Welcome to the World of All My Nightmares Come True


Hello dearest most loyal readers. It’s been awhile. I meant to get to this back in June. But as usual, life got in the way and thwarted me. So I know that you are dying to know what has kept me away for an entire summer. Well, here we go. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, so hold on. You are allowed to be angry, be sad, be heart broken… you are welcome to scream, cry, yell, shout, curse or whatever else comes to mind because Gabriel only knows that I have had all these emotions and more in the last few months.

So we will start in May. In May, the hospital in Indianapolis sent my mother in law home with shaking heads and their lips full of “I’m sorry”. After her successful hysterectomy, leaving her ovaries intact, she started to experience some issues similar to what had driven her to the hysterectomy and upon returning to the doctor, she discovered that the cancer had jumped and was too far gone. They sent her home with sorrow and ordering hospice. She avoided it, of course. She didn’t want strange people in her house telling her how to or how not to die. Like everything else in her life, it was going to be on her terms. This lasted until the pain got so bad and the pain meds got too expensive. Turns out that the benefit of hospice is free pain meds. So we watched her get weaker. Her granddaughters, dearest Fix-it-guys daughters swooped in to care for their grandmother and to learn everything that would be useful in their lives as adults. I appreciate that they are both at places in their lives where this was possible and I am grateful that they were able to spend lots of time with their grandmother. So dear mother in law weakened and became ill beyond redemption. The last weekend, roughly 8 weeks into our little journey of “they will be surprised if I live a month”, she became completely dependent on the pain meds to function at all. There were lots of poignant moments with my mother in law. One day we were in the bathroom doing a sponge with her husband and I assisting and I thought how childlike she had become. Obstinate and stubborn. She didn’t want help. She had been fiercely independent her entire life. We tried to make it as easy as we could. Telling her that we were only doing what we had hoped shoe would do for us.

I hope that I helped to make her last days more comfortable. Her husband tells everyone that I was an attentive caregiver. The last day when I got there after work, she was cool and her skin had gone waxy. She hadn’t been out of bed for 2 days. Younger stepdaughter and father in law arranged plane tickets for Fix-it-guy’s sister who insisted that we be able to tell her exactly when the moment was near so that she wouldn’t have to do anything that required empathy or caring. She flew in that last day, and I told momma that she was on her way. We sent her son to the airport for her. He had gotten increasingly whackadoodle toward the end. Non stop rantings about vitamins and food and weak bodies. We constantly had to distract him from interfering with her pain meds and everything else. Finally, sister in law arrived and I told mother in law that all her children were there and that she could go. My sister in law refused to speak with her even after I told her that this would be the last day for my mother in law and it was time for her to clear her heart. I told my husband the same. We all told her how much we loved her and made her comfortable until she left us. I am forever struck by how wonderful my father in law was when he told her goodbye. I have never seen my husband cry in 15 years, but he did. I will not talk about the ugliness of my husband’s nephew’s reaction. It was ghastly at best and should have alerted us all to how crazy things would get exactly, but we were all grieving too hard to go there.

Daughters swooped in once more and arranged a funeral that was beautiful and strong just like the grandmother that they were honoring. The funeral was a grave side service because she didn’t want to be embalmed and it was hotter than hell. But we made it through it. My husband was tactful in dealing with his father who for some insane reason thought it necessary to get up and speak. My husband gave a beautiful eulogy for his mother. He talked of things that were important to her and and the things that were meaningful to him as her son. I gave a eulogy as well. It was beautiful as well. I will include it here at some point.

So, life went on. We continued to try and keep my father in law on kilter and to get back to normal for ourselves. My husband tried desperately to figure out how to go on without his momma. They rarely went a day without talking and it was difficult for him. Many times I saw him pick up his phone, start to dial and sigh. It truly broke his heart when his mother died. We marched through six weeks. A daughter’s birthday came and we celebrated as a family including father in law. It was a lovely day and considering what the next day would bring, I’m glad it was the day that it was.

The next morning seemed like every other one. It was a morning that we’d repeated a million mornings before. I got up and prepared myself to go to my job. I talked with him, made plans. Snuggled with him. Kissed him goodbye, told him that I loved him. Just like a million mornings before. And I walked out the door with his last words still in my head, “We should have sex tonight, baby.” And I told him that he should plan that. In retrospect, the day seems so mundane and so ordinary. I did the things that I do everyday. I listened to a Liverpool game and the boys drew. I drove up and tried to call him. He didn’t answer. I was irritated, but it wasn’t unusual. I thought he just wasn’t home from work yet. I pulled up and parked. Everything looked normal. The mundanity of that  moment is not lost on me. I walked in and yelled for him. No answer. I walked through and saw his car in the carport. Annoyed I yelled up the stairs, “Husband, what the hell are you doing?” No answer. I thought maybe he was working on dj stuff and had his headphones on. Halfway up the stairs I noticed that the bedroom door was open which never happens during the day. I asked for him again. “Honey, what are you doing?” Still nothing. I continued up the stairs, that sense of dread filling me up inside. I saw him lying on the bed, so I asked if he was okay. No answer. I thought he was sleeping. I could see that he was still in his underwear and tshirt. “Did you call in sick? What’s going on with you?” He wasn’t moving. My brain registered that he wasn’t moving. It screamed at me that he wasn’t moving. By this time I was at the foot of the bed. He was reaching. Forever stuck in that moment. I rationalized it. That he was reaching for his phone because he wasn’t feeling well and had slept through work. He was reaching for his glasses so he could see the time on his phone. But still my brain screamed at me that he wasn’t moving. I went to him and saw his eyes open. Touched him. He was cool. And then it hit me. He was gone.

I know that what I did next will make some of you wonder. But I knew that once I made the phone call that they would come and take him away from me and I would never have another moment with him. This was it. I sat next to him on the floor and held his hand. I told him that I loved him. I told him that I had no idea how I would do anything without him. I told him how he had changed my life. I told him how lucky I was to have him in my life for 15 years. I told him that he was the only real love that I had ever had and how my life was better with him and would never be the same without him at all. When I told him everything that was in my heart, I picked up my phone and made the phone call. I told them that I had come home and found my husband dead. The dispatcher asked me if I needed to start CPR. Bless his heart, but I told him that he was stiff and cold, I couldn’t do anything for him. The dispatcher sent me out on the porch to listen for the ambulance. I flagged them down and watched them do the secret “there’s nothing we can do” nod at each other. I sat in the middle of my hall and wondered how normal people react when this happens to them. Because I was a disaster as an autistic person doing it. I called Wee Geek and told him to come because Fix-it-guy was gone. Wee Geek was fully prepared to run to me because he was without car. Luckily, girlfriend came home and got him some transportation. The coroner was kind and explained everything to me. I told him goodbye and kissed him before they took him out the door. I made phone calls in between it all. Called my girlfriends who came without asking too many questions. I called his first wife. I called my father in law and my parents.

And then I had to call the girls. Because after all, my life would not have been complete without living through all of my nightmares in one week. I found him, I had to tell his children, and I had to bury him. My brain is a mess of emotions and crap. I have no idea how I got through any of it. I had a lot of help. I love that my girlfriends came to me without asking questions. I love that people from my husband’s part time job where I also used to work full time came to me and offered help in whatever way would be helpful. I love that the girls came and did everything for the funeral so that I didn’t have to add that to my worries. I love that I have friends who think about things like I might need an attorney to help me through some of the stuff. Our situation was not the norm and it caused some problems. All of the people that stepped in to help me with all of my fears and tears, all of my moments of falling apart for the stupidest things and all of my insane laughing over the silliest things.

Those of you who know me either in real life or through the blog know that I have done some really truly hard things. But today, I can say that this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I miss him every day. I miss him every moment. My heart is broken in a million pieces over him. I have no idea how to do the simplest things in my house because he did everything for me. I’ve never had a workman in my house because he did things always without thinking about them because they needed to be done. He always took care of me. This makes things very hard for me. Because I didn’t realize that I had let my guard down so much that I had let him in to take care of me. It is nice and devastating all at the same time. He had become my best friend in 15 years and my biggest cheerleader.

I am not afraid to be alone. I panic occasionally because I’m alone, but I’m not afraid of it. It’s curious, but I worry now that something will happen to me and I will be alone for Wee Geek to find. It terrifies me that I will leave him that way that the Fix-it-guy left. I want him to be prepared for the inevitable now that I am alone. I worry about things that I never gave much thought to at all. I sigh a lot because of it. I realize how much I loved that big goofy guy and how my life was so improved for having him in it. He gave me the courage to do things that I never would have done on my own. So I wouldn’t suggest ever living through this. It is an awful moment to have on your soul. But I know that I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. I know that I will be able to figure things out. It just doesn’t feel as good without him.

So dear readers, this is my life now. I am starting to get back into the swing of things. It’s hard. I don’t feel like doing any of it, but I have to. This is the beginning of something different for me. And I have to figure it out. I have some ideas. Most of them are creative. So look forward diligent readers. I love you all.

The Universe is a Mean Spirited Bitch….


Hello dearest minions…how is your summer? Mine has been full of rejection. I’ve been sending the same two stories out all summer with tweaks in between and it has been one rejection after another. I’m hoping that I’ve finally found a perfect home for one of them. I’ve had another non-fiction gig thrown my way, so if I can somehow milk it for 1500 words, I’ll be good.
It’s been a weird summer and right now I am feeling very wary of the universe and it’s awful sense of humour. Wee Geek moved back home at the end of June. Mostly out of necessity. He wants to get some of his finances back under control and this seems like the only route. He hasn’t had much luck finding a job, yet, but I keep telling him to just keep throwing things out there. He’s had 2 out of 3 interviews with one place. Although it’s not what he wants, it is a job. His mental state seems to be much better and that is the bonus plan.
It also has been a summer of weird connections. My brother and his family met at my mom’s lake house for the holiday over the 4th and we had a good time! It’s amazing to me how we have divided my dad’s ailments between us. I get psoriasis and bad eyes with a side order of rheumatoid arthritis and he got high blood pressure. Bizarre how life goes, isn’t it? We definitely are related, however. Interesting. He’s made an effort to connect with me. I sent him links to my writing stuff and the podcasts.
I’ve been sending out applications like crazy for teaching jobs and had a couple of interviews. I know that I don’t fit where I’m at and I need to find that place again. I do not like being miserable at my job. It sucks. As someone on the spectrum, I am well versed in the art of not fitting in. I’m kinna an expert. I don’t like it. I miss having co workers that I feel like really care about me. I just always feel on the fringes with this job. Not what I want.
Last thing. This is the part with the universe’s sick and twisted sense of humour. Some of you may or may not know that my granddad had a stroke back in 2008. He now has a vocabulary of about 25 words and 6 pretty distinct phrases. These include the ever not popular with my aunt “You don’t know nothing!”, “boy”, “I die”, “Take care”, “Mom”, “Go”, “Right now” and various parts of Happy Birthday, The Star Spangled Banner, and I think Amazing Grace. None of which come at an opportune time. We’ve had some funny moments with this. It’s very difficult and frustrating to communicate with him, but we do our best. He has a little flip book with words and phrases that he needs. We draw lots of bad pictures and point to lots of things that are not what he’s talking about at all. I know it must be frustrating for Grampa. His brain tells him that he’s saying the right thing and it’s almost as if he doesn’t understand that we can’t understand him.
So, Grampa had his knee replaced the other day. Wee Geek and I went over to see him yesterday. He was having some issues with stuff in his lungs, but he was in good spirits. And then the 40 minute misunderstanding and charades game was frustrating. He kept telling us that it was rectangular with sections and there was something round. And then he pointed to his mouth. So we’re thinking he wants food. No. We’re thinking he wants pain meds. He took the meds, but that wasn’t it. Finally, his girlfriend took his teeth out and we figured out that he had something under his dentures. Do you know that I had never seen my granddad without his teeth in? Never. So after we figured that out, it was much smoother. Before we left, he told me several times to take care of Wee Geek.
Dearest Husband had been in Indy working on daughter’s new house, so we met at Applebee’s because everyone was starved. As we were all starving. I walk up and see my two great aunts eating. I can literally count on no hands how many times I have ever run into my great aunts outside of a family function. NEVER. So I enjoyed it at the time, but in the light of my dad’s message this morning, it all became ever so ominous. So, the message came this morning that Grandad had a heart attack. Tonight I find out that the prognosis is ever so much worse. So, universe, you are a very sick humoured bitch.
I am flooded tonight with things that I want to say, but don’t know how. How can my life be so fucking ironic?
My granddad has always been a kind hearted, gentle and soft spoken man. He is a huge flirt. Last night he wanted his camera so he could take pictures of his nurses. He is terribly ornery. He loves a great joke and a better prank. He is a giving man who will give you his heart. You always feel loved when you are with him. I never thought he would make it after my grandmother died. But he did. We rallied around him and supported him. He bounced back. Even after the stroke, he kept his sense of humour. He continued to try and he was patient. We tested his patience and got a lot of “you don’t know nothings” but we got through it.
And now for something completely different! I get to see my lads play in Chicago the day after my 45th birthday. We have tickets to see Liverpool! Yes!

Godzilla! Tragic love story or lessons in the downfall of modern society!


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I know my faithful minions. It has been far too long since I have written. I have a lot to talk about. So strap in and sit down with a nice cup of something that you like to drink. I don’t care what. You’re going to need it.

I have a couple of soap boxes. As long time readers know, I occasionally address serious issues in this blog, and today I have several. Long time readers also know of the struggles that Wee Geek and I have been through in the last 22 years. I haven’t been blogging that long, but I have talked about a lot of the things that have contributed to us being who we are and where we are in life. Wee Geek is doing okay, by the way. He found a job. He’s now working at McDonald’s. He likes it for the most part, but it is the first of my soapboxes for the day, so fair warning.

Before I start, I want to remind you of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In part, the ADA prohibits discrimination against a person because of their disability. This applies especially to employment, transportation, etc. For our purposes and under the law, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of a person OR a record of such an impairment, OR being regarded as having such an impairment. This basically means that if you live, work, and function as if you have a disability, then you have a disability. You also don’t have to disclose that you have a disability to anyone. However, an employer cannot be expected to make accommodations for you if you don’t disclose.

McDonald’s as some of you may be aware is a top employer of people with disabilities. Wee Geek has disclosed that he has a disability. Also for the record. I also want to preface the following rant with the fact that Wee Geek is doing better in this job than he has in any other job that he’s had in the last few years. This is partially due to the fact that although the job is stressful, it is not stress that he has to take home with him. This is a bonus plan for him. Now, Mr. Jethro Copeland, I want you to take special note of this blog as the franchise owner of the store that Wee Geek works in. I am calling you out as a representative of an employer who does work with people with disabilities.

Wee Geek has Asperger’s. Asperger’s is a kind of high functioning autism. Asperger’s is characterized in short by the lack of social functioning skills and sensory issues as well as high intelligence. Wee Geek is not retarded. One of your managers is quick to jump to this convenient slur whenever talking to him. I will point out that “retarded” is not considered appropriate language anywhere and it is certainly not appropriate in a workplace. It is unprofessional and ignorant. Wee Geek is highly intelligent. He cannot be considered retarded by any stretch of the imagination. I know that he sometimes needs things explained in a different way or even asked to do things in a short direction format, but that doesn’t make him retarded. It makes him in need of a reasonable accommodation. By law, your manager must do this. So, if he is doing something in a way that is not how someone else would do it, it does not make him stupid. I guarantee that whatever way he is doing this job is the most efficient way for him to do the job that he is assigned.

Autistic people are very good at repetitive tasks. This works well in your favour. Afterall, big business is all about mindless repetitive tasks that make a whole. Let’s not forget that the goal is to have a whole hamburger at the end of the task. It’s not rocket science. Wee Geek is perfectly capable of grilling them all day every day. However, when your manager yells at him and calls him retarded, it makes him much less efficient. This is not good for your business.

Another thing to understand about autistic people is that they seem rude when put into the context of normal social conventions. This does occasionally make Wee Geek look like an asshole. He is not a person who can sugar coat shit. He tells it like it is. I’m sorry if your manager is an idiot, but you can’t expect Wee Geek to not point this out when it happens. From what a gather, this is a trait that your manager also can’t help. They need to learn how to work together so that she is less idiotic when it comes to working with him. This will lessen his need to point out that she is obviously an idiot. The right way to work with him is to let him do his job and realize that he’s going to get it done in a way that is the most efficient for him. I point out again that this is not rocket science, it’s hamburger building. The wrong way to work with him is to yell at him, call him names, and to send him home when he points things out. He is blunt and he’s not going to lie to you.

This is the last part of my soap box. Your manager is not accomplishing anything by sending him home. Well, she is accomplishing lessening your scheduled workforce for the day and pissing Wee Geek off. Neither of these things, gets the job done. At least not efficiently. I don’t understand making him miss work because your manager doesn’t understand how to work with him. This behavior reinforces to him that she is an idiot who is disrespectful. It reinforces to me that you need to have someone come in and train your managers on how to work with people with disabilities. They obviously have no clue. I offer my services. I have been working with people with disabilities most of my life and I have trained people how to work with people on the autism spectrum for 15 years.

Okay, that’s my soap box about McDonald’s. I find it hard to believe in this day and age that people are ignorant of how to work with people with disabilities and especially autism. We are everywhere. Whether you know it or not, you prolly deal with someone on the autism spectrum at least once a day.

Next on my agenda is to talk about what’s been going on in the Land of the Not Quite Right. Spring has sprung and once more, my brain is spilling out ideas almost faster than I can deal with them. As I am getting better in my writing skills, I am also getting better at capturing these ideas so that I don’t lose nearly as many of them to the netherworld. This is also the time of year when my creativity comes back to life and I never know where to put my energies. I am over flowing with little stories lately, though, so it seems to pick itself sometimes as well. I have several stories on my little fire right now. I have sent some out. I am going into three months waiting for an answer on one story and it is stressing me out. I am also more and more interactive with my fellow writers online. Especially those in my extended Post Mortem Press family.

I have to give a shout out to my friend Max Booth III who just published his book “Toxicity”. You can go buy it here:

I can’t say enough good things about this book. I loved this book from the beginning. If you like crazy roller coaster rides from hell and back, then you will love this book. I put it solidly in the middle of “John Dies at the End” and “Breaking Bad”. I also have to laugh at his presale package which included lottery tickets that proclaimed me the winner of “inevitable death” and a small prize of little plastic flies. Mine had bowties. Aren’t they adorable? I also wish to point out that I was the only one that received flies with bowties. I’m special like that.

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So that’s a plug for my PMP friend. Also another friend is in need of help. His name is James Newman. He was recently in a freak accident and broke his back. Here is the link to the Post Mortem Press amazon store that has been set up to benefit him and help his family recover from this horrible setback.

Go buy a book!
Another thing happened this week. Wee Geek’s dad decided to email him. Now we all now this is insanity. He sent a photo of the two little boys from his second marriage and captioned it with “your brothers are playing pokemon”. This was akin to walking over Wee Geek’s grave. After kicking him out, pulling his financial aid and then making his life miserable and being the cause of leaving a job he’d been at for 4 years….this wasn’t enough for him. He had to poke at him again. This is just beyond belief. Thankfully Wee Geek is my child and told him that he wanted to see his half-brothers but not if that meant he had to deal with his dad. He also told him to shove his love up his ass. To me, this is highly reminiscent of other past touches. He’s in a low place. History tells me that like wife #2 that wanted to be a mommy and made it her life mission to take my kid until she had her own, this new girlfriend is doing the same. Beware new girlfriend. My ex-husband is a master manipulator and cannot be trusted. My kid wants nothing to do with him. He’s been burned too many times. My ex-husband is not what he seems. Unless he seems like a sociopath to you. Then you’re spot on.

Okay, I think I’ve recounted everything. Except for my amazing little talk at Kendal Elementary School. A friend is a teacher there and asked me to come and speak to her class about writing. Which I did. They were 3rd graders. They asked amazing questions and they were very respectful and interested in what I had to say. I showed them how I write and how I edit and talked to them about a book that they were working on. It was a great experience and it jump started me back on to my goals. I still have the goal of sending out something every month. No lie, I need to catch up. I’ve only submitted a couple of things and one of them was rejected with set me back for a few days. I’m back on the horse, though, so here we go. I’ll keep you posted as things are being accepted and getting out. Please go help Max and James.

A side note is that Post Mortem Press has made me feel accepted and part of a family. You all know this. I have confidence in myself as a writer because of PMP and for this I am eternally grateful.

One last edit upon seeing this get shared. I never mentioned “Godzilla”. If you haven’t seen it, go see it. It’s wonderful. Bryan Cranston is fantastic in it. Godzilla is one of my favourite movie monsters. He represents a weird time in tv history for me when I would watch bad B movies after school. I saw all the classics. Harryhausen, Corman, Hammer….prolly why I write the things I do today. I adore giant bugs and classic monsters of all sorts.

Now faithful minions, go forth and use your evil powers for good.

The Dayjob: A New Concentric Ring of Dante’s Hell


So, my life has been just chock full of frustration with my day job lately. This has been an evolution of my resolve to be a full time writer sooner rather than later. I feel a great deal of frustration with my day job because the management has a very decided lack of ability to communicate. Which becomes scary in epic proportions. The scarier part of the equation is that they are apparently frustrated with my lack of ability to read their fluff filled skulls. It was pointed out to me that I can’t be expected to read what doesn’t exist. I laugh, but in reality it’s not funny at all.

In other news outside of the frustration of my day job on minute by minute basis, I received my first ever rejection. This rejection felt very personal. Mostly because the story that I submitted was something that I started writing from a very scary little part of my soul that I don’t often let see daylight. It’s a piece of me that I protect. We’re not talking put it in a little box and hide it in the darkest part of the closet protect. We are talking wrap it in 10 miles of bubble wrap and monitor all atmospheric and other environmental disturbances to avoid any sort of contact with anything that might possibly cause damage protect. It was about something that I rarely talk about and that when I do deal with it, it is usually with a very dark joke.

So this story sat in infancy on my netbook for a couple of months. I started it in October after finding a very strange photo on a facebook page that brought back memories that were better left dead. I grappled with the memory. I turned it around in my brain for weeks. I wrote a little beginning story for it. Then it sat because the story did not know what it needed to say. Finally, I opened it once more and looked at it. It still did not know what it needed to say to me. So after fooling around with it for a little while, I gave up. Threw my hands up in frustration only slight less than my frustration with my day job and said, “Okay. Fucking write yourself. I’m tired of trying to figure out what you are going to be.”

You know what? It did! It wrote itself. I’m not sure that I would have written that exact story. I was trying to make it something else. What it became was dreadfully delightful. It took a deliciously dark turn that I would not have chosen for that story. I am so happy with that story and the message that it conveys. The message is so much bigger than the story. This is what makes it so great. It came from that place inside of me that holds the biggest anger and is probably the darkest part of me. It was a good place to write from in this instance. One of the veteran authors that I met at the Post Mortem Press Retreat this summer read it, deemed it a “damn good story” and helped me find somewhere else to send it. We’ll see if it pans out.

In my quest to become a full time writer, I’ve resolved to get more things sent out this year. I am also dead determined to get “Land of the Not Quite Right” out the door in the next couple of months. There I wrote it. It has to happen now, right? We’ve had lots of snow days in the land of the not quite right this year. It has been affectionately redubbed “Indianarctica”. We’ve had so many days of below zero weather that I have begun to wonder if Korea and all its lovely Siberian winter winds have transplanted itself. I am not enjoying this winter. I have fought the rheumatoid arthritis aches daily. I have been battling some bizarre inner ear issue that has resulted in 3 trips to the doctor, 3 different rounds of meds, 1 trip to the ENT specialist, 1 CT scan, and one audiology test to see exactly how deaf I am. The results are all still pending. What I do know is that the audiologist suggested a hearing aid. Yay!

For those of you loyal fans who are wondering about Wee Geek, you will be glad to know that he’s hanging in there. He found a new job at McDonald’s because it’s close enough to walk to. He likes it most of the time. He is happier than he has been in a long time. Of course, the test is his interaction with management and things there are not too good. He cannot control his temper all the time and he does not suffer stupidity well. Lucky for him management is full of that stuff. Lucky him that he’s too much like his mother. Poor kid. He’s doing what lots of other mid-20’s Asperger’s kids are doing. Floundering. Wondering what their place in the world really is. I keep telling him that it will get better and he will figure it out, but he just feels stuck and that is hard. I tell him to hang in there and have faith. It takes huge amounts of faith to get from that place to where you feel like you belong and are doing what you should be doing. There is no other way.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on lots of short stories. I have quite a file of them going right now. I hope some of them come out and write something of themselves. My promise to myself for this year was to submit more stuff. I’ve already done that. So now I just want to get “Land of the Not Quite Right” out the door soon and maybe start working on “Boller County Secrets” or the “Mothman Chronicles”. One is closer to being finished than the other. I suppose that hatred of the day job will fuel me along the path of that. It’s been amazing to have made so many connections with other authors and I am finding lots of encouragement in seeing that we all have the same struggles and that is good. It means that no matter where I’m at in the process, that there will still be struggles.

Oh, before I let you go back to your lives, I will say that I did sign up for a conference that I’m really excited about. It’s just in Ohio, but I think it’ll be great and with lots of authors that I admire and have found some great advice in.

Until next time, I swear that I will get better at this writerly life and get more blogs down this year. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of things.

Tales From the Editing Trenches and other Endeavors


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It’s been awhile since I’ve written, I know dear readers. It’s been a busy summer. I’ll only bore you with a few of the details, I swear. I hope that you walk away with a few of the insights that I did even if you’re bored to tears. I’m laughing to myself right now as I sit in my new auction purchased writer’s chair in my cluttered little office. I laugh because like all things in my life lately, I am examining where to begin. This is not an easy chore.

As some of you know, I started a new job this summer. I have been frightfully busy doing nothing because of impending changes due to the federal sequestration of funding. Then I was frightfully busy waiting to be able to implement the changes which I could not do until the powers that be made a bunch of decisions. In true “powers that be” form it took until the last minute and then they want to start asking why I didn’t make these changes sooner. To which I blow giant raspberries. Typical government crap….hurry up and wait and then change everything to fit today’s needs in yesterday’s timelines. I also am starting to think that this job problem is biting into my social media time….I’m laughing out loud at how acclimated we have all become to the constraints of real life on our virtual lives.

The summer has also been busy with following my heart on many things which is starting to prove to be a very worthwhile endeavor. Even though it is scary and sometimes uncomfortable for this little autistic zombie girl, I am very happy to report that I have just closed my eyes and done lots of deep breathing. Then opened them to the surprise. Wow the surprise is that this method has actually worked!

I’ve also seen lots of movies and in typical summer pursuits at our house gone to lots of concerts! My dislike for old man bands grows while my anticipation for the upcoming Adam Ant show makes me giggle in 80’s girl insanity.

The biggest changes of this summer, outside of the new job issue is my slightly changing view of myself and the world in general around me. Not that the world has suddenly become autistically inclined, but more in the comfortableness of myself and learning to balance all of the new roles within my own little world.

One of the most important changes has been in my own house as I am the main money maker, now. Yes, the Fix-it-guy is still unemployed. I feel his tension in the shift of the money power, and honestly, I really try not to point it out. Occasionally, however, I take just a little delight in poking my finger at it. I actually have a little extra money these days and I treated myself to a brand new netbook. I have waited far too long for Scrivener to pull an iPad app out of thin air. Honestly, Scrivener, you started on Mac, why isn’t this the first thing you worked on? The call of NaNo looms hugely over my head and the pressure to be mobile as the new ML of the Indiana Elsewhere group charges at me with its ugly little stubborn head full force and completely without brakes. I wish technology would keep up with me, honestly. Why is the march of progress so relentlessly slow? It’s like a snail.

Wee Geek continues to struggle with the parameters of his grown up world. This has been the most difficult part of my life lately. I know that he has to struggle and I feel so powerless in pushing him up the hill and over the hump. There was a misguided and misunderstood non-suicide threat which landed him in the nut hut for a couple of days. This did make him understand that he needs to learn how to control his emotions a little more and also to understand that he cannot do this huge job of mopping up the mess his dad made all by himself.  I’m sure that in his dad’s little control freak brain, it made perfect sense to disable rather than to enable this kid. What he really did was create a huge cauldron of crap that is taking a lot of time to unravel. Wee Geek spent so much time stuffing himself down to keep from getting killed in that awful environment that there was little opportunity to actually learn how to cope. Now that his life has settled down and started to find a path, he is unable to control the feelings that are surfacing. The biggest of which is anger at his dad. I feel a great deal of frustration in him sending all of his energy in that direction. That too is a coping mechanism, however, and I have to let him get through it. No matter how inefficient it truly is.

It’s been a struggle for me not to run to bring him home. There is value to all paths we make decisions to follow. Not always wisdom, but value. He refuses to go file for unemployment. He has been warned that I will be somewhat unsympathetic toward money issues if he does not take steps to help himself. We all have to draw lines in the sand. In reality, the Fix-it-guy and I know that the best thing for him would prolly be to come home and let us help him to get on the autism waiver and get involved with Voc Rehab to help him with financial stuff and getting a new job. It would be helpful in getting him back into school, too. He’s very afraid to take that step. It feels like he’s taking a step backward to him. It’s progress in a backdoor way and he is not excited for that in the least.

The biggest event of the summer came in a very strange way, however. And it almost didn’t happen. My publisher Post Mortem Press (go see link here) http://www.postmortem-press.com/ threw a little retreat for its authors. I had planned for Fix-it-guy to come and at the very last minute (and I do mean that in the most literal sense of the word) he decided not to go. So, I drove to Yellow Springs, Ohio all by my lonesome. The motel was fantastic http://www.thespringsmotel.com/ and I recommend it for that truly creepy Bates Motel experience. Not that the motel was bad, it just gave you this very distinct feeling of going back in time. It was your typical one story strip mall kind of motel with gigantic dollops of nostalgia.

It was interesting to meet the other authors and most exciting of all…..extremely motivational! The main activity of the weekend was a little Edited! (rather than Chopped) contest. We had to submit a flash fiction story before we arrived. Don’t worry, I had to look it up, too. I had no idea how to write flash fiction and only barely understood what it actually was. This link helped me to get it: http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/flash.shtml .  So I wrote this strange little story called “Damned If You Do” about a boy zombie killer and his girlfriend. I know, no surprises there. After placing in the top of that round, we were given the lyrics to an old Joy Division song http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/joy+division/love+will+tear+us+apart_20075884.html “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. Here’s a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHYOXyy1ToI  . Didn’t really miss Joy Division, did you? So I wrote another little story of the same title about a man who kills his wife and they in true Norman Bates style, keeps her as if she was sick. The next prompt was a picture prompt. It was a strange little photo with a young girl holding a baby and a storm brewing in the background. That story was born of a strange experience in a haunted school (that will be later) called “Vortex Baby”. It was about  a child of an incestuous rape being born. The final story was based on the prompt “The Caretaker”. This story was rooted a little in the story that appeared in “Fear of the Abyss” http://www.amazon.com/Fear-Abyss-Post-Mortem-Press/dp/0615732518  and a little on the movie “Daybreakers” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433362/ which I highly recommend as refreshing look at the vampire mythology.  It was about an alien race who used humans as their Life Force. It smacks greatly of “Solyent Green” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1  again another movie that comes highly recommended from yours truly. This story was the winner.

I know that the strange string of events that led to this was nothing short of silly, but it worked and as a writer of fiction, who am I to argue with the debate of fiction needing to be more real

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than real life. At any rate, my winnings consisted of a little plastic trophy and a  huge cache of Post Mortem Press books. Winning this really did something to me. It validated that I do indeed know what the hell I am doing. It made me realize that this is what I should be doing with my life. It also solidified the need to get all three of these books out of my computer and into a book.

So, never fear, the zombie novel is finally coming.  I was so inspired and energized by spending the weekend with 20 people that I didn’t even know of outside of Facebook and some not really at all, that I now count them all as wonderful influences on my life as a whole.

So here are some links to authors that you should link to.

Nelson Pyles http://nelsonwpyles.com/ who also runs https://www.facebook.com/TheWickedLibrary

J. David Anderson: https://www.facebook.com/authorjdavidanderson

C. Bryan Brown: https://www.facebook.com/cbryanbrown

Jessica McHugh: https://www.facebook.com/author.JessicaMcHugh

Gary Braunbeck: http://garybraunbeck.com/

Tim Waggoner: http://www.timwaggoner.com/

Lucy Snyder: http://www.sff.net/people/lucy-snyder/

Kenneth Cain: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Your-eyes-My-vision-the-Dark-Fiction-of-Kenneth-W-Cain/177796992258142

Brady Allen: https://www.facebook.com/authorbradyallen

Georgina Morales: http://www.diaryofawriterinprogress.blogspot.com/

I think that hits everyone. If I missed someone feel free to let me know.

What I did learn from this fateful weekend is so awesome that I find it hard to find words to talk about it.

I know, you are dying to know about the Haunted School trip. It was at Poasttown school http://poasttownschool.com/Home_Page.php . There is a place in the heart of the school that they call the Vortex. It’s a kind of place that all the roads in the school merge into. It has a very unique energy. As most of you longer time readers know, I have Asperger’s. This means that my brain is never quiet and I never stop ticking. This is usually fairly easy to control with massive doses of Benydryl. As I walked into the vortex, I was taken completely off my feet. My brain was quiet. My body was quiet. I didn’t feel the need to rock or twitch or move or really anything. I know that most neurotypical people won’t get it. They can actually turn off their brains. My brain does not have that switch. It is constantly moving and driving me into distraction and destruction. The feeling of complete and utter calm was so foreign that I almost didn’t know how to react. At first the quiet scared me. It was immediate. Like a switch being turned off in my brain. It was dark and felt like everyone was sleeping. If it had only been quiet and I had not had the stillness in my body, I prolly would have run like hell. Instead, I just stood and enjoyed the curiosity of it.

At any rate, that was the reason behind the “Vortex Baby” story. It also brings me to a screeching halt here in the Land of the Not Quite Right. I have a roaring allergy headache that refuses to go away and I am seriously going to lay down and try to get rid of the damn thing. I am inspired once more, so hopefully more blogs will be leaking out of my head as I continue on this creative binge.

 

 

 

Inertia…..or not


I am speaking at a writing conference next weekend. On blogging. We’ll see how that goes. I have a lovely little PowerPoint and some lovely examples of great blogs that I love, so we’ll see if it’s a hit or a miss. I like blogging. I just need to do it more often. I have a friend that tries to blog every day. I don’t think I have that much to say. Or maybe I do. I guess I wouldn’t have these mile long verbal vomit postings if I did post more often. I always think that I need to book mark this in my brain to blog about. And then I tease my Facebook friends with “I feel a blog rant coming on”. The rest of the time, I just get involved in my life or my current project or whatever you want to call it.

Wee Geek was caught up in inertia this week. Someone posted a great article on inertia and Asperger’s. Here is the link: http://archive.autistics.org/library/inertia.html. I emailed it to Wee Geek because the last month has been a true test of something in our life. It’s actually been a true test of a lot of things in life. At first, I thought it was just an IRL (in real life for you non internet savvy people in the audience) test. To see if he could handle this grown up situation and fix it. The answer to that, at least initially is no. However, after you lie to your mom about it and then realize that the paperwork is more than you can handle and that it’s the day before your court date and at least 2 of the 3 offices that you need to visit are closed or getting ready to close, you call Mom and come clean and then you work together to fix it.

The background is this. Most of you know (at least the faithful sheep in my flock do) that he got busted for paraphernalia and had his license suspended and then had to work around that for 6 months. At the end of the 6 months, the DMV required a checking account direct pay to reinstate his license. Which we did for him. He doesn’t have a checking account. Which we are going to very quickly remedy in the next few days. Among other things. So in November, I aid this and said “It’s all fixed, now go get your license. There is no problem to just go get a Kentucky license over an Ohio one.” I checked on all this for him because inertia drags him down and he gets frustrated over these little steps. I thought that after all of this, he would go do it and it was already taken care of. Then I get the panicked phone call. “Mom I got pulled over because I don’t have a license and my plates are expired and I don’t have proof of insurance.”

Wow…was I wrong. He forgot. Again, that inertia thing. So in Ohio you renew your plates on your birthdate evidently. In Indiana it’s according to a random previously established month based on the first letter of your last name. Wee Geek moved and did not forward his mail from his old address because he didn’t want his dad tracking him down. He’s managed to cut most of the ties to his life with his dad and he wants to keep it that way. Unfortunately, the DMV in their wisdom, mails your update notice to your last address (that you are supposed to keep updated with them) to give you that visual prompt that it’s time to register your car and update your plates. This is a great service for the DMV to provide. Unbeknownst to them they are superbly accommodating autistic people. So as you can see, the inertia got to him again. I only know a few people who actually put those silly insurance things in their cars. My husband being one of them. I always forget. I should be better about it, but sometimes inertia gets to me, too. The registration card is still sitting on my table from February. He had current insurance, mom is just negligent about sending that paperwork in a timely manner.

So after a couple of weeks, he calls me and tells me it’s all done. I take him at his word. I’m trying to let him be a grown up and get things taken care of without mom being mom. Big mistake apparently. So the day before his court date, he calls to tell me not to yell at him. Now this was a moment of  blinking yellow arrow signs, alarms blaring, red lights whirring…..you know that moment, don’t you? Or do only autistic people get those moments? Maybe it’s just me. I am very good at getting things accomplished when I need to. He knows this. Good for Wee Geek that he picked the mom who is efficient at fixing things. So because he was so upset and couldn’t find his only copy of his social security card. I called the office to find out what other information and type of identification would suffice. I find out that all he has to do is go to the social security office and get a printout that has his name and soc on it. I send him to the office and it’s closed. Yay. Later I find out that all social security offices close at noon on Wednesdays. Hint federal offices put this information on your freaking websites! No where is this written until you go to the office and check the hours on the door. As if this is random. And a surprise for everyone. It’s not. I call the office again and explain to the nice lady what the issue is.

It culminates in me explaining that he has Asperger’s  and Bipolar and this is just a little too overwhelming for him. Thankfully, she has a schizophrenic kid and understood a little bit about inertia. She went over to the DMV lady which is apparently just across the room and talked to her for a short period of forever. When she comes back she tells me that she’s explained that Wee Geek is “special” and that they will extend his court date for us.

A short side note. I don’t like to pull the Asperger’s card. However, there are times when it’s merited. This is one of those times. I’m the mom, I get to make those decisions when you aren’t getting the job done. Wee Geek wasn’t happy, but at that point, I think that he was just grateful for whatever reprieve he could get for his colossal fuck up.

So the next morning he got his printout from the social security office and went to take his test to get his new license. Which I made him send me a picture of. I know, silly, but you lied to me so now I need proof. A new paperwork obstacle reared its ugly head and so the plates took another couple of days. Just getting the registration was a huge feat. Apparently there was some insurance problem and he actually had to get his very own insurance and not continue to be on mine. Which neither of us knew and apparently we forgot to tell the agent that he wasn’t in school. So error and foul on everyone there. I spent half a day on line and deep in research and found him a policy that we thought he could afford. He got that taken care of and two days later, finally finished the process and got everything done. Sigh. Inertia.

I then had to be the mom and talk to him about lying to me. He’s a grown up now and there isn’t any reason to lie to me about anything. We’ve proven time and again that we are going to help him regardless of what happens. I might get upset with him, but I always help him. I might yell, but usually because I am frustrated for him and trying to get things done. I know that only moms will understand being frustrated for your child. It’s very frustrating to see your child struggling over things. I try to let him figure stuff out. He is a grown up. I yelled at him because it’s not necessary to lie to me about not doing something. Just say, “Mom, I can’t do this by myself, I need help.” There isn’t anything wrong with that.

I admire Wee Geek, because he’s trying to do things on his own without asking for help and he truly feels bad when he has to ask us for help, money, or anything. Now, Wee Geek is the kid that we were terrified might be living with us until he was 40. So we are thrilled that he is on his own and trying to the best of his ability to get it all done. We don’t mind helping him because we have always known that he was the one that was going to need the most support and the most help with getting things done as he transitions into this scary land of adult hood. We really are okay with giving him the extra support. Even the Fix It Guy (like the new title for him?) is okay with giving him this extra support. A lot has changed in ten years.

So we are going down to go to court with him so that he knows he is supported and that we are willing to be his parents and do that for him. I think that he might need help in talking to the judge because I know that I always did. The rules of court are so different than the rest of the universe and they completely defy all of the social rules that I have already memorized. I don’t expect him to know any of them. Court feels like some kind of alternate world that has it’s own built in set of rules that have nothing to do with our every day world at all.

In other news, I am still bumbling along trying to figure out what to do next. I guess inertia has caught up to me as well. I am enjoying being crafty and I’ve been working on all sorts of things. Yesterday I made fabric covered storage boxes for use on a book shelf that I bought at an auction last week. Craft storage. I’ve been trying to consolidate two rooms of craft crap into one. This has been a monumental and overwhelming task at some points. I am one of those people that has to have the exact right storage stuff lined up before I can start organizing. The Fix It Guy is extremely accommodating of this even though it’s impacting him working in his own little office. Bless his little mechanical heart. We are more on our way to that road than we have been. I’ll get to it. It’s the project of the next week.

In the meantime of all of this, we took a little trip u to the Poconos which was lovely. I like vacations. Even though right now, it wasn’t any different than our regular life, just in a different place and a hotel room. We made a day trip to Philadelphia and a day trip to New York City. In the aftermath, I am glad because the Fix It Guy is a superb planner and he can just trek us right along. My health definitely impacted this trip, though. I couldn’t just go and go without my arthritis kicking in and it required a cane for most of the trip which in the past has never happened to me in the warmer months. So I am resigning to my health impacting my life in the form of a cane. With the cane, we just have to pick and choose some of our activities better, but I try and not let it make a huge impact. I think this keeps me going. Most of the time. Sometimes I have to give up and say no.

I only had a short list of things that I wanted to do, but these things always get slid off in favor of what The Fix It Guy wants to do because he likes to wear me down into the land of don’t-give-a-fuck and I then don’t care if we do the few things I wanted to do. We did go to the Hard Rock and eat and get my shirt, hurricane glass, and charm. That’s the big thing for me. I like those little souvenir things. Baubles.

The next week, my father in law (the step one not the farmer one) bought a tent in Boston and we went to pick it up. So we made a day trip to Boston. We have decided that all of these cities deserve at least one more trip to explore further. We pack a lot into these little trips, but it’s never enough time. Especially now that I have to slow down a little.

I am still applying for jobs like a mad woman, but as I said, I have been concentrating on doing crafty things. This is the first time in 10 years that I have not had at least 2 jobs and I am enjoying it. I kept saying that if I could get a couple of weeks off, I would get editing done and get these books out the door. Guess what? Inertia happened and I’m doing all these other little things that I don’t usually have time for. So my newest project is to do these really cute Doctor Who dolls. The first two are done and number three is almost finished.

I am really enjoying doing these. I’m thinking that I will doing felty ones and putting them on Etsy. I’ve been working on cross stitch stuff, too.

I’ve been busy as you can see. I have all these creative ideas. Now that the computer is completely updated with Windows 8, new office software, the latest versions of both Scrivener and PCStitch, I am ready to roll on this creative stuff. I have been writing. Don’t worry, it’s just not as much as the creative crafty stuff.

I have made a resolution to get on the writing stuff, though. I need to do that as much as everything else. Don’t worry dear readers.

Asperger’s and Common Sense Are Not Synonymous


Some of you who are long time readers may know about Wee Geek’s little run in with the law last year. In November, when it came time to reinstate his license, I got on line and discovered that it could be paid online but needed to have a checking account so I got online and paid the reinstatement fee that he owed. Luckily, it was very small. After it was paid, I told Wee Geek that he needed to go and get a new license in Kentucky since he now lives there. Evidently it slipped his brain and mom didn’t stay on top of it, thinking that Wee Geek knew what he needed to do. Oooops…so needless to say his state ID expired on his birthday.

Another wonderful part of living on the spectrum is that we often need visual cues to get things done, especially to stay on top of annoying paperwork stuff. The nice thing about owning vehicles is that once a year they send you a nice reminder in the mail to renew your plates. If they have the right address for you. Apparently, they did not in the case of Wee Geek and when he was pulled over yesterday morning, he had expired plates. And no valid proof of license. And no proof of insurance. Sigh.

In the course of the stop, he evidently was acting weird. Of course, because he works third shift and he’s exhausted with a particularly yucky case of insomnia this week. So the officer gave him a field sobriety test. Luckily, Wee Geek has much more coordination than I do. I have this problem with gravity and air pockets. They fuck with me every time. I guess the officer figured that something was going on with Wee Geek that was odd and the only way that he could figure it out was to get the sobriety test.

I am grateful that the cop was patient with Wee Geek and gave him a citation with a court date. Most first responders have just enough autism training too get themselves in trouble. He at least told Wee Geek that he wasn’t going to touch him during the field sobriety test, but just put his finger really close to his face. If only he hadn’t told Wee Geek that his license could get suspended. Because after he said that, Wee Geek’s brain shut down and went into complete and total freak out mode. He should have told him that it was only if he didn’t get this stuff taken care of.

I spent a half hour on the phone with him getting him calmed down and trying to figure out exactly what the issue was. Although he wasn’t in meltdown, he was in total freak out. Sigh. It’s sometimes hard to stay patient with him when he is in freak out mode. It’s a process of letting him tell the story, freak out, go around it in circles, and then get back on track. It’s a pocess of asking questions and then trying to interpret what the answers mean. It’s a long process no matter how you look at it. I was pretty patient yesterday morning and finally got the story out of him.

I had to instruct him to start calling and finding out what paperwork he needed to get everything done and how much it would cost. He finally agreed and told me he would call me later. I called him several times in the late afternoonn, to no avail. So at 730 he finally answered his phone. He’s paassed out after our call and was just getting up. The other nice side effect to having our senses overwhhelmed, we crash. Not a little crash either. Usually the kind where you could possibly sleep for days. I have confidence that he’ll get up this morning and take care of it. Looks like the International Bank of Mom is still open.

The funny thing is that we all take for granated that these things have to be done. We are grown ups and we do it. Every one of the kids has driven on either an expired license or expired plates. Every one has blamed us for not doing it for them….

In Wee Geek’s case, it just goes to show you that his dad sent him out into the world without a clue as to how to be a grown up at all. He’s basically naked and alone in the ugly cold world. Not a comfortable feeling at all. I’ll bet he never forgets to do this again. Right now, though, he is stuck by his lack of money as well. It sucks to live check to check and he definitely feels the stress of that.

He works so hard to be a good kid and to get through life every day. He just feels like it’s kicking him iin the ass right now and leaving him in a rut. I feel that. I try to make him understand that sometimes, life is very hard work and it does suck. It does make you want to give up. But you have to get up and keep going. Then you drive down the street one day and see a guy riding a bike around town dressed up like a gorilla.

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