Wednesday, September 29, 2010


You may have noticed there are several new options to the left of the blog site. The additions are in regard to several requests I have received to make my blog posts available by email or RSS feeds. Look to the left of the site and you’ll find an orange square with marks that resemble a radar disc or maybe airwaves (with ‘Subscribe in a Reader’ below it). Click this icon, the resulting page presents several different options including my blog post in more of a text format. 

To the right of the display are several other icons, including ‘Google’ and ‘My Yahoo’. Each represents a a different company’s platform for receiving blog posts and incorporating the information in email entry pages (viewable when you sign-in). It is really cool, and you’ll have the option of reading the updates when you sign-on.

Look just below this group of icons and you’ll find a short ‘sentence’ to receive the blog by email. Click it, enter your email ID, verify your service sign-up in your email and a notification of updates will be emailed to you when I post.

Above the orange icon is a list of social networking platforms. Click any of the icons and you will be able to share information from my blog with your friends on the different networking sites. Give it a try and you’ll see just how easy it can be.

Of course, further down on the left side are the archived copies of my blog posts.

Take care!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Why do people never understand me? I don’t really like crowds and it is not a big thing that I don’t talk a lot. I know what I want and my Mother knows too. My Dad sometimes seems to have a problem with me not wanting to play a lot of games, but he is really hung-up on baseball and me somehow becoming a super player. I thought my interest with the ball was what he wanted but when I was concentrating on handling the ball and not batting he just blew his stack.

What makes him think I will ever be able to play ball?

I liked the part about chattering that ‘hum batter, batter’, but I just could never get the batter part of the thingie. But I was really good at the ‘hum, hum’ part.

What’s the big deal with talking all the time? If I wanted to talk I would do it.

I like to say, ‘Hum, Hum’.

I don’t understand why people are always getting mad and crying. There must have been a reason for everyone getting upset we went to the mall and I started screaming. But I did not like that part of the mall. In fact, I had never been there. Why couldn’t we go in my favorite door, the door we always go through?

Everybody knows I don’t want to be touched. IT HURTS!!  Why did they grab my arm when they pulled me over to the bench??

And the kids were pointing and laughing. Why did those kids start laughing at me when I was sitting on the bench? Daddy tried to stop me from rocking, but everybody knows I like to rock. Why can’t they just accept me for being myself and let me be comfortable?

Why didn’t Daddy stop the kids from laughing at me? What’s so funny?

The other day, when I colored that picture in the kitchen Momma said I did ‘Good’. She’s always saying that but I just don’t get it. She is always giving me coloring books and saying, ‘Good job’. 

And who is that lady, ‘Grandmother’? She is always excited when she visits but I don’t think it is that good. I don’t understand…and then she cries.

I can talk if I want too. Just let me be me, leave me alone, especially at night. I never want to sleep and don’t want to sleep now. I may only be a little kid, but leave me alone, by myself.

I want to color something now.

I have autism.

This blog entry was written after a discussion I had with one follower on Twitter. Her family has not faced the challenge of having a child with autism, she has the challenge of 2 autistic children in the family. My effort with this writing was not to be overly dramatic with the character, but rather to use the thoughts, or at least the thoughts that an autistic child might be thinking, even though he is not able to communicate in a manner to make his thoughts be known. My creative liberties allowed me to inject the idea that an autistic child is thinking on the level that most of us are thinking, but evidence does not indicate this is happening. For anyone with an autistic family member, or friend – I am sorry that more of my story is fiction than fact.

 Autism is a disorder of neural development that basically impairs communication and social development. There are many facets of this disease and attempting to describe the ‘template person’ that would be the example that includes all possibilities of the disorder is an impossible task. But something that seems to be a commonality among many sufferers is a lack of communication skills (can not speak appropriately; do not understand what is being said, and/or can not comprehend the appropriate emotions for particular circumstances).

A constant rocking motion while sitting or standing is also a possibility, while hypersensitivity to touch and being irritable or uncomfortable in a new place can also take place. Concentrating on a small portion of a whole object, or item when much more is available is another behavior displayed by a person with autism.

An overbearing characteristic of non-autistic individuals is ignoring the person, expecting them to fit-into unsafe or new situations, or making fun of the autistic person. This takes place often with children, including bullying and making fun of different behaviors.

There is a strong genetic basis for this disorder, but it is not understood whether it is caused by mutated cells, or genetic variables that will one day be discovered and consider common variables.

Recently I read an article, supported by research, which indicates childhood immunization shots might either cause, or lend some children to being more susceptible to contract this disorder. Indications of autism are most often recognized by parents in the first 2- or 3-years of a child’s life, but can be deceptive and misleading to even the most alert parent due to the fact that many children develop normally, as their cohorts and then regrees into known autistic behaviors after the ages of 2, or 3. For the most part different types of behavioral and cognitive interventions improve deficits, but there is no known cure.

If you are new to autism and my story causes you concern or the desire to become involved contact a local autistic support group in your area, or tweet me at @_andybryant and I will get you in touch with some people that I know who will be glad to supply information or contacts.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Interim (9/20/10)

Good day everyone, I hope everything is going well for you all. Sorry for being a way for a couple days, I’ve been creating a webpage for a men’s choir that I sing in. The job is not done, but the site is up and active. I have a few more things to change or add and it will be completed, at least for now.

Just an update, I am working on “SHUT-UP Part 3”, along with a piece for a follower on twitter (I am not sure if she’s following on the blog yet), and another short-story on autism for another follower. One person is supporting her Mother through some chemotherapy and as you probably know things can be quiet tough. While talking about it recently (actually we were tweeting) she obviously was stressed and I mentioned a couple things that might help with stress. During our discussion she agreed that it would be nice and I mentioned that I would write her a story, sort of a medicinal piece. Of course this discussion took place while I was working on “SHUT-UP Part 2” and there was no spare time. But there is now!

The other piece came to me this afternoon. Like I mentioned there is another follower that I’ve been in discussion with concerning 2 children that are dealing with autism, the sad part of the disease and the societal prejudices and treatment. I was touched by the fight the family is putting up for the rights of autistic people, so I decided to write something in support of this too.

I hope the new story lines interest you. If you’re familiar with my writing style you know that neither will be a report on the situations, I committed the storylines and my writing efforts to make each of the followers proud.

…And of course Part 3 is on the way, although I have to warn my anonymous guest that ask for the end, and commented something like, ‘How’s it going to end?’, that this might not be the end, or maybe it will be. Relationships don’t end in a half-hour, or even in a few hours. Just how long in real-time has the story line for “SHUT-UP” lasted anyway, an hour (maybe less)?

I just wanted to let my faithful followers know I’ve not forgotten you and the writing; something is coming in the next 24-48 hours.


Sunday, September 12, 2010


Missed “SHUT-UP PART1” click this link before proceeding.---->

(Continued from Part 1)
While pondering how to reach the knife and at the same time stay safe she heard more sounds coming from down the hallway.

Like a statue she froze while listening to silverware being moved about in a drawer or maybe being dropped on the floor.

“Damn it honey! We ain’t got no more butter knives? Why ain’t we got no clean knives in this damn house” And then like a reoccurring nightmare she heard him walking down the hallway.

With her hands starting to shake uncontrollably, wild thoughts of being discovered and killed started to race through her mind once again. She pulled the door closed quickly, but with great effort to remain quiet - she did not want to snap the door bolt. She thought, “He might realize the door’s been open.”

“Be careful – be careful – be careful” she muttered so quietly the sound might be considered by some as a thought that merely seeped from her brain and made it across her lips.

As the cadence and sound of his approaching steps increased she stumbled across the bathroom and fell to the floor. The impact was hard on her body as her buttocks slammed to the floor tiles. Her mouth popped open, similar to an autonomic response and her hands immediately covered her lips to ensure no sound came out. Once she was sure no sound had been made she reached behind herself and rubbed the parts of her body that had hit the floor, but never allowing her eyes to move away from the door.

She screamed out, “There should be some silverware in the dish washer!”

But was that answer sufficient to halt his advance down the hallway?

His steps paused for a moment, and she heard him mumble “Damn knives better be in the dishwasher”. His steps could be heard diminishing in a measure of sound; it seemed he was moving back down the hallway.

She thought, “Oh my”, while placing hands over her face and massaging both temples. Tears started to stream down her checks and she gasped for a breath while searching for control of her emotions.

At that moment the knife re-entered her thought processes, “I need that knife. How can I get out of here, reach the knife and get back to safety without him hearing me?”

“I found that damn knife!” he called out. “It was in the stupid dishwasher. I don’t know why you can’t put things up where they belong?”

“You should know to check the stupid machine without having to ask!” but she kept the thought to herself.

‘Hey, that felt really good to think’. Without realizing it, a moment of empowerment was taking place.

She continued her silent assault, “You’re a grown man and think that you can come down here and kick my ass or kill me, but you can’t find a stupid knife? What a wimp! You’re no real man!”

Thinking like this seemed to strengthen her resolve to get the knife and survive. Standing up from the floor she flexed her fingers similar to when a person cracks their knuckles and fingers, then slowly walked back over to the door and turned the door knob. Peering out, she could still see the knife across the hallway.

“I only need to move a few steps across the hallway, pick it up, and get back through this door.” she mumbled to herself. “It’s only a few steps and he is not even on this end of the house. His lazy ass is sitting somewhere down there eating a sandwich.”

Without hesitation she pushed the door open, took a step through its frame, cautioned a single glance down the hallway and sprinted to the knife. Quickly lifting it up in front of her face she chanced one more glance down the hallway and then turned back toward the bathroom.

Completing a single step toward safety, she paused, considered racing down the hallway and pushing the knife into his chest. “That would end it” she thought. “It would only take a moment. No one would blame me for doing it; in fact they would probably wonder what stopped me from doing it a long time again.”
The next moment she pulled a chair over that was sitting in the hallway, maybe the chair he placed in the hallway earlier, and sat down. It was as though she had lost control of her mental capacity to deal with reality.

As if in another reality she touched the point of the knife against her thumb and turned it ever so slightly like a person turning a key in a lock. But there was no lock in the thumb and the knife was not a key. A small drop of blood oozed from her finger and covered the tip of the blade. She twisted the blade against her thumb for few more seconds and then, as if someone sprinkled water across her face she snapped back to reality, noticed the blood covering her finger tip and palm of her hand. Raising the bloody hand in front of her face and similar to a person eating the melting ice cream from a cone, she slowly licked the blood away from her skin.

After a few moments of deliberate effort to eliminate the blood from her fingers and palm she lifted the knife in front of her eyes, recognized the blood on the blade and wiped it against her pant leg.

“That wasn’t hard” she thought. “The blade is sharp and it wouldn’t really hurt him, at least not for more than a few seconds, and then it would be over.”

“I could even drag his chauvinistic ass out to the back yard and bury him like that girl I read about in the newspaper. No one would even know, I could tell them he went on a trip and never came back.”

With that thought in mind she stood up, took a few steps down the hallway toward the television sounds while twisting the knife between her fingers. Blood continued to drip down to the floor while she advanced on his position. Occasionally she lifted her hand towards her mouth and licked the blood off her skin. Thoughts of the blood dripping on the floor caused to her consider that the blood didn’t taste bad and that he would only hurt for a few seconds. As she continued with a methodical procession down the hall she wiped her hand against the wall, trying to be inconspicuous as to where she wiped the blood. Her self-empowering assurance that it would be easy to kill him bolstered her resolve to commit the murder.

“But it would be murder in self-defense” she reminded herself and that it would be easy, like pushing the “Easy” button sitting on her boss’s desk. She reached out and gestured like the button was just pushed, then said out loud, “That was easy”.

A smile came across her face.

Looking into the living room where the television was located she was unable to find him. Immediately her heart started to beat uncontrollably. She thought, “Oh no, oh no, oh no. I’m going to turn around and he’ll be standing directly behind me.” While that thought racing through her mind the sensation of a heart bursting through her chest seemed real.

“There you are!” he said. Her reality heard the male voice booming like an overhead sound system at a football game. “What have you been doin’ honey?”

As he wrapped an arm around her shoulders a subtle whimper could be heard while she held her breath, trying to veal her fear. Her body continued with a slight tremble. Gulping a quick breath of air she whimpered and tears streamed down her face. He hugged her tightly and said, “Its ok, things are OK baby.”

Thoughts continued to stream through her mind with the location of the knife now a fleeting thought. How she could kill him seemed to be the final thought that she was coming to terms with, “But he’s not acting crazy like he was a few minutes ago…” she thought to herself as she draped her chin over his shoulder.

“Maybe I can change him.” She squeezed him and recalled better days, when they first met; days filled with parties, dancing, trips to the beach and making love.

“Maybe he just had a bad day. How can I kill him when he’s not acting crazy?”

At the very moment the “bad day” thought no longer existed in her short-term memory, and as-if he was waiting for her thought to complete he commented, “I thought I was going to have to come down there and kick your ass, but I can see your not acting crazy anymore.”


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ode to a Cat

Once there was a day
When my life was just normal,
That was before you came to stay.

Before I even gave you a ball
You played with plastic rats,
Jumping, twisting, ending in a fall.

You stalked my feet until I screamed, "Scat"
Then would run and hide under the sofa,
Until you got too fat.

Being heavy stole your skills of a cobra
But it brought you to my lap,
Where we developed our own euphoria.

You always loved to sneak a nap
But awake was the challenge years later,
Nothing phased you not even the dog's yap.

In the last days you were not much of an eater.
Instead forced by age to lie about and sleep,
Hours would pass away, you woke much later.

Now in my mind is where I keep
Memories of our life together,
And where silently I will weep.

*** Author's Thoughts ***
Recently one of my friends lost a long-time friend, his cat Petey. Grief was at a premium, as many of you may understand having experienced the loss of a pet. During our conversations I thought to myself, "I'm going to write an ode for him, something for Petey." After he went home and I had time to think about my personal commitment to write, I had to remind myself of what makes-up an ode. 

An ode is typically written by a poet to praise, or dedicate comments to someone or something. If you read different odes you will find that there are 3 main formats to present this kind of poem, but a lot of people use words that rhyme but follow no particular cadence. While reviewing the rules of an ode I was reminded that cadences exist, such as ABABCDECDE. This mean that the 1st, & 3rd, then the 2nd & 4th lines rhyme, etc... 

I decided to use my own cadence of ABA, BCB, CDC, etc., meaning I would use groupings of 3 sentences, with the 1st & 3rd sentences each containing an end-word that rhymed. The end-word of the 2nd sentence would be required to rhyme with the end-word in the 1st and 3rd sentences of the following 3-sentence grouping. Of course the end-word of the 2nd sentence in each segment would allow me to introduce a new ending sound to the ode. My thought was that this cadence would tie each segment rhythmically with the previous segment. This proved to be difficult, but pleasing once I was done. Let me know what you think about my ode.