An Impoverished Little Princess #OpenBookBlogHop #WritingPrompts #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Do you remember the first book that made you cry? Or maybe the last one?”

***

I don’t remember the last book that made me cry, but A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett was a tear-jerker in the middle when Sara’s father dies, leaving her penniless, and she’s compelled to earn her keep at the seminary where her father sent her years earlier. I was in high school at the time, and it was so heart-wrenching that I couldn’t finish the book.

A year or so later when I was in college, I saw the movie, with Shirley Temple. It also made me cry, but they were tears of joy because the movie had a happy ending. So, I decided to try the book again to see if the ending would be the same. It wasn’t quite, but it was still a happy ending, and that’s what I like in a book and movie.

***

How about you? Do you remember the first or last book that made you cry? Please tell me about it in the comment field 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?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Your Last Day #Fiction #Tuesday Tidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

“When you go to sleep tonight, you’ll die,” the doctor says.

“But I feel fine,” you say.

“Your test results indicate a rare form of cancer that acts like a time bomb. When you go to bed and close your eyes, the bomb will explode.”

“Oh, my God! Isn’t there anything you can do?”

“I’m afraid not. I suggest you get your affairs in order. I know this doesn’t give you much time. I’m sorry.”

You walk out of the office in a daze. You blink in the bright sunlight and stumble towards your car, shaking your head in disbelief. When you manage to drive home, he’s in the living room, stretched out in his recliner, reading a newspaper. “Surprise!” he says, as he leaps out of his chair and flings the newspaper aside.

“What are you doing home so early?” you ask.

“I was ahead of schedule for once. So, I decided to take the rest of the afternoon off.”

You fling yourself into his outstretched arms, and you’re locked in a long, ardent embrace. When you come up for air, neither of you says a word. Arm in arm, you make a beeline for the bedroom.

After a couple of hours of the most passionate love -making you’ve experienced in years, you snuggle against him and feel the reassuring closeness of his body. You doze, but remembering the doctor’s words, you jerk yourself awake. “What’s wrong, honey?” he asks.

“Oh, nothing,” you say. “I was just thinking how fun it might be to go out to Dino’s tonight. Their shrimp fettuccini is just to die for.”

“Actually, I was hoping you would cook something here,” he says. “I love your meatloaf, and for once, I won’t be late for dinner.”

You sigh. The last thing you want to do on your last night on Earth is cook meatloaf.

“But if you really want to go out, I guess that would be okay.”

Although the restaurant is crowded, you manage to get a cozy corner table for two. You order fettuccini, and he orders lasagna. You order salad, and he orders clam chowder and a bottle of red wine for the two of you. You don’t say much, as you savor your favorite meal for the last time. He keeps up a running commentary on work and other topics.

For dessert, you both decide on spumoni ice cream. As you enjoy this and a cup of strong coffee, you look around the room at couples, threesomes, foursomes, and larger groups of people, all laughing, chatting, and eating. Will Heaven be like this? Is there even a Heaven?

“How about renting a movie?” he asks, as you leave the restaurant.

“That’s a great idea! How about ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo?’  I’ve always loved that show.”

“Actually, I was thinking of ‘Top Gun.’”

You sigh. The last thing you want to do on your last night on Earth is watch a war movie.

“But if you really want to watch ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo,’ I guess that would be okay.”

At home, you snuggle on the couch. While Mia Farrell is becoming infatuated with Woody Allen, the two of you are becoming re-infatuated with each other. Afterwards, you head back to the bedroom for another round of passionate love -making.

When that’s over, you snuggle against him. “Hold me,” you say, gripped by a sudden fear of the unknown. He does, and you are enveloped with a sense of peace.

You open your eyes and see bright sunlight. You sit up and look around. To the right and behind you are the windows. Your night stands, chests of drawers, and closet are where they’ve always been. Your clothes are scattered on the floor where you dropped them the night before. He is lying next to you, still asleep. You are filled with a sense of relief.

He wakes up and looks at his watch. “Honey, why are you getting up so early on a Saturday morning?” he asks.

“Who says I’m getting up?” you say, as you cuddle next to him and nibble his ear. “I’m not going anywhere.”

***

The above short story was inspired by a poetry prompt to write about your last day on Earth. It appears in the current issue of Magnets and Ladders, where it won an honorable mention in the magazine’s contest.

***

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.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

The Poetry of Life #Friday Fun Reads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

One Glittering Wing

by Joan Myles  

What Smashwords Says

Praised for its stunning images and lilting language, One Glittering Wing is a collection of playful, prayerful, mournful, powerful poems which deeply speak its author.

My Thoughts

I met the author, Joan Myles, years ago through Behind Our Eyes, a writers’ organization to which I belong. Her work, filled with plenty of vivid imagery, has always fascinated me. I reviewed her first collection, One with Willows, here after it came out.

In One Glittering Wing, I like the way Joan incorporates the collection’s title into her poem, “Death.” I can relate to the poems, “Walls,” “Tammy,” and “Shivah” as a result of my personal experiences. My favorite is “Dancing with Emily Dickenson,” which inspired me to write a poem about dancing with Billy Collins. Other poems touch on nature, human relations, and additional subjects sure to resonate with many readers. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the poetry of life.

***

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.

***

Books  

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook  

Website  

Honoring his Deceased Wife #It’s Six-Sentence Story Thursday Link-Up

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Rose was her name, and the rose was her favorite flower. She also loved the sea. Mark stood alone on the pier, tossing her ashes into the ocean, then the rose petals he hoped would accompany her. He remembered many happy times with Rose on his boat. At first, she got seasick, but she kept trying and finally got used to the up-down motion. After the children were born, they all went out as a family, and he taught each of them how to sail the boat, but now, after cancer claimed Rose, all that was left were his boat, his grown children, and his memories.

***

Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above with her six-sentence story prompt word for this week, “ocean.” Years ago while visiting relatives in Florida, I encountered a man on a pier, tossing rose petals into the sea to honor his deceased wife. I don’t know if he scattered her ashes there, but I added that to my story. You can participate in Girlie on the Edge’s six-sentence story blog hop by clicking 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

 

 

Samuel Barber: Agnus Dei (tune ‘Adagio for Strings’) #Musical Monday

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.On December 15th, 1999, my mother passed away without warning. She’d been battling cancer but had been given a good prognosis a week before. Then, on that afternoon, she lay down to take a nap and never woke up.

Mother had been involved with the local arts council in Sheridan, Wyoming. One of the performances this organization brought to town on a regular basis was a symphony orchestra from Billings, Montana, about 150 miles north of Sheridan. A month after she passed, when the orchestra came to town for their annual concert, in my mother’s memory, they started the program by playing an instrumental version of the choral piece I’m featuring today.

According to Wikipedia, Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings was arranged for a string orchestra from the second movement of his String Quartet, Op. 11. Barber finished the arrangement in 1936, the same year he wrote the quartet. The Adagio for Strings was performed in November of 1938 during a radio broadcast by Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra also played the piece on its South American tour in 1940. It’s the setting of Barber’s 1967 choral arrangement of Agnus Dei, which I’m featuring today. Click here to learn more.

Although I like the string version, when a friend sent me this video containing the choral version, that moved me to tears more than any string orchestra version. So, I’m sharing it today in loving memory of my mother.

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