Saying No To Naked Women

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Overview

Story about family relationships & forgiveness. Shows invisible behavior patterns behind personal problems.
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Overview

Story about family relationships & forgiveness. Shows invisible behavior patterns behind personal problems.
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What People Are Saying

Robert Bly
"It is a work of art - well-written, rich in detail, emotionally charged, with characters that come to life on the page."
Ellen Hawley
"Saying No's strength lies in its warmth and in its insistence that people's limitations don't cancel out their goodness."--(Ellen Hawley, Author of the novels Trip Sheets and Open Line)
Waddy W. Moore
" . . . a fun read which incorporates interviews naturally and seamlessly . . . . [an] absorbing and delightful story."--(Waddy W. Moore, Professor Emeritus, University of Central Arkansas)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780979176654
  • Publisher: A Healthy Relationship
  • Publication date: 7/27/2008
  • Pages: 460
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Ride of His Life


Say hello to my friend Jack," Katie said to the baby on her lap. The baby smiled, showing off her four teeth.

"Wow, you like Jack. You've got good taste in men!"

She looked at me, reached out her arms, and said "Dyah!"

"Sandi wants you to hold her."

I sat down in a rocking chair with Sandi on my lap, covering my face for a moment. When I took my hand away, she giggled.

"Do we have any books I can read her?" I asked.

"I'll get you some. Sandi loves them."

"You're a smart little one, Sandi. Yeah, I can see by the way you look at me. You meet my gaze and you don't turn away. I like babies with character. You're a winner, kid!" I said.

"Dyah!"

"Want to look out the window, Sandi? Come, let's see what's playing in Theatre of the World today."

Sandi looked out intently at the hospital grounds.

"That's an oak tree right there. And those green things on it are called leaves. See the birds flying into the tree? That's where they live. That's their house."

"Oooh! Ahdyah!"

Katie rocked a tiny newborn named Paul, stroked his face, sang to him, her sweet voice filling the room. He calmed down, and lay in her arms, content.

"Look, Sandi," I said, opening up a book. "Here's a red ball." I took her finger and traced the ball. "Ball. Can you say that?"

"Baw!"

"You said ball."

I kissed her on the forehead, and pointed to the ball again.

"Baw!"

"Hey, Sandi, that's dandy!" I sang out, bouncing her gently on my knee. I read more books, changed her diaper, walked around the room with her, fed her, and sang her to sleep. But even though I wasenthralled with Sandi, I was watching Katie, too. A fountain of tenderness and caring poured out of her.

I rocked Sandi in my arms, watching as her eyes moved rapidly back and forth behind closed lids, wondering what baby dreams were playing in her mind.

"I want a child! I want to see her grow and learn. I want to watch her personality unfold and blossom. Am I any closer to being a father? How long, will it take, oh God?

"It's time for us to go," Katie said softly.

"Do we have to? I don't want her to be alone when she wakes up."

"She has a big circle of admirers. The next shift of volunteers is already here, and they'll be right beside her when she opens here eyes."

"I'll agree to leave if I can come back to see Sandi next week."

"Deal. I can see you do love babies. The look on your face has been priceless."

"I'd say the same about you. You have a queen-sized heart."

She blushed and looked down.

"If only men could see that."

"But I see it, Katie. And I sure ain't a woman!"

"Maybe only real men can see it."

I put Sandi down gently in her crib, covered her, and kissed her forehead.

"Goodbye for now, Sandi. Sleep well. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon."

"What's her story?" I asked when we were out in the corridor.

"The police found Sandi in her crib, her mother dead on the floor from a drug overdose. Child Welfare can't locate her father. When they brought Sandi here, she was suffering from malnourishment and psychological trauma. She's come a long way."

"What happens to her next?"

"Adoption."

I felt like I'd been stabbed by a long, cold steel blade.

"Oh no!"

"Adoption isn't a bad thing," Katie said gently. "I know how easy it is to become attached to these babies. But even when we give it our all, we're not their parents. And that's what they need, two people who will be there for them all the time and always."

Katie took my hand. Overhead, in trees that rimmed the street, birds sang glorious harmonies. We were quiet.

"Shall we walk to Becky's Cafeteria?" I asked"

"Yes. I like strolling."

"What else do you do in your spare time, besides loving babies?" I asked.

"I like to work with tools, to fix things, to make things. Right now, I'm volunteering at the Midwest Trolley Museum. I love those old streetcars."

"Streetcars!"

"Is there anything wrong with that?"

"Nothing at all. It's just that I've never met a woman who loved trolleys besides my Mom. When I was a kid, she took me on the last runs of New York's streetcars. It was one of the few things we did together. We had so much fun! How'd you learn to use tools?"

"My Dad taught me to fix things. I find it relaxing. At the museum, I'm restoring an old streetcar that used to run on the Como-Harriet line. We finished rebuilding the motors about a month ago. I drove it for the first time last week."

What kind of music do you like?"

"My Dad's a jazz musician in his spare time; he plays the horn. Sometimes I join his band on the piano or vocals."

"If you sing to me, I'll totally melt."

"You shouldn't have told me that. Now I have you in my power."

She started singing softly, a rich, bluesy tune that blended in with the birds.

"I think I died and went to heaven. A pretty lady who loves jazz and streetcars."

"Now tell me that you played varsity basketball as an undergrad, and I'll know I'm really dreaming," she said.

"Sorry, I'm not athletic and I'm not coordinated. Sports aren't my thing."

"Phew! I'm glad to hear we have a few differences."

She smiled, but then her expression changed.

"There's something bothering me. What's going on between you and Semaria Anders?"

A sandstorm filled my mouth and throat, roared down into my stomach and blew it inside out.

Ask her questions. Focus on her. Stop doubting yourself!

"Why do you ask?"

"I'm very interested in you. But I've seen you with Semaria more than once. She has a reputation for sleeping with a huge number of men. What do you see in her?"

I tried not to feel defensive. Katie had every right to ask that question, and I gave her credit for being forthright about it. I knew she wasn't criticizing me, but I felt uneasy.

"There's a lot more to Semaria than that."

Katie looked right at me. Her eyes turned dull.

"Oh. I see," she said quietly.
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Table of Contents

Part I Homecoming 11

1 Starting with a Dream 13

2 No Room for My Child 23

3 Questions for the Jazzbird 36

4 An Oath of Silence 46

5 No End to the Pain 57

Part 2 Adventures 75

6 A River of Pennies and Nickels 77

7 An Unfinished Eggcream 88

8 Things in Common 94

9 Something You Can't Buy 101

10 Jack-in-the-Box Questions 107

11 Good Lord, Remove this Poison from Jack 118

12 Whack that Cougar with a Frying Pan 130

13 Gezuntheit! 138

14 Working the Grappling Hooks 147

15 Engulfing, Moonless Dark 158

Part 3 Visions & Revisions 169

16 The Emergency Room 171

17 Two Counts of Guilty 176

18 How the Fly Dies 184

19 A House Without Music 194

20 The Jewel My Father Gave Me 203

21 Music I Learned from Butterflies 215

22 Lifesavers 224

23 The Child Who Would Be My Mother 243

24 One-Winged Airplane 255

25 Saying No to Naked Women 266

26 The Woman Inside the Beautiful Body 280

27 Just the Reflection of My Desires 291

28 The Curse of the Tollefsons 300

29 Celia Comes to Me 309

30 For Love or Money 327

31 Catching the Red Onion 333

32 The Invisible Woman 350

33 The Ride of His Life 360

34 Into the Katiedid Woods 371

35 The Yellow Cat Howls Again 387

Part 4 Resolutions 405

36 Screwy Mirrors 407

37 Dinner at the Rosegarden Inn 426

38 Avinu Malkenu 432

39 Wrong Turn 446

About the Author 451

Acknowledgements 453

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2008

    If at first you don't get it....keep reading.

    At first, I was a little disconcerted. It's not that the story wasn't engaging, but I kept wondering how the story was going to connect to a man with porn values and lead into his transformation through psychotherapy 'as the back of the book suggested'. I felt a little frustrated and almost gave up - sorry, I'm being brutally honest. But, I'm very glad I hung in there. Now I see how the author was setting up the reader with the backstory so that the reader could understand how Jack got to where he was. As a psychotherapist, I found the last two-thirds of the book to be quite engaging. What a unique way to spread the benefits of psychotherapy! The book helped me understand myself better, and allowed me to incorporate Jack's emotional healing into my own. That being said, I had done a lot of my own emotional work prior to reading this book, and was fascinated to see how much of Jack's journey mirrored my own. I found myself discussing the book with several of my clients. Just today, one client in particular, jotted the title of the book down. He said he would go right out to Barnes and Noble to order it. He is someone who grew up with deficits in the emotional intimacy department, and is wondering why he picked the partner he did. I will gladly pass this book on to my colleagues and future clients, and wish Dr. Yale great success. Perhaps, some nervous soul, who would not otherwise consider therapy, will pick up your novel and find some direction. Lucille Zimmerman, M.A. Littleton, CO

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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