Prom Attire #Six-Sentence Thursday

I remember my prom dress that I believe my mother purchased at a boutique. It was actually a long skirt and a blouse with three-quarter-inch sleeves, both bright yellow. It was probably the cheapest outfit we could find, but I loved it. I went to the prom with my dad, since I didn’t have a date, and I had a great time, but I think my poor father was embarrassed, being among all those teenagers, especially during the garter ceremony, when I removed that item from my ankle and placed it on his arm, as instructed. In my latest novel, my main character wanted her mother to buy her a prom dress at a local boutique, but her mother made a dress instead. To learn what happened after that, read The Red Dress.

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Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above with her six-sentence prompt for this week. If you’d like to participate in her blog hop, 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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Delicious Dialog #Wednesday Words #Excerpt

I’ve always enjoyed writing dialog, even when I wrote stories as a kid. To me, it’s the most effective way of making my characters come alive. But there have been times when I’ve used narrative, then realized it would be better to show my readers, through dialog, instead of telling them.

Take, for example, the following passage from The Red Dress. In my original draft, I wrote a paragraph or two, explaining how my main character, Eve, and her husband, Greg, developed a policy with their children that everyone do their own laundry and help with housework instead of Eve doing it all herself. While editing, I decided instead to insert a dinner scene during which the policy is discussed and the children react. If, after reading this, you want to know who Virginia, Charlene and Brenda are and the children’s ages, you’d better read the whole book.

***

One evening a week later, they were all at the dining room table.

“This tuna casserole is great!” said Thomas through a mouthful of food. “It sure beats the frozen stuff.”

Eve smiled, resisting the urge to chide her son for talking with his mouth full. “I’m glad you like it. It was your grandma’s recipe. I asked your grandpa to email it to me. When we go to Fowler for my class reunion, I plan to look through her other recipes to see what else I could make.”

“Cool,” said Julie. “I remember she used to make a really good chocolate pie, probably better than Virginia’s.”

“I know,” said Eve. “Your grandpa sent me that recipe, too. I would have made it to go with the tuna casserole, but I just didn’t have time. You know my writing keeps me busy, but I’m really trying to make more time for all of you.”

She braced herself for an outburst from Julie, but none came. Instead, Greg said with a reassuring smile, “Honey, you’re doing great. We’ve had some good meals over the past week, haven’t we, guys?”

“Yeah, I loved Jan’s lasagna recipe we had a few nights ago,” said Thomas.

“And her goulash was pretty good,” said Julie. “Oh, and thanks for washing my Sugar Shack t–shirt.”

“You’re welcome,” said Eve. “While we’re on the subject, I could use your help. When Ashley and I were in California, we found out that Brenda did a lot of housework and cooking while her mother was sick.”

Ashley turned pale, and her fork slipped out of her hand and fell to the floor with a clatter. “Mom, what are you saying?”

As the others stared at her in consternation, Eve realized she hadn’t phrased that well. “Oh, honey, no! I’m not dying of cancer, like Charlene. I’m just saying that there’s no reason why you, Thomas, and Julie couldn’t pitch in.”

Julie glared at her mother. “Mom, you’ve got to be kidding. I have a job. I don’t have time to do laundry or housework.”

“You don’t have to do it all,” said Eve, struggling to hide her exasperation. “We can all do it together. Let’s start with the laundry. Tomorrow, I’ll show you all how to use the washer and dryer, and after that, you can each do your own laundry.”

Ashley brightened. “When Brenda and I were putting our towels in the dryer, she gave me some tips on doing laundry that she learned in her home economics class last year. If she can do it, I can, too.” She picked up her fork from the floor and went to the kitchen for a clean one.

“I guess washing clothes isn’t any harder than painting the fence or changing a bike tire,” said Thomas. “In Tom Sawyer’s day, they didn’t even have washing machines.”

“You’re right, buddy,” said Greg. “Laundry nowadays isn’t hard to do. When I was in college and before I married your mom, I did my own laundry.”

“I don’t believe this,” said Julie. “When am I gonna have time to do my laundry? I’m working six to eight–hour shifts.”

She looked to her father, and Eve expected him to say that he would do her laundry, but he surprised her. “Hey, I don’t like your attitude. Your mom’s right. We all need to pitch in. There’s no reason why she has to do everything. She’s not our maid. She’s my wife and your mother.”

Julie hung her head.

To soften the blow, Eve said, “You can do your laundry on your days off. That’s what your father and I did when we were both working.”

Ashley, having returned to the table, said, “At least you don’t have to whitewash the fence all by yourself.”

“Whatever,” said Julie, picking up her fork.

“And I don’t like this ‘whatever’ business, either,” said Greg. “You’re using the word in the wrong context.”

Julie said nothing and continued eating while a solitary tear rolled down her cheek.

***

The above was inspired by this week’s Open Book Blog Hop prompt by Stevie Turner. If you’d like to participate, 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

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Website  Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Glorious Fruit and Pumpkin #Tuesday Tidbit #Poetry

I’m not a fan of fruit dishes. Sure, I’ll eat cherry, apple, or peach pie or cobbler if it’s offered to me, but they’re not my favorites, and forget smoothies!

I prefer straight fruit: fresh bananas and frozen strawberries and peaches from Schwan. I sometimes eat canned fruit if fresh or frozen isn’t available, but I understand fresh and frozen fruit are more healthful.

I also don’t particularly care for pumpkin. I can tolerate its taste in pies, but the smell often reminds me of times when I was a kid and had to clean out the inside of a pumpkin before it was carved for Halloween.

The following poem explains how things came to a head between a pumpkin and me. The poem was published several years ago in Magnets and Ladders. You can click the Play button below to hear me read it.

Halloween SICKNESS

 

In the fifth grade classroom,

topless pumpkins sit on our desks.

Still recovering from stomach flu,

while others laugh and chatter over their pumpkins,

I grit my teeth,

stick my hands inside mine, grasp slimy innards.

The stench fills the air.

“Please, may I go to the bathroom?” I ask.

“I have to throw up.”

“No,” the teacher answers.

“You need to finish your pumpkin.”

My stomach heaves, mouth opens.

Amid exclamations of disgust from classmates,

the pumpkin, desk, floor, teacher

are soon covered with my own innards.

How about you? What kind of fruit do you like? Are you a fan of pumpkin, especially during this time of year?

The above is in response to Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop prompt for this week. If you’d like to participate, 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

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Resistance to Change #Six-Sentence Thursday

Some say change is good, but in my opinion, if change makes life difficult, it’s not good. Such is the case with WordPress’s block editor. Since it has infiltrated our sites, those of us who must use screen reading technology due to blindness or visual impairment are struggling, but we’re not the only ones. Many of my sighted fellow bloggers are complaining about this supposedly wonderful, new way of creating and editing posts, but is WordPress listening? No, they are not, and do you want to know why? Because it’s all about the money, and that’s why I’m resisting this change.

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The above is in response to Girlie on the Edge’s six-sentence prompt for this week. The word is “resistance,” and the idea is to write a work of poetry or prose that is no more and no less than six sentences, using the word at least once. If you’d like to participate in Girlie on the Edge’s blog hop, click here.

The good news is that thanks to Girlie on the Edge, I’ve found a way you can still use the classic editor. After creating and saving your post, go to All Posts from your dashboard. Once you’ve selected the post you want to edit, you should find, below that checkbox, the option to edit using the classic editor.

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

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Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

To Write or Not to Write #Wednesday Words

I enjoy writing. I love putting my ideas in a blank Word document, then organizing them into something creative. I doubt the books I write will make the bestseller list, but that doesn’t matter. I write partly for me and mostly for others. If I can reach at least one person, I’m happy. I can tell by the likes and comments I receive on my blog and Facebook page that I’m definitely reaching more than one person, and that’s great!

Besides, if I were a bestselling author like Eve, my main character in The Red Dress, and I had a husband and children, I would find it hard to balance work and family. As you’ll note from the following excerpts, Eve definitely has this problem.

***

“Mom, where’s my Sugar Shack shirt?”

On a Saturday afternoon in June, Eve Sawyer turned from her computer with a sigh and faced her  seventeen–year–old daughter, Julie, who was standing in her home office doorway, fresh from the  shower, clad only in a long t–shirt.

“Oh, honey, I’m sorry. I’ve been so busy with the proofs for Always that I haven’t gotten around to  putting away the laundry. It’s still in the dryer.”

Julie rolled her eyes. “God, I hate having a bestselling author for a mom.”

***

Half an hour later, Eve had finished reading and responding to email. She took Ginger for a long  walk, stopping at a corner market on the way home. For the first time in two weeks, she planned to  surprise her family with a home–cooked meal. Since she’d been busy with the proofs of her latest book, they’d eaten nothing but leftovers and take–out, so she knew her husband and children would  be thrilled.

***

So, who’s Ginger? Does Eve ever figure out how to balance her family and her writing? Read The Red Dress, and you’ll find out.

How about you? Would you write if you knew you couldn’t sell any books? Thanks to blogger Stevie Turner for inspiring this post. If you’d like to answer this question in her blog hop, click here. Otherwise, you can leave your answer in the comment field below.

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, and may you always have positive experiences.

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.