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CCI 1ST SECTION, ZONE: ARTS&LIVING, STATE 17:8:2

THE NEWS & OBSERVER

SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2011

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A

Arts&Living

taste

go

Sunday Dinner

Farm hands

Debbie Moose reviews dubious and downright silly diet fads. PAGE 2

On a farm holiday, you pay with hard labor and elbow grease. PAGE 13

www.newsobserver.com/arts

A horse pasture is bright with spring color at N.C. State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. TAKAAKI IWABU - tiwabu@newsobserver.com

SCENES OF SPRING

FIND MORE BEAUTY See more images of spring taken by our staff in a photo gallery online at

N&O photojournalists capture the season. More on page 11D.

newsobserver.com

An iris blooms in a North Raleigh family’s garden. It was transplanted from a relative’s yard in Missouri.

The broken shell of a robin’s egg, discarded from a nest, litters the sidewalk in Raleigh.

KEVIN KEISTER - newsobserver.com

ROBERT WILLETT - rwillett@newsobserver.com

With this ring, there’s quite a bit of confusion

Son’s sexting case inspires novel By Pam Kelley

I

step off the bus at Crabtree Valley Mall at 9 on a Wednesday morning, the first leg of a thrilling and possibly overOUR LIVES whelming day. I’m amazed at the ease with which this passes. Inevitably, on the mornings when S. Barton my entrepreneurial spirit Cutter is in full swing, the universe sets before me the one CAT bus that isn’t wheelchair accessible. Not so this day. I roll off the lift into the bus terminal relieved, yet not entirely convinced that I will still arrive at my first meeting at 11 with time to spare. I’m on the next bus within minutes and am surprised that I could be an hour and a half early to my destination.

Nearing my bus stop, I reach to tap the padded yellow rectangle, on a newly cleaned CAT bus, to signify my stop is coming up. The tone sounds as my hand makes contact with the pad. In a fit of spasmodic excitement, my right arm flails skyward, catching my wedding band beneath the edge of my joystick, and slipping it off my finger. I gasp as the ring plummets to the floor and rolls behind the locking mechanism for the wheelchair. I look around. Did the other passengers see what fell? As the driver removes the tie-downs from my wheelchair, I attempt to explain what I dropped and where. He does not understand. The excitement of the moment makes my diaphragm contract and in turn diminishes my breath. I manage a deep breath and connect my intent to my words one syllable at a time. Still, they don’t understand. SEE LIVES, PAGE 4D

STAFF WRITER

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n the hierarchy of dangerous teen activities – drinking, unprotected sex, reckless driving – the act of texting an explicit photo might not top most parental lists. But in “Exposure,” a Therese new novel by Fowler North Carolina’s Therese Fowler, two families are nearly destroyed when some naked photos prompt a sexting charge. While the book is fiction, Fowler, who lives in Wake Forest, was inspired by her own son’s ordeal. He had recently turned 19 when he was arrested in 2009 for sending explicit photos to a 16-year-old girl who was a friend. The charge shook Fowler’s family, as her son confronted consequences that could follow him for life. As it turns out, the book’s

timing couldn’t have been better. Sexting is in the national spotlight, as schools and law enforcement agencies struggle to deal with young people who “sext,” sending explicit photos, videos or texts by cell phone. The New York Times recently gave the topic frontpage coverage, with a story about an eighth-grade girl whose nude photo went to cell phones of hundreds of other middle schoolers. Prosecutors eventually dismissed the charge against Fowler’s son. But she realized she had the premise for a riveting story. She persuaded her publisher to let her set aside a novel in the works to write another inspired by her son’s experience. “I realized,” she said, “I had this unique opportunity to talk about this issue.” In “Exposure,” high school seniors Anthony and Amelia are young lovers who attend a private school in Raleigh called Ravenswood Academy. (No reference intended, Fowl-

er said, to Raleigh’s Ravenscroft School.) Amelia hides their relationship from her parents, knowing her overprotective father, a wealthy auto dealer, wouldn’t approve. Anthony attends the posh school only because his divorced mother teaches there. When Amelia’s father discovers nude photos of Anthony on his daughter’s computer, he calls the police. Anthony is arrested on a misdemeanor sexual offense, then Amelia is arrested when the district attorney launches a crusade against sexting. Like Anthony, Fowler’s son faced a misdemeanor charge of disseminating harmful materials to a minor. Fowler recounts this real-life incident in an author’s note in the book. She’s not revealing her son’s name to protect his privacy. And like Anthony, Fowler’s son was handcuffed and taken to the Wake County jail. A SEE SEXTING, PAGE 4D

‘Exposure’ author gives local readings Therese Fowler will give a reading at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books and 2 p.m. Saturday at McIntyre’s Books near Pittsboro.

ScenesOfSpring  

OUR LIVES The broken shell of a robin’s egg, discarded from a nest, litters the sidewalk in Raleigh. Debbie Moose reviews dubious and downri...

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