Hemorrhage #Poetry #Book Excerpt

Today, instead of reviewing someone else’s book, I’m tooting my own horn. The following poem from How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, gives a brief run-down of the journey my late husband and I took through the labyrinth of recovery and rehabilitation after his strokes. You can read a more detailed account in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Click on the link below the poem to hear me read it.

Hemorrhage

 

Barely coherent, drenched in sweat, he lay on the floor. “What happened?” I asked. His response was unintelligible.

“I don’t need to go to the hospital,” he told the paramedics. “but if my wife wants me to go, I guess I will.”

“The stroke was caused by bleeding on the right side of his brain,” said the doctor. “He may need surgery.”

“In this case, surgery won’t help,” another doctor told us. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

“He’s not strong enough to participate in our rehabilitation program,” said the social worker. “He’ll have to go to a nursing home.”

“I don’t know how much you’ll recover or how long it will take,” a third doctor said. “Continue the therapy, and watch your blood pressure.”

“We’ll work on strengthening your legs and try to get you up and moving,” the therapist promised him.

“They’ve given up on me. I don’t think I’ll ever walk again.”

 

Hemorrhage

 

 

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 Touts Value of Knowing One’s Culture #Thursday Book Feature

Pigs in Heaven: A Novel

by Barbara Kingsolver

Copyright 1993.

 

This is the sequel to The Bean Trees, which I reviewed here a couple of weeks ago. Taylor and her six-year-old adopted Indian daughter Turtle are living happily in Tucson, Arizona. While vacationing at The Grand Canyon, Turtle sees a man fall into a spillway. She and Taylor alert the authorities, and the story becomes national news.

As a result, Taylor and Turtle are asked to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show. In Oklahoma, a lawyer for the Cherokee Nation, after seeing Turtle on TV, questions the validity of the child’s adoption, which occurred three years earlier. When Taylor learns of the lawyer’s suspicion, she and Turtle hit the road. Her mother, who lives in Kentucky, travels to Oklahoma to visit her cousin and plead their case.

Parts of this story could have moved along faster, but otherwise, I was riveted. On cold winter nights, without leaving my recliner, I traveled through desert heat from Arizona to Nevada to Washington State and finally, to the small town of Heaven, Oklahoma. From a Las Vegas coffee shop, where we meet a waitress with a Barbie obsession, to a Cherokee ceremonial dance in Oklahoma, the author drew me into her story. Although the ending was satisfactory, I would like to have seen a few details resolved. Otherwise, this second novel by Barbara Kingsolver is a good story.

 

 

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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On Living with Blindness #Thursday Book Feature

Insight Out: One Blind Woman’s View of Her Life
by Mary Hiland
Copyright 2019.

From the author of The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living comes a compelling memoir about living with blindness. Unlike most memoirs, this one isn’t told in chronological order. Instead, each chapter covers a particular facet of the author’s life.
She describes her childhood and talks about how she dreamed of being a dancer on Broadway. She shares how that dream was dashed when she was diagnosed with legal blindness at the age of eighteen as a result of retinitis pigmentosa. This degenerative disease had been progressing throughout most of her life.
As an adult, despite this diagnosis, she cross-country skied, biked, and hiked on a regular basis and participated in a variety of entertainment groups as well as Toastmasters and other organizations. She even formed some groups of her own. She describes, in great detail, her experiences and adventures.
Other chapters cover college, getting married, finding a job, parenting, being a grandparent, and how she acquired a succession of guide dogs. She also discusses some myths and misperceptions about blind people and gives advice to others facing vision loss. In an afterword, she shares, for the benefit of her children and grandchildren, memories of relatives who influenced her as well as her legacies. The book includes journal entries, letters, articles, and photos.
I met Mary several years ago through Behind Our Eyes, an organization of disabled writers, of which I’m president. Unlike her, I tried a few of the physical activities in which she participated, fell once or twice, and gave up. I admire her courage and determination. Anyone reading this book will be enlightened and educated.

 

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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A Novel about Compassion and Friendship #Thursday Book Feature

The Bean Trees

by Barbara Kingsolver

Copyright 1988

 

A couple of years after graduating from high school, Taylor leaves her rural Kentucky hometown, driving a beat-up old car, with no particular destination in mind. In a small Oklahoma town, after getting her car repaired, someone leaves an Indian baby girl on her front seat. Taylor decides to keep her and names her Turtle.

She and Turtle arrive in Tucson, Arizona, on four flat tires and settle there. She finds a place to live and makes friends. The book has other sub-plots involving her housemate, two elderly neighbors, and a refugee couple living above the tire shop where she works.

I could relate to this story because I did some of my growing up in Tucson, Arizona. The author’s descriptions of a picnic and visit to a local zoo remind me of similar trips I took with my family in the area when I was a child. Although this book was published in 1988, it reflects the plight of immigrants today, which is, I believe, much worse than it was back then. The Bean Trees is Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, and I’ll probably read more of her work.

 

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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My Christmas Gift #Thursday Book Feature

Today, instead of reviewing someone else’s work, I’m tooting my own horn and offering a gift to all my loyal readers and followers. I’m pleased to announce that my two latest books, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds and The Red Dress: A Novel, can now be purchased from Smashwords absolutely free from now until January 1st. See below for more information about each book and links to where it can be downloaded from Smashwords. Happy reading!

 

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.

 

Click to order from Smashwords in various eBook formats.

 

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

Copyright 2016 by Dld Books


In September of 2005, Abbie Johnson married Bill Taylor. She was in her mid—forties, and he was nineteen years older. Three months later, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side and confined him to a wheelchair. Abbie Johnson Taylor, once a registered music therapist, uses prose and poetry to tell the story of how she met and married her husband, then cared for him for six years despite her visual impairment. At first, there was a glimmer of hope that Bill would walk again, but when therapists gave up on him seven months after his second stroke, Taylor resigned herself to being a permanent family caregiver.
She discusses learning to dress him and transfer him from one place to another, sitting up with him at night when he couldn’t urinate or move his bowels, and dealing with doctors and bureaucrats to obtain necessary equipment and services. There were happy times, like when she played the piano or guitar and sang his favorite songs, or when they went out to eat or to a concert. She also explains how she purchased a wheelchair accessible van and found people to drive it, so they wouldn’t always depend on the local para-transit service’s limited hours. In the end, she describes the painful decision she and Bill made to move him to a nursing home when he became too weak for her to care for him in September of 2012. He seemed to give up on life and passed away a month later.

 

Click here to order My Ideal Partner in various eBook formats from Smashwords.

 

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A Holiday Favorite with a Twist #Thursday Book Feature

Jacob T. Marley

by R. William Bennett

Copyright 2011.

 

In Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale, Jacob T. Marley is Scrooge’s partner. R. William Bennett’s novel tells the same story from Marley’s point of view.

He starts by describing Marley’s childhood, then how he became a successful, miserly accountant and how he met Scrooge and took him on as a business partner. He then explains Marley’s deathbed epiphany and events leading up to Marley’s ghostly appearance before Scrooge on that fateful Christmas Eve.

After that, he tells of Scrooge’s encounters with the three spirits, as Marley observes them. He then continues the story after Scrooge’s change of perspective until his death twenty-five years later when he and Marley are reunited.

I like how R. William Bennett uses exact quotes from Charles Dickens’ work to enhance the story. I also enjoy the way the Audible narrator depicts Scrooge and Marley as they age. If you enjoy Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, you should try this book. It’s the same story with a twist.

 

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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A Novel About a Naughty Girl #Thursday Book Feature

City of Girls

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Copyright 2019.

 

From the bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love comes a novel that spans seventy years. In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian is expelled from college. Her parents send her from their home in Clinton, New York, to live with her aunt, who runs a crumbling theater in New York City. Vivian’s sewing skills, which she acquired from her grandmother, make her popular among the showgirls and dancers, and she becomes the theater’s volunteer costume designer. Within two weeks of her arrival, she loses her virginity and becomes active in New York City’s night life.

In 1941, a scandal that occurs as a result of her sexual promiscuity nearly ruins her life, but she bounces back. In the 1950’s, after the city demolishes her aunt’s theater, Vivian opens a bridal shop with a friend, who becomes pregnant, and helps raise her child while continuing with her own sexual activities. In the 1960’s, she becomes involved in an unusual relationship with an unlikely character from her past.

If I don’t like the main character, I usually don’t finish the book. But I was intrigued by the way the author tells this story in the form of a letter from Vivian to someone named Angela. My curiosity about the connection between Vivian and Angela kept me hanging on. But I would like to have seen Vivian grow as a character, perhaps give up her worldliness after the 1941 scandal.

Otherwise, I was fascinated by events that went on in the theater, my parents having been want-to-be stars in New York City before I came along in 1961. I found myself chuckling at some of the characters’ antics. Blair Brown, who narrates the audio book, does an excellent job. City of Girls would make a great holiday gift for someone who finds theater intriguing or likes stories about naughty girls.

 

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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