One book every ten years

I’ve been told more than once that the purpose of your first book is to help get your contract for the second one. (Also, I’m told to not quit your day job until after the third book is published, but I keep doing the math and I think that advice is for fiction writers.)

I’ve noticed that some writers are better than I am about coming up with topics for books. A children’s writer down the road from me, Lynn Sheffield Simmons, gets her inspiration from animals and her little books are now in accelerated reader programs in elementary schools. My good friend, Donna Fielder, follows the headlines with her terrific true crime books. She also works with really funny material from her column writing — it seems like she always has a project in some stage of development.


It has been almost a decade since I developed my last manuscript and managed to have “See Sam Run” published. The next one is coming along, thanks to an extraordinary collaborator, Shahla Ala’i-Rosales.

Shahla has worked with parents and children with autism for years, has helped educate a generation of certified behavior analysts, and produces informed research on the topic. It has taken us several years to put together what we hope will be a timeless guide for parents, young and old, who love and care for a child (or adult) with autism.

It’s basically this idea:

Art by Susan Sullivan, SUMY Designs

Art by Susan Sullivan, SUMY Designs










This is no easy task, y’all.

But Shahla and I have come to recognize that behavior analysis and mindfulness intersect in a way that can be powerful and life-altering for parents, their personal and professional allies, and the children in their care. 

Here’s a sneak peek from our proposal:

Our book starts in territory that others have explored – the emotional landscape above which all the hard work of raising a child takes place – and moves into the extraordinary territory parents of children with disabilities must work in. As no one has written about mindful parenting and parenting children with disabilities for general audience, our book will break new ground.

Parents make decisions for their children every day. Parents of children with disabilities often make more decisions, and sometimes continue to do so for the duration of their child’s entire life. Many of those parents also recognize that their children may lack the resilience to bounce back as quickly, if at all, if a decision turns out to be a mistake. Those decisions can often feel high-stakes to parents.

Through its conversational tone, accessible to busy and overwhelmed parents, this book will both offer parents stories that are insightful and steer them towards tenets unified by time-tested, wisdom-based principles. The work is also grounded in the ethical guidelines used by professionals. In this way, the book echoes not only emerging market in mindfulness and parenting but also emerging research on mindfulness …


  1. Matt Voegtle on February 9, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    No one can be you Peggy…. You are the best and we miss your company. Hope to see you soon

  2. TXsharon on February 9, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    I wish you had written this book 19 years ago. It’s hard to stay calm.

  3. Peggy on February 10, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Nineteen years ago I was a mess as a parent, Sharon, but a few parents talked me off the ledge and I’ll always appreciate what they did for me.

    Counting the days, Matt. I’ll be there in a few weeks!

  4. Sarah Perry on February 10, 2014 at 12:41 am

    This is great news, Peggy! I respectfully request a signed copy of the book when published. So proud of you, and so proud to know you!

  5. Carol Heinkel on February 11, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I have watched you raise my grandkids with wisdom, patience and a certain grace. I have learned from you and am so proud of you all. It wasn’t easy but the outcome was wonderful!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.