YAPC would like to welcome S.L. Mauldin to the blog today. He is here to share some information and an excerpt from her book Life Sliding. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go pick up a copy!
As his junior year in high school comes to an end, Gavin Bailey realizes his privileged world as the most popular kid in school is a lie. To make matters worse his father, feeling his overly-indulged son needs redirection, sends him off for the summer to assist at a camp for children with special needs.
Suddenly forced to dabble in a world less familiar, Gavin’s past catches up with him at Camp Lift Me Up. An event from his sophomore year comes to the forefront at the same time he encounters a strange girl with multi-colored fingernails who refuses to issue a waiver for his arrogant behavior.
Initially convinced he is the only one suffering, Gavin faces a summer of harsh lessons in reality and eventually determines to make a difference at school his senior year. With the help of old and new friends, he implements a plan to stir up the social order, but will they be able to survive the fallout of what they’ve put into motion?
Those dreams where I’m trapped in a hallway at school were coming more frequently. This time, I didn’t recognize anyone, but I sensed that I knew them. Their faces conveyed expressions of disappointment, with me I gathered. As I tried to escape, their faces changed and everyone began laughing. The laughing grew louder and louder and suddenly, I realized I was naked. Just as my hands covered my ears to drown out the increasing laughter, the most annoying sound blared out, bringing me back to another unpleasant situation — called morning. It was likely that I had unconsciously pounded snooze more times than I should have. Late in the night when you are reluctant to go to sleep, you never remember the pain of dragging yourself out of a cozy bed, especially when you have to be somewhere on time. When the light from the hallway hit me as the door swayed open, I tugged a pillow over my head. “Gavin, get up!” Groaning, I said nothing and within seconds, I was snoozing again when I heard the irritating click of my bedroom light. “Gavin.” “Dad, really?” “Really nothing. Your alarm has sounded on and off for thirty minutes. Get up!” “Oh my God. Do you have to come into my room every morning and do this?” “Apparently I do if you can’t haul yourself out of bed on your own.” “Like you ever give me a chance before you start nagging.” “Watch it.” “Watch what?” “Gavin, get dressed. Now! You and I are going to have a conversation this morning. This attitude has gone unchecked for too long and it’s unacceptable.” # What my dad rudely planted on me during that scathing lecture set the pace for a day of misery. Along with his other pleasantries about my attitude, Dad informed me that he was sending me away for the summer. I’m sure I looked stunned, but what could I say? Under those circumstances, I knew it was time to shut-up because one more word that was brazen might have hindered my liberties during my upcoming senior year. Forget math and science or anything else for that matter because going away for the summer was the only thing owning my mind during my first four classes. From the first warning bell on, I counted down the seconds until lunch. By then I craved freedom from the teachers’ “blah, blah, blah” which was all I heard basically; that and the mental looping of the early morning commandments from dear old Dad. CLICK. Taylor latching her locker door sounded louder in the empty hall than it might have had it been buzzing with other students. “Gavin, let’s forget about lunch, I’m fat.” “Give me a break. Now, Chloe, she is the fat ass.” Most of our fellow parasites were planted in classrooms filling their minds with debris while others waited patiently in the lunch queue for their daily shovel of instant mashed potatoes painted with some powder and water mixture trying to pass itself off as gravy. My high school was no different from others and nowhere was it more obvious than the cafeteria. Just as the oceans divided the continents of the world, labels segregated the tables.
About the Author: S.L. Mauldin is a native of Metro Atlanta where he served in a management capacity for numerous years. After discovering some personal musings from the past in an old trunk, he recounted his affinity for storytelling. Since then, he has penned a few novels and several screenplays, one of which was optioned to become a major motion picture. Currently, in between sleeping and dodging traffic, S. L. Mauldin is editing his recent work while maintaining the hopes of rekindling an appeal to the stories like John Hughes once scribed.
Connect with S.L.: