Review: Anything but Silent

anything but silent

Today is Apraxia Awareness Day. In place of my usual Wordless Wednesday photo post, I am sharing a book about one family’s experience with childhood apraxia of speech. If your life has been touch by apraxia in some way, I hope you read it too.

It’s been over five years since our daughter Anna was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech, and before she was diagnosed we had never heard of this surprisingly common motor-speech disorder. We felt so alone. But we found help from fellow parents online and we found the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA). We weren’t as alone as we thought.

Fifteen years earlier, Kathy Hennessy had to grapple with this same diagnosis twice. Both her daughter Kate and her son Andrew had apraxia. Fifteen years earlier there was nowhere to go for support. The internet was in it’s infancy, and apraxia was little known even among speech language pathologists. I can’t imagine how alone she felt.

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A Princess Who Doesn’t Need a Prince

Disney-Pixar’s latest release, Brave, is a first for both studios. It is both a “Disney Princess” movie without a prince, and a Pixar movie with a female lead.

The film takes place in the early Middle Ages in the Scottish Highlands. The fragile peace of King Fergis’ realm rests on the shoulders of his first-born, headstrong daughter Merida, who must choose a suitor between three prominent highland clans. She has other ideas, though, and resists the pleadings of her mother Queen Eleanor to be a proper lady. She’d rather ride her horse and shoot her bow: she has grown up to be an expert archer. Nevertheless, a contest is held between three rather ridiculous suitors, during which Merida outwits her parents and forces a confrontation with her mother that ends badly for both of them. She rides into the woods in tears and . . . you’ll need to see the film to find out what happens next.

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Review: Story Mill 4.0.1

My review of StoryMill 4.0.1 for the July issue of About This Particular Macintosh:

“I’m going to write a book.” One of those insane ideas that pops into your head from time to time—most often at three in the morning. Chances are you push it right back out of your head again, but what if you can’t? What if the story is there, begging to be told, and you—writing newbie that you are—have no idea where to start?

You could sit down with a notebook, or open up your favorite word processor, and start writing, but even if you beat the blank page for a while, sooner or later you’re going to get stuck. Maybe you’re having trouble organizing your ideas, or you’re forgetting which character is which, or who did what when. It’s a lot to keep in your head, so you write pages and pages of notes or save multiple files with background stories and character descriptions, and it’s all a great big mess. Isn’t there a program that can keep all that stuff together where you can find it and maybe even help keep it straight?

Actually there are a few of them, and they compete with each other for both novice and experienced writers. I got a chance recently to try out one of them: StoryMill 4.0.1

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