P.E. BLUES #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.During the first few years of my elementary school education, I was the last to be picked for a team. I would have preferred not to be picked at all, but the P.E. teacher insisted that every student participate. This was at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind, where not having enough vision was no excuse for not doing something.

I hated sports. Because I couldn’t run fast enough, the teacher paired me with someone who ran faster than I did. As a result, I fell flat on my face most of the time while running between bases during kick ball games. I never could understand dodge ball, a game in which the object was, apparently, to see how many people you could hit with a ball.

After my family moved here to Sheridan, Wyoming, I was mainstreamed into a public school for sixth grade, where the physical education teacher let me sit out during games of kick ball, dodge ball, and other activities deemed too dangerous by someone with no experience teaching visually impaired children. My parents were disgusted, but I was only too happy to watch and not fall on my face or get hit with a ball.

In seventh grade, I was able to opt out of P.E. In eighth grade, a new gym teacher took me under her wing and worked with me one on one. Naturally, with just the two of us, we didn’t play kick ball or dodge ball, but I ran laps around the track and did other exercises and even some tumbling. I really enjoyed this, especially since it took time away from my home economics class, another thing I hated.

In high school, I wasn’t required to take physical education but in college I was. By then, I had a choice of safer activities such as bowling. Again, I was one of the last to be picked for a team, but I didn’t mind. At least the ball wasn’t hitting me in the face, and I wasn’t falling. As a matter of fact, I became a pretty good bowler. You can read more about that here.

Several years ago, in a meeting of my monthly poetry group, we were prompted to write a blues poem. At the Arizona school, we had to wear blue gym suits. When we arrived at the gym each day, the teacher told us to put on our blues. Hence, the following poem was born, and you can hear me read it by clicking the Play button below.

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P.E. BLUES

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

As a kid in gym class, I hated putting on my blues.
Yes, as a kid in gym class, I didn’t like to put on those blues.
They were hard to get on. The snaps I sure could lose.

I would have rather played the piano than run around in my blues.
Yes, I wanted to play the piano, not run around in my blues.
But it was not meant to be. Every day I had to put on those blues.

I could never play ball without being hit in the face.
No, I couldn’t play ball without being hit in the face.
When someone ran with me, I fell before we reached first base.

We rarely went swimming or walked around the track.
No, we didn’t go swimming or walk around the track.
Those were things I liked. They didn’t hold me back.

Now, those days are over. I no longer have the blues.
Yes, those days are long gone, and I don’t have the blues.
The blues are gone forever, and I no longer wear my blues.

Thanks to Stevie Turner for inspiring the above with her Open Book Blog Hop prompt for this week. You can click here to participate.

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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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Stories I’ll Never Write #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I don’t know why I didn’t aspire to be a writer much earlier in life. Even as a kid, I had stories in my head that I never wrote down.

While reading Nancy Drew mysteries, I imagined that Nancy and her boyfriend Ned were married, and they adopted me. Nancy’s friends, George and Bess, married their boyfriends, Burt and Dave, and each couple adopted a girl my age. Being in junior high, we weren’t into boys yet. So, the three of us solved mysteries together.

When I was in high school, I fantasized that I was the bionic woman, leaving Nancy Drew’s hometown of River Heights behind and solving more serious crimes. In my fantasy, I married a bionic man at the age of sixteen, and by the time I was eighteen or nineteen, I had two kids who were not bionic.

In college, I replaced this story with another, inspired by Star Trek. My brother was the captain of the U.S.S Enterprise, and this ship’s transporter beam rescued me from certain death on a planet with a dystopian society similar to that of George Orwell’s 1984. After that, I became a famous singer, touring the galaxy on my own starship. I also created, in my head, a soap opera about the lives of people on different planets in this galaxy.

During the earlier part of this century, after I finally became serious about writing, I developed an idea for a science fiction novel. At the time, my brother was working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. In my story, a visually impaired young woman, while visiting relatives in Los Alamos, is approached by a historian from the future, who is working at the lab on a project that involves bringing in people from the past. She agrees to be transported to the future, where she learns a lot about what life will be like. But upon returning to the present, she doesn’t remember anything about her adventure, and life goes on as if nothing happened.

When I was younger, I enjoyed detective and science fiction stories, but they’re not for me anymore. So, I doubt this or any of my fantasies will end up on paper. But it was fun to dream, no matter how unrealistic the fantasies. In my opinion, they served as exercises to limber my creative muscles.

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Thanks to this week’s prompt on Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop for inspiring the above. If you’d like to participate, click here.

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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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When a Complete Back Story Works #Open Book Blog Hop #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I like the idea of letting the reader discover the back story as the book progresses. For example, I’m currently reading Hello, Summer by Mary K. Andrews. After her job in Washington D.C. disappears, an award-winning journalist is compelled to return to her small hometown in Florida and work in her family’s newspaper after so many years away. Why did she leave her hometown? I get the feeling it’s not because she wanted a higher-paying job. Will just have to find out.

But in some instances, providing the back story at once is necessary. Take, for example, the prolog of my latest book, The Red Dress. My main character, Eve, ends up telling her college roommate, Charlene, the history behind the red dress she keeps in the back of her closet, a dress she hasn’t worn since her disastrous prom night. Charlene is someone who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and she wants that dress. In the following excerpt, I’m providing the full back story to emphasize Charlene’s selfishness. This will be important later in the book.

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Eve found herself blurting it all out.

“Mom made that dress for my senior prom. I had a date with Trent Boyer, the cutest boy in school.  He was the captain of the football team, and I loved watching him play.”

“Wow, just like Alex.”

“Yeah. Well, at the prom, we danced to that song, and I felt like I truly loved him, and I thought  he loved me. Afterwards, he said he had to use the restroom. Other boys asked me to dance, and I  got to talking with my friends, and when I looked around the gym later, I couldn’t find him. I  asked my friends if they’d seen him, and they just shook their heads.”

“Oh, gosh.”

“Like I said, I thought he loved me. I didn’t think he’d leave me. I decided to go out to the  parking lot to see if his car was still there. He’d dropped me off at the entrance, so I didn’t  know where he’d parked. It took me a while to find his car, but I did, in a dark corner up against  the fence by the football field. I looked in the window and saw two figures in the back seat.”

“Oh, my God.”

“I thought I was imagining things. I was on the driver’s side, so I opened that door, and of course  the light came on, and there they were, Trent and my best friend, Adele Matthews. Or at least I  thought she was my best friend.”

Eve paused to fight back more tears, and Charlene asked, “Were they actually having sex, or were  they just necking?”

“They were totally naked. Of course they stopped when I opened the door, and they both looked at me  like I was from another planet or something. I said a few choice words I’d learned from my dad,  then slammed the door and ran back into the building.”

“Good for you.”

“I went to the restroom and cried my eyes out. Fortunately, no one was there. Then I washed my face  and put on more makeup so I wouldn’t look as if I’d been crying. I went to the pay phone in the  hall near the main office and called home. Mom answered, and she could tell something was wrong, so  she came and picked me up.”

“I’ll bet you didn’t want to go back to school after that.”

“I didn’t, but Mom and Dad said it wouldn’t do any good to hide from my problems. I had to face  them head on.”

“What did you do when you saw Trent and Adele at school?”

“I didn’t speak to them, and they never spoke to me. Other kids knew, I think, but nobody said  anything to me about it. Boy, was I glad a few weeks later, when graduation came.”

“I’ll bet. Have you heard from Adele or Trent since then?”

“No. Adele was planning to come here with me and major in drama, like you, but I heard that Trent  got her pregnant, and they ran off to Las Vegas to get married.”

“So why did you bring that dress with you?”

“Mom insisted I take it in case there was something formal here.”

“Like the homecoming dance.”

“I’m not going to the dance. You can borrow the dress if you want.”

“You know, I can see why you put this dress off to one side. It’s only hurting you now. Let me take  it off your hands. You don’t need it anymore.”

“But my mother made it. Of course I wanted a store–bought dress, but she wanted to save money and  make me one. She worked long days at her job as director of the public library. There were only two  weeks left until the prom when I told her I wanted a new dress, so she stayed up nights and  scrambled to get it done.”

“Oh, you poor, homesick baby. Now you miss your mommy, who made this beautiful dress for you. Are  you gonna cry now? Go ahead, crybaby. Cry.”

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Thanks to Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop for inspiring this. To participate and learn how other authors handle back story, click here.

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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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A Marble Memory #It’s Six-Sentence Story Thursday Link-Up

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

My younger brother Andy loved marbles as a kid, growing up in the 1970’s. I don’t remember how he played with them, but I do know he enjoyed collecting them in different sizes and colors. At the time, our father sold and serviced coin-operated jukeboxes, games, and vending machines. One day, he gave Andy an old pin ball, larger than the average marble but still as smooth and the same shape. It was Andy’s favorite, and he called it a steely. Now, he’s lost all his marbles, but his family and teaching job keep him occupied.

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Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring this post with her six-sentence story prompt for this week. The idea is to write a story or poem of no more and no less than six sentences, using the prompt word “marble,” at least once. If you’d like to participate in Girlie on the Edge’s blog hop, click here.

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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 Amazon Author Page

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My Genre-Writing Preferences

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Growing up, I lost myself in Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins, and The Hardy Boys mysteries plus The Wizard of Oz and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia books. In high school, I studied western literature and enjoyed such classics as The Virginian and The Grapes of Wrath. I also took a science fiction course, where I read Brave New World, 1984, and others. As a college student, I got into some horror, suspense, and paranormal fiction.

Now, with my sixtieth birthday less than six months away, my reading preferences have mellowed out. I prefer memoirs and novels that focus on families and relationships with some humor. I also like some historical fiction. I no longer care for books with violence or explicit descriptions of sex. Some strong language is fine, but I recently started a promising novel where every other sentence contains an F bomb. No, thanks! Science fiction somewhat interests me, but mysteries, horror, and paranormal fiction are out. Since I don’t care for these genres, I wouldn’t write them.

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Thanks to Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop for inspiring this. If you’d like to participate, 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

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