Saturday, February 11, 2017



Get your advance tastes here for GROWING UP NEIGHBORLEE, published by Uncial Press.

Every other Saturday through April, when the book is released, you'll get a piece of a scene. The weeks in between will feature scenes from another April release: SANCTUARY, part of the Guardians of the Time Stream series, from Desert Breeze Publishing.

I stood there for a few seconds, staring at the Wishing Ball, with my hand firmly tucked in Mrs. Silvestri's, just amazed. I wanted to get up there, and I was playing with the idea of using my trick to get up to the counter for a closer look, when Angela walked into the room.

My trick was something I had discovered quite by accident, just a few months before. I was momentarily unsupervised at the cottage while the houseparents were busy with the babies. I wanted a cookie and I didn't want to wait for someone to open the cupboard and get it for me, so I climbed up onto the table in the kitchen and walked across it to the counter. A logical progression for a nearly-five-year-old, right? The problem was the four-foot gap between the kitchen table and the counter. I didn't stop to think, I just took a couple steps back and made a running leap, like I had seen someone do on TV the night before.

My jump took me up to the top of the cupboards, and I hung there in the air, for a good ten seconds before drifting down to the shelf where the cookies sat out in plain view.

I could fly. Kinda-sorta fly. Not zipping through the air like a jet like a certain alien superhero. More like controlled gliding, or going straight up, hovering, and coming straight down. When I got older, that talent made it possible to get incredible photos. But again, I'm getting ahead of myself.

The thing is, for a nearly-five-year-old, I had no idea that I couldn't or shouldn't kinda-sorta fly or hover or whatever the formal label was for what I could do. I just figured it was another ability that was part of growing up, like tying my shoes, counting past one hundred, telling time, and reading. By this time, I had already figured out that learning a new trick before one of the adults showed me how to do it earned some uncomfortable attention. I didn't get in trouble for learning to read and tie my shoes faster than normal, but the fuss and extra attention made me uncomfortable.

Explain to me why it's so unusual to learn how to read by leaning over the shoulder of the person reading to us before bed, and picking out the words on the page and following along? Just pay attention, and it's easy to learn dozens of necessary tricks to get along in the world. Of course, being less than five years old, I didn't have that reasoning worked out in my head, I just did what worked. Explaining what I hadn't verbalized was next to impossible.

By the time I walked into Divine's, I had figured out that it was smart to keep new tricks hidden until I saw other kids near my age doing the same thing. So, I kept my hovering to myself, and practiced at night, when everybody was asleep, or when I was alone on the playground behind the cottage.

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