Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Welcome to the Online Home of Dancing Mind Press & jEAn Kearns Miller

My name is Jean Kearns Miller and this is my first & so far only blog.
The blog is named after my still incubating micropublishing business, Dancing Mind Press. The name is registered as my DBA in the State of Michigan, Monroe County, I have a whole binder full of checks for its checking account, and on the title page of the book I did publish* I've printed "A Dancing Mind book."

Note: I used a vendor for this book but my goal is to launch a revised edition straight from DMP along with some other titles. They will all require among many things a solid doable marketing plan. Many things are delaying the real kickoff (mostly time & money) and it may be still some years till "fleet week."

*Miller, Jean Kearns. Ed. Women from another Planet?, a collection of writings & conversations by women on the autism spectrum about what it means to be both autistics and women. I'm proud to direct you to the wildly positive (all fives) 10 reviews and the one spoiler (ones) at the amazon site. http://www.amazon.com/Women-Another-Planet-Universe-Autism/dp/1410734315/

(A word about the title. Leading up to its publication & much more so in recent years, talk about autism--in particular, talk coming from know-it-all NTs in the P&P (parents & professionals) lifestyle--has been awash in extraterrestrial verbiage. This may have been unfortunately triggered not by the title of Temple Grandin's seminal book but by its bizarre transference. An anthropologist ON Mars becomes and anthropologist FROM Mars. I reckon the P&Ps must need a thick blanket of denial not to contemplate their identity as Martians. So they pulled a switcheroo, making Martians out of autistics, an attitude that has promoted well the false orthodoxy of autism as a puzzle. So why the title? It generated from a quite different source, that book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, an immensely popular book that conceptualizes gender in terms of the warrior Mars (men) & the amorous Venus (women). This book is of no use whatsoever to autistic women, except as a field guide to the mores of the neurotypical. Note the question mark in the book title about women on the autism spectrum, which perhaps asks readers to ponder what that means for those from neither Mars nor Venus. Another planet? Which one: mercurial Mercury? Jovial Jupiter? Many of us see ourselves as primary earthlings, people whose bond is with Earth, a planet currently under occupation by Martians & Venusians.)

A Rough Mission Statement
First, a preface

Dancing Mind Press began when I, in concert with other women on the spectrum, especially contributing editors Ava Baker, Jane Meyerding, Daina Krumins & Sola Shelly, realized that the terms offered by one of the leading publishers of books about autism were unacceptable. I suppose this qualifies as "no guts, no glory" but the issue came down to whether we would be willing to do our "Elephant Man" side show for the P&Ps with the vain hope of eventually taking over the reins of public discourse on autism. WFAP? really does provides rich information on women on the autism spectrum but in the context of (1) our lives as whole people (2) who are making our way through a world driven by systems of social & cultural treachery. We have plenty to say! People who have happened upon the book have written fan letters claiming that it:
  • changed autistic women's lives, in its authenticity & resonance with their realty as autistics which makes them see they are not alone.
  • provided parents with a source of hope, not based on the possibility of a cure, but on crucial insight previously unavailable in the P&P model
  • gave readers with all sorts of brain differences a sense of belonging to a larger neurological world that can make meaningful coalition possible & exciting in its prospects
  • gave multidisciplinary scholars something richly generative to think & rhetoricize about.

These needs are not being met in the larger book publishing industry. I dare to imagine that the presence of a fan base for the book such as I have encountered so far indicates the existence of many, many more who are highly receptive if not hungry for not only WFAP? but an array of works that will challenge, enlighten, move them. This in brief is my starting point.

Dancing Mind Press seeks to publish
  • Insightful work by different-brained authors based on the whole person model and eschewing the medical one. Various genres. Though individual conditions (e.g., autism, AD/HD) are included works are not limited to any one condition.
  • Works placing brain atypicality in a public, cultural, Systematized context to include social justice, civil rights, discrimination & stigma.
  • Multidisciplinary writings that can generate new ideas and transform or kick start thinking.
  • Works that affirm a necessary connection to disability rights & disability studies.
  • Elucidating works about life with an inconspicuous disability by those experiencing it.
  • Elucidating works by & about persons who have been minorities of one, so as to inform a definition of the concept of multiplicity (as contrasted with diversity) to expand our notions of difference.

For now this blog pretty much is Dancing Mind Press

Here on this blog I will,
  • Write stuff: informatively, expressively, persuasively, and aesthetically on an array of subjects & ideas.**
  • Publish your comments
  • Provide links and must read news bits for stuff related to my interests & themes.**
  • Move forward with the press to its launch partly by expressing the evolving mission statement.
Subjects & Ideas & Interests & Themes (a sampling anyhow)
Subjects & Ideas/ Major

  • Brain Power: stigma obliteration
  • Brain Liberation: advocacy for & celebratory acceptance of the different-brained, as the whole people we are.
  • Neurodiversity & Neurotypical (NT) Supremacy
  • Disability: all, any
  • So-called "Invisible Disabilities" (I prefer "inconspicuous"): all, any
  • Mental illness
  • Workplace bullying
  • Coming out neurologically
  • Media representations of autistics & other different-brained persons
  • Micropublishing & Small Business
Subjects & Ideas/More
  • The Death of the Common Good in the US:***
  • The System: the many systems & institutions each & all making survival a crapshoot
  • Combat veterans & PTSD
  • GLBT civil rights
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Immigration
  • Social Justice
  • Religious Hubris

Interests & Themes (besides the above)

Creative nonfiction~~fine art crafts~~Nelson, Lancs. England (my birthplace)~~Pendle & Pendle Hill~~ Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland (mum's bp)~~the MV Britannic (the ship we set sail from Liverpool on, April 1957)~~immigration to the States, the experience of~~In America~~Harvey Milk~~aerobic dancing~~West Side Story~~David Sedaris~~Ricky Gervais~~important people in my life who have died~~major depression (personal)~~ADHD (personal)~~
real estate listings~~Asperger, autism, autism spectrum disorder (personal)~~Brian Wilson's Smile~~Marygrove College~~nuns & former nuns~~rhetoric of writing~~clip art, fonts & publication design~~Flight of the Conchords~~the memory of the perfect presidential candidate, Julian Bond~~architecture~~documentary film~~all girl schools~~Amarcord~~spells, good & bad~~ fiber art & textiles~~Amelie~~poetry, mostly mine + the moderns, especially Dylan Thomas & especially "Fern Hill"~~art & artists~~geriatric cats~~cryptic crosswords~~IKEA~~community colleges~~Southwest Arts & Crafts Center (Ursuline campus) in San Antonio~~"The Daily Show"~~cats~~Fidji cologne~~the prose style of movie critic Pauline Kael~~teaching (personal)~~Citroen 2cv~~the other Citroen you see in all the French spy movies (the one with adjustable hydraulics)~~Dead Like Me~~the Lake Erie shore off Cleveland~~ Tulsa (mostly north of E 41st St)~~Carytown in Richmond VA~~Detroit!~~dressmaking & design~~breathtaking things~~people I can't bear because they think stupidly when thinking smartly is just as easy~~house & home decor/improvement shows & wedding shows on cable~~brick houses--cottages, tudors, craftsmans--built in the US in the 1920s before the Depression~~Law & Order: Criminal Intent~~egg cups~~a perfect steak~~a perfect gin & tonic~~a perfect cup of tea with milk in a bone china cup, served with, with, with a napoleon or a cream puff or an eclair or a cannoli or egg custard or all of those things in one go~~Earl Grey tea with Lavender~~Lavender~~archetypes~~Leonard Cohen's songs~~T. Berry Brazelton, MD~~transactional analysis~~liturgy~~cream of tomato soup~~seafood~~coastal California, probably especially Monterey~~the late British novelist, Paul Scott~~choral singing~~writing style~~knowing what became of old friends & others once significant in my life~~British Invasion~~making distinctions~~brilliantly designed gadgets (e.g., the rotary hand mixer)~~the 1958 Plymouth~~Morris Minors~~Marshall McLuhan~~Ovaltine~~tropical pastel colors: lime, aqua, orchid, periwinkle, lemon~~getting and (too seldom) writing letters~~Free Speech TV~~Motown~~going abroad~~gardening~~weird islands where people live, like Tristan da Cunha, St. Pierre et Michelon,the Aleutians, the Falklands, Saint Helena, and at least 500 more...and more?

Stay tuned.

All the best,


*** Until January 20, 1981, people across party, ethnic, regional, or religious lines took for granted the ethical principle of the common good, expressed in taxation for a vital public sector. After that date taxation was your money being taken by the government <--? (aka "Those bureaucrats in Washington"<--?) Entire generations have now emerged with no exposure to the principle of the common good, as an American value as well as the force behind our institutions.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I don't know if this is an appropriate context to ask such a sensitive question, but I didn't know how else to contact you. I am a 50 year old female aspie, read your book, thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was great that you had a wide spectrum of women on the autism spectrum. I identified with quite a few of the women and felt a greater sense of self-acceptance. I decided to google Judy Singer who wrote the Forward to your book and was horrified when I read her webpage http://www.neurodiversity.com.au/ It did not seem like the same Judy Singer. Her Neurodiversity Homepage was filled with hateful distortions about people on the autism spectrum (AS). It seemed like she picked the worst examples of humanity, such as Hitler, Eichmann, Neitsche, Mad Scientists, Fundamentalists and fanatics, etc. and was implicating them as possibly being AS. She based her hateful innuendos on the inaccurate premise that AS individuals are not wired for empathy. This assertion goes counter to the discussion in your book about empathy, a trait not lacking in AS. Also her support group for children of AS parents is also very insulting and hateful towards AS people. I think her actions are very hurtful, damaging and dangerous to AS people and would like to know why she did such a vile,outrageous turn-around and seems to have a vendetta against AS people. What can be done to counter the negativity?