Today is my birthday, but more importantly than bragging about my milestone birthday, today is Autism Acceptance Day. Please head over to Light It Up Blue the Autism Acceptance Day website to find out what landmarks are being lit up blue to support autism acceptance and make a donation to support them.
Here in Brissy they’re lighting up the Wheel of Brisbane (not to be mistaken with the Wheel of Time, it’s only our Ferris Wheel), City Hall, King George Square and the William Jolly Bridge. They are even planning to project artworks by a Tim Sharp, an autistic artist, on the William Jolly Bridge.
I follow a few blogs that relate to autism. My favourites are Autistic Hoya – which teaches me something new with nearly every post(including that many prefer ‘acceptance’ to ‘awareness’), Stuff With Thing by the mother of autistic children and Gabrielle Bryden’s blog is where I learned about Autism Acceptance Day.
If you are a fan of comics or manga there is no way I can possibly recommend ‘With The Light’ enough. It is a touching manga released by Yen press about a young Japanese woman who achieves her dream of marrying the office hottie and plans to become his adoring housewife as per Japanese tradition. She comes across a small snag when she notices there is something wrong with their baby Hikaru (his name means Light). She discovers Hikaru is autistic and the many volumes follow Hikaru as he grows up, goes to school all while he and his family learn how to deal with family and strangers who do not understand. It’s heart breaking and touching all at once and is easily one of my favourite manga of all time. Sadly Keiko Tobe, the manga-ka (author/artist) passed away before completing the series but don’t let that stop you from reading it!
I hope everyone will support Autism Acceptance Day but heading over to Light It Up Blue (note my website is blue ;p) and donate or buy some merchandise.
Now I’ve filled your browser with about thirty new tabs, Happy Autism Acceptance Day everyone (and happy 30th birthday me).
Layouts and Tamora Pierce
I just found out that my new layout doesn’t allow people on mobile devices to comment. Argh! It took me so long to find and tinker with this one… now I have to seek out another one! Maybe I can light it up blue for Autism Awareness day which falls on my birthday.
On a cheerier note I have recently started re-reading Tamora Pierce’s first quartet: The Song of the Lioness. It brings back memories of my early teen years and even as an adult the stories do not disappoint (if you want to read my reviews, click over to my Goodreads account, there’s a widget in my sidebar).
I came across her books by chance. I don’t know if schools still do this, but in my primary school (elementary school for the non-Australians who might be confused) used to hand out four page catalogues of books once a month and you could order from them. I think they were called the Scholastic Book Club (after the publisher) but my memory isn’t as strong on that. I saw ‘In the Hand of the Goddess’ and even though the only fantasy I had read at that age was The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (yes, I tackled that monster of a book at the tender age of ten), I saw the black cat with purple eyes on the cover and wanted it. Of course when I got it I found out it was book two in a series so it was dumped on my shelf until a time when I could track down book one.
I did eventually find book one, but it was almost a year later. Not that that stopped me from reading both of them as fast as I could and pestering my parents for weeks for the next books.
With this re-reading what fascinates me is that even though I know what is going to happen I am still moved – sometimes even to tears – and for something to be that strong I feel it deserves a special place in my heart indeed.
I am fairly certain Pierce is to blame for the fact that the vast majority of my protagonists are strong females. In fact even books where my protagonist is a male, he is usually infatuated with or somehow guided by a strong female character. Pierce writes women who are strong and smart, who speak their minds but have believable fears and character flaws. If there is any writer out there I want to be like it would be her (though of course I would still prefer to be me 😀 ).
It is hard to pick a favourite of her works, they are all marvellous, but I think it is Daine from the Immortals quartet with whom I connect with best – even if it is mostly over sharing the nightmare of unruly hair.
Who’s your favourite author? What do you love about their works?