That’s pretty exciting for me! The Whitney Awards are for LDS authors, and I’m thrilled that Nameless: The Darkness Comes was nominated for it! Especially since it might be a little bit different than the typical LDS fare. I’m so excited that the judges will take the time to read it, and hopefully even enjoy it a little. :)
Posts Tagged ‘Mercedes M. Yardley’
I can’t tell you the tears, both his and mine, that have ensued because of new schools.
This is my darling Niko. He has Williams Syndrome, and had been shuffled from school to school to school until he ended up in an autism classroom with the BEST teacher ever. She loved him and he thrived with her for three years. Now it’s time to send him to middle school. Yikes!
There are a few things I learned during all of these transitions, and if any of these tips can help you, you’re welcome to them, my friend. Anything to make it easier, yes?
1. Familiarize your child with the school.
If you can go and wander around, do so. In Vegas everything is chained up and no wandering is permitted, so we looked his school up online and familiarized ourselves that way. Today is the Meet and Greet, so we’re going to meet his teacher and see the school in person. We already picked out special landmarks (the main doors, the mascot, etc) so he can identify them when we get there.
2. The teaching staff will take their cues from you.
I wish I had figured this out earlier. I was always so overwhelmed by Niko’s explosive behavior. He would squawk and bang his head against walls. He’d also headbutt and bloody my nose. He’s a very sweet child, but would become anxious rapidly, and his first teacher treated him horribly.Because of this, he freaked out whenever he was at school. I was terrified that he’d be unloved and abused again, and would often introduce him with that fear in my eyes and voice.
I was teaching the staff to be wary of my son. I didn’t mean to, but I was so busy warning them about his triggers that they didn’t have a chance to see what a beautiful, affectionate boy he is. So I changed my approach.
“This is Niko. He loves washers and dryers. He struggles with handwriting but types beautifully. He loves music and if you give him a chance, he’ll love you.”
This is how I introduce him now. Yes, we can discuss triggers and negative behavior and all of these other important things. But first off, I introduce them to my son. And he will bring joy to their lives. Joy, not fear.
3. Familiarize staff with your child and their diagnosis.
I use a scrapbook that he takes with him on the first day. It’s simply made out of paper and copied pictures. That way the teacher can keep it all year if he or she chooses. The scrapbook is a fun, positive way to let them know about Niko’s like and dislikes. This is where I discuss his personal triggers. “Niko is terrified of loud noises. He has OCD and will repeat things incessantly. He thrives on a schedule and repeating it to him will calm him.”
I also give them a folder on Williams Syndrome so they’re aware of the condition. Most haven’t heard of it. I take care not to overwhelm them with lengthy, difficult information, but give them a general overview so they’re not paddling in the dark.
4. Set your child up to succeed.
What do they personally need? Niko has difficultly with buttons, latches, and anything with fine motor skills. Doing the hook and eye on his school uniform shorts is nearly impossible for him. I bought him elastic-waist uniform shorts so he can pull them up and down easily without help. What can you, as a parent, do to help your child be as successful as possible? Pack a lunch with a certain cup that he or she can use without help? Have him wear only navy shirts because that’s the only school uniform color that doesn’t panic him? There’s pressure to have our children fit in. If everybody is wearing the red shirt, maybe we want them to wear the red shirt, as well. But if it doesn’t benefit our kiddos, then it isn’t worth worrying about. Make them comfortable.
5. Send in soothers.
What calms your child down when he or she is upset? Niko is soothed by movement, so we bought an inexpensive rocking banana chair and donated it to the classroom. (After asking permission, of course.) He also does well bouncing on an exercise ball. If he’s hysterical, wrapping him in a blanket and rocking him helps. He also has one specific music album, Sufjan Steven’s “Illinois” album that seems to reach him when nothing else will. We sent in a CD for the classroom CD player, and also loaded it on an iPod for him with earphones. Give your child’s teacher all the help and tools that you can.
6. Don’t assume the school has all of the information it needs.
If your child needs to take medicine at school, make sure everybody knows. Niko wears a harness on the school bus so he doesn’t wander around and get brought home by the police. Even though the harness is in all of his transportation paperwork, the bus driver never seems to have that information. When I talk to them before the first run, I make sure to tell them about the harness so they have the bus’ half of the harness installed. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Things get lost in the shuffle. Don’t feel that you’re being nagging or annoying. You’re just being a good parent or caregiver. :)
So those are six things that I’m doing to help Niko begin the terrifying world of Middle School. :P I’ll admit that I’m still a wreck, though. What tips and suggestions do you have? Please share. And best of luck this school year to you and your little one!
Just for fun. :)
1. People will give you terrible advice out of love. They’ll tell you to give up on writing and focus on a more stable career. Thank them, with a smile, for their concern. Then ignore them. Firmly.
2. Enjoy every success. It’s easy to look ahead and work for the next big success to the exclusion of where you are now. Don’t let this happen. It will steal your joy away.
3. There will be controversies and scandals and feuds. Writers like to be heard, and one way to do that is to hop on the bandwagon and shout along with everyone else. This doesn’t make you stand out. It almost always gets you in trouble. If you have a firm opinion on something and want to share it because it is dear to your soul, absolutely go ahead and do so. But instead of taking the time to be part of an argument, use that time to write.
4. If you’re not having fun anymore, go ahead and quit. There’s no shame in it. The rewards for writing are few and far between. Write for the love.
5. You’ll find that much of the wheeling and dealing happens at conventions in hotel rooms after the main event. And for women, you’ll be treated differently in this situation. It is not necessary, ever, to be someplace that you feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. Writers like to spin tales. Don’t ever put yourself in a situation where you could become a victim or villain in somebody’s story. Be a person of class, and eventually the opportunities you hope for will come to you. You won’t need to chase them.
I found this delicious recipe on The imPerfect Housewife and had to try it. It’s just as good and easy as promised.
You will need:
2 quarts of softened vanilla ice cream
1 container of whipped cream
1 cup of sugar
1 stick of butter
3 cups of crushed corn flakes (Crush them before measuring them. I…didn’t do that until after the picture. Sorry!)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Crush up your cornflakes and measure them. Then melt your butter in a frying pan, and add the crushed cornflakes and sugar. Stir it for about three minutes.
Pour about half of the cornflake mixture into a casserole dish. I used a 9×11. Pat it down nicely to form a crust. Then stir together the softened ice cream, whipped cream, and the cinnamon.
Pour it on top of the crust. Then sprinkle the rest of the cornflake mixture on top. Freeze it, and it’s an absolutely amazing treat! The imPerfect Housewife suggested drizzling some honey on top, and she hit it out of the ballpark. That tiny taste of honey made such a big difference. Suddenly it’s a wonderfully luxurious dessert. Enjoy!
Earlier I wrote a post about Found Poetry. I wrote something new and unique using Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. Ah, Bradbury! What a thing of beauty!
Now imagine that you’re writing a found poem based on something a little more…well, base.
Introducing R.J. Keller’s brainchild 50 SHADES OF REGRET. And I can hardly type this with a straight face!
R.J. picked up everybody’s favorite book, 50 Shades of Grey and used it to create brilliant blackout poetry, such as this gem:
Poem #2, by R.J. Keller.
Art! It’s art, I say!
I bought my own copy from Goodwill, brandished my Lysol, and I’m going to take a crack at it, as well.
If you’d like to join us, you can find us at the 50 Shades of Regret Facebook page.
Art on. :)
Woo hoo! TeleRead reviews my debut urban fantasy novel, Nameless: The Darkness Comes. It’s a pretty awesome review and it makes me happy. What is even funnier, though, is that the sequel to Nameless is titled Relentless. Why does that make me crack up? Read the review and find out! :D
I was there for World Horror Convention. I stayed in a beautiful house with my friends. We experienced joy and tragedy. It was a house of laughter and sorrow, much like the city.
Enjoy a few pictures of the city last year. It was such a pleasure.
My laptop, a bay blanket, and a “Don’t Forget Me” letter from my middlest. :)
We rented a house that came with a bottle of vodka and a game of Twister. I touched neither. I can’t say the same for my housemates.
Mason Bundschuh and Mort Castle play ukelele and harmonica after the Bram Stoker Awards.
How do you do that voodoo you do so well?
This is my brother in everything but blood. I bought my own uke right after this.
It was just such a pleasure to be somewhere so different from home.
The paperback of my debut NAMELESS is five dollars off! Woo! I’m not certain how long this promotion is going on, so if you’re interested in a book, you’ll want to jump on it. I’ll quote directly from The Ragnarok Team, here.
In celebration of Ragnarok’s Facebook page surpassing 1,000 LIKES, we’re offering $5 off print editions of NAMELESS, DEAD WEST OMNIBUS, DEVOURER OF SOULS, THE FORTY FIRST WINK, PATH OF THE DEAD, and DAMOREN.
Follow these links to the CreateSpace eStore and enter the code at checkout: TLPYH9BS
NAMELESS: THE DARKNESS COMES
DEAD WEST OMNIBUS
DEVOURER OF SOULS
THE FORTY FIRST WINK
PATH OF THE DEAD
* REMEMBER! Enter code: TLPYH9BS
** Paperbacks editions only.
*** Shipping charges still apply.
**** THANK YOU!