The Watcher

When senior citizens lose their vision, they often lose their independence. Some are placed in nursing homes by well-meaning family members who are concerned about their welfare. Such is the case of the grandmother in this story. The granddaughter arrives just as the old woman is leaving the facility and making her way home. She agrees to help her grandmother regain her independence. “The Watcher” was published in Behind Our Eyes, an anthology of stories and poems by disabled writers. You can read it onh my Web site.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

Vegas

Today, I sent a story to The Missouri Review. “Vegas” is the tale of a man who makes frequent trips to the gambling capitol and becomes re-acquainted with a woman he fell in love and lost touch with ten years earlier. After reading a story in the current issue called “Of Questionable Provenance” by Susan Ford, in which a man who makes regular trips to New York develops a relationship with a woman he meets there, I thought this magazine might be a good market for my story since the two tales are somewhat similar. Will see what happens.
The Missouri Review publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. If you submit on line, there’s a $3.00 fee that you can charge to your credit card. You can also send manuscripts by mail. For more information, visit http://missourireview.com/main_info/e-submissions.php
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

Poetry Society of New Hampshire National Contest

Today, I sent five poems to the Poetry Society of New Hampshire’s national contest. They are entitled “Stranger in the  Night,” “I Walk Alone,” “Excuses,” “Cancer,” and “Death of a Hard Drive.” I could win as much as a hundred dollars, and one or more of my poems could be published in the organization’s quarterly magazine, The Poets Touchstone. These poems have not been published anywhere else.
“Stranger in the Night” was inspired by an incident that happened last year. A man with blond hair wearing a dark shirt, work boots, and a baseball cap entered a house and threatened a woman with serious bodily harm. She and her children fled, and the police notified neighbors within a one-mile radius, myself included. When I answered the phone, an automated voice told me to lock all doors and resume normal activity but be vigilant. Later, the perpetrator was found and charged with a lesser crime. He never went to jail so in a sense, he’s still lurking, but as I said in my poem, life goes on.
“I Walk Alone” is about how I walk around town with my white cane. Last year, I submitted this poem to an anthology of poems with the same titles as Sammy Cahn songs. I never heard back from the editor of this anthology so I’m giving up on that one. The original title of the poem was “I’ll Walk Alone” since that’s the title of one of Sammy Cahn’s songs, but I changed it to “I Walk Alone” because the poem is in the present tense.
“Excuses” is about what you might say to your spouse when you’re late getting home. “Cancer” is an account of how my mother suffered and died as a result of the dreaded disease.
“Death of a Hard Drive” is the story of how the hard drive on my old Macintosh computer finally decided it was time to go. I’d recently bought a PC and transferred most of my files to the new computer. I guess my old Mac knew it would soon be put out to pasture.
If you’re a poet, there’s still time to enter the Poetry Society of New Hampshire’s national contest, but hurry! The postmark deadline is Monday, November 15th. Entries must be submitted by mail, and the fee is $3.00 for the first poem and $2.00 for each additional one. Visit http://www.poetrysocietyofnewhampshire.org/contest.html for guidelines.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

WyoPoets National Contest

Yesterday, I submitted three poems to the WyoPoets Eugene V. Shea National Contest. “A Secret Sadness” is about a time soon after my husband Bill suffered his first stroke when I was trying to put on a brave face during a friend’s little girl’s birthday party. “At Daybreak” was inspired by Bill calling me a carapace at five in the morning one day. I don’t think he was quite awake, but it sure made good material for a poem. In “At The Dentist’s Office,” I reflect on past and present experiences with a tooth doctor. These poems have not been published yet. Because anything that appears on the Web is considered published, and most magazines and journals don’t accept previously published work, I won’t post them here or on my Web site until they appear elsewhere.
If you’re a poet, there’s still time to enter the WyoPoets Eugene V. Shea National Contest. The first prize is $100.00, and there’s a $2.00 entry fee plus a $1.00 reading fee per poem. Poetry, that has been published or not, on any subject in any form will be accepted. Entries must be submitted by mail. You don’t have to be a resident of Wyoming to enter. The deadline is November 30th. If you’re interested, go to http://www.wyopoets.org/page4.html
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome

The Flower Boy

This is the story of Tristan, a little boy who is considered different. His older cousin bullies him during family gatherings, making these events a nightmare. His other cousins ignore him and don’t intervene when the bully strikes. But at Uncle Harry’s wedding, the bully meets an unexpected match.
This story was published in Behind Our Eyes, an anthology of stories and poems by disabled writers. It also appeared in Wordgathering, an online publication containing writing by disabled authors. You can read it by going to http://www.wordgathering.com/past_issues/issue7/prose/taylor2.html
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome