Trying to Eat #SixSentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp #Excerpts #Inspiration

Welcome to this week’s Six Sentence Story Thursday Link Up. The word is “stroke.” As you may have noticed from a post I reblogged here a few days ago, I suggested the word to Girlie on the Edge, and you’ll see why in a minute.

Below is an excerpt from My Ideal Partner, a memoir in which I write about how I met and married my late husband Bill, then cared for him after he suffered two paralyzing strokes.

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After a day and a half in intensive care, Bill was transferred to a stroke unit. He drifted in and out of consciousness. When we were finally told he could eat, he was too weak to do so on his own. I told the staff I didn’t feel comfortable feeding him because of my visual impairment. Nevertheless, meals were delivered, and it was up to me to get him to eat.

I placed a fork in his hand and said, “Here, honey, eat some mashed potatoes.”

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Well, did Bill eat those mashed potatoes? Read the book and find out. You can click on the above link for more information and ordering links.

Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for this week’s prompt. You can click here to participate and read other bloggers’ six-sentence creations.

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.

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 her until one Halloween night when she tells Natalie a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that some people with dementia have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she tries and succeeds in finding her biological father online. 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 ten-year-old 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 this request?

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The Pastabilities Are Endless — The History and Varieties of Pasta #WordPressWednesday

How about some pasta for lunch today? This post from Commonplace Fun Facts will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about one of my favorite dishes. Happy eating!

Commonplace Fun Facts

Pasta food cooking varieties

Nothing says “Italy” quite like pasta. The flavors, smells, shapes, and even the names of the many-varied noodles are as Italian as Italian can be.


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Talking Dirty

Thanks to the Magic of Stories for inspiring this post. Karen J. Mossman talks, in a way, about creating a balance between being realistic and providing an escape for our readers.

Can you think of any scenes where people go to the bathroom? I’m going to be vain and tell you that in my memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, I talk about going to the bathroom a lot. In one scene, I’m making oatmeal, and my husband Bill, totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes, is sitting at the kitchen table in his wheelchair. Suddenly, he says, “Oooh, I gotta pee. Oh, it’s too late. I wet my pants.” This gives my readers an idea of what I went through as a caregiver.

What about farting? In Larry McMurtry’s The Last Picture Show, there’s a scene in which a high school football coach flatulates while lying in bed, reading the newspaper, much to his wife’s annoyance. This gives you some idea of what kind of guy the coach is. Bill also liked to expel wind through his posterior, but I couldn’t find a way to bring that into my story, since it wasn’t related.

How about belching? I’m going to be vain one more time and give you an example from a short story I wrote several years ago that hasn’t yet been published. It’s called “Living Vicariously,” and it’s about a Catholic family dealing with issues related to religion. In one scene, a teen-aged girl who has lied about attending confirmation classes, is eating dinner with her father in a pizza joint. She’s drinking Dr. Pepper, and she says she doesn’t want to be a nun because she doesn’t want to give up the beverage. Then, she birps for emphasis. Here, I’m showing you her character.

Eating is another bodily function often portrayed. One great example of this is in the book Prizzie’s Honor. Charlie, a mafia crook, is eating lunch with his boss. It’s an Italian ten-course meal. This emphasizes the irony that evil people enjoy the good things in life.

I suppose we ought to talk about sex, but I’d rather not. None of my work has vivid descriptions, and frankly, such scenes bog a story down. Hand holding, kissing, and embracing are enough to show the reader two people are in love.

What do you think? Do bodily functions, including sex, enhance a story or slow it down too much?

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
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