Pets and Writing #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Do pets (or other animals) play an important part in your books? Tell us about them.”

Absolutely! I love dogs. I remember plenty of them when I was growing up. Now, I don’t want the responsibility of caring for them, but I enjoy incorporating them into my stories.

In my first novel, We Shall Overcome, my heroine’s boyfriend has an Irish setter named Molly. Last year when I was blocked on my novel-in-progress, a Great Dane puppy named Squeakers saved the day. Now, here’s an excerpt from my latest novel, The Red Dress, in which we meet Ginger, the family’s Black Lab.

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The clicking of Ginger’s nails on the floor in the hall and the jingling of her collar interrupted Eve’s thoughts. She turned as the dog loped into her office and to her side and placed her head on her knee.

“Oh, Ginger, I wish the kids would take more responsibility for you,” said Eve, stroking the dog’s head. “I’ve finished the proofs, now, so all I have to do is check email, and then we’ll go for a walk. Okay?”

Ginger flopped onto the floor at Eve’s feet and looked up at her as if to say, “I’m holding you to that.”

Eve smiled and turned to her computer, where she clicked the Accept button on Charlene’s friend request.

“We’ll see what happens,” she said.

In answer, Ginger wagged her tail, thumping it against the floor.

***

What was Eve doing when Ginger’s jingling collar interrupted her? Who is Charlene? Read the book and find out. To participate in this week’s Open Book Blog Hop, 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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First Words #Tuesday Tidbit, #Essay, #Poetry


Image contains: Abbie, smiling.
One of my earliest childhood memories was my dad yelling, “Son of a bitch!” I must have been about three, and at the time, I thought he said, “sun of a bench.” I knew about the sun, that bright orb that shone in the sky, and I knew what a bench was, but what was a sun of a bench? I don’t know why I didn’t ask, and that probably wouldn’t have been a good idea.

Of course, as I grew older, I learned the meaning of that awful term. I didn’t find out what a bitch was, though, until I was in college and reading a work of horror fiction about a pack of dogs threatening a town. Until then, I thought a bitch was just a woman someone didn’t like.

I must admit that now, when I’m alone, I’ll occasionally say nasty words when no one is around to hear them. But over the years, I’ve learned to curve my profane utterances for fear of offending someone. I’ve also realized that unless a character in a work of fiction is prone to uttering profanities, such language isn’t necessary in writing. In fact, I find common usage of strong language in books distracting. I believe there are better ways to express anger and frustration than the colorful words I learned from my daddy at the age of three.

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The above was inspired by a prompt from Ann Lauterbach in The Practice of Poetry, edited by Chase Twichell and Robin Behn, copyright 1992. Now, here’s a poem I wrote years ago about the first word my mother remembered me uttering when I was three. It was published in How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver and has since been revised. You can click the Play button below to hear me read it.

***

 

ON BEING THREE

 

I barely remember that year.
Mother said my first word was “ashtray.”
My earliest memory is of Dad cursing a blue streak.
Could I have sent his ashtray crashing to the floor,
leaving him with a burning cigarette?
“Son of a…!”

***

What about you? How has the language you heard when you were growing up influenced you?

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

 

 

Dropping a Line #TMI Tuesday

I’ve never been much of a fisherman. But according to this week’s TMI Tuesday blog post, the best way to call a fish is to drop a line into the water. So, here goes.

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What movie can you watch over and over and never tire?

 

I loved The Wizard of Oz when I was growing up. In the fifth grade, I acted in a play we wrote ourselves, based on the movie. For my twelfth birthday, my grandmother gave me a black dog she’d knitted herself. I held him in my arms and called him Toto. Maybe I was too old, but Toto and I were inseparable for a few years until he unraveled.

 

Who is someone you only met once but they left a big impression on you?

 

I can’t think of anyone like that. But I’ve had many friends over the years who have made an impression on me.

 

If you had to run away from everyone, where would you hide yourself?

 

Since I live alone, I don’t feel the need to run and hide. Besides, I’ve discovered that you can run, but you can’t hide forever. If I really wanted to, though, I suppose I could hide in my own house. I could close and lock all doors and windows, pull down the shades, and people might think I wasn’t home.

 

What is the worst topping to put on a pizza?

 

Peanut butter! I hate it with a passion. I’ve never liked the smell or taste of it. My late husband Bill, on the other hand, loved the stuff and would have eaten it on a pizza if given the opportunity. After he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side, guess who had to make his peanut butter sandwiches. You can learn more about our life together by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

 

What do you spend most of your time doing?

 

I spend most of my time performing writing-related tasks. When I’m not doing that, I enjoy reading books and magazines and listening to podcasts. I also attend water exercise classes at the YMCA and sing in a women’s choral group.

 

Bonus: If you could pick any animal to talk, which would it be?

 

How about dogs? They’re intelligent and observant. I think they would have a lot to say.

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Now, it’s your turn. To learn how to participate, click here. Alternatively, you can answer one or more of the questions in the comment field below. Any way you do it, I look forward to reading your answers.

By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, 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.

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 Dog’s Magical Tale of Service #Thursday Book Feature

Bubba Tails: From the Puppy Nursery at the Seeing Eye

by Patty Fletcher and King Campbell

 

What Smashwords Says

 

In this magical and love filled tail, King Campbell AKA Bubba travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and save her so she can fulfill her destiny?
The use of Tail instead of Tale for story and Magik instead of Magic is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell.

 

My Thoughts

 

I met Patty Fletcher several years ago through Behind Our Eyes, an organization of disabled writers scattered across the country. She has since started her own business, TELL-IT-TO-THE-WORLD Marketing, which uses mostly social media to promote authors and businesses. She’s been helping me promote my books for years, and I’ve noticed an increase in sales since I started working with her.

Patty is totally blind, lives in Kingsport, Tennessee, and indeed has a dog she calls King Campbell, who is now retired from his work as her Seeing Eye guide dog. Campbell’s nickname is Bubba, hence the book title.

Bubba Tails is a fun way to educate children and the young at heart about guide dogs. King Campbell tells his story in a way all can understand. The book includes information about The Seeing Eye, so parents and other adults can learn more about their work and how they can help. The last story in the book, “Wish of the Wee Golden One,” could be made into an animated Christmas film. I strongly encourage people of all ages to read this book for entertainment and enlightenment.

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By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, 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.

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.

 

Walking the Dog #Musical Monday

The song I’m featuring today was used in the 1938 classic, Shall We Dance, starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. I recently learned about this movie while listening to a program on my local classical music station called Saturday Cinema. Before playing the song, the host explained that in the movie, when we hear the song, Ginger Rogers is walking her dog on the deck of a ship. She encounters Fred Astaire, and they start dancing. I’d heard this song before, and it brought back many pleasant memories of our family’s canine companions.

During the 1970’s when I was in high school, I often walked Clancy, our Irish setter. This was in the good old days before stricter leash laws were imposed. I walked down the street with Clancy prancing ahead of me, sniffing everything he saw. With my limited vision, I couldn’t tell what he was getting into, and at my age, I didn’t care, most of the time.

I avoided alleys altogether because I knew the smelly fish heads in which he loved to roll lurked there. Back then, it was unheard of to tell a dog to “leave it.” Clancy passed away while I was in college.

As an adult practicing music therapy in a nursing home, I often walked with my father and his Irish setter, Maud. One afternoon, we were passing the home of my supervisor, Arlis, when Maud, with no modesty whatsoever, relieved herself in the yard, just as Arlis was opening her front door. Not knowing how she felt about dogs, I wondered if I would lose my job. All my career training hadn’t prepared me for this.

To my surprise and relief, she smiled and greeted me as if nothing were wrong. I introduced her to Dad and Maud, and all seemed well. To be on the safe side, though, when I returned to work, I apologized, even though Maud wasn’t my dog. She just laughed. Apparently, she hadn’t noticed Maud watering her lawn.

Now, the only time I walk a dog is when I visit my brother in Jupiter, Florida. We walk Sammy and Max on their leashes the few blocks to a wildlife preserve near their home, then let them loose for some fun. The next time I go to Florida and engage in this quality sibling time activity, I imagine this piece will be going through my head. Enjoy!

 

 

By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, 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.

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.