At Least I Got Some Writing Done

This was certainly a week to remember. The title above is actually the highlights of a really trying and emotionally exhausting time.  It actually led to me scheduling a post for August 2nd about parenting and autism.  I’d do it tomorrow, but I have an event that I’m going to and I want to have some freedom to react.  Still, this week was definitely one that had me crying a few times at night.  I won’t deny.

One thing that I fear as the father of an autistic child is regression.  This is when the child goes backwards in skills or behavior.  It can be triggered by an event that one would think is minor, but it’s everything to them.  I’ve mentioned before that my son has always been a challenge when it comes to food.  This is where the biggest battles occurred with him because the ‘he will not starve himself’ adage didn’t feel like it would ring true.  Seriously, you go through 3 days with the kid only eating one chicken nugget and you throw that belief out the window.

Thankfully, it didn’t go back that far.  Instead, he came home to me and decided that breakfast was not going to happen.  To be clear, nothing happened with his mother to show that this was coming.  Lunch was iffy, but I had debates and arguments with him first thing in the morning.  This triggered my fear that he was going to lose all of the progress we’ve made in two years.  The kid has a better, more varied diet than me, so I was really getting worried.  It didn’t help that some people were talking to me like I was an idiot or my thoughts on the whole thing didn’t matter.  I tried to take some comfort in him eating his lunch and dinner, but just seeing the fear in his eyes when food was mentioned in the morning had me worried.  Things did get better as the week progressed, so I’m hoping this is a very temporary step backwards.  I’m talking about this in a little more detail than normal because I’ve learned some of my lurkers and open followers are parents of autistic children.  Figure this is a good way to show that it happens to all of us who are in this position.  It’s difficult and frustrating, but you have to keep going.  I guess with regression, they prove that they can reach that level, so you just have to find a way to get them there again. Silver lining there.

I’ve done a little writing for War of Nytefall: Anarchy, which might be done by early-August.  I don’t really know what to do after that.  I kept thinking I would tackle Do I Need to Use a Dragon? (Fantasy Writing Tips), but I wouldn’t be able to finish it before grad school starts.  I’m leaning more towards editing War of Nytefall: Savagery and getting that in a good spot in case I can release it later this year or early next year.  I might just tackle War of Nytefall: Eulogy and try to get Clyde’s whole adventure written by the end of the year.  I won’t be able to finish publishing it until December 2021, but it could be good to get it all in first draft stage.  That means I can use my limited time to whittle away at the writing tip book and begin the outlines for Tales of the Slumberlord.  I have a post on that series that I’ve been pushing back on Sundays because other things come up.  As you can tell, everything is in flux.

My son’s birthday is coming up, so that’s a big event.  In the age of covid-19, we can’t do anything big and indoors.  It’s going to be something small and outside with a few of his closest friends.  Bought a box of picnic games, which should go over well.  I’ve been worrying about this day a bit because summer birthdays are always a challenge.  You have to invite people before school ends and many people go on vacation, so you don’t always get a big group.  It’s even harder now because we couldn’t send invitations or have a large group.  We’re trying to get him play dates with those who aren’t coming to the party and other methods of getting him some happy birthday time.  The plus side is that my son is a very happy kid and will be thrilled with whatever he can get.

What else is going on?  I finished scheduling Immortal Wars: The Summoning into mid-November.  It means I have nothing for December Thursdays, but I’m thinking of opening it to anyone who has a book to promote during that time.  I’m almost done scheduling the posts for October and I’m going to start in on November once I come up with some topics.  Feel free to suggest if there’s a topic on your mind.  All of this is to make sure things are set up before I start in on graduate school, which is going to take up a lot of my time.  I have so little . . . I mean, no momentum for my blog and books that vanishing even for a bit is basically a death sentence.

TV and reading have taken an interesting turn.  I found out that the manga ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ ended recently, but I’m far behind.  So, I decided to order the next two volumes of that and ‘Toriko’.  I love both of these series, which are over, which means Barnes & Noble don’t carry all of the volumes.  It has nothing for ‘Toriko’, so I can only order stuff as I have the money.  At $10 a pop, it’s going to take a while to get everything since they go into the 40’s.  With TV, I’ve been watching things that only partially interest me and I’m biding time for these shows to come back:

  • ‘Umbrella Academy’ season 2 on July 31st.  I’ll start rewatching Season 1 on Sunday.
  • ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ season 4 on August 6th.  I’ll already be re-reading the manga, so no need to rewatch.
  • ‘Wynonna Earp’ season 4 on Sunday.  It’s a weekly, so I can either watch it live or DVR.

Such an exciting life I live.  What are the goals?

  1. It’s the big week and a half with the munchkin, so that’s top priority.
  2. Writing if I can.
  3. Prepare blog posts for October and November.
  4. Try to stay cool in this heat.
  5. Father/son reading time.
  6. Puzzle time at night.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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26 Responses to At Least I Got Some Writing Done

  1. So awesome that you have your priorities set and that you spend time with your son. Wishing you all the best regarding your writing output.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. The little guy does wear me out fairly quickly, especially with the heat. Figure it’s worth not having the energy to write though. He’ll be a teenager not wanting to have anything to do with me before I know it.

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  2. I think the time spent with your son is precious while he is still a kid. Have a great week and I hope the birthday works out well.

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  3. L. Marie says:

    Charles, thanks for letting us know what’s going on. It’s hard, isn’t it? I listen to my friends who have autistic sons and hear similar stories. I’ve witnessed the regression also, since I’ve been a babysitter to one little boy. You never know what might trigger a regression, so my heart goes out to you guys. The fact that you’ve written anything along with keeping up with a job is amazing.

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  4. Perfect thought up above about them becoming teenagers. Get that quality time while you can. Happy to hear you moved some things ahead. I’ve spent my weekend doing redundant tasks that were already done once.

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  5. My daughter’s birthday is the day after Christmas. I never had a birthday party on her birthday when she was growing up. Even right now, she is a mother of two darling daughters, we had family dinner out on her birthday, but parties are always either before or after the day.

    How old is your son, Charles? I’m a retired teacher/administrator. I always told the parents that their kids were their priority before their kids set their own priority. In fact, I asked one parent of a 9-year old kid if her kid let her hold her (daughter’s) hand. She said “yes.” I said when my daughter was in junior high, she asked me to drop her off half a block from school and walked to school by herself (a time when kids don’t want to be seen with their parents).

    I only read about autism but don’t know too much and didn’t have any autistic students. Is your son in a regular classroom if not because of Covid-19. It’s good you’re spending time with your son.

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    • It’s tough when your birthday falls near a holiday. I’m Jewish and my birthday comes near Passover a lot. A holiday where pizza and cake are off the menu doesn’t make for a good party.

      My son is 11. Not sure how to explain how his autism affects his behavior in regards to attention. He needs approval and assurance a lot because he’s not always sure he’s doing things right. We all went remote learning with Covid-19. Still haven’t heard how the next school year will go though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know how it goes, Charles, about birthday. I’m sure you can share that with your son so he kind of knows that you know how he feels about his birthday at this time.

        I care about your son as an educator. There is a quote from Lao Tzu on the desktop of my computer, To sum up, it says, It’s from thoughts to words, words to actions, actions to habits, habits to character, and character to destiny.

        Confidence is an abstract thing and a long road to get there. It starts with a little knowledge and built up from there.

        In the classroom, I let students tell me what they think of an situation, and an answer to the problem. I affirmed more than one answers, so they knew there was no one absolute answer. When I affirmed one student’s answer, he or she felt their answer was correct.

        In short, look out for situations and ask your son what he “thinks,” then ask him what he would “do.” Affirm his thinking and encourage his action. In daily little things, be aware of every small good or right action and praise him. It’s the positive reinforcement that encourages more positive behaviors. Hopefully he would try “right” actions on his own.

        It’s a long way, but it can be done. I’ve seen many friends’ adult children who gained confidence and two of them are independent.

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      • He’s seen my birthday turn up on Passover before. It isn’t much fun, so he’s glad he only has to worry about summer.

        It’s not as easy with an autistic kid. My son either tries to figure out what answers I want, flat out asks me to tell him, or is too upset to think clearly. The issue with praising every little thing is that it ends up losing its effectiveness with him. He takes it as an expected reaction and doesn’t pay attention to it. I’ve seen this happen with many kids. So, I have to limit it to make sure it has an impact and he locks in that he really did something good.

        Another difficulty with affirming his thinking is that he can fixate on a single detail or truly incorrect path. If I affirm it then he locks in the wrong information for a situation without thinking beyond that. So, I have get him to grow it out or explain why he’s on the wrong track.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We all learn to do what’s right for our kids on a daily bases. We may do something right today, but tomorrow, as our kids get one day older, it would be a different story and we have to grow along with them.

        I remember reading Steve Jobs biography. Steve was a different kid and a different person all his life. His fixation turned out to be his success. His stepfather tried to help with his homework but he was way over advanced. His stepfather learned just one step ahead of him to help him to a certain point.

        You seem to have good insight about your son’t behavior. Only you know him intimately and figure out how to help him.

        I appreciate parents like you, Charles!

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      • I’ve heard that Steve Jobs was autistic, but I’ve read that it’s only a theory. People have a habit of using the term for geniuses with poor social skills. It’s much more than that though. The belief actually makes it harder to parent an autistic child because people assume my son is a natural prodigy in something. This almost turns him into an oddity with the way people interact with him.

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      • Yes, it may be a theory about Steve. He had one close friend. I can’t remember his name. They did the early odd thing together in the garage, and hacked the phone to the White House.

        I hope your son has friends.

        Geniuses don’t live normal lives.

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      • Was that Steve Wozniak? I know they worked together and were maybe friends.

        My son does have friends, but social situations are still rather tough for him. He’s very friendly and happy to play, but will go off on his own the instant he loses interest in things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes,it was Wozniak. I don’t think we can change the make-up of your son. You can continue to explore alternatives, or see if he is aware when he loses interest in the middle of things. I don’t know how well an 11-year old boy could verbalize it. I don’t know if, in the future, he could say to his friends, “I have to go” or something like that to maintain the friendship.

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      • It depends on the other kids, but usually they just go on with what they’re doing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, at this age, they usually do. You’re paying good attention to him. He should be okay! Of course he is not an average kid.

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  6. I work with some kids on the spectrum, but I know for parents the worry is much more intense. Do you feel like the back-and-forth between homes may be triggering him on things that seemed like they were under better control?

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  7. Glad you got some writing time in. Sorry about your son’s food issue cropping up again. Hope the phase is over by the time I’m posting this comment. Also, hope he enjoyed his birthday.

    Like

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