My Life #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration #WritingPrompts

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “How did you picture your life as a kid versus how it turned out so far?”

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As a youngster, I wanted to be a lot of things when I grew up: a paramedic, a nurse, a flight attendant. When, as a teenager, I realized that nursing might not be a good career option for someone like me with a visual impairment, my mother suggested psychiatric nursing. I remember saying to her, in gest, “Psychiatric nursing? Are you crazy?” That was before I realized that mental illness isn’t funny.

By the time I graduated from high school, I was considering a possible career in music, inspired by the likes of Ronnie Millsap. So, for the first four and a half years of my college education, I majored in music performance. But I was told I needed a more realistic option in order to make a living. By the time I was ready to graduate from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, I’d taken an interest in all thing psychological, including mental illness. When a career counselor suggested music therapy, I liked the idea.

My mother and I went to the public library and found books on the subject, which she read to me. After hearing about one particular music therapist’s experiences, I decided this was something I wanted to do.

After two more years of classroom study and practicum at Montana State University and a six-month internship at a nursing home in Fargo, North Dakota, I returned to my home in Sheridan, Wyoming, where I’ve lived ever since. I worked for fifteen years as a registered music therapist with senior citizens in nursing homes and other facilities.

In 2005, when I married my late husband Bill, I quit my day job and started writing full-time. Now, with six books under my belt, I’m no Debbie Macomber. I never became the next Debbie Boon. But my life has been fulfilling and rewarding all the same.

Now, how about you? When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you accomplish that dream or do something different? You can leave your answers 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?

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Memoir Offers Escape to Childhood Innocence #Thursday Book Feature

I Love You, Miss Huddleston: And Other Inappropriate Longings of My Indiana Childhood

by Philip Gulley

 

With a lot of humor, this author’s memoir talks about his life growing up in the 1960-s and 70’s. Born the son of a bug spray salesman, he starts by talking about his childhood, sharing memories of how he delivered newspapers, did extra trick-or-treating around Halloween, created home-made bombs from his father’s bug spray collection, and engaged in other antics with his friends. He also explains how he fell in love with his sixth grade teacher, hence the title.

After that, he describes his adolescent years: how he worked for the Youth Conservation Corps, then as a stock boy in a grocery store, and other jobs. Having been raised a Catholic, he discusses his experiences with and ideas about religion. He describes how he met and married his future wife and touches on how he became a Quaker minister.

I was born a couple of years after Mr. Gulley. So, some of his stories brought back memories of my own. I remember story math problems involving trains that I could never solve and how much I hated showering naked in front of others after gym class. Of course, I never engaged in any of Mr. Gulley’s antics, but I wouldn’t have put it past my brother to have done so. In a world of violence, corruption, and hatred, this book offers an escape back to a time when the only thing you had to worry about was what would happen when you told your teacher your dog ate your homework.

 

 

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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Song Lyric Sunday: Poor Poor Pitiful Me

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati. This week’s theme is “boys.” The song I’m featuring today echos my sentiment during the first few years of elementary school when I was the only girl in a class of boys at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind in Tucson. The boys delighted in pulling my hair, calling me names, and making life miserable in other ways. Needless to say, I developed an aversion to boys which, during my teen years, may not have been a bad thing. I hope you had better `luck with boys when you were growing up.

Poor Poor Pitiful MeLinda Ronstadt

Lyrics Courtesy of Google

Well I lay my head on the railroad track
Waiting on the Double E
But the train don’t run by here no more
Poor poor pitiful me
Poor poor pitiful me
Poor poor pitiful me
Oh these boys won’t let me be
Lord have mercy on me
Woe woe is me
Well I met a man out in Hollywood
Now I ain’t naming names
Well he really worked me over good
Just like Jesse James
Yes he really worked me over good
He was a credit to his gender
Put me through some changes Lord
Sort of like a Waring blender
Poor poor pitiful me
Poor poor pitiful me
Oh these boys won’t let me be
Lord have mercy on me
Woe woe is me
Well I met a boy in the Vieux Carres
Down in Yokohama
He picked me up and he threw me down
He said “Please don’t hurt me Mama”
Poor poor pitiful me
Poor poor pitiful me
Oh these boys won’t let me be
Lord have mercy on me
Woe woe is mePoor poor poor me
Poor poor pitiful me
Poor poor poor me
Poor poor pitiful me
Poor poor poor me
Poor poor pitiful me
Songwriters: Warren Zevon
Poor Poor Pitiful Me lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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Review: The 10 Cent Chocolate Tub

Abbie-1

The 10-Cent Chocolate Tub

by Mike Mcgann

Copyright 2006.

 

In this collection of essays, the author talks about his life growing up in Pitsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in the suburbs as well as his experiences in the military and in musical theater and his broadcasting career. He explores such topics as parenting, radio, bullies, and disco. In one piece, he explains how he met Gene Kelly while collecting money on his paper route. A 10-cent chocolate tub is a huge ice cream cone made by Bard’s Dairy in Pittsburgh during the 1950’s when children were given only a nickel for vanilla ice cream.

Although Mike Mcgann grew up a little before my time, I enjoyed reading his stories. I almost wish I’d been alive back then. I laughed at some of his anecdotes of life in the city and in the suburbs. Having perfect pitch, I can appreciate one thing he says when talking about his musical theater experiences. “There should be a rule that if you can’t sing in tune and on key (or close to it), you can’t sing in public.” I love the title. I wouldn’t mind having one of those 10-cent chocolate tubs right now, but I guess I’ll settle for chocolate frozen yogurt from Schwann. It’s more healthful.

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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

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