There are some
Over to you, Paul.
In 2013, I became a widower with a teenage, autistic son. After caring for my wife for sixteen years, I decided I had a book inside me that needed to see daylight. I tried writing a self-help book about being a double caregiver. It was terrible. I tried writing a novel from my point-of-view. It was worse. Then, I thought, “How would my non-verbal autistic son express his feelings in a book?”
So, I began writing “Through Fisher’s Eyes.” This is a short novel about much of our life, as told by my son. I decided to add some fantasy to the story, and soon, I completed that book and wrote two more. Thus, Fisher’s Autism Trilogy” was born. I continued writing daily, using both original story ideas and my journals from being a caregiver.
In 2015, I completed “Saving Worms After the Rain.” This is a mystery novel with some Pennsylvania History. It includes gangsters, the Klan and a young autistic, psychic crime investigator. The second section of the book is mostly autobiographical and is a watered-down telling of my wife’s illness.
This year, (2018) I completed “Burning Bridges Along the Susquehanna.” It is a story about a teen girl and her young, autistic brother. They time-travel back to the old logging days of central Pennsylvania.
This is an excerpt.
Lily, the main character, is learning to
“This life as a time traveler is getting complicated. I think I’m going to need help,” Lily said. “Joe, will you teach me to shape shift?’
“Alright, but it’s very difficult. You must be patient.”
“I will. I promise.”
Joe reached into his satchel and pulled out some dried plants.
“What are those?” Lily grimaced.
“This is smartweed. It’s powerful medicine, very good for you. For those who have the gift of shape shifting, it helps you focus. When you become more skilled at shifting, you won’t need it anymore”
“How do you know I have the gift?”
“Hold out your hand.”
Lily held out her hand, palm up.
“Do you see that you have four lines running across the palm of your hand?”
“Yes, I see.”
“Most people only have three. You’ve been blessed with an extra line, as has Logan. You have an extra life in your body. You have the gift of shape shifting. Now, chew these weeds.”
Lily put the smartweed in her mouth and chewed. She began to feel light-headed, happy and warm. Joe closed his eyes. He began to chant in Munsee, then gave Lily instructions.
“Wait, Joe,” she said, slightly embarrassed. “I have to, uh, ask you a kind of weird question. What about my clothes? I want to be a shape shifter, but uh, I don’t want to come back, you know.”
“Well, yeah. When I come back to human form, do I get my clothes back?”
“That depends on your mind,” Joe said. “You will come back in the way you see yourself.”
“So, what do you mean?” Lily inquired.
“Don’t picture yourself naked.”
Joe put more of the smart weed in Lily’s mouth. She chewed, still looking slightly uneasy.
Closing his eyes, Joe instructed Lily.
“Now, Lily. You must master the power of your mind. Your mind controls your ability to shift. You must imagine a creature in the wild. Close your eyes, feel your heart beating and imagine your heart is inside that animal. I want you to imagine a hawk. Feel your heart beat inside the hawk. You are flying, high, fast and proud. Soar, Lily. Become a hawk.”
Joe opened his eyes. He smiled, giggled, then erupted in a deep belly laugh. There, before him, was a big white duck, quacking loudly, stomping angrily.
“Oh, Lily. We have so much work to do.”
is to write entertaining books that include characters with all levels of disabilities. It requires a lot of creativity, especially with non-verbal characters, but it can be done. I got the idea from Confucius. He used the
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Thanks, Paul, for a very inspiring post. I hope you all enjoyed it.
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