A Schoolboy Crush, a Teacher’s Kiss, and a Quest for Greatness #SocialMediaMonday

Commonplace Fun Facts

They certainly weren’t the first boys in history to develop a crush on their teacher. Who could blame them for their innocent preoccupation over Miss Brown? Matilda “Tillie” Brown was young, pretty, and she had that special gift of teaching and encouragement that caused her students to want to do their best.


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A Historical Literary Figure #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “What historical/public figure would you most like to learn more about? Would you ever write about them?”

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I’ve always been interested in Laura Ingalls Wilder. As a child, I lost myself in her Little House series. I imagined what it would be like to live on the prairie during the 19th century with no running water, electricity, or phone service, surviving blizzards and other hardships, and often going hungry and fighting to stay warm during the winter months. I was fascinated to learn about how Laura started teaching when she was only a teenager and about her sister Mary, who went blind during an era when there were no support services like there are now.

So much has been written about Laura Ingalls Wilder. I doubt I would write anything more on the subject. But I’ve thought about writing my own autobiography like she did. I may do that someday, but for now, I’m content with the memories of her family’s various little houses.

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How about you? Are there any historical or public figures who interest you, whom you might want to write about? You can either leave a comment below or click here to participate in this week’s Open Book Blog Hop.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image 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 Forever Blowing Bubbles #Musical Monday

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

The song I’m featuring today is one I sang many times when I worked as a registered music therapist with nursing home residents. I was inspired to share it after reading a post from A Unique Title for Me, in which Jim Adams provides a history of the song plus several versions. Here’s a little bit of what he has to say.

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This song became associated with the English West Ham football club which now plays at London Stadium and the fans often sing this song.  One story says that a young player called William Murray, who played for Park School in east London and West Ham’s school boys’ team, was nicknamed ‘Bubbles’ by the headmaster, Cornelius Beal due to his similarity in appearance to the boy in the 1886 painting called ‘Bubbles’ by Sir John Everett Millais, which became famous due to its use in a poster to advertise Pears’ soap.  West Ham fans turned out in big numbers to watch the team, and they would sing this song when the team played well.  Eventually the house band started playing the tune before kick-off and during half-time, encouraging fans to sing along with it.   They started using bubble machines to create the tens of thousands of bubbles for each home game.

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You can read the full article here.

According to Wikipedia, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” was first debuted in 1918 and published in 1919. It became a hit on Tin Pan Alley and was performed and recorded by most major bands and artists during the late 1910’s and early 1920’s, including Ben Selvin’s Novelty Orchestra and the Original Dixieland Jass Band. It was written by John Kellette with lyrics by Jaan Kenbrovin, a collective pseudonym of James Kendis, James Brockman, and Nat Vincent. It debuted in the Broadway show, The Passing Show of 1918 and became popular in British music halls and theaters in the 1920’s, where Dorothy Ward was renowned for making the song famous. It was also used by English comedian Professor Jimmy Edwards, who played it on the trombone. You can learn more here.

Now, here’s a rendition of this song by British singer Vera Lynn, who passed away in June of last year at the age of 103. According to Wikipedia, she was born in March of 1917 and served in the British Entertainments National Services Association from 1939 to 1945. She was widely known as the Forces’ Sweetheart, and her recordings and performances were popular during World War II. She gave outdoor concerts for the troops in Egypt, India, and Burma and is known for such songs as “We’ll Meet Again,” “The White Cliffs of Dover,” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” You can read more about her here. I hope you enjoy her version of “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.”

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

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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Novel Weaves Compelling Family Drama #Thursday Book Feature

Summer of 69

by Elin Hilderbrand

Copyright 2019

 

This is the story of one family during the summer of 1969. Jesse, thirteen, dreads spending a long, lonely summer on Nantucket with just her mother and grandmother. Her brother Richard is fighting in Vietnam. Her sister Curby, a college student, has a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard, and her other sister Blaire is married and pregnant in Boston.

This story is told from alternating third person points of view of most of the characters and is set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the moon landing. In the author’s note at the end, she explains how this story relates to her own life and events in the news during that time.

Despite this author’s nasty habit of inserting too much narrative in scenes containing dialog between two or more characters, I was drawn into the story right away. I was right there with the characters, walking on a beach or eating in a fancy restaurant. Jesse’s grandmother reminded me of my own grandmother’s eccentricities. I was also reminded of when my younger brother first learned to play tennis.

The narrator in the Audible version is excellent. I like how the last part of the book, which is set at Thanksgiving in 1969, ties up most loose ends. Being a musician, I can appreciate how each section is titled after a song popular during that time. With summer drawing to a close, this is one more book you should read this season, especially since this year is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

 

 

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.

The Chilbury Ladies Choir #Thursday Book Feature

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

The Chilbury Ladies Choir

By Jennifer Ryan

Copyright 2017

 

In 1940, during World War II, the women in the English village of Chilbury, in Kent near Dover, form a ladies choir under the direction of a local music teacher after most of the men join the armed forces. The women’s music not only heals them but brings hope and comfort to those in Chilbury and neighboring villages that are bombed by the Germans. The story is told mostly through letters and diary entries by various women affected by the war during the spring and summer months.

Some parts of the plot could have been better resolved at the end. An epilog written from the point of view of one of the characters would have sufficed for that purpose.

Otherwise, I can appreciate the message this book delivers about the healing power of music during times of tragedy. In the recorded version I downloaded, each character is narrated by a different person, and snippets of songs referenced are interjected to add a nice touch.

After reading this book, I’m inspired to sing for you now this song. Since it wasn’t composed until 1941, The Chilbury Ladies Choir wouldn’t have sung it during the book’s time span. But the song offered hope to those in war-torn England and other locations.

 

The White Cliffs of Dover

 

New! 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

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