Never Stop Learning #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration

It’s now time for another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “If you could take a free class at a university, what course would you take?” You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

Being a writer, I’m always interested in learning new techniques and want to be inspired to create new work. So, if I had an opportunity to take a free university course, it would be in writing fiction, poetry, or memoir. Would I have time? Probably not.

Even online college courses involve assignments and deadlines. With my own writing and other obligations, it would be a scramble. Every once in a while, though, I shell out some money for a writing class, and I make the time to do and learn, thus growing as an author.

How about you? What free university course would you take if you had a chance? It doesn’t have to be a writing class. Is there something else you’ve always been interested in such as astronomy? Tell us about it in the comment field or click the link above to participate in this week’s hop.

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

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.

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

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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Writing Encouragement: My Review of The Author’s Edge #FantasticFridayReads #Poetry #Inspiration

What Audible Says

 

This collection of 80 poems is meant to bring encouragement and inspiration to anyone who has ever thought or dreamed of writing, whether personally or professionally. Writing takes many forms, whether it’s a letter, diary, blog, article, story, play, poem, or novel. I will confess my writing leans in favor of fiction.

These poems are also meant for listeners, because we cannot have one without the other. The goal of any author is to have universal appeal. Thank you for considering the work of this author.

“Poetry is music in words.” (Marlene Mesot)

Foreword by award-winning artist/author Lynda McKinney Lambert.

 

Buy from Audible.

 

My Thoughts

 

I met Marlene Mesot and Lynda McKinney Lambert through Behind Our Eyes, a writers’ organization to which I belong. I’ve enjoyed reading these authors’ work, and Lynda’s foreword adds a nice touch to Marlene’s book.

The poems in this collection carry the same message as Anna Quindlen’s book, Write for Your Life,  which I reviewed here last week. Both authors are encouraging us to just write the words down, have fun doing it, and hopefully find solace and/or healing. This Audible version’s narrator does an excellent job bringing out these poems’ whimsical qualities. Marlene said she leans more toward fiction, but I think she has a knack for traditional poetry. I hope she publishes more collections like this one.

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

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.

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

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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Everyone Should Write: My Review of Write for Your Life #FantasticFridayReads #Nonfiction #Inspiration

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

What Amazon Says

 

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In this clarion call to pick up a pen and find yourself from “one of our most astute chroniclers of modern life” (The New York Times Book Review), #1 New York Times bestselling author Anna Quindlen shows us how anyone can write, and why everyone should.

What really matters in life? What truly lasts in our hearts and minds? Where can we find community, history, humanity? In this lyrical new book, the answer is clear: through writing. This is a book for what Quindlen calls “civilians,” those who want to use the written word to become more human, more themselves.

Write for Your Life argues that there has never been a more important time to stop and record what we are thinking and feeling. Using examples from past, present, and future—from Anne Frank to Toni Morrison, from love letters written after World War II to journal reflections from nurses and doctors today—Write for Your Life vividly illuminates the ways in which writing connects us to ourselves and to those we cherish. Drawing on her personal experiences not just as a writer but as a mother and daughter, Quindlen makes the case that recording our daily lives in writing is essential.

When we write we not only look, we see; we not only react but reflect. Writing gives you something to hold onto in a changing world. “To write the present,” Quindlen says, “is to believe in the future.”

 

My Thoughts

 

I was intrigued when I read about this book in the August issue of The Writer. I love the point it makes, that anyone can write. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they wished they could write…

Having read The Diary of Ann Frank, I appreciate the way Anna Quindlen references the book. I also enjoyed the accounts of nurses and others who wrote letters, some to complete strangers.

Another concept I’m seeing here is the idea that even if you’re just writing an email message or a hard copy letter, you’re writing. What’s tricky is publishing your work, but for right now, the author is suggesting we put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

***

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

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.

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

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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A Sin to Forget #SixSentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp #WritingPrompts #Inspiration

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

It’s a sin to tell a lie. It’s a sin to sleep with another woman’s husband. It’s a sin to steal something.

It’s also a sin to suddenly realize that a six-sentence story is due today, and you haven’t written it. It’s a sin to not be more creative. But with so little time and so many irons in the fire, this will have to do.

***

Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for her six-sentence story prompt for this week, in which the given word is “sin.” Click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ six-sentence creations.

***

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

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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All About Marti #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Excerpts

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

 

 

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “How do you avoid giving readers TMI (too much information) about a character? How do you decide what to share about a story’s characters?”

With some characters, especially main ones, you can’t give too much information. The reader needs to know as much as possible about the character in order to understand her throughout the book. Let’s take, for example, Marti from Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me. In Chapter 2, told from her first-person point of view, she tells us about herself in the hope we can understand why she does what she does. Here she is now.

***

I loved my parents but hated the name they gave me: Martha Louise Sherman. It sounded so stuffy, and my friends agreed.

Growing up in Sheridan, Wyoming, I was an only child.

When I was in high school, I changed my name to Marti after being cast in a school production of Grease as a girl by that name. The drama teacher pointed out that it was a shortened version of Martha. So I decided to use it in real life as well.

Dad and my teachers and friends went along, but Mom did not, of course. She claimed that I’d been named for my great–grandmother Martha, and it would be disloyal to shorten it. I let it go, having already learned to pick my battles.

During my freshman year in high school, I fell in love with literature. My English teacher had us read such books as I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Black Like Me, and The Grapes of Wrath. These books fascinated me. When I was a senior, I decided I wanted to be a writer—or maybe an actress.

By the time I graduated from high school, I’d received a theater scholarship to the university in Laramie. After a year, convinced by my parents that writing and acting weren’t lucrative careers, I changed my major to English and got a master’s degree.

During my last year there, I met and fell in love with my husband, Daryl Vincent. At least I thought I was in love with him at first.

He was in his last year of law school and was also an only child. His parents lived in Laramie, but after we graduated, he found a position with a firm in Sheridan, as luck would have it. So after we were married, we moved back to my hometown, where I found a teaching position in the English department at Sheridan College, resigned to a life in academia.

At first, I had plenty of time to write. For a while, before funding ran out, the college produced an annual literary journal. I was in charge of editing that, and some of my stories and poems were published there. I even had ideas for a novel.

After the girls were born, I didn’t have nearly as much time to write. I kept telling myself that once the girls were in school, things would change, but they didn’t. Maybe when the girls were in college, or maybe when I retired…

When our younger daughter, Sarah, was six, Dad died of a sudden heart attack. A few years later, I had to move Mom to a nursing home because of her dementia. I thought it was important for our daughters to continue their relationship with their grandmother. I wondered if this was such a good idea after Mom stopped recognizing Natalie. But as a parent, I had to be consistent, right?

***

What about you authors out there? How do you keep from providing too much information about your characters? You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses. By the way, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me can be downloaded free from Smashwords this month. See below for details.

***

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive from this list will come only from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

And now, I’m pleased to announce that until the end of the month, all my books on Smashwords can be downloaded ABSOLUTELY FREE as part of the Smashwords  summer/winter sale. You can visit my Smashwords author page here to download these books. Happy reading!

 

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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