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art Gifts of the Spirit Walking by Inner Vision Writing

Give me some LOVE TODAY…

 

 

Post # 249

November 6, 2020

 

GIVE  ME SOME LOVE

TODAY!

 

Lynda McKinney Lambert 

Gifts of the Spirit  Blog

 

Photo shows a Stack of 3 gift boxes.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

I am thinking about

The Book Cover-of-the-Month Contest

 

 

The book Cover features a detail of western Pennsylvania wild flower – Yellow Crown Beard.  Photo by the author, Lynda McKinney Lambert.

 

Lynda is a visually impaired artist and author.  She is a retired professor of fine art and humanities at  Geneva College, located in Beaver Falls, PA. She lost her sight in 2007 but this did not stop her from pursuing a new career in writing.  This book was her first book published after profound and permanent sight loss!

Despite profound sight loss, Lynda continued to make art and write books full-time since her retirement from teaching.  She has 4 books on Amazon at this time and is working on 2 new books for publication in 2021.

PLEASE VOTE TODAY for MY BOOK COVER!

I LOVE YOU FOR THAT!

You can show me some love today

by VOTING

for my BOOK COVER – it is FREE and EASY.

VOTE HERE!

 

Photo of book cover, Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems. The cover is deep dark green, with a brilliant yellow wildflower - the flower is a Yellow Crown Beard. Lynda photographed the flower in the woods on one of her daily walks.
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems.     The  Front Cover of this book is a photo of  Yellow Crown Beard.      Lynda McKinney Lambert is the photographer of this photo, taken in the woods near her home in western Pennsylvania. Bright yellow flower on a deep green background.

 

 

My book is Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems.

If my book cover comes inn at the top 100 book covers today,

it will move on to the next round of competition.

Vote NOW!

 

I NEED YOUR VOTE to MAKE it TODAY.

*

Photo: Lynda stands with her display of books at a book-signing event in Pennsylvania.  2019.

 

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright November 6, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Contact Lynda and please share happiness – Share this post with your Friends.

Who is???  Lynda McKinney Lambert

Lynda’s Book Reviews

Categories
Article Gifts of the Spirit Poetry Writing

Monday Morning Marketing – The Writer’s Grapevine

Post #239

31 August 2020

 

Monday Morning Marketing

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Today’s feature:

The Writer’s Grapevine

 

Introducing my Featured Guest:

Patty Fletcher

I am owner creator of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist), the author of two full-length books, am found in two anthologies.

Visit my Blog Here!

I’m writing to invite you to subscribe to my monthly online magazine,

The Writer’s Grapevine.

writersGV@groups.io

This group is for readers and reader contributors to The Writer’s Grapevine.

What is it?

The writer’s Grapevine is a monthly news and literary magazine featuring Writers, Small Business and Nonprofits.

In each issue, you’ll find various Articles, Essays, Short Stories, and Poems for your enjoyment and education.

Subscribing to this group will allow you to…

· Receive monthly editions of the magazine and all things related.

· Be in direct contact with magazine contributors. And…

· Have conversations about what you read.

There are only a few group rules, and they are…

· No flaming or racist comments and absolutely no…

· Bullying.

We will be respectful and kind to all who subscribe.

If you are interested in receiving The Writer’s Grapevine –

Send a blank email to writersGV+subscribe@groups.io

The Writer’s Grapevine is now taking paid ad submissions.

Ad requirements are…

  • Advert wordcount 300-500
  • Font size .12
  • Font type Calibri
  • One website per ad
  • One photo, if desired, in either JPG or PNG format attached.
  • Photo file must be titled to reflect the content of the photo
  • No embedded photos.
  • No Zip files and no PDF files.

Cost…

One-time ad: $5.00

Reoccurring ad space for three months is: $20.00

Six-months: $40.00

One-year: $80.00

We take payment via PayPal.

We are also accepting guest writer contributions.

Send ad or guest writer contributor queries to the email address shown above.

Thank you for reading The Writer’s Grapevine.

To read back issues of The Writer’s Grapevine on the web visit: https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/writers-grapevine/

 

This Monday Morning Marketing feature is courtesy of Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Who Is Lynda McKinney Lambert?

Walking by Inner Vision

My Mission Statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
art Gifts of the Spirit Lynda McKinney Lambert Poetry Writing

Gifts of the Spirit – Home Page

 

 

WELCOME…

to Gifts of the Spirit Blog

Photo of a gift wrapped in blue paper with a blue satin ribbon.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

 

Lynda McKinney Lambert

A Quiet Place

Fine Art and Literature

Lynda Lambert stands beside her book display on the table at a book siging event. She is wearing a red wool jacket made in Austria. She is smiling and her books are arrayed on a round table covered with a yellow cloth.
Lynda Lambert is smiling as visitors come to see her books on display at a book signing event.  Lynda stands at her table, and is wearing a black top with a red scarf  she knitted. Lynda loves to knit, read, and work in her summer gardens.

Thank you for sharing your comments and for LIKING my posts.

Please sign up to be a FOLLOWER – SUBSCRIBE to my blog.

You will receive  my posts quietly in your e-mail box.

Categories
art Gifts of the Spirit Writing

Poetry, Art and Space

Post #229

July 7, 2020

Poetry, Art

and Space

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Copyright July 7, 2020. All rights reserved.

Recently, someone wrote to me with a question about how I read a poem using technologies for the blind.

I have a visual impairment and cannot read by looking at a page.  Instead, after I write a poem, I can see it on a computer screen that has a black background with white text. It must be blown up – 8 times normal.  I have a screen reader that reads the work to me, also.

 

When I want to do a presentation to a group in a public setting. I put my poems on a device that is a digital recorder. It is small, and fits into the palm of my hand.  I have previously recorded my poems, one line at a time, onto the device.  I use an earpiece, and with just the touch of a button, I can hear the poem.  I speak what I hear – line by line – and this is how I do a presentation. It works for me.

Question:  How do you eliminate the spaces between lines where the machine tells you what to say?

I am not sure what you are asking with this question.

This implies to me that you believe there is something undesirable  about a space or moments, when I read a poem out loud.

Do you mean the use of space when reading a poem?

Or, in viewing an art work?

Is it the use of space when writing the poem or creating a work of art?

 

Does filling spaces mean a continuous stream of chatter?

Is it like watching TV programming or listening to the radio?

No, it is not a commercial concern for filling up space with something else.  I view the space as a shape in time.

 

 

In writing and in art, space is an important thing to recognize and experience.  It gives us room to think and discover, at the same time we are reading, viewing, feeling  or listening.

Silent spaces are crucial to poetry – in writing a poem,, reading a poem aloud, and contemplating meaning. Begin to think of space as an actual place – it is a LANDSCAPE as tangible as a TREE , or  RIVER.

 

In the poetry and art classrooms, space is essential. Long silences are important as students become a co-creator with the author or the artist who created the work they are viewing.

Understanding goes much deeper than speech.

 

I am very aware of space when I read – I want to be patient and take time for space to be experienced.

Space allows for breath – and it is breath that is the scaffolding on which the poem exists. I never read by thinking about “a line.”   I am much more intent on breath and space when I read anything. It takes many years to begin to understand that in reading a poem, one must learn to fall into it – to lay in it, to travel deeply into it physically and conceptually.

The poem/art requires the entire body to get to an understanding of it.

 

My work is influenced by Japanese ideals of balance and meaning.

 

For instance, I have a large Zen Meditation Garden which I tend daily. Traditionally, this type of garden is the opposite of what most people think of as a garden.

No flowers.

No waterfall or fountain.

No decorations.

It is about the entire space.

It is a complete world inside of the perimeter of the short wall of hand- cut barn stones

Instead the garden is about symmetry, textures, and nature as a metaphor.

Every space is an important element and part of the whole concept of stillness and timelessness.

 

Empty space is very important in art and in poetry – yet, it is not really empty. It holds meaning.

Think of Japanese woodcut prints. Empty space holds as much – or even more – meaning as the imagery does.

Filling up every  space is cluttering. 

I think visual and auditory space is as important as words. Space gives time for contemplation and anticipation in a way that is powerful.

 

As I read aloud, I have no thoughts of eliminating space. It is the same if I am reading quietly in my office or before an audience. I am speaking my own words and thoughts.

*

Take a LOOK – Smashwords – E-book

READ a 20% SAMPLE for FREE.

Star Signs: New and Selected Poems

By Lynda McKinney Lambert

 Click on the link of my name, above to SEE MY BOOK on SMASHWORDS –

Star Signs: New and Selected Poems

See More

Lynda Lambert covers a wide terrain of subjects and topics in this new book, from lights to legends to seasons, treating us to images and metaphors about plants, people and weather. She opens this large collection with the title poem, Star Signs, which walks us through the alphabet as it digs through thoughts, emotions and observations, “Using star signs to map out new terrain.”

Throughout this book of poems, these gems of poetic creation shimmer like beads on her fabric art, like bold brush strokes of color on her paintings, and reflect light like the gemstones on her prize–winning piece of mixed–media fiber artwork. It seems this entire collection is like a multifaceted mural.

Her attentiveness to nature and strong reflections from memory have woven from a collage of remnants a beautiful tapestry for us. It offers a wonderful feast for the eyes and the mind.

—Wesley D. Sims, author of Taste of Change
*

Here is a poem from this book:

Painting in Mid–October

Autumn’s morning light revealed changes
Undermined the scarlet–red palette
Taking center stage on the painting
Undulating rain cast gray–violet hues
Misty diffusion brought a new perspective
Not anticipated yesterday
Aroused the softened brushstrokes
Layered over the primed canvas.
Dying is a careful arrangement
A graceful staged performance
Yellow leaves are faithful dancers
Spectacular choreography!

 

*

 

 

Available ebook format at SMASHWORDS.

 

SMASHWORDS ASKED  LYNDA to describe her WRITING PROCESS.

READ her RESPONSE to the QUESTION!

 

$2.99 on SMASHWORDS today!

 

I work back and forth between ADDING and SUBTRACT ING.

I BUILD and I DESTROY.
Writing poetry, for me,  is a dance with materials – senses – images.

I order chaos and find balance.

Lynda McKinney Lambert – Smashwords,  March 9, 2019.

 

$2.99 on SMASHWORS 

NOW

Read it!

*

My Books

Amazon Authors Page

Star Signs: New & Selected Poems

Website

FaceBook

Recent Anthology Publication

 

Copyright 2020. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

 My MISSION STATEMENT

  • I am the keeper of memories. I distil and share them through my art and writing.
  • I reveal what is forgotten, lost, or unseen.
  • I bring “Gifts to the King” through spare poems and thoughtful personal essays.

 

Categories
art Lynda McKinney Lambert Writing

About Your JOB Description

  Post #212
31 August 2019

Do you know what your J O B in life is?

ONLY YOU CAN Do It!

 

 

Below:  Photos of Lynda at work in her fiber art studio.

Top Photo shows a collection of beads she will be using to create a talisman.

 

 

Bottom Photo: Lynda at work using her Acrobat CCTV.  

Lynda, at work on a fiber art project. She uses an Acrobat CCTV, which magnifies the tiny beads and stitches for her on a closed circuit television screen. Lynda is visually impaired and uses a variety of technologies for the blind to do her intricate work in art and writing.

 

 

 

Your JOB DESCRIPTION is CUSTOM MADE  for YOU!

Have you contemplated what God has for YOU to do in this world?

I received this note yesterday from a dear friend 

who has always inspired me to be the best “ME” that I can be.

Let this be a reminder, Lynda, that our job is to do our job and outcomes are up to God.   Someday you will be amazed when you find out how many people you have inspired.

~Dr. Ann Paton, E-mail message, August 30, 2019.

As an Artist and Writer, I have a very clear JOB DESCRIPTION.
I preserve MEMORIES and I celebrate BEAUTY.
This is MY JOB DESCRIPTION.

“Do the WORK.

And, Keep on DOING THE WORK.”

That’s it!

God takes it from there – my WORK is COMPLETE when I have shared it and only GOD knows WHO will benefit from it.

The PEOPLE my work will reach and what they will receive from it – is not my  JOB.

This article is written and shared by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

See all of my books right here!

My newest book is   Star Signs: New & Selected Poems, KDP, 2019.

Lots more about Lynda’s books – click here!

 

Lynda’s  SMART TIP:

The holidays are not-so-far-away.

Perhaps you would like to purchase a few copies of my books,  for gifting  this year.  Several people have contacted me and want me to sign the books they will be gifting and I can do that for you – just let me know how many you want and send me a list of the names you want put into the book.

My interview with  the amazing author, A. L. butcher,  was published on her blog.  I think you’ll know more about me after you read this interview.

I appreciate the opportunity of sharing my life with friends and supporters.

Thank you, A.J. Butcher,  for this feature article.  I really enjoyed doing it with you.

A Day in the Life of… Lynda McKinney Lambert: 

Read it Here!


Lynda
MFA, West Virginia University
BFA and MA from Slippery Rock University of PA

Lynda  was professor of fine arts and humanities at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA until her retirement in 2008. Since that time,

Lynda  writes and makes her mixed media fiber art full-time from See it here!

___

 

Lynda authored 3 published books:

*** Star Signs: New and Selected Poems, KDP, 2019.

*** Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems,  CreateSpace, 2017.

*** Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage,  2003, Kota Press.  See it Here!

 

 

For signed copies of Lynda’s books, inquire here:

E-mail: riverwoman@zoominternet.net

 Visit Lynda’s Blogs:

SCAN-a-BLOG:  See it Here!

Walking by Inner Vision:  Read it Here!

 

104 River Road, Ellwood City, PA 16117

 Share the Happiness

I LOVE YOU for THAT!

***

Categories
art Lynda McKinney Lambert Writing

Road Map to Create Your Book

Post # 202

August 2, 2019

 

 

A Road Map to Create Your Book

Star Signs: New and Selected Poems

By Lynda McKinney Lambert

Published July 15, 2019

 

Let’s take a tour of my newest book.

I think of a book as a landscape that we can walk through.

Let’s begin with the beautiful image on the book’s cover.

 

The book  is a creation by many different people.

 

Yes, as the author, I wrote the book and selected everything that is in it.

But once I did the writing, the book was sent off to DLD books, and that is where David and Leonore Dvorkin began to do their magic on it, too.

Leonore is the editor, and David is the technical director – he’s the one who puts everything it its proper place. But decisions are made by all of us as we go through the process of creating a book.

We have a shared vision for how the book should look and how it should be designed. When I say “we” I am usually referring to the Dvorkins and me, as we worked together on the book.

 

~Book Cover ~

Our book cover has to have an image that attracts the eye of a potential reader.

The first thing you are aware of when you see a book, is the cover. Immediately, you know if you like it or if you don’t. If the cover is appealing, then you will pick up the book and open the first page to have a look at the inside.

As we created the book, the cover was the last thing that was selected.

I had the idea that I wanted a rural landscape with trees, a stream and a star strewn sky.

When Leonore Dvorkin found this photo, we instantly knew it was perfect.

James WHEELER, a photographer, created the photo that Leonore found on Pexels.

WHEELER’S original  photo was too large for the cover size, so David and Leonore selected a detail from the photo and it fit perfectly. That was an exciting day when we finalized the cover image! Every time I hold this new book in my hands, I whisper a “thank you” to the wonderful photographer who captured this breathless night scene.

 

~Pre-Publication Endorsements ~

Once you get your draft to the place where you have your poems in place where you want them, you can begin to ask some other people who are respected in the writing field to write a blurb – or an endorsement – for your book and for your promotion of the book once it is published.

I asked 2 authors  to write an endorsement that would be inside the book. The 2 blurbs are by Tennessee poet, Wesley D. Sims, and New York author, Annie Chiappetta. The 2 writings are featured on a page just inside the front cover.

An excerpt from Wesley D Sims is a special highlight on the BACK COVER.

In addition, several others wrote  pre-publication endorsements that I will use in promoting the book after publication. All writers are my personal friends.

 

~Table of Contents~

The Table of Contents is a  ROAD MAP  to help a  reader  find the items in  the book.

Every aspect of the book is listed in this section, in chronological order from beginning to end of the book.

Be prepared to spend so much time on this part of the book! It may seem endless once you begin creating it – because you will move different pieces of the book around once you begin and that will change the order of the listings in the Table of Contents every time you make a tiny change. I made  an enormous amount of changes right up to the `last day of preparation before the book was published.

 

~The Dedication Page~

Choose someone you want to honor by writing a Dedication Page for them.

I chose a high school English teacher and his wife for this Dedication. Both are deceased, but both were an important part of my academic life as a young girl, and they were life-long friends through the years.

 

~Foreword~

I wanted the Foreword to be written by an editor who has published my poems in his literary magazine and immediately, I thought of Michael Northen, editor of Wordgathering. To my delight, he agreed to do it and I was thrilled that he did.

You will find that you have so much respect for the editors you work with in the different publications, that you feel so honored when they agree to help you in this way.

 

~Divide your book into parts~

Since this is my 3rd book, I realized that I have a pattern for putting together a collection of work. I was not too aware of that fact until after I completed the 3rd book. What I will describe next, is really the skeleton on which I build the book. Other writers may do it completely different than me. That is ok, because we all have a vision of how we want our book to look. What I will describe next, is my personal vision for all 3 of my books.

~Select a Photo to Begin Each Part~

 

I am a visual artist and even though I have profound sight loss, I still highly value photographs and other art forms. I want strong visuals in all of my books. After all, my entire life-long career has been in the Fine Arts. I am still the same person I’ve always been. Because I lost my sight does not mean I have lost my VISION.

I am a visionary – one who dreams

awake or asleep

I select a photo or art work that will be the opening visual statement for each part in the book. I chose an image that would reflect an idea or theme in the first poem for that section.  People really enjoy the photos  and I get compliments on my choices. In most instances, they are my own photos. I list the source of the photos to give credit for each of them and I give each photo a title which is printed below that photo.

 

~How I create different parts~

First, I select a theme for my entire book.

My theme is always discovered in one of my poems!

There is a particular poem that just stands out, for me, and I keep thinking of that poem so much that it seems to rise to the surface of my thoughts. Eventually, I realize that poem will be my opening poem, and the theme for my book is there in that poem.

For Star Signs: New and Selected Poems, I began with the poem, “Star Signs.”

This poem is the entry way into my collection.

It was FIRST PUBLISHED  in  2016,  by Wordgathering Literary Magazine. In addition to the print version of the poem, there is also a voice recording of Melissa Cotter,  who is reading my poem. I love to listen to Melissa read my poems, for she brings them to life with her interpretations.

Listen to Melissa Cotter read;  Listen to this poem now.

READ the POEM HERE:  Read it now!

When I heard her reading my poem, it was as though I never heard it before. Her reading was so beautiful that I listened to it so many times. She gave it a magic that thrilled me when I heard her voice.

From the poem, “Star Signs,” I selected an image for the opening of  Part 1 of the book.

Once I decided on that first part, then I moved on and selected 3 other poems that would open the section of Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

I used a line from the opening poem, for each section –

~I’ve listed the  4 Parts of the Book and the PHOTO INTRODUCTION to each part~

~Part 1 – Lights Across the Sky~

~Part 2 – Distant Legends and Metaphors~

~Part 3 – Transmutation of Earthy Elements~

~Part 4 – For Seasons, Days, and Years~

~Acknowledgments~

For poetry, you will cite only the “first publisher” of that particular poem or essay.

Here is where good record keeping is important. If I did not keep good archives of my publications, I could never do this important piece of the book.

I keep detailed records of every individual piece of writing in a file that I update monthly.

In another file I keep the publication history of every published work.

In a third file, I keep the publication history by year.

You will need to know all of this to create your Acknowledgments Page.

Believe me – this page will change so much during the editing of the book that your head might begin to spin. Leonore and I labored over this page and the Table of Contents Page for many days throughout the entire process of creating the book.

~Meet the Author~

Here is where you will have a photo of yourself as the author of the book.

In addition, this is where you will write a biography of your professional life.

For this book, since it is a collection of new and selected poems, I wanted to share the roots of my publication life – I put my first professionally published poem in this section so my readers could enjoy seeing that first poem that motivated me to continue on the writing path back in 1990.

That poem also gives the reader the information about what is important to me as a person who loves art and poetry that spans the centuries. It establishes me as an author who loves history, mythology, the Classics,  and setting work in the historical context.

 

~Additional Highlights~

This is something I never did before, but I had some additional professional recognitions that I wanted to share with my readers. I cited some international anthologies my work appeared in; a book that was published in recognition of fiber artists who have disabilities; and listed some honours I was awarded in the past year. I did this as a way of showing my appreciation for these opportunities.

 

~The Back Cover~

The back cover is just as important as the Front Cover.

It has to look appealing and it should carry information about the book.

 

For Star Signs: New and Selected Poems, we decided to put a quote from the endorsement that Wesley D. Sims wrote.

Below that quote, we wanted to put a poem that was appealing.

We chose “Painting in Mid-October” for the back cover.

It fit perfectly.

 

Below the text is a small head shot of me – the Author of the book.

It is a detail view of the black and white photo of me which we used for the “About the Author” section. I really like this photo because it shows me wearing a hand-knit jacket that I created and I am seated in my Zen Meditation Garden, in front of the Tamukeyama Tree which is as it’s peak in brilliant hot pink/red blazing colour.

I created this road map for a book of poetry.

This works for me – and I am pleased to share it today.

I hope you find it helpful when you are beginning to design your own book.

Copyright 2019.  Lynda McKinney Lambert. All Rights Reserved.

Created for the Sizzling Summer Super Book Release Party Event,

August 3, 2019.

I will present this information and speak with our guests from 1 to 2 pm that day.

YOU can WIN a PRINT COPY of my book:

Star Signs: New and Selected Poems

1_Read this article.

2_Write a comment about the picture of the girl holding something in her hands.

What do you think this girl  is doing in the photo?

What do you think this photo says about the girl and the book of poetry?

3_After you LIKE this page, and Comment – Please SHARE on your Social Media site.

This will QUALIFY you to be in my drawing.

I’ll draw the LUCKY WINNER of the BOOK on August 10th.

Please share the happiness.

I love you for that!

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
art Writing

Lynda Lambert – Live

December 19, 2016.

You can enjoy this conversation now.

Writing with Intention – Set your INTENTIONS for 2017

Lynda McKinney Lambert – Writing with Intention, presented LIVE on Branco Boracast on Recorded LIVE.

 

 

Knitting15_Scarf9_4 Thanks for flying with me in 2015 on SCANdalous-Recollections.

Lynda McKinney Lamber

Visit my website at lyndalambert.com

 

Categories
art Writing

Finding a thing

I’ve been cleaning and organizing my office. It’s a room in my home, just off the kitchen where I sit to write everything that ends up in my books, stories, poems, website and blogs.

Why there?  I have “profound sight loss. ” This room holds  the high tech equipment I must use to write, make art,  “see” and communicate with others around the world. Here is where I speak with YOU, on a very good day.  Thank your for visiting with me today.

An enormous part of my world is housed in this room.  A life filled with creating visual art and writing – all my archives are here.

Everything has to be in order and easy to find when I need it. I’ve been working for an entire week to get this room organized – and that means I’ve had to sort through mountains of “things.” I’ve made some exciting discoveries this week as I have been working here.

Just today,  I found a notebook  where  I wrote  some things I wanted to remember, years ago when I could still see.  I wrote notes on the work of Ranier maria Rilke.

This reflection from Rilke  is perfect for today:

“Finding a thing is always enjoyable; a moment before, it wasn’t yet there.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
art Lynda McKinney Lambert Memoir Writing

Happy SCANdalous Birthday!

Send off the FIREWORKS

LIGHT UP THE SKY-

This week  is our HAPPY SCANdalous BIRTHDAY Celebration

 

 

ONE YEAR of publishing essays  is a landmark so let’s CELEBRATE!.

Let’s take a LOOK BACK to what I was  thinking about one year ago as I wrote the first blog article on the new blog.

The FIRST  article I wrote and  published is

“When I Begin my Day with Mozart.”

Blog2014_Photo_Mozart
When I Begin my Day with Mozart…an essay by Lynda McKinney Lambert

I did not know at the time I wrote it that it would launch my writing into a new career. One year later I am a “freelance writer.”

The essay was published in LIGHT Magazine, Sept/October issue, 2015.  This magazine is published by Christian Record, PO Box 6097, Lincoln, NB 68596.  (I will post the original essay below my comments here so you can read it.)

_____

Some STATS on Scandalous-Recollections at the one year anniversary:

Most popular post this first year is “Kaleidoscope: Collecting Patterns of Light and Dreams.”  777 views

I wrote this story, originally, as a GUEST BLOGGER, for Amy Bovaird’s blog.

Here is the link if you want to read it:

Kaleidoscope: Collecting Patterns of Light and Dreams

How many visitors did we have in the first twelve months?  1,308 visitors

How many VIEWS did my posts have?   2,247 views

 

 

_____

Essay:  When I Begin my Day with Mozart

(First published on November 11, 2014)

Today:

I put the morning coffee on to brew and then reached   for a CD of Mozart’s Violin Sonata in B flat. After I carefully placed it in the CD player.  pushed the  “play” button on the remote  and my Bose player began filling  the kitchen with music. The soft, slow opening lines of the Largo – Allegro began. I listened.  A piano and a violin began to gracefully move  me to listen closely  to this  composition, written  centuries ago. The lyrical melody  begins and I close my eyes  awhile before I continue writing my essay. There is something compelling about Mozart’s music; it gently  urges  me to stop whatever I am doing.  The music  takes me back in time – but not the time in the Eighteenth century when the music was first performed for a royal audience.  It is  my own time,  near the end of the Twentieth century when the music of Mozart became a core element in my personal  life. While listening to this music,  my mind is taken on a journey far away from this present  chilly, gray November day. My  musings  create layers of memories.

As I begin writing the opening thoughts of this essay,  I enjoy  my  cup of fresh coffee. I spiced it up with some hazelnut creamer. The days and years of past times  come visiting me  once again as I slowly recall  my first exciting days in Austria.  Yes! It  was just  Mozart and me.

Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg, Austria

When Mozart first performed this original composition on April 29, 1784, in Vienna, there was a surprising bit of information that came out of the  original  performance.   It’s  a  unique story  that lies behind the music I am listening to today.   In the audience, that day was  Emperor Joseph II.  As Mozart played the piano, the Emperor made a shocking discovery.  He had eventually  noticed that  Mozart was actually looking at blank sheets of “music” instead of the traditional written music that a musician would use.    It turns out that Mozart did not have time to copy the composition that was in his mind. He had to play it from his memory and did not want the audience to  know he had no actual sheet music. Therefore, He put the blank sheets on the piano and began to play that day. You can read about this and other interesting facts about Mozart by visiting this link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin_Sonata_No._32_(Mozart)

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My first trip to Europe was  in the summer of 1991. The trip was a gift I gave myself  to celebrate a goal I had completed in May.  I  finished my MFA degree  at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. Soon after my graduation, I arrived in Salzburg, Austria at the beginning. My arrival  was  just in time to join in the celebration festivities  for the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death. My month-long visit was filled with special art exhibitions in palaces and museums, all focused on  some aspect of Mozart’s life or his music.   I attended as many concerts as I could, and viewed special exhibits of art that month. OH, I was hooked on Mozart! I walked through his birth house, and  death house, and stood  inside the churches where he performed for masses.  I attended the Mozart Mass at the Dom du Salzburg and basked in the sweet aroma of swirling,  smoky incense as the priests entered the sanctuary.  I even found the grave sites of  his family members and his wife, Costanza.   Like most tourists, I purchased the famous   Mozart candy, Mozart t-shirts and sent out lots of  Mozart postcards to all my friends and family.

I know you must want to know what took me there that month.  I had enrolled in a drawing class that was taught by a former professor. We students  were in classes Monday through Thursday mornings.  I was so excited to be there and was prolific in my art adventure.  I created a  body of work on the theme of Mozart’s death and  music.  I wrote continuously as I traveled and viewed exhibitions and listened to concerts. I made many ink sketches on white paper. I chose to do all the artworks black and white. The works on paper would make it easier for me to transport  them back to the US.  After I returned  back home, I put my  work together and it became a traveling art exhibition. The mixed-media works on paper appeared in museums and galleries.  I called my show,“Memory of a Requiem.”

Blog_2014_SalzburgFireworks

     Ten years after my first trip,  some of my poems, sketches,  and reflections from that experience were crafted into a book, “Concerti:  Psalms for the Pilgrimage.” The book was published by KotaPress.

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Prior to the  trip to Austria, I was in graduate school pursuing my MFA degree.  I worked diligently during those two intense years doing  research, creating art,  and teaching. At times, I  was so  exhausted from working days and nights. When I went back to my apartment for a rest and some meals, I often  refreshed  my mind by listening to Mozart’s music. I was particularly  drawn to his Requiem Mass because it echoed my own weariness.   My visit to the city of  Mozart’s  birth and death was a natural choice.

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While in Austria, I made an intention for my own life.  I realized that I fell in love with Austria, the artworks,  architecture,  the people I met, and the music of the masterful composers who lived in Austria over the centuries. I intended to order my life in such a way that I would spend my summers there every year. Of course, I had no idea how that would happen, or if it could happen, but I knew it would be the life I would choose to live.

Eventually, my own professional teaching career began when I  accepted  a tenure-track position at Geneva College,  a private college in western Pennsylvania.  This was just five years after I had visited Austria for the first time as a student myself. As a new  Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities, I  quickly realized there was no study program for  students that provided the opportunity to study in  Austria or Germany.   I proposed to create such a course and the following year I was back in the city I love, with students of my own. This was the first of many years that I would have the joy of bringing students to Austria every summer. I taught a course called, “Drawing and Writing in Salzburg.”

My students came from  across America

to work in a studio in a small village in the Alps.

Most days, we met early in the morning and then traveled somewhere to draw and write at  the different places we explored. It was a dream that became my reality. I had the joy of sharing this magnificent country with my students every summer for a  month-long sojourn. On  long weekends, we traveled together through  Germany, Czech Republic, and  Italy.  We climbed mountains; we  stood on a mountain peak and gazed  down in amazement at the eagles lying beneath us.  On one such sunny afternoon,  I  locked  arms with one of the students and we  skipped down a high   Alpine path.  We stopped only when we ran out of energy and we bent over double,  laughing together,  gasping for breath.   We wrote poems and stories  in our  journals; we wrote about our own experiences.  Art was the focus of all we did. We  created drawings and paintings in our morning studio and took our sketchbooks and journals to the  streets and mountain pathways. Together, we trekked our way through the new places we found. Later,  our sketchbooks and journals would provide us with information and memories to work with once we were back home and working on new projects.

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Gradually, over the years,  I began to realize that the seeds of what we love become the life we live when we set our intentions in that direction.   On that first visit, I had set something in motion that would become my life journey at a later time.  It would be years, though, before I would understand it all. 

Now, sitting here in my office typing up this essay, I listen closely as the final piece of music comes to a conclusion. The piano and the violin have been playing together as I write. Each instrument is strong and one never overpowers the other – they are a good match!

If you would like to enjoy this lovely work of art by Mozart, you can listen to it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-KDzAYOroI

The Violin Sonata continues  and I listen to the rapid notes of the piano moving of playfully  through the house in what seems like a race with the violin.  I can envision a spring afternoon in an Alpine meadow.  At other moments, the violin and piano seem to me to be romping in the sunshine, chasing each other about on the lawn of a Bavarian castle, or around a formal rose garden in the city. . At times, if sounds like the piano takes the lead, yet, this is not the case. The violin weaves through the many notes and in the end they are one.  I listen as applause breaks out immediately as the piano and violin strike the final note together.

This day will take me on other, more mundane  journeys as I walk my dogs, care for my cats, take my husband to the hospital for a check-up, and edit this essay tonight. At special moments throughout my day, I just might hear a few bars of Mozart’s Violin Sonata in B flat  Oh,  I hope so!  Oh, I hope…at the end of this day the music and I are on the same note.

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Essay by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

Visit my website for additional information at: “Walking by Inner Vision”

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Music Writing

The Cryptic Calling: an author’s journey Along an Unmarked Path

Meet  October’s Guest Blogger 

 Donna W. Hill

The Cryptic Calling: an author’s journey

Along an Unmarked Path

 

Blog15_DHill_Redwoods_Donna-&-Hunter-on-path-Glowing-Mist_by_Rich_Hill

This photo of Donna W. Hill with her guide dog, Hunter in ” Glowing Mist in the Redwoods” is by Rich Hill

 

It was 1954. A four-year-old girl with blond banana curls was in the living room. The house was quiet. Her parents were at work; her brother and grandmother in the backyard. She felt relieved to be alone. She didn’t know, nor would she for 14 years, that she was already legally blind.

 

The voice startled her. She stopped breathing, her ears scanning the house. But, it wasn’t necessary. She had felt the message settle into her spirit.

 

“You are here to do something important involving music.”

 

What did it mean? She instinctively took it as an anointing from God, though one with a disquieting lack of detail.

 

The Calling

 

That four-year-old was yours truly, and at sixty-five, that message still puzzles, intrigues and guides me. Initially, I assumed it meant that I was to become famous for my music. I didn’t share the experience, but I begged my parents to get me an accordion.

 

“You’re too small.”

 

Always a literalist, I was amused in second grade when — instead of the “massively-huge” accordion” — they bought me a piano . I progressed quickly, my nose on the brightly lit book, developing my memorization skills.

A Rude Awakening

 

Later that fall, I was selected for the Christmas concert. I was sure my ship had arrived. I was, however, wildly mistaken. I soon realized that there would be major obstacles.

“Go up to the top row of the risers.”

I was in the auditorium for our first rehearsal. I didn’t know what risers were, but I was soon on a contraption that shook and rattled with no way to steady myself. I didn’t understand how tunnel vision impacted my balance, and neither did anyone else.

Almost instantly, the director ordered me down, dismissing me from the group. She wouldn’t give me a few minutes to work it out or let me stand on the floor. The lesson wasn’t lost on me; although my voice was good enough, something more important about me wasn’t.

 

That spring, my teacher took my workbook away, despite my above average grades. She wasn’t comfortable watching me struggle to read. The other shoe dropped the following fall. I was placed in “Special Class,” where only first-grade large-print books awaited me. The thrust of my education was to fulfill the tiniest assignments, after which I was encouraged to play with pre-school toys.

 

My ophthalmologist was outraged. I was removed from “Special Class” and placed into a normal third grade class. The teacher, displeased with the placement, delighted in allowing open bullying of me and punished the girl who read me the questions from the board.

A Mission Slipping Away

 

By sixth grade, my vision was worsening, and piano music was far more complicated. My ability to memorize it was at a breaking point. I did what I thought any self-respecting twelve-year-old would do. I quit.

 

How was I supposed to interpret what I had heard in the living room? For the first (and far from the last) time, I considered the possibility that it could have merely been the ravings of a deranged mind.

In Search of a Miracle

 

Had God changed His mind? Or, perhaps, I needed to do something else first. If so, I knew what that was — get normal sight. It was obviously impossible to be successful without it.

 

Years before hearing televangelists discuss healing, I somehow knew I had to believe it would happen. Every morning for months, before I opened my eyes, I thanked God for restoring my sight, imagining the bright and detailed world that awaited me. My eyes, however, opened to dimness and confusion.

 

Progress and Compromise

 

At fourteen, I was devastated without music in my life. I asked for and received a guitar. Though I was too shy to share them, I started writing songs, beginning the inexorable link in my life between music and language.

 

In Junior High and High School, the bullying became more physical. The increase in work coupled with declining central vision necessitated a prioritizing of my work — literature and science were in; history and math out. Braille and recorded books were never discussed. I was legally blind in a world where it was more important to read and navigate with your eyes, regardless of how many mistakes you made, how much time it took, how sick you got or how many other things fell by the wayside, than to learn nonvisual skills.

 

The overt bullying stopped when I entered college. Nevertheless, I had lost the reading vision in my better eye that summer and was ill-equipped to take full advantage of the college experience. For the first time, however, I used recorded books and readers.

Reawakening the Dream

 

After graduation, I tried to make up the deficit. I trained with my first guide dog and learned Braille. I would pursue my dream of being a self-supporting musician — initially, as a street performer in Philadelphia’s Suburban Station.

 

I had my own apartment, kept an organic garden complete with a compost pile, baked whole grain bread and made everything from soup and tomato sauce to pesto and spanakopita. I started performing at schools, churches and other venues. I wanted my audiences to have a comfortable experience with a blind person and learn a bit about how we do things. I released two albums — “Rainbow Colors” and “Harvest.”

 

“If I had healed you back then,” said the same voice, “You would have never known that blindness didn’t have to limit you.”

 

Sidetracked

 

While recording my third album, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After treatment, Rich and I married, and I finished the project. Just as “The Last Straw” was coming out, I found another cancerous lump. The drain on our energy and finances prompted a change in plans.

 

What about my mission? Had I done what I was supposed to do? Perhaps it had something to do with the many small contacts I’d had over the years. Maybe it was the man who wore out his copy of “Rainbow Colors” while recovering from an auto accident. Maybe it was one of the thousands of kids who had seen my school programs. I was well aware by then that we are all here to do something important. putting forth our best efforts and walking in love is the greatest, most difficult and most rewarding mission.

 

I didn’t give up. Blind people still aren’t being welcomed with open arms. Education, digital accessibility and unemployment remain major problems. I learned to use a computer with text-to-speech software to pursue another dream. In an effort to promote acceptance among the general public, my novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill was designed to allow the reader an intimate look into the mind of a blind teenager, embroiled in an exciting adventure. And, the music angle? Abigail’s a shy songwriter.

 

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Donna’s novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill, an educator-recommended diversity and anti-bullying classroom resource for middle school and older readers, is available in print, eBook versions and accessible formats for readers with print disabilities. For more information and to follow Donna’s blog, visit:

http://DonnaWHill.com

 

 

Photo by Rich Hill. Photos used with permission of the photographer. Thanks so much!

 

 

 

Donna is a singer and songwriter.  Click on the LINK below to enjoy listening  to Donn as she sings, “Love of my Life.”

 

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Special THANKS to Rich and  Donna W. Hill for allowing me feature this story on the blog today!

Copyright 2015.  All Rights Reserved.