My Favorite Writing Tools #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

 

 

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “We talked about the tools we use for our blogs awhile back. How about for your writing in general? What are your favorite tools?”

I can imagine how writers like Ernest Hemmingway and John Steinbeck did their jobs without modern technology. They must have rewritten their manuscripts umpteen million times until they were perfect. Nowadays, with the help of such features as copy and paste, it’s so much easier to correct spelling and grammar mistakes, change words, and even move scenes from one place to another or delete them altogether.

I enjoy utilizing today’s technology in my writing. Because of my visual impairment, I use text-to-speech software on my computer that reads everything on the screen, tells me what I’m typing, and helps me navigate with a keyboard instead of a mouse. I also have a Braille display connected to my PC, which I find more efficient when editing. Sometimes, I like to write while sitting in my recliner, using a Braille notetaker. Most of this technology has been with me through the publication of six books and the inclusion of many short stories, poems, and nonfiction pieces in various publications. I hope it stays with me for a long, long time.

How about you writers out there? What are your favorite tools? You can respond in the comment field below or click here to participate in this week’s hop and read what other bloggers have to say.

 

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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Books

My Amazon Author Page

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Hunting and Pecking #It’sSix-SentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

This week’s six-sentence prompt word is “method.” Below, I’ve copied a passage of exactly six sentences from my memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Here, I show my late husband Bill using his computer for the first time in months since his first stroke. After powering up the machine, I stood nearby in case he was unsure of what to do. But as you’ll note, there are some things you don’t forget, even after you’ve had a stroke.

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To my astonishment, after the Windows welcome screen and then the desktop came up, and the screen reader indicated it was ready, he went straight to his music folder and found “I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You.”

I hugged him, and for the first time since his stroke, we snuggled while listening to the song, with him sitting in his wheelchair and me standing next to him. It wasn’t the same as cuddling on the couch together, but it was the closest we could come, and this time of loving each other was the first of many.

When the song ended, he said, “I’ll do email now.”

I left him and spent the next couple of hours in my office. As I worked, I was comforted by the distant sound of the synthetic text–to–speech voice on his computer, reading his email and saying the characters he typed. Even though he needed to use the hunt and peck method with his only good hand, this felt right.

This was in 2006. A couple of years later, we found software that allowed Bill to send email via voice recordings. If you’d like to know more, you can read My Ideal Partner.

Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring this. If you’d like to participate in this week’s hop and read other people’s six-sentence stories, click here.

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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.

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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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Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

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The Power of Technology #It’s Six-Sentence Story Thursday Link Up

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Technology can be powerful. But it’s also like a spouse. You can’t live with it; you can’t live without it. If I had a dollar for every time I wanted to throw my computer, tablet, or iPhone out the window because it wasn’t working properly, I would probably have enough money to hire someone to develop technology that would always work. On the other hand, there are powerful companies like WordPress, who have demonstrated they don’t care about their customers by ending support for their much-loved classic editor. Then again, if everything worked the way it should, life would be boring, wouldn’t it?

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Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above with her six-sentence story prompt for this week. 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

Image 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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Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping, Purchased #Re-Blog

A few days ago, I posted about my friend and fellow blogger, Patty Fletcher, owner of Tell It to the World Marketing, in Kingsport, Tennessee, who needed a new computer. If you missed that post, you can click here to read it.

Now, I’m pleased to announce that Patty has raised enough money to buy a new computer. I’m amazed by the outpouring of support she received in this endeavor. Thanks to those who contributed. Now, here’s Patty’s update.

 

Via Shopping, Shopping, Shopping, Purchased

 

By the way, for the next month, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated as a result of the coronavirus situation. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books. Thank you for stopping by today.

 

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.

 

 

Five Favorite Things #Writing Prompt

              1. My Computer. I recently switched screen readers. I’m now using a program called JAWS, which I like a lot better. The software I was using, NVDA, is good, and it’s free. But because of some quirks it was developing, with which I won’t bore you, I was becoming disillusioned with it. So, when I heard that a home annual license for JAWS is $90.00, I figured I could afford that. After trying the demo for a few days, I was sold, especially after seeing how well it works with braille in Microsoft Word.
  1. My braille tablet. This device runs Android 8, and I can do just about anything with it that anyone else can with a smart phone or tablet. This includes word processing, email, surfing the net, reading books, and more. I can also use it as a braille display with my PC.
  2. My Smart Speakers. I have three Amazon Echo devices: one in my bedroom, one in my living room, and one in my office. I primarily use the 3rd generation Echo Dot in my living room with the Audible Clock skill, which plays the Westminster chimes every fifteen minutes, just like the clock we had in our home when I was in high school. On the 2nd generation Echo dot in my bedroom, I’ve programed routines where news broadcasts, weather forecasts, and music are played to start and end my days. My Echo Tap in my office is portable, and I often carry it to my kitchen where I play games with it while eating. I use all three devices for playing music, listening to news and weather and podcasts, adding items to my shopping list, and other tasks.
  3. My Victor Reader Trek. I use this to listen to books, podcasts, music, and Internet radio. It not only plays recorded audiobooks, but I can also hear books in various text file formats with synthesized speech. This device can download books and other material directly from the Web and has a built-in GPS system, which I occasionally use when out walking. It also has a recording feature, which I’ve used to record music and other material for this blog.
  4. Frozen Meals from Schwan. When my husband Bill was alive, he preferred home-cooked meals. Since he could no longer prepare them after his strokes, I had to learn to cook. At the time, we ordered meats and other items from Schwan. Now that he’s gone, I don’t see the sense in doing much cooking just for me. So, I order a lot of ready-made meals I just heat in the oven or microwave. My favorites are macaroni and cheese, lasagna, spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken fettuccine Alfredo with broccoli, and chicken chili with beans. I also like their breaded blue hake, chicken cordon bleu, and various frozen vegetables plus some of their breakfast sandwiches. By the way, you can learn more about me and Bill by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

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Thanks to Moondance Pages for inspiring this. Now, it’s your turn. What are five of your favorite things? Please tell me about them either in the comment field below or on your own blog with a link to this post. I look forward to reading your responses.

 

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.