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Learning to talk.

When Nick was about 15 months old, it was decided that he might benefit from speech therapy.  The first time we met with the speech therapist, she said that we needed to encourage his thought patterns, his inductive and deductive reasoning, so that he might be able to develop speech.  It was very interesting to me.

Although we had been trying to encourage him to make sounds, we definitely needed to be taught what to do.  One of the first things that she taught us to do, was to mimic any sound that he made, even if it seemed involuntary.  She explained that he needed to develop the ability to mimic others in order to learn to speak.

So, any time that he made a sound, a cough, a squeal, a burp, we would copy him.  At first, he didn’t seem to notice our sounds, but gradually over time he began to turn his eyes towards us when we copied him.  Later we noticed that he had a slight smile on his face, as we copied him.  After many months, he finally learned to play the game.  In spite of the initial prognosis, he had gained the possibility of speech.

Finally, it was possible for us to model something and get him to try and copy us.  We have used this skill for many things, not just speech, and I will tell some of those stories later but the one that stands out in my mind happened when Nick was about 12.

We were all sitting around the dinner table, the six of us, and Nick coughed.  In an absolutely automatic response, we all coughed back.  We had been well trained.  With a huge smile on his face, he made a fake burp and as we all caught on to the game, we all burped back.  In a non-verbal game of Simon says, Nick would do something and we would all copy what he did.  He put his hand on his head, we all did it.  He put his hand on his tummy, and we followed suit.

By now we were all laughing.  Nick was leading us.  In that moment we were all connected.  It was the first time.  It was glorious.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.