Pooks and Her Dys-Brain and the Character Who Stole It From Her

MJ O’Malley has issues.

ADHD, dyscalculia, and associated cognitive disorders, and–

MJ? She just shrugs and calls it her dys-brain.

Pooks has issues.

ADHD, dyscalculia, and associated cognitive disorders, and–

Pooks? She just shrugs and calls it her dys-brain.


Detect anything? Of course you do, because you’re smart.

So’s M.J. [We won’t say anything about Pooks because that would either be vain or sad, depending on, you know, what we confessed.]

There will be more about dys-brain and how it affects both sleuth and author in future books but it’s first addressed in Revenge of the Killer Flamingos. That is a fun, weird, and wacky mystery with a big dollop of romantic comedy on top.

Pooks didn’t set out to write an #ownvoices book.

It’s simply that when she was told to write in first person for her first ever cozy mystery, her first person voice ended up being a bit unorthodox, shall we say?

Okay, as soon as she started writing “I” voice, words starting plopping out on the screen the way she thinks and talks. She realized it was revealing a lot about how words come into her brain [whether speaking or writing] in a more evident way than when she writers in third person and is firmly in someone else’s head and thinking/speaking/writing in someone else’s voice.


Sidebar: She once shared a Google hangout with two of her editors. One suddenly gasped and said, “No wonder she writes in long convoluted run-on sentences. She talks in long convoluted run-on sentences!”]

To which Pooks adds, You should imagine them in her brain, before they’ve been processed for public consumption!


She realized editing was going to be a bear if she had to turn all those words into more normally-expressed sentences.

A few people read the first few chapters and told her they loved it and to keep going and, for better or worse, she did.

For now, Pooks would like you to know that dys-brain is term she made up and applied to her own brain, since she has more than two dys-things going on up there, and trying to imagine which one causes which problems makes her head hurt.

Dys-brain is her [and M.J.’s] affectionate term for the fun, weird, and wacky brain they share.

It’s possible that others who have the same or similar disorders might find the term offensive. Nobody has reacted that way so far, but it’s certainly possible and she just want to make her use of it clear. If someone you know doesn’t like it, then please refrain from using it.

That’s just good manners.



A few resources Pooks likes:

How to ADHD A terrific youtube channel that answers many questions you may have.

“The image above shows differences between an adult with ADHD (right) and a non-ADHD brain (left). (The purple halo surrounding the brain image is an image artifact and not part of the brain.)” Click image to read more.

ADDitude Magazine website

A Checklist/Screening Quiz for Dyscalculia http://dyscalculia.org
[Pooks did not submit the checklist or do anything else on this website and doesn’t recommend or warn against it; she simply thought the questions asked were helpful and answered them to further her own knowledge about how dyscalculia can affect her life. BTW, she scored a perfect 16 on that one! Yay for Pooks!]

Another Checklist/Screening Quiz ADDitude Magazine
[Some of these questions echo the ones above, but some are different, and again Pooks hit them all. Go Pooks Go!]

Feel free to leave comments. Do you have other resources you like? Questions about things here that don’t make sense because they were written by someone with dys-brain who often writes things that don’t make sense? Pooks will be happy to see and try to answer, or at least point us both in the right direction to answers!

Warning: Nothing here on this page is an invitation to debate. Comments are welcome, but not comments that argue or dispute. This is my space and my rules. Thanks!


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