Exciting news!
I have been asked to be a guest on The Sociable Homeschooler internet radio show this coming Friday, Jan 31st at Noon CST. I’m thrilled to get to participate in Vivienne McNeny’s 206th show! Vivienne is going to ask me about our decision to pull Ethan from public school and how homeschooling a “2e” child works for us (2e=Twice Exceptional, meaning Ethan lives with Asperger’s Syndrome and is also considered Gifted & Talented).
We’re also going to talk about my writing (especially my published Children’s Book – ALL BETTER) and even plan to talk about how we incorporate Young Living Essential Oils into our lives. That’s a lot for a 1-hour radio show! Vivienne has already said, “…yes you may have to come back!” I’m looking very much forward to participating and feel quite honored to spend time with the gracious Vivienne!
So, Dear Readers, I wonder…will you listen in? I hope so! Here’s a link to the radio show site: http://toginet.com/shows/thesociablehomeschooler.

Posted by Leigh, filed under Advocacy, ALL BETTER, Asperger's Syndrome, Children's Writing, Education, Family, Health, Homeschooling, Twice Exceptional, Young Living Essential Oils. Date: January 28, 2014, 9:57 pm | 1 Comment »

Great news! Even though my book  ALL BETTER: A Touch-and-Heal Book is out of print in hardcover edition, thanks to Moving Picture Books it is now available for digital download for just 99 cents. It is easy to download for viewing on your iPhone, iPad or iTouch (or on your Mac or PC, too)! 

Additionally, it is offered as part of a DVD called “Silly Discoveries” for $12.99.

Have fun watching your little ones help Puppy and his friends  feel “All Better!”

Posted by Leigh, filed under ALL BETTER, Children's Writing. Date: August 31, 2011, 9:24 am | No Comments »

Friends & Colleagues!

Great news came in the form of a picture book contract last week! My co-author, Summer Gibson, and I signed a contract with Skeezel Press for a picture book manuscript titled About Ella: Understanding Albinism. We are thrilled to be moving forward with this project and have plans to launch it next summer at the 2012 NOAH bi-annual conference in St. Louis!

Please stay tuned for additional information in the coming months!

Posted by Leigh, filed under About Ella, Advocacy, Albinism, Children's Writing. Date: June 27, 2011, 11:29 pm | No Comments »

”]”][A view of my new corner desk, hutch and lateral file]


Well, it was long overdue, but this week my home office got a make-over! I had been using mis-matched pieces of furniture from throughout my years in college and as a young adult. My workspace (which doubles as a guest bedroom) was a mess and had I outgrown everything except for the nice green walls (which I continue to adore!)


With the sleek, new desk, hutch & file I plan to reorganize myself and my writing. I’m also working on a new book project so I hope that having a more “official” feeling office will help me stay motivated and productive.


[Lateral file and Magazine Rack for my Mags with Clips]

Posted by Leigh, filed under Children's Writing. Date: March 19, 2010, 8:46 pm | 2 Comments »

It truly doesn’t seem possible that 2009 can already be a thing of the past and that 2010 is here, four days into it, nonetheless! Does it?

Over the years, I’ve made New Year resolutions; some I’ve kept and some I haven’t…this year I hope to really give each one the attention it deserves. I figure if I post my resolutions here, for all to see–all of my friends, family, colleagues and other readers can help hold me accountable! Are you in? (Feel free to post your resolutions in the comments if you are so inclined; I’ll help hold you accountable, too!)

Resolution #1: This resolution involves keeping a strict food journal for Ethan to try to detect food intolerances (via health and behavior trends) we may have missed over the past 3 years on our journey with Asperger’s Syndrome; Ethan had a tough fall at school (100% included in 1st grade) and I want to make sure we are doing everything we possibly can to help him on the home front! We’re also doing some blood testing through Dr. Rao to pinpoint any pesky food culprits (results due late this month), but keeping this journal is one sure-fire way I can feel in control and know that I really am doing all that I can to feed Ethan well according to what his body needs and does not. (For past blog posts regarding Ethan’s biomedical treatments, check my old posts!)

Resolution #2: I’m also going to rework our family diet to include more healthful, healing foods. (This really goes hand-in-hand with the resolution above, but will benefit Greg and myself, as much as Ethan!) Ever heard of Cooking to Heal? I saw Julie Matthews (Certified Nutrition Consultant) and and Suesson Ross Vess (Chef & Food Coach) present at the DAN!Conference in Dallas in October 2009. They were extremely inspiring and motovational. My mom and dad ordered the Cooking to Heal DVD and workbook for me as one of my Christmas gifts! What a true gift it will be for all of us (when it arrives, hopefully this week!) I already own Julie Matthew’s Nourishing Hope for Autism and Suesson Vess’ Special Eats: Simple Delicious Solutions for Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cookingand plan to put all of them (plus the aresenal of other great cookbooks and guides I have to GF and GF/CF cooking) to good use in 2010.  So Dear Readers, If you’re interested in hearing how our dietary adventures go (think “Julie and Juliastyle) let me know!

Resolution #3: Put the oxygen mask on! Our wonderful Dr. Rao reminded me in December that if I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to take care of Ethan the way I wish to care for him…Dr. Rao said that when he first heard that air passengers seated next to small children should put their oxygen masks on first in the event of an emergency, he thought it was selfish. But after considering the consequences, he understood the need for adults to place masks on first so that they can stay conscious long enough to meet the needs of the children seated next to them. So, with this analogy in mind, I plan to give my dietary and supplement regimen more attention and refocus on my fitness and health. I’m really pretty great at meeting Ethan’s needs when it comes to supplements/medications/exercise, but I don’t focus on myself and my health has paid a costly price. Time to refocus!

Resolution #4: Write more, espcially material for kids. In the past several years, I have been blessed with a growing freelance business and I am truly grateful and thankful for each opportunity and all that I have learned. While I hope to continue to build my editing/freelance writing business, I also want to dedicate a larger portion of my writing time to pursuing my Children’s writing. I’m sure this will involve continued involvement in my wonderful local SCBWI chapter, but I also know that I need to take a step back from leadership roles this year to allow myself to fully benefit from all of the opportunities NC/NE Texas SCBWI has to offer in 2010.

Here’s to bringing in the New Year with a healthful, prosperous focus.

Welcome 2010!

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Children's Writing, Family. Date: January 4, 2010, 12:24 pm | 6 Comments »

A dear friend and colleague, Chuck Sambuchino, has a lot to celebrate lately with two books [he edited] now available through Writer’s Digest. I am the proud owner of one with the other on its way to me in the mail!

Check them out, my friends:

2010 Guide to Literary Agents  Like most Writer’s Digest Guides, this book is full of useful updated listings but more importantly–in my opinion–has tons of great articles. And, don’t miss Chuck’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog for excellent industry news and advice year-round.

Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript  I’m all about having this for the updated information and insider tips! Like I said, my copy is in the mail… 

Thanks, Chuck, for your dedication to details and your amazing advice for writers everywhere.

Posted by Leigh, filed under Children's Writing. Date: September 7, 2009, 4:46 pm | No Comments »

03  Sep
Write What?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the question, “How’s your writing going?” in the past couple of months . . . which is really a nice question. Very nice that people actually care that I LOVE to write and that–when I can–I pour my heart and soul into it.

However, with Ethan home with me 100% for the summer (i.e. no week-long camps, etc.,) I didn’t have any spare time for writing. I didn’t seek any freelance work because I knew that my schedule wouldn’t accomodate it. In fact, the only writing I managed to do was write a book about Ethan for his school’s staff, and a little writing for Ethan’s school PTA.  (I’m the publicity chairperson for the PTA this year and started working on new forms, etc., in July!)

So, while “my writing” is progressing very slow, I’m rather proud about it. I KNOW that this time is fleeting . . . sharing this past summer with Ethan was relaxing and enjoyable. Truth be known, it disappeared in a flash. He has developed a love of reading that I can honestly say developed in a very organic way, thanks to our long hours of devouring books together over the past five-and-a-half years. It won’t be long before Ethan will be asking me to enroll him in week-long summer camps; for all I know it could be next summer! Ethan is my #1 job–my #1 priority. My dedication was to him this summer.

Now that he’s in Kindergarten (full day) I’ll get to focus more on my writing. I’m even going to substitute a bit to earn some extra dough for the family and spend some quality time with the elementary set, but I am a bit sad to say goodbye to this past summer. We “accomplished” so little, but so much, in the big scheme of things. Our mother/son bond has never been so strong. His social skills have continued to develop and he is a total love bug when it comes to me. I love this kiddo more than I ever knew possible. I’m thankful.

Posted by Leigh, filed under Children's Writing, Family, Uncategorized. Date: September 3, 2008, 9:19 pm | No Comments »

26  Jul
North Texas SCBWI

I’m always inspired and motivated when I come back from Arlington from meeting with the local chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Today was no different. How refreshing it is to share a room with some of the most talented, generous children’s writers illustrators in the country!

Today was a simple “Critique Meeting” during which members were encouraged to bring a piece of work to share for constructive feedback and comments. (We do this several times a year!) While I didn’t have any work to read for critique, I enjoyed hosting the Orientation Group with new members and visitors. Next month our chapter will have a panel of three successful and knowledgeable members doing a round-table “Shop Talk” and in September we’ll be hosting a big all-day workshop with professional critiques offered for a small fee.

I’m already looking forward to the August and September meetings. For more information, check out our chapter website: www.northtexasscbwi.org and come visit if you’re interested in learning more about or group or writing and/or illustrating for children.

Posted by Leigh, filed under Children's Writing. Date: July 26, 2008, 6:16 pm | No Comments »

29  Jun
The Toymaker

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn Scott-Waters–The Toymaker–and hearing her speak at a workshop hosted by the North Texas SCBWI. Marilyn is a lot of fun to be around and has accomplished a great deal in her career in the Children’s Book market. Her website is amazing and certainly worth a peek. Marilyn’s presentation was perfect for our group; she covered a great deal of information, sharing on topics of interest to everyone in our group.

Big THANKS and best wishes to Marilyn!

Posted by Leigh, filed under Children's Writing. Date: June 29, 2008, 11:21 pm | No Comments »

We did it! We had a check-up and cleaning at Ethan’s dentist’s office (on Tuesday) with ZERO screaming, no tantrums–not one single tear!

Thanks to his sensory issues and Asperger’s-related fears, Ethan has had a very difficult time in the past during his bi-annual cleanings and exams. After the last uber-stressful exam in October 2007, I *knew* we needed a social storybook on the subject.

Dr. CC (Caleen Cantrell) and her staff at ChildSmile Pediatric Dentistry in Frisco (off of Main and Teel) were fantastic in accommodating me (and my digital camera) last week. After downloading the pix, I created a personalized narrative for Ethan with encouragement and helpful information. “Ethan is Brave at the Dentist” made all the difference in the world to him! We must’ve read it about a dozen times between early Saturday morning and his late morning appointment on Tuesday. (Greg also likes to think that the fact he attended this appointment factored in positively . . . I’m quite certain he’s right.)

Ethan’s wonderful hygienist (Ms. Michelle) glanced over about half-way through the cleaning with a look of happy disbelief. She even managed to obtain FOUR usable x-rays of his teeth and mouth. That’s a first! Greg and I were actually able to see where Ethan’s permanent teeth are patiently waiting to move in as well as his back baby teeth where there are absolutely NO cavities! <Long sigh of relief.>

Hooray! What a difference a BOOK makes . . .

Posted by Leigh, filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Children's Writing. Date: April 16, 2008, 3:17 pm | 2 Comments »

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