A Place of Safety
I expect simple behaviours here. Friendship, and love.
Any advice should be from the perspective of the person asking, not the person giving!
We have had to make new membership moderated to combat the huge number of spammers who register
















You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > Literary Merit > Things Are Looking Up!
Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78383] Thu, 15 September 2022 15:07 Go to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13737



I have a long association with organisations who support folk with varying disabilities, physical and intellectual, including children with highly complex needs. Partly as a result of this I have wanted to run a challenge that embraces disability. Things Are Looking Up! is that challenge

[Updated on: Thu, 15 September 2022 15:09]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78404 is a reply to message #78383] Sat, 19 November 2022 21:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pedro

Toe is in the water

Registered: March 2014
Messages: 93



A warm welcome to Altimexis,  a new contributor to these pages with his fine story for this challenge.
Also not to be missed is Toby Johnston's second challenge entry.

Good work guys.





Pedro
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78405 is a reply to message #78404] Sat, 19 November 2022 21:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1558



"Pedro wrote on Sat, 19 November 2022 21:17"
A warm welcome to Altimexis,  a new contributor to these pages with his fine story for this challenge.
Also not to be missed is Toby Johnston's second challenge entry.

Good work guys.




--
"Love in a Chair" by Altimexis was one of the first stories I remember reading on Nifty, way back in 2007/8. 18 months earlier I'd had to retire from work due to increasing disability (though not requiring a wheelchair), had turned 50 in the same year, and was hiding from life by immersing myself in stories, interspersed with bouts of savage depression.  Altimexis' novel was one of the things that gave me hope to cling to. "Best Wheel Forward" is a worthy piece to stand alongside it - thanks. I greatly enjoy his other writings, but they didn't (for me) have quite the same visceral impact.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78406 is a reply to message #78404] Sat, 19 November 2022 22:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13737



"Pedro wrote on Sat, 19 November 2022 21:17"
A warm welcome to Altimexis,  a new contributor to these pages with his fine story for this challenge.
Also not to be missed is Toby Johnston's second challenge entry.

Good work guys.

--
I was explaining the trials and tribulations of wheelchair users to someone today. I used Corridor Skittles to describe how the perosn behind the chair is visible, and the user invisible.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78408 is a reply to message #78406] Sun, 20 November 2022 08:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pedro

Toe is in the water

Registered: March 2014
Messages: 93



"timmy wrote on Sat, 19 November 2022 22:18"
I was explaining the trials and tribulations of wheelchair users to someone today. I used Corridor Skittles to describe how the perosn behind the chair is visible, and the user invisible.

--
About the only places where my late partner was not invisible in his chair were the junk markets in the Netherlands. Quite the opposite. It was like the parting of the Red Sea. The reason? The high number of mothers pushing baby buggies, determined in their objective and giving no quarter. Everyone kept out of their way.  They used to glare at me, but still had to give way. At 14 stone plus, my 'baby' was bigger than theirs.



Pedro
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78409 is a reply to message #78383] Tue, 22 November 2022 18:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altimexis is currently offline  Altimexis

Getting started
Location: New York City
Registered: March 2010
Messages: 6




I'm not sure if it's proper for an author to post, but the topic of this story challenge is near and dear to my heart. Perhaps it gave me an unfair advantage in interpreting the picture, but my career involved working with people with disabilities. Not that my profession makes me a better story writer and I'm perhaps guilty of telling the reader more than they could ever want to know, but there is much more of a story here that I can see and others would miss, based on my background. The kid in the picture, cute as he is, has a much more significant disability than most may have realized. This kid isn't a paraplegic - at least on my side of the pond, paraplegics don't use motorized wheelchairs. Manual wheelchairs weigh little more than a decent bicycle does and their more compact, easier to maneuver, able to fit in tight spaces and much easier to transport in an ordinary vehicle. They also cost about a tenth as much as the one shown in the picture. A so-called high paraplegic - someone with no fuction below the armpits, may elect to use something with a motor for longer distances, but there are motor-assisted wheelchairs that use motors in the hub to augment manual function. As with an e-bike, they look like a regular wheelchair, but with the assist of a motor when needed.

Getting to the picture provided, not only is the wheelchair motorized, but it's a fully decked-out model designed for someone with only limited use of their hands. The chair is impossibly heavy and it requires a lot of space when traveling on a bus or in a van. When traveling by air, the chair has to be checked and the passenger must be lifted in and out of their seat. The airlines have a terrible track record when it comes to losing these chairs, whcih can cost as much as a nicely appointed BMW 3-series sedan. In my story, which takes place in New York, travel by city bus is practical as all MTA buses have built-in ramps or lifts and usually two sets of seats that lift out of the way to allow space for a wheelchair, with belts to fasten it down.

The kid in the pic has good trunk control and is able to lean forward without tumbling out of the chair and landing on his face. He's able to use his right arm to support his head, but his fist appears to be clenched, which probably is from some form of spasticity. He's left-handed, as the joystick control is on the left. I chose a diagnosis of HSP because it fit the picture, but there are a number of so-called disabling conditions that could account for the kid's appearance in the picture. I doubt that he had an injury and he was probably born with his disorder.

I must agree with Pedro that I have never found people in wheelchairs to be invisible. For one thing, there is almost never someone behind them, pushing them. My best friend in university had a rare form of dwarfism with useless legs and we went everywhere together. He did use a motorized chair - actually a small golf cart - for mobility on campus because of the distances involved, but when we went out on the town, it was always with his manual chair folded in my trunk (aka the boot). I can recall only one time he asked me to push him, when there was a long distance to go from parking and we were running late. Otherwise, he was fiercely independent, as are most people with disabilities that I've known or treated over the years. The only place one would see wheelchairs being pushed is in the hospital. In a school, kids may openly stare at a kid in a wheelchair. Far from invisible, kids tend to give the wheelchair a wide berth - like the parting of the Red Sea. Of course for the wheelcchair user, the bigger issue isn't visibility but navigating the large number of kids standing in immovable groups. It's not uncommon for kids to mount a bicycle bell on their wheelchair to deal with the human obsticles.

I'd like to commend the other two authors for their efforts in writing stories about a young man with a disability. The stories might not have been a good fit for the kid in the picture, but they certainly embodied the spirit of the challenge.  I'm disappointed that there were only three entries, however. It's difficult for most people to think about love in a person with a disability. Sexual function in persons with disabilities has been the subject of a number of books. There are professionals who have devoted their entire careers to the matter. The kid in the picture more than likely has normal sexual function, but most people with spinal cord injuries do not. It is a challenge for able-bodied people to conceive of sexuality in people who can't feel their genitals. It's good for us all to remember that the primary sexual organ is the brain. There is no little head without the big head.

NW happened to bring up my first story, Love in a Chair, which is now a bit of an embarassment to me. I'm in the process of rewriting it into a more coherent and realistic story of two boys who fall in love, and then face the challenge caused when they're in an accident that leaves one of them paraplegic. As an aside, the character of Craig in Best Wheel Forward is based on a character for a story I started to write after Love in a Chair, based on a kid with an amputation due to Ewing sarcoma. Perhaps someday I'll revisit that early attempt and write Craig's story as well.

As some of you may know, although this is my first story posted to IOMfAtS, it's far from my first story. I've been writing gay-themed fiction for about 17 years, starting with my first posting of Love in a Chair to Nifty. I have an extensive portfolio of stories posted on AwesomeDude.com as well as on GayAuthors.org, where I'm a so-called 'Signature Author' and have the distinction of being the sixth-most prolific author on the site. I'm not one to post my stories everywhere as some do, but the theme for this challenge was one I couldn't resist. I've long enjoyed IOMfAtS and look forward to future posts.
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78410 is a reply to message #78409] Tue, 22 November 2022 19:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13737



Of course authors may post!

We have had at least one story with a wheelchair user in it on the site for some time. I half considered offering it as an entry, but it was not mine to enter. He's a fiercely independent person with regard to his self powered chair

[Updated on: Wed, 23 November 2022 19:39]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78411 is a reply to message #78410] Tue, 22 November 2022 20:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13737



I've been wonderimg if I dare create a challenge that embraces my two real life drivers, disability and boating.  I volunteer for two charities whose objectives are to help folk with disabilities have fun afloat.

This vessel looks pretty ordinary until you look harder, but I modified it with a supportive seat for non and semi-ambulant folk, with rear view van mirros for those who cannot turn around, and it now allows those with ambulatiry difficuties to learn all the way to a formal UK powerboat licence. This boat is a 5m RIB wth a 50hp Suzuki outboard engine

https://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5330&private=0

The third person aboard wanted to see a training course in progress. The seat occupanty lost her lower body abilitiesin a riding accident when she was 14; Blue hat guy is one of my powerboat instructors (I was the chief powerboat instructor at the time) and red vest guy is from our certification authority conduction the centre's annual inspection. He learned a lot that day.  The boat will do about 25 knots, 2 up

https://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5331&private=0

At a different disability centre I have just taught a 13 year old boy on the ASD spectrum to a full UK powerboat licence. I taught him on a 5.5m RIB with an 80hp Mercury engine, which will do 35 knots, four up; two up it will probably hit 40 knots. I could measure it with GPS but I'm rather busy at that speed!

We also go sailing in specially configured boats

What do you think? Would a disability-plus-boating challenge fly? Folk with disabilities have sexual needs, too.
  • Attachment: IMG_0008 2.jpg
    (Size: 121.89KB, Downloaded 401 times)
  • Attachment: IMG_0014.jpg
    (Size: 69.39KB, Downloaded 441 times)

[Updated on: Tue, 22 November 2022 20:54]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78413 is a reply to message #78410] Wed, 23 November 2022 19:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13737



"timmy wrote on Tue, 22 November 2022 19:31"
Of course authors may post!

We have had at least one story with a wheelchair user in it on the site for some time. I half considered offering it as an entry, but it was not mine to enter. He's a fiercely independent person with regard to his self powered chair

--
I was expecting someone to know the story!  Still am!!



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78414 is a reply to message #78413] Wed, 23 November 2022 21:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Pedro

Toe is in the water

Registered: March 2014
Messages: 93



"timmy wrote on Wed, 23 November 2022 19:39"

"timmy wrote on Tue, 22 November 2022 19:31"
Of course authors may post!

We have had at least one story with a wheelchair user in it on the site for some time. I half considered offering it as an entry, but it was not mine to enter. He's a fiercely independent person with regard to his self powered chair

--
I was expecting someone to know the story!  Still am!!

--
I'm guessing you mean 'Just Hit Send' by Grasshopper. 
Heard anything from him recently? It must be about eight years since his last contact.






Pedro
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78415 is a reply to message #78414] Wed, 23 November 2022 22:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13737



"Pedro wrote on Wed, 23 November 2022 21:52"

"timmy wrote on Wed, 23 November 2022 19:39"

"timmy wrote on Tue, 22 November 2022 19:31"
Of course authors may post!

We have had at least one story with a wheelchair user in it on the site for some time. I half considered offering it as an entry, but it was not mine to enter. He's a fiercely independent person with regard to his self powered chair

--
I was expecting someone to know the story!  Still am!!

--
I'm guessing you mean 'Just Hit Send' by Grasshopper. 
Heard anything from him recently? It must be about eight years since his last contact.

--
I do, yes. I'm reading it again, yet as if for the first time.

We will not hear from Grasshopper again.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78416 is a reply to message #78415] Wed, 23 November 2022 22:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Toby Johnston is currently offline  Toby Johnston

Getting started
Location: United States
Registered: September 2022
Messages: 2



Chiming in as the 3rd author, I had actually just finished Grasshopper's "Just Hit Send" and its following stories when this challenge was posted. I did really enjoy the whole series.  I will readily admit that Grasshopper's story line definitely influenced my story as I have had very little interactions with anyone who was as severely disabled as the boy appeared to be in the challenge picture.  I had to go back to college to an acquaintance who broke his back falling off a roof at a frat party. 

I did feel that Danny, the boy confined to the wheelchair, was rather passive--often carried by Jordan.  I very specfically wanted Ian to be more independent and driven than that--hopefully that came across.  As a Navy veteran, I had those I'd encountered through the Wounded Warrior Project in mind.  
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78417 is a reply to message #78416] Thu, 24 November 2022 13:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Altimexis is currently offline  Altimexis

Getting started
Location: New York City
Registered: March 2010
Messages: 6




I was going to reply with Just Hit Send too, but I'm a bit slowed by my own recovery from hip replacement surgery, just done on Friday.

Yes, Grasshopper's Just Hit Send was a major inspiration for my own writing, and it was one of the reasons why I wrote Love in a Chair. I wanted to create a story that was more realistic regarding people with disabilities and that emphasized their independence. It also dealt with sex in a disability - a bit too graphically I'm afraid. The whole story was over the top, which is why I want to rewrite it not to make it both realistic and still relavent.

I remember reading a story about a character ASD. As I recall, the author himself was on the spectrum. I'm certain it was one of the early authors on GayAuthors.org, but I just don't recall who it was, nor the name of the story. My brother's autistic and I recently posted a story that tangentially reflected his life.

Sure, I'm up to a story about disabilities and water. It would be a bit of a challenge though. I know a lot about disability, but virtually nothing about boating.
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78418 is a reply to message #78417] Thu, 24 November 2022 18:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
nys

Getting started

Registered: February 2020
Messages: 3



"Altimexis wrote on Thu, 24 November 2022 13:29"

I remember reading a story about a character ASD.


--
Perhaps: Thirty-Two Faces by Kevinchn at GA.
http://www.gayauthors.org/story/kevinchn/thirtytwofaces
Re: Things Are Looking Up!  [message #78421 is a reply to message #78418] Tue, 29 November 2022 02:29 Go to previous message
ray2x is currently offline  ray2x

Really getting into it
Location: USA
Registered: April 2009
Messages: 429



I wish I could write as well as all these brilliant writers on this site can. I'm proud that I was a teacher, coach, counselor, and friend to the many folks I had in my classes. Their families were wonderful. They trusted me with their children. Recently, I took control of the situation where a student began to have an epilitic seizure, and all the training I had was intact. I look forward to read the entries.
Previous Topic: Halloween Stories 2022
Next Topic: Thanks
Goto Forum: