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.

***

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

My Favorite Places #Essay #Writing Prompt

I enjoy working in my office at my three-corner desk containing my computer, printer, and closed-circuit television magnifier. Behind me is another desk with a braille calendar and other odds and ends. My entertainment center with my stereo receiver, CD player, cassette deck and shelves storing cassettes and CD’s stands in one corner. The speakers sit on a bookcase across from it. This bookcase also holds books and other materials. Next to it is a hutch containing, among other things, my Amazon Echo Tap, which I now use to play music while I’m working. I rarely use the stereo. As I sit at my desk, I can sort of see out a high north-facing window.

At the end of the day, I like to listen to books or podcasts in my recliner. This belonged to my late husband, who was partially paralyzed by two strokes soon after we were married. Now, I feel close to him when I use it. It’s situated in my living room, which also contains a couch, another armchair, a buffet, my piano, and a couple of end tables. The recliner has buttons that raise and lower the head and feet. As I sit there, I can see my front yard through another north-facing window above the couch.

My third favorite place is the YMCA. For years, I’ve been participating in water exercise classes there on a regular basis. Recently, they opened a new aquatic center, which is much nicer than the facilities we were using before. It features several pools, a hot tub, a rock climbing wall, and new locker rooms with private showers. In the morning when I go there, the sunlight streaming in from the windows in the pool area makes the water sparkle.

If you’ve read my latest book The Red Dress, you may be wondering if my main character, Eve, had any favorite places. As she points out in an interview I did with her last summer soon after the book came out, one of her favorite places when she was a child was her father’s bookstore, where she loved to stretch out in an old bathtub filled with pillows. You can read the interview here. If you haven’t read The Red Dress, and you’re now curious, you’ll find more information and ordering links here.

How about you? What are your favorite places? Thanks to Moondance Pages for inspiring this, and thank you for reading.

 

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

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

A Winter Poem Revisited

I posted this in July of 2012, but since it’s Groundhog Day, and I don’t have any more brilliant ideas, I decided this poem was worth a second look. It was published in Emerging Voices in 2012, and I’ve made some revisions since then. You can read the original here. It’s not as cold now as when I first wrote the poem so I look back on that day with gratitude. Click this link to hear me read it.

***

FIVE WAYS OF LOOKING AT COLD

 

1.

 

At a quarter to nine in the morning, it’s seventeen below.

Waiting for a ride, I stand inside the kitchen door.

Sunlight shimmers on frosted glass.

I rub with gloved hand but make no dent,

hear the car pull into the driveway—

its tires crunch on frozen snow.

 

2.

 

“I don’t have the heat on yet,”

she says when I get in the car.

“It needs to warm up first.”

I don’t complain–

walking would be a lot worse.

In the YMCA locker room, my nose runs.

 

3.

 

Water exercise class in progress,

“North to Alaska” plays on the stereo.

Why would I want to go there? I’m cold enough—

as water’s warmth surrounds me,

I move across the pool–

my mind unfreezes, opens.

 

4.

 

Driving home isn’t so bad.

The car has absorbed the winter sun’s warmth.

When I get home, the temperature is four degrees above.

 

5.

 

The groundhog did not see his shadow today.

Will there be an early spring?

The late afternoon temperature has risen to twelve above,

feels like twelve below.

***

Abbie J. Taylor 010Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome

Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order from Amazon

To All the Petty People in My Life

1.

In fifth grade, I was too much against being told what to do. You had me write twenty-five times, “I will not complain when Mrs. S. tells me to do something.” I could have tossed a stink bomb in the teachers’ lounge, but that didn’t occur to me so get a life.

2.

At the YMCA, I’ve been slamming locker doors since I was in junior high. We were both adults, but you told me not to be so noisy. I could have lit a cigarette, but nobody wants lung cancer so get a life.

3.

At the nursing home, as my boss, you almost fired me for asking a lady if she had diabetes, knowing that with my limited vision, I couldn’t read her chart. I could have given her chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Her blood sugar would have skyrocketed. She might have ended up in the hospital or died. So get a life.

4.

I thought you were my friend so sent you a postcard promoting my new book. You accused me of unethical behavior for using a corporate mailing list for private gain. I could have sold your contact information to a telemarketer, but that’s where I draw the line so get a life.

5.

Now, I’m Secretary of our Corporation. For years, I’ve been using the same email signature with my Website and blog addresses in an attempt to promote my work. When submitting minutes from a previous meeting to our list serve, pasted into a message body, I included my signature as usual. You called it “graffiti,” said it was inappropriate. I could have gone to your house, spray painted every expletive my daddy taught me on your front wall, but that wouldn’t have made it right so get a life.

6.

After reading this, you’ll say I exposed you by writing such drivel. I could have used your real names, but then you would have sued me so get a life.

***

Are there petty people in your life? Feel free to vent in the comment field as I did above, but please don’t use people’s real names. In the coming year, let’s all resolve to get a life. Happy New Year. Click here for another song from yours truly.

***

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/old%20lang%20zyne.mp3

 

***

Abbie J. Taylor 010Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome

Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order from Amazon

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

Vote for my new book idea.

 

Scent Story (Poetry)

The store smelled of new books.

As an excited girl of twelve or thirteen,

I made my way to the Nancy Drew section,

already in the convertible with Nancy and her friends.

Forty years later,

in a toilet stall at the YMCA,

The tissue’s scent takes me back to a time

when I couldn’t wait to get home and read.

***

In a recent post at https://alice13wordwalk.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/a-cornucopia-of-thanks-for-libraries/ , Alice Massa, a retired teacher and poet, shares her memories of the libraries she frequented over the years. Like me, she loved to sniff a book’s interior as a child. That reminded me of the above poem which I wrote years ago after noticing that a piece of toilet paper at the YMCA smelled just like the inside of a new Nancy Drew book. To hear me read this poem, go to https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/scent%20story.mp3 .

***

Abbie J. Taylor 010Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome

Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order from Amazon

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

Vote for my new book idea.