News from Abbie’s Corner April 2017

March has been a pretty quiet month. On the 2nd, I had an opportunity to hear pianist Andre Bohren at the Wyo Theater. On the 4th, I planned to attend a performance of Swan Lake at Sheridan College’s Whitney Center for the Arts, but I got a bad cold and decided to stay home. I’d already purchased a ticket but was able to give it to a friend who enjoyed the performance.

On the 18th, my singing group, Just Harmony, performed at an event at the local Methodist church they called a spudtacular. For dinner, there were baked potatoes with a variety of toppings plus salads and ice cream for dessert. We were the first to sing, followed by a group of kids who sang Irish songs, accompanying themselves on flute, guitar, and drum.

Besides a reading by former state poet laureate Rose Hill, a dear friend and church member, the event included a drawing for door prizes. I ended up with a mug that says, “Chocolate, always the answer.” So what’s the question? I guess it’s chocolate.

I gave two solo performances this month: on the 24th at Greenhouse and on the 28th at Westview. I’ll be at Sugarland Ridge for a birthday social on April 7th and Westview again on the 25th.

Since April is National Poetry Month, my Third Thursday Poets will give a reading on the 20th. We’re in the process of producing a chapbook to benefit the senior center, and this will be launched during our event. On April 29th, I’ll attend a poetry workshop in Buffalo, Wyoming, about thirty miles south of Sheridan, sponsored by WyoPoets.

Since we had a lot of rain in March, I was inspired to sing a medley of songs about rain at my solo performances. I’ll sing it again for you.

I’m using a different platform to post my audio files. If you have trouble with the player, please let me know in the comments field, and I’ll paste a link there that should work. If enough people have trouble with the player, I can use the link instead, so please don’t be afraid to share your thoughts on this subject or any other for that matter. Happy spring.

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Author 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

Click to hear an audio trailer.

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News from Abbie’s Corner September 2016

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August has been a busy month with the promotion of my new book. I’ve been sending press releases to reporters and announcements to family and friends. On August 30th, I was interviewed on a local radio station’s public affairs program. On September 24th, I’ll be signing copies of my new book at Sheridan Stationery Books and Gallery. I’m working with Cameron Duff, director of the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library to host an event to commemorate National Indie Author Day on October 8th. By this time next month, I should have more details about that so stay tuned.

I’ve also been busy singing, as usual. Earlier this month, I played my guitar and sang at the Sheridan Senior Center’s adult day care program. My group, Just Harmony, performed for a service at the United Methodist Church on August 28th. On August 31st, I played my guitar and sang for the monthly birthday party at Westview. This month, I’ll be at Sugarland Ridge on the 9th and Westview on the 27th.

Believe it or not, I took time out to have some fun. I went with Rose Hill and Christine Valentine, two writer friends, to Prayer Lodge near Busby, Montana, where we enjoyed a delicious potluck supper and listened to some great live music. This was actually an informal jam session so I brought my guitar and played and sang a few songs.

A week later, Christine and I attended a bluegrass and burgers event at the local senior center which was a lot of fun. A couple of weeks later, Rose and I attended a lecture at the Brinton Museum on the history of cowboy music. Dave Munsick, the same singer/songwriter who sang for our wedding over ten years ago, played his guitar and sang some old cowboy songs during the lecture, and that was very interesting.

My brother’s in-laws from Florida came to town one day. They’d been traveling across the country for several weeks, occasionally on motorcycles, and they took me out to dinner at Frackleton’s. The food was delicious, and I had a great time visiting with them.

Well, that’s about it for now. I hope you all have a great month, and I’ll have more news in October. Meanwhile, if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to check out My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Also, I have a new Facebook page which I hope to eventually link to this blog.

Author 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

Click to hear an audio trailer.

 

News from Abbie’s Corner August 2016

Can you believe that August is already here? Summer’s almost over, but you wouldn’t know it with the heat wave that has been ravaging the country. I recently read on a blog post a poem about dreaming of a blizzard on a hot summer day. Isn’t it funny how we long for snowstorms when it’s hot but wish summer would come when we’re slip-sliding down icy sidewalks and landing on our back sides?

In July, my brother, Andy, and his wife, Christina, from Florida came for a visit. They flew into Denver on the 12th and spent a couple of days with relatives before renting a car and driving to Sheridan to stay with me for a few days. They arrived here on the 14th, just in time for our annual national rodeo. On the morning of the 15th, we went to the rodeo parade. I hadn’t been in years, and it was so much fun. Andy sat next to me and read me the signs on the floats and described them to me while Christina snapped pictures of them with her cell phone. She’d never been to a rodeo parade and found it fascinating.

Afterward, we had lunch at Frackleton’s downtown and then wandered across the street to the Wyo Theater where a piano was set out for anyone to play. I played and sang a few songs, much to the delight of passers-by. Here’s a video snapshot Christina took while I was doing this.

Andy’s class reunion was that weekend. When they weren’t involved with those activities, we went out to eat, explored our old neighborhood, got ice cream in the park, and visited with friends. Andy and Christina fixed my treadmill, disposed of a wasp nest under my old picnic table, and helped me pick out a new one at Home Depot. We also had dinner with my uncle and aunt who live out south of town. The following Tuesday, they drove to Yellowstone Park where they spent a few days camping and hiking before driving back to Colorado, spending time with friends, and flying back to Florida on the 25th. I had a great time with them, and I hope they’ll come back next year.

On July 8th, I played my guitar and sang at Sugarland Ridge. With the Fourth of July holiday a few days earlier and the upcoming rodeo, I performed a mix of patriotic and country and western tunes, much to everyone’s delight. I did the same program at Westview on the 26th, and those residents also enjoyed it.

On the 20th, fellow poet Christine Valentine and I were featured as part of the weekly Vaudeville program at the Wyo Theater where we performed the same poem we did in June during the Wyoming Writers’ conference. The poem, which Christine wrote, is called “Driven Insane by Mitzi Gaynor” and talks about songs that get stuck in your head. The songs mentioned here were “101 Pounds of Fun” from South Pacific and “Go Home with Bonnie Jean” from Brigadoon. Christine read the poem, and we sang the songs together when she got to them. It was a lot of fun, and the audience loved it.

Now, I’ve saved the best news for last. Those of you who follow my blog already know this, but it’s definitely worth repeating as part of my shameless self-promotion. My new memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, is now available for purchase from Createspace, Amazon, and Smashwords. It will eventually be distributed to Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and other sources. For those of you like me with print impairments, if you purchase the book from Smashwords, you’ll be able to download it in various formats that can be read on a computer or device such as a Victor Reader Stream. I also plan to submit it to Bookshare and record myself reading it and make that available as a free download from my Website. For more information and to order, visit the book’s page on my Website. Happy reading, and stay cool.

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Author 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

 

News from Abbie’s Corner July 2016

Friday, July 1st, 2016 1:45 p.m.

 

I’m composing this during what’s called a writing marathon, sponsored by the Wyoming Writing Project, a program developed by the university to facilitate writing. Here’s how it works.

After gathering at the agriculture building at Sheridan College, we split into groups. Each group’s goal is to travel to two or three locations around town and write for about fifteen or twenty minutes before sharing with others and moving to a new setting. Right now, I’m sitting at a picnic table at Whitney Common, a local park I often walk through on my way to other places.

Here’s the big news. My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, is soon to become a reality. David Dvorkin is in the process of formatting the manuscript for Createspace. It will also be available as EBooks on Smashwords and Amazon.

This month promises to be busy, what with my book coming out. I’ll write and send press releases to the media and mail sell sheets to bookstores and libraries. I’ll also plan as many appearances as possible to promote my book. It’s always exciting when a new book comes out.

On the last Tuesday of June, I did my usual monthly gig at Westview, where I played my guitar and sang, much to residents’ delight. This month, I’ll be at Sugarland Ridge, an assisted living facility, on July 8th. They’re doing a red, white, and blue social, so I’ll supply some patriotic music along with some country and western songs, since our annual national rodeo is the following week. On July 26th, I’ll be back at Westview.

Speaking of the rodeo, that’s the week my brother, Andy, from Florida, will be visiting. He and his wife Christina will fly into Denver on the 12th and rent a car. After spending time with relatives in Colorado, they’ll drive here the weekend of the 15th for his 30th class reunion. They also want to spend some time in Yellowstone Park, so I hope they’ll do that the following week and come back that weekend before returning to Colorado and flying back to Florida on the 26th. Will just have to wait and see what they have planned.

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Friday, July 1st, 2016 2:15 p.m.

I’m sitting downtown across the street from the post office. After sharing what we wrote at Whitney Common, our group has moved here. Time drags by on this hot July afternoon, as I sit on a hard bench with no back and watch cars go by. After about ten minutes, Aaron, one of my traveling companions for the day, says if we’d been using our heads, we could have gone kitty corner to the Pony Grill and Bar, sat on the deck, and had a drink. Oh well…

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Friday, July 3rd, 2016 2:45 p.m.

 

I’m in the Sagebrush Community Art Center, located near the Sheridan Inn next to the railroad tracks. I’m sitting in a cool, quiet room, surrounded by walls sporting paintings, most of which I can’t make out from where I am. On the way here, Aaron pointed out a yellow truck where a vendor sells a variety of foods including barbecue and stir fry. This reminded me of a food truck festival I attended with Andy and Christina when I visited them in Florida last March. The streets were lined for miles with nothing but food trucks selling everything from pizza to Chinese food. Anyway, after we’re done writing and sharing at the art gallery, we’ll return to the college and wrap up.

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Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 12:32 PM

 

Two days later, on another hot July afternoon, I’m reclined in my air conditioned living room, trying to put this writing marathon in perspective. It’s a fun activity for those who need motivation and inspiration to write. It provides a safe environment for writing and sharing, where no feedback is allowed, and readings are followed by a respectful “thank you” from others in the group.

Since I had an agenda, to write this blog post, I found the constant interruptions to share work and move to different locations an unwelcome distraction, reminding me of times when Bill was alive and I had to drop what I was doing every so often to take care of him. I guess I should have expected that.

Others in my group shared work inspired by their surroundings: a poem about children playing in the fountain at Whitney Common, a narrative about a homeless man wandering downtown streets. Next time, I’ll just go with the flow and write about what I see, smell, and hear around me. Who knows? A poem or story may come forth.

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Author 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