Announcing BOE Fair #Thursday Book Feature

Today, instead of reviewing one book, I’m going to share an event where you can learn about fifteen books from nine different authors. I’m president of Behind Our Eyes, an organization of disabled writers scattered across the country. We meet at least twice a month for critique sessions, guest presentations, and other activities and publish an online magazine called Magnets and Ladders. We’ve published two anthologies of our work, and we’re working on a third.

We recently held a book fair, showcasing work by nine authors, myself included. This was recorded and is available to the public. Below, you’ll find information about the event plus links to the recording and to more information about Behind Our Eyes. Happy reading!

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Good Books, Unique Gifts, and New Opportunities at your Fingertips
First Book Fair

Behind Our Eyes, an organization of writers with disabilities, held its first book fair and two-hundred-seventy-third call attended by nine presenters and many Behind Our Eyes member listeners. Bonnie Blose and Marilyn Brandt Smith hosted this two-hour event. A brief introduction to the focus and activities of the organization was followed by a parade of books: novels, memoirs of personal challenge, writings of the holiday season, adventures and essays with agendas, and a sure-to-be-classic disability awareness book written to assist blind and visually impaired consumers in navigating the healthcare system. Fifteen books were presented by their nine authors. Visit http://www.behindoureyes.org/wp/bookfair/ to read more and download this conference recording. Share it with your friends and newsletters, magazines, etc. Visit http://www.behindoureyes.org for a contact or membership form to offer feedback, ask questions, or join this amazing organization.

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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My First Love #Creative Nonfiction

His name was Brett Claytor. He was in third grade while I was in fourth. We were both students at the Arizona State School for the Deaf & Blind in Tucson in the 1960’s. He played the piano, and I played the ukulele.

We decided to perform together in the school talent show. One of our favorite Three Dog Night songs was “Joy to the World.” After school while waiting for our parents to pick us up, we practiced in the second grade classroom which had a piano. I had a hard time playing this song on the ukulele. So, I finally gave up and stood next to the piano and sang while he played and sang with me.

On the night of the talent show, I wore a long red dress Mother bought for me while he wore slacks and a shirt. I was partially sighted while he had no vision. So, I let him feel my dress, and he said, “Wow!” Our performance was flawless, and we got rave reviews from parents and classmates.

Our relationship continued after that. He liked rockets, so I dreamed about us blasting off to a faraway planet to start a new life. We often went to each other’s houses where we listened to music.

Once I showed him one of my dolls and said it was our baby. He said, “That’s a doll.” I should have realized he wasn’t as serious about our relationship as I was.

A year later, he and his family moved to Oregon, and although we agreed to write, we lost touch until 1976 when I was a freshman in high school.

By this time, my family was living in Sheridan, Wyoming. One night at the dinner table, Dad said, “Honey, what ever happened to that boy you knew in Arizona?”

“You mean Brett?”

“Yeah, Brett, did you ever hear from him?”

“No,” I answered, and to my surprise, I found myself wishing I knew where he was.

“You wanted to marry him, didn’t you?” asked Mother.

“Yeah, and I still do,” I said, without thinking.

“Well, maybe we can find him,” said Dad. “I’ll bet he went to the school for the blind in Oregon. Let me make some calls.”

Apparently, Dad was concerned that I didn’t have a boyfriend when other girls my age did. He wasn’t the old-fashioned parent who wouldn’t let his daughter date until she was thirty.

A couple of weeks later, again while we were eating dinner, the phone rang. Dad answered and after a moment said, “Abbie, it’s for you.”

“Who is it?” I asked. I didn’t get many calls.

“You’ll just have to find out,” said Dad, handing me the phone.

“Hi Abbie, it’s Brett Claytor,” said a male adolescent voice when I said hello.

Speechless, I turned to Dad, who was already sitting at the dining room table with Mother and my younger brother. They were all quiet.

I don’t remember much about our conversation except that we exchanged addresses and promised to send each other tapes of our music. Since our parting in Arizona years ago, I’d become proficient at accompanying myself on the piano, like him.

A few weeks later, his tape arrived. I listened, enthralled, as he talked about his life and played a lot of songs, some on piano, others on electronic keyboard. He even played a drum solo.

He didn’t sing, though, perhaps because his voice was changing, and he didn’t think it was any good. It didn’t matter. I still found his talent amazing.

I made him a tape with some songs I enjoyed singing, accompanying myself on the piano. At one point, I told him I still loved him and hoped he felt the same way about me.

Weeks went by, and I didn’t hear from him. Dad said, “Maybe he’s waiting until he can learn more songs to play for you.”

After another month or so, it was clear I’d scared him off. Maybe he had another girlfriend. I was embarrassed. If only I’d kept my feelings to myself, we could have still been friends.

 

THE END

 

I posted the above piece here a few years ago. It appears in this year’s fall/winter issue of Magnets and Ladders.

 

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.

A Timeless Holiday Crlection #Thursday Book Feature

It may be a little early to think about the holiday season. But since this delightful book contains ideas for a Thanksgiving game and Christmas cards, it wouldn’t hurt to buy it early. Click below for a review of this wonderful collection of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and January poems and stories.

https://abbiescorner.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/review-the-christmas-carriage-and-other-writings-of-the-holiday-season/

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.

Stormy Weather #Monday Musical Memories

Tuesday, November 5th, will be the seventh anniversary of my late husband Bill’s graveside service. He passed on October 30th, 2012, at a nursing home here in Sheridan, Wyoming. He was buried almost a week later in his hometown of Fowler, Colorado. You can learn more by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Now, I’ll sing you the song I performed at his graveside service.

 

Stormy Weather

 

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.

On Love, Marriage, and Sex #TMI Tuesday

You have been separated from your significant other for six months. An attractive, attentive neighbor has paid you flattering attention. It is obvious he/she wishes to take the relationship further. Do you:

Dismiss him/her, you’re in a committed relationship.

Continue to flirt, but go no further.

Fantasize about him/her, but take care of your sexual needs solo.

Let the affair become physical.

Answer: Although I’m not religious, I believe in the sanctity of marriage. An abusive relationship or one in which your significant other cheats is one thing, but if you find yourself falling out of love for no reason after getting married, you may never have even been in love with that person. I wouldn’t have married my late husband Bill if I hadn’t loved him. Like any couple, we had our bumps in the road, but we worked them out because we loved each other. Our relationship never got to the separation stage until he passed.

A male co-worker whom you have heard is great in bed and very well endowed has been flirting with you a lot. He obviously wishes to start a relationship. Do you:

(This question is for women AND men).

Make it clear to him you’re not interested.

Flirt with him but go no further

Mentally undress him and wonder what he’d be like in bed.

Let the relationship become sexual.

Answer: This would depend on if I had any feelings for the guy. If not, I would tell him so politely but firmly. If he persisted, I would file a sexual harassment complaint.

Your significant other is impotent most of the time, showing little interest in you and little interest in being sexual. Do you:

Resign yourself to no sex.

Satisfy your needs with masturbation

Find someone who can satisfy you sexually but remain with your significant other

Leave him or her

Answer: Bill actually was impotent, but that didn’t matter. I was in my forties, and he was nineteen years older. We weren’t interested in having children, so sex wasn’t necessary. We had a wonderful seven-year relationship before he passed.

The last time you and your mate had sex, were you:

Concentrating mostly on him/her, and you didn’t even orgasm

Thinking about your pleasure and theirs.

Concentrating mainly on your own pleasure.

Used his/her body as a tool to reach your own orgasm.

Answer: The first and only time Bill and I tried intercourse, it didn’t work. But as I said earlier, it didn’t matter. I strongly believe that you don’t need sex to have a good marriage, and my relationship with Bill is living proof.

What kind of partner do you prefer while making love or having sex?

Tender, loving, slow and sweet

I don’t care, just do me; it’s been a while

Tough, take-charge, I like it a little rough

Any lovin’ is good lovin’

Answer: I doubt I’ll be making love or having sex anytime soon. But if I do, I would probably prefer tender, slow, and sweet because that’s the way Bill was. Then again, I’m not sure I ever want to be with another man.

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If you’d like to participate in this blog feature, click here. You can learn more about my life with Bill 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.

My Heart Will Go On #Monday Musical Memories

I saw the movie, Titanic, years ago before I met my late husband Bill. At the time, I hadn’t yet learned the true meaning of love. So, the theme song didn’t have much significance then. Now that he’s gone, after hearing the song recently, I realized that although my husband wasn’t lost at sea after The Titanic went down, he’ll always be safe in my heart. As of Wednesday, October 30th, he will have been gone seven years. You can learn more about us by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

I don’t know if Bill ever saw Titanic, but he was always interested in ships. If I’d thought of it, I would have sung him this song before he passed. I certainly can’t sing it now. So, here’s Celine Dion to perform it for us. If you’re also mourning the loss of a loved one, be sure to have plenty of tissues handy before clicking the Play button.

 

 

 

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.

Those Rotten Rockies #Book Excerpts

With the World Series starting this week, I can’t help thinking about my late husband Bill’s adoration for the Colorado Rockies. This baseball team didn’t always do well. After an especially tough game, Bill would say, “The Rockies are rotten to the core.” But the next day, his ear would be glued to the radio, paying attention to every pitch, catch, and the rare home run.

In 2007, the Rockies made the World Series. They played against the Boston Red Sox. Bill was in his element, sitting in his recliner with his radio broadcasting each day’s game. He’d suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side, and we’d just realized he would probably never walk again. So, the Rockies’ good fortune couldn’t have come at a better time.

Unfortunately, the players must have let their World Series-making victory go to their heads because the team lost almost every game. When it was finally over, I expected Bill to say, “The Rockies are rotten to the core.” But he didn’t. Life went on. You can read more of our story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Bill’s boyish spirit and unwavering support of the Colorado Rockies inspired a minor character in my new novel, The Red Dress. Thomas, my main character Eve’s son, is thirteen years old, and is an avid fan of The Colorado Rockies. In the following excerpts, he demonstrates his frustration after attending a game where they lose, then his eagerness to see them play in Los Angeles while the family is planning a trip to California.

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A few minutes later, as Eve was starting to unload the dishwasher, the back door opened and in came Greg and Thomas, followed by Ginger, who pranced about, wagging her tail.

Greg appeared subdued, and Thomas looked miserable.

“What happened?” asked Eve.

“The Rockies are rotten to the core,” said Thomas.

“In other words, they lost big time,” said Greg.

“Oh, honey, I’m sorry. What a way to end your birthday, huh?”

“They were way behind by the third inning and stayed that way throughout the entire game,” said Greg. “I wanted to leave at the seventh inning stretch, but this kid still believes in miracles.” He patted Thomas on the shoulder.

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“Dad, I think the Rockies are playing the Dodgers in L.A. next week. Can we go to the game?”

“We’ll see,” said Greg. “Wait a minute. I thought you said last night the Rockies were rotten to the core.”

“They’ll do better,” said Thomas. “They were just in a slump last night.”

“That’s the spirit,” said Greg with a grin.

***

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.