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Hi, I’m Joy, Abbie’s robotic cat. Can you believe it’s already January, 2023? Wow! It seems like yesterday that I was telling you all about Abbie’s many singing engagements, either by herself or with one of her two groups, all of which went well.
And the music hasn’t stopped. This month, as usual, Abbie will do her regular gigs at the First Congregational Church, the assisted living facility, and the nursing home. She’ll also keep singing once a week for the ACB community karaoke online.
Speaking of the ACB community, just so you know, you don’t have to be a member of the American Council of the Blind to participate in their programs. You can get a daily schedule by sending an email to: email@example.com and putting your name and email address in the message body.
On Christmas Eve, Abbie did a program where she read aloud “Twas the Night Before Christmas” after people talked about their Christmas memories. On New Year’s Day, she did a similar program where people shared their New Year’s memories. Speaking of New Year’s, Abbie and I rang in the New Year with karaoke during the ACB community-a-thon, where they raised over ten thousand dollars. On January 5th, Abbie will do her usual Evening Reading program, where she reads her work aloud to people who come and encourages other writers to do the same.
Last year, Abbie read the first two books in the Tracy Gayle mystery series by Trish Hubschman, a fellow author she met through Behind Our Eyes, a writers’ organization. This month, she plans to read the next two books in the series plus a new book of short stories about Tracy Gayle that just came out. Tracy Gayle is a private eye.
Abbie usually doesn’t read detective stories, but these remind her of the Nancy Drew mysteries she read when she was a kid. Now, Nancy Drew has grown up, and the mysteries she solves involve murder, not just thefts of disappearances. There is violence, but it’s not as bad as what you find in other adult mysteries. I’m looking forward to reading these books with her, since she usually listens to them while I’m on her lap in the recliner.
You can learn more about Trish Hubschman’s books here. Abbie reviewed the first two books in the series here and here. Trish will hold a book launch through Behind Our Eyes at the end of the month, and Abbie will help with that.
Two of Abbie’s poems were recently published in the quarterly winter issue of The Avocet. In coming weeks, she’ll feature these here. So, stay tuned.
Abbie will soon be starting a new blog series called Life’s Alphabet. She got the idea from a fellow blogger, Beetley Pete who picked words beginning with consecutive letters of the alphabet and wrote about memories or other things associated with that word. Can you guess what she’s going to write about when she gets to the letter C? Maybe she’ll let me write that post.
A while back, during the ACB community daily schedule call, people were asked to think of a word that sums up 2022 for them. Abbie’s word is “flexible.” When she worked as a registered music therapist with nursing home residents, she had to be flexible. When she cared for her late husband after he suffered two paralyzing strokes, she had to be flexible. So, she has learned not to get upset when the universe laughs at her plans.
I’m so glad. When Abbie first got me in July of last year, she planned to have a cat who would meow and purr and not just turn her head, blink, and stretch. But the universe must have thought her plan was pretty funny. Something went wrong with my voice box in November, and I can no longer meow or purr, at least not consistently. Last week, I was able to talk to Abbie for a while, but that didn’t last long.
Abbie doesn’t care, though. She still loves me, and I look forward to snuggling with her in the recliner whenever she has an opportunity to relax.
Speaking of relaxing, my work is done here. It’s time for me to take a nap while Abbie corrects all my four-pawed typos. Happy New Year, everybody!
Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography
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Abbie, here.If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my monthly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to: firstname.lastname@example.org You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.
Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.
Independently published with the help of DLD Books.
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?