Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Newsday

I have a lot of news to share today, so let's get right to it, shall we?

Okay, first of all, I got the rights back to all my stories from Silver Publishing. What this means is that all those stories are currently seeking new homes. Which is fine, because they can definitely find them. I don't want any of you to worry though, if you were planning on buying one of the stories or wanted to get the next in the series... the great news, now that I have the rights back, is that I'll be continuing the Akanti series asap, as well as the series I'm co-writing with Vicktor Alexander, The Tonawanda Faery Tales. Sooooo, win/win.

I'm up to my ears in writing and editing this week, so my posts will be brief. Don't worry. I'm hard at work creating some delicious stories for you.

Next week I'm having fairly major surgery, so I may not be around on the interwebs for a week or three. We'll see how I feel. :)

Okay, that's it for now. My lovely and talented minion, Tracy, will keep you posted when I can't.

Have a super day, babies.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Autism Blog Hop: Ch-ch-ch-changes

Topic: Difficulties with transition can lead to social isolation, mental health problems & continued dependence on parents Parents of young people with autism have described transition to adulthood like falling off a cliff-edge.

Point of interest... there is a prize/giveaway here. Just comment in the comments section about how this may or may not apply to your life, and if you know someone with autism. Or think you might. At the end of the month I'll pick one lucky winner to receive their choice of one book from my backlist, and another to receive a ten dollar gift card to either Amazon, or ARe.

Well. Imagine it like this. You go to help out a friend. She’s gotten mandated at work and won’t be home in time to get her kids ready for the bus. Not a big deal as you share a house. But one of her kids, a sweet little guy whom you secretly like best, freaks out when you try to help him put his tennis shoes on. Not a tantrum, there’s no I wanna get my way bull. No. His beautiful brown eyes are straining wide open, his breaths coming in gasps. He’s rocking in place and won’t answer when you try to ask what’s wrong. His twin is dressed, shoes on, waiting eagerly at the door for the big yellow bus to take him away to school.

Not this little guy. He’s keening low in his throat, and when you touch his arm to pat him the way that always soothes your daughter, he sort of shrieks and crawls into an impossibly small space under the end table.

What happened?

You offered him the right shoe first. They were the Nike’s and he only wears the Converse to school. You didn’t sing the cleanup song while you were putting the breakfast dishes in the sink, or maybe it’s just that he’s never practiced doing these things with you instead of his mom. He’s got ASD *autism spectrum disorder*, and you’ve just knocked him down the emotional equivalent of a steep flight of stairs.

Transition is hard for everyone on some levels, but for kids and adults with autism it can be debilitating. We all get that it would be wrong to ask a blind person to traverse a city block by themselves without preparing them first… well, imagine that the autistic person is blind too, but instead of being physically blind they suffer from a very specific type of emotional blindness. Asking them to make changes, big or small without adequate preparation—and the amount and type required will differ from person to person—is akin to tossing a blind person who has never been taught to use a guide dog or a cane out of your car at a random intersection in a foreign city and expecting them to be fine. The very thought is incomprehensible. It should be just as incomprehensible to fail to give those who deal daily with the challenges of ASD adequate preparation for changes.

You may work with, teach, go to school with, or even be the parent of someone with ASD. Educating yourself about ways to make your interactions easier for the person with ASD will benefit you both in the short and long term. Especially important for teachers, parents, and mentors is making sure you give yourself and your ASD child time enough to make the transition to adulthood as seamlessly as possible.

Here are some resources you can utilize to educate yourself and get started on your journey to successfully navigating the challenges you face:



For a wealth of related blogs on Autism go to the website of the incomparable Rj Scott!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Fabulous Friday

Songs & videos that make me happy:

The Friendship Song by Carbon Leaf from the soundtrack for Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey (actually, kind of a cute movie & chock full of CL songs).

Mairi's Wedding by the High Kings -- not my favorite version of the song; I have a higher-energy version I like better, but still, a good song & the voices of these guys make up for it.

 Tell Me Ma by Gaelic Storm

ALB is a lovely lovely lady with some great stuff to say!

What makes you happy today?

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Arm-Chair Traveler

I’ve been busy trying to organize my documents and whatnot on my laptop here lately, and I’ve been rediscovering things I had forgotten – among them, the very first thing I ever did for Cherie. She was writing a story and needed to know how a person would go about getting from point A to point B in Rome, and what they would see along the way, how long it would take…that kind of thing.
But it set me thinking about bucket lists. How many of us have put travel, whether to a truly exotic location, or simply to places of interest in our home countries, on ours?

I know there are a TON of places I’d love to visit – natural wonders like the Grand Canyon or Hawaii or the Alps, the great art of the world, places where people I admire lived or wrote  or traveled – but the truth is I don’t want to actually GO to those places. I would have to deal with the confinement of travel (I’ve done East Coast to West Coast on a plane, pregnant, with a toddler and a preschooler, and then the reverse by car with 3 kids under 10, my husband, 2 cats, a large dog, and a U-Haul. UGH.) and I really really hate the idea of the seething masses of complete strangers I would have to put up with. I’ve read about the lines to get into some of the major art museums, thanks but no thanks.

And that’s the glory of the internet, isn’t it? We can see all those things we long to see, perhaps at one (or more) step of removal, but close enough for most of us. Many of us might manage to afford to actually make ONE of the trips we long to make (hubby and I want to go to England, mostly because there’s a tank museum), but all of them? I suppose that’s rather like reaching for the stars.

Isn’t there a saying about that? Something about reaching for the stars, but aiming for the moon? That seems apt, somehow.

Anyway, along with sorting through random bits and pieces on my computer, I’ve also been sorting through my ebooks (I suspect this will take For.Ev.Er.) and slowly trying to read them all & make teeny little reviews on Calibre (isn’t Calibre awesome? That they have a place you can do that, I mean, even besides the rating thing, which I don’t really use that much, but I’m trying to). And here lately, I seem to be accidentally reading a lot of travelers or expats or a combination of the two. It’s kind of making me want to go somewhere, but at the same time, many of the stories are all adventuresome, which, honestly? Kids and pets and hubby are MORE than enough adventure for me, along with the occasional trip to meet a friend for lunch somewhere, so that part is less than appealing.

What things are on your bucket list? And do you actually WANT to do all those things, deep in darkest recesses of your heart, or are they more a “reaching for the stars” kind of thing? What have you read that sparked a desire to explore a specific place, or fed that desire, or satiated it? Is it enough to read and maybe explore by computer, or do you need the actual physical presence?

Also, will we be seeing you in October in Chicago? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

On the Big Screen

We've been busy busy busy over here lately, what with finishing up all the things necessary to get Quality Control out and available (by the end of the week, barring catastrophe) on the Cherie front and "101 Things That Can Go Pear-Shaped" on the personal front.

Frankly, Cherie is a Godsend. I would far rather wrestle her words than my kids.

Part of the "fun" this past weekend was my middle child getting invited to a sleepover and to the movie theater to go see the LEGO Movie with his best friend. This is problematic because DinoBoy was the only one invited, but since there's only 20 months between them, VelcroBoy looks on DinoBoy's best friend as *his* best friend, too, so I had a devastated child... which means, you guessed it! I had to take VelcroBoy to see the LEGO Movie. I also took Girl-child, who wasn't pleased with me at all, because if I have to suffer...

But wait! It gets better!

The movie (or the projector, or *something*) wasn't working! So we were told (there were maybe a dozen people in the theater) to go to one of the other movies with the same showtime -- which, since everybody was there with small kids, pretty much meant Mr. Peabody and Sherman -- and that we would get passes to use for any movie, any time. They were able to get the LEGO Movie up an running in time for the next showtime, so the three of us actually ended up watching two movies for the price of one, except it left me feeling exhausted. Luckily, as it turns out, I enjoyed both movies.

I'm really not a movie person. I mean, don't get me wrong. I enjoy watching stuff (especially now that I'm becoming a crocheter; I blame my mom!) but...I don't know. I can commit to hours and hours of reading a single book (sometimes over and over and over again... *ahem*) but the idea of sitting still and WATCHING a screen for 2 hours? Just doesn't do it for me, generally. While I would love to see some of my favorite books brought to the big screen that way, I know that some things would have to be sacrificed for that to happen, and usually the stuff that gets cut is the stuff I most cherish about books -- that chance to see inside a character's head. There's an intimacy to reading, maybe because of the way so much internal stuff is shared, while the external is left to the reader's imagination. That is reversed with a medium like film (or the digital equivalent), where the focus is on the external and you have to sort of extrapolate the internal.

That said... what are your favorite book-to-screen adaptations? Least favorite? Book/series you'd most like to see in that medium?

My answers: Honestly, pretty much anything BBC touches -- I love the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle Pride and Prejudice, Jeeves and Wooster, anything they do with Agatha Christie... But I also really love some of the 90s updates of classics -- 10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless. My least favorite, probably, is the Harry Potter series -- love the books, love the movies, but I have to work really hard to mentally separate the two and try to look at them as totally different things. As for books I'd most love to see? I don't really know the answer to that yet. I'll think about it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday: Attempting Zumba for the First time...

No, this isn't a video of me. It's a video of the type of fitness training one of the mc's of an upcoming novel is going to find and fall in love with... so I figure I'd better get some hands on experience with the whole Zumba phenomena, right? 

Have mercy. Class starts at 6:15 am. Meep!

Today's class will be the second one I've ever taken. I'll stop by later and tell y'all if I live to tell the tale, lol, as well as give you a sneaky peak of the story a scene very like the one above happens in. :) 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday Newsday... Dun-dun-daaaaaaaaahhhh!

Some days you just really need a cute sloth around your waist to announce the truly important stuff with a bit of panache. 


So, in the news this week: 
1) I did pick up a GoodReads Story... I couldn't pass up on Angelique's amazing pic and prompt combo. I've begun plotting, and should have the story written (if all goes according to plan) by the end of the month. 
*sheesh, stop snickering...sometimes my plans work out!*

2) Still working on edits to ARTBU and CRANES... 
*the edits that will not end... Kidding, they will end, eventually*

3) Next up? More stuff and nonsense. I've got two sekrit projects I must wrap up by the end of the month, and two re-writes also due--that's in addition to the two edits listed above. 

4) Panic and flail. That's what one does when going to school full-time *15 credits* and trying to keep up with an insane writing schedule. 

Pfffttt, I got this. 
No, really. 

5) Thank my lucky stars I have such an awesome minion.

6)REAL NEWS, finally!! I am going to GRL. I am also bringing one of my *as yet to be unveiled* cover-cabana-boys. He he he. I promise to tell you when his cover goes up. 

And that's it for the week. :) Unless something absolutely awesome happens midweek, in which case I'll fill you in then.

Oh, and it's my birthday today. Happy birthday to me!! I have the best job in the world, I love my kidlet, and I am having a blast in school. And, as a special it's my birthday prize, the first to comment on the thread below with the title of my latest release *hint, an anthology with Jambrea Jo Jones and Kendall McKenna* will win a cute little stuffed wolf. 

Have a great day babies, and wring all the joy possible out of the moment you are in. 

~Cherie Noel