Thursday, November 30, 2006

New Bumper Sticker: BEWARE THE BUICK*

Next time you're driving through a grocery store parking lot or limping down the highway behind a slowpoke, check out the name on the car. BUICK. I don't care if Tiger Woods is trying to promote them as hip and happening. You can pretty much count on an older driver, wearing black wrap sunglasses, who is a chiropractor's dream ("Can you turn your head at all, Mrs. Smith? No doctor.") You can just watch her Our Fathering her way into the parking spot. I'm not bashing older drivers (pardon the pun.) Just the older drivers in Buicks. They scare me.

My sister learned to drive on our electric blue 1974 Electra 225. Man that was a great car. But I won the prize. I learned to drive in a 1976 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Black with red leather interior. I learned to DOCK it, not park it. Tony was the best car ever. I still have a set of keys to Tony in my glove box on a red leather keychain with a tarnished letter K.

*This post does not apply to a certain favorite aunt in Florida.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Christmas Letter

Do you send those Christmas letters? You know the ones. They tell everyone how your four year old just finished reading the sixth Harry Potter, while ice skating professionally with the Ice Capades, while inching ever closer to a cure for prostate cancer using that neat little chemistry set you picked up for him at the PBS store last year.

Or do you send out the photo card showing your family at the summit of Mt. Everest, or waving wildly out of the Eiffel Tower during your summer vacation? Give me a break.

Holiday cards are supposed to be a lovely way to say "I am thinking of YOU and sending you holiday cheer." They are not intended to be a photoshop version of "In your face sucka! Our life is SO much better than yours!"

Perhaps I'm just a tad envious, and I admit it. Try as I may, it's darn near impossible to get my three girls to look at the camera simultaneously. It's part of that whole "Autism/eye contact" thing. My girls are beautiful with engaging smiles and bright, shining eyes. But I stand a better chance of putting the Loch Ness monster having sex with Big Foot on my holiday card than my three kids in one shot.

But wait! There's hope for us! With digital technology I can now download individual photos onto one holiday card! Or, I can take three photos and reshoot or scan them as one. I have a neat idea for this years' card. Now, how much for airfare for five to Paris?

Friday, November 24, 2006


OK, Maybe the carving knife idea was a bit much. SEE POST BELOW. Check out this video....
Men are from Mars, so the family starves. Women are from Venus, I could lop off his....

Today I will use my blog to rant. My husband's family is in the area visiting, staying with his sister about 20 miles from us. We invited everyone over for Frank Pepe's pizza in about 45 minutes. Frank Pepe's is a CT institution and serves the best pizza in the country. Zagats rates the pizza a 27 out of 27 to give you an idea. Almost no one gets a 27 from Zagat, least of all a pizza joint.

We have 9 people coming over including 4 kids and my mother in law (who is a lovely woman, no problems there.) We have 6 here.

I asked my husband to please call Frank Pepe's in advance since the day after Thanksgiving is usually a big "I'm not cooking" day, right? Right. Did he call????? No. Wait. That's a lie. He called them at 4:35pm. And their answering machine says? "We are not taking any take out orders." ARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH!

So how far will crudite and chips and salsa go for 15?

AMEN! He raced down to Frank Pepe's and they ARE taking orders, just not over the phone. Mama Mia I'd better put that carving knife down and get ready for pizza!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

You Should Write a Book...

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 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 today's autism. Let's not get into that today though.Kat Cavicchio was born. She's the protagonist in my book called "Extra Sensory Deception." Kat is the aunt to two children with autism. 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.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

HuffPo: The Grateful Voice of the Autism Mom. (It's not a political post)

Here's the link to my latest (hee hee!) post on the Huffington Post super-blog. It's in the Fearless Voices section. Many thanks to Fearless Voices editor Romi Lassally for the privilege of posting on their blog. Along with other autism Moms, including my writer friend Susan Senator. (

If you can't open the link below, simply go to and click "Fearless Voices" at the top right. You'll see my smiling face on the left hand column. Yipeeeeeee!

Happy Thanksgiving.


Friday, November 17, 2006

For an Italian gal whose kids STILL watch Sesame Street this is beyond priceless. NOTE: R rated language. "Grover" was my eldest daughter's first word. But you've never heard him sound like Joe Pesce before! Dispels all the Ernie and Bert rumors FOR SURE.

Thanks to Bella Stander's for sharing this link.

Shortcut to:

Mommy, what did you do in the war?

I'm hoping to generate authors stories of how they landed their agent, contracts, etc. from a large writing group I'm in on Yahoo. How many queries did you have to send? Worst rejection? So ladies and gents, have at it! And if any agents should wander by (see Kim praying on her knees?) you can share your own good, bad and uglies. Feel free to use anonymous on this one!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Would you like some Merlot? I make it in the toilet."

That's a line from a movie opening this weekend about prison. And I find it awfully funny. I'm not sure how a 40 something woman came to have a 16 year old boy's sense of humor. Is there a beleaguered, bullied high school Sophomore somewhere in Duluth or Chatanooga crying himself to sleep at night because his friends don't think The View is must-see TV? I think I have a range of funny - I'm dying to see Borat (when will it be out on DVD? See Babysitter troubles in previous post) but I also adore "Keeping Up Appearances" on BBCTV. Monty Python? The best. American Pie movies? Eat 'em up. 40 year old Virgin? Adored it. This morning Grover on Sesame Street had me roaring.

But I can't watch a network sitcom for more than 35 seconds without flipping. Flipping? Loved Larry Sanders. Hell, I thought Pulp Fiction was a comedy and I was 8 months pregnant when I saw it. Did my fellow theatre go'ers send out silent prayers for the unborn child whose mother thought Bruce Willis in a ball gag was the funniest thing ever?

My MS is funny. Kim funny. Not nice funny. Sharp funny. I wonder what that will mean as I continue the get published journey?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More catalog gems.

I love catalog shopping. I usually order online - but I take great joy in reading the bazillion catalogs that hit my mailbox every day, especially now that the holidays are upon us.

I'm pleased to report that the "FUK-U-OKO" finger shaped, travel sized "neck massager" with multiple "tips" is still in stock in more than one catalog. I've yet to hear from any Japanese blogger whether "oku" means "good" in their native tongue. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

So, today's lovely items for your perusal include:

1) "Authentic Redhead" t-shirt. Panties might convince me, a T-shirt? Not so much.

2) A needlepoint pillow that reads "50 years together." I'm thinking a brick would be a better medium for that message. I'll ask my Mom.

3) The "Forest Spirit" skirt, made of tiers of woodsy colored scraps of material that make you look like a compost heap. Available in size 18, in which case you will resemble a giant redwood. Be careful, if you fall while wearing this skirt no one might hear you.

4) Damn you and your technology! How about an old fashioned, giant telephone receiver that sticks onto your cell phone? If they can figure out a way to make it vibrate, I might be interested.

5) A laser pointer that beams a mouse shape so that you can torment your cat by singing "Three blind Mice and One Blind Cat."

6) Oooh, sexy! A shimmery, dangly anklet "as glamorous as any necklace" (that you ordered at 2:00am on Home Shopping Network.) AND it comes with a three inch "extender" so I can wear it around my waist, while Betty Sue can fit it onto her cankle. Excellent!

7) A sweatshirt that I actually like a lot: "Be careful or I'll put you in my novel." Hmmmmmm.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Blog Fog

Last night I was blog hopping and found myself at "reading under the covers", the blog of book reviewer Bella Stander. Yes it was Saturday night and I should have been out painting the town red, or a least a pale, sickly pink. No such luck.

We're new to our town and finding a sitter for three kids with autism is, ah, a challenge. And while we have one lovely, highly capable young woman who has sat for us, when we go out I spend the evening fretting about my youngest who is extremely attached to me and often cries the entire time I'm away. She doesn't speak, which is both pleasing and horrifying to your average sitter. And then I get panicky for the babysitter and say stupid things like, "Here, let me pay you $20 an hour" or "Sure, invite your boyfriend over next time and what kind of beer does he like?" to cover my awkwardness that she might have a rough night with my kids. But, I'm also the woman who makes the hotel room bed so the maid doesn't think I'm a slob. A middle child, must-please-the world-at-any-cost-to-myself" oddball. Damn I miss our au pair!

Anyway. Ms. Stander had a post about her birthday, her 39th/again kind of birthday. And instead of commenting that in 2006 I celebrated my "second 21st" birthday, I said 21 squared, which would make me 441. On my worst days I don't feel a minute over 94. Bella responded that I must have meant 1681, which is 41 squared. And no where in my math calcs did any number look wrong. I mean I was in a complete brain fog. Could have been the chocolate malt? That crazy Saturday night beverage? :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

When Books are Like Drugs (good drugs)

Is there an author out there that you know, when you pick up his or her book, you're going to be completely taken away? I'm currently reading Ray Bradbury's collection of short stories in "One More For The Road", a newer collection. His writing feels to me the way drug addicts explain that first shot of heroin. A warm infusion of content. Fortunately, reading is both legal and leaves no tracks on your forearm. Whether Bradbury is writing science fiction, literary fiction or commercial fiction - his ENDINGS are what blow me away. The last sentence of his stories are beyond magnificent. I started reading him in High School. Golden Apples of the Sun and I Sing The Body Electric. I remember his characters, their words, their actions, their emotions even today a couple of decades later.

Today my hat's off to Ray Bradbury. To whom would you tip yours?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006



Jeez, what a night! Interpret as you'd like based on however you voted.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Marvelous Monday!

Good things today! A) My 6 year old said "more please" at school. She has no speech yet, has said a few words but never two words together (I'm floating on air over this!) B) my 11 year old said "You're welcome" after I told her "Thank you" before school today. She rarely answers/responds to anything we say, although she can speak in sentences of up to 4 words and C) I sent two partials and prepped a full to send tomorrow with my new found confidence and info from Backspace.

VOTE TOMORROW! Whatever your position on the issues, exercise this important right!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

For my writer friends who are dying to know the answer I got at Backspace about our angst-ridden discussion.

Answer from all of the agents: "A novel."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

This was my first blog post. Since I have a lot of newcomers stopping by I thought I'd re-run it. Welcome! Play nicely.

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?) NOTE: Since changed to "Extra Sensory Deception."

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.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Fearless Voice

I am pretty excited today. I have a blog post (with photo no less!) running on the Huffington Post "Fearless Voices" section. It gives you an idea of the voice in my novel -- although the post is my reality, not fiction.

Click on over and leave a comment, won't you?

I'm off to the Backspace writers conference on Friday and I think that now I can answer "Yes, I am published."