Vegas

Today, I sent a story to The Missouri Review. “Vegas” is the tale of a man who makes frequent trips to the gambling capitol and becomes re-acquainted with a woman he fell in love and lost touch with ten years earlier. After reading a story in the current issue called “Of Questionable Provenance” by Susan Ford, in which a man who makes regular trips to New York develops a relationship with a woman he meets there, I thought this magazine might be a good market for my story since the two tales are somewhat similar. Will see what happens.
The Missouri Review publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. If you submit on line, there’s a $3.00 fee that you can charge to your credit card. You can also send manuscripts by mail. For more information, visit http://missourireview.com/main_info/e-submissions.php
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

Poetry Society of New Hampshire National Contest

Today, I sent five poems to the Poetry Society of New Hampshire’s national contest. They are entitled “Stranger in the  Night,” “I Walk Alone,” “Excuses,” “Cancer,” and “Death of a Hard Drive.” I could win as much as a hundred dollars, and one or more of my poems could be published in the organization’s quarterly magazine, The Poets Touchstone. These poems have not been published anywhere else.
“Stranger in the Night” was inspired by an incident that happened last year. A man with blond hair wearing a dark shirt, work boots, and a baseball cap entered a house and threatened a woman with serious bodily harm. She and her children fled, and the police notified neighbors within a one-mile radius, myself included. When I answered the phone, an automated voice told me to lock all doors and resume normal activity but be vigilant. Later, the perpetrator was found and charged with a lesser crime. He never went to jail so in a sense, he’s still lurking, but as I said in my poem, life goes on.
“I Walk Alone” is about how I walk around town with my white cane. Last year, I submitted this poem to an anthology of poems with the same titles as Sammy Cahn songs. I never heard back from the editor of this anthology so I’m giving up on that one. The original title of the poem was “I’ll Walk Alone” since that’s the title of one of Sammy Cahn’s songs, but I changed it to “I Walk Alone” because the poem is in the present tense.
“Excuses” is about what you might say to your spouse when you’re late getting home. “Cancer” is an account of how my mother suffered and died as a result of the dreaded disease.
“Death of a Hard Drive” is the story of how the hard drive on my old Macintosh computer finally decided it was time to go. I’d recently bought a PC and transferred most of my files to the new computer. I guess my old Mac knew it would soon be put out to pasture.
If you’re a poet, there’s still time to enter the Poetry Society of New Hampshire’s national contest, but hurry! The postmark deadline is Monday, November 15th. Entries must be submitted by mail, and the fee is $3.00 for the first poem and $2.00 for each additional one. Visit http://www.poetrysocietyofnewhampshire.org/contest.html for guidelines.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

WyoPoets National Contest

Yesterday, I submitted three poems to the WyoPoets Eugene V. Shea National Contest. “A Secret Sadness” is about a time soon after my husband Bill suffered his first stroke when I was trying to put on a brave face during a friend’s little girl’s birthday party. “At Daybreak” was inspired by Bill calling me a carapace at five in the morning one day. I don’t think he was quite awake, but it sure made good material for a poem. In “At The Dentist’s Office,” I reflect on past and present experiences with a tooth doctor. These poems have not been published yet. Because anything that appears on the Web is considered published, and most magazines and journals don’t accept previously published work, I won’t post them here or on my Web site until they appear elsewhere.
If you’re a poet, there’s still time to enter the WyoPoets Eugene V. Shea National Contest. The first prize is $100.00, and there’s a $2.00 entry fee plus a $1.00 reading fee per poem. Poetry, that has been published or not, on any subject in any form will be accepted. Entries must be submitted by mail. You don’t have to be a resident of Wyoming to enter. The deadline is November 30th. If you’re interested, go to http://www.wyopoets.org/page4.html
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

The Flower Boy

This is the story of Tristan, a little boy who is considered different. His older cousin bullies him during family gatherings, making these events a nightmare. His other cousins ignore him and don’t intervene when the bully strikes. But at Uncle Harry’s wedding, the bully meets an unexpected match.
This story was published in Behind Our Eyes, an anthology of stories and poems by disabled writers. It also appeared in Wordgathering, an online publication containing writing by disabled authors. You can read it by going to http://www.wordgathering.com/past_issues/issue7/prose/taylor2.html
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

Poetry

Today, I sent five poems to Accents Publishing, which is seeking submissions for an anthology of very short poetry. (less than fifty words) They are also accepting full length manuscript submissions. You can find more information at http://accents-publishing.com/news.html.
A year or so ago, I put together a manuscript of fifty poems I am calling How To Build a Better Mousetrap: Reflections and Recollections of a Family Caregiver. I sent this to several manuscript contests, but it hasn’t won yet. Last month, I found a list of small presses in The Writer, and I plan to see if one of them would be interested in publishing it.
I am President of WyoPoets, an organization that promotes poetry in the state of Wyoming by holding annual workshops and encouraging poetry celebrations throughout the state. Please visit our Web site at http://www.wyopoets.org/where you will find information about upcoming contests and events and resources for poets. If you’re not a poet, you might still enjoy the site since it contains poetry from its members from time to time.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

Visually Impaired Support Group

 

As I said in my last post, I facilitate a support group for the visually impaired. We meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month, and most of the participants are senior citizens. This past Tuesday, a local optometrist spoke briefly and answered questions. He had a lot of information about cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye inflictions, and participants had a lot of questions. The meeting lasted a little over half an hour.
We won’t meet in November or December because of the closeness of the regular meeting dates to the holidays. In December, those of us who are available will try to get together for lunch. In January, a local ophthalmologist will be available at our meeting to answer questions, and in February, a vendor will demonstrate hand held and desktop magnifiers.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

Introduction

Welcome to my corner of the world. For years, I’ve been blogging on the samobile network, a specialized Web venue for the blind and visually impaired. After seeing other blogs here, I decided to try blogspot in the hope that it will give me more blogging options and a wider audience. As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m visually impaired. I can see people and things if they’re close enough, and I can detect colors. I use a white cane when walking around town, and my computer has screen reading software that allows me to type and navigate independently. I also use a desktop magnifier at home and a portable unit when I’m out and about.

I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, and for the past few years, I’ve been writing full time. My husband Bill, who I married in September of 2005, is partially paralyzed as a result of two strokes he suffered after we were married. When I’m not writing or caring for my better half, I facilitate a support group for the visually impaired, sing in a women’s barber-shop choir, and participate in water exercise classes at the YMCA.

My novel, We Shall Overcome, was published in July of 2007 by iUniverse. My short stories have appeared in Emerging Voices and Disability Studies Quarterly. My poems have appeared in Distant Horizons, Wyoming Fence Lines, and Voicings from the High Country. My creative nonfiction pieces have appeared in SageScript, and Christmas in the Country. I hope to eventually publish a book of poems and perhaps a collection of memoirs and a book of short stories.

Please visit my Web site at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com/ to learn more about me and sample my work. You will also find an excerpt and review of We Shall Overcome and links to several on line retailers where the book can be purchased in print and ebook formats. If you are, like me, visually impaired or have difficulty reading books for other reasons, there are two accessible ways you can access We Shall Overcome. If you use talking books, your local library should be able to access it on cassette from the Utah State Library. If you prefer an electronic format that can be transfered to a Victor reader or other such device, you can mail me a check for $6.00, and I’ll e-mail you the book in doc, rtf, or txt format. On My Web site, you will also find a link to e-mail me, and a link to my personal page which contains my samobile Web site and links to my blog, bookmarks, and news interests on the network. If I decide I like blogspot better than the samobile blogging option, I may eliminate that link. Thank you for visiting my corner of the world.

Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome
http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com/.