A Winter Adventure #Thursday Book Feature #Poetry #Excerpt

The following poem appears in the current issue of The Weekly Avocet. It was also published in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver.

 

You may think this doesn’t look like a poem, and it doesn’t. It is what’s called a prose poem, which means basically that it looks like prose but reads like poetry. You can click the link below the poem to hear me read it.

A Winter Adventure

                                            

 

On a cold, cloudy day, we strap on our skis, boots, head up the trail. I inch along, sure I’ll fall at any minute, as my skis slide through packed snow.

“Left foot right pole, right foot left pole. See if you can go faster,” Dad says. I prefer to keep my slow, plodding pace.

 

At the top of the hill, we retrace our steps. My feet slide out from under me. I land flat on my back. “Smile,” says my brother, holding the camera.

 

“Stick that camera where the sun won’t shine,” I want to tell him.

 

“You’re not falling right.  You could get hurt,” he says. I remove the skis, walk the rest of the day.

 

A Winter Adventure

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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TMI Tuesday February 25th, 2020

Hello. Welcome. Do tell because it is TMI Tuesday!

 

  1. What time of the day do you feel the most energetic, and what do you usually do in those moments? I have the most energy in the mornings. However, I’ve discovered that if I eat a light supper earlier in the evening, I sleep better at night. When I get a good night’s sleep, I’m often just as energetic in the afternoons as I am in the mornings. I spend my days dealing with email and working on blog posts and other writing projects. I also attend water exercise classes at the YMCA three days a week and occasionally entertain at nursing homes and other senior facilities.
  2. What’s the coolest thing about your life? That would be the fact that I’m the author of five books with a sixth one in progress. My stories and poems have been published in The Weekly Avocet, Magnets and Ladders, and other publications. To learn more about me and my work, click here.
  3. When are you most yourself? Although I enjoy going out, I’m most myself when I’m at home, either working at my computer or relaxing in my recliner.
  4. Would you rather be an ugly genius or a hot moron? I’m not sure I want to be either. I’m happy as I am.
  5. Would you abandon your phone, Internet, family, and friends for three months for a prize of 1 million dollars? Never! All those things are important to me. Besides, what would I do with a million dollars?

Bonus: If you could wave a magic wand right now and have your life be perfect, what would that new life look like? The perfect life would be one where I could see well enough to drive and maintain my own home without assistance. But there are worse things in life than being visually impaired. So, I’m not going to complain.

***

If you’d like to participate in TMI Tuesday, click here and follow the instructions. If you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to leave your answers to any or all these questions in the comment field below. Any way you do it, I look forward to reading your responses. Thank you for stopping by today.

 

as

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Drive #Monday Musical Memories

This was one of my favorite songs when I was in college. Now, even though it’s about love gone wrong, it makes me think of my dad, especially when the vocalist sings, “Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?”

In 1973, when I started the sixth grade after we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, my dad insisted I walk to  and from school. I’d always wanted to do this, having read stories about other kids walking to and from school every day. In Tucson, Arizona, where we’d lived before, this hadn’t been possible because the state school for the blind, where I spent the first five and a half years of my education, and then the Miles Exploratory Learning Center, where I was mainstreamed six months before we moved to Wyoming, were miles away from our home.

But here in Sheridan, our first house was just up the hill from the elementary school. So, walking to and from school was easy, except in winter when snow and ice made the hill treacherous. Occasionally, Mother or Dad drove me, but most of the time, I walked.

When I started seventh grade, the junior high school was a mile away. Dad claimed he’d walked that far when he was a kid, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that, and Mother agreed with me. She and I prevailed, and I only walked a few blocks to  and from the bus stop each day.

In the spring of my eighth grade year, we moved to another house that wasn’t within a school bus route. So, I had no choice but to walk the mile to and from school each day. The good part of this was that my route took me through downtown Sheridan, and I often stopped at a cafe for a milkshake on my way home from school.

The high school was closer, but the route there was difficult, taking me across a busy street, with no lights or stop signs, and up a hill that was treacherous during the winter months. In favorable weather, I walked, and it’s a wonder I’m still here to tell the tale, not having been killed while crossing that busy street. In the winter, Dad or Mother drove me, and Dad often grumped about doing this.

Now, here’s the irony. As an adult, after completing my music therapy internship and moving back to Sheridan and finding an apartment and a job, Dad said he regretted being so hard on me about walking to  and from school. On the contrary, I told him, I’m glad he encouraged me to walk when I could. Because participation in physical education classes was difficult due to my visual impairment, walking to and from school gave me some much-needed exercise.

A few years after I started my job at the nursing home, Dad sold his coin-operated machine business. This gave him more time. So, he was available more often when I needed a ride. I used the local transit service to get to work, but sometimes, I wasn’t finished until five thirty in the evening when their buses were no longer running. In those cases, Dad often picked me up after work.

After I married Bill and after he suffered his strokes, Dad often gave us rides when the transit service wasn’t running. When we acquired a wheelchair accessible van, Dad was our main driver. After Bill passed, and I sold the van, Dad still gave me rides when I needed them and couldn’t use the transit service.

Dad left this world suddenly in 2013, not having a chance to wonder who would drive me home or anywhere else. I’d like to think that he, like Bill, is watching me from above and at peace, knowing I can usually get a ride, either from the transit service or from friends.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Happiness #Re-Blog #Thursday Book Feature

Today, I decided to rummage around in my archives. I found an oldie but goodie from about this time last year. It’s a review of a memoir about how a little brother saved his big sister’s life. Enjoy and happy reading.

 

Via Thursday Book Feature: Happiness

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

About Love #Writing Prompt

Love isn’t necessarily romantic. You can love a movie, food, a computer, or any other object. But what I’m going to tell you is a story about true love.

In 2003, I met my late husband Bill through an audio publication called Newsreel. Designed for blind and visually impaired people like me, it provides us with an outlet where we can share our thoughts, a favorite song, ask a question, or buy or trade something.

Back then, I submitted a question about computers. At the time, I was living here in Sheridan, Wyoming. Bill Taylor, who lived in Fowler, Colorado, answered my question by email. I wrote back to him, and that’s how it started.

For two years, we carried on a long-distance relationship, emailing each other daily and talking by phone once in a while. My dad and I visited him in Fowler on our way to New Mexico to spend time with my brother and his family. Bill had downloaded over a hundred songs onto his computer, and he sent me tapes of some of those songs.

It never occurred to me that he fancied me as anything more than a friend.

But one night in January of 2005, my world was turned upside down. That day, I’d received a braille letter from him. I didn’t think this unusual. He’d sent me tapes of his music, so why not a letter? But then, I read the first sentence of his letter.

“Dear Abbie,” he wrote. “I’m writing to ask for your hand in marriage.” After I read those words, I knew my life would never be the same.

He wanted to come to Sheridan to visit me in a couple of months. I suggested waiting until summer, so we wouldn’t have to worry about bad roads. But he said he thought the roads would be okay by March.

So, for the next couple of months, I lived in a world of uncertainty, not sure whether I loved him or wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. But after he came, and I felt his tenderness for the first time, things changed. I can’t explain why, but when he officially proposed to me in front of family and friends during dinner at a restaurant, I said yes. You can read more about this in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

***

I was inspired to write the above by a prompt provided during last Saturday’s meeting of a local writing group called Range Writers. Now it’s your turn. Here’s the prompt.

Write about love. It doesn’t have to be about romantic love. It can be about a food, television show, or movie you love. Here’s a list of words you can use.

***

Affection

Adoration

Friendship

Tenderness

Feeling

Fondness

Devotion

Passion

Ardor

Adore

Worship

Fancy

Care

***

I’d love to read your responses, either on your own blog with a link to this post or in the comment field below. Thank you for stopping by today.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

The Impossible Dream #Monday Musical Memories

The song I’m featuring today is from one of my late husband Bill’s favorite musicals, Man of La Mancha. During our long-distance courtship while he was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I here in Sheridan, Wyoming, he mailed me a cassette on which he’d recorded the soundtrack. I still have that tape but prefer to ask Alexa to play it instead.

Man of La Mancha is based on Miguel  De Cervantes’ 17th century novel, Don Quixote. Apparently, as a knight, Don Quixote attempted to reach an impossible star.

So did Bill. After his first stroke in 2006, he worked as hard as he could to get back on his feet. But after his second stroke a year later and seven more months of therapy, that star rose beyond his reach. He said, “They’ve given up on me. I don’t think I’ll ever walk again.” You can read our story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Now, here’s Susan Boyle’s lovely rendition of this song. May that impossible star be within reach for you.

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.