Twenty-Six Letters #Open Book Blog Hop #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s prompt is: “It never fails to amaze me that ALL the books ever written are made up of just twenty six letters.”

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Actually, this doesn’t surprise me, especially since there are only twenty-six letters in the alphabet, a fact for which I was grateful when I was growing up. Because of my visual impairment, I learned Braille before being taught to read and write print. In Braille, a dot or series of dots stands for a letter or word. Some words like “and,” “the,” and “of” have their own symbols. Since Braille dots take up more room than print letters, contracting such words saves space. The down side is that after learning all the letters of the alphabet, you need to learn all the contractions. But the benefits of using Braille, for people like me, outweigh the inconvenience of learning a bunch of new symbols.

I started learning to type when I was in the eighth grade and discovered, to my dismay, that I now had to write out such words as “for” and “like” instead of using their contractions. By this time, I was in a public school, and it was important that I provide assignments to teachers who couldn’t read Braille without relying on my mother to transcribe them into print after I wrote them in Braille. So, I adjusted. Now, I write with both a Braille and standard computer keyboard and utilize all twenty-six letters of the alphabet.

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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

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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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.

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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.

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My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

My Life and the Coronavirus #Wednesday Words

Last March, when COVID19 restrictions were first put into place, if I’d still been working as a registered music therapist in a nursing home, my routine would have been drastically affected. Group activities would have been limited, if even permitted at all. I would have spent a lot more time with residents in their rooms and would, no doubt, have heard complaints from those who enjoyed my group sessions about the lack of them.

Residents might not have even been allowed to congregate in lobbies or eat in the dining areas. All staff would probably have been pressed into meal delivery service. This would have been tricky for me, due to my limited vision, because, unless labels on trays were in large enough print for me to read, I could have given the wrong resident the wrong meal. This could have had serious consequences for people on special diets. I’m so glad that in 2005, I decided to quit practicing music therapy and write full-time.

Before the COVID19 restrictions, although I wasn’t working as a registered music therapist with seniors, I still volunteered at nursing homes and other facilities at least once a month, entertaining residents by playing my guitar and singing. This took more time than you might imagine because, like all musicians, I had to practice. I also needed to learn new songs residents requested or that I thought they might enjoy, as I did when I was practicing music therapy. Once the pandemic became prevalent last March, all senior facilities were on lockdown and are still on lockdown today. This has given me more time to write.

During the first couple of months of restrictions, the local YMCA was closed. So, I couldn’t attend water exercise classes, either. I started working out at home, which didn’t take nearly as much time as a trip to the Y. Thus, I had even more time.

Now, the Y is open, and I go there three days a week, as usual. That could change, depending on what restrictions our state’s governor puts into place this week in response to the rising number of COVID19 cases. I’ll be so glad when this pandemic is behind us. Although I may not have as much time to write, I’ll again be able to do other things I enjoy besides writing and entertaining seniors, including attending concerts and plays, eating out, and singing with my group.

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What about you? How has COVID19 affected your life or your writing? You can either sound off in the comments field below or click here to participate in Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop on the subject.

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.

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My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Overrated or Underrated #TMI Tuesday

My answers to this week’s questions are a matter of personal preference. After you read them, you can scroll down to learn how to participate.

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Tell us what you think. Are the following overrated or underrated? Why?

 

Birkin Bags

 

I must admit I’d never heard of a Birkin bag until I clicked on the above link. Right now, I don’t need such a bag, but maybe in the future… They’re definitely nice.

 

iPhone

 

A year ago, I declared I wouldn’t touch a touch screen with a ten-foot pole. A few months ago, that changed when I bought my first iPhone after becoming disillusioned with the device I was using. I’m amazed with all the iPhone can do and can’t imagine how I lived without it.

 

Writing a Book and Self-Publishing

 

This is a no-brainer. I’ve self-published four books and will self-publish another book when it’s ready. I published one chapbook with a traditional publisher, and because of negative experiences, I won’t submit to them or any other such publisher if I can help it. I found a great business, DLD Books, that helps authors self-publish their work on Amazon, Smashwords, and other sites, and I highly recommend them.

 

Scruffy, Short Beards

 

When my husband Bill was alive, before he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side, his face was as smooth as a baby’s bottom, and I loved it that way. After the strokes, he needed help shaving. Since I didn’t feel comfortable wielding a razor due to my limited vision, it was up to the aides who came to our home three days a week to give him showers. His face was never quite as smooth, but I was grateful that they made an effort. If I had a choice, though, I wouldn’t want my man to wear any kind of beard or mustache.

 

Hoodies

 

Bill loved his hoodies, especially during the winter months. As he grew older, he  became more sensitive to cold. So, his favorite pastime was reading in his recliner, covered with a blanket and poncho, the hood of his sweatshirt covering his head and face.

Now that he’s gone, I occasionally wear one of his hoodies if I’m not planning to go anywhere. They’re a little big for me, but they’re warm, and they make me feel closer to him.

 

HIIT Workouts

 

This was something else I hadn’t heard of until now. Frankly, I prefer my water fitness classes at the YMCA. I like exercising in the water because it offers more resistance, and although you still work up a sweat, you don’t feel it, and you don’t notice the intensity, either. Our classes last an hour and include cardio and muscle toning.

 

Boxer Briefs

 

Before Bill’s strokes, he wore boxer briefs, and only boxer briefs, to bed. This was because he often got hot during the night. After his strokes, because he couldn’t get up and walk to the bathroom on his own, he slept in the buff. That way, when he needed to go in the night, he could use the urinal more easily. You can read more about Bill and me in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Since I’m not a man, I could take or leave boxer briefs.

 

Bonus: Avocado Toast

 

I don’t care for avocado, and I’m not a fan of toast. So, in my opinion, that’s definitely overrated.

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Now, it’s your turn. To learn how to play TMI Tuesday on your blog, click here. Otherwise, you can leave your answers in the comment field below.

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.