Sunday, April 28, 2013

Aspie Techs at the Helm

Interesting article involving the high percentage of tech geeks who are at the helm of the technology industry, yet share many characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome--some diagnosed, some not. One of the defining features being a social awkwardness, which presents as rudeness and aloofness. Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook guy, was described this way. And maybe he is a bit aspie. But in order for a thing to be an issue, to be a diagnosis, it must intrude upon the person's life in such a way that it prevents that person from accessing an education, or funtioning in society. If there is simply a blunt, rude, gifted genius who has poor hygiene, wears the same shirt every day, refuses to wear shoes, and fixates on technology, but who can navigate college, basic living, etc., then there is a minimal level of affliction--maybe no diagnosis is necessary.

Here's what I believe based on theory, experience and reading on the subject: Three areas of a person's life determine the level of functioning, degree of affliction and overall emotional health (especially if a child is born on the spectrum):

1. socio-economics
2. parental advocacy and support (education level of parents)
3. IQ

That's all I'll say on it.

Of course anyone who fixates or fascinates in one area will, eventually, become an expert in that field. But when comorbid conditions crop up such as OCD or depression or anxiety, then it complicates matters. Or when the fascination is discouraged or removed altogether(often happens when formal schooling begins) this causes an imbalance, increased anxiety, and behavioral issues ensue. The balance is tricky and often difficult to discern and regulate with a child on the autism spectrum. Communication related to desires, difficulties, confusion, and other emotive expressions come much later and have to be learned--communication is not natural or intuited, initially. I do believe it can be learned because it is inherent, and there is the desire to reach out and connect to others. It is powerful, the need to relate, to be part of society. Hence, the aspies natural inclination to excel with technology, which allows for attention to finer details, and also a connection in a safer realm.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Reviews are Bread and Butter for Indie Authors

I don't want to write in a vaccuum. I don't think any writer does. Writers spend countless hours in isolation tweaking, editing, researching, finding just the right way to create a scene. So when I receive my second 5 star review for Autism Denied, I'm thankful someone took the time to read my collection and actually found it "very touching" and even cried at parts. These stories, two in particular, are close to my heart. It touches me that I touched someone with my words.

And when I receive a 3 star review and the reader who doesn't normally read short stories enjoyed mine, Dying for Dusty, and will "definitely watch for more from this author" that makes my day.

So, thanks to my readers. You make it all worth it.

Leave a comment with a link to your blog or website!





Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Longings of Wayward Girls Book Giveaway!

Enter HERE to win a free copy of the debut novel, The Longings of Wayward Girls. It is a stunning portrayal of the protagonist's Sadie's descent into a dark place where she struggles to hold onto her grown-up life in the suburbs, while a supressed memory of a childhood prank creeps up to destroy it. Unsettled, Sadie seeks comfort in a past lover; in a hauntingly jarring style (one of Karen Brown's unique techniques) Sadie is drawn to him by some invisible force, some compelling desire to relive and remember past events; only then can Sadie forgive herself and others for grave mistakes that resulted in one missing girl and a mysterious murder.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

No Hitting Allowed, Ever

Our world is ripe with hate, violence, and threats. I write to try to quell the angst, the confusion, to try to get at some semblance of truth as to why so many choose to use their free will to harm rather than heal.

Hence my latest publication/letter to the Hartford Courant. Maybe it is a stretch--an analogy between a fourth grade lashing out in anger and an impending missile strike. Hm. Well, I'll let you be the judge.



More Paw Bo Excerpts

She sees it, the absence of purity. I am devoid of devotion. She is confused, waiting for the unconditional love. Instead I am a bloodsucker, ravaging, seeking some emotive passion before I vanish, before Pia Zimmermann returns and suckles the last bit of life out of me. Already her voice is etching itself into my head and maybe into Paw Bo’s head. The storm is coming. I hear the rumbling, the steady unearthing tremble, as I lift Paw Bo out of the carriage and pull her into me. I am not surprised. I knew she was close. The knowing unsettles me, fastens to my psyche like a leech.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

5 Star Review for Autism Denied

Excited to see a five star review for Autism Denied, my new collection of stories which includes Liza Bear from my first collection--They Think That I Am Somewhat. It is always great to see readers enjoying my work. The reviewer referred to it as "Fantastic" and "sad" but recommended for aspies and their families. Nice. Just what I like to read. Other reviewers have referred to my work as "sad" and I decided that I write about life, which is sad. I try to capture it, the pain and sorrow, the troubles, the conflicts and realities of relationships. It is cathartic. The more clarity, the better. If the emotions are apparent in my writing, I'm doing the job.

I am working on my Word of Pia trilogy, part ii and once I'm finished I will return, finally, to The Sins of Dom Novella, Book II. I realize it is long long overdue.

Thanks for the read. Leave a comment, feedback, and I will be sure to reciprocate.

WORD OF PIA TRILOGY PART II EXCERPT

Annie is late today. She is committed to her job, to her patients—the mentally ill, the scared, the delusional, the paranoid, like me; I pretend that it is not the truth, that I am like one of her patients. I know it is something else, something unfathomable, an external entity, inexplicable—Pia Zimmermann. Annie would never believe me. Only Maggie believes me. Only Maggie knows.

I watch Paw Bo crawl across the floor. She prefers it, even though she can walk. I think if I could be infantile I might; it is a time when life is bliss, raw and real, a time when all faculties are heightened. If Annie wants to leave, I won’t argue. I’ll say fine, just go then. I have had it with your bullshit. I have played it out, the various scenarios. Maybe not profanity...too much not like me and she will suspect. I almost took a shower today but couldn’t do it. Annie will ask me if I took a shower. The thought of water on my skin makes me cringe. I can’t tell. She is starting to suspect. She knows the signs of a deteriorating mind—hygiene goes first. I think she told me that. Someone did.

“No no,” I say, gently. She startles, looks at me oddly as if she can see the words exiting my mouth. “What do you see?” I ask her and she turns away from me. “You want some lunch?” I open the cupboard and see the empty shelves, remember I was supposed to go to the store. The idea of shopping feels burdensome. “You can’t keep eating out. It’s not healthy,” Annie had said. I know all that already. But it’s easier. I'm weak, heavy feeling. I quickly slip on Paw Bo’s white Hush Puppy sandals; “Chick a chick a boom boom,” I say, and she smiles. I should say it again and she’ll laugh. I’m too tired for it all; she stares down at my hands whenever I buckle her shoe; “One two buckle my shoe,” more smiles and a small giggle. “More?” she says. I swing her up to my side and her thin downy hair sweeps my cheek, smells like peaches; I could cry from the sweetness.

We walk outside. The air is thick and morose. A spate of dark clouds encroaches. Just take each moment as it comes. Moment to moment—Maggie, she said it. It was after the Zimmermann incident, the time when we clung to each other, to our sanity, hearing Pia’s voice in our heads, hallucinating; it was the time when I wanted to die and Maggie saved me with her kisses, both of us saving each other with flesh and lust and next Paw Bo, her teeny face, eager, reaching arms. I walk quickly to the safety of the car. Paw Bo says “We go now?” repeatedly. She will keep saying it until she gets a response. “Yes, going.” I finally answer. When I buckle her into her seat she squirms and then makes sounds like “NOAP!” which could be a combination of no and stop. Annie might tickle her and make her giggle, distract her. I’m inept.

The drive settles her and me. I glance out the window at the neatly painted houses, too neat, the dolor rows of taupe, steel-grey, white, and then the repeated pattern that has evolved into a searing dullness. I try to recall the days when it may have evoked a comfortable feeling of predictability; but now I find it too obscure a memory, too distant and tainted; I stare at it in an attempt to make it real--the sharp green hedges and sleek white fences marking boundaries, lush and blossoming fruit trees dropping petals and spotting well manicured lawns, tall stemmed dahlias top heavy and leaning against sides of chimneys like frail birds, miniature roses thorny and blood-red languishing on trellises, gleaming metal of bikes and scooters and pogo sticks tipped onto their sides, stray balls rolling along like tumbleweeds in some phantom breeze. I imagine the neighborhood evacuated, leaving behind a hollow vacancy. It is more alive if I imagine it this way. I glance upwards and see dark clouds gathering, plotting as if in secret concession.
"Storm, Da Da." I tighten my grip on the wheel. "No, no," I say, gently. I fix my eyes on the road, resolute, readying for some battle...Pia Zimmermann is here--the idea snakes itself into my mind like an unwavering melancholy.

FIND WORD OF PIA TRILOGY PART I ON AMAZON.COM