News from My Corner Summer 2022 #TuesdayTidbit #Newsletters #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

News from My Corner

Summer, 2022

 

As I write this at about three in the afternoon on July 14th, it’s hot. We got up to a hundred earlier today, but now, it’s down to 96 degrees. I’m thankful for the window air conditioner and ceiling fans that keep my house relatively cool.

So far, this year has been pretty busy. In January, I was interviewed on the In Perspective podcast, where hosts Bob Branco and Peter Altschul talk to writers and other persons of interest on Zoom in front of an audience. After Bob and Peter talked to me about my work, the floor was opened for questions, and we had a fun discussion.

In February, Behind Our Eyes, a writers’ organization to which I belong, held a book launch for me. Fellow author Carol Farnsworth interviewed me about my work and other things in front of another audience on Zoom. Afterward, there was more lively discussion.

At the end of February, I performed at the First Congregational Church here in Sheridan as part of a monthly music series they call Last Friday at First. Accompanying myself on the piano, I sang for about twenty minutes. At the end of March, my singing group, Just Harmony, also performed there.

In April, I participated in a variety of events to commemorate National Poetry Month on Zoom through Behind Our Eyes and other organizations. At the end of the month, I attended the WyoPoets annual workshop, which was held this year in Douglas, Wyoming, about a six-hour drive south of Sheridan. As always, I renewed acquaintances with other poets across the state, made new friends, and wrote a poem.

In May and June, I took an online class in memoir-writing. It met on Zoom and was taught by Glenda Beall, a fellow blogger I’ve known for years. I took a similar class last fall and enjoyed writing short creative nonfiction pieces that have been published. This class was no different, and I enjoyed it.

In June, I attended the Wyoming Writers Conference, which, to my delight, was held this year here in Sheridan at the local college. Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series, who lives in Ucross, Wyoming, about twenty miles east of Sheridan, was the keynote speaker at the Saturday night banquet. He also did a question and answer session earlier that day. Although I’m not a fan of his books, I always enjoy hearing from local authors, and Craig Johnson’s presentations didn’t disappoint me.

Also in June, Just Harmony sang at a memorial service for Lou, one of our members who passed away last year after a lengthy battle with cancer. We joined forces with Patchwork, another local group to which many of us belonged and from which we separated to form our own group several years ago. Despite bad feelings between people in both groups, we put aside our differences to give Lou the best send-off we possibly could.

I also performed on my own in June, playing the piano and singing in our local senior center’s dining room as part of its Lunchtime Livestream program. The event was broadcast on Facebook. My performance went well, and afterward, I got a free meal. Talk about singing for your supper and getting breakfast. Well, it was lunch. I’ll be doing a similar performance this month at the First Congregational Church as part of its last Friday concert series.

As usual, I’ve been performing regularly twice a month at a nursing home on the last Tuesday and an assisted living facility on the second Friday with occasional gigs at our local senior center’s adult day care program. But several times in the past few months, I was exposed to COVID and felt compelled to cancel performances  in order to keep people safe. The good news is I never got sick, and I’m now fully vaccinated.

Well, as they say, “That’s all she wrote.” I hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer.

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If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements that may not be posted here. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive from this list will come only from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

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And now, I’m pleased to announce that until the end of the month, all my books on Smashwords can be downloaded ABSOLUTELY FREE as part of the Smashwords  summer/winter sale. You can visit my Smashwords author page here to download these books. Happy reading!

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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How to Get a New Guide Dog #WordPressWednesday #Reblogs #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

On Monday, I shared a post from a guide dog’s point of view, which you can read here if you haven’t already done so. In the post I’m sharing today, fellow author Mary Hiland talks about how a blind person obtains a guide dog. Mary recently lost her Seeing Eye dog and hopes to get another soon. She has written some awesome books, and you can read my reviews of these books here and here. Now, here’s Mary!

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By now you know that I lost my dear sweet Dora to cancer on April 3 of this year. Without going into the heartbreaking details, I’ll share with you what comes next. As with any kind of grief, I needed a few weeks to recover from this life-changing loss. Eventually, I was so lost without her that I finally contacted The Seeing Eye to apply for my next partner in life.

 

Read the original post.

A Controlling Person #SixSentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

I just finished reading Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. One of the characters, Charity, is a control freak. She organizes and plans everything down to the last detail and insists on things being done her way. This novel is about two couples who meet during the 1930’s and become close friends, supporting each other through four decades. I’ll post a review here tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above with her six-sentence prompt for this week, in which the given word is “control.” You can click here to participate and read other bloggers’ six-sentence creations.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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What to Read or Watch #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “What is your favorite genre to read/watch (movies/tv)? Any book recommendations?”

Lately, I’ve been drawn to memoirs, some historical fiction, and poetry. I recently read West with Giraffes, a fictionalized account of a true story of two giraffes, who, after surviving the hurricane that hit New York City in 1938, are transported across the country to the San Diego Zoo. You can read my review of this book here.

I don’t watch television anymore. In my opinion, there isn’t a lot on that’s worth watching. So, I can’t justify paying for cable. But once in a while, I’ll watch a movie, either a comedy or drama that doesn’t contain much violence, sex, or strong language. I recently enjoyed All Creatures Great and Small, a movie I’d never seen, although I’ve read many of James Herriot’s books.

How about you? What’s your favorite book or movie genre? You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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Reading and Watching  #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

 

 

In the 1970’s when I was in high school, I read Ice Castles by Leonore Fleischer, a novel about a teenaged girl who becomes a famous ice skater, then goes blind. Being visually impaired but not into skating, I was nevertheless inspired by this character’s determination in the face of adversity.

Before I had a chance to finish the book, I saw the movie. I was just as spell-bound by this ice skater’s story on screen. Because I found it intriguing, although I knew how it ended, I decided to finish the book. I wanted to know if the book’s conclusion was just as satisfying as that of the movie, and it was. This was one of those movies that did the book justice.

Several years ago, I saw the movie,   Philomena, after it first came out. I hadn’t yet read the book. I was captivated by this true story of a woman in Ireland, forced to give up her illegitimate son, who, years later, tries to find him with the help of British journalist Martin Sixsmith.

Once I’ve seen a movie, I usually don’t read the book, but curiosity got the better of me. I was amazed at how much material Sixsmith provided that wasn’t in the movie. Granted, there is only so much time for a film to tell a story, but this movie didn’t even scratch the surface.

How about you? I’d love to hear about a movie you saw that is based on a book you read. Do you think the movie does the book justice?

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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