Staying Focused #Open Book Blog Hop, Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Amid social media’s constant distractions, it can be hard to concentrate. Some say that in order for writers to promote their work, they should use every available form of social media. But if I were to do that, I’d spend more time marketing and less time writing material to be promoted. You need a good balance, and I’ve come up with one that works for me.

I only use two forms of social media: WordPress and Facebook. I don’t constantly check these platforms for notifications, especially since their apps on my iPhone are pretty good at letting me know when something’s up. When I receive notifications while working, I wait until I get to a good stopping point before dealing with them. With my phone, I can easily read, like, comment on, or simply clear a notification before returning to the task at hand.

Other writers may think my tactics are counterproductive, but here’s the thing. I’m the author of five books and hope to publish a sixth one in 2021. This blog has attracted over 800 followers. On Facebook, I’ve accumulated over 400 friends, and my author page has received plenty of hits. So, I must be doing something right. As a writer, it’s important to find a method that works for you and not worry about what others think.

How about you? How do you stay focused on whatever you do? Thanks to this week’s Open Book Blog Hop post from Stevie Turner for inspiring this. Click here to learn how you can participate.

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

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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What Did You Do New Year’s Eve #Wednesday Words, #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Two months after Bill and I were married in 2005, we decided to toast the new year with French silk pie from Schwan. At a little before midnight, he served us each a slice of this chocolaty, rich dessert. Then, when he tried to put the pie back in the refrigerator, the dish slipped out of his hand, and the pie ended up on our carpeted kitchen floor. Needless to say, when 2006 arrived, we were cleaning bits of chocolate off the rug. We then ate our slices, laughed, and wished each other a happy New Year, unaware of what the new year would bring.

I don’t know why I didn’t include this in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. But the following excerpt explains how Bill and I celebrated our first Christmas and New Year’s after his first debilitating stroke, when he could no longer slice a French silk pie.

***

Christmas was a relatively simple affair compared to Thanksgiving. My uncle and aunt offered to come over on Christmas Day and bring chili. We had no out−of−town relatives visiting, just me, Bill, Dad, Grandma, and my uncle and aunt. It was a nice, quiet holiday. Bill and I rang in the New Year by watching Casablanca.

The past few months were tough at times, but we finally settled into a routine, and I could do most tasks associated with Bill’s care without thinking or worrying too much about them. Bill had recently started outpatient physical and occupational therapy, and I hoped he would develop the strength to do more on his own. However, as we snuggled together in bed after the movie, little did we know what lay ahead.

***

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

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 Ideal Nursing Home #Wednesday Words

If I had unlimited funds to start and maintain a business, I would open a nursing home. But this wouldn’t be just any nursing home run by a corporation whose bottom line is money and not the elderly and infirmed residents who live there. In my facility, caring and not money would truly be the heart of the matter. My facility probably wouldn’t have the capacity that many large, corporate-run homes do, but with a smaller population and more staff members, each person could have more individual attention.

The facility would be all on one floor and divided into four or five units, each with the capacity of twelve residents. Each resident would have his or her own room with an attached bathroom that wouldn’t just contain a toilet and sink but also a roll-in shower. Each unit would have one tub room in case a person prefers a bath instead of a shower.

Each room would also have its own phone, and wireless Internet service would be readily available. Of course, many nursing home residents are unable to use the Internet, but for those few such as my late husband who would benefit, the service would be there. Family members could use it when they come to visit.

Each unit would have its own nurse’s station, dining room, and a lounge with recliners where residents could watch TV or just relax and read a book. Each recliner, like each room, would be outfitted with a call button to make it easier for residents to request assistance when necessary.

Residents would be able to choose what they want to eat each day. At mealtime, a menu would be given to them or read to them if necessary, and their choices would be served restaurant-style.

Residents suffering from dementia would be placed in a locked unit, no different from the others except that all staff working in this unit, including therapists and activity specialists, would have had specialized training in helping residents with dementia.

Of course, my facility wouldn’t have to be a permanent home. It would offer respite care and rehabilitation. The therapy department would have all the necessary equipment and even a swimming pool of no more than five feet, where residents could participate in water therapy and water exercise classes. There could even be a hot tub.

Last but not least, my facility would have a large, centrally located activity room. One half of the room would contain chairs and tables for bingo and social events. The other half would be open and used for church services and other group activities. Any resident from any unit would be able to attend any activity and be notified of events in advance.

Of course, money doesn’t grow on trees or flow freely from a stream. But isn’t it fun to dream of what you could do with a never-ending supply? If you’d like to know more about the nursing home where my late husband recovered from his strokes, you can read My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

***

Thanks to Stevie Turner for inspiring the above post. In this week’s Open Book Blog Hop, she asks what kind of business you would start if you had unlimited funding. To learn how you can participate on your own blog, click here.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services 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

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 Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Beginnings and Endings #Wednesday Words

Every story has a beginning, middle, and ending. That is something on which we can all agree. But all authors have their own ideas about what constitutes a good beginning, middle, and ending to a story. As for me, I know where my stories start and end but can’t define the middle.

So, here are two excerpts from my latest, The Red Dress: one from the beginning and one from the ending. If you’ve already read this book and think you know where the middle is, you can enlighten us in the comment field below.

***

Beginning

 

Finally, Charlene said, “Ugh! There’s nothing good here. If you’re not gonna go to the dance, could  I borrow something from your closet?”

“Sure.”

Eve was anxious for Charlene to leave. She turned back to her desk.

Hangers in her closet scraped against the metal bar as articles of clothing were shoved aside.

“Oh, look at this!” said Charlene.

Eve turned and could only stare at the bright red dress she’d almost forgotten.

Charlene held the garment at arm’s length, admiring the three–quarter–length sleeves, low neckline,  and gathered waist. “Oh, my God! This is beautiful! Where did you get it, and why do you keep it  way off to one side in your closet?”

***

Ending

 

“Eve, come closer, dear,” said Norma. “Let me have a look at you in that dress. It turned out  beautifully, didn’t it?”

As she fastened the flower to Eve’s dress, Norma looked panicked. “Oh, I don’t have my glasses!  Jack, where are my glasses?”

“They’re right here,” said Jack, picking them up from the nightstand and placing them on her face.

Norma opened her arms to her daughter for the first time in years, and Eve walked into them.

As she held her mother and felt hot tears slide down both their cheeks, she said, “Mom, I love this  dress so much. I’ll always cherish it.”

***

If you haven’t read this book, I’m sure that by now, you have a lot of questions. Where did Eve get the dress, and why does she keep it in the back of her closet? Why does Eve’s mother open her arms to her for the first time in years? Where are these scenes taking place? Well, you’d better read the book and find out for yourself.

Thanks to blogger Stevie Turner for inspiring this post. If you’d like to participate in her blog hop on the subject of beginnings, middles, and endings to stories, click here.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services 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

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

My Life and the Coronavirus #Wednesday Words

Last March, when COVID19 restrictions were first put into place, if I’d still been working as a registered music therapist in a nursing home, my routine would have been drastically affected. Group activities would have been limited, if even permitted at all. I would have spent a lot more time with residents in their rooms and would, no doubt, have heard complaints from those who enjoyed my group sessions about the lack of them.

Residents might not have even been allowed to congregate in lobbies or eat in the dining areas. All staff would probably have been pressed into meal delivery service. This would have been tricky for me, due to my limited vision, because, unless labels on trays were in large enough print for me to read, I could have given the wrong resident the wrong meal. This could have had serious consequences for people on special diets. I’m so glad that in 2005, I decided to quit practicing music therapy and write full-time.

Before the COVID19 restrictions, although I wasn’t working as a registered music therapist with seniors, I still volunteered at nursing homes and other facilities at least once a month, entertaining residents by playing my guitar and singing. This took more time than you might imagine because, like all musicians, I had to practice. I also needed to learn new songs residents requested or that I thought they might enjoy, as I did when I was practicing music therapy. Once the pandemic became prevalent last March, all senior facilities were on lockdown and are still on lockdown today. This has given me more time to write.

During the first couple of months of restrictions, the local YMCA was closed. So, I couldn’t attend water exercise classes, either. I started working out at home, which didn’t take nearly as much time as a trip to the Y. Thus, I had even more time.

Now, the Y is open, and I go there three days a week, as usual. That could change, depending on what restrictions our state’s governor puts into place this week in response to the rising number of COVID19 cases. I’ll be so glad when this pandemic is behind us. Although I may not have as much time to write, I’ll again be able to do other things I enjoy besides writing and entertaining seniors, including attending concerts and plays, eating out, and singing with my group.

***

What about you? How has COVID19 affected your life or your writing? You can either sound off in the comments field below or click here to participate in Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop on the subject.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services 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

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.