Magnets and Ladders Spring/Summer Issue Now Online

Magnets and Ladders is an online magazine featuring work by authors with disabilities such as myself. You’ll find stories, essays, poems, articles about writing, and contest information. Even if you’re not a disabled author, I think you’ll enjoy this publication. It contains, among other things, two of my short stories and one of my poems. I’ll post these works here in coming weeks, but in the meantime, please check out all the wonderful work Magnets and Ladders has to offer at http://www.magnetsandladders.org/wp/.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

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Author Alethea Williams Rides Again by Abbie Taylor

I’m re-blogging this post I wrote for Writing Wranglers and Warriors. You may remember when I interviewed author Alethea Williams a couple of years ago when her book, Willow Vale, came out. Now, she has published another western romance, Walls for the Wind. You can read more below.

Writing Wranglers and Warriors

Abbie Taylor This post by Abbie Taylor.

A couple of years ago, I interviewed author Alethea Williams on my blog about her book, Willow Vale. Now, she has just published a new book, Walls for the Wind. Like Willow Vale, this is a historical romance set in Wyoming, but unlike Willow Vale, it’s a totally different story. Alethea Williams graciously sent me promotional materials which I’ll include below: a synopsis, an excerpt, and an author bio. You can visit her blog to find links to where Walls for the Wind can be ordered in Kindle and Nook formats. The print edition will be out next month. I enjoyed Willow Vale, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading Walls for the Wind.

Synopsis:

Displaying WallsfortheWindcover4.jpgCan an angel survive Hell on Wheels? When Kit Calhoun leaves New York City with a train car full of foundlings from the Immigrant Children’s…

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Recipe for Love

Picture this. You’re a successful chef with your own restaurant. Things are going pretty well until a television cook and food reviewer writes a scathing piece on your establishment. After that, things start going downhill, and you’re eventually forced to close your business.

Your aunt retires from her catering job with a wedding venue and arranges for you to have her old position temporarily. You really want this to become permanent. One day, your boss asks you to prepare a sample menu for special clients. No problem, you think, as you put the menu together and prepare the meal.

At the appointed time of the tasting, your boss tells you that only the groom’s brother has arrived, and he’ll be sampling the food. Okay, you think, as you start carrying everything into the dining room. Then, you spot him, that same chef who put you out of business with that awful review. He’s the groom’s brother, charged with arranging the food for the wedding.

Garrison Keillor would say, “Wouldn’t this be a good time for some bebop areebop rhubarb pie?” However, in Lucy Kevin’s book, The Wedding Gift, once successful San Francisco chef Julie Delgado ends up eating humble pie, opening her mind to new cooking possibilities, and falling in love with well-known television chef Andrew Kyle. Will these two cook up a brand new recipe together? You’ll just have to find out.

New York Times and Washington Post best-selling author Lucy Kevin’s books include Seattle Girl, Sparks Fly, and Falling Fast. The Wedding Gift is part of a series called Four Weddings and a Fiasco. The Washington Post has called Lucy Kevin one of the top writers in America. When she’s not writing, she’s swimming, hiking, or laughing with her husband and two children. Click here to read more.

I downloaded The Wedding Gift from Audible, but it should be available in print and eBook formats from Amazon and other online retailers. One thing I like about this book is that it’s short. Some romance authors drag out the “girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy” scenario, but in The Wedding Gift, things are resolved much more quickly as a result of its brevity. Although I didn’t like the ending at first, I definitely plan to read more of Lucy Kevin’s books. I can’t wait to get my next credit for a free download from Audible so I can read the second book in the Four Weddings and a Fiasco series.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

An Encounter with a Drunk Indian

When I was a student at Rocky Mountain College and Montana State University, both located in Billings, I often traveled the 150-mile trip home to Sheridan by bus. Years later, I heard a radio interview with a writer who published a collection of poems based on her experiences traveling across the country on a bus. After hearing her read some of her poems about people she encountered on her journeys, I remembered a particular experience I had and was inspired to write the following poem which appears in this year’s issue of Serendipity Poets Journal.

Intoxicated Crow on a Trailways Bus

December, 1984, in the early afternoon,

I board a bus in Billings, Montana,

for the three-hour trip to Sheridan, Wyoming.

A college student going home for Christmas,

I sit behind and to the right of the driver.

Storm clouds gather, as the bus leaves town.

 

An hour later, he gets on at Crow Agency,

sits next to me, tells me he’s Crow.

I tell him I’m one small part Cherokee,

the truth, but he doesn’t respond.

I ask where he’s going.

He says nothing—we ride in silence.

It starts to snow.

 

In the darkness about twenty miles outside of Sheridan,

the bus is surrounded by white.

The driver, a robust black man, slows down.

Wipers slap their own rhythm against the windshield.

 

The Crow tells me he’s scared.

I ask why—he doesn’t reply.

He stands, stumbles to the back,

returns, places his long legs over my short ones.

 

The busybody behind me asks if I’m comfortable.

I tell her I’m fine—I’m almost home, anyway.

She marches to the driver,

tells him about the drunk Indian on my lap.

After glancing in our direction,

the driver pulls the bus to the side of the road,

approaches the Crow, gives his shoulders a rough shake,

carries him off the bus.

Driver and Crow disappear in the swirling white.

 

I see no buildings, no trees,

nothing to shelter one ejected from a bus.

The driver returns, mumbles,

puts the bus in gear.

Wondering, I disembark in Sheridan

to begin my Christmas vacation.

Have you ever traveled anywhere on a Trailways or Greyhound bus? Did you meet any interesting people?

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

 

 

More about National Poetry Month

Since this is the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, and this month is National Poetry Month, you might enjoy this post from Alice Massa, a fellow writer in my Behind Our Eyes group. You may have seen her comments on previous posts. She’s a retired teacher who loves to write so I hope you enjoy what she has to say.

alice13wordwalk

 

One Poem and Many Ideas for a Poem

For this post in the midst of Nationl Poetry Month, I am sharing with you a poem about clichés and a list of ideas for writing a poem. Throughout my years of teaching writing, I, of course, encouraged my students to avoid clichés in their writings. After I retired, I thought writing a poem consisting primarily of clichés might be fun. Although I wrote this short poem on May 13, 2012, its references to The Wizard of Oz make the poem more pertinent this year, which is the 75th anniversary of the famous movie.

Immediately after the poem, you will find lists of ideas to help you write a poem for National Poetry Month.

The Art of Writing Clichés–Ruby Clichés

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

No rhapsody in the blues–

I want to think in the pink,

wear rose-colored glasses,

and…

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A Poem and an Interview

Last week, I posted poems written for my nieces Isabella, ten, and Anna, thirteen. Anna will actually be my step-niece in July when her mother marries my brother. Now, here’s a poem I wrote for Isabella several years ago after observing her in a dance recital. It appears in this year’s issue of Serendipity Poets Journal.

To Isabella at Five

With Hannah Montana, Dora the Explorer,

dance through your life,

whirl, twirl, spin around the room,

little Miss Muffet on your tuffet.

When the spider comes, dance away,

up mountains, across streams.

Follow the rainbow on ballet slippers

till it leads to your dream.

Do you remember when you took dance lessons or when your daughter or granddaughter took dance lessons?

I was recently interviewed, along with other authors, on a radio program called The Writing Mama Show. It lasts about an hour, and you can listen here. When you get to the page, you may hear a brief commercial. Just ignore it, and keep listening.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

 

 

Poems for My Nieces

I just received word from Wilda Morris that one of my poems is a March winner in her monthly poetry challenge on her blog. Last month’s challenge was to write a lullaby poem so I wrote one for my niece Isabella who is ten years old. You can read it plus other winning poems here.

Isabella’s not the only niece for whom I wrote a poem. Anna isn’t technically my niece, but she’ll be my step-niece in July when her mother marries my brother. After visiting them in Florida last Christmas, I was inspired to write the following poem which will appear in my new chapbook, That’s Life: New and Selected Poems, to be published by Finishing Line Press.

THAT’S LIFE

 

For Anna

Oh you of thirteen years,

when told you can’t go to the mall

or sleep over with a friend,

please understand that’s the way life is.

If you grow up thinking

you’ll always have your way,

you’ll be sadly disappointed

so better put on your big girl pants—

deal with it.

 

Have you ever written a poem for a loved one?

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver