Essays Offer Glimpse of Life as Blind Parent #Thursday Book Feature

Daddy Won’t Let Mom Drive the Car: True Tales of Parenting in the Dark

By Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Copyright 2019.

 

In this collection of short pieces, the author describes what it’s like to be a blind parent to a sighted child. The title was inspired by her daughter’s response when a teacher asked her what it’s like to have a blind mother.

She talks about little cooking mistakes she made like using apple sauce instead of spaghetti sauce. She explains how she educated her daughter’s classmates and others about her blindness. She discusses cooking, gardening, and doing art projects with her daughter and provides recipes and craft ideas. She reflects on school violence after her daughter endured lock-down drills in elementary school and actually became involved in “the real thing.”

Even though I’m not a parent, I enjoyed reading this book because it brought back memories from when I was a visually impaired child and when I was a visually impaired adult married to my totally blind husband Bill. The author’s cooking disasters reminded me of the time Bill, before his strokes, put what he thought were muffins in the oven, and they turned out to be fully cooked sausages. The scene where the author fell and her daughter chastised a  passer-by for laughing instead of stopping to help reminded me of how my younger brother, when we were kids, said to other children, “Stop staring at my sister.”

As a caregiver to my late husband, I could relate to her feelings of inadequacy and fear of being turned in for neglect or abuse. I loved the last piece in which she explains how she accidentally put garlic instead of sprinkles on her daughter’s ice cream sundae. It was a great way to end the collection with humor.

Some people, especially those in the social work industry, are under the misconception that blind people cannot be parents. As a result, blind parents have been forced to fight for their children after giving birth. This book should be required reading for anyone training in social work and other professions that require working with disabled people on a regular basis.

In fact, everybody should read this book. You never know when you will encounter a blind parent. Before you shove them aside in a grocery store, laugh at them because they’ve fallen on the ice, or call the Department of Family Services because you think they can’t cope, read this book and realize that blind parents are no different from sighted ones.

 

 

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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Lay Down Your Weapons and Lie on the Couch #Essay

In my new novel, The Red Dress, my main character’s mother used to be a librarian before she developed Alzheimer’s and ended up in a nursing home. Now, she’s fond of correcting everyone’s grammar. When aides ask her if she’s ready to lay down, she says, “No, I want to lie down.”

When I was my late husband’s caregiver after he suffered two strokes, we would often have a similar conversation. He would say, “Can I lay down?”

I’d say, “No, I will lay you down. You can lie down, but you cannot lay down.” He’d only laugh, and the next time he was ready for a nap, the conversation would be repeated. He wasn’t losing his memory. He just loved getting my goat by using incorrect grammar. 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.

The use of “lay” and “Lie” can be confusing. So, here’s one way to look at it. You can lay down your weapons, but if you want to take a nap, you need to lie on the couch.

 

! 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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I’m a Disabled Writer #Essay

I’m taking a stand against so-called political correctness. Recently, during a meeting of one of my writing organizations, Behind Our Eyes, we discussed the use of language in writing. This got me thinking about how I’ve never liked the term “people with disabilities.” It’s too wordy, like saying, “cats with blackness” or cars with whiteness.” We normally say, “black cats” and “white cars” so why not “disabled people.”

Being disabled is part of who a person is. A cat isn’t ashamed to be black, and a car isn’t ashamed to be white. So, people with physical or mental impairments should never be ashamed to be disabled people.

That said, I’ll no longer refer to writers with disabilities. I’ll say, “disabled writers.” Instead of telling people that I have a visual impairment, I’ll say I’m visually impaired. It’s a part of who I am, and I’m not ashamed of it.

***

By the way, today, my totally blind and partially paralyzed late husband and I would have been married fourteen years. Rest in peace, sweetheart. I love 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.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Anthology Portrays Life in the West #Thursday Book Feature

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Leaning into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the Wes

by Linda M. Hasselstrom, Nancy Curtis, et al.

 

In this collection of essays and poems, 125 women from six states share their experiences living in the west. Most stories are about ranch life. Some relate childhood memories while others share reminiscences from adult years. Some pieces are by women in other professions such as a veterinarian and a teacher in a one-room school. All these works are about women who survive what life throws at them, whether it’s a cantankerous bull or an undesirable husband.

I met several of the authors featured in this anthology through Wyoming Writers. It was refreshing to read their work, some of it for the first time. Having been a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, I enjoyed reading these women’s stories of hardships on the prairie and being thankful I wasn’t there.

In one essay, a woman talks about how some people think ranch life is glamorous. If you’re under this misconception, read this book. It’ll open your eyes to a world of hard work, hard times, and some rewards. You’ll respect the rancher when you finish the book.

 

New! The Red Dress: A Novel

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 Other Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome: A Novel

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Going Down Butt First

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Writing is like being a doctor. You have to keep up with the way things are done. Remember the good old days when a woman in labor was anesthetized in the hospital, and the father-to-be went through a pack of cigarettes in the waiting room? Nowadays, as long as it’s a natural birth, an expectant mother has the option to stay awake during the entire procedure, and anyone they want can be with them in the delivery room.

I was reminded of changing times recently while working with my editor at DLD Books on The Red Dress, which will be out soon. At one point, she suggested breaking a run-on sentence into two sentences in such a way that the second one started with “but.” Having been raised by English teachers, I’d been taught, almost from Day 1, that starting a sentence with a conjunction like “but” is a deadly sin. So, I suggested leaving out the  “but” in the second sentence. She pointed out that the sentence would be clearer with the “but” and sighted current sources that say it’s okay to start a sentence with a conjunction.

I realized that it was time to let this expectant mother stay awake during her birthing process and allow Dad and Grandma in the delivery room. Writing is also like falling. You go down butt first.

 

Coming Soon: The Red Dress: A Novel

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 Other Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to purchase My Ideal Partner from Smashwords absolutely free!

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

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Piss Call

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Yesterday, I returned home from Florida, where I had a great time with my brother and his family. I traveled mostly in airplanes equipped with restrooms, but here’s a post about having to stop and use the facilities while traveling. Enjoy!

via Piss Call

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

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Thursday Book Feature: Understanding

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Understanding: An Anthology of Significant and True Life Events

by Stevie Turner et al.

Copyright 2019

 

In this anthology, edited by fellow blogger Stevie Turner, contributors, me included, share stories of life-altering events such as sexual abuse, traumatic accidents, and teen pregnancy. My story is about my years of caring for my late husband as outlined in My Ideal Partner- How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds Stevie also includes her story of how she survived thyroid cancer.

Most stories are in the form of an interview. Stevie sent us each twenty questions about our experiences, which most of us answered. One author, though, chose to provide her answers in the form of an essay. At the beginning of each story is the author’s biographical information.

I enjoyed reading many of these uplifting stories of courage and determination in the face of adversity. For me, caregiving wasn’t fun, but many authors here endured a lot worse. This book has a strong message. No matter what curve balls life throws at you, keep going, and things will get better.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.