Autism: Not Different Enough

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When I read Gloria Doty’s book about her daughter with autism, I felt a great kinship with her. As you know, my twin adult sons also have a diagnosis of autism. As we venture into adulthood with them, I found this book an absolute comfort. It helped me realize that I’m not the only one experiencing all these new adventures in many of the same ways.

If you know someone with a child with autism, I hope you’ll share this interview with them. It’s such an important one, and helps parents understand the importance of getting guardianship for their adult child with autism.

This is a beautiful book, and I enjoyed reading it. It reads fast, and it feels like you’re sitting with Gloria and having a chat. I loved it so much I had to do an interview. What follows is the delightful time I had with Gloria discussing this gem of a book.

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Karla Teaches

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As you may or may not know, I’m nearing the end of my journey toward my degree in Special Education! If I make it through student teaching I’ll graduate in December. Yay!

If you’d like to follow my adventures, you can do so here at KarlaTeaches.com 

If you have ever been a student teacher and have tips for me, I welcome them!

I could also use your prayers for stamina. I sold my book on autism right before student teaching started and edits are due very soon. All I need is a clone, right? Anyone know where there’s a good deal on one?

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Love and Cowboys: An Interview with Author Gloria Doty

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Gloria Doty, Author

If you’re into cowboys and romance, you’re going to love Gloria Doty and her new romance novels! What’s not to like about a title and cover like this? Bring a cowboy home? Don’t mind if I do…

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I fell in love with the book as soon as I saw it. And I pretty much fell in love with Gloria that way, too. She is a jewel. A people person and mother of a live-in adult daughter with autism, Gloria is a fascinating human being. She has a magnetic personality and we clicked immediately. Besides being an all-around great gal, her grit and work ethic are traits I highly admire.

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Her newest book is a winner, too:

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Below is an interview I did with Gloria. What a lovely woman and what a great author! You’re going to love her and her books!

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What’s on your writing desk, Amy Clipston?

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Last week I had the privilege of interviewing Amy about how she writes Amish Fiction. You can view that interview here.  This week, Amy’s sharing her writing space with us. Take it away, Amy!

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Amy:

While most writers have a dedicated office space, you can find me tapping the keys of my MacBook while lounging on a love seat in my family room. I have a favorite corner where I sit and write with earbuds blasting music into my ears and drowning out my noisy family.

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When I published my first book, I needed complete quiet to write. I would barricade myself in my bedroom and warn my family to be quiet if they were brave enough to venture upstairs. Now, however, I’m most prolific if I work in the family room with only earbuds blocking out the chaos in my house.

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Usually at least two of my three cats come to visit me or nap on a nearby sofa. I refer to the members of my feline herd as my editors, and you can find numerous photos of them on Instagram site. My mom also keeps me company while I work. She sits on the sofa across from me and reads novels while I work. I appreciate her company and sometimes bounce book ideas around with her if I develop a case of writer’s block. I normally have a cup of tea on the end table beside me, and I sip it while I work. If you don’t see a cup of tea, you’ll probably find a cold can of Diet Coke in its place.

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Since I work a full-time job along with writing books, I have to squeeze in my writing time as much as possible. I don’t have a set schedule of when I write, but if I’m on deadline, I write late into the evenings on weekdays and then continuously throughout the weekend.

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Amy’s Dining Room

I write Amish inspirational novels and novellas for HarperCollins Christian Publishing. The Courtship Basket, which is the second book in my Amish Heirloom series, will hit bookstores June 28.

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In The Courtship Basket, Rachel Fisher is devastated when the young man she’s loved for years leaves her to date her best friend. Her heart is broken, and she has all but given up on love. Rachel is determined to keep her mind off the pain, and she starts teaching at an Amish school for children with learning disabilities. Since his father became ill, Mike Lantz has been overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for his family and caring for his six-year-old brother, John. When John joins Rachel’s class and she learns his mother is deceased and his father sick, she desperately wants to help the family, even with something as simple as a meal. With her parents’ old picnic basket, Rachel begins sending food to the Lantz family. As the weeks go by, John’s grades start to improve, and the attraction grows between Rachel and Mike. They can’t deny that their friendship is growing toward something more, but both of them are hesitant to risk a more serious relationship. The last thing Rachel wants is another heartbreak, and Mike is worried about providing for his loved ones. Will the two be able to reconcile their past hurts with new hope for the future?

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The Courtship Basket is a book that’s very close to my heart. The story touches the topic of kidney disease, and my husband, Joe, has had two kidney transplants. Joe received his second transplant through a swap, where I donated to someone and Joe received a kidney in exchange. I dedicated this book to Nyeisha and Eric, who were part of our kidney donation swap. Both Joe and Nyeisha struggled with kidney disease similar to how Raymond Lantz does in the story.

Amy has two new books, too!

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Amy’s Biography:

Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and three spoiled rotten cats.  You can find Amy at AmyClipston.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks, and on Twitter at @AmyClipston.

Social Media Links:

Author Website:  AmyClipston.com

Author Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks

Author Twitter: @AmyClipston

Author Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/amyclipston

Author Instagram: instagram.com/amy_clipston/

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Interview with author Amy Clipston

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You are going to love this interview with best-selling author of Amish fiction, Amy Clipston!

I fell in love with Amy’s work after reading her non-fiction biography, The Gift of Love about her husband’s journey with kidney disease. I loved that book, and you can read about it and view an interview about it here.

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She has several new Amish books out. I don’t know how she does it, but she keeps churning them out!

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Released 8/16/16

Amy’s Amish series include the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series and the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel Series. Her books have achieved the Christian Fiction bestseller lists, including the CBA (Christian Book Association) bestseller list and the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) bestseller list.

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Released 11/29/16

Get your cuppa ready and settle in for a fascinating interview with Amy!

(Leave a comment below and you will be entered in a drawing for a book from Amy! She’s giving away three of them! Yay!)

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July’s Brilliant Blog Award Winner

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I’m super happy and excited to announce July’s winner for the Brilliant Blog Award because I’ve been wanting to give this blog an award for a long time. I wish I had something funny and witty to say about it because its author, Tom Threadgill is about the most comedic blogger I know.

The thing I like about Tom’s blog, Wits’ End, is the dry humor and quick wit. Even though Tom writes suspense novels, I’ve been begging him to write a humorous novel. In fact, I look forward to the day he and I have time to collaborate on an idea I’ve shared with him.

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Congratulations, Tom!

Be sure to check him out. And if you have any editing you need done, I can highly recommend Tom. Eagle Eye is the perfect name for his editing service.

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Do you have a blog to recommend for the Brilliant Blog Award? Find out my guidelines here. Twitter_Bird_Coffee_by_Aaron_Riddleacriddledotcom

Please tweet: Congrats to @Tom_Threadgill for winning July’s Brilliant Blog Award!

Introducing Spunk & Sass!

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I’m super excited to introduce you to my new talk show with co-host, Shelley Wilburn: Spunk & Sass!

Spunk and Sass are two spunky, sassy grandmas talking about current events and spiritual matters as only we can. Shelley and I give a clear view of real life in a laid back, hilarious setting. You think you’re sitting in the room with us because well, you are!

 

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Shelley and I don crazy hats, share our drink of the day (no, we don’t drink alcohol, though sometimes our antics make that questionable…)

I created this show and invited Shelley to join me because I wanted there to be a Christian voice that came across as real and not phony, pious or stuffy. Trust me. This show is about as far from stuffy as the east is from the west.

I hope you’ll tune in and join us! Since I’m student teaching this semester, I don’t yet know how many episodes per month we’ll be able to do, but the goal is to do at least one show a week.

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We’ve had so many problems launching this show! You wouldn’t believe the tech problems we’ve had. From my computer biting the dust over the summer, to audio and video problems. Someone is very scared of this launch!

There are two ways to enjoy the show. You can watch it on YouTube (there really are some funny things on there) or you can listen on Spreaker! You can even download the program to your phone from Spreaker and enjoy us on the go!

Sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy! We hope you’ll love us!

 

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Please tweet: Spunk & Sass 1st show of brassy boldness!

You are being manipulated. Here’s how.

It is psychological law that whatever we desire to accomplish we must impress upon the subjective or subconscious mind.--Orison Swett Marden

Let’s get something straight right up front. I love technology. Not only for how easy it makes my life, but mainly for how it can be used to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since the birth of Christ, nothing has given us a bigger platform to share the love of Jesus than the Internet. Nothing.

However, saying something is one thing. Getting heard is another. And the ones with the power are the ones who manipulate what is seen and heard. Search engine algorithms can be designed to filter out anything pertaining to Christ. Money and the prince of the air think they’re in control. (But seriously, we know Who really is, right?)

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You think you have a plethora of choices? You do. But not really. Those who own the algorithms are the ones who decide what your choices really are. Truth has never been more relative than it is today. If people believe what comes up first when they’re doing a search, (on Google, Siri, Bing, etc.) are they living in reality? Or the reality that the search engine created?

eyes are useless when the mind is blind.--unknown

Not only do search engines and Amazon filter what’s seen at the top of a search, so do advertisers. Add to that the government accessing your search stats and freedom flies out the window only to be captured and shackled.

Oh, oh, oh, and what about when you’re browsing for say,  a pair of shoes, and you’re reading the news on another site and the ad for the shoes shows up. How intellectually free are you? I mean, really?

Is this freedom or manipulation?

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This ad popped up on my Facebook and tumblr dashboard after I’d checked out a clearance sale on HSN.com.

Amazon manipulates its customers. You might not think so, but take a gander at this post on the Hoosier Ink blog by Joe Allison:

Amazon Restricts Promotion of Books with “Religious or Spiritual Content”

Amazon-logoI mean, c’mon, we all know it happens, but do we remember when we’re searching for things, that our choices are limited to what those in charge want us to see and find? Or are we lulled into intellectual laziness and put discernment on the back burner?

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The best time of day to write

All my adult life I’ve felt guilty about my circadian rhythm. Add to that the knowledge that my favorite authors rise and shine in the wee hours of the morning to write, and I feel even more guilty for being a Night Owl.

I capitalized Night Owl because the Night Owl is actually my college mascot. Something tells me I’m not going to escape this particular identity.

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I was discussing this issue with my son. Since I start student teaching next week, I’m a little freaked out about when I’ll be able to get my writing time in. I’m a true believer in “you don’t find time to write you make time.” But, as someone who lives with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, I’m aware that my body will only allow me to be alert so many hours in the day.

The way I often get through the day is that I have to take a 20-minute nap in the afternoon (or longer depending how bad I’m feeling) to get through the rest of the day. I then take a B-12 vitamin and move along. I can usually squeeze out an evening of writing that way.

But many of my favorite authors are morning authors–Kate DiCamillo, for one (I love her voice!).  Wouldn’t it be better if I was more like her? Over and over again I’ve beat myself up for not being up with the robins getting that worm. (Okay, so I don’t like worms, but my worm would be a manuscript.)

Does the fact that I’m not a morning writer mean I’ll never be a best-seller?

Not according to this amazing infograph:

Opposite Habits of Famous Writers.
Opposite Habits of Famous Writers by Bid4Papers

Is this cool or what?

I’ve got to grasp the fact that it doesn’t matter when I write. It only matters that I write. Every day. For several hours.

(Excuse me while I grab another cup of tea, and pet my dogs and cats, sit very still in the light of the moon, and write very, very slow.)

If you want more proof it’s okay to be a night writer, check out this awesome blog post by Jeff Goins here: Why You Should Be Writing at Night.

When is your favorite time of the day write/craft/read good books/do what you love most?

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