Urgent Care. I was in pain still and hot. There was a lot of people waiting. A couple of times I came over faint. When I was finally seen in triage, I was taken to Majors in A&E. And put into a cubicle. Comfort at last. And privacy as the staff closed the curtain. This helped shut out noise and lights. I saw staff go to and fro outside. I was mainly focussing on myself. Trying to feel comfortable with a dull pain, trying not to be sick and having to cope with nurses trying to get blood out of my right arm. Having been sick a lot, my blood had dried up and was too thick. I had to be put on a drip to get more fluids in. That was my left arm.

Then in the early hours of the next morning (just after 1.30am) I was wheeled into Clinical Decision Unit. What a difference! Even though it was early morning, it was darker and quieter, and I could only see one other patient there. I liked this, even though I was still not right and had a drip connected to me. The quiet calmed me down.

A couple of hours later I went for a CT scan to find out what was happening. I hated this as the corridors were dark then bright. Had to shut my eyes most of the time. The scan wasn't too bad.

My mum finally left about 6am as there wasn't any transport before that to get home.  A few hours later I went home in a hospital cab in one of their nighties and a blanket over me. Not very warm but was so pleased to get home.

Thankfully I am slowly on the mend now, and am back on my feet. I am taking painkillers to keep pain under control. I finished the course of antibiotics last week and was told that I don't need any more. I am limiting any foods with calcium and oxalates in as they are the two things that mostly form kidney stones. So nut products are limited as well as celery and berries.

Monday, 21 August 2017

More writing news

Following on from a previous post about what I want to write, there has been things happening in the womag land. Remember I said that I wasn't going to write for Woman's Weekly anymore? Well, it has transpired that there has been restructuring going on (rings a bell for me) and the whole fiction team have now left and replaced with one person, who people believe is a freelancer. They are not taking any new submissions at the moment, only stories from their regular contributors, until they are on top of things. I know this has upset a lot of people. I feel sorry for all involved; the fiction team and the contributors who had built up a relationship with them. I had met the fiction editor a few times when I had gone to workshops, and she was so nice. This now means that there is one less magazine out there that takes fiction.

So, what am I doing about it? I am finding other markets. I had already heard of one magazine based in South Africa that took new writers, so have sent a story to them and am waiting to hear if they will publish it as the editor has said she wants to keep it for possible use. Sounded promising. Am working on another story for that magazine. Have discovered a couple of other markets and will submit a story to one and an article to another; the latter takes stories and non-fiction about animals. My kind of magazine. Also, have decided to enter another story competition. I know which story I want to work on for that, one I have already written but needs a bit of an edit.

I will be working mainly on my children's books first, with the odd story now and then when I have the time.

So, when things like this happen, it is good to have a Plan B. Find other markets to send to. Other ways to make money.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

What is diversity in books

I always thought it meant different races and cultures eg Asian, Chinese etc and not just white characters written about. But since I've started writing about autistic children, I now know there is more to it. It can mean disabled children in books, not just physically disabled but hidden and invisible ones, too. Eg autistic children might look normal but they are not inside. Also, deafness and heart problems. They all affect people and are not visible, unless someone is wearing hearing aids.

There is another way to help diversity in writing, especially if you are an indie author like me. As well as writing about these different characters, you can choose which font to print in and how much space to have on the page, to make it easier for children with learning difficulties to read. My current children's books (The Rainbow School) has large font because I was told that was best for that age range (7-9s). When I published via Createspace, I found there were big spaces between some pages (where I had written long paragraphs which didn't fit on 1 page). I wasn't happy but then I got thinking. At the retreat in May, I sold a copy of Billy to a new friend, who bought it for her friend's daughter who was older than the target age but had learning difficulties. She liked the book. So, now I feel that even thought it wasn't intentional to have those gaps, it is a good thing to have, because it makes the books more accessible and available for a wider audience than I intended. I shall try to keep this in mind for the further children's books.

What does diversity mean to you with books?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

What I really really want...to write

Over the last week I have been thinking a lot about writing for women's mags (womags) and how I feel about the market and how I have been getting on, or not. I have been trying to get stories accepted by both Woman's Weekly and The People's Friend, but have come up with rejection after rejection. I have now come to the conclusion that I am not cut out for those markets and am going to have a break from trying. The markets for women's short stories are getting fewer now, with Take A Break now only taking stories by their published authors. I have recently sent a Xmas story to an overseas magazine, so shall see what happens with that. I might try a few times with that magazine. I also might try to write a different genre, which I think I have mentioned before - sci-fi. I have a few ideas rattling around my brain for stories, just need to explore them more. I have sent a magical realism story to a digital magazine so shall see how that goes too.

I have realised there are a few genres that I do like writing: asper fiction (stories about children with Asperger's/autism who find confidence), ghosts and magical realism. So, I have already written and printed out a few stories for the first two genres, and have thought of the idea of putting them in a short story collection. Then they can go along and beside my other books and ebooks eg the shorts about ghosts can go beside my Geraldine's Gems ebook series that features a ghost, and can also be a prelude to a series I have about ghosts helping relatives. The Asper fiction shorts can go along side the Rainbow School series I am currently publishing and the other series' I have in mind. There will be a third genre - fiction that I think will be suitable for the overseas magazine. I have found one which I want to rewrite and cut half to get to the word count they want.

So, that is what I really really want to write. One other thing I found about trying to write for womags is that I didn't find it fun and enjoyable anymore. I like writing short stories but realising that maybe I wasn't cut out for it took that fun away for me. I want to get back to writing stories I want to write and have fun with.

I will let you know how it goes, esp with the stories I have out on submission.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Charlie is now on Amazon

Some exciting news, for me anyway. Charlie and the Captivating Cap, the second book in the Rainbow School series for 7-9s is now available on Amazon. It took me 5-6 days to finally get it right and publish it. Each time I reviewed the digital proof, one of the chapter heading was out of syn and not on the right page. Then the back pages were all askew. I am so pleased as it means that my Asper Fiction is well on its way out there to reach readers.

You can find Charlie here https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1548727415/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500026939&sr=8-1&keywords=Charlie+and+the+captivating+cap

I am currently working on Book 5 in the series which is all about Alistair who is a v anxious boy with Asperger's. Once I have finished his story, I am going back to Book 3 about Susie to do some minor edits, then on to Book 4 to check something in that.

I am loving writing this series as I feel I have now found my true voice and what I want to write about.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Asperger's and pacing myself

There are ways that Aspies can help themselves to not get so tired and end up having shutdowns. I have already said that I often take a nap in the afternoon. That is one way.

Someone else called it 'energy accounting' I call it pacing myself. I try to pace myself with going out. I don't go out twice in a day (or try not to), I try not to go out every day of the week, and have at least 1 or 2 days when I stay in and do other things that I like doing eg writing/typing or helping my mum in the garden and feed the birds.

It helps a lot that I am at home now and not working. I can do what I want when I want to, and that includes having a nap. And like today, if my head goes all funny and light because I have done too much, I can stop what I am doing and go to bed. Now that I have rested my head, I feel a bit more myself.


So, if you do work at home, try to have a nap during the day. You will find it will recharge your brain and body. Try to go out only when needed.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

What's the worst thing about Asperger's every day

Someone asked me what's the worst thing abut having Asperger's in every day life. My answer is getting so tired after going out.

I never really knew that I got tired at the end of the day until my mum told me that I was after work, which was why she always let me relax while she made the dinner.

I do get tired, very much so, after going out shopping or meeting people. I never knew why but since I have been reading and learning about Asperger's and autism, I have found out the probable reason. I just thought it was the travelling, and also my heart problem (I have a hole in the heart) but I have come to think it's more than that. It's the whole Aspie experience of communicating, fitting in with others, acting as if you're normal and all the sensory challenges I can come across eg the noise and lights.

Take the morning I drafted this post. I had a meeting with my client. I was so tired that apart from this post, I didn't write anything except this and a status on Facebook. The whole morning exhausted me.

Thankfully, as I work from home, I can have a nap in the afternoon if I want to, and most days I do. I find it recharges my brain and body. If I don't get a proper nap or no nap at all, then I stay tired for the rest of the day, and can become grumpy and miserable.


So, if you have an autistic child and they are tired at the end of the day, let them be themselves and do what they want to, if it's going to their bedroom to rest. They need to recharge their brain and body and get back to normal calmness.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

An Aspie at a writing retreat

This time last week I was in W Sussex at a writing retreat eating lunch, which might have been a veggie curry with rice and salad. V nice. So, how did I cope going to a retreat as an Aspie? Well, my brother and his girlfriend came with me to Waterloo as I had to pick up my ticket and didn't know where from or how. I know now it's quite easy. Then they saw me onto the train, making sure I left all right. I travelled on my own but it wasn't too bad as I read from a magazine and looked out the window most of the time. At Haslemere station I met another writer who I had hoped to travel with, but she had got on the train before me. We then were met by two other writers on the retreat and they drove us to the retreat.

There were lots of sessions scheduled for writing, so I was on my own in a room, writing. Sometimes distracted by the sights and sounds of birds around the area, esp the goldfinches. When I felt my head go light, I would get up and walk round the room, or go out to the grounds to get some air. Luckily it was lovely weather all weekend. That did the trick as it helped my head clear and I went back to write more. Break times weren't too bad as we were spread out over the floor so the noise wasn't too great. It was the meal times that were the worst for me. What do you get when you have a lot of writers in a small room? Lots of chatter and noise. I managed to cope with eating my meal and lasting half an hour afterwards. Then I would get up, saying I was going to get some quiet, and walk back to the lounge, where it was quiet until everyone finished their meal. I was tired most days as I never sleep properly elsewhere, esp with a loud dawn chorus. Lol.

Anyway, I managed to write a few chapters of Alistair's story. I think it might reach 2000 words. I wrote half a short story. Got stuck on how to continue it and what the ending is. Think I know now. And I sold 2 copies of Billy, which I took with me, just in case. Both were for autistic children,

I said I might not go again as my mum hasn't been too well and it depends on her health, but she says she'd love me to go as I enjoy it, and I want to go again. We shall see.

So, if you do go on a retreat, and have Asperger's like me, or even an issue with noise, then that is what you can do. Walk about a bit, and get some air if you can. It helped that the house we stayed in is in the middle of trees and bushes so is tranquil. The perfect place to write and get some peace.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The positive things to having an Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis

I am going to answer a few questions that people asked me about having Asperger's. The first is a positive post. I was asked: What are the positive things about my diagnosis? Here they are:

1. As others I know who have been diagnosed late in life, it's a sense of relief. A relief that, as someone else said, after a life of feeling somehow different, you now know why and have a real reason for being that way. When I was diagnosed in 2011, it felt that all the pieces of my life, esp the negative side (not fitting in, difficulty making friends), finally all fit together.

2. Because I know I have Asperger's, and been diagnosed late, I can help others, esp younger Aspies. Giving them tips based on how I was at that age, from school to work. I feel that this is a definite positive thing. This blog is one of those. My new children's fiction 'The Rainbow School' series is also part of this.


3. And lastly, as my author client often tells me, I am good at focussing on what I am good at eg writing and helping indie authors such as him.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Birds Flock Together is now available

A quick post to let everyone know, I have finally got round to publishing 'Birds Flock Together' the final ebook in the Geraldine's Gems series. It is adult magical realism about a woman who has died and gets the chance to go back to Earth to help her family get their lives back on track. Will she succeed in her last mission and earn her rightful place in Heaven? You can find out as it is available at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Birds-Flock-Together-Geraldines-Gems-ebook/dp/B072BDK557/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493640995&sr=8-1&keywords=Birds+Flock+Together

I had fun writing this series, and hope readers have enjoyed it too.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Review of my writing goals

As nearly a quarter of the year has gone already (where did that go?) I thought I'd post a review of how I'm getting on with my goals for this year. So, here we go:

1. Republish Billy. Yes, did that in January. You can find him here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Billy-Sparkling-Socks-Rainbow-School/dp/154264853X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492950556&sr=1-1&keywords=billy+and+the+sparkling+socks

2. Publish 'Birds Flock Together'. Hope to do this next week once I have finished self-editing Qessa's story.

3. Publish Charlie. Hope to do this in June. The cover is currently been designed by my illustrator.

4. Publish Susie. Want to do this near end of year.

5. Write more womag stories. Am doing that.

6. Get a story accepted by Woman's Weekly. This has now changed. I now want to focus on writing for one womag at a time until I get one story published. Have had 2 rejections from them this year.

7. Get a story accepted by The Weekly News. Same as above. I now want to focus on reading and writing for The People's Friend. They still have one of mine. I am currently working on another, then will change the ending of another to send to them too.

I am also going to try writing sci-fi to expand my areas of writing and targets. Now aim to get a story accepted by TPF and a sci-fi mag by end of year.

8. I am keeping my biz expenses up to date.

So, how are your goals for this year doing so far? Let me know.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Me, Asperger's and Adult Meltdowns


Autistic children grow up to be autistic adults. They aren't cured, they don't grow out of it. It stays with us, and sometimes, in the case of me, it can get worse as we get older.

You might have seen films about autistic children having meltdowns in shops, adults can have meltdowns, too. I don't remember having meltdowns as a child (probably did) but I do when I was growing up from a teenager to an adult. Here are a few times.

The first one I really recall was one of my first shopping trips by myself. It was local. I had gone to buy some tapestry bits for doing a cross-stitch tapestry. When I came to pay for them, I realised I didn't have enough money. I was mortified. I left the shop in tears, and without a thing.

Cause: Frustration. Motto – Always take more than enough money when going shopping.

The second example was when I was at work. I had gone for an interview for another job in the same department. It was the written test, and included sums, especially percentages, which I am not good at all. I read it but still couldn't work it out. I got so upset, I ran out of the room in tears and to the nearest toilet. Not a good example for future employers. I was calmed down by my then team manager. I never got the job, and in hindsight, it was a good thing.

Cause: frustration. Motto - If you can't understand something, especially in an interview, I feel that it is best left out. If in doubt, leave it out.

The last example comes from the recent past of a few years ago. My mum and I used to go to the local big Sainsbury's. I used to get IBS within half an hour of starting walking round the aisles, so had to leave my mum to carry on while I went elsewhere. Only, when I came out, I couldn't find her and panicked. This caused me to get upset and cry, making me lose all reasonable thought. When my mum found me, I had a go at her, crying, causing a scene. Definitely a meltdown.

Cause: separation anxiety. Motto - Agree to meet at a particular point in the shop if you get separated. Or the parent to wait outside the toilet. We ended up agreeing to meet in the centre of the store. It worked.

So, adults can have meltdowns. I plan to write out a guide to meltdowns and shutdowns in due course.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Why children can be alone in the playground

One of the questions I was asked to answer here was - why would children behave certain ways. So, I thought I'd post about why children would be seen to be alone in the playground, something I certainly have experience with as a child with Asperger's. So, here I am going to explain why I think it is from what I have read.

Why do some children be alone and not join in with others? This was me when I was at school - both at primary and secondary. I never really understood why until recently when I read about Asperger's and autism. The reason is 'social interaction impairment' and 'social imagination impairment'. This means that a child on the autism spectrum (and adult too) is confused about what to do and say to make friends. When do they speak? What do they say to make someone like them and get them to join in? How do they join in with games?

With me, I either was alone, tagged along with others and did what I was told to do, or played with the younger children at primary school. At secondary school I was just alone, or tagged along with other alone children.

So what do you do when you see a lone child? I am not an expert and don't have a degree about this, I am just saying from reading and experience.

1. Either you can approach the child, from the front and never from behind, and ask them if they want to play.
2. Explain the game to them
3. Or if you aren't sure, then leave them alone.
4. You could watch them to see what they like doing, then one day, talk to them about it.

So, they are my thoughts on this subject.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

My autism event and an interesting question

Yesterday as part of World Autism Awareness Week #WAAW2017 I did an event at my local community library to raise awareness of the condition. I was helped by my friend John Caritas. My author friend, Amanda Lilywhite (Hi, Amanda) came with her autistic daughter and her father as she said she would. We got talking about autism and other things.

Amanda's daughter asked me an interesting question, which I replied, I don't know. She asked me, Why do I have a different autism than her (she has normal autism). I then said it could be genetics as I believe that it is in the genes of our families. (I think I got mine from my dad). I did try to explain using an image of the rainbow, that at one end there is me with Asperger's who can do things for myself which she probably can't, going along to the far end where people can't do things for themselves and have what is called classic autism. This got me thinking about it. I wonder if people are born with different levels of autism in relation to how much autism there can be along their family lines. So, if a child was born with both parents being autistic; one with Asperger's and the other with autism, the child would be more autistic, than say a child born with just one autistic parent.
What would your answer have been? Why do you think people are born with different levels of autism?

Anyway, Amanda bought a copy of Billy from me for her daughter, which I signed. They had to go after a while because of her daughter being autistic. Later on John walked round the library and found a couple of other parents to meet me so I could tell them what I am doing about raising awareness. They had heard of autism, but didn't know about it being Awareness Week. I gave them my handouts about ASD and what it involves for children then adults, and meltdowns and shutdowns. I also gave out cards promoting Billy.

At noon I packed up to go home. I gave the librarian copies of my cards and handouts, because she wanted them as she had told me that people do want to know about it. I might speak to her about this when I see her again in a couple of weeks time.

After this, I decided that my passion is to raise awareness of autism more not by giving talks but by writing guides on various topics to do with ASD such as anxiety and bullying, and maybe sell this together. Yesterday made me realise that people do know about autism but aren't aware of what it all involves, so I want to work on that in all ways I can with my writing.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Why people stim


As a neurotypical child/adult (you don't have Autism Spectrum Disorder), you might wonder why a child would rock to and fro, or flap and wave their hands about. This is called stimming and isn't harmful. They might do this if there is a lot of sensory things going on around them, or they are anxious about something. Stimming calms them down and lets them take control of their emotions again. So, don't try to stop them.

As a child, I never did either of them (not that I know about, anyway). But one thing I know I did, up until just before my 21st, was bite my fingernails. This was down to anxiety I know now. Whenever I was at home, I'd be OK and my nails would start growing. But as soon as I went back to school or work in later years, I bit them again. This went on until just before I turned 21. I had been working for a couple of years. I think I had got used to the people there and the jobs I had to do, and had been so busy that I didn't have time to bite my nails. They began to grow. So I decided then to let them. I started wearing nail varnish to help me. Once they grew, I stopped, seeing how nice they looked. Now I cringe when I think about what I did, and when I see other people, usually men, bite their nails. I don't know how I let my fingers be like that, they must have been so sore and red.

When my dad used to live with us (he's in a care home now), I used to see him twiddle his thumbs. It annoyed me because I could see it happen out the corner of my eye when I read or watched TV. I now think that this was him stimming because I believe he has Asperger's too.

So, if you see a child either rock or flap, think about what's going on around them. Is there too much noise? Too many people? Being bullied?

Monday, 27 March 2017

Raising awareness of autism

It's National Autism Awareness Week this week. So I am going to be popping up in lots of places to raise awareness by mentioning different aspects of autism and Asperger's Syndrome, I will blog more than once on here but there is one big event I will be doing this Saturday.

I am going to be holding a raising awareness event at Sydenham Community Library, SE London, this Saturday 1 April (no it's not a joke) from 10.30 am - 12nn. I will be handing out hand-made leaflets about autism, answering questions about Asperger's (to the best of my experience and knowledge) and selling my book 'Billy and the Sparkling Socks'. If you can come and say hello, or even better, ask me a question, please do so, esp if you are autistic or know someone who is.

Let's celebrate National Autism Awareness Week. #WAAW2017

Sunday, 19 March 2017

ASD and why children can have meltdowns


If you see another child in your class or playground crying, shouting, screaming or maybe on the ground, then they could be having a meltdown. This is not a tantrum, to get attention. This is usually because something has either upset them or have had a sensory overload. It could be because they have been bullied by another child. Or it could be because there is too much noise, too many people around them, too many smells, or in all too much stimulation around them for them to cope with.

If the child is being picked on, then please tell the teacher. Bullying in any way is not OK and should be dealt with.

So, what to do if you do see a child like this? Here are my ideas:

1. Tell a teacher or assistant you can see in the playground

2. Give the child space

3. Don't ask the child if they are OK.

4. Try to get other children not to interfere and tease

5. Does the child like something such as a toy? If so, maybe you can suggest to the teacher they take it to the child.

Please note that I am not an expert and don't have a degree. I am just going by experience and what I have read by experts.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Autism spectrum disorder and school bells

Welcome to a new series about why children (and adults) behave in certain ways at school and at home. The first post is about behaving when there is a loud noise at school ie school bells ringing.

There might be a child who either cringes or puts their hands over their ears or screams and cries when the school bells rings out. This is because the noise of the bell sounds too loud for their head and ears. It is known as sensory overload. The noise hurts their head and ears.

The same can be said for screeching noises such as fingers and rubbers over a board. The high-pitched sound is too painful for them to bear. (I hate sounds such as these as they make my teeth go on edge).

Here are a few tips.

If you do know of children who act like this, may be you can warn them beforehand when the bell is due to go. Like the main character in my current children's book, Qessa, her friend and teacher points to their ears as a warning. So they can put their hands over their ears ready.

Another idea is to have headphones, which can dull the highness of the bell ringing. Qessa's teacher gifted her a set to wear.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Promotion - Thinking outside the box

You never know where you can promote your book and if it will be successful, but yesterday was for me, I hope. This was thinking out of the box, as they say. I had to go and see my GP about a few things to do with my kidneys, which aren't fully functioning. I knew that she had children but don't know how old they are. I took one of my Billy cards with me. When I had finished talking about my health, I said I had one last thing to talk about, which wasn't really medical. I took out the card and told her what I was writing and why. I also told her about the library event on 1 April about raising awareness of Asperger's. She wrote a note on the back of the card. She said that she would try to get to the library but if not, would see about buying the book for her children. My GP is so nice. I can talk to her about things and be comfortable with it. So, a successful promotion of Billy for me. We shall see if she does come to the event. Will let you know.

So, what has been the most outside the box have you done?

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Me, Asperger's and textures


As well as being sensitive to loud and constant noises, I am now sensitive to textures, esp clothes. I can't wear clothes made from lace, wool, angora or mohair, as they irritate my skin. I also hate thick seams in tops as they also bother my skin, esp on my neck or front. I also hate labels in the neck of tops and pants as again they all scratch and irritate my skin. I now try to remember to cut them out before wearing them. Another thing I hate in tops, and I find them in dressing gowns mainly, are the loops on the neck to hang the clothing with. They tickle me, and I end up scratching my neck, causing red marks to appear.

I am not the only one in my family to feel like this. My mum does too. Do I get this from her? Or her from me?

So, what textures do you hate and why? Let me know.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Using a blog to raise awareness

I thought I might write a post about why and how I use this blog. Part of this blog is about posting on living with Asperger's Syndrome and how it affects me now as an adult and when I was a child. I started posting about this because I feel, and still do, that not a lot of people know what Asperger's is and how it affects others. Even I don't know the full extent of how it really affects me and I have it.

So, I am going to keep posting on here about different aspects of Asperger's; from sensory overload, to communication, from childhood to adulthood.

I will possibly be blogging more about this the end of March, which is National Autism Awareness Week, including promoting a library event I have planned for that time.

So, if you want to know more about Asperger's, and esp how it affects me, then keep reading.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Me, Asperger's and noisy games


Adults and children with Asperger's Syndrome often have challenges with senses, especially noise. When I was little there were a few games that I hated because they made loud and sudden noises.

I hated jack-in-the-box. Even though I knew the jack would pop out after winding it up, the suddenness of it and the noise it always made, caused me to jump. I would refuse to wind it up.

There are three other games that come to mind.

Operation: The buzz when you touch the side of the holes always made me jump. Knowing it would go would make me nervous, so I'd end up making it buzz.

Buckaroo: This made a loud noise when you put too many items on the donkey and it bucked up, making a noise.

Ker Plunk: It was the noise of all the marbles falling down if you took out the wrong stick. The idea of the games is to put in all the sticks in the holes, then pour in the marbles. You would have to take a stick out at a time, careful not to cause a marble to fall down the gaps. That makes the noise.

So, are there any games that you don't like or don't like playing because of the noise? Let me know.

My top tip for children is: if there is a game you don't want to play because it affects your senses, then tell your family. Don't be afraid to let them know.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A biz goal accomplished

This year, again, I have Leonie Dawson's Life and Biz books to write my goals down for what I want to achieve. One of the pages in the Biz book is about promotion and asks where do you want to be mentioned. One of my answers was ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors), and I have achieved this twice the last week.

A couple of months ago, I was asked to write a piece for their blog about writing about children with Asperger's by the blog's organiser, Debbie Young. She said that she would put it up when my book went live. The post went up last week and you can read it here http://selfpublishingadvice.org/children-asperger-syndrome-autism-books/

Then a couple of days ago Debbie asked on the FB group for ideas on out-of-the box marketing for our books. I posted about wanting do a library event during National Autism Awareness week. It was picked up and put on a blog post, which you can read here http://selfpublishingadvice.org/book-marketing-in-the-dark-wacky-ideas-that-really-work/

After this, I have realised that my biz is now going to be writing children's book about children with Asperger's, autism and other health issues, and raise awareness of them by doing events at libraries, if I can.

So, that is one of my Biz promo goals accomplished.

How are your biz goals going?

Monday, 23 January 2017

Me, Asperger's and sensory overload - noise


Today's blog is all about how noise affects me and my Asperger's. It is called Sensory Overload. I am going to give the example of last Thursday, when I had to go to bed with an overload of chatter.

Last Thursday my uncle on my mum's side came over for a couple of hours. He has a loud voice anyway, but that day he forgot his hearing aids, so it was even louder and my mum had to raise her voice so he could hear her. Even with the kitchen door closed to, I could still hear the chatter going on. Now and then I would try concentrating on things I wanted to do such as typing, or walk from room to room, or go upstairs to get away from it. But after two hours of hearing it, my head started to go fuzzy and then finally spinning round inside. I knew then that I couldn't take any more, so I did what I don't like doing; going to bed when we have a visitor. I had no choice. I went to bed and shed a few tears because it upset me, feeling anti-social to my uncle.

My mum later told me that my uncle had asked her if it was in my head. My mum replied that no, it was how my brain is and can't take a lot of noise, esp loud ones.

So, here are my tips to coping with noise overload:

1. Try to concentrate on other things such as reading or writing. Things that take your mind away from the chatter.

2. Go in the garden for some air, if it's not too cold.

3. Go upstairs for a few minutes to get a breather.

4. You could tell your relative that their voice is proving too much for you, please calm it down.

5. Shut a door to the noise, but tell people what you are doing first and why

6. If it all fails, then go up to your room and stay there.

I hope that this gives people some insight to people coping with noise and overload of it, and how others with Asperger's can cope with it.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Happy new year - Goals for 2017

Happy new year, everyone. So, I am back posting what my main goals are for this year. They will be more specific this year. Here we go:

1. Republish 'Billy', hopefully on Amazon KDP paperback service now. It appears that Createspace might have it's days numbered now.

2. Publish 'Birds'. Waiting for edits.

3. Publish 'Charlie' and 'Susie'. Need to send second edits to my editor once I get edits for Birds.

4. Write Qessa and Alistair's stories - already started the former.

5. Write more short stories for womags.

6. Get one story accepted by Woman's Weekly.

7. Get one story accepted by The Weekly News.

I would have put get a story accepted by Take a Break's Fiction Feast, but they no longer take stories from new authors. Boo. So, I don't buy that magazine any more.

8 Promote my Asper Fiction more.

9. Read more on the biz side of writing.

10. Keep my biz expenses up to date.

That is it for now. I think they are enough. So, what goals do you have?