Welcome to my blog, Dancing in Nut Flour. My name is Nannette Silvernail and I am the author of the book, Dancing in Cornmeal: Living with Autism, published in 2002 by Writers Club Press and still available from your favorite book retailer. Dancing in Cornmeal is the story of raising my daughter, Lauren, who is severely challenged by autism. In 2002, Lauren was 10 years old. I created this blog in 2010 because there seemed to be a renewed “sleeper hit” interest in my book, and my opinion of blogs had evolved since I first heard the word a few years ago. In 2002 I would never have considered making my entire book free to read online, but the times they are achangin’. I am now a subscriber to multiple blogs and feel that I’ve formed relationships with these bloggers and we help each others’ causes—physically, if there is a product being sold, but also in less tangible ways. Also, within the last few months, I have personally purchased 2 hardcover books that I discovered in blog format and which were ultimately compiled from their blogs. So, my intent is minimally 3-fold:
• To enhance the conversation about autism in as broad a context as you can imagine. I have some commiserating to do with parents in similar boats. I also hope my stories of trial and error may help parents and professionals better navigate similar paths. And my husband and I have become some pretty amazing gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast free, soy-free Feingold-following, SCD cooks over the years. I hope to share a number of original recipes, answer questions, and point you in the direction of awesome non-original recipes.
• To follow up my story that ended in my 2002 book, Dancing in Cornmeal: Life with Autism. The title of my blog is a play on my book’s title, because eliminating certain starches (including cornmeal) from Lauren’s diet turned out to be an unexpected, hope-renewing cure for many of the severe problems associated with her autism. I had promised in my book that I would journal her progress in the website dancingincornmeal.com, and I did for a few years. But that website has since been pirated by randomly-placed Cialis and Viagra ads, and the correction and prevention was too time-consuming and expensive. (We stopped paying for the site and thought we’d shut it down, but we still find it out there, if you want to see for yourself.) I am very thankful for Google’s free Blogger alternative. Anyway, it was my husband, Craig’s, suggestion that Dancing in Nut Flour was a great “turning point/rest of the story” title that would beautifully set “the old” apart from “the new” much like Donna Williams’ Nobody Nowhere and Somebody Somewhere. (Yes, he said all that. And yes, gluten-free flour concoctions are now thought of as too easy and ordinary in our house—we bake and cook all Lauren’s food using almond or pecan flours where flour or breading is called for in recipes.)
• To still market my book, Dancing in Cornmeal, and perhaps eventually compile its sequel, Dancing in Nut Flour. Dancing in Cornmeal is a great read, I promise you. It moves me every time I pick it up as reference, and you’d think someone who can quote from it wouldn’t be so easily moved by its stories. But writing a book for publication is a daunting task and, despite pleas from friends, I have refused to take on that anxiety a second time. My full-time job is making my husband and daughters’ lives as filled with delight as possible and there’s not a spark left for igniting delight when my nose is to the keyboard/grindstone. I usually write between 10 P.M. and 5 A.M. and . . . I am 8 years older now. If I was Grumpy from sleep-deprivation the first time around . . . let’s just say I imagine it would now be upgraded to The Evil Queen. However, as a writer (you’re born one or not), I long to write. Though I hate to confess it (as someone who admires most those who uncomplainingly sacrifice greatly for worthy causes), much of my sadness during Lauren’s hardest years was not having anything for me or of me—all was put aside while we barely idled in survival mode. So now I’m sticking a toe back in the water with this blog. The essays I’ve written in my head while showering Lauren or after experiencing a tear-jerker moment with a stranger who “gets it” out in the scary world—all will now have a place to come alive and permanently live on this blog. If someday they are sufficient for “Part Deux” of the amazing journey of Lauren Silvernail, so be it. If not—if they are only meant to be a spout and a trough for a full writer—also so be it. I am very grateful for the relief valve.