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.

***

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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.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

My Favorite Places #Essay #Writing Prompt

I enjoy working in my office at my three-corner desk containing my computer, printer, and closed-circuit television magnifier. Behind me is another desk with a braille calendar and other odds and ends. My entertainment center with my stereo receiver, CD player, cassette deck and shelves storing cassettes and CD’s stands in one corner. The speakers sit on a bookcase across from it. This bookcase also holds books and other materials. Next to it is a hutch containing, among other things, my Amazon Echo Tap, which I now use to play music while I’m working. I rarely use the stereo. As I sit at my desk, I can sort of see out a high north-facing window.

At the end of the day, I like to listen to books or podcasts in my recliner. This belonged to my late husband, who was partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after we were married. Now, I feel close to him when I use it. It’s situated in my living room, which also contains a couch, another armchair, a buffet, my piano, and a couple of end tables. The recliner has buttons that raise and lower the head and feet. As I sit there, I can see my front yard through another north-facing window above the couch.

My third favorite place is the YMCA. For years, I’ve been participating in water exercise classes there on a regular basis. Recently, they opened a new aquatic center, which is much nicer than the facilities we were using before. It features several pools, a hot tub, a rock climbing wall, and new locker rooms with private showers. In the morning when I go there, the sunlight streaming in from the windows in the pool area makes the water sparkle.

If you’ve read my latest book The Red Dress, you may be wondering if my main character, Eve, had any favorite places. As she points out in an interview I did with her last summer soon after the book came out, one of her favorite places when she was a child was her father’s bookstore, where she loved to stretch out in an old bathtub filled with pillows. You can read the interview here. If you haven’t read The Red Dress, and you’re now curious, you’ll find more information and ordering links here.

How about you? What are your favorite places? Thanks to Moondance Pages for inspiring this, and 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.

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.

Benefits of Writing Groups #Essay

You may think that writing is a solitary endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. I belong to several writing groups that meet regularly to write, share, and critique our work. Today, I’d like to talk about two of them that have been beneficial to me over the years.

The first is called Third Thursday Poets. This started in 2006 as a nine-week class taught by an instructor who was, herself, a published poet. After the class ended, we agreed to meet once a month, and the instructor offered to continue facilitating our meetings. This went on for about two years until our instructor felt she needed to leave the group. We’ve been meeting monthly ever since and take turns facilitating our meetings.

We usually meet for about two hours. Our facilitator provides a prompt that we write on for about twenty minutes. We then each share what we’ve written. After that, the facilitator gives us another prompt as a homework assignment that we can bring to the next meeting. During the second half of the meeting, we critique each other’s homework assignments. Of course, participants don’t have to follow any of the prompts. We can write poetry about anything we want in any form and share it.

When this group started as a class, my late husband had just been discharged from the nursing home after suffering his first stroke, and I’d started caring for him. Most of the poems I wrote for this group were inspired by my caregiving experiences, and many of them ended up in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. I’ll always be grateful for the feedback I received from participants of this group.

The other group that has been helpful to me over the years is called Explorations in Creative Writing. I discovered it in 2009 when someone mentioned the group in a comment on my blog. This is mostly a fiction critique group, and we’re laid-back and close-knit. We meet once a week via phone conference to critique each other’s work, which we send to our email list before each meeting. Our participants are scattered across the country and are mostly blind or visually impaired.

Although most of this group’s participants write fiction, I felt comfortable submitting an occasional poem for critique. But I got the most help with my memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds and my novel, The Red Dress. I’m working on another novel, with which they’ve also been helpful. I’ll always be thankful for the feedback and support this group has given me.

I belong to other writers’ organizations. But because the two groups I’ve discussed are small, we can be more intimate and provide participants with a better experience.

Thanks to blogger Lynda McKinney Lambert for inspiring this post. How about you? Do you belong to any writing groups? How have they helped you? I look forward to reading your responses, either in the comment field below or on your own blog with a link to this post. Thank you for coming 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.

A Trip to Australia Without Leaving Home #Thursday Book Feature

In a Sunburned Country

by Bill Bryson

Copyright 2001

 

From the author of Notes from a Small Island and other travel memoirs comes an account of the author’s experiences traveling in Australia. He explains how he traveled across the country by train, drove through the Outback, and visited museums and other tourist attractions. He also provides some history and describes venomous snakes and other creatures, even seashells, that can kill you in Australia, contrasting this with the friendliness of most of the people there.

I enjoyed being able to swim and boogie board without leaving my recliner. I was fascinated by the idea that children in the Outback, who are isolated on cattle stations, receive their education via short-wave radio through “schools of the air.” It’s also interesting to note that Australians once treated the Aboriginal people not much differently than we treated the Native Americans in our country. If you’d like to visit Australia and don’t want to spend money on a passport, plane tickets, train tickets, rental cars, food, and hotel rooms, Bill Bryson’s book is the way to go.

 

 

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.