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 You can still get a copy of the first edition but some of the links in the resources are outdated.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
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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 || Setting 1 – Where To Begin

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?

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.

Before you Watch the new Star Wars Movie – Recommended Viewing Order

Before you Watch the new Star Wars Movie – Recommended Viewing Order

Star Wars-pixabay1084773_640

The new Star Wars movie is released tomorrow! Who’s just going crazy waiting?

If you want to catch up on the story so far – or you’re an absolute newcomer to the hype – Benjamin Collier, one of our authors at ChristianAuthors.ca, has come up with suggestions of which order to watch the previous movies so the new one makes sense. Here’s his take on it:

“I hear a number of people are being introduced to the previous Star Wars movies for the first time, in preparation for the release of the new movie, and that some aren’t sure in what order to view the films. So as a longtime Star Wars geek I’d like to offer my two cents. I can’t explain the reasons why without saying possible spoilers, but if anyone wants to ask they can [comment below].
Because in my mind the story of the first six films are essentially the story of a certain character, there is a particular order to view the movies in order to get the full effect of that character’s journey. And it goes in this order: Episode 4 (A New Hope), Episode 1 (The Phantom Menace), Episode 5 (The Empire Strikes Back), Episode 2 (Attack of the Clones), Episode 3 (Revenge of the Sith), Episode 6 (Return of the Jedi).
There’s a simpler version that involves less jumping back and forth between timelines, which goes like this: Episodes 4 and 5, then 1 and 2 and 3, then 6. So the first two classic movies, then the entire prequel trilogy, then Episode 6. It’s not what I consider ideal, but it’s less complicated to remember.
There are other orders that can work, but I strongly recommend episodes 4 and 5 before episodes 2 and 3, and then saving Episode 6 for last. I feel Episode 6 is the necessary way to end the experience.
There is also the option of only watching the classic trilogy (Episodes 4,5,6) and not bothering with the prequels at all, which many fans will recommend. Since I don’t know what sort of material the new film deals with, I’m not sure if some basic knowledge of the prequels is necessary. I at least find them entertaining even if not of the same quality.”
 
– Benjamin T. Collier, guest blogger.
Did you find this post helpful?
You can comment below and I’ll pass them along to Benjamin, or you can ask him a question and I’ll post his reply below.

NaNoWriMo – Dec 4

 

Dec 4th Well, here I am with my NaNoWriMo winner’s certificate! I started out on November 1st with a rough idea for a story, but I hadn’t done the outline or decided on character names or anything. When they said, ‘Write an entire novel in a month”, I took it rather too literally and hadn’t prepared anything! Along the way I discovered I needed an outline. All I had was a beginning idea and an ending. I had no middle. The middle is the entire story – what was I thinking?! But I read a very important coaching tip and decided to just keep that front and centre as I plodded on; Just Write. I tried to ignore the editor in me who sounded a lot like my English grammar school teacher, and I wrote, and wrote, and wrote… The final day I was so tired, but as I neared the finish line I was super excited to see the prize so close. I watched the word count click 49, 999 – 50,000. I felt like I’d run a marathon, but I stayed awake long enough to print out my certificate. It’s a great feeling, to reach the finish line in whatever you set out to accomplish, whether it’s a novel or a new recipe for chocolate brownies.

When I got to the middle part of the novel I just kept going. I started researching names at first, for my main characters, but the rest of them in the middle got the first name that came to mind – just write! Some of them will need to have a name change as I revise, or I’ll find myself in trouble with the first name of an antagonist being someone I know! It’s funny how that works. As they say, “Don’t tick me off. I’m a writer and you may end up in my next novel – and I may just kill you”. The plot unfolded all on its own and my characters became real. For my first try at fiction, I am actually proud of my attempt. It will have to wait for now, though.

The novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo is one of a series of novels I’ll be publishing starting in Spring 2016. Before this book is published, I hope to have two more short non-fiction works published and a fantasy. So maybe, if God has this in His plan as I see it in mine; I’ll have this novel published just in time for the next NaNoWriMo.

Thank you to all who supported me through this endeavor, especially my family who ate goodness-knows-what some nights, lots of fast ‘food’, had to put up with dirty dishes in the sink all month, and me endlessly talking about NaNo. You’re all the bestests!

Signing off on my NaNoWriMo posts till next year. God Bless,

Lynne

IMG_1248
My first NaNoWriMo winner’s certificate

NaNoWriMo Day 30 – I DID IT!

NaNoWriMo Winner!
NaNoWriMo Winner!

 

I made it! I wrote 50,000 words in thirty days and validated my novel at 5pm. I am officially pooped and I’m going to make a cup of orange tea, and pet my cat – and also watch The Walking Dead again because I don’t remember half of what happened last night I was so exhausted!

I will give you the run-down on my last day tomorrow. Thank you all for the words of encouragement here and on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a great night. Word count to date – 50, 075

Lynne