Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Joe Barton was voted out of office on Tuesday. Perhaps you can find him wrapping chalupa's at the Richardson TX Taco Bell come January.

Here are the contact numbers for Joe Barton, Republican Congressman in Texas. Take 2 minutes - call his office and just tell him that denying access to a constituent is wrong - and stomping out the unanimous Senate vote for the Combatting Autism Act by refusing to release the bill to the House for a vote (there are enough votes in the house for it to pass) is playing GOD with our legislative system.

What is MAKING him hold onto this bill? What pressure keeps him from keeping his word to Suzanne Wright of Autism Speaks? No politician would put himself through the public excoriation Barton is getting without someone holding a very large GUN to his head. So, what is it that's WORSE for Barton than being tossed about the Internet like the cheap gal at the saloon? I'd like to know. Money? Some horrible secret? Someone's got something on him.

Please, for my 6 year old who can not say "Trick or Treats" and the 1 in 166 autistic kids in America's sake -- call his office.

Washington Office2109 Rayburn BuildingWashington, DC 20515(202) 225-2002(202) 225-3052 fax

Arlington Office6001 West I-20, Suite 200Arlington, Texas 76017(817) 543-1000(817) 548-7029 fax

Ennis Office2106 A W. Ennis Ave.Ennis, Texas 75119(817) 543-1000(972) 875-1907 fax

Crockett Office303 N. 6th St.Crockett, TX 75835(936) 544-8488


Monday, October 30, 2006


Here is the link to the YouTube video of Representative Joe Barton, R, Texas calling the police on a constituent, a father with a son with autism, who calmly requested that he join the "Town Meeting" that was held at Barton's Office.

We was denied access. Imus aired the entire 4 minute clip this morning (10/31). My stomach is sick - and I've barely started on the giant bowl of Halloween candy.


Thanks, Big Roy!

Hmm, I don't have a lot of friends with names like "Big Roy." But I want to thank the owner of the Imusblog for adding a link to this blog. Like a lot of parents of kids with autism, I am grateful to Imus and his wife Deirdre for his constant message about the politics of our kids' lives. Not sure if Big Roy and Imus know eachother -- or if Big Roy is just a FAN (pun intended). But his YouTube link to Joe Barton and "get the word out" approach is most appreciated.

Huffington Post

I'm waiting to hear if The Huffington Post is going to run my "Fearless Voices" submission, titled "Why President Bush Should Have Appointed an Autism Mom to run the war."

The submission is a blog entry that talks about what it takes to lead three girls with autism through the grocery store. The planning, the mental telepathy, the Kevlar shield over my heart as people stare at us. It's powerful and says so much about both the political world AND the autism world, which now, seem irrevocably twisted.

I'll link you if/when it runs.

Friday I'm attending a Backspace writers conference in NY. Not only is this a chance to meet agents and editors, it's a chance to interact with grown ups for several hours without ever having to utter "flush the toilet or did you wipe?" Joy!


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Joe Barton, (R) Texas Calls Police on Parent of Autistic Child

Imus and Miss Snark share something in common - passion and a sense of justice. Check out the Imus fan post including a YouTube video of Joe Barton calling the cops on a father who tried to attend the meeting of congressman. Imus will not let Joe Barton forget this one.

I realized two weeks ago that I have logged over 243,300 hours on planet autism. I have not one, not two, but a hat trick of beautiful, brave daughters with autism. I adore my three girls and will work until the very last breath I draw to help figure out what the hell happened to them and how can I make their lives a little easier.

That's why I write. That's why I weave autism into my writing -- with a humor and passion and sharp bite of the mother who is relentless. I am an autism Mom. LOOK OUT.



Friday, October 27, 2006

Caveat Emptor -- Especially to aspiring writers.

A NY literary agent who hosts a blog under the pseudonym "Miss Snark" posted twice today about a new scam that threatens the prospective careers of writers along with the integrity of the industry she holds dear. It's not NICE to fool Miss Snark. And she is PISSED. Rightly so.

The nutshell version goes like this. Scam literary agents exist. They charge "reading fees", refer new writers to for-pay-editorial-work houses who kick back fees or are on their payroll and general run scams that seldom if ever lead to legit publishing. They operate for a while, close their doors, reopen with another name. Like any flim flam business, like "Wobistics"the stock scam run a few seasons ago on The Sopranos.

There are websites dedicated to flushing out the scammers. Preditors and Editors is one such site.

A new site has been launched as a counterpoint to Preditors and Editors, by several of the agencies known throughout the industry as on the "low side of integrity" -- capsica? This site announces a "new" literary association called the International Independent Literary Agents Association. www.iilaa.com.

Perhaps an analogy would be if 20 doctors who had been sued for malpracticed and LOST announced that they were part of the AAALP, The American Association for the Advancement of Live Patients". Their name sounds nifty, until you peel back the layers to find the rotten core.

I am a unpublished writer (for now.) I've joined groups that have helped me learn the do's and don'ts of how to get published on the "up and up." Sending your query to agents takes chutzpah -- the rejection level high and the process is daunting. But to submit to a scammer and be taken for a costly ride because you didn't know they weren't legit? That's just wrong.

So, as a dedicated Snarkling -- I am blogging this so that writers will spread the word. There's a new virus in town. Mind your firewalls.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

People from Harvard really ARE smart.

A poor student fell out of an 11 story window at 10:00 in the morning. Nothing to joke about there, it's someone's son and I hope he's OK.

However, the news reports "Police have been on the scene investigating, but Harvard officials called the incident an "apparent fall.""

An apparent fall? Let's see. He was on the 11th floor, then he was sprawled on the ground right below his window. Gentlemen are we in agreement on this? An "apparent fall?" Yes. OK, now we can talk to the police.

Why do I write fiction when the news is so ripe with stories??

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


My kids are in Kindergarten, grade 4 and grade 6. Their Fall field trips have totalled $70. $12 x 2 to go to a local pumpkin farm and McDonalds (where they can't eat), $16 to go to Hartford, $10 for an IMAX movie and $20 payable now to see A Christmas Carol at the famous Westport playhouse. I think these are fantastic trips. I'd spend $100 for a field trip to Radio City Music Hall. But what about the families who can't afford the extra $70 in a week's time? Maybe a list of the out of pocket expenses that occur through the year could go home in September so parents can prepare? $70 might be a week's groceries or the gas bill. Kind of bothered me.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Typing out of key. I'm PATHEIC!

Yesterday I Starbucked my keyboard. It died a dignified, Venti House death. My husband boughyt me a new keybaord,k. The kind that is ergonomically cporrect. That menas it slopes to the left and rioght with a chasm between the place where my pre-arthritic fingers (very pre, I'm not that old) recall the 6,t,g,b and the 7,y,h,n.

I no longer need fear carpal tunnel syndrome. I simply risk looking like my parents pulled me from schopol in the third grade. I'm not sure if the space shuttle has been launched since I started hitting the numerous, unexplaincxed keys nefore me.

I miss my old QWERTY. It has told the Y to take a hike over the other side. My spell vheck is going to be very veru sisu. Ah, busy.

Now where the heck is the button to make Sunday dinner?

Kim STalgtiaho

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Curly Girl Cut

Three years ago about now I read a book called "Curly Girl" by Lorraine Massey, a stylist in NYC. I picked it up at the library in Hudson, Ohio where I lived at the time. You know how sometimes you glimpse a book on the return cart and pick it up? That was "Curly Girl." I'd never gone over to whatever shelf it was headed for on that cart. Let's see. Mystery, Fiction, Horrible Hair.

NE Ohio is where I had gotten the second worst hair cut of my life - at a salon in STOW Ohio where the owner bragged that he had clients coming to see him all the way from Nebraska. I should have dropped the Grape Nehi and Saltines with Velveeta he was serving and run when I heard that. I didn't, and instead of a Debra Messing curl, I got a mushroom cap with Carol Brady wisps.

If you go to www.devachansalon.com you'll link into Lorraine Massey's salon in Soho (short for South of Houston, a trendy area in NYC. And Houston is pronounced HOUSE-tin, not HUSE-tin.) NY really wants little to do with Texas. She trains hair stylists around the country and now there are even stylists in Cleveland and Akron. Although in typical New Yorker view of the world, they spell it Cleaveland. (Cleveland is actually a nice little city, loaded with cultural gems, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a housing market that makes me cry with regret now that I'm in CT.)

My cut is next week at a salon in CT with a trained "curl consultant." I'll let you know how it goes. Pray for me.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Short Bus - near miss!

I'm typing this in bold because my heart is still pounding. In an earlier post, I told you that my kids ride the special ed bus, and take a little extra time loading and unloading - and drivers get impatient (see "blowing by the short bus" post.)

Today, on this slick, chilly rainy day, my daughter's bus was stopped in front of our house (oh, yes, one of the best perks of autism is that you get the bus to come right to your front door, no sharing a bus stop with the neurotypical riff raff.) A police car happened to be directly behind the bus. I smiled at Johnny G man and waited for my daughter to get off the bus.

SCREEEEEECCCHHHH came a piddly shit Dodge Neon over the small hill before our house. Driver slammed on the brakes, slid half way off the road and narrowly missed the car behind the cop car. A chain reaction collision would have smashed right into my daughter's bus as she was climbing carefully down the step, left foot right foot stop, left foot right foot stop.

The cop cited the driver and now, I hope might consider a sign - not that "bus stop" or even "Slow children" (never did like that sign) will prevent drivers from speeding down my street.

Thank you Guardian Angel -- probably Archangel Michael, sent by my dear, departed father in law.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

HAIR CARE (an excerpt)

“She looks like Donald Duck.” Those were my father’s words when my mother brought me home from the hospital. My mom relates the story (wine glass shaking in her hand) with raised eyebrows and a slight scowl that telegraphs her disbelief even today, a zillion years later. He wasn’t completely wrong, from what my sister tells me. I had tufts of reddish brown hair fluffing out around my ears. As if to corroborate the story, I have no newborn photos of myself, only those with a small black dateline “April 1964” or later imprinted in the border of the fading Kodak black and white photos in my album.

My baby hair became dark and just unruly enough to make you wonder if my mother had ever received or purchased a soft bristled, silver baby brush. If she had, my older sister Michele, she of the lush, shiny tresses, must have hidden it under a bed round about November 1963, just prior to my arrival in the family. My saving grace? My eyes. I had large, blue eyes that really caught everyone’s attention. When they weren’t “tisk tisking” over my hair.

I can barely recall a time in my childhood when I didn’t envy everyone else’s hair. Starting in my own family, where many selfish, unpleasant thoughts are born. My mother had the most wonderful hair I had ever seen. A thick tumble of dark brown, straight hair that hung to her waist. It was as luxurious as a mink coat. And to my adoring eyes, as elegant. This was the 1960’s, when 26 year old married women who didn’t get the memo about free love and pot wrapped their long hair into giant buns on top of their heads a la Audrey Hepburn. My mother was no exception, with her mysterious widows peak that added to the dramatic effect of her hair. She had hair pins the size of pliers that she embedded into her swirl of hair with practiced ease.

My grandmother had been a hairdresser and continued to ply her trade long after her license had expired. Grandma Yoli cut my sister’s and my hair for years. She called it a pixie cut. We always had the pixie. Short, swept to the side, just nipped around the ears. My sister’s pixie was beautiful. Her well behaved hair fell softly and smoothly around her face, framing her almond shaped, green eyes. My pixie never sat politely on my head looking all pretty. My hair flitted about my head in nilly willy flips and curves and turns, never landing in the same spot twice.

My hair envy only deepened when my brother was born. When he, the exalted boy, arrived home from the hospital, everyone was aghast at his shock of thick black hair. I was delighted at this glaring defect that eclipsed even my own. The kid’s hair looked like a burnt, blackened, thatched roof. But the hair gods smiled upon him, and his hair gently faded into a poker straight caramel colored picture perfect blond. BLOND!

My hair slowly grew out, and by fourth grade, I naively thought I had left my hair cares behind. My fifth and sixth grade school pictures show my brown hair neatly pulled back into a half ponytail, softly draped on my shoulders. Not bad! And then came junior high. And the hormones. And the horrible little man at the Walpole Mall hair salon who took my long hair and cropped it into the hair style that my family dubbed “the bubble.” I still don’t know if the short cut was my idea or my Mom’s. I don’t have the nerve to ask her. I love the woman and don’t want to know that it was her decision to throw me under the coiffure bus.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Do you watch the Showtime series "Weeds" with Mary Louise Parker, Elizabeth Perkins and Kevin Nealon? Monday nights at 10pm but we Tivo it. It's about a well to do, suburban woman who starts selling pot to make money after her husband dies. Desperate Housewives meets Cheech and Chong. Best TV on TV until the Soprano's returns.


Got any superstitions? No, I don't mean the ones your Church has indoctrinated into you. The ones like walking under ladders or seeing a black cat. The number 13th is a lucky number in Italy. My Grandmother had a gold #13 on a chain I believe. I miss her, since the ladder incident.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mr. Fred Head (honest to God that's his name) accuses a Romance writer who is running for office in Texas of writing PORN. She wrote a mass market paperback called "A Perfect Romance" that was probably in every CVS in America. Back in 1990!

Check out www.votefredhead.com to see this dental disaster of a man and his allegations about a Romance writer.

I’m sorry. I’ll say it up front. I know this is not a political blog. But this Fred Head is just a symptom of a much larger issue.

A) Mr. Fred Head needs to learn to spell – his extracts from the book are spelled Extraxts. Sooper, yes? Guess its that fine Texas education (ranking close to last in America)

B) He says this book goes against the Christian values of Texas? On a list of of divorce rates by states, Texas is #14. The Northeast, including my home state of Massachusetts ranks the LOWEST (#50) in divorce. Seems to me that staying married is a true Christian value as virtually all Christian wedding ceremonies have that “let no man put asunder” line, right? The top of the divorce pile are the bible belt states.

"Massachusetts and Connecticut rank first and second, respectively, for having the lowest divorce rates in the nation, according to new 1994 divorce data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Both states experienced a moderate drop in divorce rates between 1992 and 1994 to remain at the top of the list. Massachusetts fell from 2.8 in 1992 to 2.4 in 1994, while Connecticut fell from 3.1 to 2.8. Nevada once again had the highest divorce rate in the country, even though it experienced the most marked drop in divorce rates during the two-year period. Nevada fell from 11.4 in 1992 to 9.0 in 1994. The divorce rate per 1,000 population for the entire United States was 4.6 in 1994, down from 4.8 in 1992. Generally, rates were lower in the Northeast and Midwest and higher in the West and Southeast. "

C) Mr. Head ought to take a peek at Florida, a state as red as Mr. Heads face when we read that thar porn, and its Rep. Foley, who was allowed to ply his trade in young boys in exchange for fund raising dollars and a sure vote for an important state – and the leadership in Washington who turned a blind eye.

The hypocrisy is staggering. I’m willing to bet my last penny (it’s in my purse right now) that Mr. Head has watched Debbie Does Dallas on his Betamax more times that my kids have thrown their peas onto the floor. Here’s a thought, Mr. Head, want to protect marriage? Outlaw divorce. Hmmm, maybe not, huh?

Texas Christian Values? An insult to Christians, God fearing Texans of all faiths. Y'all gotta be kiddin me, raght?

(PS) The Combatting Autism Act DIED in Texas last week. Held ransom by Rep. Joe Barton after sailing through the Senate unanimously. He killed it and would not release it to a vote in the House, where it would have passed. A giant FU to my 3 kids and countless others.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mailing List Troubles

It seems that my oldest daughter is on a list of high academic acheivers in the county in which we lived in Massachusetts last year. Flattering, yes?

As such, she has been invited to travel to Australia with "other outstanding 5th and 6th graders" with People to People, an international exchange program. Hmmmm. What exactly constitutes an outstanding 5th grader? Dodge ball champ? Got her sewing badge at girl scouts without pricking her fingers on the needle?

Let me get this straight. Based on this thick, resume quality paper, I am to attend a meeting to learn how my child can "see koalas and kangaroos" (got those at our local zoo) and "bond with other delegates while cruising spectacular Sydney Harbor." The word cruising, in a sentence that involves children is, ah, troublesome. Oh, she can "interact with Australia's Aboriginal Peoples" too. Or, she can visit with my great-auntie Mary and interact with Southern Italy's Alcohol imbibing peoples.

Do people really fall for this shit? "MY Johnny was selected? Oh he really is so very, very special."

We received a similar letter last year inviting her to Hawaii based on scoring in the top percentile of students in Ohio on her 5th grade testing. The letter did not tell us whether the children would get lei'd upon arrival, their parents having sent them thousands of miles from home with strangers.

I called and politely asked them remove her from this list. All they needed was our "pin" number from the letter. Yes, she already had her own pin number, proving to me that she would be treated like the precious young woman we know and love.

Did I mention that my child has fairly profound autism? Uh huh. Like I said, sometimes those direct mail lists just aren't up to snuff. Like that catalog with the vibrators that I got a couple of weeks ago (see "OKU" post). Well, maybe they DO get the list right sometimes.


Monday, October 09, 2006

Babee Naymes, from the Cleveland news on Yahoo

"A local baby is a finalist in the Babytalk/Good Morning America cover contest for America's cutest baby. Thirteen-month-old Brooklynn Coleman was selected as one of the three finalists from about 125,000 photos submitted from parents across the country.
Her parents, Markeya Walker and Anthony Coleman will receive a $2,000 shopping spree at Babies 'R' Us on Tuesday."

First off, what's up with the name BROOKLYNN? What if she marries a boy name John Bridge? Can you imagine the junior high sexual taunting "Hey, guys, now entering Brooklynn!" If Dad walks out on her and Mom will he leave a note? Or steal a green sign that says "Now leaving Brooklyn" to announce his departure?

And if I'm a pedophile -- I'm RACING to that contest to see the photos of my next disgusting obsession. It's a like a freaking yellow pages for perverts. Hmmm, Brooklynn in Cleveland? Hey, that's just an hour north of here, maybe I'll hop in my 1978 Monza and go see if I can find her for some fun, that is if my Mom lets me out of the basement/if Congress isn't in session." STUPID PARENTS ADVERTISING THEIR KIDS FOR $2,000 in diapers and size 3T T-shirts that say "I'm a brat in training."

Not my best day here. I have a corrupted pst file that is wreaking havoc on my Microsoft Outlook. I had yet another "crapisode" with the kids. And the whole "N. Korea might have nukes but at least when they obliterate us the two gay guys living next door WON'T BE MARRIED." just makes my head want to spin right off my shoulders.


Friday, October 06, 2006


There's nothing like letting someone "new" read your work. In this case, my query letter.

Have you ever been in the bathroom at a bar during a date and you've checked yourself out 42 times to make sure everything is A-OK? Lipstick? Shiny. Mascara? Not Raccoony. Hair? Curling out of control but nothing I can do about that except pretend I look like Carrie Bradshaw which I don't. Forehead? Matte. OK, time to head back out to the table. And then when you bend down at the table to pick up your napkin you see the tile comet sticking of the left heel of your boot. CRASH!

I'm re-working my query letter. Even changing my title. The book was called "Find My Eyes" (which is a term related to autism encouraging eye contact and also connotes mystery.) Then I renamed it "Autism Is Murder" that title seems to be falling flat.

The query letter itself pretty good as is (the good stuff is thanks to JG, a fabulous writer friend) but isn't generating enough requests for partials, so clearly it's not good enough. This week I got some fantastic editing from a writer in Australia (isn't the Internet cool?) that I think will really help. It was her fresh look and detachment that helped her say "this works, maybe this doesn't" and with courtesy and kindness at that.

I'm feeling upbeat again about my book after a week of horrible news and sadness on TV and general malaise. Here's to a G'day mates!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Christmas Book.

No, no. Nothing cheery and holiday'ish that I've written. The NEIMAN MARCUS Christmas book. This year I'm supposed to be impressed with a huge, $40,000 skyscraper made entirely from pencils. Thanks, if I want lead poisoning I can just lick the wall in my folks old house. No need to drop $40K on it. How about that $100K water park for your backyard. Someone alert the homeowners association of a major infraction that could occur in Ashbrooke, my old neighborhood in Ohio. We spent the better part of a year there debating the scourge of satellite dishes and horror of all horrors, FENCES! I don't have a homeowners association any longer -- hell, I can paint my front door with purple and green stripes without some Yukon driver do-gooder huffing and puffing her way to my front door to file a complaint. Such freedom.

But I digress. The CHRISTMAS BOOK arriving in my mailbox really does mean something to me. You see, two years ago, as Christmas approached, my sweet husband was out of work. Ran a big European company and got let go by EMAIL one Friday morning. Auf Weidersehen! And then they never called him. But don't get me started on the Germans, cause I really do like beer and Rutger Hauer.

So, we had no job and frankly, autism sucks out every last penny you've ever had. Certainly got ours. So that year we were in a tight financial spot. Someone, I don't know who, told our church that we were having a rough time of it. We were still eating, drinking and trying to be merry, but we were struggling. So I got a call from the head of the holiday giving tree telling me I was to show up at Church on a Saturday to pick up my giving tree goodies. Wha-Hut? Yes, we had been assigned a number and were a "family in need" at our church.

At first, second and third I was completely mortified and horrified. That Saturday arrived and I did not go to the church. My phone rang and it was Kelly S. "WHERE ARE YOU KIM?" "Not coming, Kelly, give the stuff to another family." "I'm coming to your house, Kim. Get over here." (Note to self, send Kelly to N. Korea to chat with folks about nukes.) I got into my $36,000 minivan and drove to my church to pick up my charity. With a leaden heart and a pit in my stomach. I GIVE to the tree, I don't GET from it, right?

I thanked everyone, and loaded my minivan to the brim. I mean I've never seen so much stuff. A wreath for our door (we had one) food, household supplies, wrapped gifts, envelopes with gift certificates for movies, dinner and the one thing that made Mark and me laugh like hell. About 36 bars of ZEST soap. Do well off people think not so well off people don't bathe? We're still using the soap, 22 months later!

I sat down and looked at everything we had been given. And at my beautiful girls, who, while laden with issues related to their autism, are healthy and well and at my husband who was working so hard to find a job I felt a bit like the Grinch when his heart grows right out of his chest. I learned to ACCEPT that Christmas. Accept help. Accept kindness. Maybe even come out of my "I can do it myself" mode for just a moment or two. And it felt kind of good. Far better than receiving any item in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog for sure.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Sh*t hits the fan, er, floor. (If it's mealtime please read this later.)

Those of you who know me well, know that my life often revolves around icky, poopy incidents. My book actually opens with a crazy, chaotic poop scene that I plucked out of my own unusual version of motherhood.

Today, I was peacefully watching the Republican party tap dance faster than Mr. Bojangles on crack on CNN when my sweet, youngest child sidled up to me. "SNIFF." OH NO. She was dripping wet and smelled like the 10 foot perimeter that surrounds every porta-potty in America. LIKE CRAP.

I grabbed her and raced her into the bathroom. Sure enough. My middle love duck had used the commode and sauntered out of the bathroom sans flushing or closing the lid. And teeny girl moved in for the kill. I really do need to explain to her that poop is ALREADY DEAD! She went for a toilet dive and came up a winner. All over the floor. Great googly moogly poogly!

I had JUST scrubbed the three bathrooms in the house this morning. I stripped Miss Poopasaurus Rex and plopped her into the tub. Then I mopped and cleaned and wiped and flushed and fished and returned the poopy mess to its rightful home, the TOILET.

Why do I write? It's cheaper than therapy, more legal than pot and if I actually TOLD anyone my stories no one would believe me. So I might as well call them "fiction" and try to make some money. After all, someone has to pay for all that Lysol.

Now where's my beer?

All I want for Christmas is a kick ass agent who will sell my MS. Really.

I've been reading several agents blogs recently. Kind of my attempt at FBI style profiling. If I know how agents think, maybe I can craft my query in such a way as to make several of them, OK a handful, maybe just one good one, say "I need to represent this book from Kim Stagliano."

The thing of it is, I already know how agents think, having been in sales and promotions for many years, prior to becoming an autism Mom and having to trade my day job for a day and night job.

Agents want a query that says "I and my client can sell many, many copies of this book." Fairly simple. Agents, like writers, want to sell books. I've got to believe that every agent hopes the next JK Rowling's query is in that stack of envelopes piling up on his/her desk. And perhaps they are as disappointed/frustrated by crappy queries as we writers are by the sight of our own SASE's back in the mailbox? Can you see them plodding down Fifth Avenue, eyes down, hardly daring to look in the windows at Saks, knowing that big payday just passed them by as yet another boatload of fokakta queries just hit the in-box?

I'm struggling with my query -- which I thought was quite strong, to the point and frill-free. Just the facts, ma'am. Here's the book, here's the plot, here's the conflict, here's why I'm qualified to write it and here's how I plan to market it and why it will sell. I don't go out of my way to be witty I just wrote it following the guidelines of the industry. Is it the the "A" word; autism that is a turn off? Is it the title? How do you SHOW an agent that your book is funny and sharp and fresh in one paragraph without committing the cardinal sin of TELLING them "trust me, my book is sharp and funny and fresh and saleable." You might as well say "But my mother reeeally likes this book and my writing teacher at Tick Tock Tech online authors school promises me it will be a best seller."

Maybe I'll just go watch Finding Nemo today. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.


Monday, October 02, 2006

The Toilet Seat Donut. (The edible kind, not the one they send you home from the hospital with after you have a baby.)

Does anyone know what a toilet seat donut is? All I'll tell you is that they come in a pink box (when you buy a dozen anyway) and used to be my favorite. Can't find 'em any longer. Sad. I miss them. I guess I'll have to eat a biscotti instead. I hope I don't choke on it. (www.illwillpress.com -- see coffee house propaganda for a hint.)

And The Kids Lose -- Again.

What a weekend for children. The Combatting Autism Act (CAA) withered on the vine in the House. Many of us in the autism community were dissatisfied with the CAA anyway , since it had no money research into the environmental triggers for autism (See www.evidenceofharm.com). The men who told my 3 kids and tens of thousands of others to go to hell (as if they aren't already there, the have AUTISM for God's sake) Boehner, Ohio (R), Joe Barton, Texas (R), and Hastert, IL (R).

And for those of you who think autism is just nifty, another way of "being" (the neurodiverse community as they are called) find another blog. When my precious six year old broke her arm and couldn't tell me, when my bright, happy 10 year gets zero party invites, when my affectionate 11 year old can not walk the halls at school with out an aide at her side I FAIL to see the beauty in that. You folks can sit on your asses and accept the diagnosis while you sip latte, I am fighting to make my kids life as full as can be, and that means fighting the autism.

Children with autism get NO health insurance coverage for illnesses related to their autism. Autism is classified as a psychiatric illness, not medical. Also, Speech, OT, PT, ABA therapy (proven to help kids with autism) are NOT covered under insurance either. Parents are going broke caring for their child(ren) with autism. Yours truly included. Private autism schools run about $90,000 a year.

More kids will be diagnosed with autism in 2006 than childhood cancer, diabetes, CF, MD, Spina Bidifida, Downs, luekemia COMBINED. 1 in 166 births today, 1 in 90 boys versus 1 in 10,000 20 year ago. And these kids will require LIFETIME care costing YOU dear reader a boatload of money over the the next 75+ years.

Then there's that charming chap in Florida, Foley (R) who resigned after having sent inappropriate emails to an underage page. A predator on the committee to protect children from child molestation. Perhaps the Pope with give him a position in the Vatican like our pal from Boston, Cardinal Law?

It's Yom Kippur, think any one who SHOULD WILL atone?

More reasons to get my book published. There's a message in them thar pages, people. Now, to find the agent will will decode that.

Shalom, friends.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Did you lean in? Are you still with him/her?

I was reading the NYT wedding announcements this morning and took my usual test. How many couples are leaning into each other - touching heads. How many are apart - by how much. And worse, now many wedding announcements exclude the groom altogether? Are those the worst Bridezillas or what? Look "I" had a wedding!

Check the announcements in your own newspaper and check out your own photos. Still married? Still leaning in? I hope so.