Happy SITS day to me

Happy SITS day to me…

Ahem. Today is a happy dance day for me. But I need to start on a sad note. Our ninety year old neighbor has died. I came across his daughter-in-law cleaning out his house today. She said he went peacefully in his sleep. I was saddened by his death, but I was also so very glad that he was surrounded by family on the day it happened. He got up for breakfast, spoke briefly with everyone, went back to bed, and just never got up again. I’m glad I got to know him, if only very briefly.

Now, on to the truly happy stuff. It’s my day to be the featured writer over with The SITS Girls. Brief primer for the uninitiated. The SITS Girls are (is? are? Madame Syntax is in a quandry) a community of 40,000 women bloggers supporting each other. And the original SITSTAHS, Francesca and Tiffany (who also run Bloggy Boot Camp) are willing to feature YOU, as long as you are willing to be patient and support other bloggers while you wait. I was mostly patient. Missy at the Literal Mom did have to talk me down off one ledge. But we shall speak not of such things. (Ahem. Patience is not my strong suit.)

For those visiting for the first time, welcome. For those who have been coming here for a long time, thank you. This is a humor blog with a literary twist. Or possibly a literary blog with a humorous twist and some sappy wholesome stuff in between the swear words. Most of all, Jester Queen is a growing blog, and I am grateful for every single visitor. Because I blog, I’ve made real friends without meeting them in person. (Though I just met a few at the Aiming Low Nonconference!) I’ve found unexpected wells of wisdom and support. And I’ve had some awesome and revealing conversations in blog comments. I’ll paraphrase another favorite writer’s phrase here. Andra Watkins says of all the places on the internet that you could choose, you have come here, and I am so grateful.

A little bit about me. I just celebrated my eleventh anniversary with Scott, the love of my life. My kids, Caroline and Sam, both have Asperger’s syndrome. For Caroline, the early manifestations included gross motor dyspraxia and echolalia. For Sam,anger issues and impulsive behaviors have been the chief symptoms. To answer a couple of common questions, my children are fully vaccinated, and the vaccines didn’t cause their autism. It is genetic. They don’t have any real dietary needs, though they are both picky eaters, so I have to work to smuggle them the nutrients they need. Finally, I don’t think they need curing. Therapy to help overcome obstacles? Oh yes. But if Caroline did not have Asperger’s syndrome, she would not have this incredible well of empathy. (Although some people with Asperger’s struggle to empathize, autism comes to each person a little differently, and it is a stereotype to think that everyone with Asperger’s can’t relate to others.) Sam would not have the extraordinary focus that allows him to dance so well. I do not want to discount the struggles of parents whose children are dealing with profound autism. But so often, those are the only stories others hear. My kids’ experience has been vastly different.

And I don’t come without my own quirks. I have bipolar syndrome. I channel a lot of my mania into my fiction writing and in my editorials over at Sprocket Ink. My novel Divorce: A Love Story was published by a micropress called Throwaway Lines. Right now, it’s in e-book format, but my editor says we hope to have a paperback available by fall. (Maybe late fall.) You can find it for $2.99 on or at Barnes and (And even if you don’t have an e-reader, you can use a Nook or Kindle for your computer.) But I don’t believe my bipolar causes my creativity. Rather, it hinders it. When I am cycling (this has nothing to do with bicycles, it has to do with mood swings), I lose my ability to write. I do have a day job, teaching college English online. But I don’t blog about it. Ever. Too much of the funny stuff would violate student privacy. Too much of the grumpy stuff would get me fired. And too much of the happy stuff would be so academic and esoteric that it would bore the pants off of any rational blogger.

I’m loud, profane, and since last year, I’ve lost forty pounds, bringing me down to 183, with an end goal of something like 150. I’m overjoyed to be featured on SITS today, and I thank you for reading my little ramble. I have one last favor to ask. Two of my writing buddies, Lance Burson and Cameron D. Garriepy, have composed pieces for the America’s Next Author competition. If you could take a few minutes out of your day to read and vote for them (on the right side of the pages I linked to, where it says Authorname’s story is…) , it would mean so very much to me. They are extremely talented, and I would love for either of them to win.

Thanks again for visiting! I look forward to being bloggy-friends.

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


SITS Day — 100 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Congratulations on your weight goal. That’s amazing.

    What great pictures. I’m so grateful and humble for you promoting Cam and I for america’s next author. Thank you from the bottpom of my robot heart.
    Hop over and visit Lance’s recent post We Got The BeatMy Profile

    • Thanks Alison. It sounds like he lived a long and happy life and was very fulfilled. It was great to connect with his family and tell them the whole story of his morning in our house.

  2. Thank you for sharing your loss, your children, your struggles…your life. I appreciate how you laid it out there for all to see. I only read the post for today (Happy SITS Day, btw) but I do believe I will read some more, and check out those authors you mentioned.

    • Thanks Laurie! I’d love to see you back for more. (And I can absolutely relate to being swamped on someone’s SITS day and needing to role-call-and-run!)

  3. Visiting from SITS!

    Sounds like you have a handful at your house! Lots of personalities going on! 🙂 Congrats on the weight loss!! I blog about health and fitness and love hearing stories of womens’ journeys through the fitness world.
    Hop over and visit Jennifer’s recent post LÄRABAR Review and Giveaway!!My Profile

    • Good health is so important to me. I hate the ‘culture of thin’, but I want to have a long life and do everything I can to keep it a healthy one!

    • Thanks so much. I agree, it really matters that he was not alone, and he was very well loved. I loved getting to tell his family how he held my kids and just smiled. They said he had always always loved children.

    • Thanks Amber! It’s always good to get to know another parent in the same boat. Sometimes it can be a lonely road raising special needs kids! We’ve all got to hang together.

  4. Congrats on your SITS day, Jessie. I gave up waiting years ago lol.

    Sorry about your neighbor. At least he lived a nice long life 🙂
    Hop over and visit Carrie’s recent post Wrapping it upMy Profile

    • Years ago? Seriously? Maybe something went wrong. I’ve been waiting since January, so it really does take a L-O-N-G time, but I’m pretty sure they try to get to everybody!!

      • I was pretty active when i first started blogging with my family blog. That was….almost 5 years ago. I think i stopped visiting SITS regularly after a few years.
        Hop over and visit Carrie’s recent post Wrapping it upMy Profile

  5. Congratulations on your SITS day. I hope it’s a great day for you.

    I’m glad you got to know your neighbor. Our favorite neighbor is 94. He’s still doing really well but has slowed down a bit over the last year or so. I will be so sad when he’s gone.
    Hop over and visit misssrobin’s recent post My Kind of Fairy TaleMy Profile

    • Yes! I know exactly what you mean. I used to visit a woman when I was fifteen. She was 86 when I started visiting, and she ultimately died five years later. I learned so much from her. I think it’s because I grew up emotionally close to my grandparents, but I have a lot of respect for people in their 80’s and 90’s who are still going strong. I have one grandfather left. He is 97 and still going strong.

  6. Thanks for this honest intro. And for mentioning that autism is not caused by vaccines – huge pet peeve of mine. I will definitely follow your journey. Going to check out the rest of the site now.
    Hop over and visit Deb’s recent post Slaying the Guilt SnakeMy Profile

    • Yeah, the vaccines debate drives me crazy. My kids were born this way. I knew Caroline had autism when she was a newborn. It was something about her inability to latch and suck properly when nursing, I think, or about the way she responded to sounds. They say you can’t tell that young, but I could. With Sam, it wasn’t obvious for a couple of years, but every signal was there from the beginning. And when kids don’t get vaccinated, they up the danger level for the rest of the population, not just themselves.

      • Craaaazy. I was a hospital administrator before my current mom/writer gig. It’s called herd immunity, people!!! Anyway, thanks for adding to the sanity.
        Hop over and visit Deb’s recent post Hall PassMy Profile

  7. I once had a second grader with Asperger’s when I taught, and he had such empathy and was so sensitive (in a good way!). He taught me as much as I taught him!

    Congrats on your SITS day!
    Hop over and visit Ginny Marie’s recent post Impulse BuyingMy Profile

  8. Wow! You are indeed a very interesting person! Happy SITS day. I am a follower on Twitter, thanks to the #Blogtober, but you can’t really learn that much about a person just by tweets. I had never heard of aspbergers before I started watching “Parenthood” but if they depict it correctly, you must be a very patient and loving mother!!!
    I look forward to reading more!
    Hop over and visit Alexa’s recent post Kathryn’s Butterflies!My Profile

    • Thanks Alexa,

      Parenthood doesn’t do a bad job, but Asperger’s isn’t like some disorders that are more predictable. It comes to each person differently, and it would be impossible for one character to stand in for all people who have it. What’s really good from my perspective is to see it represented more, and represented fairly in mainstream media. Albert Einstein probably had it, for God’s sake, and Bill Gates DOES have it. So it can come with some big positives as well. One of the Nobel prize winners in economics … I think two years ago? had it, and he said point blank that his Asperger’s was what allowed him to have the focus to develop the ideas that won him the prize.

    • I would say look into the glycemic index. It isn’t just about losing weight, but also about learning what it IS that makes a food healthy or unhealthy, so that when you get to, say a restaurant with no really good options, you can make an informed choice about what to eat.

  9. I am so sorry to hear about your neighbor but SO thrilled for you to be featured on SITS!!! I adore your blog. So proud of you, lady!!
    Hop over and visit Julia’s recent post Heavy GreyMy Profile

  10. Well hello there! First, I am so sorry to hear that your neighbor passed away. 🙁 It’s good that you did get to know him and got along. I haven’t had the best of luck with neighbors. Horrible experiences actually.

    Congrats on your SITS day! MAJOR accomplishment. I expect to be waiting a few years. LOL Patience is really not my thing either.

    The blog is awesome! You’ve done a great job.

    Hop over and visit Crystal’s recent post Slow Cooker (Crock Pot) Peanut Butter and Hot Fudge CakeMy Profile

    • I’ve had some awful neighbors too. Shudder. I think it’s still in the ‘months’ but only barely. I’m pretty sure I applied back in January? And have come round on the horn just now? But they do get around to everyone, and it’s SO worth the wait!

  11. Congrats on your SITS Day – I can tell from one post that you truly are a positive person – a smart ass, which I love, only because I have a lot of that in me too – but one that looks towards the good things in life!
    Hop over and visit Andi’s recent post Crushing it in SonomaMy Profile

  12. Very sorry for your loss. That’s a terrible thing and I’m sending good thoughts for his family. I hope you have a wonderful SITS day (it’s great to see a fellow writer on here) and as someone who channels her anxiety and depression into her writing, I know where you’re coming from! Can’t wait to read more!
    Hop over and visit Ericka @ Creative Liar’s recent post Meet MelMy Profile

  13. Happy SITS day to you! I hope you enjoy all the extra comment bloggy love today 🙂 I love your honest, insightful intro – we really get a sense of who you are.
    Hop over and visit Kim’s recent post A Vow to my ChildrenMy Profile

  14. Yay on your SITS day! Thank you for being you and for all you do. I hope eveyone will pick up a copy of DIVORCE becuase it’s a great story. Have a great SITS day. I will never forget mine!
    Hop over and visit SAM’s recent post The MartyrMy Profile

  15. I hope you have a wonderful SITS day — how lovely of you to direct people to help a couple blogging friends at the end of your post!

    • They are truly wonderful writers, and I know lots of us are cheering in their corners. It’s not ONLY a popularity contest that they’ve entered, but that part sure helps.

  16. Congrats on your SITS day. Sorry to hear about your neighbor. I like what you said about your kidds not needing to be cured. I like humor blogs, wish I could write one, so I’ll be keeping up with you on FB and Twitter.

  17. I am so sorry that you are sharing this day with a loss – but I am so very happy that you have your day in the spotlight! Well deserved! Plus, I loved learning more about you! xo
    Hop over and visit ilene’s recent post The Big Greasy DinnerMy Profile

  18. Jessie, happy anniversary. I saw a different celebratory post over the weekend when I had very little internet. I hope you and Scott had a lovely celebration.

    And, congratulations on being featured on SITS. You work so hard at making these connections, and they couldn’t have selected a better or more deserving writer.
    Hop over and visit Andra Watkins’s recent post Limp BiscuitMy Profile

    • Thanks Andra 🙂 Ultimately, everyone who asks and keeps in touch gets featured, which I think is very cool. I forget if we had connected or not when I had my tenth anniversary last year, but that was the other (re)post 🙂

  19. Glad that I found you via SITS. Thanks for sharing your journey with BP and raising kids with Aspergers. Loved the post your wrote on your anniversary. Well done. I will definitely keep coming back.
    Hop over and visit Mariama’s recent post A Muse comes out.My Profile

    • Gladly!!! You have been possibly the best thing I could ever ask for, a patient listener, for these last few months. And seriously. I LOVE reading my Literal Mom!!

  20. Happy SITS day I enjoyed reading your post. I’m gonna hang out for a bit and get to know you and your family better.

  21. Okay. I have a confession to make. I have no idea HOW it happened, but I am not a subscriber! Or I should say that I WASN’T, but have now subscribed.
    And so because of that I missed your SITS day. 🙁
    So… HAPPY SITS DAY!!!!
    I hope you forgive me. 😉
    Hop over and visit Dawn Beronilla’s recent post From Tiny-Tot To ToddlerMy Profile

    • Don’t worry – I keep figuring out that I’m not subscribed to people’s facebooks. Typically, it means I was logged in as my Jester Queen page when I clicked like, and it only counts for my page (and doesn’t add to the person’s numbers) not for me as a human. Facebook is a whack job. And don’t worry! I got much SITS love!! And this just means the love keeps coming. Muah!