Living Vicariously in Wyoming #OpenBookBlogHop #MondayMusings #Inspiration


Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “What is your process for writing? Plot, then write? Edit as you go or not until you’ve reached the end of the story? Figure out your characters first? Something else?”

Sometimes, while writing, if I notice myself making a typo, I instinctively reach for the backspace key. But most of the time, I write, then edit.

I usually write by the seat of my pants. As long as I have  the general story in my head, I let ideas come to me, as I’m writing. But recently, I decided to try making one of my short stories, “Living Vicariously,” into a novel. Unlike with my other stories, I had no clear direction. I had an idea of how it would end, but I couldn’t figure out where to start, and I wasn’t sure about other details.

So, I tried the Snowflake Method, a ten-step process of outlining your novel before you write it, in the hope that ideas would come to me. But after the third step, I still felt blocked.

The first step is to write a one-sentence summary of the book, an elevator pitch of sorts. While signing books at the Wyoming Writers conference last week, an author sitting next to me asked what my next project would be. I immediately launched into my elevator pitch and suddenly thought how lame it sounded. The other woman said she thought it was interesting. I’m sure she was trying to be polite, since we hardly knew each other.

After giving it some thought, I realized the problem was with the story, not the pitch. “Living Vicariously” works better as a short work of fiction, not as a novel.

However, all was not lost. Several years ago, I started working on a collection of short stories set in Wyoming. I was inspired to write this after reading Ann Beattie’s The State We’re in, a collection of stories set in her home state of Maine. “Living Vicariously” could be the opening story in my collection, and I could even call the collection Living Vicariously in Wyoming.

How about you? If you’re an author, what’s your writing process? You can tell us in the comment field below or click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?







Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of three novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at:

8 thoughts on “Living Vicariously in Wyoming #OpenBookBlogHop #MondayMusings #Inspiration”

  1. Some stories are better short. Some are better as a book. But with all the interesting stories that Wyoming has to offer, I can see a collection of stories as the way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am terrible at the short summary stuff. Blurbs. Synopses. Elevator pitch. How do I distil my entire novel into something so short? I will work hard to improve that side though.

    Liked by 1 person

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Showers of Blessings

Giving and Receiving Blessings


"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

Live, Love, Laugh & Don't Forget to Breathe!

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Rosie Amber

Book reviewer and garden enthusiast. Updates from my Hampshire garden. Usually talking about books and plants. People do not forget books or flowers that touch them or excite them—they recommend them.


I’m just a girl, standing in front of a bread shop, asking for it to open.

Writing to be Read

Authors' Blog - Book Reviews, Author Profiles and Reflections on Writing

Living in God's Pocket with ABI

Nurturing Compassion and Stewardship

The Thoughts and Ramblings of Steve

Musings, observations, and experiences as I make my way in the world.

Pictures From The Kitchen Window

Barbara Spencer Writes...

Patty's Worlds

Bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled


journeys of the mind and body

Empish J. Thomas

Freelance Writer, Disability Blogger and Accessibility Consultant. I write and blog about #Accessibility #AudioDescription #Blindness #Disability and #Reading

Clennell Anthony

Sexy, Fun, & Mysterious...


reflections on a passing life

%d bloggers like this: