Friday Favs_The Story Behind a Story

Friday Favs

Article #126

Friday Favs

Can you Find the Story Behind a Story?

“Girl on a Bench Sees Visions of Butterflies”

Friday Favs – I looked back at some of my blog posts  in my other blog,

Walking by Inner Vision.

I started that blog in 2009, and most of what I feature there  is about my writing  or art projects.

You can find

Walking by Inner Vision

at this Link:  www.lyndalambert.com

I was surprised  when I read one of my stories from 2013.

A version of the  story is published in my latest book, “Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems,” DLD Books, 2017. I began to think more about it.

The topic of this essay is an explication of a work of art.

It is the “Story Behind the Story,” of that art work.

All Art Comes From Our  Core Beliefs and Our  World View.

( Note; this art work is “Girl on a Bench Sees Visions of Butterflies,” a mixed-media fiber wall work.

This art work  is in the InSights18 exhibition  sponsored annually by the American Printing House for the Blind.  I will attend  the opening reception and the awards banquet in Louisville, KY, in October. This year will mark the 5th time I have been juried into this international exhibition, and my 5th time to have my work win an award.)

I say  this because it is important for us to be able to articulate where our ideas, influences, and themes  begin when we are writing. Everything we believe, is evident in our piece of writing. If the reader knows how to do a deep reading and is observant, that reader can know about the author intimately. The writing comes from not only our thoughts, but from our spirit and from our own experiences.

We have a core belief, that is uniquely our own. We have a distinctive world view that we each embrace.  Everything we do and think about comes from our core and our chosen world view.  Everything we write reflects who we are – at our core. We have an inner life which becomes visible to our readers, if they are observant and wise.  Who we are speaks clearly in our writing.

When we are aware of this, we can identify an authors core beliefs and world view as we begin to read a piece of the writing.

This is a fascinating aspect of our writing, isn’t it!

In my  classrooms at the college, students  learned how to do deep readings and how to identify the author’s World View. If they don’t learn how to do this, they will never be able to fully understand the writing.

Often we are not even aware of those unseen and powerful impulses.  When we do begin to recognize them and can begin to articulate them, we untap an ocean of possibilities and opportunities in our writing life.

When I read my own blog post from 2013 this morning, I was aware that I am a visual artist and that everything I write emerges from  my  inborn sensibility and a way of viewing the world and everything I encounter. No matter what theme I am writing about,  it is, always  viewed through core beliefs and a keenly aware world  view.

Have you looked back at something you wrote some years ago?

How did it make you feel when you read that piece?

Do you see the theme of the work as it fits into your World View?

Do you see how you have grown or changed in your concepts and writing since that time?

If you want to see the 2013 article  – CLICK HERE: http://www.lyndalambert.com/the-story-behind-the-art/

__________

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright: September, 2018. All rights reserved.

Friday Favs 

is a 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.

Lynda is the author of 4 books:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems Buy it!

Lynda has just completed her 3rd book

Star Signs: New & Selected Poems – not yet published.

AND… her FIRST CHAPBOOK

first snow, 16 Poems with a Wintry Theme – Not yet published.

Both new books  are now available for publication. 

Currently Lynda is working on her next book, a Memoir.

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. 

I only require that you copy/paste the entire blog post including our Copyright and blog information.

We LOVE YOU for that!   

Miss Opal & Lynda

Welcome YOU to

Friday Favs

Saturday is for Sharing – Shelley Alongi

Post #128 – September 15, 2018

Saturday is

for Sharing

Series of Guest Authors – #11

Miss Opal & Lynda

Welcome YOU to

Saturday is for Sharing 

_____

Shelley Alongi 

Photo:  TheAuthor holds  a collection

of 3 published books

 

  

Shelley,  I know you are a cat lover so Miss Opal and I are really delighted to speak with you today about your book publications and your life as an author.

You nearly always talk about your cats in phone conversations and interviews.  We like that!

It is  a hot day here in Western Pennsylvania but the cats, Miss Opal and her sister-cat ,Miss Bessie, are enjoying the air conditioning. The 2 dogs are napping in their beds.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know you through the National Federation of the Blind Writer’s Division over the past several years.  NFB was one of the first contacts I had with writers who have sight loss and I was happy to find the organization at that time. I remain a member, and look forward to the publications you produce. I’m always happy to submit work to this magazine.

Our readers should know that you are the editor of

Slate & Style, a literary magazine.

It is published throughout the year by the Writer’s Division.

I’d also like to let our readers know that they can enter their writings to the magazine. They do not have to be disabled or blind to send in their work.

Q_ I have a question for you, since you are so busy with the magazine and your own writing…what do you do to relax?  When it is 5 O’Clock “somewhere, what will you be doing?   

Shelley_ Laughing!   I might be at home in the recliner with a cat on my lap – or a book  – or both.

I might have a documentary film from Netflix or my TV app playing in the background and I might be asleep.

I might be at the church practicing the organ. I play for 2 churches!

Or I might be playing my piano.

In my literary life, I could be working on a draft of one of my novels. My latest novel is Forgiving Sky,  due for release in 2018.

I am currently working on the draft before I submit it to my hand-picked editing team.

In addition to this, I  am also working on a book of poetry called Christ Crush.

I may be working on that one. If I’m not doing any of those things I might be entertaining company, or cooking hamburgers, spaghetti, or some other wonderful concoction.

Sometimes I never know where I’ll be.

My only requirement is wherever I am it’s cool, and I mean below seventy degrees. 

Q_ What could you never live without? What would happen if this would go away?

Shelley_  In 2003 I went to Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi to help the city rebuild after Katrina.

We helped to plant a Calvary Chapel there and our job specifically was to cook for the people who were rebuilding their own houses. Some of the people went to help those who were cleaning up their property after the August 27 damage.  Over lunch, one of the men who was rebuilding his house asked that question. They asked what we couldn’t live without and I thought about that between lunch and dinner. When I told them that I couldn’t live without friends some of the team members were surprised. One of the gentlemen there who was rebuilding his house said he thought I might say I couldn’t live without a toilet or a toothbrush. But, all through history our bodies have made due with what we have or don’t have. We can always find ways to meet basic needs.

One of our basic needs is friendship as human beings. I don’t need many friends, but a few good friends go a long way toward helping me live my life in a satisfactory way. What would happen if friends went away? Well, I think what might happen is that I might curl up and shrivel away like leaves and plants on a very hot day.

Q_ You are person who is so curious about so many aspects of life, Shelley.  What would you like to know more about?

Shelley_  You asked, “What would I like to know more about?   EVERYTHIING!

I am am  information junky.

Reading and watching documentary films feeds my need for information. I also read widely: I  try to catch podcasts.

Because I am blind, I wonder if my brain doesn’t have that kind of input if a desire is created by the parts of the brain that requires stimulus. I don’t limit myself to knowing about certain things because the way my brain works I sometimes become passionate about something,  and then move on to other things.

This is the wonderful part of being a writer. Sometimes,  I might have a conversation with someone, or read a book that piques my interest on another subject. I will go find a book on the subject that fascinates me. For instance, I might get interested in some local subject, then I design a story around it and I can ask people about their jobs. I usually will say this is for helping me with my book.

I’ve recently settled in a small Texas town where the economy is bolstered by an air force base. People I know here have either retired from the Air Force, work for it, or live on base. We all know someone here who either lives on the base or works for the Air Force. It is interesting that the novel I am working on right now, Forgiving Sky, has an aircraft mechanic as the main character. I started this novel before I moved here, but it wasn’t till I moved here and had more time to devote to the book  that I met people who I could ask  about their job as an aircraft mechanic.

The same thing happened to me with train engineers. My first novel Trespasser is about a railroad engineer. I had ocasion to be interested in trains and so I was able to talk to railroad workers and some of them helped me with scenes in my first novel. Sometimes I’ll pick up a book on a subject I know nothing about just to peak my curiosity. I never know what I might be interested in next.

 Q_ When is the last time you had FIRE  in your eyes?  What happened to light your fire?

Shelley_ When I first moved to Texas I had not yet made connections and so I spent my first 4th of July at home. At that time I decided I would go online and find a recording of

Handel’s Messiah.

  • I was a music major in college and was familiar with the piece but had never really listened to it. The recording I found was stunning.

I spent three hours listening.  The one choral piece that got me really tuned into was

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the Sin of the World.

This recording was done on a large scale and the sheer power of the vocals grabbed my attention. The whole experience made me investigate Jesus Christ’s claims again, things I had already come to terms with in my younger years. This music really grabbed my attention and I spent the next six months just rereading the Bible and deciding to read as many fictional accounts of the life of Jesus as I could. Some of the fictional accounts were very good. Some of them were ok. I know this helped me write my third book  – Angel Hug  – which surrounds Jesus prayer in Gethsemane. I still have the fire in my eyes three years after arriving here. I remember those months and their impact on me. I think that night really set the course for my time in Texas.

Comment from Lynda:

I can fully relate to this experience. I had such a personal  encounter with Jesus when I was 30 years old,  after reading Dietrich Bonhoffer.  Just one line, staying in my thoughts. I was changed from that time forward. Thank you for sharing this, Shelley. It brought me back to my own life-history. 

Q_ What do you have your eye on for the future?

Shelley_ Currrently,  my future includes releasing my fourth book, Forgiving Sky in 2018. If not 2018 then in January 2019.

I’m working on the final draft at this time. I always have a plan for my future and sometimes what happens is better than what I plan. I’d like to buy a house. I’d like to go to Germany. I am taking advantage of the time given me right now to finish reading books that I’ve always wanted to read and to work on several more ideas for novels. I spent many years at a job that gave me lots of experience but which for me was not fulfilling. Writing books is fulfilling. So, I’d like to finish the ones I’ve started and see where we go from here. I figure that as soon as I finish enough of them I can take them anywhere and offer them for sale. They’re for sale now, but I mean that I can offer them and perhaps move out of state or get busy again. I am blessed with lots of writing time now. My future is to work on my music and also finish writing the novels, something I’ve known I would do for many years. Now is the time.

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

Shelley_  I look at my life and compare it to others I know and I say I haven’t done enough.

Yet,  when I sit down and look at mine, 

I say ___wow ___I’ve done some amazing things.

I’m not sure which is my most notable.

______I’ve founded an aviation club at California State University, Fullerton.

I received a call from someone who came across it when he was looking for places to advertise his helicopter sight seeing tours. We met for lunch and talked about his company. This call was received ten years after I started the club. But hey I’m in the records!

_____I’ve written four books_____

Trespasser – about a railroad engineer’s search for happiness,

Brave Pilot – about a man who must avert a looming tragedy between two families.

Angel Hug – inspired by Christ’s agony in Gethsemane.

Christ Crush –  my first book of poetry.

And my forthcoming publication:  Forgiving Sky.

Soon I will be able to hold five books in my hand. I am my own publishing company, it seems. I have a music degree and that took a lot of work. I’ve been to Mississippi to help after Katrina.

I’ve been in the pilot’s seat of a small airplane.

I’ve talked to the prosecuting attorney for Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber. That was a big one for me because I wanted to interview him for an oral history project. He did not grant the interview, but I got to talk to him.

I just recently uploaded a video to Youtube. I know that is a regular occurrence for some. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and was able to upload it by using VoiceOver on my Apple iPhone.

I’ve been to Washington DC twice, once as a high school senior and once to speak with our local representative about the National Defense Authorization Act.

I’ve moved across country twice. That’s a pretty regular occurrence for people who live here. I’ve had a pretty full life and I’m sure it’s not over.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my life and work with you. I

F you would like more information or to be kept up-to-date on new releases, contact me at:

Shelley J. Alongi

Queenofbells@outlook.com

The names of my books are

  1. Trespasser, released in 2015.
  2. Brave Pilot, released in 2017.
  3. Angel Hug, released 2018.

The first three published books can be purchased in electronic or paperback format.

Trespasser is also available in hard cover. Here are the links where you can purchase the  books.

Trespasser, paperback,  released 2015

http://www.lulu.com/shop/shelley-alongi/trespasser/paperback/product-22657384.html

Trespasser, hard cover, released 2015

http://www.lulu.com/shop/shelley-alongi/trespasser/hardcover/product-22410531.html

Brave Pilot paperback, 2017

https://www.amazon.com/Brave-Pilot-Shelley-J-Alongi/dp/1974398730/ref=sr_1_12? s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1517024969&sr=1-12&keywords=Brave+Pilot

Angel Hug, paperback 2018

https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Hug-Shelley-J-Alongi/dp/1985243156/ref=sr_1_3? s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1522514916&sr=1-3&keywords=Angel+Hug

For electronic copies of these books you can visit

Brave Pilot

https://www.books2read.com/u/47kBPE

Angel Hug

https://www.books2read.com/u/31MooW

Trespasser

https://www.books2read.com/u/bWKLkW

You can also see my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.shelley.alongi

________

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

OR – you can copy and paste the entire blog articler into your own FB page or blog.

You can purchase our featured 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.

________________

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright: September, 2018. All rights reserved.

Saturday is for Sharing

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.

Lynda is the author of 4 books:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems Buy it!

Lynda has just completed her 3rd book

Star Signs: New & Selected Poems – not yet published.

AND… her FIRST CHAPBOOK

first snow, 16 Poems with a Wintry Theme – Not yet published.

Both new books  are now available for publication. 

Currently Lynda is working on her next book, a Memoir.

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  I only require that you copy/past the entire blog post including our Copyright and blog information.

If you are a published AUTHOR or an actively exhibiting ARTIST – Miss Opal and Lynda  want YOUR STORY for our “Saturday is for Sharing” blog features. We spotlight one outstanding author or artist a week.

Right now, we are scheduling into the month of November.

E-mail us today: riverwoman@zoominternet.net

Saturday is for Sharing – Bruce Atchison

Post #124 – September 8, 2018

Saturday is for Sharing

Series of Guest Authors – #9

Miss Opal & Lynda

Welcome YOU to

Saturday is for Sharing 

_____

Bruce Atchison, Canadian Author

 

 

  

Hi Bruce,   It is a pleasure to have you as a guest today on Saturday is for Sharing.  I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for several years and I also know you through the Behind Our Eyes organization.

You are our first international Guest Author.

I recommend your memoir

Deliverance From Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School

to our readers. I have this book and will quote from the back cover:

Imagine being a disabled child, hastily sent to a boarding school hundreds of miles from home, and being kept there for months at a time.  This was the fate of most physically and mentally impaired students half a century ago.  ntellectuals and governmaent  officials once believed  that the best way to educate “hadicapped youngsters” was to segregate them from the able-bodied population, concentrating those  pupils into large institutions. 

Bruce, I think this is a tremendous book and gives the reader a view into life as you experienced it during those years as a young child. This is a world at most people have never imagined and I found it to be enlightening and moving.

I have enjoyed speaking with you  about our mutual passion for animals, and I know that you are specifically passionate about  rabbits.  So, that’s where I will begin our interview – with a question about the awareness of animals.

___________

Q_ I  know that you have a favorite animal – rabbits!  Are rabbits  a “totem animal” to you?  When did you become aware of the importance of rabbits  in your life?  

Bruce_ I’ve always loved rabbits. They’re shy like me and they’re so picked on in nature. But sadly for our family rabbit, we killed her with kindness. That’s why I wrote my first memoir called

When a Man Loves a Rabbit

My first  book is  a warning to novice bunny owners.

 

In 1996, I found out about

The House Rabbit Society  (Lynda’s note – Learn More about Rabbits at this link:  https://rabbit.org/

and that rabbits can make wonderful house pets for adults. Their information confirmed some things I had already noticed with the rabbits I once had. For example, they like to toilet in one spot. Bunnies dislike chaotic situations but they are social creatures.

_____

 

 

Q_ I also know that you love music. I’ve enjoyed learning so much about a variety of musical genre by reading your blog posts. You give a sample of a piece of music and a performer or group that recorded the particular piece of music, Then, you give some background andhistorical context to that music. Your blog features are enjoyable to listen to,  also educational.  I would say you are a connosouire of modern music.  Do you have a favorite song that brings back good memories for you, Bruce?

 

Bruce_  When Klaatu released their first LP in 1997…

I fell in love with a song called “Little Neutrino.” It combined space rock and synthesizers, plus the vocoder vocals appealed to my love of science fiction.

I also named one of my rabbits after the song.

Neutrino was a feisty black bunny

who was very small and hard to see in dusky rooms.

He also had a knack of slipping through barriers I erected to keep him out of rooms which I hadn’t bunny proofed. Neutrino was three years old when I adopted him and we lived for eighty-two months together.

_____

Q_ What is one topic that you won’t ever choose to write about in the future? Is there something that is “off limits” to you, as a writer?

 In my book, My  Deliverance from Jericho…

Bruce_I told the story of how I was sent to a school for the blind. At age seven, I went there for months at a stretch and was raised by supervisors. I spent six years of my life in that uncaring institution before the government mainstreamed me and other Alberta children.

I learned the hard way that most people can’t relate to my experiences at that school.

My rabbit book was a relative success because I knew my readership. But I misjudged the interest of sighted readers, causing my Jericho book to sell poorly. Only fellow blind people wanted to read what I wrote. But since it cost too much to have the book made into audio or braille versions, and since most blind folks couldn’t afford to pay, few copies sold.

 

Q_ What  is on your “back burner” and waiting for your attention?

Bruce_I’m working on a new book called

You Think You’re Going to Heaven?

Many people who consider themselves Christians aren’t following Christ and have never obeyed him. They feel their good works and showing up at church will gain them entry into paradise but they’ll be turned away. I want every one to know the true way to eternal bliss.

 

My next book won’t be a  memoir. I made that mistake with my third book called How I Was Razed. Most folks don’t care about my experiences at a cultic house church. Even Christians weren’t eager to buy a copy of that book.

 

Q_ What do you have an eye on right now, for your future?

Bruce_I hope to retire in 2021. I’ll relax and enjoy life.

Note from Lynda:

Somehow I cannot imagine that Bruce would be retiring from the writing life. He seems to be an “Energizer Bunny” when it comes to ideas for book and publishing. Personally, I think he will go on, and on, and on….and we will see more books by him in the years ahead.  I surely hope so!

_____

Bio: Bruce Atchison lives in a tiny Alberta hamlet.

He is  almost blind, yet he has written three books and is writing a fourth. Bruce also writes freelance articles since 1997.

His blog posts appear three times a week.

www.bruceatchison.blogspot.com

AND

http://www.bruceatchison.wordpress.com

 

Bruce Atchison

 

batchison@mcsnet.ca

http://www.twitter.com/ve6xtc

http://www.youtube.com/ve6xtc

 

___________

 

_____________________

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: September 8,, 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.

 

SHARE Good Thoughts

and Happiness

EVERY day!

 

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.

 

SHARE Good Thoughts

and Happiness

EVERY day!

 

Saturday is for Sharing – Phyllis Staton Campbell

Post #121

Saturday is for Sharing –

#7 Guest Author

Meet  Phyllis Staton Campbell

Guest Author

Where Sheep May  Safely Graze

 

Phyllis, We are honored today to have you on Saturday is for Sharing weekly event  on SCAN. 

The scope of your creative work in teaching, musical performance, writing and publication is remarkable. You are truly a Renaissance Woman, Phyllis.

Often, I like to begin by asking an author about their name as a way of introduction.  Our readers like to know more about the importance of an author’s name.

Q_ Do you use your own name for your writing projects or do you use a pen name?  What do you think about your name?  What do you think a name represents?

I can’t say that I have strong feelings either pro or con about the name by which I’m called. Conceited soul that I am, I always write using my name. I take pride in my work, and want the world to know it is mine. There is another writer whose name is Phyllis Campbell, so to prevent confusion, I sometimes add my maiden name, making it  Phyllis Staton Campbell.

However, each of us has another name, one that is never spoken, nor appears on a legal document. This is the face we present to the world. This name is what we are, not to be confused with what some people may think we are, although certainly it helps to form the opinion of others. “She has a name for being generous.” Only we know the truth of that name. It is what we are deep down. Are we truly generous, brave, etc, or do we simply show these characteristics to bolster the opinion of others. Think about it. Do you like your name, both of them?

Q_If you wanted to leave a message for someone you have not seen in a long time, who would get your message and what would it say? How could the message be left?

Phyllis_ It has been five years since I heard my husband’s voice, touched his hand, or felt the warmth of his kiss. Five years since I sat beside him, knowing that I could not go with him on that last step on his final journey. Do I have things I want to say, things I never said? No. They are the same things I said during those years of our marriage, but now, they seem different. “I love you,” somehow has a different, deeper meaning. “I’ve missed you,” is different from when it was spoken when one of us had been away for a short time. So many feelings are different, now that the voice is Silent, the touch is gone, the step no longer heard, the passion of youth is no more. I long to tell him so many things one more time with the deeper meaning that is in my heart. There is no conventional communication between us, yet there is that spirit of love that will connect us throughout eternity.

 

Q_ What do you look for in a personal relationship ? Tell us about your friendships.

Phyllis_ It has been said, and for me, it is true. “You may have many acquaintances, but few friends.” Don’t get me wrong, acquaintances are nice. They are the people you meet casually, in the neighborhood, at work or school, at the grocery store. You discuss the weather, your favorite sports team, perhaps a new movie release.

 

A friend is one that you may not have seen for months, and who walks back into your life, occupying the same place as when they left. A friend is there at midnight without asking why you need them. A friend knows without being told what is on your mind, or in your heart. A friend accepts you as you are, even though they don’t always agree with you. Acquaintances are for today, friends are forever.

 

Q_ What thing could you never live without? What would happen if this one thing went away?

Phyllis_ I pushed the play button on the recorder, and the day-room was filled with the notes of “All Glory Be To God On High” for brass and organ. She sat beside me, this woman, who had been the organist at Saint Francis Catholic church in my home town of Staunton, Virginia for over thirty years. I had visited the church on several occasions, and thrilled to her music. Now that talent was gone, and she was spending the rest of her life in what amounted to a state of oblivion. To our amazement her hands and feet began to move in time to the music. I gently placed my hands over hers, and the fingers were moving exactly as they had moved on the keyboard of the pipe organ. She had no idea where she was, perhaps didn’t remember her name, yet the music she loved brought a fragment of the memory of her former life.

 

Memory is so many things from the practical, “I must remember to buy toilet paper,”

to those things of the past, good and bad, funny and sad. In many ways,

memory is our very existence. For me, it is my life.

 

Q_Do you have a handicap – if so, how does that affect your life and what you do? What would you want others to know about you as a writer?

Phyllis_ I have been blind since birth. People frequently ask, “Is it better to have been born blind, or to have lost your sight later in life.” Well,” I reply, “I’d prefer neither.” This usually earns me a laugh, and moves in the direction I’d like to go.

Losing one’s sight and knowing about the loss when it occurs, can be a traumatic experience, and there’s no getting around it, but it isn’t the end of the world. Well, yes, in a way it is, because that person’s life can never be quite the same. For me, and others born blind, or who may become blind in infancy or as a toddler, blindness is the world we know. Of course, we have problems, but I sincerely believe that in many ways they’re easier to at least accept, but, hey, blindness is blindness.

 

I have devoted most of my writing, especially my books to showing the public that we, the blind, are like everybody in the world, and most important, that we are individuals, with individual likes and dislikes, and diverse abilities. I also hope that in reading my books the blind, especially those who have recently lost their sight, may see themselves and their place in their new world, in a more realistic way.

 

Q_Where can readers see your latest book, Where Sheep May Safely Graze, as well as your previous titles?

Phyllis_  http://www.amazon.com/author/psc-books-all

Continue reading

Saturday is for Sharing – David L. Faucheux

Post #118

Saturday is for Sharing

Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile

by David L. Faucheux

#6 in a Series of Guest Authors

Miss Opal & Lynda

Welcome YOU to

Saturday is for Sharing 

_____

Meet David L. Faucheux

Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile

 

 

  

David, I’ve been hearing so many good reports on your first book, Betweeen Two Novembers.  I am so pleased to present your book and hear your thoughts today on SCAN.

Our readers will know so much more about you and your life-long love of books and reading. I have a few questions for you this morning. Thanks so much for accepting our invitation to be our Guest Author today!

 

Q_ What could you never live without? And, why? What wold happen if this would go away?   

David_ Books and libraries. Let me tell you why and how I actually wanted to make my love of books and libraries my job. Part of this essay is taken from an article I wrote in 2001, at a time before Bookshare had taken off, before Kindle and eBooks, before Audible and BARD.

“What is a library?” Depends on whom you ask, right? For me, this question immediately conjures up that hot summer many years ago. My guide dog, Nader, and I had just entered library school at the Louisiana State University School of Library and Information Science in Baton Rouge. I had been emailing the dean for months, endeavoring to discuss the many concerns I had. Yes, I knew I was throwing the faculty and other LSU officials a proverbial curve ball. I was sitting in the auditorium, wondering what I was doing there, overdressed in a silk tie and linen blazer, and listening to the dean talk about professionalism and what that meant, with Nader was blissfully half-dozing at my feet, tail occasionally twitching.

It may seem almost ironic to some that a blind person would even be interested in a profession that upon first consideration might seem to be so dependent on sight. For as long as I can remember, my interest in reading has been counterbalanced by the scarcity of braille and recorded materials. As a result of eagerly awaiting the next book in the mail during school breaks, having my aunt look up words in her encyclopedia during long weekend visits, later having the 145-volume 1959 edition Braille World Book literally at my fingertips during junior high study hall, and developing various strategies to obtain materials in high school and college, I have become increasingly concerned with the availability of print materials to the blind library patron.

“But what do I get from a library?” you continue to wonder. For me, that question is complicated by my rapid vision loss. I remember as a child during the endless summers of swimming lessons and crafts classes also going to the public library with my mother and brothers. They looked at shelves of books, adult novels for her, and books my mother thought we would like. She often read to us before bed. I remember wondering if breakfasting on green eggs and ham would be half as repulsive as the Dr. Seuss character Sam-I-Am insisted and if buying a feline as sagacious as The Cat in the Hat would be possible. I remember liking the stereopticon slides that lived in a box that reposed on top of one of the low bookcases in the children’s room below a window. I even listened to the long-playing recordings of what I later learned were Newbery books. I just thought they were funny-smelling records with a silhouette of a profile and a gold medallion. They were never long enough. I was always running out of books to hear.

“But isn’t a library more?” you persist. Yes, it is. After I lost my remaining vision, I turned more and more to a different kind of library: a postal library. That’s right, a postal library. Let me explain. The Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is a network of cooperating regional libraries that serves those who meet the qualifications. I would receive mysterious black cardboard–later blue plastic–containers full of slow-playing records. My talking book machine was my magic carpet to such fantastic realms as Oz, the center of the earth, the moon, Venus, the Italy of Romeo and Juliet, and the mitochondria of a cell. I endured the exquisite suspense of Madeline L’Engle, laughed at The Jack Tales and some Scott Corbett books, and was scared to death by several John Bellairs books. I had a hard and fast rule: Talking books were for home, and braille books were for school. I rarely wavered from this rule. And then 4-track, slow-speed cassettes made their appearance. I enjoyed the portability, ease of storage, and knowing that each pale green box held hours of listening and even a kind of para-social-friendship. I learned to speed-listen. I used the variable speed control switch to gradually increase the speed of the machine. This made reading books such as Jennings’s Aztec, Clavell’s Noble House, or Michener’s Texas faster by 50 percent. I do also remember the torture of waiting for the library in Baton Rouge to send a replacement for a cassette that had the impertinence to break before I had finished it.

And I’m glad that because of so many online and physical resources today, I never have to wonder what I’d do if books and libraries disappeared!

 

Q_ What would you like to know more about? 

David_  I  have always been subtly aware of scents and fragrances. Certain perfumes take me back. One day in 1996 when a student came into my braille class, I instantly thought of my sixth grade teacher. The student’s perfume was Wind Song, by Prince Matchabelli. This floral perfume was launched in 1953 and has top notes of coriander, orange leaf, mandarin orange, tarragon, neroli, bergamot, and lemon. Middle notes include cloves, carnation, orris root, jasmin, ylang-ylang, rose, and Brazilian rosewood. The base notes that anchor this fragrance are sandalwood, amber, musk, benzoin, vetiver, and cedar. The ingredients seem so exotic and sing of foreign climes,  mystery, and romance.

 

Q_ Tell us about how you began to write your book.  Please give us a sample page  that would sum up what the book is about and give us insight into your themes.

David_ My book was written to take you into my world. I wanted my voice to be heard. Seems today, everyone is being heard somewhere: on a reality TV show or on Twitter, Facebook, or other online venues. I wanted to add my voice to the growing field of memoirs by blind authors. In any event, I put the fears of writing and disclosing aside and jumped in. Here is how I explain it in the introduction to Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile, which I am now attempting to have produced as an audio abridgement, as well as in print and e-book formats, with a slightly different title.

I have long wanted to write and publish something, be it an historic novel, a young adult novel, or nonfiction. When, in November 2013, Dr. Katherine Schneider asked me to read and review her just–published Occupying Aging, I conquered my usual reservations: Would I be a good reviewer? Would I be able to write something interesting and help her book sales? I dove in and came up with this review, which appeared on http://www.goodreads.com:

This book, with its mixture of the quotidian and sublime, stands as an interesting glimpse into the life of one early 21st–century woman. Schneider, a retired psychologist, recounts a year of thoughts and events in this journal. Her ruminations on death, spirituality, dogs, and navigating the landscape of the sighted as a totally blind inhabitant of her Wisconsin college town are enlightening. Touches of humor involving Fran, her Seeing Eye® dog, add a sense of fun.

As someone who is acquainted with Dr. Schneider (we have exchanged emails), I could wish I occupied my forties quite as well as she does her sixties. The proactive attempts to educate about disability issues, the volunteering, and the public speaking are outstanding. Maybe some of her enthusiasm for life will rub off on all her readers.—An excellent vade mecum, a handbook, for handling the uncertainties of retirement.

While reading her book and formulating my review, I thought, Oh! I just might be able to write something in this journal–type format. So I jumped in right then, not waiting to begin on the more traditional January 1. I thought that to wait was to postpone indefinitely and fail; to start could mean a chance at a successful resolution. Who says a journal has to run from January 1 to December 31 to be of interest?

So, everyone, here goes nothing!

Q_ What is your idea of the perfect job? What would you be doing if it were your job? What do you think is the best job ever? Wold this be Plan A for your life?

David_ I would like to collaborate on a multi-media project documenting a group of students pursuing the MFA in Gastronomy offered by Boston University. What a book that would make! It would be along the lines of Snapshots from Hell, released in the early 1990s, about the author’s quest to obtain a Stanford MBA, or that book One L , by Scott Turow, that describes his first year of Harvard Law School. The project could be built around several students and their experiences with course work, internships, and even early employment.

Q_If you could write or commission any kind of book, what would it be?

David_  I have several ideas and will briefly discuss each below. They range from fictional biography to historic fiction and end with a short story collection.

* Empress Eugénie of France: She was just as interesting as Empress Elizabeth of Hapsburg or Queen Victoria, two of her contemporaries. But I find no writer today who has done anything with her, either fictionalized or straight biography. If French writers have covered her, I have not located the translations. She lived at a particularly interesting time and reigned over the carnival that was the empire of Napoleon III. It all came tumbling down in 1871, and she later lost her son in a hunting accident in South Africa. She lived until 1920. Surely, if Marie Antoinette rates high enough, Empress Eugénie should.

Eugénie lived during a time of convulsive change. Three empires toppled during her lifetime. The new nations of Germany and Italy were born.

* Inca: Gary Jennings wrote Aztec. (Actually, there were several follow-up novels to his Aztec, but it was Aztec that was outstanding; the others were possibly written at the suggestion of an editor to cash in on Aztec’s success). I always hoped Jennings would live long enough to write about the Inca, to do for that South American people what Aztec did for Mexico.

* A short story collection about my days at a residential school for the blind: I could possibly do this with some guidance. This type of school is rapidly fading from memory. Most blind students today are mainstreamed into public schools. In the 1970s, this was not always the case.

 

David L. Faucheux

Author of Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile

Scopist65@gmail.com

http://www.dldbooks.com/davidfaucheux/

BUY  the book –  Click on the link above.

_______________________

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: Between Two Novembers, DLD Books, 2017.

It would be a fantastic gift for giving over the holidays – just ahead!

 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 11,, 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.

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

 

SHARE Good Thoughts

and Happiness

EVERY day!

 

Saturday is for Sharing – Alice Jane-Marie Massa

28 July 2018

Post #112

 

SCAN

Hosted by

Lynda McKinney Lambert & Miss Opal

If you are NEW to SCAN,

Continue reading

Saturday is for Sharing – Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

 

July 14, 2018

SCAN is hosted by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

If you are NEW to SCAN, I recommend:Just SCAN it!

 

Guest Author

Abbie Johnson Taylor

Author of  4 Published Books

 

18_SCAN_Sharing_AbbieTaylorPortrait

Abbie, It is wonderful to have you here today as our Guest Author.

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. 

Abbie’s Story

 

Q_What do you think about your name? Do you use your own name for your writing?  

My full name is Abigail Louise Taylor.

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?  

 I would like to see my late husband Bill

walk through the white door to my office

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?

I’ve written 5 books.

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

 In September of 2005, Abbie Johnson married Bill Taylor.

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?  

 My father was my 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?  

 My favorite song is “I Want to Spend

My Lifetime Loving You”

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo4AWDELNiY

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor

SCAN_AbbieTaylorBook_MyIdealPartnerCreatespaceCover (002)

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Abbietaylor945@gmail.com

Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/ybmouz5y

Website: http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

Abbie, Miss Opal and I agree that your  story

is encouraging and inspiring to our fellow authors and to the readers. It was fun learning so much more about you! 

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.”

 Abbie’s final Comment – a Poem for you!

 

THE RISE AND FALL OF MY ZORRO

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:

Abbietaylor945@gmail.com

Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/ybmouz5y

Website: http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

_____________________

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright July 7, 2018. All rights reserved.

Saturday is for Sharing

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. 

Lynda is the author of 4 books:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems Buy it!

Lynda has just completed her 3rd book

Star Signs: New & Selected 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.

 

Thank you for visiting with us today.

Miss Opal and Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

 

Contact Miss Opal and Lynda at:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net

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!

 

If you are a published AUTHOR or an actively exhibiting ARTIST – Miss Opal and Lynda  want YOUR STORY for our “Saturday is for Sharing” blog features. We spotlight one outstanding author or artist a week.

Right now, we are scheduling into the month of September.

E-mail us today: riverwoman@zoominternet.net

 

 

Thursday Treasures #5: Reading

July 12, 2018

Post #106

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 looked into my Archives at Walking by Inner Vision.  I started that blog in December 2009 because I wanted to find a way to communicate with others after my 2-year struggle to be able to use a computer again.

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.

 

Reading: The Stuff of Life

I am reading

 The Power of Myth

by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers.

This book was on my book shelves for a number of years. It is a larger book that is easily noticeable. I often picked it up and looked through it, waiting for a time when I could sit down and really learn from these two remarkable men.

 

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During my teaching years at Geneva College,

I often thought about what I would do

 

“When I RETIRE”

 

My profession required extensive reading. I loved to read and

I devoured books and periodicals like there was no tomorrow.

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.

I prepared for my retirement, for years!

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.  

 

What I did not  know was  that a CATASTROPHY  would STOP me COLD!

 Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

  changed my plans. I experienced sudden, permanent, and profound sight loss.

 

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.

READING  is the stuff of MY life.

____________________

 

Thursday Treasures is brought to you by the author, Lynda McKinney Lambert.

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.

 

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Saturday is for Sharing – Patty L. Fletcher

Welcome

Saturday is for Sharing

  Patty L. Fletcher, Author

 July 7, 2018

SCAN is hosted by

Miss Opal  and Lynda McKinney Lambert.

If you are NEW to SCAN, we recommend: Just SCAN it!

Guest Author

Patty L. Fletcher

Author

Campbell’s Rambles

SmashwordsCover

Patty is the Owner of

Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing.

Email: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com

 

Patty, It is wonderful to have you here today as our First Guest Author.

I first met you on an internet writers group some years ago.  I have watched you create a remarkable career through your publications and your many accomplishments through the blogs you write and manage and the authors you promote. That includes me, and It’s great to work with you.

I’ll begin our interview with this question:

Patty, What is the most important thing you want people to know about you?

 I am kind, caring, and honest.

That is important because, to me,  being kind, caring and honest is a large part of a person’s foundation.  It’s important for others to know these things about me because people need to be assured that those they keep time with are decent people.

It is important to others because the world in which we live today can be a cold cruel place to live sometimes.

People can be unkind but I think people must feel safe, cared about, and loved.

I simply want to project the type of person I want around me.

I treat others how I want to be treated, and make sure they know that whether they’re someone who is important to me or someone I’ve just met they will be treated well.

Q_ How do you decide what really matters in your personal and professional life?

I decide what really matters according to my values.

I think it has a lot to do with how we grow up and what our family values were. Things we are taught as children stay with us for a life-time and learned behaviors are hard to unlearn. I’ve had many in my life who were not so, and the scars will never go away.

Q_Do you have a handicap of some sort? If so, how does it affect your life and what you do?

Yes, I have multiple disabilities. I am totally blind; have Fibromyalgia; suffer from Bipolar Disorder; and Short-Term Memory loss.

Being totally blind affects how I get from place to place, how I dress, cook, clean my home, and even my writing.

As a totally blind person I must rely on others to drive me. If a person who doesn’t drive doesn’t live in an area where there are accessible forms of public transportation they are left to the mercy of friends and family.

No matter how well-meaning folks are when they say, “Call if you need anything” they cannot be expected to drop everything they’re doing every time someone needs to go somewhere.

Sometimes a person just wants to go out for the heck of it. Maybe run out and grab a bottle of wine or a burger.

People aren’t just going to drop what they’re doing to come get me at 2 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon all because I have a craving for a cheese burger, fries and bottle of wine.

Luckily, I live in a town where there is a public transit system and decent taxi services.

Even when I moved into an area where I could not walk easily to a public transit stop, I found our Dial-a-Ride services well run and easy to use.

We have same-day-service, unless the system is extremely booked, should I suddenly decide I want a burger or bottle of wine I can get a ride.

Our taxi service in the area is not bad either. If  I want to go out and about on the weekends when our busses are not running, I can still go out.

 

Fibromyalgia is a horse of a different color.

Sometimes Fibromyalgia  causes so much pain and discomfort I have trouble doing the simplest of tasks.

There are mornings when I can barely get out of bed to take my guide dog out for his first walk of the day.

I find that having the dog does lots more for me than providing safe travels to and from all the places I want to go.

Campbell keeps me going and helps me push through days that I might simply choose to give up and stay in bed all day.

Having to get up and be active whether I feel like it or not most times makes it easier to deal with the pain I sometimes experience.

Bipolar is the worst disability I deal with.

Being an emotional person can be a problem all by itself.

Being a person who suffers from wildly swinging moods, and at times what is considered to others strange behaviors can really cause problems in my every-day life.

It causes problems in relationships with family and friends. It causes problems with dating and it for sure has caused me to lose people in my life.

 

Short-term memory loss is just,well, a pain in the tail.

Imagine not being able to remember where you sat something down. Then compound that problem with being blind and not being able to sweep your gaze around the room and see where it is sitting.

 

That, friends is problematic in the worst kind of way.

When I was working in the public sector and needed to be at work on time I had to be absolutely certain of where everything was the night before and sometimes even take notes about it so that in the morning’s rush to get ready and leave for work I did not waste time hunting here and there.

People advise putting things in the same place all the time.

That does not necessarily work because if the memory loss kicks in that place where ever it was, is forgotten.

 

Q_How can a person overcome a handicap and what would you want that person to know?  

 

Overcoming handicaps like mine takes arduous work,

perseverance and patience.

I don’t mind the challenging work, and persevering is something I’m getting better and better at but I’m still running very short on patience.

As far as how my handicaps affect my writing, well as I say I am totally blind. I use a screen reader or voice over technology on my computer. The sighted world forgets about blind persons a lot of the time so lots of times things do not work for me as they do for the sighted computer user.

Examples are:  screenshots, memes and info graphics are not readable for screen reader users.

The world is full of them and no matter how many times I remind people of that fact, many do not take those things into consideration when they put their works out for the world to “See.”

 

This is a topic I am quite passionate about these days.

In fact, just today, I’ve been involved in a Facebook conversation about this issue.

A friend was really in a tizzy over an update that changed the fact that when the background colors are changed on a post, a  person using a screen reader or voice over can no longer read it.

The comments on their posts ranged from mild annoyance to downright rude angry and childish.

So, I got onto my own timeline and wrote how I understood that it is annoying when sites like Facebook update and our needs are left out of the mix. I, too, lose my cool at times and rant on it but if we have educated conversations with people about it we would find that people would listen to our side of the situation. Many times things would get resolved.

A friend of mine commented that the old saying was true and that we would most assuredly get more flies with honey.

I wrote back the following.

I love this way of looking at it.

I hated to be in such a snit about this, but it just gets so old reading people’s puling on and on about how the sighted world just gives us no thought at all.

It’s simply not the way of it.

 

It’s no different from the fact that I don’t have a clue what it takes to drive a car. I have no idea how tiring it might get driving from place to place, how much strength it might take, how uncomfortable it might be for someone who has a back issue whatever.

 

My point is:

People simply cannot know what they don’t know, and they don’t put into the forefront of their minds something that they do not deal with all the time.

 

Just a little while ago I clicked onto a page of someone who had shared a post. I like the stuff they write and say or share from others so of course I wanted to see what they had to share. Well, when I got there it was a darn photo and all I got to read was, “Photo may contain text “Well it disappointed me. I really wanted to know what it said. So rather than go into a rage rant snit about it I wrote.

“Shame it’s one of those pesky pictures

that only says to me photo may contain text”

Then the poster and I had a chat about it.

People today want everything right now. The youth of today knows nothing of what it was for blind people even ten and twenty years ago. They’re covered up in technology that makes their lives easier than those who grew up in even the 80 and 90’s knew. And we’re not going any further back than that because they could not possibly comprehend it. I get so annoyed when I read someone griping about a book that has not yet made it to Bard.  (Bard is the National Library Services For the Blind and Physically Handicap)

See: That All My Read

First, I want to know why they cannot spend $4 and buy an eBook that is one-hundred percent accessible with voice over and Amazon even has a free Kindle app for their computer, so they can read it.

Second, I want to ask them how they’d have liked it if they’d had to sit around and wait on the mail to bring cassette tapes or records that might or might not play when they arrived. (I’m dating myself here, but the youth of today is soft spoiled and plane out nerve-racking.)

 

Not long ago I wrote a blog post called “Challenges of a Disabled Writer”

POST URL:  https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/challenges-of-a-disabled-writer/

 

I felt it was time to start raising awareness on a higher level. Sometime later in a different post the subject came back up yet again so I re-shared the post link into that conversation’s comment section.

 

I spent the remainder of that day having a ton of magnificent conversations with a whole bunch of bloggers on the subject and by the end of that day, more people had an idea of what they could do to make things easier on those of us who do not see.

Blindness does not define who I am. None of my handicaps do.

They are a part of me, I must live in this world and like it or not,  persons who are disabled are the minority.

 

I obviously cannot walk around angry about it all the time so, to me,  the best thing to do is to talk about it in a polite rational informative manner.

We, all of us, have issues that we deal with. If people really stopped and thought about it everyone in the whole wide world is handicapped in some way.

I have a saying…

“There is no right way. There is no wrong way. There just is, a way.”

 

Q_Patty, can you talk a little bit about how and where you do your writing?

Do you write in solitude or in public places?

I mostly like quiet solitude when I write.

There are times when I toss my Laptop in a backpack, grab a set of headphones, my phone and Bluetooth keyboard and all other necessary writing tools and head off to a favorite bar or coffee-house.

I usually do this when I find myself running low on inspiration.

Sometimes I don’t really need to engage with others. I just need to be able to listen to conversations and activities going on around me while I write.

It seems to help my writers’ block when I change my environment.

When I wrote my first book,

Campbell’s Rambles:

How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life,

I wrote a sizable portion of this first book sitting in the phone room where I worked.

We would get quiet time sometimes on the phones and I had to have something to do to fill that time.

I found I could write my book there because people I worked with loved hearing the stories of things that happened during my time at The Seeing Eye so while I told stories I wrote them down.

Final Comment from Lynda and Miss Opal:

Patty, Miss Opal and I agree that your interview and story is encouraging to us.  We appreciate your honesty and courage and how you described  your daily battles & victories as a person with multiple disabilities. 

We know our readers will be inspired and encouraged by your courageous journey and we thank you for being our first guest at “Saturday is for Sharing.”

Q_Patty, please give us a final thought about your book,

 In this magical and love filled tail, King Campbell (AKA Bubba) travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and save her so she can fulfill her destiny?

The use of “Tail ” instead of “Tale”  –  and – “Magik” instead of “Magic” is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell

Buy Link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0765BWDJF

The use of “Tail”  instead of “Tale”  for story and “Magik” instead of “Magic” is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell

 

Patty’s final comment:

I’m very grateful for having had this time to share a

bit of myself with you and your readers.

 

18_SCAN_PattyFletcher_BubbaTalk

____________________

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright July 7, 2018. All rights reserved.

Saturday is for Sharing

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. 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;  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:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems Buy it!

 

Lynda has 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.

 

~Thank you for visiting with us today~

Miss Opal and Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

Contact:  Lynda & Miss Opal at:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net

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