About Me

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. I have a cat that sometimes gets in the way of my typing. I am also a photographer. At 48 years of age, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism. Recently I have become a self-advocate.

I graduated from Huntingdon College in 1981. I studied photography at night classes held at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. I got an MS degree in Journalism at Murray State University. Then I worked at newspapers and publications without much success before I went to Portfolio Center in Atlanta in 1994 to study Commercial Photography. After one year I left because I did not like the teachers or their teaching methods. Not having very much success finding commercial photography jobs I worked at several retail establishments in Atlanta until I decided to move back to Birmingham Alabama in 2002. I got a degree in Web Design in 2007 From Jefferson State Community College and once again couldn’t find work. I have found a new purpose in life since my diagnoses. I am a Governor appointee on the Alabama Interagency Autism Coordinating Council and the Regional Autism Network as well as volunteering for several activist organizations, all well being a caregiver for my Mother.

Growing up autistic I always had a different angle on things. That may be why my stories are so strange.

Publications: “The Blossom War,” 18th Wall’s anthology, The Dragon Lord’s Library.

“Gathering at the Bubble.” AntipodeanSF June 2018. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10063/20180620-0000/www.antisf.com.au/the-stories/gathering-at-the-bubble.html

“A day In Caaatahlona 1 City Beneath The Waves,” AntipodeanSF February 2018 issue.http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10063/20180220-0000/www.antisf.com.au/the-stories/a-day-in-caaatahlona-1-city-beneath-the-waves.html

Audio version. https://2nvr.org.au/index.php/programs?the-antipodeansf-radio-show

“Abduction.Org” AntipodeanSF, September 2018. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10063/20180920-0215/www.antisf.com.au/the-stories/abduction-org.html

“Silver Image,” Daguerreian Annual 2015.

Islands in Dark Ocean https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DH4GHB4

Short story collection The Other Side of Forever, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZCEVZO

The Civil War in Hurray, Calloway County Kentucky, Jackson Purchase Historical Society probably1988.

My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/

Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MZCVY74

Green Thumb

Every one says that I have a green thumb. I really don’t what I do. I put them in the ground and they grow. I think maybe one reason is that I make sure the plants are watered everyday and by constantly paying attention to them. If I see anything wrong I fix it. If there are pest I’ll spray for the pest. If they aren’t growing much I’ll fertilize. I feel that I can read plants, get a sense if something isn’t right. If its a potted plant I’ll move it or hold back on water or give it water.

My Atheism

It took a long journey before I literally woke up one day and realized I was an atheist. I went to a Christian college. This is where maybe my belief started to get cracks. In my freshman year, I enthusiastically got involved with the Christian group. I was in the choir that the chaplain led and got to travel around performing concerts. I went each Sunday night to Fellowship where we sang, and people made inspirational talks. I even did a talk for the group with my roommate about the superficiality of many friendships.

But soon things didn’t fit right. One of the songs we sang had a line paraphrased as but for all the friends you sent I never have to be alone. Yet I looked at all the singing happy people and I felt alone.

Through my reading and study, I learned about how long humans have been around, and about the multitude of different religions. In the musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar” Judas ask why Jesus came in such a backward time and place. I wonder is why he did not come sooner. Australopithecus, Homohabilis, and Neanderthal all lived before he came. Neanderthal was around longer than we have been on Earth. They worshiped gods. Small statues of been found of rotund buxom women. It doesn’t look like they worshipped Jesus.

Ancient Egypt lasted 3000 years all before Jesus came part of that time predated the Jewish faith. When Jesus came, he walked around in Palestine spreading the message that you can only be save through him, but there were people living in Asia and the Americas who had no way of knowing about him.

There are so many different religions with such a diversity of different beliefs that have nothing in common. I would think either God would work all the religions to point to him, or he would message the followers telling them that they were on the wrong path.

I have also known people who read only Christian books, listen only to Christian music, and are highly involved in their church. Yet they openly express hatred of gays, immigrants, Muslims, and others. These people also hang out in an ivory tower with all their Christian friends isolated from contact with anyone else and are not involved in any hands-on activities helping other people.

I know a girl who I was friends with for a while who was in a small group, (A church-affiliated social group of women) and actively participated in Forty Days of Prayer. Yet none of that had any effect on her. She was still a self-centered drama queen who took life personally. If the spirit of Jesus Christ really does into a person when they seek h9im out then both those former friends should have been better people. One friend talked about having a personal relationship with Jesus. If so then why didn’t Jesus remind him to love his neighbor even if the neighbor is gay, an illegal immigrant, a Muslim, or other sinner?

If I have some strange desire to be insulted, treated rudely, and condemned, I’ll talk to a group of Christians. If I want to have a pleasant intellectual conversation without judgement I”l talk to a group of atheists.

There are also the evangelist who live in mansions and fly around in private jets, which goes against Jesus’s teachings about the virtues of poverty.

I also find the idea of someone dying for me disturbing. I didn’t ask him to do that and it makes people feel guilty; “How can you not worship him after he did that for you?” Even though he was resurrected he still suffered death. He suffered for us for a crime done by my ancestor. I am guilty for no other reason than being born and am doomed to be punished because of that.

I also am disturbed by the all or nothing. Choose Jesus or go to Hell. What if the most beautiful Man/Woman approached you and said, “Mary me or I’ll kill you.” Would you be drawn to them? Would you truly be able to love them? It’s similar to the play “Annie” where Mrs. Marsh has the orphans say, “I love you Mrs. Marsh.” Why can’t a god say choose me, here is what I have to offer. If you don’t chose me that is fine. You’re loss.

I also don’t fathom the idea that humans only live 80 to 100 years. Why should we suffer for eternity for only 80 years of sin? I can understand Hell, but isn’t that punishment too severe? Even with the most heartless murderer wouldn’t a few hundred years be sufficient? And I knew a theological teacher who said that the aim of punishment is to reform. I like the notion that souls go to Hell and are punished according to their sin and it is worked out and they are refined and eventually make their way back to God.

I know Jewish people, Muslims, Hindu, even atheist who are good people very devout in their belief. If they are all going to Hell at least I know I’ll be in good company. I’ll also share the fate of Greeks, Romans Egyptians, Maya, and other cool people.

Quarantine is the Life for Me

read a book watch TV

Quarantine is the life for me

Make a great discovery

feed the cats that are pestering

Water plants work on my writing

Quarantine is the life for me

Make a meal do some cooking

Mow the grass do some gardening

Quarantine is the life for me

Social distance while out walking

Wave say Hi and do some talking

Quarantine is the life for me

Moon Cactuses

This is a photo of my moon cactuses, Gymnocalycium mihanovichii . This species is from South America
. The colored cap is a mutation which completely lacks chlorophyll, exposing the color pigment that is usually hidden. Because they are unable to photosynthesize, these plants are unable to survive on their own, but because growers see them as something special, these mutant strains get grafted onto another type of cactus called hylocereus . The result you see is the Moon Cactus.  Moon cacti are commonly grown as houseplants and are also known as Ruby Ball, Red Cap, Red Hibotan, or Hibotan cacti. People with developmental disabilities are like moon cacti, something that should be seen as beautiful and unique in the world and might need a little help in order to get along. Many people don’t see the beauty that people with disabilities bring to the world, nor do they see why it is necessary to give us the support that we need.

Photojournalism Encounter

Somewhere and someplace I talked to an editor who was cr1itised my work. Now that I think about it the memory it happened in 1989 or 1990 at a convention. When I showed him a photo I was particularly proud of and he immediately said that that no reputable newspaper would print that picture. This man had known Robert Capa. He was the man in charge of the Life darkroom during the D-day invasion.

He was the one who told the darkroom tech to turn up the temperature of the heater so that the negatives would dry out faster. This caused the film to melt ruining most of the pictures. That is why the images of D-day have a burred look.

So here was a man who had made the worst mistake in photojournalism history who had the audacity to criticize my work and be intolerant of mistakes. Capa risked his life to get those pictures only to have the best ones destroyed forever.

I read a biography about Capa. The young Capa was sent on an assignment at a place on a beach. He tried taking a camera underwater to take a picture and ruined the camera. He had a fun time at the company’s expense yet they still liked him kept him. Yet for some reason I got skinned alive anytime I made a mistake and got fired in a particularly sadistic way. Experts in the field who I talked to were stern with me and unkind.

In the Capa biography, that man who said he was an intimate friend wasn’t even mentioned in the book.

Doe Ray Mee

I remember sing the song in grade school. I didn’t understand that it was the list of note. I thought it told a story. “Doe a deer a female deer.” The mother.

“Ray, a drop of golden son.” The mother dear has a child.

“Me amay I combed myself!” The sun gets hurt. I never heard any say that combing they combed themselves when they got hurt and people comb their hair but my young mind was forcing the song to tell a story.

“Fa a long, long way to run.” The young deer has a long way to run to get back home to mother.

“La, a note to follow So.” didn’t make sense so I ignored it.

“Tea a drink of Gimmenbrez.” Whatever gimmenbrez is it is a substance that restores the hurt young deer’s strength so that he”l be able to make the journey that “brings him back to (his mother) Doe.”

Meeting Madeline Miller

After a long wait in line it was my turn. I was one of the last but she took time with everyone and was most gracious.

While buying groceries I saw a poster for a book signing with Madeline Miller. I have read “The Song of Achilles” and loved it. I am now looking forward to reading her new book. I confess that I got interested in reading her books because she is cute.