No More Lighter Fluid? #SixSentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp #Inspiration #WritingPrompts

I’ve written about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. My brother Andy, who was seven years my junior, developed a scientific interest in flame when he was five years old. He set fire to his basement bedroom, but my mother was able to put that out before much damage was done.

Once, he was playing with matches near an abandoned shack when it caught fire. Another time, while we were in his room, he held a lighter to my face and flicked it, but it only hissed. He insisted it was out of fluid, but I ran away, not about to take any chances.

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Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above true story with her six-sentence prompt for this week, in which the given word is “fluid.” You can click here to participate and read other bloggers’ six-sentence creations.

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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The Ones and Twos of Going Number 1 and Number 2

Good morning. When you were a kid, you probably wondered why you had to learn math. Well, maybe this post from Common Place Fun Facts will enlighten you. It should definitely give you some food for thought while you’re picking up your pet’s droppings. Enjoy, and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Commonplace Fun Facts

Amount of time for an animal to poop

Did you ever complain while doing your math homework and ask, “Why do I need to learn this?” Probably someone responded by telling you that no matter what you choose to do with your life, you’re going to have to use math in some way.

It turns out this is true, even if you plan to spend your life cleaning up after animals. Scientists have applied their finely-tuned brains to unlock the mysteries of what happens on the other end of an animal’s body. To put it a bit more bluntly, thanks to a bit of math, we now know just how long it takes for animals to poop and pee.


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Stories I’ll Never Write #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I don’t know why I didn’t aspire to be a writer much earlier in life. Even as a kid, I had stories in my head that I never wrote down.

While reading Nancy Drew mysteries, I imagined that Nancy and her boyfriend Ned were married, and they adopted me. Nancy’s friends, George and Bess, married their boyfriends, Burt and Dave, and each couple adopted a girl my age. Being in junior high, we weren’t into boys yet. So, the three of us solved mysteries together.

When I was in high school, I fantasized that I was the bionic woman, leaving Nancy Drew’s hometown of River Heights behind and solving more serious crimes. In my fantasy, I married a bionic man at the age of sixteen, and by the time I was eighteen or nineteen, I had two kids who were not bionic.

In college, I replaced this story with another, inspired by Star Trek. My brother was the captain of the U.S.S Enterprise, and this ship’s transporter beam rescued me from certain death on a planet with a dystopian society similar to that of George Orwell’s 1984. After that, I became a famous singer, touring the galaxy on my own starship. I also created, in my head, a soap opera about the lives of people on different planets in this galaxy.

During the earlier part of this century, after I finally became serious about writing, I developed an idea for a science fiction novel. At the time, my brother was working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. In my story, a visually impaired young woman, while visiting relatives in Los Alamos, is approached by a historian from the future, who is working at the lab on a project that involves bringing in people from the past. She agrees to be transported to the future, where she learns a lot about what life will be like. But upon returning to the present, she doesn’t remember anything about her adventure, and life goes on as if nothing happened.

When I was younger, I enjoyed detective and science fiction stories, but they’re not for me anymore. So, I doubt this or any of my fantasies will end up on paper. But it was fun to dream, no matter how unrealistic the fantasies. In my opinion, they served as exercises to limber my creative muscles.

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Thanks to this week’s prompt on Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop for inspiring the above. If you’d like to participate, click here.

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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.

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How a Melted Candy Bar Revolutionized Everyday Life #Friday Fun Reads #Reblog

Have you ever wondered how the microwave was invented? Well, according to this post from Commonplace Fun Facts, it started with a melted candy bar. Who knew?

 

Via How a Melted Candy Bar Revolutionized Everyday Life

 

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

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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Thursday Book Feature: The Imortalists

The Immortalists
Benjamin, Chloe.
Copyright 2018.

In 1969, four Jewish children in New York City visit a psychic who tells each one of them the day he or she will die. These children grow up, all the while aware of their predicted death dates. The two youngest, Simon and Clara, move to San Francisco, where Simon, who is gay, becomes a dancer, and Clara becomes a magician, marries, and has a child. The next youngest, Daniel, marries and becomes a doctor, and the oldest, Varia, becomes a scientist.

I read about this book on an email list. One thing I didn’t like was the author’s shift between present and past tense. She uses past tense mostly for flashbacks, but at times, I wasn’t sure if she was flashing back or in the present. As a writer myself, I prefer the use of past tense only with flashbacks perhaps told in the past imperfect tense.

Otherwise, I found this book fascinating. I like the way the author explores the question of to know or not to know when you’ll die. It also makes you wonder if those children’s lives would have been different if they hadn’t visited that psychic and heard her predictions of when they would die.

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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
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