Celebrate Independence with a Great Magazine

Today, with the number of COVID-19 cases rising across the country, instead of your usual big family barbecue and fireworks, why not kick back and relax with the summer solstice edition of The Writer’s Grapevine? This issue is packed with stories, poems, articles, and news from a variety of great authors like me. I know. I’m so vain. You think I’m saying this magazine’s about me. Well, it isn’t about me, but I’m in it and so are many others whose work I’m sure you’ll enjoy. What’s more, you’ll learn more about TELL-IT-TO-THE-WORLD Marketing in Kingsport, Tennessee, which publishes this magazine each month. From the link below, you can download this issue in either Word or PDF format. So, check it out! Happy Fourth of July!

 

Via The Writer’s Grapevine

 

By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading.

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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What’s Cooking? #Tuesday Tidbit

I was never much of a cook. But after I married Bill, I had to learn. Originally, we agreed he would do the coking, and I would help with clean-up. But three months after we were married, he suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side, and he was never able to cook again. The following excerpt from My Ideal Partner details my ill-fated attempt at preparing oatmeal under Bill’s guidance.

***

Following his instructions, I poured a generous amount of oatmeal into a saucepan and added enough milk to cover it. “How long do I cook it?” I asked after I placed the pan on the stove and turned the heat to medium.

“I don’t know. Till it’s done.”

When Bill did the cooking, he had a sixth sense that told him when food was cooked, I thought as I stirred the pan’s contents. A few minutes later, when it seemed to be done, he said, “Ooh, I gotta pee. Oh, it’s too late. I wet my pants.”

With a sigh of resignation, I turned off the stove and took Bill into the bathroom. It took another fifteen minutes to remove his soiled jeans and underwear and replace them with clean ones. After I settled him back at the kitchen table and returned to the stove, I discovered that the oatmeal had congealed to the consistency of cement.

I added more milk, turned on the heat, stirred vigorously, and served it up a few minutes later. It didn’t taste very good, even with added sugar, but we were too hungry to care. We ate in silence. Finally, I said, “Honey, maybe you should have married a woman who can cook.”

“Come here, woman.” This was what he said when he wanted to hold me, and I wasn’t within reach. I got up and walked around to his right side, and after we embraced, he said, “You’ll learn, sweetie. I love you.”

***

This inspired a scene from The Red Dress in which my main character Eve’s attempt at making oatmeal has similar results.

***

She poured two and a half cups of oatmeal into a saucepan, covered it with four and a half cups of  milk, and turned on the stove burner to medium heat. As she was stirring the mixture, her cell rang.

The caller was Charlene. Oh, great, Eve thought, but she couldn’t send her to voicemail. Charlene  didn’t always have the strength to talk. Thinking she could let the mixture simmer for a few  minutes without stirring it while they chatted, she answered the call.

“Hi, did I get you at a bad time?” asked Charlene in her usual raspy voice.

“Not really. I’m making oatmeal.”

“Oh, God, remember the stuff they served at CU that passed for oatmeal?”

Eve laughed. “The problem there was that they made it with water. I make it with milk, the way my  mother did.”

“Oh, yeah. My mom did it that way, too. You have to keep stirring it, though. Otherwise, it’ll turn  into cement.”

“I know, but I wasn’t sure when you’d be strong enough to talk again.”

“I hear you. It seems that lately, the times when I’m strong are getting few and far between. By  the way, Brenda and I are getting excited about seeing you and Ashley. My husband, Jon, is also  anxious to meet you. There’s plenty of room, so if you all wanted to stay here, you could. And we  have a swimming pool.”

Eve chuckled. “Greg and the kids just might take you up on that. Of course, Greg will want to see  his family. They’re in Pasadena.”

“Oh, yeah. That’s not far from Valley Village, where we live.”

They chatted a while longer. As Eve was putting her phone away, the kids trooped into the kitchen.

“Ugh! What’s that you’re making?” Julie said, pointing to the congealed mixture on the stove.

Eve sighed. “It’s oatmeal. I’m sorry. I got tied up on the phone.”

“With Charlene?” asked Ashley as Eve poured more milk into the saucepan and stirred.

“Yes, Charlene. They want all of us to stay with them when we go there next week. They have a  swimming pool.”

“Cool!” said Thomas.

“Maybe we should have leftover meatloaf for breakfast,” said Julie. “Dad says it’s pretty good.”

“It is good,” said Ashley, “but not for breakfast. Yuck!”

“Ashley’s right,” said Eve, continuing to stir the mixture. “It’s getting better, now, so all is  not lost. Ashley, get me the cinnamon out of the cupboard above the microwave, will you?”

***

Who is Charlene? Why is she not always strong enough to talk on the phone, and why is she inviting Eve’s family to California? Read The Red Dress and find out.

By the way, from July 1st through 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading.

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

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract – #Memoir – My Ideal Partner by Abbie Johnson Taylor #Re-Blog

Thanks to Sally Cronin for featuring My Ideal Partner on her blog. This book, along with my latest, The Red Dress, is available free this month from Smashwords. Click here to visit my author page and download these books. Happy reading.

 

Via Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Extract – #Memoir – My Ideal Partner by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

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.

 

 

 

Would You Give Up Your Television Set? #Writing Prompt

When I was a kid, I enjoyed watching television, even though I couldn’t see much of what went on unless I sat close to the set. In my teenaged years during the 1970’s, my favorite shows were The Bionic Woman, Little House on the Prairie, The Walton’s, and Dallas. I also enjoyed such situation comedies as Alice, The Jeffersons’, and MASH.

When I graduated from high school, my parents gave me my very own television set. It sat on a table next to the armchair in my bedroom, so I could see it more easily. Although it was a black and white set, it opened a new world for me. I could see what my favorite characters looked like and could take pleasure in watching Lawrence Welk’s dancers perform.

Six months later, Santa brought me a color television set. By that time, I’d become a fan of Star Trek reruns. For the first time, I discovered that Captain Kirk wore a gold shirt. Mr. Spock wore a blue shirt, and everyone else wore red shirts.

When I went away to college, I took my TV set with me and watched in my dorm room when I wasn’t studying or participating in extracurricular activities. But over the years, I developed more of an interest in books than television. When I married my late husband in 2005, I was forced to give up TV altogether. Although we had a set, Bill didn’t watch and didn’t want cable. This was fine with me because by that time, there wasn’t much on television I liked. We watched movies on videotapes, but that was it.

After Bill became incapacitated as a result of his strokes, and we moved to another house that could more easily be made accessible to his wheelchair, we got cable television because it was one way he could tune into his beloved Colorado Rockies games and other sports events that weren’t always available on the radio. I occasionally watched news and other programs, but that was the extent of our television-watching.

After Bill passed, I discontinued the cable service and relegated our television set to the garage. I suppose I could subscribe to NetFlix or some other streaming service I could use on my computer or tablet, but I don’t see the need. I have books, podcasts, and social activities to keep me entertained. There’s nothing on television I need to watch.

How about you? Did you have any favorite television programs when you were growing up? Would you get rid of your television set now? Thanks to blogger Cindi for inspiring this post, and thank you for reading and responding.

 

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.

Last Time I Saw Him #Monday Musical Memories

In the spring of 2005, after my late husband Bill wrote me a letter, asking me to marry him, he traveled by bus the 500 miles from his home in Fowler, Colorado, to Sheridan, Wyoming, to visit me. We spent a week together, during which he officially proposed to me in front of family and friends at a restaurant, and I said yes. All too soon, it was time for him to get back on that bus and return to Colorado.

So, like the couple in the song I’m featuring today, we said our goodbyes before he boarded. Unlike the couple in the song, the only moisture on our faces, as we kissed, came from raindrops. It never occurred to me to shed any tears because there was no doubt in my mind that he would be back. But the certainty I felt that he would return didn’t stop the ache in my heart, as the bus pulled away from the station and disappeared. You can learn more by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

 

 

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.