His Everything #Six-Sentence Thursday, #Poetry

His tender hands taught me how to love and be loved.
His voice taught me how to write, cook, appreciate life.
His heart taught me that I can do and be anything I want.
Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
He has left this world.
His legacy will always live.

***

The above poem is about the special man in my life, my late husband Bill. Even after the strokes that paralyzed his left side, he was a great influence and inspiration in my life. You can read our story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Thanks to poet Marilyn Johnston, who recently led a mini-workshop for Behind Our Eyes, an organization of disabled writers to which I belong. Her prompt to write about someone’s hands teaching us something, along with Girlie on the Edge’s six-sentence story prompt word, “tender,” inspired the poem. You can click the Play button below to hear me read it. If you’d like to participate in Girlie on the Edge’s six-sentence story 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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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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My Amazon Author Page

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Website  Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website  Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Hurrying Through the First Draft #Open Book Blog Hop

This week’s question from blogger Stevie Turner is this. “Do you hurry through a first draft, or are you conscious of flaws as they go down? Has that changed over time?”

My policy is to write now and edit later. This applies to everything, not just books. The idea is to get the words and ideas down, then go back and organize them.

That having been said, my novels and memoir were written one chapter at a time. By the time I started writing my first novel, We Shall overcome, I’d met my late husband Bill. He was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I, here in Sheridan, Wyoming. When he expressed an interest in my writing, I emailed him each chapter after I’d written and edited it, and he offered suggestions and feedback. Since he wrote mostly computer manuals, most of his ideas were from a reader’s point of view, but I still found them helpful.

After Bill passed, I started writing My Ideal Partner, which tells the story of how I met and married him, then cared for him after he suffered two strokes. By this time, I’d joined a writers’ group that met once a week and critiqued each other’s projects. So, I had another outlet for feedback on my work. Members of this group also supported me through my writing of The Red Dress and my current young adult novel-in-progress, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, which is now finished.

Speaking of which, when I’m done writing a book, I put it aside for about a month, then go back to it with fresh eyes. I read through each chapter one or more times, depending on if I find any serious rewriting that needs to be done. Then, I read through the whole thing one more time. By this time, it’s usually ready for publication.

I don’t set goals for when books will be published. It would be nice to have Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me published in time for Christmas, since it ends during the holiday season, but I’m not going to rush it. As the song goes, “You can’t hurry love.” It’s the same with books. You can either have it fast or have it good, and I’m sure my readers appreciate it good.

If you’re an author, I’d love to hear how you write your books. Please let me know in the comment field below, or click the link above to learn how to participate in Stevie’s blog hop.

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. Thank you for reading. 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

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

 

A How-to Book on Writing, not Arson #Friday Fun Reads

Set the page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers

by Steve O’Keefe

Copyright 2019.

 

What Amazon Says

 

 

Discover the Tricks and Tools of the Pros

Successful writers write, rather than just think about writing, talk about writing, or plan what they’ll write when they get a cabin in the woods. Yet even accomplished writers sometimes get “blocked,” losing access to their in-the-zone writing mind. Steve O’Keefe offers proven techniques and practices for jump-starting stalled ideas, honed during his many years of working in virtually every aspect of publishing. His innovative, often unconventional exercises will get you writing and accessing your own unique voice — a voice the world wants to read! Containing a career’s worth of writing and publishing savvy, as well as the advice of expert authors gleaned from hundreds of interviews, Set the Page on Fire is the kind of nuts-and-bolts coaching and encouragement invaluable to novice and veteran writers alike.

 

My Thoughts

 

I was fascinated to learn that this author has worked as a technology coach with blind and visually impaired students and senior citizens. I like how he uses what he has learned through this experience in the book. Some of his writing exercises are fun, and most of his suggestions on such topics as finding time and outlets for writing make sense.

I like his idea of writing that sets the page and your readers on fire.  Since most people who set fires purposefully are angry, they’d do well to read this book and learn to express their emotions on the page instead.

 

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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. Thank you for reading. 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

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.