My tooth hurts. Know why? Because half a tooth decided to fall out the other night. Okay, so it was actually a filling. But it felt like half of my tooth. There I was, innocently flossing away like a good girl when this petrified piece of corn hit my tongue. Or so I thought. Upon realizing it was actually part of my tooth I did a mental inventory of my calcium consumption (not great) and then thought of meth addicts.
It didn’t help that later that night, as I sat at my computer working, my husband was giggling uncontrollably at a scene from 30 Rock. A scene where Liz Lemon loses half her tooth while sitting at her desk. He then almost fell off the bed laughing when later in the episode she confesses to wearing a bathing suit under her clothes because she didn’t have time to do the laundry. (I’ve never done that, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t file that thought away for emergencies). And my hubs was laughing because he knew I’d totally do that too.
Apparently my “quirkiness” looks a little “Lemonish” to the hubs. And I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. I used to think of myself as a little off-center. Slightly outside enough to be the constant observer of life. Then I attended my first writing conference and realized nothing was wrong with me. I’m just a writer. All writers are a tad odd. I think we have to be. Which is one reason I’m looking forward to a 5-day writing workshop I’m lucky to be attending. The other reason is the crazy talented faculty and staff (and the idea of no cooking, cleaning, errands or other responsibilities other than focusing on my writing for 5 days).
The workshop, the Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers, is giving 90 writers access to a faculty that includes Tom Franklin, David Remnick, Wells Tower, Kevin Brockmeier, Heidi Julavits, Pico Iyer, Jay Jennings and Cristina Henriquez. William Whitworth, the staff of the OA and goodness knows who else will also be on hand. “Hell at the Breach” is one of my favorite books (a brutal but powerful read) and the thought of chatting with a Pulitzer Prize winner makes my head spin. That is a wealth of writing talent and the schedule offers intense writing time and critiques.
Now all I have to do is complete a small mountain of work before I leave (and try to contain my excitement so I don’t flame out).
Here’s hoping I don’t pull a Lemon while there, or leave the house with my shirt inside out again. Or, for that matter, crack another tooth. Nothing says great first impression like a mouth like a meth addict.
Thanks for checking out my online portfolio. I’m a professional writer, editor, travel blogger and publisher of kidfriendlyflorida.com. I’m also trying to get better about having a social life.
See above for links to samples. See below for things that spill out of my brain and into WordPress (occasionally). Oh, and fair warning .. not all of the things that spill out of my brain are appropriate for young readers.
When I think of dolls I recall fond memories of combing waxy blonde hair, adjusting fake earrings and watching the look of awe that appeared on my playmate’s face when I opened the doors to my massive doll collection. When my husband thinks of dolls, he pictures empty eye sockets in a porcelain face and the sounds of scurrying in the black of midnight.
Granted, I was a spoiled child. Daughter of a toy store owner, I pretty much had my pick of Santa’s workshop each year. As box after blue Madame Alexander box began to pile up in our attic, my mother became a little obsessive about it. I could no longer take the dolls outside and I had to leave original tags and prices dangling from their delicate little wrists (to better maintain their value she assured me).
Who cares about value when you are 10? And now they only serve as reminders to how little money I’ll actually make from listing them on Ebay. And therein lies the dilemma. Our storage unit isn’t cheap – and it is stuffed to the gills. Taking up the majority of real estate on one side of the unit are boxes labeled “dolls”. Inside are the carefully wrapped and preserved remnants (in original boxes) of my childhood.
I’ll admit to a little hair brushing and smoothing of petticoats while packing them up, but other than that I haven’t touched these dolls in years. So why am I keeping them? I have a son who doesn’t seem interested in any type of doll – even GI Joe. Will I have a daughter one day? Will she like dolls? Will I let her take them outside of the house and (scandalous!) let her play with them? Is it worth it to keep them until then? (I suspect not).
My mother, rest her soul, is no longer among us and I suspect that (and the lingering guilt of selling her/my dolls) is the real reason why I keep them. They are a reminder of those days in the toy store. Of her proper Southern decorum. Of her unbelievable desire for grand babies to spoil and fuss over. Of her ability to blissfully spoil me rotten.
But all my husband sees are boxes of nightmare-inducing glass eyes staring back at him. So I’m thinking of donating them to friends or possibly to a few organizations that cater to children in need/hospital recovery. What do you think? Should they stay or go?
The best writing advice I’ve ever gotten was to put my “ass in chair”. And yes, I realize it is grammatically correct to say “ass on chair” but honestly … sometimes you need to be embedded in that furniture so you are unable to physically remove yourself until at least 5 paragraphs have been beaten out of your brain and onto the page (or maybe that is just me?).→
I hate that stupid blue puzzle piece that is ubiquitous to autism. It makes me cringe. Each year in April I hope that maybe I’ll learn something new during Autism Awareness Month. Groundbreaking studies? News of new neurological advances? Something (anything) I can use in my personal arsenal of healing for my child?
But no … each year the same old garbage gets repackaged and regurgitated. The vaccine debate seems to always be the above-the-fold news story (but rarely sheds new light on the debate. Kudos to CBS for having the balls to run this). As I learn more about autism and healing I am progressively becoming more and more pissed off at that stupid blue puzzle piece that is widely considered the logo for Autism Spectrum Disorder. A disease, a malady, a disorder that is injuring 1 out of every 110 children (1 out of 70 boys) is NOT a puzzle. It is NOT okay that the cause of this disease is still unknown. Having a puzzle piece as a logo makes it feel as though it is accepted dogma that “we just don’t know the cause and may never know.” Autism is an epidemic. And more importantly, it is a form of BRAIN DAMAGE.
Think about that for a second. What if we changed the term autism to brain damage. Is regressive brain damage genetic? Would new parents pay more attention if they learned that 1 in 110 children was diagnosed with a form of brain damage by age 3? Would doctors take warning signs more seriously?
There is a significant portion of children with autism who will need long-term care and assistance. (Parade did a beautiful job of illustrating this seldom seen side of autism.) Who will care for these children when their parents age? Why does there not seem to be a rush to create safe and loving assisted living facilities for these kids?
When we received our diagnosis our doctor made sure to label it encephalopathy so we might have more luck with insurance coverage. After going home and looking up the meaning of this word I just sat there and cried. It means global brain dysfunction. New studies show brain inflammation in ASD kids and lots of moms (and non-mainstream docs) concur that this is one reason dietary measures help some children (because certain diets help lower inflammation in the body).
So please, spare me your puzzle piece ribbon and puzzle piece jewelry. I don’t need a stupid logo to realize that the health of future generations is in crisis. Autism is not a puzzle to be solved. It is a medical condition that needs to be cured.