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.

   

Success with Self Publishing 14

D. S. Walker 1st Book Signing ©Delightfully Different LifeI have heard that it takes approximately seven months for authors who use self publishing to begin to have success. I have even read blogs that swear the traditional publishing is the only way to go if you want to ever get your books in book stores. I have attended conferences that imply that you should only self publish if you plan to just sell your books at conferences where you are a speaker. 

Yet, I still chose an assisted publisher versus traditional publishing. Why did I do this? Was it because traditional publishers rejected my book? No, I did not send my manuscript to any agents or publishers, so it was not rejected by traditional publishing.

I did my research and determined that hiring a good editor costs almost as much money as an editing package and a publishing package combined through iUniverse. They have a relationship with Amazon.com and with Barnes and Noble. I previously purchased two iUniverse books that were well written, one from a local author I knew personally. I also spoke to another local author who used them and had a good experience.

Therefore, I chose to use iUniverse too. I can always pursue traditional publishing later if I choose. I continue to own my copyright. I get to choose how I market my book. I am not required to spend thousands of dollars traveling to multiple cities, on a tour, at a time my publisher chooses where I might or might not have success.

Remember I have two children who are still school age. No they are not toddlers, but they do still need me around, so having control of my time is important to me. That was the biggest factor in my decision.

How’s it going you ask? Okay, I am far from being on the best sellers list. Still, I am in the local Barnes and Noble bookstore and I have received two small royalty checks. I have my first book signing tomorrow. I will be happy if at least 50 people show up although I would certainly love it if more did.

I am just at month seven. Remember I am not even supposed to have my book in a book store by some accounts. I received Editor’s Choice and Rising Star designation from iUniverse which means they believe my book has the potential to have some commercial success. I also received a good Kirkus review. I have entered two book contests that are pending.

Locally, I have been on two news shows, the second of which was an evening news show and that station repeated the showing on their morning show the next day, so technically I guess I could say I have been on three news shows. I have been on a talk show on Hawaii Public Radio. A local, free, biweekly paper told my story this week. The paper is the only source for grocery store ads so most households on the island receive it in their mailboxes.

I have made wonderful new blogging friends. Four bloggers have written reviews of my novel which you can read from this blog. Another blogger wrote a mini review.

One school has twenty copies of my book which they will hopefully use. Teachers at another school have read and talked about my book. The book has been given to a third school.

I told a former colleague that I would be happy if my book changed just one life when I made the decision to quit work and to write my first novel when bullies targeted my child. Today I am grateful for success!

Tribute to Dads 13

Today I pay tribute to all the fathers who support and love their children.  I wish all of you dads a very happy Father’s Day. God blessed me with a wonderful father as I have said many times in this blog. 

Dad helped me become the person I am today by demonstrating a caring heart and by always making me feel loved no matter what I did or how far away I lived.  I know I am one of the lucky ones because until the day he died, in an age without Internet or unlimited long distance phone calls, my dad called me frequently.  He waited until eleven at night his time to call so we could talk longer.  Thankfully, I did not have to stay up late to wait for those calls since I lived in a time zone two to six hours behind his.  I still miss hearing that voice on the other end of the land line, “Hey, I just wanted to see how you were doing…” 

His death left a hole in my heart until my son was born two years later and began to slowly fill that hole.  I see so much of my dad in him despite the fact that they never got a chance to know each other.  I know Dad would have loved him just as I know he loved my daughter although their time together was short.  He died when she was only fourteen months old. 

Today, I am grateful for the years I had with my wonderful dad, for the video I have of him with my daughter that allows me to still hear his voice, for my husband who does his best to live up to my expectations of being a good father; not easy to do because he has big shoes to fill, and for my two children who have taught me how much my father loved me.        

For your listening pleasure here is a link to Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle, as this song expresses the love Dad and I shared.  I first heard it a few months after Dad died just as my daughter was starting to want to put flowers in her hair and least you forgot I had a pony.  I wrote about it here.    

 

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly of Media Use 9

BestofBestMedia provides so many good things especially for special needs children.  It offers educational programs, a means for those without a voice to have one, and a place to stay in touch with far away family and friends.  It also provides support from others around the world.  This is the good.

However, there is another side to media devices that most of us are aware is bad.  That is the issue of needing to make sure that children learn to interact with others face to face, not just in cyberspace and that they get outside for fresh air and sunshine and exercise.  Many blame media devices for childhood obesity and other illnesses and most parents try to avoid the all day video games many of our children would enjoy.     

Consumer Reports released the results of a survey in May that indicated that 7.5 million Facebook users in the U.S. are under the age of 13, and about 5 million are under the age of 10.  Obviously, this is where things can start to get ugly.  Social networks have been used for bullying by some and others are looking to harm our children in other ways. 

That is why many sources recommend talking to children about the dangers and some suggest being on your child’s friend list.  Others even recommend having their passwords when they first start using social media so you can monitor and help them correct mistakes before they become major.  I see the value of teaching our children to use media responsibly whether they have special needs or not.

Young children certainly need to be monitored when they first start e-mailing, using instant messages, texting, surfing the Internet, using X-Box Live, or joining social networks even when they are thirteen.  Parents also have to monitor television and movie viewing closely especially for young children whether they have special needs or not. 

Those of us with special needs children may actually be better at helping our children avoid the pitfalls than some just because we have had to do this all of their lives.  It is so important that all parents teach their children that the Internet is forever.  Children need to understand that it can’t just be torn up or erased. 

It is the job of parents and educators to teach children responsible use of the Internet.  Children need to understand that there are laws that apply to certain behaviors and that they can destroy their repetition with inappropriate Internet posts.  Anonymity does not really exist for those who break laws as any computer address is traceable.           

Technology is a daily, graded class for sixth graders at my son’s school.  They learn how to safely navigate the Internet, applicable laws that apply to information on the Internet, as well as, how wrong it is to cyber bully someone.  They are accountable for their actions on the Internet, but parents need to remember that until their child reaches legal age, the parent is also accountable.  Maybe we all need a class like this too!