An Easy Sport #It’sSix-SentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I used to hate bowling because I could only manage gutter balls most of the time, and my limited vision didn’t help. Then, in college, when I took a requisite physical education class, the instructor took pity on me, giving me a lane all to myself at first and working with me to improve my game. Gradually, my score increased from 0 to 76. For Christmas that year, I received a new ball and shoes, and I continued to bowl for a while after that. I even got involved in a league, but my team was disbanded due to lack of interest, and no other team captain contacted me. Maybe my 76 average didn’t make me league material.

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How about you? Is there a particular sport at which you excelled? I’d love to read about it in the comments.

Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above vignette with her six-sentence prompt for this week. If you’re a blogger and would like to participate in her hop, click here.

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And now, I’m pleased to announce that on Sunday, July 11th, I’ll be participating in a virtual poetry reading, where anyone is welcome to attend and share a poem or two. This will take place at 5 p.m. mountain time on Zoom. You can click here for more information.

Also, throughout the month of July, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available from Smashwords ABSOLUTELY FREE as part of its annual summer/winter sale. You can visit my Smashwords author page to download these books. Happy reading!

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.

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New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image 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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P.E. BLUES #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.During the first few years of my elementary school education, I was the last to be picked for a team. I would have preferred not to be picked at all, but the P.E. teacher insisted that every student participate. This was at the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind, where not having enough vision was no excuse for not doing something.

I hated sports. Because I couldn’t run fast enough, the teacher paired me with someone who ran faster than I did. As a result, I fell flat on my face most of the time while running between bases during kick ball games. I never could understand dodge ball, a game in which the object was, apparently, to see how many people you could hit with a ball.

After my family moved here to Sheridan, Wyoming, I was mainstreamed into a public school for sixth grade, where the physical education teacher let me sit out during games of kick ball, dodge ball, and other activities deemed too dangerous by someone with no experience teaching visually impaired children. My parents were disgusted, but I was only too happy to watch and not fall on my face or get hit with a ball.

In seventh grade, I was able to opt out of P.E. In eighth grade, a new gym teacher took me under her wing and worked with me one on one. Naturally, with just the two of us, we didn’t play kick ball or dodge ball, but I ran laps around the track and did other exercises and even some tumbling. I really enjoyed this, especially since it took time away from my home economics class, another thing I hated.

In high school, I wasn’t required to take physical education but in college I was. By then, I had a choice of safer activities such as bowling. Again, I was one of the last to be picked for a team, but I didn’t mind. At least the ball wasn’t hitting me in the face, and I wasn’t falling. As a matter of fact, I became a pretty good bowler. You can read more about that here.

Several years ago, in a meeting of my monthly poetry group, we were prompted to write a blues poem. At the Arizona school, we had to wear blue gym suits. When we arrived at the gym each day, the teacher told us to put on our blues. Hence, the following poem was born, and you can hear me read it by clicking the Play button below.

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P.E. BLUES

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

As a kid in gym class, I hated putting on my blues.
Yes, as a kid in gym class, I didn’t like to put on those blues.
They were hard to get on. The snaps I sure could lose.

I would have rather played the piano than run around in my blues.
Yes, I wanted to play the piano, not run around in my blues.
But it was not meant to be. Every day I had to put on those blues.

I could never play ball without being hit in the face.
No, I couldn’t play ball without being hit in the face.
When someone ran with me, I fell before we reached first base.

We rarely went swimming or walked around the track.
No, we didn’t go swimming or walk around the track.
Those were things I liked. They didn’t hold me back.

Now, those days are over. I no longer have the blues.
Yes, those days are long gone, and I don’t have the blues.
The blues are gone forever, and I no longer wear my blues.

Thanks to Stevie Turner for inspiring the above with her Open Book Blog Hop prompt for this week. You can click here to participate.

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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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Christmas Bowl #Tuesday Tidbit, #Essay

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.As a kid, I was forced to try a variety of sports in school. Due in part to my visual impairment, I wasn’t successful at any of them. I either fell on my face or was hit in the nose with a ball. But in college, I found a sport I could do pretty well, despite the visual impairment, and without injury.

In 1981, I was entering my second year at Sheridan College in Sheridan, Wyoming. I was required to take at least two semesters of physical education. I signed up for bowling because to me, that seemed to require the least amount of athletic ability, and the chance of injury was slim.

The first few days of class were humiliating. I found that no matter what I did, the ball always ended up in the gutter. Fortunately, nobody laughed at me, which they would have done in elementary school. But between frames, I watched other students bowl strikes and spares and heard them cheering for one another and was depressed by the realization that no one was cheering for me.

The instructor saw that I was floundering and tossed me a lifeline. She arranged for me to have a lane all to myself, so I  would have an opportunity to practice continually without having to wait my turn. She also worked with me to perfect my arm movement, so I could aim the ball right down the center of the lane.

Gradually, I improved. My gutter balls became less and less frequent, and I hit more and more pins. One day, I finally bowled a strike, and the alley reverberated with the cheers of my classmates.

By the time the holidays rolled around, my average score was seventy-six. I loved bowling and wanted to practice in order to improve my game. I even watched the professional tour on television.

I was living at home at the time. Since I couldn’t drive, it was impossible for me to borrow the car and drive out to the bowling alley whenever I wanted. So, I constantly begged my parents to take me bowling, which they readily agreed to do most of the time. We would often go as a family, with my younger brother Andy tagging along. At Thanksgiving, when my uncle, aunt, and cousins from out of town were visiting, I even talked them into bowling with us, and we all had a wonderful time!

As Christmas grew closer, I became somewhat depressed, as I realized that the bowling class wouldn’t continue the second semester. I had really come to enjoy it and wondered if I would ever bowl again once the term ended. Then, to my wondering eyes on Christmas morning, there appeared a bowling ball, a pair of shoes, and a bag in which to carry them. Santa Claus even brought me an electronic bowling game. My parents realized that I was serious about this sport, just as Andy had been serious about tennis a few years earlier.

Through the years, I continued to bowl, although not as frequently, due to having other interests and obligations. One year, I joined a team on a ladies’ bowling league. We only bowled a few times, and the team finally broke up due to lack of interest. I offered my services to another team captain I knew, but I was never called. Perhaps my seventy-six average didn’t make me league material.

Now, although I still have the bag with the ball and shoes, I haven’t bowled in years. But I still have the memory of that seventy-six bowling average. That was one of the best Christmas presents I ever received.

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The above essay is in response to Dr. Crystal Grimes’ holiday blogging party, in which you can participate here. This essay was published years ago in Christmas in the Country, an anthology of work by disabled authors. It has since been revised.

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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Memoir Delivers Powerful Life Messages #Friday Fun Reads

Stand Up or Sit Out: Memories and Musings of a Blind Wrestler, Runner and All-around Regular Guy

by Anthony R. Candela

Copyright 2020

What Amazon Says

In this memoir, Anthony Candela, a self-described “all-around regular guy,” traverses a lifetime of challenges. Some of these are accidents of birth, like his poor eyesight and slow trek to blindness, and some are of his own making, like choosing to compete as a scholar-athlete. Infused with lots of New Yorkana, a touch of California, and a few related historical references, this memoir conveys that in any environment, life does not always follow a prescribed course. Moreover, as humans, all of us are imperfect. This includes people with disabilities who are often thought of as transcendent beings, but who should also be regarded as “all-around regular guys.” Just like the rest of the human race, they often strive imperfectly to get through life.

In his descriptions, the author hopes that readers will understand a little more about the nuts and bolts of running and wrestling, not to mention skiing and scuba diving. The ups and downs of coping with life and progressive loss of eyesight and, by extraction, disability in general will be clearer. Readers will come away with a fuller appreciation of the ways people deal with challenges. In the end, we all have a choice whether to stand up or sit out.

The story related in these pages will occasionally give you cause to chuckle or even shed tears of sadness or joy. Above all else, it will enlighten you about why things happen the way they do. Ultimately, this memoir increases our understanding of what it means to be truly human. Perhaps after reading it, we will be kinder and gentler to each other. Most important, perhaps we will take it a little easier on ourselves.

 

My Thoughts

 

I took an interest in this book when the author was a guest speaker at a recent meeting of Behind Our Eyes, a group of disabled writers to which I belong. My late husband Bill was on the Colorado State School for the Deaf and Blind’s wrestling team in the 1950’s. So, naturally, I found Mr. Candela’s experiences with the sport fascinating. I also enjoyed reading about his adventures in running, cycling, and other sports as well as his academic and social life. I appreciated his insights on human relations and disabilities. Anyone who reads this book, able-bodied or not, will learn from his discoveries.

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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

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Website  Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Field of Memories #Six-Sentence Thursday

My late husband Bill was a fan of the Colorado Rockies baseball team, even when they weren’t doing well. I don’t know if he ever attended a game, but he enjoyed listening on the radio, no doubt wishing he could be center field, but because of his limited vision as a child, playing baseball was out of the question.

After he passed, I had an opportunity to attend a game with relatives at Coors Field in Denver. Because I’d forgotten to pack a portable radio in order to hear the play-by-play, and since my own vision was limited, I didn’t always know what was going on, but as I sat in the stands, I felt close to Bill. If he were still alive, he would have been in the nursing home, and he would have probably called me every so often, and as I always did, I would have commiserated with him when the Rockies lost that game. To learn more about me and Bill, you can read My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

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The above is in response to this week’s six-sentence prompt from Girlie on the Edge. If you’d like to participate in her blog hop, 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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website Image contains: Abbie, smiling.