Molly, our wonderful speech therapist (I write about her in Chapter 12), sent me an email titled, “It’s real!” after seeing my book on a bookshelf in Waldenbooks. (I still haven’t seen the book yet, which to me is both funny and perfect. I mean, I already know how it all turns out, I suppose there’s no rush…)
One of the things Molly helped me with was the idea of Total Communication. It took me many attempts before I understood what she meant. I’d say,”Ummm, so could you tell me about why we’re doing sign language, again?” or, “We do this with the toothbrush, because, well, why?”
So in the first draft of the book, I had Molly SPEAKING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. If you know a speech therapist, you know why I did it this way. Theirs is a very deliberate, very clear diction, and I’d never heard anything like it before. But the all-caps made it seem as if Molly were yelling, and she never yells (not even at me for my 1,000 questions) so in the final version of the book, we changed it to italics. When Molly does her speech therapy talk, she speaks in italics. And she taught me, so I do it too.
In other matters, this week marks the beginning of the MotherTalk Blog Book Tour. There are new links to a Reader’s Guide, and my Backstory feature, and there will be more links appearing a few times each day throughout the week. I’ll be reading the reviews, and commenting on them, and posting additional thoughts here at Pinwheels, too.
And finally, what’s a party without prizes? I’d considered giving away copies of my book, but so many of you already have purchased it (thank you!) and really, by the end of this tour you’ll all be sick of me. So I have 5 gift certificates to Amazon.com ($20) to give away instead, as my way of saying thanks for sticking with me. (Just leave your name in the comments, and I’ll choose one winner at the end of each day.)
Aka Monty at The Daily Bitch has spent time in the NICU, and my book brought her right back to those days, and the complicated feelings such circumstances create, including anger and even shame. She writes with the heart and passion of a woman who has lived through a similar experience, and her review alternates between quotes from my book and sections of her own words, weaving our two stories together into something familiar, yet also completely new.
Michelle at Big Blueberry Eyes related to many of the feelings in the book–the heavier ones regarding the diagnosis, and the lighter ones about evaluations and my questioning the value of a skill called “the poke.” She writes, “This is an amazingly powerful story of love, hope, and motherhood. Anyone would enjoy this book -whether you’re dealing with a diagnosis (Down syndrome, or otherwise) or not. It’s a story that will touch you, and one you won’t soon forget.” I’ve been a longtime reader of her blog and I couldn’t love Kayla more, so Michelle’s endorsement means the world to me. And she has copies of the book to share! 4 winners will be selected Monday; go to her blog to enter.
Claudia of The Practical Vampire Slayer says I’m beautiful and compares my writing to John Steinbeck’s: full disclosure, Claudia is the amazing friend who gives me prescient advice all throughout my book. She’s biased! But who isn’t? I think she’s wonderful, too.