Nifty Names #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “How do you come up with the names for your characters?”

Most of my characters are named after people I know, but the characters usually aren’t anything like the people who’s names I used. Let’s take, for example, my latest novel, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me.

The father, Daryl, has the same name as the maintenance man in an apartment building where I once lived when I was single. I met someone named Marti once through social media and thought that name would be perfect for the mother.

One of my nieces had a friend named Natalie. I only saw her in passing when the girls were together and didn’t know her very well. But I thought Natalie would be the perfect name for a spunky teenaged girl who grows up in the course of the book. I knew many people named Sarah and thought that would be the perfect name for a ten-year-old girl. As for the dog, I thought it fitting Sarah name him Squeakers, since she finds him in the park, cold, alone, and squeaking, in other words whining, to indicate his fear at being abandoned.

How about you authors out there? How do you name your characters? You can click here to participate and read other bloggers’ responses.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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Lessons Learned from Dad #MondayMusings #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.Today, my father would have been in his mid 80s. I’ve revised and am sharing a post that went live two months before he passed in 2013. Enjoy!

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

If “The Joint is Jumpin,” you’re going to 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.

Dad also tried to teach me the value of money. He thought he’d succeeded until I sold my wheelchair accessible van after my husband Bill passed. George, who responded to my ad, asked if I could take a thousand dollars off the asking price because the switch on the back of the vehicle that automatically opened the doors to the lift didn’t work, and the lift needed to be re-sized to fit his electric wheelchair. Because he appeared to be in desperate need of this vehicle, I agreed. Dad was livid. He claimed that it wouldn’t have cost a thousand dollars to fix these problems, but what he didn’t understand was a lesson I didn’t learn from him.

Although money is important, being helped and passing on that good deed to another is more valuable. Several years ago, Bill and I really wanted a van we could use to go places at night and on weekends when the local paratransit service wasn’t running. We were lucky to find someone willing to sell us such a vehicle at a price we could afford. When George came to my home in response to my ad, I could tell right away he was in the same position. I didn’t need that extra thousand dollars, and he needed the van. you can read more about our adventures with the van in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

I leave you now with another lesson I did learn from Dad via Louis Armstrong. Despite the hateful things going on around us, we live in a “Wonderful World.” Rest in peace, Dad.

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What lessons have you learned from your father? Please feel free to share in the comment field below.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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A Nightmare to Remember #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Excerpts

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Do dreams/nightmares influence your writing? Do you keep a notebook by your bed to write down ideas?”

Years ago when I was in college, after reading an Ellery Queen mystery, I developed an irrational fear of policemen, which caused me to be plagued by nightmares. One such dream inspired the following scene from my first novel, We Shall Overcome.

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“Where are you taking me?” asked Lisa as several policemen carried her down a long, dark hall.

“Where do you think?” one of them said.

“Please put me down,” Lisa said. “You’ll drop me. Just because I don’t see very well doesn’t mean I can’t walk.”

The men only laughed, and she was consumed by panic. Lisa fought to free herself from their grasp, which was not easy since her hands were cuffed behind her back. Two of the officers held her ankles while others held her shoulders. She began to scream and continued screaming until she was carried through a doorway and tossed onto a hard bunk. The cell door slammed with a resounding thud as the policemen left her, still handcuffed, lying face down on the bed.

“It is now six thirty am,” said the male voice of Lisa’s talking alarm clock as a cheerful tune was played. She sat up with a start. Her heart pounding, she discovered to her relief that she was not in a jail cell but in her own bedroom. The sheets and blankets were in a tangle on the floor. “Oh, god,” she said and flopped on the bed to wait for her heart to stop pounding.

***

How about you? If you’re an author, do dreams or nightmares influence your writing? Have any of your characters ever had bad or good dreams? You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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Dealing with Disheartenment #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “We all get discouraged at one time or another (or all the time!) in the process of writing. How do you defeat the feeling?”

I get more discouraged with technology than writing. But once in a while, I’ll find myself stuck on a story or poem. I put it aside and work on something else for a while. Once years ago, I started writing a novel and painted myself into a corner. I realized the piece would work better as a short story. I cope, one way or another.

How about you? Even if you’re not a writer, surely you get discouraged. How do you handle it? You can comment below or click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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What to Read or Watch #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “What is your favorite genre to read/watch (movies/tv)? Any book recommendations?”

Lately, I’ve been drawn to memoirs, some historical fiction, and poetry. I recently read West with Giraffes, a fictionalized account of a true story of two giraffes, who, after surviving the hurricane that hit New York City in 1938, are transported across the country to the San Diego Zoo. You can read my review of this book here.

I don’t watch television anymore. In my opinion, there isn’t a lot on that’s worth watching. So, I can’t justify paying for cable. But once in a while, I’ll watch a movie, either a comedy or drama that doesn’t contain much violence, sex, or strong language. I recently enjoyed All Creatures Great and Small, a movie I’d never seen, although I’ve read many of James Herriot’s books.

How about you? What’s your favorite book or movie genre? You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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