The Crow #TuesdayTidbit #Poetry #Inspiration

THE CROW

By Abbie Johnson Taylor

Copyright 2022.

 

Caw! Caw! Caw!
At dawn, the horrid noise jerks me back to reality
from a world where my boss isn’t writing me up every five minutes.
If anyone should be disciplined, it’s the crow.

I imagine being in the sky,
flying to the far side of the moon
to a place where I can’t get into trouble.
Is there such a place?

Caw! Caw! Caw!
My thoughts interrupted, I leap out of bed,
slam shut the window, climb back under the covers.
There, that’s much better.
the dream weaver kicks in, and I escape.

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The above poem appears in the June 5th issue of The Weekly Avocet, which can be downloaded here. To listen to me reading it, you can click the link below.

 

The Crow

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 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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Escaping to Oz #OpenBook BlogHop

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Do you have a favorite piece of literature? What is it and why is it your favorite?

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My favorite book is The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. It was the first book I was able to read with my limited vision, using a closed-circuit television magnifier. When I was in the sixth grade here in Sheridan, Wyoming, the local school district purchased this machine for me to use in the classroom. To my delight, I discovered that not only could I use it to read textbooks and fill out worksheets, but I could also read books for pleasure. So, during study periods when I had no other homework, I escaped from the stress of school to a land where I, along with Dorothy, encountered a scarecrow, a tin man, and other interesting characters.

But having seen the movie, I found the book’s ending a let-down. Yes, Dorothy clicks her heels together three times and asks to be taken home, as directed, but she doesn’t wake up in her own bed with her adventures having been a dream. Also, the movie offers an important lesson that isn’t obvious when you read the book. If you’re looking for your heart’s desire, look no further than your own back yard. Nevertheless, The Wizard of Oz will always be my favorite story.

How about you? Do you have a favorite book? You can tell me about it in the comment field below or participate in this week’s blog hop by clicking 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

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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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
Like Me on Facebook.

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Song Lyric Sunday: Band on the Run

Song Lyric Sunday was created by blogger Helen Vahdati. For guidelines click here.

This week’s theme is “search.” The song is about a whole town searching for a band of escaped jail inmates who will never be found. When I was in the sixth or seventh grade, my family was living in Sheridan, Wyoming, and my father sold and serviced coin-operated machines.

I had a remote control unit and speaker in my bedroom that were connected to a jukebox downstairs. “Band on the Run” was one of many songs I listened to frequently. In case you’re wondering what kind of parents I had that allowed their child to listen to a song about escaped criminals never being found, let me assure you that although I loved the song and still do, I never grew up to be part of a band on the run. Enjoy the song, and have a great day.

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Band on the Run–Paul McCartney

Lyrics Courtesy of Google

 

 

Stuck inside these four walls

Sent inside forever

Never seeing no one

Nice again like you

Mama you, mama you

If I ever get out of her,

Thought of giving it all away

To a registered charity.

All I need is a pint a day

If I ever get outta here

If we ever get outta of here

Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash

As we fell into the sun

And the first one said to the second one there

I hope you’re having fun

Band on the run, band on the run

And the jailer man and sailor Sam

Were searching every one

For the band on the run

Band on the run

Band on the run

Band on the run

Well, the undertaker drew a heavy sigh

Seeing no one else had come

And a bell was ringing in the village square

For the rabbits on the run

Band on the run

Band on the run

And the jailer man and sailor Sam

Were searching every one

For the band on the run

Band on the run

Yeah the band on the run

Band on the run

Band on the run

Band on the run

Well, the night was falling as the desert world

Began to settle down.

In the town they’re searching for us everywhere

But we never will be found

Band on the run

Band on the run

And the county judge who held a grudge

Will search for evermore

For the band on the run

Band on the run

Band on the run

Band on the run

Songwriters: Linda McCartney / Paul James McCartney

Band on the Run lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

 

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Author 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

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

Where’s Your Happy Place?

Believe it or not, even though I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, my happy place is a beach in Jupiter, Florida, where my brother and I often go when I visit him. I sometimes swim but am mostly content to walk alongside the ocean and feel cool waves wash over my feet, cleansing them of the tension from which I’m retreating. I also enjoy sitting in a lawn chair with a picnic lunch or lying on a blanket. Once when I got sick during my visit, my brother and his family encouraged me to accompany them to the beach. I went, against my better judgement, and to my surprise, the ocean breeze and the roar of the waves plus the occasional cry of seagulls made me feel better.

I recently red an article entitled “5 Ways to Re-Start a Bad Day.” One suggestion given here is to think of your happy place. This could be a place where you went as a child with happy memories associated with it. It could be a place where you’ve never been but would like to go. It could even be a made-up place. Now that summer is waning and fall is approaching, I want you to think of your happy place and tell me about it.

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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
Like Me on Facebook.

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