On an Autumnal Afternoon #Poetry #WednesdayWords

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.As I sit in a shady spot on my back lawn,
a cool breeze caresses me under a blue, cloudless sky
amid grass parched by lack of rain.
In the distance, barking dogs
and the hum of traffic on an adjacent street
punctuate the silent air.
No bird songs can be heard—no creatures flit about.
At least there are no mosquitoes, bees, or flies.
Fall is in the air.
After the dry summer’s relentless heat,
autumn can’t come soon enough.

 

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor

***

The above poem was published in the October 17th issue of The Weekly Avocet. Click below to hear me read it.

on an autumnal afternoon

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

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 Chat with Natalie #WednesdayWords

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

As I’m sure you’re aware, my new novel, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, has just been released and is now available in paperback and eBook formats from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online retailers. Today, I sat down with Natalie, one of my main characters. AT sixteen years old, she learned from her grandmother that the man she thought was her biological dad wasn’t. Let’s see what she has to say.

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Me: Natalie, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to me today.

Natalie:  Sure. Whatever.

Me: What do you think about when you’re trying to fall asleep?

Natalie: Well, I guess I could say that although it was a shock, finding out about my real dad, I think how lucky I am to have two dads when some kids don’t even have one.

Me: That works. Do you have a hiding place?

Natalie: No, not really. The only thing I’ve ever hidden is the fact that I emailed my real dad after my grandmother told me about him and I told my parents I knew about him. But eventually, that came out. We’ve been keeping in touch ever since.

Me: Okay, if they make a movie about your life, what actor might play you?

Natalie: How about Britney Spears? I felt sorry for her when I heard that her dad controlled every aspect of her adult life and was glad when a judge took away his power of attorney or whatever it was. None of my dads would ever do that to me. If she were to play me in a movie, she could learn what it’s like to be in a loving family environment.

Me: That’s a good point. So, what’s the first possession you would save from a fire?

Natalie: My iPhone. I need to  be able to keep in touch with family and friends and especially my real dad.

Me: That’s nice. What’s one of the worst things you’ve ever done?

Natalie: That’s a no-brainer. Telling my parents I knew Grandma’s secret. I thought for sure that Daryl, the man I thought was my real dad, would divorce my mom for having a one-night stand with my biological dad. If only I hadn’t opened my big mouth.

Me: I know how you feel. Let’s not think about that now. Tell me. Do you envy anyone?

Natalie: No, not even Britney Spears. She’s had a hard life.

Me: I agree with that. Speaking of Britney, do you sing or dance when you’re by yourself?

Natalie: No, not really.

Me: Okay, what false impression might other people have about you?

Natalie: What kind of question is that? I don’t think anybody has a false impression of me.

Me: All right. I’m sorry. We’ll talk about something else. What’s a memory that you cherish like a treasure?

Natalie: Hmm, let’s see. Well, when I was little, Mom usually read to me at night before I went to sleep. I learned later that my favorite bedtime story was written by my biological dad.

Me: That’s interesting. Now, one last question. What’s something you usually lie about?

Natalie: Well, I don’t lie about anything anymore, but I used to lie about whether I did my homework or even having homework to do. But since I met my real dad, I decided I want to be a better person.

Me: Well, Natalie, thank you again for chatting with me today.

Natalie: You’re welcome. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this interview, but it was kind of fun.

***

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

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?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Adapting My Writing to Changing Times #OpenBookBlogHop #WednesdayWords

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “WHY do you write what you write?”

***

The answer is simple. I enjoy reading the type of material I write.

I like stories with believable characters and a plot that’s not too complicated or horrendous, with no violence, no explicit descriptions of sex, and not too much strong language. I like feel-good endings in which everything is resolved. I enjoy reading poetry that’s straightforward, not abstract, that doesn’t have unfamiliar words. I like memoirs to which I can relate that don’t portray a lot of atrocities.

I’m a sensitive reader. I don’t like books that make me feel uncomfortable.  So, I don’t want my readers to feel uncomfortable.

Recently, my editor at DLD Books pointed out a problem with a scene in my latest novel, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, which is due out this fall. After having a bad dream, ten-year-old Sarah crawls into bed with her father, not realizing her mother isn’t there. My editor pointed out that ten-year-old girls aren’t known to do that anymore, and victims of sexual molestation or rape by a parent or other relative may feel uncomfortable reading this. Since I’ve never been a victim of such abuse, I’d never thought of it from that angle.

In the 1970’s, I often climbed into bed with my own father, and he read to me, or we listened to music or just slept. Back then, I’d never heard of adults abusing children in such a way.

I don’t want readers who were victims of such abuse to feel uncomfortable reading my books. Now that I think of it, I haven’t read many books where little girls curl up in bed with their fathers. So, I agreed to let my editor change the scene. It’ll be interesting to see what she does with it.

***

How about you authors out there? Why do you write what you write? Have you needed to change a scene because you were afraid it would make someone uncomfortable? You can leave your answer in the comment field below or click here to participate in this week’s Open Book Blog Hop and read what others have to say.

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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.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

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Open Book Blog Hop—A Home Run for Tom Sawyer #WednesdayWords

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is:  “If your character wanted to wear a disguise, how would they dress?”

In The Red Dress, my main character Eve Sawyer’s thirteen-year-old son, Thomas, is an avid baseball fan. I’m sure he would love to be disguised as a star player on the Colorado Rockies team. He would wear the regulation uniform of Jersey, pants, socks, shoes, and gloves. Since he’s had no formal training other than playing catch with his dad and watching almost every game on television, who knows how long this disguise would last if he tried to play with the team? But here’s a family dinner scene in which he imagines scoring a home run.

***

Thomas paid little attention to his food. It was no wonder, given all he’d eaten at the game.

Eve was tempted to tell him that if he didn’t finish his meal, he wouldn’t get ice cream, but she didn’t have the heart. It wasn’t often he had a chance to go to a baseball game with his father. Why spoil it?

 

The boy looked up and grinned. “Someday I’m going to play for the Rockies, and then they’ll win the World Series. Batter, batter, batter, SWING!” He flung his arm in front of his body to illustrate his point, and Eve was grateful he didn’t knock over his milk.

“That ball is not coming back,” said Thomas, mimicking a radio announcer they’d once heard. “It’s a home run for Tom Sawyer.”

“Okay, Tom Sawyer, but you’d better whitewash the fence first,” said Ashley with a grin.

Eve smiled as she remembered Greg reading Mark Twain’s classic to the kids when they were old enough to understand it. She was proud that they still remembered the story.

“That reminds me,” said Greg. “Our fence could use another coat of paint.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” said Thomas.

***

So, does this modern-day Tom Sawyer have to whitewash the fence? Read The Red Dress and find out. By the way, it’s free this month from Smashwords. See below for details. If you’re a blogger and author and would like to participate in this week’s hop, click here.

***

And now, I’m pleased to announce that today at noon, mountain time, I’ll be playing the piano and singing in the dining room at The Hub on Smith, here in Sheridan, Wyoming. If you live in my neck of the woods, the facility is located at 211 Smith Street, and you can come and eat lunch while listening. The event will be broadcast live and recorded. You can click here to visit the event’s Facebook page, where you’ll be able to see the live broadcast.

On Sunday, July 11th, I’ll be participating in a virtual poetry reading, where anyone is welcome to attend and share a poem or two. This will take place at 5 p.m. mountain time on Zoom. You can click here for more information.

Last but not least, throughout the month of July, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available from Smashwords ABSOLUTELY FREE as part of its annual summer/winter sale. You can visit my Smashwords author page to download these books. Happy reading!

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.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

The Diary of Ashley Sawyer #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s prompt is: “Dear Diary. Write a diary entry or a letter from your character’s point of view.”

***

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

 

My name is Ashley Sawyer. I’m fifteen years old, and I live in Colorado Springs with my parents, my sister Julie, who is seventeen, and my brother Thomas, who just turned thirteen in June. In case you’re wondering, we do have a Tom Sawyer in the family. My dad, an English teacher at the Colorado State School for the Blind, and my mom, a bestselling author, named him after that character in the Mark Twain book. Tom also had an Aunt Polly and, I believe, a cousin Mary. Why my sister and me weren’t named after them is beyond me. Of course, my dad has a sister in California named Polly. So, having two people in the family named Polly would have been confusing.

Anyway, my friend Sylvia got this book called The Diary of Anne Frank for her birthday last week. She and I mostly like to read romances like what my mom writes, but when I slept over at her house last Saturday, we stayed up late, taking turns reading sections of it to each other out loud. It’s a fascinating and tragic story about a Jewish girl in Holland during World War II who keeps a diary while her family is in hiding from the Nazis.

Sylvia said I could borrow the book, but I wanted my own copy. So, I asked my grandpa, who runs a bookstore in Fowler, if he had it. He was surprised but glad I was broadening my horizons, so to speak. He said he would have to order it, but it would be there the next time we visited.

Meanwhile, I’ve decided to start my own diary, although my life isn’t nearly as interesting as that of Anne Frank. Then again, last summer was amazing! Mom reconnected with an old college roommate and a former best friend she hadn’t seen in years. Julie got a steady boyfriend, and I made a new friend in California. I also got to attend a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game, where my new friend’s brother caught a ball for me. I gave it to Thomas, who was over the moon, being a Colorado Rockies fan.

Oh, gosh, I don’t have time to write any more now. Mom’s calling us all down to breakfast. Then, I’ll have to hurry, so I don’t miss the school bus. I’ll write more tomorrow. I promise.

***

Want to know more. Read The Red Dress. If you’re a blogger and would like to participate in this week’s Open Book Blog Hop, click here.

***

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.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website