SCAN – STATS – STORIES – SMOKIN’ Good Stuff

Post #156

January 4, 2019

 

THANK YOU for reading, sharing, re-blogging, and commenting on SCAN-a-Blog  in 2018.  Most of all, I THANK the 95 FOLLOWERS of SCAN. How much I appreciate your VISITS and how much I enjoy VISITING YOUR BLOGS, too.  You inspire me and teach me, and you widen my world.

Here are some stats from 2018.

 

90 Posts Published

TOP STORY for 2018:  RIVER, a poem and reflection.  Read it here!

47,753 Words Published

620 Average Words per Post

493 VIEWS in DECEMBER

2,647 VIEWS in 2018

7,943 All-Time Views on SCAN-a-Blog

5,552 VISITORS on SCAN in 2018

 

Saturday is for Sharing is a  Special Feature I started in 2018. It had a lot of attention for my fellow authors. I can think of nothing I enjoy more than promoting your work and seeing you thrive and grow.  For this feature, I invite published authors to contact me. You can learn more about this interview by looking for “Saturday is for Sharing” on the top MENU BAR of the page. 

Contact me for more information and let’s set you up with an interview to promote you and your book.E-mail:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net

Congratulations to Amy Bovaird for garnering the TOP VIEWS for your interview with Lynda and Miss Opal on Saturday is for Sharing!

Read Amy’s interview here: Click Here!

You will LOVE READING the TOP POST in Saturday is for SHARING by Amy Bovaird.

CONGRATULATIONS TO 2  Saturday is for Sharing featured guests – Mike and Bruce  came in 2nd place – a tie!

Mike Bayles: Read it Here!

Bruce Atchison: Read it Here!

Share the Happiness.

Re-blog or share on your social media.

I love you for that!

Saturday is for Sharing – Amy Bovaird –

Post #122 – Aug. 25, 2018

Saturday is for Sharing

Series of Guest Authors – #8

Miss Opal & Lynda

Welcome YOU to

Saturday is for Sharing 

_____

Meet Amy Bovaird

Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss

 

 

  

Hi Amy,   I am so pleased to present your books and hear your thoughts today on SCAN.

Your life-long love of travel and your humorous adventures abroad,  teaching English as a Second Language, seem to be  the backbone of  your writing.  No matter what the story is about, we get an excellent view of the world as you experienced it.  You bring us along wherever you are, in your writing. I’ve been reading your stories for a number of years.

Recently, I listened to the Spring/Summer issue of “Magnets & Ladders Literary Magazine.” This magazine was  recorded on digital cassette by the Perkins Library. I really enjoyed hearing your essay, “The Sweet Breath of Africa,” which won an Honorable Mention for non-fiction.  This story is about an African nurse  who took care of you while you were alone, in a foreign country,  in a hospital. It is a beautiful  and sensitive story. I have listened to it twice because it is so compelling. You are a natural storyteller, Amy.   Read this story here:  https://www.magnetsandladders.org/#the-sweet-breath-of-africa-memoir-nonfiction-)honorable-mentionwzxhzdk47by-amy-bovaird

Q_ What do you think about your name and do you use a pen name for your books?

Amy_ There is so much to a name, and over the years, I have learned not only to appreciate but also to cherish mine. My three siblings are named after other respected family members, but my mother said she chose my name simply because she liked it. That is so sweet, all by itself. As I traveled overseas to teach, having a small three-letter name like ‘Amy’ fit just right. My last name—French in origin—posed problems so my overseas students called me “Miss Amy.” This made me feel close to them; it facilitated stronger relationships and forged cultural ties.

In one class, which focused on teaching strategies for TOEFL, a college-entrance exam needed for non-native students to enter western universities, we came across the word, “amicable.” My Indonesian student said, “This is you, my teacher.” His observation filled my heart with gratitude. At some point, I heard the term, “Bon ami,” French for ‘good friend. and added that on to the lovely nuances of my name. It also has roots in Spanish, “amistad,” which means “friendship,” and “amor,” which means love. That described me well as I loved to make new friends. Later, I learned my name meant “beloved.” At that time, my walk with Christ was deepening, so my given name became even more meaningful.

I think it’s amazing how God ensures we have the tools we need to succeed in our careers—and that certainly includes the name we go by. I went by it as a teacher and I also use it as a writer.

Q_What have you done recently that really made you feel good about yourself?

Amy_ In the 90s I had the most wonderful job ever—teaching specialized English terms (think map reading, tanks, helicopters, etc.) to international military personnel at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base. I even helped set up language programs overseas. I left my job to marry an Egyptian Captain and teach in a civilian women’s college in the Middle East. I could never duplicate the unique teaching environment I had at Lackland.

About three weeks ago, one of my former colleagues and I met up in San Antonio and reunited with past co-workers. It was a whirlwind of excitement, beginning with an unexpected stop at the base from the airport and two full days of meeting up with memorable colleagues. It was also the best thing I could ever do for myself – to reconnect with the bold, daring teacher and intrepid traveler I once was in the days before the huge drop in my vision. It was good to remember I was still that person.

Q_ Are you a “Mountain,” “Valley,” or “Beach” person?

 Amy__I am definitely a mountain gal. Give me a backpack and I’ll climb high! I have a couple of humorous anecdotes in my second book, Cane Confessions: The Lighter Side of Mobility, about climbing mountains in Scotland and Japan. You can probably guess the challenges of climbing the Scottish mountain named Goatfell! There’s something about the high altitude that goes hand-n-hand with adventure.

 

Q_ What is your most notable achievement or accomplishment to date?

Amy_  I am  quite proud of my second book launch. I collaborated with the Sight Center of Northwest Pennsylvania to unveil Cane Confessions. We found a great location to hold the launch, a large senior center in our area. We put our heads together to create a strong line-up of speakers for our program.

The CEO of the Sight Center was our emcee. She introduced each speaker for the event. Other speakers included the director of the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services. This organization provides counseling, training aids, rehab and orientation and mobility to those who are blind or have low vision. Another speaker was on the Board of Directors for the Sight Center but also represented Pennwriters, a state-wide group of writing professionals of which I am a member. It also included the head of the Lions Club (of which I belong), followed by a leader dog (guide) trainer with her leader puppy. The keynote speaker was a laser eye surgeon, who I asked to speak on gene therapy. I also spoke and read a humorous passage from my book. The line-up ended with my pastor, who prayed for the outreach of my memoir, and also for the food.

While we served cake and punch, and I signed books,

we had a fabulous new group perform some original music,

including one song they wrote specifically tor the launch.  One of the group members was from Pennwriters.

We even had someone to take the money for the books, so I only had to focus on signing and connecting with those who came to purchase them.

I don’t think any of us expected such an incredible, comprehensive program to unfold without a hitch! We were thrilled! Unfortunately, although we sent out a slick press release to the media, they failed to show up. What a shame as my launch showcased so many facets of assistance available to the visually impaired community. We certainly put up a united front. It is still one of my fondest memories.

 

Q_ Tell us more about how you began to write books. 

Amy_ The first professional paid writing job I fell into was a ghostwriter job. I wrote a memoir my client termed as “the greatest love story ever told.” It was an upbeat story of my client and his wife (the love of his life) as they dealt with her ovarian cancer. I was so proud of it when I finished it.

That prepared me to write my own memoirs. I have written two books about mobility (using a white cane), which includes elements of fear, faith, humor and adventure. (I am currently working on my third and final mobility book. I plan to finish the series by December of this year).

Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss

is the memoir I want to share with you today.  This new book combines my faith and experiences in a devotional format. It consists of forty-five devotions where God met my needs at desperate points of loss during my time in the Middle East. The first section focuses on loss in childbearing. The second section focuses on getting through divorce. The final section focuses on coping with the discovery of my father’s stage-four cancer while I was in the Middle East.

Writing these devotions helped me better understand how God carried me through my heartbreak. My devotions reminded me how God had ministered to me in the past, which, in turn, helped me recall who was in control of my life. Certainly not me. I was deeply grieving over the loss of my mother, who was eighty-seven. One day she was fine; the next, she suffered a massive stroke. You think you’ll be prepared when an elderly parent passes away but few of us truly are. The loss of a loved one causes grief no matter what the age of the one you love or of the bereaved.

The greater purpose in writing this memoir was to reach out to others facing similar losses. When I go to speak, not everyone can relate to challenges of my sight loss. However, many can relate to losing a child or a parent. Additionally, one out of every two marriages end in divorce nowadays. There is a great need to know God will remain firmly at our side in those frightening moments when we face our biggest fears, failures and disappointments. All devotionals show testimony and mine does the same, only thematically.

 

If I could pick a page that would sum up of the message of my devotional book it might be found in this devotion.

LOVE TRANSCENDS TOUCH

 “‘I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow,’ declared the Lord.”
–Jeremiah 31:13, NIV


When Noor died, everything happened quickly. Nadir completed the legalities for her birth and death at the same time. I received no birth certificate or inked footprints to remember her. Nobody brought Noor to my bedside, so I could hold her and say goodbye. Nadir carried her shrouded body away. He placed her directly into a gravesite somewhere in a Dubai cemetery I would never see. Losing a baby in utero devastated me. It left me without even a photograph—as if conceiving her never happened. My second twin’s heart beat together with mine. I nurtured and sang to her, fought and prayed for her. After I delivered Noor, the nurses whisked her away to an incubator. Most of the time, my emergencies kept me from going to her. Except for One. Special. Moment. I reached through the incubator holes to stroke tiny legs—my first touch. One time to last forever.

My lack of input and involvement in the burial left gaping wounds. I cradled a single Polaroid the doctor snapped of Noor shortly after birth. Nadir hid the photo. He believed it unhealthy and wanted me to move forward. But I had no closure.

That summer, I wept for the missing rituals and mementoes that typically accompany motherhood. To fill that gap, God gave me a beautiful song about love being deeper than touch. The lyrics slowly filled the void, like rays of hope seeping through a heavy black cloud.

The words seemed penned for my twins and me. When I listened to that song, I thought about how beautiful it was to have those hearts beating inside me for even a short time. I believe one day I’ll have that privilege again.

 

Heavenly Father, thank you for scripting special words to heal our unique pain.

 _____________________

 

Contact information:

Name: Amy L. Bovaird

Book Title: Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss

Email: mailto:amybovairdauthor@gmail.com

Website: https://amybovaird.com/

Book Description: https://amybovaird.com/seeking-solace/

Blog: https://amybovaird.com/blog/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/amybovairdauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Amy_Bovaird

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ls28BO

*Book is available in regular, large print, ebook and audio.

Audio is available at Audible.com, iTunes, Amazon and my website.

_______________________

Dear Readers of SCAN,

Your support of our Featured Guest Authors is  appreciated.

Here’s how YOU can spread the HAPPINESS:

Please  share this article with your friends on Social Media and by Re-Blogging.

You can purchase this book: Gift Giving Season is closing in on us already!

Thanks again for your support of the Authors who are featured on Saturday is for Sharing.

________________

Saturday is for Sharing

is brought to you by

Pennsylvania author, Lynda McKinney Lambert and her feline writing partner, Miss Opal.

SCAN is owned by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

View Publications Page for updates on my stories and poems.

Walking by Inner Vision.

Lynda’s Author ‘s Page

Saturday is for Sharing is Lynda’s property. You have permission to SHARE this blog post with your FRIENDS on FaceBook.

Copyright: August 25,, 2018. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

Please share with your Friends on FaceBook and SHARE to your blog. Please Re-Blog this article and spread the HAPPINESS.

I only ask that you re-post the entire article with the copyright information attached.

Leave Miss  Opal and Lynda some comments and let us know what you liked about this feature story today.

 

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and Happiness

EVERY day!

 

Amy Bovaird – a discussion about mobility

~ Meet my Guest Blogger Amy Bovaird, author of Mobility Matters ~

Blog_AmyBovaird_Portrait

Fielding a Discussion about Mobility…

with Real Vision-impaired People

 

I took a deep breath and looked around me. It was as if I were seeing their faces through a couple of uneven layers of Vaseline ointment.  But I could feel a solid hardwood table in front of me with my fingertips and I tapped it to reassure myself that I ‘had’ this. I knew my face was likely a blur to those around me as well. The participants were going through vocational rehabilitation, and, in most cases, that included orientation and mobility training. All had varying degrees of vision loss.

My book, Mobility Matters, had opened up the opportunity to open up a valuable dialog with them to gauge their interest and the direction of our talk.

“Okay, God. Lead me. I introduced myself then jumped in on our topic. “

Some of you are here because you’ve lost more vision and you need more mobility training.  Others will be taking it for the first time. For those of you with experience, what were the top three obstacles you overcame in order to be successful with your cane?”

The group was silent. Then an older woman slapped the table and exclaimed, “Fear, fear and more fear!” She paused and a barrage of ideas followed. “I had to keep trying. It was scary but the end result was more independence.” She leaned forward. “Friends, keep thinking of what you will gain from the practice. If you really want, you can go anywhere. I am 58, overweight, losing my hearing, have no useable sight in my right eye and not much in my left.”

I nodded. “That fear is there on so many levels.”

Encouraged, she went on. “This isn’t during training but following up on my own. I don’t always want to be in the background. I want to live my life! So I decided to go to an amusement and water park. Took my cane and my one and two year-old grandsons. Scary? Yes! Worth it? Absolutely!” She let out a sigh. “I’m hoping to be able to catch them down the little water slide, take them on all water slides and enjoy summer. Crowds are a challenge but as you gain confidence by doing it, it’s amazing how the seas of people part.”

“That’s for sure!” I said.

She went on, breathless. “Be prepared for the unexpected. I fell a couple of times in my training. It hurt. I healed and kept trying—sometimes with tears. And that’s okay. That’s how we grow. It’s not the same and never will be. But mobility gives you a whole world to explore. Have fun and don’t give up”

I felt like clapping. “Bravo,” I said.

A man across the table clenched his hands. “Why are you here if you already know how to use a cane?”

The grandma didn’t take offense. “I recently lost more vision and need more training.”

“My biggest obstacle is mental. I don’t want to use a cane. I don’t mind being guided though. I can still see when the stop lights change. I still have a fair amount of vision left so I’m comfortable crossing streets…”

He reminded me of myself. It’s hard at that stage, with just enough loss to complicate things.

A woman near the end of the table cleared her throat. “Crossing streets. I always wanted to question my instructor, ‘Are there stop signs, stop lights, is it a two-way crossing or a one-way?’ She shuddered. “Malls, grocery stores. Anywhere crowded. Being trained with blindfolds was very scary.”

A slender young man turned to my direction. “Do you mean physical obstacles as when you are traveling along?”

“Sure, anything that stands out in your mind.”

He rubbed his chin and slowly said, “The top three obstacles would probably be navigating through huge fields or lawns where you don’t have a lot of feedback from the tap of your cane, really cluttered streets with narrow sidewalks—lamp poles, trash cans, parked bikes everywhere—”

I nodded encouragingly, “I heard you were in Nepal recently. Go on, John.”

“Really, the biggest obstacles were and are … it’s the questions. People asking me several times a day about my vision, how my going blind went down. It wears on a person. The cane has actually liberated me but it brings natural attention and even feelings of pity from others at times That said, for every instance of pity, there are thumbs up of encouragement.”

“Right,” I said. “Anyone else?”

“Stairs. Crowds are tough. Anxiety is raised a few notches in crowds for me,” a tall thin man, who spoke quietly, kept his eyes fixed on the table. I had to listen carefully to hear him.

“Water fountains. They muffle the noise and I can’t hear what I need to in order to know which direction to go.”

“Amy,” interjected a woman who looked to be in her forties and sat on the far end of the table, “I’m Debbie. What they’re saying echoes what I feel so much. For me, first obstacle: misplaced embarrassment. There’s another word. Self-consciousness probably best describes the feeling. Another obstacle is ‘coming out.’ Major hurdle. Had two dreaded lessons, actually. Think perseverance. That’s the word that got me through it.”

I thought that was a good place for me to jump in and start my talk.

I stood up and raised my voice. “Mobility Matters is about coming to terms with my vision loss after twenty-five years of denial. Like you, I can relate to having to face all these same obstacles. But the biggest and the hardest to overcome was this: picking up a cane meant I had to cross that gaping stretch from being sighted and independent to blind and dependent.

I didn’t understand that blindness was a continuum with many having some sight and not a scale with sighted on one side and blind on the other. That was a huge barrier for me. Then when I finally took that step, I felt like a ‘fake blind’ person because I still had sight. It took me a long time to internalize that my cane was helping others realize I had a vision problem and I didn’t have to wish away the sight I had out of ‘misplaced shame.’ And it took me awhile to learn that my cane brought independence. Plus, my mobility specialist was blind himself. One hundred percent. Trust was an issue for me.”

I knew I had their attention. “Yep, completely blind. Trusting him happened gradually. It seemed like God’s sense of humor to me—sending a blind man to teach me to get around. I had to get past silly prejudices I didn’t even know I had.”

I didn’t want to get off on another tangent so I quickly changed focus. “Like all of you, crowds threw me. One day in my training in the city, I found a block party going on and an enormous motorbike rally with 8,000 riders in my path. Yeah, what an adventure!”

“How did you do it?” John asked, his voice filled with a mixture of curiosity and awe.

Thank you, God, for opening this door. “There was a scripture from the Bible that helped me. It was from Psalms 23. ‘Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.’ So every time I took a step in my training, I imagined myself stepping out in faith and God protecting me.”

**

ANNOUNCEMENT:The Kindle version of Amy’s memoir is available today for .99. Grab your copy to find out how God worked in her life to move her forward in faith and insight.

The Kindle version of Amy’s memoir is available today for .99. Grab your copy to find out how God worked in her life to move her forward in faith and insight.

**

Blog_AmyBovairdPortrait_2

BIO

Amy Bovaird is an author, an inspirational speaker,  and an educator. Although Amy suffers from a dual disability—progressive vision and hearing loss—she continues to enjoy running, hiking and traveling. She also volunteers with local and national animal rescue organizations. Amy blogs about the challenges she faces as she loses more vision. But more importantly, she shares the lessons God reveals to her through her difficulties. You can read about her experiences at amybovaird.com

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