Raising an Autistic Child

I’m currently updating my first published book, an autobiography as a mother with an autistic child. My son, Benjamin, was non-verbal as a small child and was later identified as having High-Functioning Autism. He is now a published author and speaks at churches and schools about his experience growing up with autism. You can still get a copy of the first edition but some of the links in the resources are outdated. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction of the book.

Raising Benjamin Frog--A Mother's Journey with her Autistic Son, by Lynne Collier
Raising Benjamin Frog–A Mother’s Journey with her Autistic Son, by Lynne Collier

 

Where do you go to, My Sunshine? 

“You have the most beautiful blue eyes, my handsome baby boy. Why can’t I see you behind them? Where do you go when your eyes wander away from me?

I hold you in my arms and stroke your tiny face, run my fingers through the yellow strands falling across your brow and I search for a glimpse of soul connection, but you are nowhere to be found.

If I let go of your small hand you’ll run away or you’ll walk in an endless straight line and not care where you’re going. You won’t see the people on the path in front of you or the tree that blocks your way. You won’t run excited to play with the other children on the swings because they’re not there in your world.

We walk by the lake. I point at the birds, gracefully gliding, skimming over the lapping waves. A young puppy barks and, for an instant, I see a puzzled frown on your tiny forehead, then it’s gone.

I show you the delicate, colourful blue petals of the Forget-Me-Not and we stop for a while to listen to the rustling of the birch. But you walk where I walk and stop when I stop only because I hold on tightly to your little fingers so you don’t slide down the bank and disappear. You have no response to these wonders around you.

I tell you how God made all these things. How He loves you and created you as part of His masterpiece too. How you have a purpose in this life and how I’ll do my best as your Mummy to help you find that purpose He has planned for you. But you don’t seem to hear a word. You just stare into the distance.

We walk back on the path and I sing to you “Forever Young.” You don’t sing along or dance in circles around me giggling. But oh how I love you my Sunshine.

Where do you go to, my sweet baby boy, when your eyes wander away from me and you’re lost in your autistic world.”

Buy the First Edition

Get updates on the second edition and other work 

For a closer look at autism from Benjamin’s perspective and to see what he’s up to now, visit his blog benjaminfrog.wordpress.com

https://benjaminfrog.wordpress.com/about/
Benjamin T. Collier/Author & Speaker
Advertisements

5 SIMPLE WAYS TO CREATE INCOME FROM WRITING

Income From Writing
How Do I Create An Income From Writing?

  

Do you ever wonder if any author who isn’t famous ever makes a decent income from writing?

I was wondering this after two years of little in the way of sales from my first book. I did eventually realize if I could just write more, that would increase my income. But who’s got time to write more?

Here’s how I did it – I took what I’d already written on my social media and made it into a book!

Seriously. That’s what I did. All my blogs about writing, my posts about my life, my tweets of writing tips and coaching, my pins about my interests, all became tidbits to expand and form into a book! It was a lot of fun, and I’m using these methods to write more books. So, I wanted to let you know how to use what you’ve already written and get started with that income too. Still with me but wondering how the heck I did that?

___________________________________

Here’s How I Used These 5 Simple Ways to Create Income From Writing 

  • From Blog To BookThe Novel Author’s Workbook I created an Etsy downloadable 99-page workbook from blogs I’d written over the course of a year on how to write fiction, as I was doing the research. It takes the author from the beginning premise and outline of a novel, through to publishing and marketing.
  • From Pin To Print/Nonfiction  Hosting a Shire Party is a simple ebook about a cosplay party I had. I wrote about creating easy costumes, food, and games, as I pinned the photos from the party.
  • From Tweet To Tutorial Your Write Voice For His Kingdom is a course I wrote from tweets about my workshop notes as a Christian Life Coach and writer’s coach. I coach students through the decision process of becoming a writer and how God has equipped them to write for His purpose.
  • From Post To Published – Life at White Rose Shire is an ebook in-progress of a collection of devotionals which I’ll be posting on my blog under a sub-heading and later publishing as a Kindle devotional book.
  • From Muse To MemoirRaising Benjamin Frog – A Mother’s Journey With Her Autistic Son is a print book from notes I wrote originally for my earlier blog posts on Autism. It chronicles my son’s journey from birth to age 29, and his success as an author.

And that’s how I used 5 simple ways to create income from writing– from ebooks, print books, and tutorials.

A simple way to get to that 50,000 word count for NaNoWriMo!

___________________________________

If this is something you may be interested in doing, I’ve explained all the social media methods in my business school at  White Rose Writers School.

(The TWEET TO TUTORIAL and MUSE TO MEMOIR courses will be open for registration at White Rose Writers School soon.)

 SIGN UP  

to get news on all the new courses as well as exclusive cheatsheets, writing tips, resources, and other insider goodies!

  __

Another Way to Create Income From Writing

I’m still working on the ‘full’ part of my income but here’s a colleague who’s grown a full-time income and has permitted me to add her blog link for you. Because she’s published by a royalty publisher, she brings a different perspective.

Ann-Margret Hovsepian has a full-time income from her writing and engagements. She shares her success tips on her blog ‘You Asked Me’:

https://annhovsepian.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/you-asked-me-5/

 

I hope you found something useful here. Let me know.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

-Lynne

Resources

Devotionals

White Rose Writers on Etsy

Middle Earth Party on Pinterest

Collier Christian Writing Academy

White Rose Writers School

 

Spacial Creativity

I’m an optimist most of the time, a perfectionist never, so I made mistakes occasionally as I tried to do things my way, before I gave my writing over to God. It kind of showed in the chaos that was once my office.

Closet Office
My Closet Office 2012-2016

This was my office as I began writing seriously. A converted closet my husband created so I could keep ‘organized’. The shelf to the left houses my binders and a carpet for my cat who likes to help me type. The water bottle is for times she ‘helps’ me too much. It’s where I wrote my autobiography of raising a child with autism, and my fun ebook about hosting a shire party.

So, I tried to minimize things. Here’s my hobbit office in the sun room.

My Hobbit Office
My Hobbit Office

Canning jars? I think they ended up being outdoor lighting for a party. The small stool behind me was for current projects. If it seems a bit on the ‘condensed’ side, I should add that I’m 5’1”. This office was definitely way too small once I started my business and writing online courses.

I now have a nice corner of the sun room with an old secretary desk from the 40s, complete with the pull-up shelf for a typewriter and drawers with slots for file folders! It’s huge and I love it. I have several piles for projects I’m working on so I can grab a pile and work away as I need to. I’m still not too tidy but I know where everything is among the chaos. Being more organized has cleared my head, some what, so I can hear God clearer and be more peaceful. I need that for my creative writing.

How about you? Where do you write? Are you organized or do you ‘fly by the seat of your pants’? Whatever method pleases you, keep on writing.

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

Writing Fantasy || Character Interview

Good Morning, readers, and welcome to our blog on Interviewing Characters. Today I’m with Colin Wade from Singularity.

#CharacterInterview
Lynne: Colin – first, let me say “happy birthday!”
Colin: (Laughs) Thanks. It was quite an accomplishment for me.

Lynne: I understand you’re a pilot for Deep-Sight Space Exploration. How long have you been working for D.S.S.E.?

Colin: Not very long. I mean, I’ve been with them for a long time, in training. And I’ve done some odd jobs here and there but this is my first time doing anything this… big.

Lynne: Yes, I heard your current mission is rather ambitious. Can you explain the goal?

Colin: The mission is to study a singularity. The central point of a black hole. Research into black holes is nothing new, but this is the first time we’ve ever attempted anything this close to one. The D.S.S.E. seems to think we’ve got the technology in place to study it safely but in greater detail than we ever have before. The data we get back from this one mission should match or even surpass what would normally have taken us decades with the previous tech. It’s a good time to be in astrophysics.

Lynne: How is it going?

Colin: Slow. (Laughs) So far it’s been surprisingly difficult to find viable black holes. But it’s probably just the regions we’ve been exploring. Ang seems to think it’s just a matter of time before the perfect one shows itself.

Lynne: Ang?

Colin: Oh, sorry. My onboard computer – the Artificial Neuron Generator for Universal Studies. “Angus” sounds too formal, though, so I just took to calling him “Ang”. He doesn’t seem to mind.

Lynne: I see. I hear this is your first time as captain.

Colin: It’s my first time on official duty as a captain. I mean I’ve had training. I’ve done the tests. But actually sitting in the chair on a live mission is a completely different feeling.

Lynne: Do you find space to be a lonely place?

Colin: It’s certainly different. I don’t mind isolation, necessarily, but space is different from simply finding a quiet room or spending time alone in the woods. To have literally no other living being around for incalculable miles is a feeling hard to describe. Ang keeps me company, though. For an AI he’s not bad to talk to. Plus he plays music for me.

Lynne: Oh, really? What kind of music do you listen to?

Colin: It changes. Ang’s gotten into the habit of picking songs based on my mood. I like a lot of oldies by Sarah McLachlan and Elton John. Lately, Ang’s been playing mostly “Take Me Home” by Phil Collins. And of course, David Bowie has some good ones for my particular career choice.

Lynne: I LOVE Bowie! And yes, I suppose he does have some fitting songs. What made you choose space exploration as a career?

Colin: I never really asked myself that. But if I think about it I guess there’s a lot of reasons. The biggest attraction was probably that it’s quiet. Not that I don’t like people. I like them in small quantities. A little bit at a time, or a few people at a time. But I do my best work on my own, in a quiet room, with all of space to look at. Compared to people, astrophysics is easy.

Lynne: Do you miss home?

Colin: Oh yes. Way more than I thought I would. But they did warn me that isolation can do that.

Lynne: Is there anything you’d like to say to any friends or family back at home?

Colin: Oh geez. Well, the first thing would be to thank everyone for the razor. It’s been working like a charm. I’ll give a shout out to my mom and dad and my sis. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there on my birthday to see everyone, but duty calls. We’ll do a barbeque at mom and dad’s when I get back. I’ve been practicing. I feel like I’m forgetting some people, but whoever you are, just assume that I miss you too. I’ll see you all as soon as I get back, and thanks for all the well wishes. Ang, do you want to say anything? (Brief silence) Really? Ang just says hello. He’s being unsocial.

Lynne: Well thank you so much for doing this interview, Colin. It’s been a pleasure talking with you.

Colin: Oh, the pleasure’s been all mine. It’s been great to hear another voice.

 

Well, reader, that was an interesting interview. I couldn’t imagine being alone in space for months at a time. Although listening to Bowie and staring at the stars sounds very peaceful.

Which of your characters would you interview? Why did you choose that character? What would you ask them?

Resources:

You can read more about Colin Wade and his extraordinary space mission in Singularity by Benjamin T. Collier.

Singularity by Benjamin T. Collier
Plot twists in every chapter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read my other blogs on Character Development:

Writing Fantasy || Characters 1 – Races

Writing Fantasy || Characters 2 – Names

Writing Fantasy || Characters 3 – Occupations

Writing Fantasy || Characters 4 – Personality

 

Until next time, I hope you are blessed,

Lynne

WHY I DO WHAT I DO – MY MANIFESTO

“The point of a manifesto is that it makes you draw a line in the sand, which forces you to clarify your message. But before you do that, you have to know what you’re about.” – Jeff Goins

I was challenged this week to write a manifesto as part of a writing exercise created by Jeff Goins, a writer and best-selling author.  In the exercise we’re called to write a few hundred words about our worldview; the problem, the solution, and what we see as our part in that solution. So here you go…

The problem as I see it is that, like many others, I didn’t know how to do what I felt ‘called’ to do. Just how do you help others? There are so many needs in the world. We can’t possibly remedy all of them as one individual. That realization brought me to find just one way I could make a difference in just one life. I had felt like a tiny boat being tossed around, lost in a sea of helplessness, without a compass to give me a sense of direction in life. I no longer felt that way. I could start there. How did I rise above the relentless waves?  How could what I had been through serve as encouragement to someone else?

The solution for me came while visiting a Christian counselling centre. I had rededicated my life and I was talking with a life coach there. She told me to write down all my attributes, educational and life experiences and see if God had already put a pattern on my life. Yes, He had! I decided to study the way God creates us all with a specific purpose in mind and see if I could realize what His assignment was for me.

The next step was to accept that assignment and put it into practice helping others to do the same. People need to know they have worth and purpose. The solution for me was to help others find their own answer to the question, “What on Earth Am I Doing Here?”

If you’re asking yourself – or God – this question, there is an answer waiting for you.  You just need to pick up your oars and start paddling in the right direction.

 

Lynne

LynneCollier.com

Writing Fantasy || Setting 1 – Where To Begin

How do you start to write a fantasy novel?

Read. Read. Read. Follow other fantasy writers online, take pieces from every fantasy book you’ve ever read and enjoyed, scribble notes while you watch your favourite fantasy TV show, watch fantasy movies till your eyes get all buggy and you grow antennae. Then when you’re about to burst – Write. Write. Write!

 

Gragon Rider

 

George R.R. Martin, the author of Game of Thrones, offers this advice when writing fantasy:

“…stealing from one source is plagiarism but stealing from lots of sources is research!”  #WritingFantasy

If you’re a huge fan of Game of Thrones, Martin goes on to offer other tips for the aspiring fantasy writer at LifeHacks.

But where do you start your writing from?

I believe you can’t add characters until you know where to put them. Feel free to disagree. That’s just a personal opinion because that’s the way my brain works. So before your Elf prince can rescue the fair woodland maiden, you may need a place for them to live in.

 Fantasy Image - sky and ship with floating islands

 

What to do with all your Fantastical ideas

If you’re like me and you’re a very visual learner, Pinterest  is a great place to start for fantasy images  you can save for future reference. You can click through to the website and read the entire article if you trust the source. You can also create a ‘secret’ board for images you may like to use for settings and characters in your next novel. Another great place is DeviantArt, but with both those places you may find images not suited to you (you can block certain images by using the ‘Mature Content Hidden’ button). Then, when you can grab a minute to yourself, grab your favourite libation and sit back in your chair and daydream of the faraway places and mystical beings on your boards. Or sketch yet-unimagined places and beings of your own!

If you’re not very visual, maybe your forte is to collect descriptive words in a notebook or sticky-note them to a huge office board. Whatever gets your creative juices pouring.

Seriously thinking about writing a fantasy novel? Follow me as I blog about writing my own novel and I’ll share tips I pick up along the way:  LynneCollier.com/Fantasy

(Both the images for this blog are from Pixabay and free for commercial use)

Till my next fantasy tip, I hope you are blessed.

Lynne

What On Earth Are You Doing Here?

Kingdom Purpose – What On Earth Are You Doing Here?

We’re not content to merely exist – we want to matter in this world. So how do we figure out what our own life means? If we’re not a famous evangelist or humanitarian, what’s our purpose for being here?

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” – (Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, 1:11-12 MSG).

We are all unique individuals, with our own unique qualities and our own unique assignment from God.  He gave us all the attributes we’d need to do His work here and feel His pleasure in our completed assignment. Take a look at a picture of space.

star-clusters-74052_640

The God who created the earth and all those amazing nebulas and supernova, dark matter and pulsars, created you and me unique and in His image to be family in His name!

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago”. – (Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, 2:10 NIV).

Whatever God has laid on your heart He has given you the ability to do. What has your heavenly Father asked you to undertake on His behalf in this kingdom on earth?

You can find my 22-page mini-course, Your Write Voice For His Kingdom, on the sidebar of the Homepage.