First Book Award for Delightfully Different! 12

Young Voices Foundation

Young Voices Foundation

Young Voices Foundaton.

Young Voices Foundaton.

Today I am grateful. I received the following via e-mail from Bobbi Carducci at the Young Voices Foundation Awards today,

“Congratulations! Delightfully Different has met the criteria for a prestigious BRONZE AWARD by the Young Voices Foundation Awards judges in Categories Regional Youth West Pacific and Regional Teen/YA West Pacific. It also earned a Blue Seal of Approval in the Spiritual/Inspirational Category. Young Voices Awards are sponsored by the Young Voices Foundation and honor books that Inspire, Mentor, and/or Educate Readers of all ages. The announcement will appear on the Young Voices Foundation Awards website within 24 hours. A link to your website will be added within a week.” You can view the results at Young Voices Awards ™. 

Pondering Changing Directions 10

Cattle Egret - CopyBubulcus ibis - CopyMy camera 041

There is a new kid in town and no it is not this bird.  The bird is a Cattle Egret a.k.a. Bubulcus Ibis.  I have been wanting to get a picture of one and today I was able to do this.  His pictures seemed prefect for this post. 

The new kid is someone I love dearly and whom I totally support although I am not adding her link or mentioning where you can find her.  This is a precaution I feel strongly about since she is a minor.  I am following her just not publicly although I am glad others are following her publicly and I encourage you to do this if you have not.  I am very proud of her and I am passing the reins regarding sharing her story to her.     

That is why I am not answering questions directly related to her for future post although there will be a post of answers to questions on Mommy Lebron’s blog tomorrow.  She is aware of my answers and is okay with them, but I am not comfortable with any further questions directly about her.  Again, I want to protect her as much as possible while still encouraging her.   

Related to this, I am having thoughts about starting one or two new blogs.  I want to keep my life, as an advocate for tolerance and acceptance of differences for those with special needs, separate from things I want to post related to brain storming ideas and the writing process for my next novel.  I plan to change the tone of this blog to more general topics related to autism spectrum, bullying, and tolerance rather than specifically as it relates to my family. 

In addition, I still plan to continue to write about forgiveness and gratitude.  I am not sure if I should continue to post my forgiveness and gratitude posts here or start a third blog as obviously some of these posts are directly related to bullying issues and to my beautiful daughter.  Your thoughts on this one might help me with my decision.      

All of my blogs will be accessible from my author site as pages whatever I decide.  I hope you understand my decision.  I will be blogging here at least weekly until the end of the year.  I may decrease the posts here after that, but I do plan to keep the blog. 

Tony Attwood, Ipo,and Friends Thank You for Your Support 6

The video is of my first book signing for Delightfully Different at the local Barnes and Noble.  Thanks Ipo for arranging this and coming in on your day off for me. You can view the short video above to see it. 

I got to meet new people including someone who works at the DOE here who will be taking my book into the public schools when school returns. I was also pleasantly surprised to see an old friend from my daughter’s preschool days who happens to be an elementary school teacher. She too purchased the book. I met other wonderful people as well, and all of you helped to restore my faith in the goodness of people. I know others want real change in our schools and society too.   

Mahalo to my friends who came to my book signing despite the fact that they all already had signed copies of my book. Not only did they come, but they bought more copies for friends. One couple came even though they had a big graduation party planned the next day for their youngest daughter. I love my friends!

I attended the graduation party for a wonderful young woman, our close friends’ daughter and sister to our former house and dog sitter the next day. While the second event in two days involved sitting longer, I survived with my extra, store brought, first brace along with the doctor prescribed back brace. I iced my back and used heat and Advil a little more often the following two days as a result. Still, I am grateful that I could participate in both events. 

June 29, 2011 brought more good news. I have an endorsement from the man so many of us admire, Dr. Tony Attwood, clinical psychologist and author of several books on Asperger’s including The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. I gave him a copy of Delightfully Different a while back after attending one of his delightful and informative conferences. He agreed to read it and offer his comments for publication. 

Here is what he said, There are many facts within fiction. This captivating story provides invaluable insights into the childhood of a girl who has Asperger’s syndrome. Fiction allows the author to explore different perspectives and add poignancy to the experiences of sensory sensitivity and being bullied and teased of someone who has Asperger’s syndrome. The title Delightfully Different describes Asperger’s syndrome but also the qualities of this novel.”

Thank you Tony! I think I owe you more Kona coffee!

Needless to say, I will be contacting iUniverse tomorrow to see about redoing my book cover so I can add his wonderful comments. 

Then, I also got a quick responses from my wonderful blogging friends regarding a request that I will not post, but they all know who they are. I love my very supportive blogging community of friends. I really do not know how I survived before I had all of you. We may only know each other virtually, but we do know each other and for that I am truly grateful.

   

Turning Anger to Forgiveness and Action 1

From 1963 Speech of Martin Luther King, Jr.

From 1963 Speech of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I started writing Delightfully Different to teach tolerance of differences, yet at the time I was angry not forgiving. A group of mean girls wounded someone whom I love dearly. The books for middle school girls were about being mean to be popular, and the other mothers were reading Queen Bees and Wannabes. I learned some even were okay with their daughter acting like the queen bee. I don’t believe that was what the author of the book intended still that is what happened.

I decided that I had to change this somehow. I started by educating the school as to how things affected my loved one and how they could help. They did help, but I also realized the root of the problem was not the school. The root of the problem was lack of understanding of differences, and that meanness is not okay. I decided I had to do something which is how the book was born.

A good friend saw how angry I was and suggested that I try writing from a place of love not anger, and she was totally right to suggest this. She also advised me that even if I never sold the book that writing would be therapeutic, and again she was right. Still I refused to stop there, as from day one I kept telling people about my idea, and that I was going to write a book to teach tolerance in our schools.

Another friend told me that if I was serious, that I needed to get the book on Oprah, because some schools chose their required reading books from Oprah’s book club. I did my research and learned that at least some of the books used are on Oprah’s list; therefore, my ultimate goal for this book is to somehow get it be to be one of the books in Oprah’s book club. I know the kids who need to read it most will then read it, hence I e-mailed Oprah yesterday through her magazine web site. Now we wait and I ask all of you to pray that she somehow sees the e-mail and agrees to help.

Mahalo,

D. S. Walker