Mourning Has Broken: A Book Review

I would like to read this book, but I can’t find it in an accessible format, even from Audible. However, I thought I would share this review along with my rendition of a song that went through my head, as I read the review, never mind that the spelling of “morning” is different. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/morning%20has%20broken.mp3

Annika Perry's Writing Blog

mourning2

I read this book during a time of loss and sadness. When my spirits were so low neither music nor books could enter my heart. Numerous books remained unread, the words and stories therein unable to penetrate the wall. 

Then I recalled reading about Carol Balawyder and ‘Mourning Has Broken’; her book on loss and grief. On a whim I bought it.

My attention was seized from the very first few sentences and as I devoured it within two days ‘Mourning Has Broken’ left a deep and profound impact on me.

The writing is exceptional and beautiful. Poetic in places, full of wisdom. Her words spoke directly to me, then at times mirrored my experiences of loss exactly. I have never highlighted so much in a book since my student days. Nor have I I talked so much about a book – I am sure my family by now feel…

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News from Abbie’s Corner July 2016

Friday, July 1st, 2016 1:45 p.m.

 

I’m composing this during what’s called a writing marathon, sponsored by the Wyoming Writing Project, a program developed by the university to facilitate writing. Here’s how it works.

After gathering at the agriculture building at Sheridan College, we split into groups. Each group’s goal is to travel to two or three locations around town and write for about fifteen or twenty minutes before sharing with others and moving to a new setting. Right now, I’m sitting at a picnic table at Whitney Common, a local park I often walk through on my way to other places.

Here’s the big news. My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, is soon to become a reality. David Dvorkin is in the process of formatting the manuscript for Createspace. It will also be available as EBooks on Smashwords and Amazon.

This month promises to be busy, what with my book coming out. I’ll write and send press releases to the media and mail sell sheets to bookstores and libraries. I’ll also plan as many appearances as possible to promote my book. It’s always exciting when a new book comes out.

On the last Tuesday of June, I did my usual monthly gig at Westview, where I played my guitar and sang, much to residents’ delight. This month, I’ll be at Sugarland Ridge, an assisted living facility, on July 8th. They’re doing a red, white, and blue social, so I’ll supply some patriotic music along with some country and western songs, since our annual national rodeo is the following week. On July 26th, I’ll be back at Westview.

Speaking of the rodeo, that’s the week my brother, Andy, from Florida, will be visiting. He and his wife Christina will fly into Denver on the 12th and rent a car. After spending time with relatives in Colorado, they’ll drive here the weekend of the 15th for his 30th class reunion. They also want to spend some time in Yellowstone Park, so I hope they’ll do that the following week and come back that weekend before returning to Colorado and flying back to Florida on the 26th. Will just have to wait and see what they have planned.

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Friday, July 1st, 2016 2:15 p.m.

I’m sitting downtown across the street from the post office. After sharing what we wrote at Whitney Common, our group has moved here. Time drags by on this hot July afternoon, as I sit on a hard bench with no back and watch cars go by. After about ten minutes, Aaron, one of my traveling companions for the day, says if we’d been using our heads, we could have gone kitty corner to the Pony Grill and Bar, sat on the deck, and had a drink. Oh well…

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Friday, July 3rd, 2016 2:45 p.m.

 

I’m in the Sagebrush Community Art Center, located near the Sheridan Inn next to the railroad tracks. I’m sitting in a cool, quiet room, surrounded by walls sporting paintings, most of which I can’t make out from where I am. On the way here, Aaron pointed out a yellow truck where a vendor sells a variety of foods including barbecue and stir fry. This reminded me of a food truck festival I attended with Andy and Christina when I visited them in Florida last March. The streets were lined for miles with nothing but food trucks selling everything from pizza to Chinese food. Anyway, after we’re done writing and sharing at the art gallery, we’ll return to the college and wrap up.

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Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 12:32 PM

 

Two days later, on another hot July afternoon, I’m reclined in my air conditioned living room, trying to put this writing marathon in perspective. It’s a fun activity for those who need motivation and inspiration to write. It provides a safe environment for writing and sharing, where no feedback is allowed, and readings are followed by a respectful “thank you” from others in the group.

Since I had an agenda, to write this blog post, I found the constant interruptions to share work and move to different locations an unwelcome distraction, reminding me of times when Bill was alive and I had to drop what I was doing every so often to take care of him. I guess I should have expected that.

Others in my group shared work inspired by their surroundings: a poem about children playing in the fountain at Whitney Common, a narrative about a homeless man wandering downtown streets. Next time, I’ll just go with the flow and write about what I see, smell, and hear around me. Who knows? A poem or story may come forth.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

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

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

 

 

Musical Lessons from Dad

Note: In celebration of Father’s Day, I’ve revised and am re-blogging a post from June of 2013, the year my father passed away. He was still alive when this was posted.

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My fondest childhood memories are of Dad and me listening to music together. Dad loved to play old standards on scratchy long-playing records by such artists as Fats Waller and Nat King Cole. These songs taught me lessons I’m sure Dad wanted me to learn.

If “The Joint is Jumpin’,” you’ll get in trouble. No man will like you if “Your Feet’s Too Big.” You’d better “Straighten Up and Fly Right.” I also learned to appreciate “Seafood, Mama” but not until I was an adult.

There’s one more lesson I learned from my father via Louis Armstrong. Despite the hateful things going on around us, we live in a “Wonderful World.” To all dads out there, I hope you have a special Father’s Day.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

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

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

 

 

Review: The Dance House

Note: I’ve decided to review books as I read them instead of doing them all at once. This will make my life easier, and the additional posts might attract more readers.

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The Dance House: Stories from Rosebud

by Joseph Marshall III

Copyright 1998

 

Since Joseph Marshall was the keynote speaker at this year’s annual Wyoming Writers conference, I decided to read one of his books. The Dance House contains short stories and essays about Indian life. The stories take place during the earlier part of the 20th century. In “Oliver’s Silver Dollar,” a young Lakota Sioux, speaking little English, is sent to a mental institution where he stays for thirty years because of a misunderstanding over one word. In “1965 Continental,” a white sheriff persecutes an Indian man because he believes he stole a fancy car. Other tales are about Native Americans surviving blizzards, dealing with whites who discriminate against them, and sharing wisdom and traditions with their grandchildren. The title story deals with the aftermath of a law allowing white men to claim Indian land. This collection also contains essays about Indians’ heritage, culture, and dealings with white oppressors.

The stories in this book took me back to times and places I hadn’t explored much since I was a teen’-ager in Mrs. Wright’s English class at Sheridan High School in Wyoming. If she were still teaching, I’m sure she would assign this book to her students. We all should read books like this to understand how we, as a nation, did a disservice to Native Americans by forcing them onto reservations, placing their children in government-run boarding schools, and commandeering their land. Remember that Indians were here before any of the first settlers came to this country in the 1600’s.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

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

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems