Party! Actually I feel like doing the conga line again, but dance to the music that you like. This party rocks! This is the first time ever this type of thing has been done on a blog and like Woodstock, you can say you were here when it happened. Everyone is invited, welcomed, and I mean everyone! Jump in...and let's rock this day!
Cathy won Karl's new book yesterday. Congratulations! Way to go! I'll send your address to Karl.
DJ Kirkby (UK) is a writer I met the first day of this blog party. Glyn Pope (France) introduced us and I think it is only fitting that our last guest writer at the party is the one I met the first day. Not only that, but DJ and I are living with 'invisible disabilities' and we write! Oh boy, do we do that.
When you look at either of us, we look like you. But when we look at you, we know we are different and must translate from our world into yours, so we can interact in your 'typical' world. (DJ says, 'typical' - I say, 'normal')
When DJ said to me that, "School was soul destroying," it was the first time someone has named the experience I had too. Both DJ and I feel strongly about being open with her Autistic spectrum 'disability' (Aspergers) and my dyslexia. Neither of us want sympathy, goodness, this stuff doesn't hurt, it is just harder some days than others. There are a lot worse things we could have.
In her words, "I am determined that my disability will be used to raise autism awareness, to show that a disability does not mean I am incapable just that I have to do things differently to achieve the same outcome."
When we talked about the slant I was going to use today, DJ said, "Yes please champion us and our abilities as disabled people. I still do not know how to interpret facial expressions. I describe attending work as trying to act out a play in a 'forgeign language', so I have to translate it to my aspie language before I can perform in the foreign language of neurotypical people." I said that same foreign language thing here: http://nadinelaman.blogspot.com/2009/04/demystifying-dyslexia-dys-ing-my.html
We can both overload with too much 'too much' from your world. For me it can be the blinking cursor on my monitor, all that bloody input on facebook, those horrible flashing ads on websites, the ceiling fan that my husband loves (I hate) -- all are like a stun gun to my thoughts, jumbling them more, so they don't come out right on my keyboard. For DJ it can be an unexpected tone of voice or a smile that doesn't fit the words when they are naked and without emotion. It is forgetting the expectation of greetings or enquiries to one's well being. "I struggle every day, some days all day. I won't pretend it is easy but I do want people to know that anything is possible if you work hard enough at it." - DJ Kirkby. Learn more about DJ here: http://wildhippiechild.blogspot.com/ and here: http://djkirkby.blogspot.com/
Emailing with DJ has been like finding one of my own kind...a bit different, but finally, I'm not trying to explain what it is like to be on the outside of an inside joke. DJ labours to understand the subtle non-verbal communications and social pleasantries, I labor to be understood by using social pleasantries. We are two sides of the same coin and I think that is just perfect for the makings of a friendship. (Thank you, Glyn!)
Oddly as it may seem, we both found written language to be a bridge between our world and yours. DJ's memoir of her life as a hippy child in Canada, then UK, and her (OMG! finally at age 40) diagnosis with Aspergers is titled, From Zaftig to Aspie.
See DJ's YouTube:
THIS is DJ reading from her book!
Party Game: DJ is giving away two signed copies of From Zaftig to Aspie. To fit with the 'foreign language' concept, create an anagram of your name like this: For example, DJ Kirkby - 'J irk'd by K'. Does that make sense? OR write something you had to overcome to reach a goal (remember this is on the internet, think twice what you want to put on the net). 1 - 2 - 3 GO!
Party music from my friend, Marsha Stewart!
Music suggestion from Cathy Marley...another fine Phoenix woman, Anne Moscow, singing to all of you...from us here in Arizona USA.
This is the place to party without worrying about typos in the comments (who cares?) -- this is after all, only the FIRST DRAFT.
**If you need help navigating blogger, here are some basic instructions: http://nadinelaman.blogspot.com/2009/08/just-few-basics.html
The comment section is below this line. Click on the word "comments." That's where you can leave a note. eMail me if you have trouble with this...NadineLaman(at)aol.com