Saturday is for Sharing: Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Post #172

Saturday is for Sharing

February 23, 2019

 

Good morning to our Readers

SCAN-a-BLOG

Author’s Interview with

Lynda and Miss Opal

  We  are so delighted to welcome a fellow writer and author

 ~ Jo Elizabeth Pinto ~

 

Jo Elizabeth Pinto ~

LYNDA_ WELCOME To  RIVER ROAD STUDIO,  IN THE RURAL VILLAGE OF Wurtemburg.

 Early this morning. Lynda & Miss  Opal watched from the kitchen  window as Jo Elizabeth Pinto  walked down the long sidewalk  and stepped up onto the wraparound porch of their century-old home in The Village of Wurtemburg, in rural western Pennsylvania.

Jo arrived after a long trip from her home in Colorado. Miss Opal, the curious feline writing assistant to Lynda, was at the door, waiting to greet our long-expected guest.

Lynda_ Good Morning, Jo.  As  you see, my assistant,  Miss Opal, is here to welcome  you. She is such a help and comfort to us and we also have her sister-cat, Miss Bessie. But that isn’t all.  As you can see,  the 2 dogs, who just greeted you as you came into the kitchen, are Miss Dixie Tulip and Miss Mitchell.  The little brown Doxi-mix is our Miss Dixie Tulip,  and Miss Mitchell is  the taller one with brindle spots.  Miss Mitchell  is the  one who barked at you from the window. She gets very excited for she is a terrier.

Before you arrived  this morning, we were wondering if you have a favorite animal in your life? Do you have a bird, or a favorite wild animal that is really an important part of your life? Sometimes, we know that people have a totem animal or other sort of special creature. And, if you do, when did you become aware of that?

 Jo_At age eight, I began attending a camp for people with disabilities in the Colorado mountains. There were hummingbirds everywhere, hovering and sipping nectar from the flowers and hanging feeders. I loved hearing their high-pitched calls and rapidly beating wings.

Some years later, I was  a young woman at the same camp. I m happy to say that  the man who would become my first husband showed me a tiny nest of hummingbird eggs, no bigger than miniature jellybeans. I once freed a hummingbird trapped on a high window ledge. Before I released the exquisite creature, I relished for a moment the touch of its soft feathers and slender beak against my fingertips, its delicate feet on my palm, its vibrating heartbeat in my cupped hands.

Lynda_ Did those earlier encounters with the tiny birds give you a better or deeper understanding of nature?

Jo_ I eventually researched hummingbirds on the Internet. I was awestruck by the way the virtually weightless little birds fly nearly 450 miles, or up to twenty hours against the wind, over the Gulf of Mexico without stopping to rest, to reach their wintering grounds. I started to feel a deep kinship with the hummingbird. Both of us may seem fragile to the world, but we are amazingly strong and free. I got a tattoo of a hummingbird with flowers on each shoulder. I love my tattoos; I can cover them most of the time and show them off when I choose to.

Lynda_ Well, I have to say, I also have 2 tattoos.  They are both images of a griffin. I have always been interested in Greek Mythology and the creatures I’ve read about in those ancient writings. Sometimes, they come into my poems, too.

Miss Opal_  When  we talk about animals, I have to admit that I like to watch birds from our windows, Jo. I am really very shy, so I am contented just to see them from a distance. I would not want to touch one of them, as you did with the little hummingbird.

Are you shy, too, Jo? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I like all people, but, I am a little bit shy around them sometimes. My sister, Bessie, always hides from people.

Lynda_  What makes you think you belong to a certain  group of people?

Jo_ I’m definitely an introvert. That doesn’t mean I don’t love people, and it doesn’t mean I’m shy around them. Neither is true, although I do prefer small groups and intimate settings to large crowds. I’ve never been afraid of public speaking, and I enjoy good conversation and an active social life. Still, I draw my energy from taking some time to myself every day. If I don’t get a bit of solitude at least several times a week, I feel overwhelmed and out-of-sorts. Introverts and extroverts may both care equally about people. But introverts refuel by taking time alone, while extroverts recharge by seeking interactions with others.

Lynda_ What do you think about your name? Do you use your own name for your professional work?

 

Jo_ Most of my family calls me Jo Elizabeth, which I’ve always loved. Friends usually shorten my name to Jo for convenience. That exasperates me a little, but I’ve gotten used to it. When I published my novel, I decided to use my initials, J. E., because I wrote the book from the point of view of a teenage male protagonist. Jo Elizabeth sounds like the name of a young woman in a romance novel, not a scrappy teenager from the projects.

 

Lynda_ Before you have to leave, would you tell  us about your AWARD-WINNING  book?

 Miss Opal_ Can you tell us about how you began to write that book?

Jo_ My novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness”, began as a short story assignment for a high school English class. I fell in love with the hard-pressed, loyal, smart-mouthed teenagers who became as real as my own friends while I wrote about them. I couldn’t quite put the story out of my mind even after I tucked the assignment away in a scrapbook and moved on with my life.

I never forgot those characters. In my twenties, in order to learn how to use a word processor, I dragged out that old short story and typed it into my first computer—a DOS machine with 5-inch floppy disks and no Internet. The writing needed a lot of work, but the characters still captivated me. I added to the story, changed and deleted weak parts and moved paragraphs and chapters around. I picked the project up and laid it down many times over the next twenty-some years as life happened. In June of 2015, I finally published my book.

Lynda_ Please, j:ust give us one page from that book – we want to  hear more!

Book Excerpt

 

                “Would you like to know why I came here today?”

                I nodded. “You were the last person I expected to see.”

                “I saw your suicide attempt in the paper when I was glancing through the police reports. I spotted a lot of potential behind your smart mouth when you came through my chambers, and it would have been a terrible shame if you’d bled to death on the floor of an isolation room at a state detention center. You deserve more out of life than that.”

                “You sound like my folks.” I picked up the picture and traced my finger over the smiling faces. “They told me over pizza once that I was going to do great things some day.”

                “You can’t let them down.” The judge read Daisy’s note again. “You have your life ahead of you. Live it for me and the rest who believed in you. Daisy was a smart girl.”

                “Yeah, she was.” I glanced around the dreary little room. “I guess she wouldn’t be too impressed with how far I’ve come.”

                “Are you ready to do something about it?”

                I stood up and washed the blood and tears off my face. It looked like whether I wanted it or not, I had a life to live–for the people who had believed in me.

                The judge pushed to his feet and strode toward the door. “That’s a good start. Now we better find you some real clothes. That outfit you’re wearing doesn’t leave much to the imagination.”

 

Reflection – About the Book

Jo_  I chose this excerpt from Chapter 8 of my novel, “The Bright Side of Darkness,” because it takes place at a pivotal moment where mentoring makes a crucial difference in the life of the protagonist. The overarching theme of the book is that all of us, wherever we are, have the potential to reach out to others in big and small ways that can change the world one person at a time.

 

 

Lynda_ When you say, “All’s well,” what do you really mean?

Jo_ “All’s well” refers to an abiding peace that runs deeper than the situation at hand, a contentment not based on anything happening in the outside world or ruled by passing emotions or temporary doubts. I’ve pretty much gotten to the point in my journey where I’m comfortable in my own skin and satisfied with my place in the world. It takes a lot to shake my faith. I don’t have to be happy with everything that occurs each moment to be pleased with life overall.

Lynda_  Please give our readers some additional information for your book.

Maybe you can share a couple of internet Links?

Jo_ “The Bright Side of Darkness” Is my award-winning novel, Available in Kindle, audio, and paperback formats.

http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto

Jo_ I want to invite your readers to please visit my author page on Facebook:

Just  click Here.

Lynda_ Where can we find your book for sale, jo?

Jo_ Yes.  Thanks for asking. Please  find the paperback edition of my novel at Barnes & Noble online here:  Read it here!

Lynda_ Could our readers find your book on GOODREADS?

Jo_ Anyone can  see my Goodreads blog, “Looking on the Bright Side,” here: Read it.

And the final one I can share is this one:

To read my guest posts about parenting in the dark, please click here:

https://blindmotherhood.com/?s=Jo+Pinto

To read my guest posts on a variety of topics, please click here:

https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/

Lynda_ Thank you, Jo, for coming to visit us today. I am glad we had a nice break in the wintry weather so that your trip was enjoyable.  I know you have a number of other places you will be visiting on the East Coast on this book tour you are doing and we are so happy you fit in a bit of time with all of us.

Miss Opal_ Yes, Jo, we all say to you, “All’s Well!”

About the Book

   

 

  –  

Dear Reader: Would you like to be  one of our  GUEST AUTHORS?

If you are a published author, please look at our INVITATION to be our GUEST. Information is available:  Here’s the LINK to Information.

About Lynda McKinney Lambert

This Special Feature interview is courtesy of Pennsylvania author, Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright: February 23, 2019..   All rights reserved.

Lynda’s Author Page – Click Here!

Read this article about Lynda on Campbell’s World – Click here!

Saturday is for Sharing is a Special Feature Article, 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:

Her first book is: Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, Kota Press, 2002.

Her second book is:  Walking by Inner vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017.

Lynda’s 3rd book: Star Signs: New & Selected Poems – 60 poems.

Her FIRST CHAPBOOK  – first snow –  16 Poems with a Wintry Theme.

Both new books are now available for publication.

Thank you for visiting with us today. Miss Opal and Lynda McKinney Lambert  

Please SHARE:  We LOVE YOU FOR THAT!

Please include copyright information with article. Thanks so much.

 

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.

 

Miss Opal

 

Miss Opal and Lynda will

SHARE featured

AUTHORS & ARTISTS on

“Saturday is for Sharing” 

on SCAN

Click Here for SCAN

 

For MORE information on how YOU can be featured on “Saturday is for Sharing,” click on the instructions page at Read it!

https://llambert363.blog/lyndas-40-questions/

 

PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE WITH OTHER AUTHORS  and ARTISTS ~

We are all about SHARING.

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.

Saturday is for Sharing – Musings on Saturday Morning

 

Saturday is for Sharing

 Saturday Musings ~

on the LAST DAY OF JUNE, 2018

Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

 

An essay by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

Walk dogs – Check!

Morning Coffee – Check!

Open window for Miss Opal – Check!

Read E-mail – Check!

 

Miss Opal is my feline writing companion.

She is seated on top of my file cabinet, watching intently out the open window as she does each morning.  Like all cats, she is intrigued by the bird sounds and life passing by on this rural western Pennsylvania road. We begin our days before dawn. We rise with the crows and the red-tailed hawks that soar over the landscape outside our window. 

 

Next Saturday, I will present my first Guest Author on “Saturday is for Sharing.”

That is exciting because I have some stellar authors lined up for this new adventure.  You will love meeting my guests!

 

I am so interested in the responses to the questions I ask my guests.

Reading them and working on the articles caused me to do some musing on my own thoughts about what I do as a visual  artist and a writer/author. I work across disciplines in everything I do.

 

First, I considered my own challenge –

I am a blind person.

 

Unlike some other artists and writers who are challenged with a handicap or disability, I have never written much about the sudden sight loss that I experienced eleven years ago.

 

I was at the height of a wonderful career and my personal life was fantastic the year I turned sixty-four.

 

I worked out at the gym 6-7 days a week. My body was so healthy and I felt so good in my skin. Hi energy! Excited about life! Living my passions! High Achiever!

 

Other pleasures-

  • My teaching schedule at Geneva College (Beaver Falls, PA)). It was a career that I loved. My courses included lecturing and teaching in the Humanities, Fine Art Studio classes, and special courses in English literature.

  • My studies and teaching extended to include a month-long course I taught while living in Europe every summer. I wrote and drew in my sketchbook every day as I traveled.

  • My first book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage developed from my sketchbook jottings and drawings. Life was a grand adventure.

  • In my artist’s life, I was having exhibitions all over the world and had done so since 1976. Literature and art are my passions.  I was so blessed to be living my dream.

 

In a day, that all ended.  While I say it ended, what really happened is that it all changed dramatically when I lost my vision due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy.  How does a person pick up the pieces and move on, when it seems that you have lost everything you have in your life?  The answer is one that comes slowly – over time. The answer unravels, day by day, year after year.  It has now been eleven years since my own personal disaster stopped me cold.

 

When I thought I was finished

and my life was over – 

I was mistaken!

 

I’ve moved on in my art making to new places where I might never have gone without the sight loss. However, I realize now that my mind was going into uncharted territory before the sight loss.

 

In my writing life, I have written about sight loss by creating some essays about individual works of art that I created after I began to recover. I had intense rehabilitation training – but it took a few years for me to be able to do art work again.

 

I realized that I do not want to be represented by blindness. It was not my choice and I will never embrace it. I will never “get over it.”

I seldom say that I am blind because I don’t want to be viewed through that lens.

But there! I have spoken about what I think of this disability.

I am blind.

  • Yet, I write books.
  • Yet, I make fine art.
  • Yet, I walk by INNER VISION, not SIGHT
  • Yet,  my art is in international exhibitions.
  • Yet, I win awards for my art and writing.
  • Yet, my  life is active and wholesome.

Yet, I have a voice and I will use that voice to speak through literature and art.

All’s well.

Though I walk in cloudy mists and shadow…

 

Yet, I walk!

 

 

Today, as I read the comments that one of my physically challenged guests wrote to me, I began to think more about my own visual challenges.

 

I know some visitors to my blog will read this story and will be inspired and encouraged, to face their own life situations no matter what they are.  I want you to know we all give a voice to what we all deal with every day.

 

Some of us offer hope & insight with our words.

Some of us speak to the world through our works of art.

Some of us write extensively and create works of art also.

However, we choose to do it, we put a voice to our thoughts in our creative works.

 

If you were to scratch down through the surface of me, you will find that  I am an artist at the core, and my writing evolves from art – and art-related ideas. My writing is created as I would create a work of art – in many layers.  These days, in my writing studio, I am layering words and images as I paint the pictures that come through in poetry and non-fiction essays.

 

You are not a disability.

You are not a handicap.

You are courage personified.

The world needs to hear what you have to say.

 

____________________

“Saturday is for Sharing is created by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright June 30, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

 

PLEASE pass this message along to you friends today.

Please comment at the end of this message. Please re-blog.

Thank you for visiting with me today. Happy Final Saturday of June, 2018.

All;s Well!

Visit me:  www.lyndalambert.com

 

Read more stories by Lynda Lambert at:

http://www.llambert363.blog

 

Author:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage: Poems, Kota Press, 2003

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017

first snow : Chapbook. Manuscript completed and ready to send to editors for publication.

Star Signs: New & Selected Poems.  Manuscript completed and ready to send to editors for publication.

Editors: contact me for information & viewing.

My Author’s Page:  http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert