What Hooks Me to a Book #Wednesday Words #Open Book Blog Hop

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I don’t judge a book by its cover. When I read or hear about one that sounds interesting, I read the synopsis. If I find the book  on Audible and am not familiar with the author or narrator, I play a sample to get an idea of the style of writing and narration. Because of my limited vision, I have difficulty reading Kindle samples. So, I hope for the best. I never return a book if I don’t like it because I still want to support the author.

Once I start a book, I can’t always guarantee I’ll finish it. If a book contains too much strong language or too many vivid descriptions of sex or violence, I no longer care about how it will end. If a book turns out to be too unbelievable, it’s not worth it for me.

I have a nasty habit of letting myself get too drawn into a story. Over and over, I tell myself it’s just a book and the characters’ tribulations are not my problem, but that doesn’t always work. Sometimes, a story keeps me awake at night, and I can’t let it go. If I have a bad feeling about how a book will end, I don’t finish it because I don’t want to know.

When I was younger, I enjoyed reading mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and even some horror stories. Now, I’m more selective about what I read. Isn’t it interesting how tastes change as we age?

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The above was inspired by Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop question for this week. If you’d like to participate, click here.

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Today’s the day. I’ll be performing at noon Mountain Standard Time at the Wyo Theater here in Sheridan, Wyoming, as part of our local senior center’s live music streaming series. The event will be held virtually on Facebook, but even if you don’t have an account, you should be able to watch my program live by clicking this link. Please share this information with all your friends. I hope you can come.

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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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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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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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My Genre-Writing Preferences

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Growing up, I lost myself in Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins, and The Hardy Boys mysteries plus The Wizard of Oz and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia books. In high school, I studied western literature and enjoyed such classics as The Virginian and The Grapes of Wrath. I also took a science fiction course, where I read Brave New World, 1984, and others. As a college student, I got into some horror, suspense, and paranormal fiction.

Now, with my sixtieth birthday less than six months away, my reading preferences have mellowed out. I prefer memoirs and novels that focus on families and relationships with some humor. I also like some historical fiction. I no longer care for books with violence or explicit descriptions of sex. Some strong language is fine, but I recently started a promising novel where every other sentence contains an F bomb. No, thanks! Science fiction somewhat interests me, but mysteries, horror, and paranormal fiction are out. Since I don’t care for these genres, I wouldn’t write them.

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Thanks to Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop for inspiring this. 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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Staying Focused #Open Book Blog Hop, Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Amid social media’s constant distractions, it can be hard to concentrate. Some say that in order for writers to promote their work, they should use every available form of social media. But if I were to do that, I’d spend more time marketing and less time writing material to be promoted. You need a good balance, and I’ve come up with one that works for me.

I only use two forms of social media: WordPress and Facebook. I don’t constantly check these platforms for notifications, especially since their apps on my iPhone are pretty good at letting me know when something’s up. When I receive notifications while working, I wait until I get to a good stopping point before dealing with them. With my phone, I can easily read, like, comment on, or simply clear a notification before returning to the task at hand.

Other writers may think my tactics are counterproductive, but here’s the thing. I’m the author of five books and hope to publish a sixth one in 2021. This blog has attracted over 800 followers. On Facebook, I’ve accumulated over 400 friends, and my author page has received plenty of hits. So, I must be doing something right. As a writer, it’s important to find a method that works for you and not worry about what others think.

How about you? How do you stay focused on whatever you do? Thanks to this week’s Open Book Blog Hop post from Stevie Turner for inspiring this. Click here to learn how you can participate.

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