Small Rant Then Second Post in How to Forgive Series 13

I last wrote a forgiveness post on May 15, 2011.  I started it with the first definition of forgive in the 2004 version of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: to give up resentment of. 

Immaculee IlibagizaMy Inspiration

The few who actually read my blog regularly know that I have been working at becoming more like Immaculee Ilibagiza, the Rwandan genocide survivor who inspired me to forgive others.  I have been reading Forgive for Good by Frederic Luskin from the Stanford Forgiveness Project to help me along my journey. 

The Rant

This is where I rant.  A few short months ago I started a blog expecting that everyone related to the autism community would embrace my cause of educating others about girls on the autism spectrum and how being misunderstood causes harm.  I mailed my novel to family members thinking they would read it and understand.  I also gave copies of my novel to people at two local schools including counselors at my daughter’s now former school. 

006I wish I could tell you that everyone has been supportive and they are all helping me to promote my little novel written to teach tolerance and acceptance of differences to help decrease bullying in our schools.  Unfortunately, this would be a lie. 

Maybe I expect too much from people.  My daughter is now at a virtual school because she did not receive adequate support.  Some family members have failed to comment at all after having my novel for months. 

I am really working on forgiving those who let us down.  I believe forgiveness is the best option to avoid being consumed with anger at a world that let down not just me, but also let down my beautiful, talented, smart daughter.  I do not want to become “one of them.”  You know the ones I mean; the seemly, heartless bullies. 

Rant over!

I left off my last forgiveness post promising to tell you more about Forgive for Good and how I am doing with this.  Obviously, I am still working on forgiving.  Part III of Dr. Luskin’s book covers eight chapters.  I am only going to cover the first two steps today.   

Part III: Step I

The first step is to change the grievance story, so we are no longer the victims and to let go of resentment.   

I now realize that my daughter’s former school is an unhealthy environment for her, and I am grateful she is no longer there.  I am also letting go of relationships that are harmful while continuing to work to educate those who are willing to listen.  Others are still welcome to reach out, but I will not be begging for understanding.  I am at peace with my decision. 

I have wonderful supportive friends and some members of our family are supportive while others are trying to be supportive.  My daughter is gaining self-esteem through the support she is receiving from the autism community.  She is happy and her closest friends are supportive too.  She is telling her story and I am very proud of her.  Her story changed course, but it is still full of promise. 

Remote - CopyPart III: Step II

Changing the grievance story is step I.  Step II is to look for beauty, joy, and love in your life.  You can start with baby steps.  My project gratitude posts are my way of doing this.  You might do it another way.  Dr. Luskin calls this changing your channel and he gives an excellent analogy of TV channel surfing to illustrate how to do this so we are not stuck on the anger/ victim channel. 

Today I am grateful for my daughter’s happiness and for those who are supporting her as she tells her story.  I hope some of you also will support her meager college fund by encouraging others to read the story she inspired. 

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.