On Top of the House #Poetry, #Tuesday Tidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

When I was growing up, one of the houses where my family lived in Tucson, Arizona, had a swamp cooler mounted on the roof. It wasn’t always reliable, and it always broke down during the hottest part of the summer.

In the following poem, I talk about a time when I accompanied my father onto the roof one day and watched him fix the cooler. I remember how slanted the roof was but also my view of the world from up there, which I illustrate in the poem.

It was published in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, and you can click the Play button below to hear me read it. I posted it here back in 2011, but I hope you’ll agree it’s worth a second look. Enjoy!

 

On Top of The House

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

The cooler stands silent, inert,
dares Dad to fix it.
At the age of eight, I perch on one of the roof’s slopes,
gaze in wonder at the world below.
Mother calls from far away, yet close.
Where is she?

Dad hunches over the cooler.
“Turn it on,” he calls.
After a pause, it springs to life,
distributing cool air throughout the house’s interior.
It’s time to leave the top of the world.

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

 

 

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.

***

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

 

 

The Music Room #Tuesday Tidbit #Poetry

As you may remember from a post last month, I talked about a music room addition to our home that was built when I was in high school. Here’s a poem I wrote about this room that appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. You can click on the Play button below to hear me read it.

The Music Room

 

After one crew removed the old room,

another poured cement, created a floor, walls, windows, roof.

Carpeting was laid.

The piano, drum set, and stereo were installed.

A love seat and Franklin stove were purchased.

For years, we played together in that room,

me on piano, my brother on drums.

We eventually went our separate ways–

the house was sold–

we still remember.

By the way, 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. 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  Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Leaf Disposal #Tuesday Tidbit #Poetry

Today is the first day of fall. Soon, our thoughts will turn to the raking of leaves. In the following poem from How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, I explain how my mother and I attempted to get rid of leaves the old-fashioned way one year. Now, as then, we are experiencing dry conditions and high forest fire danger. So, please don’t try this at home. You can click on the Play button below the poem to hear me read it.

LEAF DISPOSAL

 

We gathered them into bags, placed them curbside.
Mother said, “We used to burn leaves.
It smelled like fall. Let’s burn a few now.”

After a dry year, forest fires raged around us.
I couldn’t remember the last time it rained.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Stop being such a chicken.
Help me gather leaves into a pile.”
With a sick feeling in my stomach,
I did as I was told.

She struck a match–nothing happened.
Leaves drifted away, as if knowing their fate.
She tried again with no results.
After several more attempts,
we disposed of leaves in the usual way.

 

 

By the way, 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. 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, and may you always have positive experiences.

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 Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Wind Beneath My Wings #Monday Musical Memories

The song I’m featuring today is one I sang to my late husband Bill. After his death, I realized that he was truly the wind beneath my wings.

If he hadn’t come along and persuaded me to marry him, quit my day job, and write full time, I might still be conducting music activities in nursing homes and other senior facilities. If not for him, I might still be in the apartment where I lived for years instead of in my own house with my own washer and dryer and back yard. If I hadn’t married him, I wouldn’t have five published books under my belt with a sixth on the way.

Bill was one of my biggest fans. He supported all my writing endeavors, even helping me with story ideas. I remember the day I received print copies of my first book, We Shall Overcome. I placed a copy in his hands, and because he had no vision at all, I described the front and back cover to him. With what I imagined to be his shit-eating grin, he said, “My wife, the published author.” When my second book, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver was ready to be published, he posed with me for the photo on the front cover. Whenever possible, he was at my side during book signings and other events, smiling, even though he was confined to a wheelchair as a result of two strokes. You can read more about us in My Ideal Partner: How I met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

On my birthday today, I’d like to give you all the gift of my gratitude to Bill for making me what I am today. Even now, this song is hard for me to sing. But as you’ll note when you press the Play button below, I somehow managed to pull it off. Enjoy!

I was inspired to share this song by a prompt. 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.