Thursday, September 22, 2011

Author Extraordinaire

Several months ago, someone referred to me as a writer.  Of all of the numerous and varied labels I may have attached to myself through the years (some complimentary and many others not), I have never felt very comfortable referring to myself as a writer.

Okay, I know I attended a workshop in June at the Iowa Summer Writers’ Festival.  Sure, I do a fair amount of writing, but in my mind the seemingly random ramblings that I send into cyberspace do not count.  I also blow my hair dry every day, but I would certainly not call myself a hairdresser.

And then, something happened:

I was invited by Lynn and Big Daddy, some of my friends in the blogosphere, to submit an essay for this book which, upon its release, has quickly shot up the Amazon Best Sellers Rank to # 17,533.  (Stop laughing, it’s true.)

I must admit that I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, even a little cocky when the book arrived on my doorstep a few days ago.  I showed it to my older son, Andrew, when I picked him up from school that same afternoon.  Momentarily impressed, he uttered something monosyllabic, something along the lines of “WOW” or “COOL.”  And then the kicker.  You know, the comment that your kid says to you that can send you screeching back to reality.  “Is this the book you have been waiting for--because you ONLY wrote three pages of THIS book?”

Three pages.  Just under 600 words, to be precise, but they count and I am pleased to now consider myself a writer, an author even.  I don’t assume that I had any wisdom to impart and my feeble attempt at wit may have missed the mark, but I do qualify as the parent of a special needs kid and we need to stick together.

After David was diagnosed, I high-tailed it to a local support group meeting.  I know that many people find great comfort in these types of groups, but it was too soon for me.  The diagnosis was still too fresh.  I was so busy trying to wade through the world of autism that I lost my ability to do things like quickly ascertain which committee for the upcoming Autism Puzzle Walk would allow me not to appear disinterested, but still not really require any meaningful time commitment.  I think I may have actually been screaming as I ran from the building that cold winter night, never to return.

Without even realizing it at the time, I turned to cyber support.  There are many, many parents out there who relay their stories and their struggles.  It has been comforting to know that many of the issues that we have, other families struggle with, as well.  Plus, things are somehow funnier when you read about them happening to someone else.

So, (insert shameless plug here) if you know someone who might benefit from a copy of this book, the picture above serves as a link to the book on Amazon.  If not, it was simply nice to reflect for a moment on my accomplishment and, to my 27 loyal readers, thanks for your support.


  1. Kathy...surely you have more than 27 loyal readers! I know I am a little late to this party, but I always make a point of reading your posts, and you should absolutely feel proud of your accomplishments, both as an author, and as a parent.

  2. Oh, Kathy, if they are at all like me, they certainly are loyal and we do rejoice in this new accomplishment. I long to hold in my hands the book that you will write.....all the chapters....all the pages! Keep writing. Your audience will grow!

  3. Tell Andrew his math is off: 3 pages is infinitely more than the published pages of most Americans.

  4. Oh I'm so glad that I'm not the only one avoiding the puzzle walks. I loved all 600 of your words, and am so happy that you participated in this little project of ours!