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You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson


Image Description: book cover of You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson. The cover mostly consists of robin’s egg blue background, with title text and author text up the top of the book, in the foreground is a close-up head-shot of Phoebe Robinson with a serious expression on her face. Her hair is styled in a short-bob style two-toned afro that curls around her face.

Title: You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain
Author: Phoebe Robinson
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads
Publisher and Format: eBook from Plume
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

About the Author:
PHOEBE ROBINSON is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress whom Vulture.com, Essence, and Esquire have named one of the top comedians to watch. She has appeared on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers and Last Call with Carson Daly; TBS’s Conan, Comedy Central’s Broad City, and @midnight with Chris Hardwick; as well recently landing a recurring role on the new Jill Soloway show for Amazon I Love Dick.
Robinson’s writing has been featured in The Village Voice, NY Mag, and on Glamour.com, TheDailyBeast.com, VanityFair.com, Vulture.com, and NYTimes.com. She was also a staff writer on MTV’s hit talking head show, Girl Code, as well as a consultant on season three of Broad City.
Most recently, she created and starred in Refinery29’s web series Woke Bae and, alongside Jessica Williams, formerly of The Daily Show, she is the creator and costar of the hit WNYC podcast 2 Dope Queens as well as the host of the critically-acclaimed WNYC podcast Sooo Many White Guys. Robinson is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, You Can’t Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain, a collection of essays about race, gender, and pop culture. Robinson lives and performs stand-up in Brooklyn, NY, and is busy planning her upcoming nuptials to Michael Fassbender.

About the Book:
Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: she’s been unceremoniously relegated to the role of “the black friend,” as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she’s been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel (“isn’t that . . . white people music?”); she’s been called “uppity” for having an opinion in the workplace; she’s been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. the. time. Now, she’s ready to take these topics to the page—and she’s going to make you laugh as she’s doing it.
Using her trademark wit alongside pop-culture references galore, Robinson explores everything from why Lisa Bonet is “Queen. Bae. Jesus,” to breaking down the terrible nature of casting calls, to giving her less-than-traditional advice to the future female president, and demanding that the NFL clean up its act, all told in the same conversational voice that launched her podcast, 2 Dope Queens, to the top spot on iTunes. As personal as it is political, You Can’t Touch My Hair examines our cultural climate and skewers our biases with humour and heart, announcing Robinson as a writer on the rise.

General Observation:
~Diverse Books Reading Challenge: While this novel does address a specific category of racism and microaggressions, the experiences of woman of colour who lives in New York and works as an actress/comedian, it is important that non-white people get the opportunity to share their experiences.
It’s also important for white people to recognise that racism and microaggressions can occur in multiple ways. It not always racial slurs, sometimes it’s white people pretending not to notice that you’ve been standing at the register for fifteen minutes or following you around the store to make sure you’re not shop-lifting.

~Exactly What It Says On The Tin: Phoebe Robinson explains thoroughly why you can’t touch her hair and other racial things people should know by now. Phoebe Robinson goes into detail the complicated relationship people of colour, and especially women of colour, have with their hair. That the choice to have natural hair could be a difficult decision with far reaching consequences.
While I was aware of the racial double-standards that can occur regarding people of colour and their hair, I hadn’t realised just how much time, money, and effort went into maintaining a “passable” or “acceptable” Level of hair presentation. I especially enjoyed the “The History of Hair” chapter.

~Let Me Entertain You: While the novel does dedicate a lot of space to racism in America, it’s not the only thing Phoebe Robinson talks about. My favourite chapters are the series of letters that Phoebe Robinson writes to her niece Olivia, which is kind of a funny coincidence as I also have a niece named Olivia, and I found some of the pearls of wisdom Phoebe Robinson wished to bestow upon her niece amusing and relatable.

In conclusion, due to the racial tensions currently occurring in the United States of America, I can’t help but feel that while this book is funny and engaging, it is also depressingly relevant. To be honest, a lot of the topics covered in the novel seemed obvious to me, but the fact that Phoebe Robinson felt the need to write an entire novel dedicated to these topics prove that it’s not obvious to everyone.

Available For Purchase: Amazon | Audible | Book Depository | Kobo Books

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The Beautiful Books #27: August 2017

Image Description: The Beautiful People for Writers - Writing Goals

It’s time for another edition of The Beautiful Books, where I write a blog-post discussing how little progress I’ve made on my WIP Novel Project, Orion – Volume II of the Pushing Boundaries series, YAY! Let’s begin with some writing advice, if you need some, check out the links bellow:

Jenna Moreci:
~Tips For Writers

Katytastic:
~WRITING / OUTLINING / REVISING

For this post, I’ll be focusing on Beth and James, hopefully that will make things easier. On with the Questions!

What are they addicted to/can’t live without?
Beth: Caffeine (tea and energy drinks). Beth has a stress-eating problem, but she’s more inclined towards cheese and biscuits, or say, having and enormous tub of Greek yogurt and eating it with savoy-biscuits like dip (IDK, honestly, straight Greek yogurt tastes super weird to me).

James: sweet treats and desserts. James (like Beth) has a stress-eating problem, James will stand in the kitchen and just eat a whole packet of dark-chocolate digestive biscuits without thinking about it.

Name 3 positive and 3 negative qualities about your character.
Beth:
01. Positive – Beth is helpful, she’s willing to help volunteer her time (sometimes overly so) if she perceives someone else needs it.
02. Positive – It takes Beth a while to get attached to people, but when Beth cares about a character, she really cares and they’re willing to do a lot for other people.
03. Positive – Beth is eager to learn new things.
04. Negative – Beth can be overly helpful, sometimes giving too much of her time (not being able to see that a project is doomed to fail or being taking advantage of), sometimes taking over a situation completely without asking, she can also come across bossy because of this.
05. Negative – Beth is introverted to a socially awkward level, it can make her insecure and prone to negative thinking.
06. Negative – Beth doesn’t really know what she wants and she’s incisive about things that should be easy to figure out, which is a difficult thing for her to admit to.

James:
01. Positive – James is honest, sometimes too honest, but I consider it a positive thing.
02. Positive – Like Beth, it takes James a while to get attached to people, but when he cares about a character, he really cares and they’re willing to do a lot for other people.
03. Positive – He’s very protective of his younger siblings, sometimes a little too overprotective, he really does care about them, but he finds it easier to display it with action rather than say
04. Negative – James can be super controlling about stuff, like his food and his environment, it’s bad coping mechanism and I’m hoping (over the course of the series) to help him grow out this behaviour and be able to let some things slide.
05. Negative – James can be petty about stuff.
06. Negative – James tries not to to be, but he does get jealous of Dominic, mostly because it seems like Dominic has all the things James has always wanted (a stable job, family acceptance and his own place), I’d like to write a chapter where James eventually resolves his perceived issues with Dominic.

Are they holding onto something they should get rid of?
Beth: Emotional Baggage with both her parents

James: Emotional Baggage with his parents and some guilt/resentment issues with Mac (with what Mac has become and the way Mac is not-dealing with the situation). James also has problems with the way his mother refuses to not-deal with Mac, despite the fact that his mother is the exact opposite with him (his mother is nosy and tends to pry a bit with regards to James).

If 10 is completely organized and 1 is completely messy, where do they fall on the scale?
Beth: Beth is more of a 5 or 6, she’s naturally a messy person, but she tries really hard to be neat and organised
James: James is more of a 8, he’s organised but it’s also part of a coping mechanism and is connected to his anxiety, so it’s not a natural thing.

What most frustrates them about the world they live in?
Beth: Beth gets frustrated by a lack of empathy or not noticing (or refusing to acknowledge) a problem, the more obvious the problem more irritating it is.

James: Communication with Neurotypical people. They don’t mean what they say and the don’t say what they mean. Conversation is where casual ableism usually shows up as well.

How would they dress for a night out? How would they dress for a night in?
Beth: Out = pretty vintage style dresses Mary has made for her, In = casual wear (like tracky-dacks and a t-shirt)

James: Out = overly formal, In = overly casual (track-pants, t-shirt, fluffy robe, thick slippers). James does wear a binder during the week when he’s at work.

How many shoes do they own, and what kind?
Beth: an excessive amount of shoes, wide variety of types, but Beth is prone to gravitate towards brightly coloured shoes.

James: a nice pair of black lace-up shoes for formal events, a pair of nice business shoes for work, a couple of pairs of running shoes, and a couple of pairs of work-boots (one for the farm, one for home).

Do they have any pets? What pet do they WISH they had?
Beth: Beth tends to gravitate more towards dogs than cats, but she doesn’t mind either.
James: he has a calico cat named Sarah Jane

Is there something or someone that they resent? Why and what happened?
Beth: Her mother Claire, for being an alcoholic and being an abusive parent, as a result of Claire’s abusive behaviour, Beth has nothing to do with her. Beth also resents her father because, at the time, Isaac came across as taking her mother’s side, so there’s this unspoken resentment between them.

James: James does harbour some resentment towards his mother, he lives with his grandmother instead of her and he feels she should have made more of an effort in getting Robert’s half of the family to accept him as he is. *Upcoming spoilers* James’s biological father dies in a car-accident and James resents how he has to navigate all the complicated social conventions and social rituals for a person who pretty much abandoned him at five-years of age.

What’s usually in their fridge or pantry?
Beth: snacks, like yogurt and crackers and cheese. Beth likes to have dried pieces of fruits because she forgets to eat fresh fruit and it goes bad

James: James can be kind of anal with his food, so everything is in organised Tupperware containers with labels or ziplock bags with labels. His fridge is most likely to have vegetarian stuff in there but also stuff to make smoothies with. James will often have enormous container of carrot-sticks.

So yeah, let me know in the comment section if you’re working on a Novel Project, I’d love to hear about other people’s projects (that way I don’t have to think about mine).

PSA for Indie Authors – Part 2: Revision

Image Description: a picture of a wooden table with (from left to right in a clock-wise circle) a piece of paper, a pair of thick-framed black glasses, a pine cone, a dusty green-leather bound book, a green vintage type-writer, an open blank notebook, a wooden stick, a small tan-coloured rectangle with black writing on it and an empty glass ink-well.

This post is about self-promotion and marketing for Beginner Writers who want to write Genre Fiction or Genre novels, so if that doesn’t appeal to you, fair enough, feel free to pass on this post.

This post will be covering basic tips and advice so this post may come across as stating the obvious, however, we all have to start somewhere. I’m going to be talking about Beta Readers and Critique Partners, so here’s some videos by the wonderful Jenna Moreci on the subject:

Jenna Moreci:
~Writing Tips: What if No One Likes my Writing?
~Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Beta Readers
~Getting the Most Out of Your Beta Readers
~How to be a Good Beta Reader
~What is a Critique Partner?
~How to be a Good Critique Partner

I’ll make up a case study of the typical situation I get asked questions about.

Shannon has just finished writing and self-editing their latest Work-In-Progress Novel Project, they are super excited about it, they have put their manuscript up on Smashwords/CreateSpace/Amazon as soon as possible and then told all their friends and relatives that they’re a “REAL Writer” now (as opposed to those Fake Writers) and have published their book all by themselves. Then, after a few months or even years, they notice that they are not selling a lot of copies (perhaps four or five when they first released the book, but pretty much nothing since) and they don’t know what went wrong.

And that’s when I have to ask a huge laundry-list of questions:
~Did you have a critique partner look at it and give you constructive feedback on your novel?
Critique Partners are people who are Writers that have agreed to read your manuscript and give you feedback from the perspective of a writer, what works, what doesn’t, what a novelist did well, what a novelist needs improving on. If you are a person who can’t handle criticism or your highly sensitive towards your work, I think you need to consider the following: take a step back (mentally, physically, whatever), take a deep breath and ask yourself if you want to be a published writer or a good writer.

Because, quite frankly, Writers don’t improve unless they are willing to accept feedback and criticism and are willing to acknowledge these problems AND fix the problems pointed out to them. Wouldn’t you rather accept criticism now while you are still able to fix the problem?

In my view, a writer needs to have another pair of eyes look at their manuscript before they even consider sending their manuscript off to a professional editor, let alone publishing options. I recommend authors find and join a Writing Workshop group (or create one if you can’t find one) and workshop each member’s novel on a chapter-by-chapter basis.

Writing Workshop groups can be found on Facebook or Tumblr and my advice would be a writer who likes to read similar books to you but have a different writing style. For Example: Kim is an amazing Critique Partner (they deserve all the kudos) and we both enjoy fantasy books, however, Kim is a primary a character driven writer and is excellent at editing.

While I’m more a plot orientated writer and I am not skilled at editing. But because we both have different strengths and weaknesses, Kim can point out stuff to me that they felt was unclear/could be better written, like how it’s not always obvious what my characters are thinking or feeling at that specific moment.

~Did you have at least two Beta Readers look at it and give you constructive feedback?
A writer needs people who are not family members to read their work and give an objective view-point on whether or not their novel project is readable. You also need someone willing to review your book once it’s been read, websites like Goodreads and Amazon recommend books based their rating system, although I will acknowledge that the Goodreads review system is easier to understand than the Amazon one.

As an Indie Author, I understand what it feels like to yearn for people to read your book, you’ve worked so hard on your novel and you want to know what people’s reaction to it is. Does it make them think? Does it make them feel? Are they eager to read more?

But you need that Feedback BEFORE you publish, not AFTER (trust me, learn from my fail in this regard). Personally, I can’t stand it when my family and close friends tell me (after reading a small sample of my novel) that’s it’s “good” or “nice”, Writers need honest and constructive feedback and there’s nothing constructive about “nice” and “good”.

This is where a Beta Reader comes into play. A Beta Reader could be a fellow indie writer who is apart of your regular writing group/class. A Beta Reader could also be blogger like myself who reads and reviews books.

Some Book Reviewers only read and review books that are Traditionally Published, I know quite a few book-bloggers that refuse to review self-published books (due to quality control problems).Some Book Reviewers are happy to read self-published authors but won’t accept books in eBook format. Some reviewers will only read and review physical books.

Some Book Review blogs only review books in a certain genre, which has resulted in a large amount of Young Adult book-review blogs (there’s a big trend in Australian Publishing and Book-Blogging communities to use hash-tags like #LoveOZYA). It pays to do some research and to investigate what a book-blogger’s book review policy is (here’s a link to mine).

I think it also helps to check out the Categories section of book reviews, there’s no point asking a book-blogger who primarily reads science-fiction to read your historical romance novel. Also, don’t just bombard the book-blogger with a unsolicited requests to read your book, go through their blog-posts, check out book reviews they’ve written for books within your genre, perhaps leave a comment.

Mutual interest in each other’s work via engagement and building a connection is super important. I mean, you wouldn’t walk up to a random stranger in the street and ask them to read and review your book (or at least I hope you don’t do that, if so, please stop immediately), so don’t do that on the internet.

~Did you organise to have a professional editor look at it?
Okay, you’ve got feedback back from your Critique Partner and Beta Readers, you’ve even managed to acknowledge that maybe they made a few good points and, as a result, you’ve revised your manuscript and made some significant improvements.

What’s next?

Well I guess it depends on what kind of Writer you are. I’m a Writer that is not particularly skilled with the editing segment of writing, I’ve previously written about my experiences with the editing element of self-publishing, so go read that blog-post and then come back. I would also like to add that I’ve recently had some more Melbourne-based Editors recommended to me, here’s the link for them:
~Kathryn Moore
~AJ Collins

Have you researched and/or organised how you’re going to format your book?
Are you going to format the book yourself? Do you know how to do that? I’ve seen some self-published books lacking some standard formatting elements, such as not doing a page break for a new chapter. I prefer a new page for a new chapter, it looks nicer, it’s easier to read and it’s not hard to insert a simple page break.

I myself have difficulties with formatting and page-layout. The Table of Contents is more complicated than I first anticipated. I’ve invested in a copy of InDesign but I have yet to use it for anything, mostly because I have no idea what I’m doing with InDesign. This is why I’ve signed up for Skillshare classes and I’ll be looking into basic tutorials.

While All That Revision Is Going On…
What’s your social media marketing campaign look like? Have you been making sure to make regular blog-posts on your social media platform of choice? How big is your established audience exactly? What motivation does your Potential Audience have to buy your book?

Obscurity is the Enemy of the Author

If Potential Readers don’t know you exist, how can they possibly buy your book? Also, can readers purchase your book from your website? I’ve scrolled through a few Indie Author’s websites and I haven’t been able to purchase their books. Always make sure readers have access to your books, it’s not hard to set up a separate page on a WordPress Blog with links connecting to Amazon or Smashwords.

Do you have a fixed release date? Are you doing a give-away to celebrate the release of your book? I’m not saying you have to do a give-away, that’s entirely up to you and your monetary limitations. Would something like InstaFreebie appeal to you?

You don’t have to do all of these things, but you do need to know what it is that you are doing, you need a plan in place, the “Publish the book and Readers will Come” mentality just simply will not work for the majority of newbie authors (although I’m sure there are exceptions).

And you might be wondering, “But B.R. it’s not possible to do all that self-promotion stuff and work on my novel at the same time!”

Well… Maybe it’s not possible, you need to figure out what you can and cannot do, and then work within your limitations. Figure out a promotion plan that works best for you.

Perhaps you can send your novel out to your Beta Readers and Critique Partners, then start working on your promotional stuff. I recommend giving your manuscript some space before sending it off to be professionally edited, you don’t want to burn out (self-care is your highest priority). Perhaps you could put working on your novel aside for a few months before revising it.

Publishing a Book is a collaborative process and it takes a team effort in order to make a good book. Try not to rush it.

Links:
~Book Bloggers Australia
~The Australian Women Writer’s Challenge

The Beautiful Books #25: June

Image Description: The Beautiful People for Writers - Writing Goals
Image Description: an image of a white notepad with light-blues with a dark-blue pen. At the top of the picture is text in dark-blue, “beautiful people for writers”. Down the bottom of the picture is text in dark-blue, “hosted by http://www.paperfury.com and http://www.furtherup-and-furtherin.blogspot.com”

Another monthly update on my Pushing Boundaries WIP Novel Project. I’m going to attempt to outline Orion – Volume II in preparation for Camp NaNoWriMo in July (here’s a link to my Camp NaNoWriMo profile in case readers want to join me).

These questions have taken longer than it should have for me to answer (honestly, I have no fucking idea what my characters dream about, maybe that means I don’t know my characters well enough, IDK), I suspect that the outlining process is going to take more effort than I first anticipated (here’s the link if people want writing resources from Camp NaNoWriMo).

Honestly, the Camp NaNoWriMo resources weren’t that useful for me, so I’ve included some links down the bottom of the blog post for Plotting and General Writing Resources.

What’s their favourite place they’ve ever visited?
James: Disneyland Paris

Beth: visiting London with Justine and Dominic

Mac: The small greenhouse Robert, James and Mac constructed together when Mac was young

Cassie: Camping with her family

What’s one mistake they made that they learned from?
James: when James was younger, he wasn’t interested in romantic relationships, he found it easier to manage open/casual liaisons. As James got older, he wanted to make an attempt at romantic relationships, however, his relationship with previous girlfriend Claudia was more along the lines of being in love with the idea of a stable relationship and thus was willing to put up with a mediocrity. In his mind, the mistake was entering into a relationship that didn’t meet all his needs and wants, and the lesson learnt was “don’t enter into a relationship just because you’re lonely”.

Beth: Beth is very suspicious of men, this due to bad experiences she’s had in the past and a previous abusive relationship (it became abusive when she ended it), in her mind, Beth thinks her mistake was being vulnerable too early in a relationship or entering into a relationship at all, giving her ex-boyfriend too much information about herself. Beth’s mental objective is keeping her distance for as long as possible, she often plays hard to get in romantic pursuits, if it seems like situation has too many variables or too much risk, she won’t bother, she’d rather go without then to compromise on her own set of terms of conditions.

Mac: Mac tends to be too direct and too honest, he can come across as a little intimating at first, he’s also a little socially awkward, he often gets excited and enthusiastic about comic books, so he’s learnt not to stand too close to women and not to stand in the way of doorways when talking about comic books.

Cassie: I think Cassie’s mistake is that she lacks confidence in herself and often doesn’t speak up about what she wants (and usually regrets it later). I hope that, over the course of the Pushing Boundaries series, Cassie becomes more confident and emotionally secure in what she wants and needs.

What was their favourite subject in school? Or favourite thing to learn about?
James: Astronomy and Science related subjects

Beth: Literature, Home Economics, Drama and Media

Mac: Woodwork and Metalwork

Cassie: Textiles, Drama and Literature

What’s their favourite flower/growing thing?
James: Roses, citrus scents, and herbs, specifically Rosemary

Beth: Lavender

Mac: Herbs

Cassie: Lemongrass and Citrus scents

Have they ever made someone cry? What happened?
James and Mac: Both of them have accidentally made women and girls cry by saying something insensitive or being too honest and/or too direct

Beth and Cassie: Both of them go out of their way to be considerate of people’s emotions, so neither of them had have made someone else cry, but Beth does occasionally suffer from foot-in-mouth syndrome and sometimes Beth can be a little too direct.

Would you consider them a reliable or unreliable narrator?
James: Mixture of the two, he’s reliable when it comes to observing other people, but can be blindsided by his own biases and some preconceived notions about people, for example: he has a preconceived notion about who Cassie is as a person and has no problems about using her and discarding her in order to fulfil his own objective, James can be ruthlessly efficient.

Beth: Beth is the reliable type of narrator, but she’s the internal type of narrator, she’s honest with herself (to a certain extent), but that’s pretty much it.

Mac: Mac might be considered an unreliable narrator about himself, and he isn’t that observant about other people, Mac tends to wrap himself up in his own little world.

Cassie: Cassie might be considered an unreliable narrator, she likes to think the best of people and she’s kind of oblivious (sometimes it’s out of self-preservation, sometimes it’s naturally occurring)

They’ve gone out for a “special meal.” What would they eat?
James: James enjoys Asian cuisine, vegetarian meals mostly.

Beth: Beth has a weakness for bacon and hard-types of cheese, however, Beth enjoys Lasagna, Asian cuisine, and baked-potatoes.

Mac: Mac enjoys steak, chips and salad

Cassie: Cassie enjoys home-cooked meals but loves Pad Thai and Asian cuisine

What’s at least one thing they want to do before they die?
James: James has become hyper-focused on taking down the Acker Family, this is mostly because he doesn’t have a strong concept of long-term goals, it’s difficult to him to think past this goal.

Beth: Beth wants to travel around Europe, she wants to do touristy things, despite the fact that she doesn’t like crowds.

Mac: Mac wants to get married and have kids, but he’s beginning to sort of rethink those objectives, “are romantic relationships really worth the hurt and pain?”, he’s kind of in the mental state of “Life in general is not worth the effort”.

Cassie: Cassie wants to get away from her immediate family, with the exception of her Aunt, and establish her own safe space. Cassie wants to be a primary school teacher to prevent her type of family situation from happening.

Do they have any distinguishing or unique talents?
James: Justine and James work well together, Justine handles calling people directly (something James isn’t particularly good at), James is good at writing the required script, finding the right information, James is good at picking up details that other people may miss.

Beth: Beth has this ability for people to feel compelled to tell her personal information (although she doesn’t see it as a talent and would prefer if people didn’t dump their problems on her). Beth could consider her cooking skills and her experiences with her catering business to be her better talents. Beth is happy to make desserts or cakes but isn’t interested in eating the items she makes. Beth is also skilled with crocheting but terrible at sewing with a needle or with a sewing machine.

Mac: Mac is good at hands-on tradie-stuff, carpentry and landscaping. He’s good at gardening and DIY Home Projects.

Cassie: Cassie is good with sewing, she often makes clothes, but she doesn’t wear them (she often donates them).

Links:
~NaNoWriMo Plotting Resources
~Worksheets for Writers
~Four Steps to Putting Your Plot in Order
~THE ONE PAGE NOVEL PLOT FORMULA
~THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GOOGLE DOCS FOR WRITERS (+ WORKFLOW VIDEO & PDF CHECKLIST)
~Story writing websites: 151 of the best
~Plotting and Scheming Cheat Sheet
~Creative Writing Tools


Autism Acceptance Month: Links

a rainbow dragon coiled around itself in pounce-position, looking as though it's about to take off.
Image Description: a rainbow dragon coiled around itself in pounce-position, looking as though it’s about to take off.

Just a short Link-post today about Autism Acceptance Month. You might be expecting me to explain what Autism Acceptance Month and #LightItUpRed or #RedInstead is about, however, I figured it would be better for those explanations to come directly from Autistic people instead of myself, so check out the links below. If you’d like me to add more links of Autistic Creators (Authors, Bloggers, Youtube Video Creators), let me know in the comments section below and I’m make sure to add their link to the post.

Links:

~ASAN: Australia and New Zealand

~Autistic Self Advocacy Network: Sharon Lewis Statement for Autism Acceptance Month (Youtube Video)

~L.C. Mawson: #RedInstead (Youtube Video)

~Stream of Awareness: Youtube Channel

~Tiffany Grey: Youtube Channel

~Neurowonderful: Ask an Autistic #22 – Why Acceptance? Autism Acceptance Month (Youtube Video)

~Neurowonderful: Ask an Autistic #1 – What is Stimming? (Youtube Video)

~A Bit of Brave: Autistic Stimming (Youtube Video) (Warnings: Flashing, Moving Images, Moving, Rapid Transitions, Coloured Lights)

~Baby Robot: Harmful Stims (Youtube Video) (Warnings: use of snap-chat filters, moving images)

~Baby Robot: The Joy of Stimming (Youtube Video) (Warnings: use of snap-chat filters, moving images)

~The Introverted Matriarch: Chronic Pain and Autism

~Megan Rhiannon: My Autism Diagnosis Story – TW self harm + suicide mentions (Blog-post)

~So Much Stranger, So Much Darker, So Much Madder, So Much Better: Autism A-Z: A is for Acceptance (Blog-post)

~Autism Doesn’t Make Me Blue: How to Support Autistic People This April by Nova Mona (Article)

~April Is Autism Acceptance Month By Laura Jo (Article)

My Treasure Chest – Part 3: What I Got For Christmas

a collection of gifts wrapped in Christmas themed wrapping paper (I’ll go into detail within the post). What can be seen is a large Kids &Co. multi-coloured large bouncy ball, a pink pig critter puff, a pink and yellow slinky, a large blue balloon filled with flour, a pink circle with raised dots on it and multiple zip-lock bags with telephone cord hair-ties inside them.

Photo courtesy of K. A. Cook

Image Description: a collection of gifts wrapped in Christmas themed wrapping paper (I’ll go into detail within the post). What can be seen is a large Kids &Co. multi-coloured large bouncy ball, a pink pig critter puff, a pink and yellow slinky, a large blue balloon filled with flour, a pink circle with raised dots on it and multiple zip-lock bags with telephone cord hair-ties inside them.

Not to sound like I’m bragging, but I got some awesome stuff for Christmas, some of it was Stim Toys and general stuff from Kim but I also wanted to include gifts I got from other people as well :D. I also wanted to include somethings I bought post-Christmas too.

Books: 
Image Description: from left to right, a copy of The Princess Bride (the novel) by William Goldman and a DVD of The Princess Bride. Image Description: from left to right, a copy of The Princess Bride (the novel) by William Goldman and a DVD of The Princess Bride.

I was so happy when Kim said they had a copy of The Princess Bride on DVD that they no longer wanted, I’ve been meaning to do a “Book VS Movie Review” for The Princess Bride for ages! My partner has never seen the movie or read the book, so I figured I could remedy at least one of those problems.

Image Description: a collection of four books, the books are The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce Image Description: a collection of four books, the books are The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce

Kim’s given me so many Tamora Pierce books, I’ve had to make a Book list so that I know which ones to read in order, but I’m really looking forward to reading them :).

Beaded Jewellery:
Image Description: two necklaces with black cord, four chrome-coloured small loops and a key ring with beads on them, from left to right, the first necklace has purple-orange-blue-orange-purple coloured beads. The second necklace has light blue-dark blue-purple-dark blue-light blue coloured beads. Image Description: two necklaces with black cord, four chrome-coloured small loops and a key ring with beads on them, from left to right, the first necklace has purple-orange-blue-orange-purple coloured beads. The second necklace has light blue-dark blue-purple-dark blue-light blue coloured beads
Image Description: from left to right, there are two necklaces with shorter cords that look like two cords intertwined together. The first one is a short brown cord with two brown cords intertwined together, with four gold-coloured small loops and a gold key ring with light blue-dark blue, green, yellow, amber and red coloured beads. The second one is a short black cord with two black cords intertwined together, with four silver-coloured small loops and pink-green-black-green-pink coloured beads Image Description: from left to right, there are two necklaces with shorter cords that look like two cords intertwined together. The first one is a short brown cord with two brown cords intertwined together, with four gold-coloured small loops and a gold key ring with light blue-dark blue, green, yellow, amber and red coloured beads. The second one is a short black cord with two black cords intertwined together, with four silver-coloured small loops and pink-green-black-green-pink coloured beads
Image Description: two necklaces with white cord, four chrome-coloured small loops and a key ring with beads on them, from left to right, the first necklace has green-yellow-pink-blue-pink-yellow-green coloured beads. The second necklace has white-orange-yellow-orange-white coloured beads. Image Description: two necklaces with white cord, four chrome-coloured small loops and a key ring with beads on them, from left to right, the first necklace has green-yellow-pink-blue-pink-yellow-green coloured beads. The second necklace has white-orange-yellow-orange-white coloured beads.

I love beaded jewellery, I especially love the rainbow and pink-green-black-green-pink beaded necklace (should be the second picture), while I like the texture of the black and white rat-tail cords, I love the texture of the shorter necklaces. I wore the rainbow necklace with one of my rainbow unicorn and narwhal t-shirts (pictured below) for Christmas Day.

Telephone-cord Hair-ties:
Image Description: six telephone-cord hair-ties; a blue one with small pink crosses, a robin’s egg blue one, a purple one, a pink one, a telephone cord that looks like a peppermint candy and a red one. Image Description: six telephone-cord hair-ties; a blue one with small pink crosses, a robin’s egg blue one, a purple one, a pink one, a telephone cord that looks like a peppermint candy and a red one.
Image Description: six telephone-cord hair-ties in black. Image Description: six telephone-cord hair-ties in black.
Image Description: six small telephone-cord hair-ties, with one coloured with red and blue with the rest coloured blue and white or pink (it kind of looks like pink). Image Description: six small telephone-cord hair-ties, with one coloured with red and blue with the rest coloured blue and white or pink (it kind of looks like pink).
Image Description: two groups of telephone-cord hair-ties from left to right, group one is four small telephone-cord hair ties; two are orange and purple, one is red and blue and one green and purple. Group two features three telephone cords grouped together; a pink one, a yellow one and a green one. Image Description: two groups of telephone-cord hair-ties from left to right, group one is four small telephone-cord hair ties; two are orange and purple, one is red and blue and one green and purple. Group two features three telephone cords grouped together; a pink one, a yellow one and a green one.
Stim Toy Box: miniature silver-coloured deep-fry chip basket
Stim Toy Box: a horde of telephone cord
I love these and I love to wear telephone-cord hair-ties that match my shirt and beaded-jewellery necklace, for example: blue shirt, blue beaded-jewellery necklace and three or two blue telephone-cord hair-ties on my wrist (though I prefer three, I sometimes have to settle for two, depending on colour availability)

Fake Kinetic Sand:
Image Description: a small clear Tupperware container filled with green fake kinetic sand. Image Description: a small clear Tupperware container filled with green fake kinetic sand.
Image Description: a small round container filled with blue fake kinetic sand Image Description: a small round container filled with blue fake kinetic sand.
Image Description: a clear zip-lock bag with a colourful collection of fake kinetic sand moulds and tools. Image Description: a clear zip-lock bag with a colourful collection of fake kinetic sand moulds and tools.

My partner and I bought a kinetic sand-kit for his god-children (although technically he is only the godfather to one of the children) as a Christmas present, however, I pretty much spent the whole time playing with it instead while my partner and the children fired water pistols at each other. It’s fucking brilliant! I can’t wait to get back home and play with my own fake kinetic sand kit, although I truly recommend a medium-large tray and a clear work-space.

Miscellaneous Fidgets:
Image Description: a small pink and yellow slinky Image Description: a small pink and yellow slinky
Image Description: a pink rubber-circle with raised dots on it. Image Description: a pink rubber-circle with raised dots on it.
Image Description: a two pack of pink and yellow play-doh Image Description: a two pack of pink and yellow play-doh
Image Description: a pink and blue Liquid Motion Bubbler. Image Description: a pink and blue Liquid Motion Bubbler.

Another slinky to add to my collection, which is great, and the pink circle is apparently a dog-chew-toy but it does feel good to run my fingertips over the raised dots. More pink and yellow themed play-doh, which is always good, but I’ve found that I often use the Liquid Motion Bubbler to either measure time or help me refocus when I need take a break or just relax.

My expanding collection of Piggies:
Image Description: A small furry purse that resembles a pink pig Image Description: A small furry purse that resembles a pink pig
Image Description: Tiny figurine of a pig that is pink and yellow Image Description: Tiny figurine of a pig that is pink and yellow
Image Description: Two pink sponges in the shape and form of pigs with pink fronds. Image Description: Two pink sponges in the shape and form of pigs with pink fronds
Image Description: Two pink sponges in the shape and form of pigs with pink fronds exiting them with a small coin purse in the shape of a pig just beneath them. Image Description: Two pink sponges in the shape and form of pigs with pink fronds exiting them with a small coin purse in the shape of a pig just beneath them
Image Description: A critter-puff in the shape of a pink pig. Image Description: A critter-puff in the shape of a pink pig

Aren’t they all adorable? I already had the coin purse in the fourth picture but now that I have the trifecta of Daiso piggies, I can probably use them to summon the Hogfather (maybe?), they are adorable regardless. The little figurine is a little fragile so it was wrapped in bubble wrap and, me being me, I spent more time playing with the bubble-wrap than with the figurine (I fucking love bubble-wrap). But I put the figurine inside one of the sponges, then put that sponge inside a coin purse, resulting in a Turducken of Piggies.

Stress-balls and Fidgets:
Image Description: a large dark-blue balloon filled with flour sealed in a clear-plastic zip-lock bag. Image Description: a large dark-blue balloon filled with flour sealed in a clear-plastic zip-lock bag.
Image Description: a small rubbery yellow stress-ball with a winky face and pink woollen hair Image Description: a small rubbery yellow stress-ball with a winky face and pink woollen hair
Image Description: a black and white patterned soccer-ball. Image Description: a black and white patterned soccer-ball.
Image Description: a colourful collection of small bouncy balls in a clear plastic zip-lock bag Image Description: a colourful collection of small bouncy balls in a clear plastic zip-lock bag
Image Description: a large Kids & Co. Bouncy ball that looks like multiple bits of colourful plastic string interwoven together to form a large ball (like a colourful bouncy ball of twine). Image Description: a large Kids & Co. Bouncy ball that looks like multiple bits of colourful plastic string interwoven together to form a large ball (like a colourful bouncy ball of twine)
Image Description: A perfectly formed Rubric cube with the red, blue and yellow sides showing Image Description: A perfectly formed Rubric cube with the red, blue and yellow sides showing
Image Description: Two spikey balls, from left to right, a blue spikey ball and a green spikey ball Image Description: Two spikey balls, from left to right, a blue spikey ball and a green spikey ball
Stim Toy Box: Xie Wei Sports Toys
Stim Toy Box: mini sports/prickle balls

These are all great, but I’m quite fond of the Kids & Co. multi-coloured bouncy-ball (it’s from K-Mart), I’ve already had a good play with it at home, it’s larger size makes it easier for me to catch. I really like the spikey balls as well as as the soccer ball.

Special Confectionery from Holland:
Image Description: two boxes of confectionary from Holland that is put on toast, you will need to ask Kim for more details, links will be provided. Image Description: two boxes of confectionary from Holland that is put on toast, you will need to ask Kim for more details, links will be provided.
According to Kim, you sprinkle the chocolate flakes on freshly buttered toast and is most delicious when the chocolate flakes are softened (but not melted completely). Kim has also informed me that they can be found in specialised Delicatessens but the expiry date might be a bit iffy, although they’re still good even if they are past their expiry date.

Christmas Presents I Received From Brendon:
T-Shirts From Tee-Turtle:
Image Description: a black t-shirt with a unicorn waring shades with a rainbow in the background, with doughnuts and slices of pizza floating in the background Image Description: a black t-shirt with a unicorn waring shades with a rainbow in the background, with doughnuts and slices of pizza floating in the background
Image Description: a blue t-shirt with a mermaid riding a unicorn side-saddle with the text 'I live in my own reality' printed beneath Image Description: a blue t-shirt with a mermaid riding a unicorn side-saddle with the text ‘I live in my own reality’ printed beneath
Image Description: A blue t-shirt with a unicorn and a narwhal posing in front of a rainbow with the word 'YASSSS' printed in rainbow text underneath them Image Description: A blue t-shirt with a unicorn and a narwhal posing in front of a rainbow with the word ‘YASSSS’ printed in rainbow text underneath them
*SQUEEE!* Brendon got me these from Tee Turtle, he’s amazing :D. I wore the unicorn and narwhal t-shirt with the rainbow beaded-jewellery necklace (pictured above) on Christmas Day.

Random Stuff I Bought:
Image description: two necklaces made from seven coral-pink and maroon-red hexagonal silicone beads strung onto and coral-pink and maroon-red cord with a black breakaway clasp. The necklaces are a clear plastic zip-lock storage bag with a silver ring for hanging on a hook. The barely-visible silver text on the bag reads “clothing and co”. Image description: two necklaces made from seven coral-pink and maroon-red hexagonal silicone beads strung onto and coral-pink and maroon-red cord with a black breakaway clasp. The necklaces are a clear plastic zip-lock storage bag with a silver ring for hanging on a hook. The barely-visible silver text on the bag reads “clothing and co”.
Stim Toy Box: seven aqua hexagonal silicone beads
Kim recommended these on their Stim Toy Box blog (they got an nice aqua coloured one), I was aiming for pink, but these were the closest I could find. I’ll see how these go for use as a subtle Fidget. I also bought some other stuff from K-Mart such as a pink make-up blending sponge and a watermelon plushie for Kim (although I will be the first to admit the fact that the watermelon plushie does look a little demonic). I was tempted to purchase a Munchy (for myself) but I refrained and got some play-do instead.

Stim Toy Box: Snake Puzzles
I bought two small snake puzzles from Smiggle and a blue-pink-purple snap-bracelet with spikes on it (I’m currently wearing it on my left wrist beneath my pink-orange-and-yellow telephone-cord hair-ties), every time my partner snaps it onto my wrist, I giggle, it just feels so enjoyable to hear the snapping sound combined with the pressure sensation (I know that sounds weird, but I don’t really care).

So yeah, that was my Christmas, I hope my readers also had an awesome (and below 30 degrees) Christmas and if you want to talk about Stim Toys or Christmas gifts (or both), let me know in the comments section.

Links:
~Eldritch Esoterica – “Ambiguous Pieces: outfitting and equipping nerdy stimmers since 2016.”
~Stim Toy Box – Homepage
~Stim Toy Box: Australian End of Year Sales Stimmy Round Up!
~Princess Aspien: What I Got For Christmas (YouTube Video)

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