Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Today's Autism Fact:

Many people who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty processing everyday sensory information such as sounds, sights and smells. This is usually called having sensory integration difficulties, or sensory sensitivity.
I’ve been a very lazy author over the past three years. Life had other plans for me and my poor, weary muse so writing had to take a backseat. Now, happily, I’ve finally started writing again. And, as I’m a lazy author, I’m going to post an excerpt from one of my WIPs. The working title is The Shelter, but that’s probably going to change. This is the gloomier of the two stories I’m working on, which I save for dull or rainy days. This scene, however, is before things start going to hell in a handcart for Noel and Malik.
I hope you enjoy it.
And, before I post. I’ll leave this question for you. Answer the question and you’ll go into a draw for a book of your choice from my backlist or, if you’re an aspiring writer, I’ll do a free one chapter assessment/edit of anything you’re working on. The winner will be announced at the beginning of May.
The question: Which of the five senses could you not live without?

Now, without further delay, the excerpt.

It was clear, from the smell alone, that this was the studio. The room was flooded with light, which fell across the wooden floor, turning the boards to amber. Several easels beside the windows, and a work bench, scattered with brushes, jars and tubes of paint rested against one wall. Paintings, too many to count, covered the white walls in brilliant splashes of vibrant blues, whites and golds. I was drawn into a maze of intricate geometric patterns. I recognised the motif immediately, being interested in Islamic architecture.
I drifted toward a painting on an easel, mesmerised by the contrast of light and rich, dark blues, threaded with gold lines. I could’ve looked at it forever. “Beautiful,” was about all I could manage.
Bedford stood beside me. Close enough that his shoulder brushed mine. Close enough that I could smell his cologne and feel myself sliding toward being attracted to him.
“Thank you.”
“This reminds me of the walls of the Bibi-Khanym mosque.”
“You’ve been to Samarkand?”
“Years ago. I could’ve spent hours in there. Incredible mosaics.”
He nodded and smiled. It is amazing, isn’t it? I’d love to go back one of these days.”
“So would I.” My travelling days were over. Living in a high-rent area put paid to anything more than a week in a cottage somewhere, if I was lucky.
I trailed around the room, captivated, lost in a tangle of colourful mazes. Some of the canvasses were huge, at least six feet long and three feet high. I would’ve happily handed over my wallet and my savings for one of them to hang on my living room wall. Luckily, common sense prevailed, and I had to be content to look and covet. Bedford trailed after me, standing at my side while I studied each piece. The room had fallen into a silence broken only by Laney’s distant murmur.
“They’re terrific,” I told him, as I completed my tour. “Just remarkable.”
For a man who must’ve heard variations of those compliments for years, he was gracious enough to offer me a warm smile. “Thank you. I’m glad you like them.”
“I like them very much.”
“I’d offer you one but I’m pretty sure that would be considered bribery.”
“That’s very kind and, yes, I’d probably lose my job.”
“Well, we don’t want that, do we?”
I didn’t want to leave the studio. The heady combination of the paintings, the peace and the artist had become addictive, something I hated the thought of leaving behind. When Laney entered the room, I knew the idyll was over.

S.A. Laybourn lives in Wiltshire with her son and two needy cats. She works as a freelance editor and sometimes writes stories. Her alter-ego S.A. Meade writes gay romance. She loves cooking, reading, gin and tonic and the occasional glass of wine. She is not terribly domesticated and has trouble finding things that she thought she’d put in a ‘safe’ place.
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