*Kindling Friendship* Abbie Johnson Taylor

Image contains: me, smiling.Thanks to Joan Myles for allowing me to promote my work and myself on her blog today.

Jewniquely Myself

Friends,

It’s been about a year since I joined Behind Our Eyes (BOE), a 501(c)3organization which promotes the writing of blind and disabled individuals by way of a virtual writer’s group, as well as its own magazine, Magnets and Ladders. And I am privileged to find myself in the midst of some pretty amazing people. While we sometimes share common challenges, issues around disability are not our only creative focus. We are writers after all, writers like writers everywhere, whose inspiration is multifaceted, and whose efforts result in poetry, memoir, fantasy and much, much more, spanning the veritable cosmos of ideas.

Today as my guest, I welcome Abbie Johnson Taylor, newly elected BOE president. Abbie delivers soft-spoken compassion through a straight forward communication style, in her writing, as in her life.

Me: Abbie, how nice of you to drop by.

Abbie: Thank you for having me. You have a lovely…

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To Ana At Eighteen

Image contains: me, smiling.I wrote the following poem for my niece in Florida who is celebrating her eighteenth birthday this month. You can click below to hear me read it. The title poem in my collection, That’s Life, is also dedicated to her.

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Image contains: Ana, smiling, indoor graphic.

TO ANA AT EIGHTEEN

 

 

At thirteen, all you wanted to do

was go to the beach or mall with friends.

When your aunt from Wyoming visited at Christmas,

you reluctantly accompanied the family

to a performance of The Nutcracker.

 

Now you’re eighteen.

You still like to hang out with friends,

but you have more important things to think about:

high school graduation, college, a career.

Your whole life is ahead of you.

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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

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My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

Friday Fun Poetry Challenge: Discipline and Purpose (Synonyms Only)

Image contains: me, smiling.

This feature was created by Colleen Chesebro. This week, she encourages poets to choose their own words. Recently when I went out for Chinese food, I ended up with a fortune cookie that said, “You have good discipline and a sense of purpose.” I was thus inspired to use synonyms of “discipline” and “purpose.” In the following etheree poem, I used “persistence” and “field of study.” You can click on the title to hear me read it.

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WRITING WITH PERSISTENCE

In

my field

of study,

I’ve learned to craft

works that mean something

to those who will read them.

This has long ago given

My life a sense of clear meaning.

Inspired by love, sadness, hope, truth,

Beauty, wonder, miracles, I’ll soldier on.

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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

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My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

Thursday Tidbit: What Time is It?

Image contains: me, smiling.

On Monday morning after we moved off daylight savings time, my smart speaker woke me as usual at six thirty by playing a local public radio station. A minute later, I was horrified when the announcer said it was 7:31 a.m. I asked my smart speaker for the time, and she assured me it was only 6:31 a.m. Apparently, someone at the radio station had forgotten to set the clocks back an hour. I breathed a sigh of relief, thankful that the radio wasn’t my only source for the time.

This reminded me of a time that I talk about in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Below is an excerpt. My late husband and I traveled from our home in Sheridan, Wyoming, about five hundred miles to Fowler, Colorado, to visit Bill’s sister. In our haste to catch a bus at three in the morning, I forgot to put on my watch after showering and didn’t realize it until we arrived at the bus station. For the next two weeks, I had to rely on Bill and other sources for the time.

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One morning, soon after we arrived in Fowler, Bill shook me awake and told me it was seven o’clock. Shirley’s cleaning lady was due at eight, and I didn’t want her to catch us in bed. At a quarter to eight, after having showered and dressed, I settled in a recliner in the living room with my radio and headphones.

Shirley wasn’t up yet, and this seemed odd. I also noticed that it didn’t appear to be getting any lighter. I tuned in a public radio station out of Pueblo, and after fifteen minutes of national news, a local announcer said, “Good morning. It’s six a.m.”

Barely able to contain my anger, I stomped into the bedroom where Bill was dressing. I didn’t want to yell for fear of waking Shirley. “You idiot! It’s only six o’clock.”

Bill laughed. “I thought my watch said it was seven.”

“Yeah, right,” I said, as I sat on the bed and took off my shoes. “That’s why I don’t use a Braille watch anymore.”

“Well, let’s go out to breakfast.”

“You go out to breakfast,” I said, as I lay on the bed and covered myself with the blanket. “I’m going back to sleep.”

I turned on my side and closed my eyes. I heard him leave and knew he was mad, but I didn’t care. As I drifted back to sleep, I vowed never to forget my watch again. Little did I know that this was the last trip Bill and I would take together.

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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

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My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

Let’s Talk: The TMI Questions Tag

Image contains: me, smiling.Okay, it’s time for a little fun. I read this tag on Amaan Khan’s blog. Here are my answers to his silly questions. This shouldn’t be too much information.

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Q1. What are you wearing? I’m dressed in blue jeans, a pink sweatshirt with a design on the front, black socks and white tennis shoes.

Q2. Have you ever been in love? Yes, and I married him. Three months later, he suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. I cared for him at home for six years before he passed. You can learn more about this by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Q3. Have you ever had a terrible break-up? No, but I did lose my man. Death is similar to a break-up, you know.

Q4. How much do you weigh? 132 pounds.

Q5. Do you have any piercings? Not now, but when I was in junior high school, I was crazy enough to have my ears pierced. Although it was done professionally in a jewelry store, my ears became infected, so I had to let them close over.

Q6. Do you have any tattoos? No, and I never will. I’m not that crazy.

Q7. How long does it take you to shower? That’s nobody’s business but mine.

Q8. Have you ever been in a physical fight? No, but I’ve been in plenty of verbal ones, mostly with my younger brother.

Q9. What turns you on? At my age, I don’t get turned on.

Q10. What turns you off? Incorrect grammar, too many adverbs, and too many descriptions of sex and other activities that aren’t relevant to a story.

Q11. Do you prefer loud or soft music? I mostly listen while I’m working, so for me, it’s better soft.

Q12. Do you have a favorite quote? Yes. “Sometimes I even amaze myself.” It’s what Han Solo says in Star Wars after Princess Leia marvels at her successful rescue. It’s what I say when someone tells me how amazing it is that I do what I do despite my lack of vision.

Q13. What’s your biggest fear? I’m terrified of fire. This stems from my younger brother’s fascination with it, resulting in his burning down an abandoned shack and starting a blaze in our basement when he was only five years old. He eventually outgrew this, and now he teaches physics at a private high school.

Q14. What’s the last thing that made you cry? Hearing a song that was included on a cassette that my late husband sent me on Valentine’s Day after proposing to me. You can listen to the song and read more about my experience with it here.

Q15. Who was the last person you spoke to? The gal who delivered my groceries.

Q16. What are the three qualities in a best friend? Honesty, empathy, and a sense of humor.

Q17. Do you like your name? I never gave this much thought. Besides, if I didn’t like it, changing it wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

Q18. If you could pick your own name, what would it be? I wouldn’t bother. I’m happy with the name I have.

Q19. What makes you happy? Writing, reading, eating.

Q20. What are five random facts about you? I live in Sheridan, Wyoming. I’m about five feet tall with short dark hair and brown eyes. I use a white cane when walking around town. I like dogs and cats but don’t want the responsibility associated with having pets of my own. I like most types of music except for heavy metal, hip hop, and rap.

Q21. Is there any religious persuasion? No, not anymore.

Q22. Have you ever given or received a hicky? No.

Q23. What do you think about the most? My writing projects and other obligations.

Q24. Is there someone you really hate right now? No.

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Now it’s your turn. I triple dog dare you to answer any or all of the above questions, either on your own blog or in the comment field below. If you do this on your own blog, please be sure to include a link to this post. I look forward to reading your answers.

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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

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Like me on Facebook.

Song Lyric Sunday: I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen

Image contains: me, smiling.This blog feature was created by Helen Vahdati. This week’s theme is “take/taking.” My brother Andy’s first wife’s name was Kathleen. I sang this song at their wedding, as she came down the aisle. You can click on the title to hear me sing the song the way I sang it over twenty years ago. As far as I know, no one is taking Kathleen home again now. Andy has a new wife and is happy.

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I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen

 

Lyrics Courtesy of Google

 

I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen

Across the ocean wild and wide

To where your heart has ever been

Since first you were my Bonnie bride.

The roses all have left your cheek.

I’ve watched them fade away and die

Your voice is sad when e’er you speak

And tears bedim your loving eyes.

Oh! I will take you back, Kathleen

To where your heart will feel no pain

And when the fields are fresh and green

I’ll take you to your home again!

 

Songwriters: James Carroll / Sean Gilroy / Myles Mooney / Trevor Peak / Paul Ryan

I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Songtrust

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My Books

 

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

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

We Shall Overcome

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Like me on Facebook.

 

Friday Fun Poetry Challenge: Afraid and Grave (Synonyms Only)

This feature was created by Colleen Chesebro. This week’s words are “afraid” and “grave.” I’m giving you a two-for-one special on Tankas today. The following reflects my fear of death and my longing to be with my late husband. You’ll note that instead of “afraid,” I use “fearful,” and instead of “grave” I use “burial place.”

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Fearful of being

laid in a burial place

and never wanting

my dead body to be burned,

I am just staying alive.

 

Yet the one I love

Lies alone under the ground.

If I lay with him,

Oh, would we be together

in death as we were in life?

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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

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

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.