28 July 2018
Lynda McKinney Lambert & Miss Opal
If you are NEW to SCAN,
28 July 2018
I am re-blogging this Abbie.
I’ll post my own Classical Music Story on my blog as a response to yours. Classical music was at the core of my childhood memories and I will tell you how that all happened. Thanks for sharing such a nice memory of music.
Because I was born legally blind, my parents exposed me to as much music as possible. I don’t remember much of my early years, but my mother told some great stories later. One of these was about a time when I was five, and my parents had just bought a piano. It was intended as a toy for me, but when my mother heard me play the opening bars of Beethoven’s fifth symphony, she called a piano teacher.
I took piano lessons off and on for years but developed more of an interest in accompanying my singing of popular songs. However, in college, as part of my music major requirement, I performed Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor, which I enjoyed playing because it consists mostly of chords and no fancy melodic passages. After that, I became a registered music therapist, working with senior citizens in nursing homes and other facilities…
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Re-blogging to I can remember some of these things for my own writing life. This is a great list of writing myths – to do or not to do, that is the Question. I see myself in some of these. Thanks.
1. You don’t have one — but you could really use one.
2. You think writing every day is essential — it isn’t!
3. You keep trying to get up early (or stay up late) even though it just doesn’t work for you.
4. You listen to your excuses.
5. You don’t plan ahead.
6. When you feel blocked, you stop writing entirely instead of writing something different.
7. You don’t sit down with a writing session goal already in mind.
8. You consistently choose distraction over focus.
9. You don’t “feel like” writing, so you put it off. All the time.
10. You haven’t figured out how to “productively procrastinate” yet.
11. You keep trying to apply the advice of “experts” even though it doesn’t work for you.
12. Maybe you’re just not a “writing routine” kind of creative. That’s OK. Do what works for you! As long as…
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Contact Jessica at PinnipedPerson@aol.com
a full-length, 115-page volume
75 poems divided into a 3 sections:
Part 1 – “Being Handicapped”
Part 2 – “Green Sentinels”
Part 3 – “Other Voices”
A: Storytelling influences every aspect of my life. I’m not sure why I gravitated to poetry instead of another type of literature, but I have always loved language and playing with words. When I was eight years old, I told my grandfather that I would dedicate my first book to him–and I kept my promise.
The poems in Defense Mechanisms were written over a nine month period; it took another four years of effort before the book was finally accepted by a publisher in 2016. My second poetry collection, Phoenix, will be released by ‘WordTech Publications’ CW Books in March 2019.
The opening poem of Defense Mechanisms, “The Mermaid,” is by far the most personal; I call it an allegorical autobiography.
The mermaid wears a mask. Tubes drift from
her nostrils, linking her to an oxygen machine.
She relies asthmatically on artificial air, fluid
dripping wetly into her nasal passages. The air
she breathes is blue and cool; she cannot adjust
to the smog ashore. They have performed every
test, gluing wires to her chest, her tail, her skull.
They have EKG’d her cold-blooded heartbeat, MRI’d
and scanned, her silhouette glowing with radiation.
Surgeons in white deftly wield gleaming scalpels.
They have stitched her gills shut, and scraped the
barnacles from her shoulder blades. Round, puckered
scars remain, in the spot where earlier that morning,
an angel had her wings removed. You have to stare
to see the scars hidden beneath her Technicolor hair,
the ones from when they drained her brain, swollen
with seawater. They will fade eventually, to the color
of a crab carapace, abandoned and bleached by the sun.
The orthopedist traces her bone scan with his finger
as he talks: her knees are twisted, kissing instead
of facing forward. Her joints push and tug toward
one another in a scissors gait. Removed from the
succoring ocean, her skin is dull and roughened,
her sloughing scales losing their gleam. They plan
to surgically remove her tail and outfit her with
prosthetic legs, carving away her aqueous identity.
Out of water, she cannot walk, cannot stand.
Dragging along the dun-colored corridor, she
is floppy, uncoordinated, her tail hanging limply
from the wheelchair seat. Draped in the shapeless
hospital gown, her previously tangled hair now
shorn, she cannot make them understand that
her body was not made for life on land. They fill
her with electricity, with distilled stars. The names
of the pills are elaborate, like the Latin names of
seashells: Thorazine, Lithium, Stelazine, Sertraline.
She feels heavy, leaden, like she is floating. It
is not a kind sensation. She is unwilling to be
swept out to their psychopharmalogical sea.
She wants to go home. “You do not come from
the sea,” the psychiatrists say. They attempt
to hypnotize the truth out of her, to smear it
from her mind, the way the sea smooths away
words scratched into damp sand. “Delusional,”
they say. “Psychotic features represented by
hallucinations. She believes she is a mermaid,
a mythological creature.” According to their
files, the manila folders of endless prescriptions
and transcripts of talk-therapy sessions, she
does not exist. According to them, she is an
impossibility, a figment. But she must be real,
they have seen her, touched her. How long
will they keep her here? She is drifting like
the seasons. Away from the sea, she cannot
hear its call, only gaze at the topaz eye of the
changeling moon from her glassless window,
straining towards the ebb and flow of the tide.
A: I think the hardest part is getting people interested in what you have to say. Success is about perseverance; stubborn bulldog persistence despite thousands of let-downs, rejections, and wounds to your pride. If you are truly meant to be a writer, or any kind of artist, that is the first thing you must learn. There are plenty of clever, talented people out there who don’t have what it takes, not because their work isn’t good enough, or because they don’t work at it, but because they can’t take the rejection, so they give up. It is never easy, but it is worth it.
When someone appreciates my work because they relate to it, having shared the same experiences, it creates a kinship between reader and writer. I believe that well-chosen words are the greatest agents of change; they provide hope to the suffering and clarity to the misguided. Defense Mechanisms provides both, offering its readers glimpses of meaningful lives and exploring what it means to be fully human.
A: I have cerebral palsy, and the public perception of disability and the many aspects of living with a handicap are topics I frequently explore in my work. Anyone who struggles with mental health issues or physical challenges will be able to relate to my experiences, because the theme of Defense Mechanisms is Hope–the triumph over pain and trauma and the resilience of the human spirit.
I am very used to talking about my issues, and therefore very open about them in my writing. What some people consider depressing, I consider honest, and these topics should not be avoided because of their intensity. My goal is to provide a thought-provoking and inspirational experience for every interested reader, and to help them better understand what it’s like to live with disabilities.
A: I am endlessly fascinated by art, history, and the natural world, and all three deeply influence my writing. I am always inspired by the lives and exploits of artists, like the Beats, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Bloomsbury Group. I love museums, but I don’t have a particular favorite. Since I tend to think in images, a lot of my poetry is inspired by artwork.
In Defense Mechanisms, “Stockings” was inspired by the photographer Dorothea Lange’s 1934 portrait “Mended Stockings”. Another ekphrastic poem, “Transcendence”, was inspired by Walker Evans’ WPA photography. My forthcoming collection Phoenix features numerous odes to artists of every stripe–writers, actors, painters and musicians.
A: When I was little and learning to crawl, my grandmother remarked that my movements resembled a baby seal. It’s a story–and a symbol–that has followed me all my life. My favorite stuffed animal was a seal named Seabert, who became my best friend and good-luck charm in a childhood spent among doctors, hospitals, and therapists.
I have always been drawn to the ocean. For most of my life I intended to become a marine biologist, and although my physical limitations prevented me from realizing that dream, I am an environmentalist, and much of my poetry is inspired by nature–especially the sea.
This is one of my personal favorites in the collection. I can only say to our readers,
“PLEASE BUY JESSICA’S BOOK.” I promise, you will love it!
Through the rain-streaked windows
the Christmas lights are a gleaming
blur. The colors stretch and streak,
lighting the sodden trees with their
festive glow. They resemble flashing
tropical fish swimming in the blind
eye of the windowpane. The water-
darkened trees resemble me, tilted,
twisted, bent, their fallen leaves
stretching like frightened animals.
A row of lightning scars the sky,
flashing like neon and fading in an
instant, a metallic crow’s caw in the
blackness of the storm-darkened sky.
Book Title: Defense Mechanisms: Poems on Life, Loss, and Love
Award-winning author of Defense Mechanisms
Available now on Amazon: www.JessicaGoody.com
Phosphene Publishing: http://www.phosphenepublishing.com/goody-jessica
Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright July 21, 2018. All rights reserved.
Presented by Lynda and Miss Opal, her feline writing partner. Lynda and Miss Opal live in rural western Pennsylvania in The Village of Wurtemburg. Miss Opal has a sister-cat named Miss Bessie. The two were rescued from Southern Ohio along with their mother, Miss Effie Pearl, and their 2 brothers, Diamond and Peachy Keen.
Lynda is married to Bob Lambert and the couple have 5 grown children. These days, Bob & Lynda share their home with 2 rescued dogs; Miss Mitchell and Miss Dixie Tulip. In addition to the 2 cats, they also care for any number of feral cats who may drop by for food & shelter eacy day. Lynda is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities, and she is a fiber artist and author. she holds 3 degrees: BFA and MFA in painting; MA in English. Lynda is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA. She writes and makes art in her River Road Studio. Lynda lost her sight in 2007 due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy.
Lynda is the author of 2 published books:
Lynda just completed her 3rd book
Star Signs: New & Selected Poems – 60 poems
AND her FIRST CHAPBOOK
first snow, 16 Poems with a Wintry Theme.
Both new books are now available for publication. Editors, please contact Lynda for the manuscript.
As i read this wonderful post today, I thought, “This is perfect for my Thursday Treasures Series on SCAN.
I am re-blogging it, Alice. It brought back so many memories for me, of learning to ride my Schwin bicycle on a little neighborhood road in western Pennsylvania around 1949-50. My big collesion was with the Uncle Sam wooden statue that held our neighbor’s mailbox. He remarked that they wouold need to take out insurance on me soon if I kept running into that mailbox. Eventually, I did “get it” and I was off to explore for miles away as I was growing up.
NOTE: Besides having to contend with regular bicycles, Bublr (correct spelling) Bikes, skateboards, joggers, runners, and construction on the sidewalks of Milwaukee–Willow and I report that as of late June, Bird Scooters have landed in Milwaukee to provide an additional challenge as my Leader Dog Willow aptly and confidently guides me through my neighborhood.
If I had grown up in a city the size of Milwaukee where one is not really allowed to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk, I doubt I would have ever learned how to ride a bike. However, having grown up in a rural area of Indiana, I did learn to ride a bicycle. Since this week has been such a busy one, I am sharing with you one of my favorite bicycle memoirs which I posted on WORDWALK almost five years ago (August 7, 2013). I hope you enjoy the following summer rerun.
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Re-Blogging this today. July is the month for sharing your BLOG with everyone. What a nice opportunity. Thank you!
I posted my blog, SCAN, on this site. Thanks so much for checking these blogs out.
This is another edition of LearnFun Facts’ Blog Party. If you want to promote your blog or post, this is a great place to do so. The blogging community here is friendly and supportive so don’t be shy to join in.
Also, to those of you who had joined in the previous blog party, feel free to leave your links here again.
Growing a blog isn’t simple. It takes time, patience, and dedication before others would begin to notice your blog. While I can’t offer you a magic formula that would increase your blog’s popularity overnight, I can at least help you to promote your blog and find new readers.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Share a link to your blog (or blog post) that you want to promote in the comments section. To attract more attention, you may include a short and creative description of your blog.
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July 14, 2018
I first met you on an internet writers group, Behind Our eyes. At that time you were serving as the group’s president. You were, and still are, are really the “Energizer Bunny” of this international group of writers., You are a role model and inspiration to many of us who are writers with sight loss or blindness. You model for us all what we can do if we stay focused and keep on going on the writer’s path.
Miss Opal and I are glad to have this opportunity to share your life and your books with our readers today.
Q_What do you think about your name? Do you use your own name for your writing?
My middle name was that of my paternal grandmother, but I’m not sure how my parents came up with my first name. Taylor is my married, or should I say widowed, name. Johnson is my maiden name. I like the sound of Abbie Johnson Taylor, so that’s why I publish material under that name.
Q_Who would you like to see walk in the door right now?
right now. Although he has no vision, he would know exactly where I’m sitting. He would saunter up to me and start massaging my shoulders, as I’m sitting here in my chair, typing away. Then, I would stop, turn around, stand up, and we would embrace. Of course Bill hasn’t walked since January of 2006 when he suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. Now, he’s in a better place, so I know he’ll never walk through my door again, but I can dream, can’t I?
Q_Tell us about the books you authored. What is your most recent book?
My latest published work is a memoir about how I met, married, and cared for Bill after he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side. Here’s the synopsis. You can learn more and find ordering links at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com/memoir.htm
She was in her mid-forties, and he was nineteen years older. Three months later, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side and confined him to a wheelchair. Abbie Johnson Taylor, once a registered music therapist, uses prose and poetry to tell the story of how she met and married her husband, then cared for him for six years despite her visual impairment. At first, there was a glimmer of hope that Bill would walk again, but when therapists gave up on him seven months after his second stroke, Taylor resigned herself to being a permanent family caregiver.
She discusses learning to dress him and transfer him from one place to another, sitting up with him at night when he couldn’t urinate or move his bowels, and dealing with doctors and bureaucrats to obtain necessary equipment and services. There were happy times like when she played the piano or guitar and sang his favorite songs, or when they went out to eat or to a concert. She also explains how she purchased a wheelchair accessible van and found people to drive it so they wouldn’t always depend on the local para-transit service’s limited hours. In the end, she describes the painful decision she and Bill made to move him to a nursing home when he became too weak for her to care for him in September of 2012. He seemed to give up on life and passed away a month later.
Q_Do you have a favorite dance partner?
When I was a teen-ager, he taught me to waltz. My family often went to establishments where there was live music, either old standards or country and western. If there was a dance floor, you can be sure Dad and I were on it. My father passed away in 2013. When I met Bill, he could no longer dance because he had some infused limbs. Now that he and Dad are both gone, I still go to dances, but I sit on the sidelines, watch others, listen to the music, and remember.
Q_Do you have a favorite song that brings back good memories?
from the movie, the Mask of Zorro. When Bill proposed to me in January of 2005, he was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I was living here in Sheridan, Wyoming. We’d been carrying on a long-distance relationship for two years. For Valentine’s Day, he sent a care package which included, besides the obligatory chocolates and other items, a cassette tape of love songs he’d downloaded from the Internet. This song was one of them. I found it amazing that a man wanted to spend his lifetime loving me, and I finally got to the point where I wanted to spend the rest of my life loving him. Here’s a link to the song.
Abbie Johnson Taylor
We know our readers will be inspired and encouraged by your journey and we thank you for being m first guest here at SCAN on “Saturday is for Sharing.”
With cape, hat, mask, rapier,
he rode out of the darkness.
“Take my hand. Dance with me,” he said,
“I want to spend my lifetime loving you,”
but happily–ever–after was not to be.
My hero fell and rose many times.
I felt the glory
until he fell for the last time.
Where there’s love, life begins again.
When life dies, love goes on.
More about Abbie:
Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright July 7, 2018. All rights reserved.
is a weekly series coordinated by Lynda and Miss Opal, her feline writing partner. Lynda and Miss Opal live in rural western Pennsylvania in The Village of Wurtemburg.
Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!
Lynda has just completed her 3rd book
AND… her FIRST CHAPBOOK
Both new books are now available for publication. Editors, please contact Lynda for the manuscript.
Thank you for visiting with us today.
Miss Opal and Lynda McKinney Lambert
Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.
PLEASE SHARE by Re-Blogging this article on Social Media.
PLEASE share Abbie’s story and buy a copy of one of Abbie’s books!
Right now, we are scheduling into the month of September.
E-mail us today: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is an exciting experience and you will want to return again, and again, once you have been there.
I recommend you visit a concert while there! They are spectacular.
Photos are the property of Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright.
Listen to The Mandolin Concerto: Listen now!
Lynda stands in San Marco square on one of her annual visits to Venice.
View Publications Page for updates on my stories and poems being published.
Lynda’s Author ‘s Page
this blog post is the property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.
July 12, 2018
Thursday Treasures #5, by Lynda McKinney Lambert
Note: For today’s Thursday Treasure, I went to my other blog, “Walking by Inner Vision,” Read it here!
I was trying to recapture my life, after an unexpected life-altering event.
Today, I’m publishing an article I first published on February 19, 2010. I’ve revised that essay for my readers here at SCAN.
However, the reading I did for my courses was always centered around what I taught in my courses.
I longed for more time to read outside my course materials and requirements.
I thought ,
Someday I will be able to do that, when I retire.
I began working towards that magical future time when I could read to my heart’s content with no goal of ever teaching the material. I wanted to read just for me. I would read to satisfy my inner longings. I would read for myself alone. I would read for the sheer joy of reading.
My book collection was a treasure trove of books gathered & put on shelves in my home library.
The book treasures awaited my day of liberation when I could begin reading them. I could spend my retirement days with a precious book in my hands, and have no concern about time or interruptions. I imagined this new freedom, every day.
I anticipated the time when I no longer had to spend time on the road, traveling to classes, or taking trips for business purposes.
I would not have to organize classes or take students on international study trips. And, no more endless meetings around a table, talking about strategies, evaluations and future plans for student development.
In my envisioned retirement, I would no longer write conference presentations, faculty reports, or attend professional development sessions.
I would merely be reading my accumulation of books from my library shelves. I’d be content.
My retirement collection contained books of poetry, art, and great literature – many of the books are by authors I was not teaching in the classroom.
Some are by my favorite poets, and some are poets I want to read but never had time because of my intense teaching schedule. Of course, I had a collection of hundreds of books from which I created courses. But, my treasured books for retirement were different.
Each book, a treasure, carefully selected and collected.
All of my reading is now through technologies either on my computer or on a special machine provided to Blind and Handicapped people. While I am thankful to be able to read this way, it is certainly not as satisfying as holding a real book in my hands – feeling it’s heft; its unique smell; and the sense of touch from my fingers on the binding or the page edges. And, listening to someone read the book takes away almost all of the quiet and personal imagination that is so much richer. I will never get used to a professional voice reading a book to me. The voices inside my head, in my imagination, have been abducted by those voices on the machines. I hate it!
Despite all of my personal emotions at the drastic changes in how I read, I am still very thankful for books provided as sound recordings by he National Library of Congress. I am able to order a variety of books I would like to read, but the books by contemporary poets are quite few. I still love academic books by academics and in the poetry section they simply are not there! The books from NLS come directly to my house and are sent through the postal service to my mailbox.
Because I love the feel of a physical book, some days, I struggle to read one of my books by using a CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) which is a magnification device. I can only read a very small portion of text at a time, but I am grateful that I still have a small amount of vision so I can actually SEE some text. I still love the feeling of a real book in my hands, even though my ability to read it as I sit on a comfortable sofa in my library is no longer possible. I’d give anything to snuggle with a quilt on a winter’s day with my book in my hands and my mind and imagination taking flights of fancy. There is no replacement for those delights. No machine can do it.
I am thankful for this retirement time away from the bustle and frenzy that was my professional life up until ELEVEN long years ago.
However, the loss of eye sight brought new vision to me and I can see some things I would never have known existed if I had not lost most of my sight. My daily walk is quite different now. But, it is a precious life, nevertheless. I can hear nuances in a voice that tell me exactly what a person is thinking – not what they are saying. I am not distracted by their expressions now. I am far more aware of perceptions than I ever was when I had full sight.
As I edit this essay, my two dogs lay nearby and my 2 cats come into my office to sit in the open window each morning. We greet each day together, and it is a good life. My retirement is satisfying and I have even had the time to write books and poetry. I just completed the work on my 3rd book, a full-length book of poems, (Star Signs: New and Selected Poems) and my first chapbook, first snow, is ready for publication, too.
As I write. my 2 dogs are asleep nearby. Our 2 cats spend a lot of time in my writing office and like to sit in the open window to survey their world.
Good books and contented dogs & cats bring joy to my life.
Copyright July 12, 2018. All rights reserved.
SCAN is the sole property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.
Guest writers may not always reflect the opinions of Lynda Lambert, but this blog is designed to feature authors and artists who have a positive world view.
SCAN is a QUIET PLACE of Inspiration. We love all things ART, NATURE and Literature.
For MORE information on how YOU can be featured on “Saturday is for Sharing,” click on the instructions page at Read it!
July 8, 2018
I am not new to blogging. In fact, I started my blog, SCAN, in November , 2014. I ’d love to tell you how successful I am as a blogger, and how many dedicated “Followers” I have. But I really cannot do that because I have been far from success in my blogging life. I am beginning to figure out why this is the case. Let me explain some things that I’ve been learning for the past 2 ½ months.
I am learning why I have not been successful and how I can take some steps to turn it around.
This is the backbone of a blog. I didn’t have that structure that is necessary to build on.
In November 2014, I had the IDEA to create a blog and call it SCAN.
Why? I don’t know. I just had a feeling – you know, intuition. The name for the blog just came to me one day, and I went to the computer and opened up a WordPress Blog and called it SCAN.
Because I had no REASON and no FOCUS for the blog, I simply wrote random essays and poetry.
If you have no set expectations for writing your blog, you will find that you really never have much success with it. How did I change all of this?
Under Patty L. Fletcher’s guidance, 2 months ago, in MAY,
I realized I need a clear FOCUS on a THEME.
My FIRST JOB was to figure out my FOCUS & my THEMES.
Patty told me to limit my postings to no more than 3 topics for discussion. Well, that was easy for me to do. I chose 3 topics or themes that I have a passion for. Art, Nature, and Literature.
I knew I wanted SCAN to be “A Quiet Place of Inspiration” for my visitors. It is not a place to be contentious or to debate issues or to rant or to promote apolitical agenda. It was not about taking action against anything or anyone.
My blog now announces my intentions as soon as you get to the front page.
SCAN – A Quiet Place of Inspiration: We Love Art, Nature, and Literature.
That is easy, too.
I want to attract readers and creative people who are searching for inspiring articles that lift the spirit and nourish the soul of my readers.
To do this, I wanted to begin a series of articles and interviews by authors and Artists who also feel this way. I intended to present them as real people, in their own voices, telling their personal and professional stories.
Each Saturday morning, I will post a Guest who tells a story about their life, dreams, goals, and creative work in writing or art. I posted my first Guest Author yesterday, July 7, 2018.
The response has been overwhelming. I presented Patty L. Fletcher’s story first because I wanted to pay homage to a teacher who has changed my way of thinking and opened new doors of discovery for me, a retired college Professor. In this case, the teacher (me) became a student. Patty became MY teacher. I trusted her to guide me through unknown territory and I did as she instructed.
At the Christian college where I taught, our mission was to create “Servant Leaders.” We were to model what it means to be a servant leader, in order to help our students to understand our faith and our life mission. I could see Patty as a servant leader of the people she helps in marketing, blogging and promoting. I recognized her spirit of humility in leadership and I simply followed whatever advice she offered me. Why? Because I trusted her and it works!
The statistics that WordPress provides for our blogs tell the truth of what Patty’s assistance has meant to my blog’s visibility.
From January through April, I averaged 60 visitors per month on SCAN.
In May and June, I averaged 229 visitors per month.
Math is not my expertise, but even I know that this is remarkable.
New Followers of SCAN are coming on board nearly every day.
This number of visitors makes me excited to think about what the total for July will be.
Beyond that, I begin to imagine where my blog is going in the next year – or more. And, I feel a surge – Upwards bound!
Note For more information on Patty L. Fletcher: Click Here!
Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright July 7, 2018. All rights reserved.
by Lynda and Miss Opal, her feline writing partner. Lynda and Miss Opal live in rural western Pennsylvania in The Village of Wurtemburg. Miss Opal has a sister-cat named Miss Bessie. Lynda is married to Bob Lambert and the couple share their home with 2 rescued dogs; Miss Mitchell and Miss Dixie Tulip. Lynda is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities, and she is a fiber artist and author.
Lynda is the author of 2 published books: