Friday, August 20, 2010

He's...He's Getting Ready to DRIVE

I just waved good-bye to my son. He is going with his dad to the Driver's License Bureau to take his written test to obtain his driving permit. Yikes! When did he become old enough? I've already blogged about how quickly he grew up, and now, I'll have proof he is no longer my little boy.

If he passes his written test, this will be a huge step forward for him. He has Asperger's Syndrome and doing anything of this magnitude is a big deal for him. It's been a bit of a struggle to get him to this point. And actually driving will be another huge step. He is reluctant and worried. But one thing I've learned about my son is he has a great ability to push onward, and once he makes up his mind to do something, he will follow through beautifully. I have no doubts he will learn to drive well.

I'm just not gonna be the one to teach him, okay? That journey will fall to his dad...after all, I've done the home educating...right? Fair is fair.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Neighborhood Caliopy

I'm beginning to spend time re-acquainting myself with the main character and settings which are part of my second book titled The Powerful Odor of Mendacity. I love the story, characters, and time period I'm writing about.

I recently wrote a short story for the FaithWriters Writing Challenge and the theme was "hear". I decided to use the setting from my second book to launch my story. This story will be modified, possibly expanded, and added to the book. I want to post it to give my potential readers a taste of what's in store in my second book. I hope you enjoy it! (By the way, I won fourth place!)

Neighborhood Calliope
By Dee Yoder
07/10/10 ~4th Place

I lean my head out the window and watch curiously as Henry’s mom, barefoot, chases him down the street. She is screaming at the top of her lungs while waving a neon orange Hot Wheels track. Henry, his blond hair bouncing with each step, glances over his shoulder. His wide grin belies any fear of his mom and her weapon.

“Henry! You stop right now, you little brat! If I catch you, so help me, you’ll know you’ve been caught! Do you hear me? Stop! Now!”

Her cigarette-touched voice croaks out the last word as Henry leads the parade through a couple of driveways before doubling back to his own yard. Just as he approaches the front door of his house, he pretends to stumble over a rock, allowing his mom to set upon him with orange-blurred blows. He guffaws with each whack, as though the flopping race track rains love taps against his head and ears. They chase into the house and silence returns to the street. I wait a second or two and then give up; there will not be any more excitement from their side of the road.

Later, summer puts away her heat and shakes the cool out of the day as night approaches. I shoogle into my p.j.s and pull the light blanket off my pillow. I sigh as my head rustles against the scent of lemony clean sheets, and my eyes grow drowsy as my ears tune themselves into the night frogs’ choir. Their bee-rup bee-rup song signals my brain that all is well. Muscles put away their desire to tense and stretch, tense and stretch, as my body lets go of its daily plan. I drift into surrendered sleep.

Suddenly, angry shouts snap my brain to attention as adrenaline calls the troops to order along my unseen nerve highway. I sit up, barely breathing, heart pounding, as I listen for the source of the din. My ears scan the air waves until they pinpoint the recognizable sounds of the neighbors’ voices.

“Why do you always let him come home like this? Every ding-dang night he plows in here, drunk as a skunk, hollering and stumbling—stinkin’ up the house. I’m sick of it! You hear me? Sick of it!”

A crash of breaking glass accompanies the roiling angry words. I jump.

I peel the covers back slowly and crabwalk my way to the window, keeping low so my reconnaissance remains undetected. I peek over the sill, the gentle night breeze blowing filmy curtains against my face. I huff the fluff away and eye the neighbors’ kitchen window. It is lit with yellow light and the light flows out of the window to spill its weak color over the darkened drive that separates our houses. I shiver as I spy an ominous shadow looming large in the kitchen next door. The shadow lurches jerkily as other shadows join it, wrestling together with grunts and groans and slaps. Shrill cries and sad sobs accompany the dreary sight. My knees shake.

A woman begins to keen.

“It’s the war, Philip! You know it is,” she wails. “That stinking jungle and those bombs—shaking him all night long--he weren’t like this before he went over there!”

“I don’t care anymore what his excuse is. It’s got to stop! You hear me? I can’t stand it no more! I can’t take it!” and a man’s gravelly voice launches into loud sobs.

Silence walks in and sits down at their table. I almost think I can hear the trio breathing. My heart beats in pity and sends out its own waves of sound. The thuds hurt, they are so hard against my chest. I feel prickles of tears crowd the edges of my eyes. Despair seeps out of their open window and snakes its way to where I’m hiding. It joins hands with my soul’s sorrow, settling a dark cloud, heavy and thick, over me. My body trembles under the weight.

“Jesus, You know their pain. You know what poor Alan has suffered in Viet Nam. Bring them comfort, Lord.”

My ears cock and turn toward my parents’ bedroom. The whispered prayer is barely heard and my ears fine-tune to catch the meaning. “Love them, Jesus. Love them.”

The prayer stops. Hope and peace sprinkle their cures over my spirit. I sigh and lift my hand toward the neighbors’ kitchen.

“Jesus, love them,” I echo as I fling imaginary grace against their window panes.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Shake Me to Wake Me!

"Shake Me To Wake Me"
by Steve Camp

I was born in a religious town
That had a very good name
Everybody wore their faith around
Like a ball and chain
People living so carefully
Trying to keep the image clean
But underneath all the sanctity
Things were not what they seemed, oh no

Salvation was nice and neat
It had four little laws
And that arrangement was fine with me
Cause it didn't really cost nothin'
But something that I read in my bible one day
Really shook my world
Jesus was talking 'bout Pharisees
He was talking 'bout me
So I fell to my knees and said

Shake me to wake me
I've been living too long in this fantasy
Shake me to wake me
Got to strip this man of mediocrity

Sometimes, when my heart is proud
I get full of myself
Self-righteousness will bring you down
I ain't better than nobody else
Other times, I drink the wine of complacency
I get comfortable, lackadaisical, so cynical
So I call to my Lord and say

Shake me to wake me
I've been living too long within this fantasy
Shake me to wake me
You've got to strip this man of mediocrity

You were born in a religious town
That had a very good name
You were wearing your faith around
Like a ball and chain
You've been living so carefully
Trying to keep the image clean
But Jesus is talking 'bout Pharisees
About you and me
You better fall to your knees and say

Shake me to wake me,
I've been living too long within this fantasy
Shake me to wake me
You've got to strip this man of mediocrity
Shake me to wake me
I've been living too long within this fantasy
Shake me to wake me
I been sleeping too long, put some fire in me

Put some fire in me
Oh, you got to shake me
Oh, you got to wake me, Lord
Lost in a fantasy