Saturday is for Sharing ~ Butterfly Thomas

 Post 180

Saturday is for Sharing

Good morning to our Readers

SCAN-a-BLOG

Author’s Interview with

Butterfly Thomas

by Lynda and Miss Opal

 

Lynda_ For our FIRST AUTHOR’s VISIT on the FIRST WEEK OF SPRING ~ 

Miss Opal and I  are so delighted to welcome  BUTTERFLY THOMAS  to our home on the ridge overlooking the spectacular Connoquenessing Creek, in The Village of Wurtemburg, in rural western Pennsylvania. Finally, SPRING ARRIVED here even though it is frosty cold today with a light blanket of fresh snow on the grass.

Listen for a few seconds, Butterfly, and you will hear the Red-Breasted Robin singing from the bare branches in the Ginkgo  tree as you came down the sidewalk.  She begins her song so early in the mornings that the sky is a soft rosy glow on the horizon. I imagine she is busy with nest-building right now, too.

 

Miss Opal_  Butterfly, we just love these pretty Spring mornings! The sun has been shining, in between the days of rain that we get at this time of year. But, I know you live in Virginia, so I think that Spring arrived there with a bit more sunshine than we have in PA.  I always think of the Cherry Blossoms that bloom in your area when it is still cold here.

I like to watch the world of nature from my window in our office. This is a very special day  for us when one of our fellow writers drops in for a little chat.   I want to know more about your name, Butterfly! Do you like it?  Tell us more about it, if you don’t mind.

 ~ Butterfly Thomas ~

~ A Virginia Author ~

Butterfly_  I thought  you would ask me about my name because this is my professional name. And, yes, I really like my name. I don’t use my given name for professional work. Instead, I chose to use the name  “Butterfly Thomas.” I have had the name Butterfly for half of my life now, as I just had a birthday on March 12.

Lynda_ I think your professional name is perfect for a woman with a birthday so close to the beginning of Spring.  It is a time of renewal and rebirth, and that is exactly what a butterfly signifies.

Butterfly_ When I was in high school, a series of events led to me becoming completely blind. I had retinal detachments, cataracts, glaucoma and a couple of unexplained hemorrhages. In my junior year, I accidently got hit in the eye which detached my retina for a final time and I was forever changed. 

 

Lynda_ How did all of this  trauma affect your life as a young girl? 

How did you deal with the rapid changes you plunged into at that time?

Butterfly_ Well, here is what happened!

One year later, I was still adjusting to blindness, but flourishing in my senior status. I was back on honor roll, no longer acting out, and mentoring the younger girls in my dorm (I attended the state school for the blind).

About mid-year, the superintendent told me that I would be presenting the farewell speech at graduation and suggested I do a poem. By this time, I was writing poems about everything from the nasty food in the cafeteria to nurse appreciation week. So, I thought about it for a while and began to write. I called the poem, “Butterfly,” and it was about my 3 years at this school. From year 1 to year 3 I had made several transformations from a vision impaired teenager who let her grades slip and got into fights, to a blind young adult honor roll student who was a role model for the other students.

Miss Opal_ Oh, I see how this could make such a difference for you because you really turned this around by giving hope and inspiration to your fellow graduates.

Butterfly_  Yes! Thereafter, I kept the name Butterfly as a nickname and it was an easy decision to use it as a pseudonym when I started publishing.  

Lynda_ Let me ask you a question that is a little bit off the beaten path, but I think it will be interesting to hear what you have to say about it. This is one of my favorite questions for my guests.

When it is 5 o’clock somewhere, where will you be and what will you be doing?

Butterfly_ I live in the city and I prefer the city because there are more options for paratransit and public transportation. On my job, I work as a counselor and advocate for my cities’ Center for Independent Living.I get off work at 4, so sometimes I am on the paratransit on my way home at 5.

However, if time is on my side, then at 5 I will be at home in my bed, snuggled up under the covers and reading my latest book download. Reading is my absolute favorite thing to do and after a long day at work I have to take at least an hour to decompress and get my thoughts together.

After the clock strikes 6, I have mentally prepared to spend time with my family and so I leave my comfy bed and my room and go out into the living room to engage with my loves.     

Lynda_  Can you please speak a little more about your job as a counselor. What is the best part of your day and why do you like it so much?

ButterflyThe best part of my job is in  powering people with disabilities by helping them become more independent whatever that may mean for them.

I have a Master’s degree and professional counseling and I’m currently under supervision gaining hours so I can sit for my licensure exam.

 

Lynda_  Since you were born in Germany, do you have memories of this country?  You know I was fortunate enough to live in Austria every summer during most of the years I was professor. I loved Germany and took my students there every year since we lived just across the border in Austria.

Butterfly_  I was very young when we lived there. But, I wish we could have stayed  in Germany long enough for me to make some memories>  I will go back some day. This is a promise I made to myself 😎

Lynda_ I believe you will since you feel so strongly about doing that. We just never know where life will take us but I have found that life has a way of taking us to where we intend to go – no matter how long it takes.

Lynda_ I was also thinking about how we have a creative place or space  where we go to do our work. My special work place is here in my home in this room just off of the kitchen. This is where Miss Opal and I do our work together.

Can you describe your creative work space?

Butterfly_ I didn’t really create my creative work space lol.

It is just there in my room. I don’t even sit on a chair or anything, I prefer to sit on my bed cross-legged with my laptop in front of me and my external keyboard in my lap. I will usually have Pandora playing music on my phone in the background and I am in the zone with everybody and everything shut out. My bedroom door stays shut during this process. I guess as an introvert, I must have that place that I can go to recharge from outside influences or just be comfortable and relaxed and my bedroom allows me to do that which is why it became my creative work space.    

 

Miss Opal_  I’m an introvert, too Butterfly.  But, I love to think about some of my first memories. I was rescued by Miss Lynda and her family, along with my mother and my 3 siblings one summer day in the woods in Ohio. We were alone and hungry, and we were sick. We really needed help. We all came  to Pennsylvania to live.  Our mother, Effie Pearl, died last year, but my sister, Miss Bessie lives with us.  Our 2 brothers went to live with some friends. We are now 6 years old and we have a good life. 

Well, that is my earliest memories, Butterfly. I am wondering, what are your early memories like?  What is your earliest memory, how old were you when this memory was saved in your mind?

when did you remember this?

Butterfly_ One of my earliest memories is of me and my family playing outside in the snow. I remember my dad tossed a snowball and it kind of fell on the inside of my glasses. I remember the super cold water dripping down my face as the snow melted against the heat of my skin. I let out a little eek sound from the shock of the cold because I was all snuggly and warm in my thick and heavy snowsuit. my siblings laughed and kind of just ran around picking up snow and tossing it. I was about 3 or 4 in this memory, but I don’t know when I solidified this memory in my mind. Also, on this same day, the memory flashes to my dad pulling a frozen snowball out of the freezer and putting it down my mom’s back, she screams because of the cold and playfully swats his hand. These 2 scenes are all I remember of this day, but it sure seemed like a fun day.    

Lynda_ I’ve always loved to travel. How about you? Do you enjoy going to new places or do you prefer to stay closer to home?

If I gave you a ticket to anywhere you would like to go, where would it be? I

Butterfly_ Lynda, I am really drawn  to this question. Since we  mentioned Germany a couple of minutes ago, it reminded me of how I used to think about this.  But, after reflecting on it, I can say I am changing somewhat.

The way I used to answer this question is by saying I would like to visit Germany because I was born there and my family moved back to the states when I was 2

So, it is true, I have no memories of the country, as I said.

But, there are pictures:  October fest and fun things like that.

But I can no longer see the pictures.

Though, I still do want to go back to Germany and experience everything that country has to offer, my real answer is that I want to go on a food tour.

I want to visit every interesting place and country and taste the lovely foods that signify each culture.

Lynda_  And, I believe you will, Butterfly.  I believe you will go many lovely places in your life and you will enjoy the culture, foods, and everything else that is so good about visiting new places.  And, when you do, please take a moment during your travels and send Miss Opal and me a post card. Will you? We will be watching the mail.  It has been delightful to have this morning with you. Thank you for this special day.

Butterfly_ Thank you Miss Opal and Ms Lynda for inviting me. I hope you both have a wonderful day. It was so nice to be here.

_

Find out MORE about Butterfly Thomas:

  Butterfly Thomas Book title: Head Held High

Social media link: http://www.twitter.com/butterflytnovel

Link to purchase: https://www.dldbooks.com/bthomas/

  • Official book blurb:

Shya’s dying mother tasked her with taking care of her younger brothers, and the girl is trying hard to do just that. But it doesn’t take long for the reader to learn that Shya is doing a lot more than being a loving, attentive sister and attending college. She’s also working as a high-end escort under her stepfather’s control. As the stepfather’s demands increase, Shya sees no choice but to kick up her plan to squirrel away enough money to win custody of her brothers. Little does she know that one brother is doggedly pursuing the escape of drugs, while the other is being bullied and hopes to escape everything — permanently. More tragedy ensues as Shya gets caught stealing from the wrong person. Can she save her family with bodies dropping all around her and a killer closing in? Will she lose everything for the pursuit of money? Can she keep her head held high in the face of so much adversity?    

_

This feature article on Saturday is for Sharing is a gift from Miss Opal

and Lynda McKinney Lambert. 

Are YOU a PUBLISHED AUTHOR?

Want to be OUR GUEST?  Click here to see how to be our guest

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright March 23, 2019. All rights reserved.

Saturday is for Sharing

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 2 published books:

  ~ Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems Buy it!

~ Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Thank you for visiting with us today.

 

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

Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.

 

READ MORE AUTHOR INTERVIEWS on Saturday is for Sharing Read it here!

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Lynda McKinney Lambert.

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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

The Cat’s Eye Point of View on Sunday Morning

The CAT’S EYE Point of View

on Sunday Morning

 

Miss Opal and Miss Bessie reported for WORK this morning at 4:30 a.m. 

Our work day begins before dawn when we open the office window and invite the morning breeze to come in.

 

Bessie_Opal_1_2018

 

 

Miss Opal and Lynda have a lot of reading to do because submissions from authors are arriving. they want to be our GUEST on SCAN for our “Saturday is for Sharing,” feature.  

 

Our FIRST GUEST will be FEATURED next SATURDAY – JULY 7th. OUR GUEST AUTHOR’S STORY will go LIVE on www.llambert363.blog.

 

 

We promise it will be a GOOD BEGINNING of our NEW FEATURE on SCAN – a blog!  The Sister Cats are working now to bring you the BEST in every CAT-A-GORY of BOOKS.

If YOU are a published AUTHOR, OPAL and Lynda  WANT YOUR STORY…
contact us at
riverwoman@zoominternet.net

 

Authors:  We look forward to featuring YOU on “Saturday is for Sharing” soon.