Saturday, September 30, 2006

NEW RULE. (Thank you Bill Maher.)

No rejections are to appear in the mailbox of an aspiring writer over the weekend. Monday - Friday? Fair game. Saturday? Giant buzz killer. Today's tidy little pre-printed card from a NY agent reads: "I have reviewed your material and it is not anything I wish to work with at this time." Alrighty then.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Submitting to Miss Snark.

You're standing on the high dive. Your friends have all jumped before you. So, do you climb back down the ladder, run to the snack shack and devour a frozen Charleston Chew (crack it!) or do you walk to the edge, give a small "boing" and just get it over with and jump? Today I jumped.

In the writing world there's a "mystery agent" known as Miss Snark. She eviscerates writers' queries upon command. Today she had some info that I found really helpful. So I responded, on her blog with my own name. No more anonymous climbing back down the ladder.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Homophoning it in?

Has this ever happened to you? Lately I can't use homophones correctly. My mind is blanking out. I'll write, "He lost his site when the stick hit his eye." Or did you brake your arm? Even the word write has become a problem, as I found myself writing "wright" which of course, is wrong. Brain overload? Quick neural-blip? Scary, since I'm trying to write for a living and spellcheck has abandoned me on this one. KS

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Does "OKU" mean good in Japanese?

I gotta ask. Got a catalog in the mail today. I shop online and get a lot of catalogs, since dragging my kids to the mall often leads to escalating blood pressure for all concerned. Along with my two rejections, I got a catalog today called "Catalog Favorites." A hodge podge of items from various catalogs, thus the catchy name. Average looking stuff, a lot of junk.

I'm turning pages loaded acrylic toilet seats with embedded sea shells (in case you want to shit the oyster bed), T-shirts decorated with bon mots such as "Nobody listens to me until I fart" and a delightful soap and bath towel set where half is white and says "FACE" and the other half is brown and says "BUTT." The perfect gift for your buttfaced brother in law, yes?

None of this concerns me in the least. And then I turned to page 25. And there, on the lower right hand corner is a vibrator. Yes, a vibrator. Oh sure they call it a "massager" but we've all seen the Sex and the City episode where Samantha returns her "neck massager" to Sharper Image. It's a vibrator people. Called "The Fabulous Fukuoku." Which I read as "fuk-u-oku" leading me to my question, "does Oku mean good in Japanese? It's a Johnson shaped tip that sits on your finger. Well, actually its three of them, with varying stimulation tips. If only men were so versatile! "This go anywhere massager arrives in its own zippered carrying pouch." Handy! But will it get past security at the airport?

I plunged deeper into the catalog. Plage 46? Another vibrator! Called "The Liberte!" Well, Merci Beaucoup! A whole new way to get doinked by the French! Copy reads: "Designed by women, for women." 'Cause our necks are shaped different from men? And then on page 47? A KEGEL exerciser with a photograph that shows enough skin to terrify me.

From that point on, all the Kokopelli necklaces in the world couldn't make me feel safe opening that catalog again. I couldn't even enjoy the sparkly red, sequined baseball cap or the Bibleopoly game.

That's it. I'm calling them to get off their mailing list. Hmmm, now where's my credit card?

Ugh, if I had balls they’d be aching right now. As it is, my stomach is in my shoes. TWO SASE’s back today. One did have a very nice handwritten note from the agent on it though “I regret this one isn’t a match.” Oh how I wish she’d just say “This is sophomoric drivel that will never be published.” Or “My uncle Cedric writes better than you and he only went to the third grade, in Latvia.” or "If you think anyone on the planet wants to be amused by autism you are sorely mistaken you moronic twit." (Hmm, sounds rather Snarkish doesn't it?)


Have you ever seen "Foamy the Squirrel" at I often turn to Foamy for comic relief when the going gets absurd here.

Or when one of my query SASE's turns up in my mailbox. I now hate the sight of my own handwriting as much as Sr. Lourdette did back in my grade school penmanship classes. I might have to figure out how to get my computer to print the damn envelopes for me to soften the "blow of the NO" from agents.

Head on over to Illwillpress, Click on "toons" and check out "Coffee House Propaganda" and "Small Medium Large" to start. Especially funny if you're part of that "Dunkin Donuts versus Starbucks" universe. Best line ever uttered by a squirrel? "I hope you choke on a biscotti."


Tuesday, September 26, 2006


My kids ride the short bus to school. Yes they do. They're safe, in good hands and frankly, some mornings, when the three of them are whisked away to their autism programs, leaving me with complete silence in the house, I don't care if it's the short bus or the Freddie Kruegger limo service. I grab my coffee and I start querying agents in peaceful bliss.

But the last two days have really burned my behind. PEOPLE DRIVING AROUND OR BLOWING BY THE SHORT BUS! WTF!? We live on a busy two lane, double yellow line road. When the bus stops it has a stop sign that swings out like every other GD school bus. People blow their horns in frustration. I want to invite them in for a few hours in my house to see if they'd like to live here for awhile.

You know what? My kids need seat belts and they take a little time to get off the bus. It's the short bus, for God's sake. Give the kids, and the mom a break, will you?

Writing a novel?

We writers all think we've written the next great novel, trashy or otherwise, right? A writer needs a certain level of confidence to put words onto paper. After all, think about it. A writer creates an entire universe in her fiction book. Unless of course the writer is James Frey, and then you mostly create controversy.

I decided to write a book about 2 years ago. I wake, eat, breathe, and sleep autism, 24/7. I'm not just mother to my 3 girls, I am therapist, drill sgt., doctor, ringleader, zookeeper and security manager. So when people in my autism world kept telling me "You ought to write a book about autism." I cringed. No thank you. I live it, who the heck wants to write about it? And then it occurred to me. "I" can't write about autism, but maybe there's someone in me who can? And in a sneaky "hide the medicine in the pudding" kind of way.

I also hear rather frequently, "Gee, you're funny, Kim." Yeah, like that fancy opera clown with the long Italian name. I do use humor and a sharp sarcasm to surmount some of the challenges our family faces. I've always been a smartie pants who leads with her mouth instead of her brain. (My babysitter from way back when still tells people that as a five year old, I told one of her pimply boyfriends "You're ugly you ass."Charming, yes?) And yet my parents never sold me to the gypsies, so I figure I can manage my own unusual family.

The book idea was tumbling about in my head when the proverbial lightbulb turned on. Not a fluorescent lightbulb, mind you, because they contain and emit MERCURY, the evil metal that just may be the root cause of a lot of autism. Let's not get into that today though.

Kat Cavicchio was born. She's the protagonist in my book called "Autism Is Murder." Kat is the aunt to two children with autism (See, I didn't call them autistic, did I? Remember, children with cancer are NOT cancerous.) She can observe her sister's life and better yet, comment on it with a wit and zing that, were it to come from my mouth, as a real live Mom, would surely get my Mother of the Year certificate revoked. And then I'd have to return that pretty apron.

So, the book tumbled out of my head onto my screen over many, many nights. But what a feeling when I was done. Elation! I had written a book. Of course, now comes the hard part. Find an agent who won't return my SASE with just a glance at the word autism in my query. But I'll get there. I'll get there.

Hello, Blogosphere. Is this mike on? Helloooo helloooo helloooo? OK, here I go.

I'm Kim Stagliano. No wait, that sounds too much like the start of an AA meeting.

Hi! Noooo. Way too

Hey there. Iccckkk, bad pick up line meets Freddie Boom Boom Washington.

Alright. Take 4. I'm Kim Stagliano, and my current claims to fame are as follows.

1) I have written and am shopping a manuscript called "Autism Is Murder." (unless an agent or editor asks me to change the name, in which case, I will toss that title into the trash faster than Joan Rivers ran to the plastic surgeon on her 40th birthday. Or was it her 35th?)

2) Mimicking. I can mimic almost any voice. Have you ever heard Zoe from Sesame Street tell Elmo to stick it where the sunny days don't shine? I can do that. And I can sing in about a zillion voices. I once sang nursery rhymes to my kids in Cher's voice. Cher is particularly adept at "Baaaa Baaaa Black Sheep" as you can imagine. When Alanis Morrissette sang "Itsy Bitsy Spider" my youngest daughter cried. But Alanis did get a little morose during the "down came the rain" part.

3) I can still fit into my wedding gown, although that little trick is starting to tread on Miss Havisham's territory if you get my drift.

4) I am the proud mom of three beautiful daughters who just happen to have autism. Yup. Not one, not two, but a hat trick! Stop shaking your head and thinking that I did way too many drugs in college. I've already taken that guilt trip, thank you very much.

I'd like to think we are a freak of nature, but I know plenty of families with multiple children with autism. Even 4 or 5 kids! Scary stuff people. Please note, I will rarely if ever refer to my girls as autistic. After all, kids with cancer are not called "cancerous." My children have autism. That means I can help them GET RID OF IT. Which is really how I spend my days when not blollygagging on this new toy called my Blog. More on that later.

5) I have a husband, whom my best friend and the gal who really encouraged me to write my book referred to this morning as, "your Division I husband." I refer to him as my man of steel for all the right reasons. Most of all, because he can weather any storm life throws at him, and we've had a Katrina of a life together, since the kids arrived.

So, welcome to my blog. Drop me a line. I'm off to use my Dyson. My life isn't all glamour you know.