TOP TEN THINGS YOU NEVER SHOULD HAVE ASKED YOUR MOTHER #WordPressWednesday #Reblogs #Inspiration

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This is a day late but hopefully not a dollar short. Yesterday, my mother would have  been eighty-six years old. May she rest in peace. Today’s WordPress Wednesday contribution is in her memory. Enjoy!

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The inspiration for this list was a discussion between The Producer and me about how kids can light the parental upset fuse by a simple question. We both have asked some and have been asked some.

 

View the original post.

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Poems Offer Slices of Life #FridayFunReads #BookReviews #Inspiration

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Haywire: Poems (Swenson Poetry Award)

by George Bilgere

Copyright 2006.

 

What Amazon Says

 

Tenth annual winner of the May Swenson Poetry Award, Haywire is a well-polished collection from a highly accomplished poet. With humor, compassion, and an unflinching eye, Bilgere explores the human condition in accessible lines and a magician’s way with language. In images bright and dark, tangible and immanent, Bilgere brings us time after time to the inner reaches of a contemporary life. In subjects ranging from adolescent agony to the loss of parents to the comic pain of middle age, he finds no reason to turn away his gaze, and ultimately no reason not to define himself in joy.

Haywire was chosen for the Swenson Award by poet Edward Field, winner of numerous awards and a personal friend of the late May Swenson. Field describes the book this way. “This poet, you knew from his very first lines, didn’t fall for anything phony—his own language is irresistibly no-bullshit down to earth, even sassy.”

 

My Thoughts

 

George Bilgere’s style is similar to that of Billy Collins, who is one of my favorite poets. Like Collins, Bilgere writes realistic, slice-of-life pieces.

“Simili Practice,” in which he shares experiences teaching English as a second language, reminded me of the times my mother, a college English teacher, also taught that subject. Being someone who appreciates opera, I could relate to “Aria” and “Tosca,” showcasing Bilgere’s father’s love of this type of music, which seemed to trump everything else at times. My favorite is “The Table,” in which he shares other family memories.

Some of the poems, in my opinion, are too graphic. Let’s take, for example, “What Would Jesus Do,” in which Bilgere reflects on what would happen if Christ died in the electric chair instead of on the cross. I found others offensive because of the way he appears to stereotype certain ethnic groups. Otherwise, I enjoyed reading this collection. Some of the poems gave me a laugh from time to time. I recommend it and other poetry collections by Bilgere to anyone who likes poetry that is straightforward and easy to follow.

 

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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Another Collection of Whimsical Poems #FridayFunReads #Poetry #Inspiration

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Whale Day: and Other Poems

by Billy Collins

Copyright 2020.

 

What Amazon Says

 

A wondrous collection from Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author of The Rain in Portugal

“The poems are marked by his characteristic humor and arise out of small, banal moments, unearthing the extraordinary or uncanny in the everyday.”—The Wall Street Journal

Whale Day brings together more than fifty poems and showcases the deft mixing of the playful and the serious that has made Billy Collins one of our country’s most celebrated and widely read poets. Here are poems that leap with whimsy and imagination, yet stay grounded in the familiar, common things of everyday experience. Collins takes us for a walk with an impossibly ancient dog, discovers the original way to eat a banana, meets an Irish spider, and even invites us to his own funeral. Sensitive to the wonders of being alive as well as the thrill of mortality, Whale Day builds on and amplifies Collins’s reputation as one of America’s most interesting and durable poets.

 

Buy from Amazon.

 

My Thoughts

 

I’ve enjoyed poetry by Billy Collins over the years, and Whale Day didn’t disappoint me. The book is divided into several sections with no rhyme or reason as to which poems go in which sections. But that’s okay. It’s part of this poet’s whimsical style.

I love the way he opens the book with “The Function of Poetry.” His idea of poetry’s function is similar to mine. I got a good laugh from ‘Down on the Farm,” in which the author muses on Tennessee fainting goats.

Billy Collins is one of those poets who makes you forget you’re reading a poem. So, even if you’re not into poetry, I highly recommend Whale Day and his other collections.

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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

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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Laughter, The Best Medicine #Wednesday Words, #Poetry

I like interjecting humor in my writing once in a while. I sometimes laugh at my own writing if I’ve made a typographical error that could be interpreted the wrong way. At other times, my writing has made people laugh when it hadn’t seemed funny.

Years ago, I was attending a poetry workshop with my friend Rose, with whom I’ve attended many such writing activities. In the morning, we were doing a writing exercise. Rose was seated next to me, and we were writing along, minding our own business, when suddenly, she let loose with a loud belch, followed by a cry of embarrassment.

Poor Rose, she’s a grandmother and a Methodist, not usually given to loud expulsions of wind. It was all I could do to keep from laughing. I somehow managed to get myself under control and finish the exercise. Later, during a break, Rose said that during that time, I’d looked like I was in pain, and she asked if I was all right. I told her I was.

That afternoon, the workshop presenter prompted us to write about something unusual or extraordinary. I jumped at the chance to write the following poem. I then shared it with the group, much to the delight of everyone, including Rose.

Now, in meetings of my local poetry group, some of whom attended that workshop, when anyone auditorily exhibits a bodily function, someone usually says, “Oh, Abbie, I’ll bet you’ll write a poem about that, won’t you?” Well, I tried writing a poem about an unusual-sounding hiccup but didn’t get very far.

Anyway, this poem appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. You can click the Play button below to hear me read it.

Belch!

 

The room is silent
but for the scratch of pencil against paper,
murmur of voices,
flip, rip of pages.
Unexpected, it cuts through the silence,
raucous, obnoxious,
breaks my concentration.
I fight to diffuse a bomb of mirth
that threatens to explode.
The effort brings tears to my eyes.
After a moment, I continue writing,
but my heart’s not in it anymore.

Thanks to fellow blogger Stevie Turner for inspiring the above post. If you’d like to participate in her blog hop on the subject of humor in writing, click here.

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.

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The Words Fit the Music, or Not #Musical Monday #Reblog

When I was a kid, I learned the following version of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

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Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school.

We have tortured every teacher; we have broken every rule.

We have shot the principal, and then, we flushed him down the stool.

We go marching on!

 

Glory glory what’s it to ya?

Teacher hit me with a rulah.

Met her at the door with a loaded forty-four,

and she don’t teach no more.

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In light of all the school shootings today, any little kid who sings that will no doubt be in big trouble. Now, here’s Kathy Waller with more song parodies. I hope this gives you a good laugh to start your week.

 

Via The Words Fit the Music, or Not

 

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.

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My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.