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 – 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 – Jessica Goody

Welcome

Saturday is for Sharing

  Jessica Goody, Author

 July 21, 2018

SCAN is hosted by

Miss Opal & Lynda McKinney Lambert.

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

Guest Author

18_Scan_Saturday_3_Goody_Author Portrait (002)

Jessica Goody

Poet

Contact Jessica at PinnipedPerson@aol.com

Jessica’s first collection of  poetry is

Defense Mechanisms 

a full-length, 115-page  volume

75 poems divided into a 3 sections:

Part 1 – “Being Handicapped”

Part 2 – “Green Sentinels”

Part 3 – “Other Voices”

 

PinnipedPerson@aol.com

Q: Jessica, tell us about how you began to write your first  book.  Please elect one page you have written that sums it all up for our readers. Tell us about that page you selected. 

A: Storytelling influences every aspect of my life. I’m not sure why I gravitated to poetry instead of another type of literature, but I have always loved language and playing with words. When I was eight years old, I told my grandfather that I would dedicate my first book to him–and I kept my promise.

The poems in Defense Mechanisms were written over a nine month period; it took another four years of effort before the book was finally accepted by a publisher in 2016. My second poetry collection, Phoenix, will be released by ‘WordTech Publications’ CW Books in March 2019.

 

 

The opening poem of Defense Mechanisms, “The Mermaid,” is by far the most personal; I call it an allegorical autobiography.

 

The Mermaid

 

The mermaid wears a mask. Tubes drift from

her nostrils, linking her to an oxygen machine.

She relies asthmatically on artificial air, fluid

 

dripping wetly into her nasal passages. The air

she breathes is blue and cool; she cannot adjust

to the smog ashore. They have performed every

 

test, gluing wires to her chest, her tail, her skull.

They have EKG’d her cold-blooded heartbeat, MRI’d

and scanned, her silhouette glowing with radiation.

 

Surgeons in white deftly wield gleaming scalpels.

They have stitched her gills shut, and scraped the

barnacles from her shoulder blades. Round, puckered

 

scars remain, in the spot where earlier that morning,

an angel had her wings removed. You have to stare

to see the scars hidden beneath her Technicolor hair,

 

the ones from when they drained her brain, swollen

with seawater. They will fade eventually, to the color

of a crab carapace, abandoned and bleached by the sun.

 

The orthopedist traces her bone scan with his finger

as he talks: her knees are twisted, kissing instead

of facing forward. Her joints push and tug toward

 

one another in a scissors gait. Removed from the

succoring ocean, her skin is dull and roughened,

her sloughing scales losing their gleam. They plan

 

to surgically remove her tail and outfit her with

prosthetic legs, carving away her aqueous identity.

Out of water, she cannot walk, cannot stand.

 

Dragging along the dun-colored corridor, she

is floppy, uncoordinated, her tail hanging limply

from the wheelchair seat. Draped in the shapeless

 

hospital gown, her previously tangled hair now

shorn, she cannot make them understand that

her body was not made for life on land. They fill

 

her with electricity, with distilled stars. The names

of the pills are elaborate, like the Latin names of

seashells: Thorazine, Lithium, Stelazine, Sertraline.

 

She feels heavy, leaden, like she is floating. It

is not a kind sensation. She is unwilling to be

swept out to their psychopharmalogical sea.

 

She wants to go home. “You do not come from

the sea,” the psychiatrists say. They attempt

to hypnotize the truth out of her, to smear it

 

from her mind, the way the sea smooths away

words scratched into damp sand. “Delusional,”

they say. “Psychotic features represented by

 

hallucinations. She believes she is a mermaid,

a mythological creature.” According to their

files, the manila folders of endless prescriptions

 

and transcripts of talk-therapy sessions, she

does not exist. According to them, she is an

impossibility, a figment. But she must be real,

 

they have seen her, touched her. How long

will they keep her here? She is drifting like

the seasons. Away from the sea, she cannot

 

hear its call, only gaze at the topaz eye of the

changeling moon from her glassless window,

straining towards the ebb and flow of the tide.

 

_____________________

Q: What discourages you most in your writing endeavors? What do you find inspiring about your writing?

 

A: I think the hardest part is getting people interested in what you have to say. Success is about perseverance; stubborn bulldog persistence despite thousands of let-downs, rejections, and wounds to your pride. If you are truly meant to be a writer, or any kind of artist, that is the first thing you must learn. There are plenty of clever, talented people out there who don’t have what it takes, not because their work isn’t good enough, or because they don’t work at it, but because they can’t take the rejection, so they give up. It is never easy, but it is worth it.

 

When someone appreciates my work because they relate to it, having shared the same experiences, it creates a kinship between reader and writer. I believe that well-chosen words are the greatest agents of change; they provide hope to the suffering and clarity to the misguided. Defense Mechanisms provides both, offering its readers glimpses of meaningful lives and exploring what it means to be fully human.

_____________________

Q: Do you have a handicap of some sort? How does that handicap affect your life and what you do? How can you overcome that handicap? What do you want another person to know about this handicap and about you as a writer?

 

A: I have cerebral palsy, and the public perception of disability and the many aspects of living with a handicap are topics I frequently explore in my work. Anyone who struggles with mental health issues or physical challenges will be able to relate to my experiences, because the theme of Defense Mechanisms is Hope–the triumph over pain and trauma and the resilience of the human spirit.

 

I am very used to talking about my issues, and therefore very open about them in my writing. What some people consider depressing, I consider honest, and these topics should not be avoided because of their intensity. My goal is to provide a thought-provoking and inspirational experience for every interested reader, and to help them better understand what it’s like to live with disabilities.

_____________________

Q: Do you have a favorite art museum or gallery that you enjoy visiting? Or, any special exhibition you have attended that was remarkable? What art movement throughout history do you like the best and why?

 

A: I am endlessly fascinated by art, history, and the natural world, and all three deeply influence my writing. I am always inspired by the lives and exploits of artists, like the Beats, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Bloomsbury Group. I love museums, but I don’t have a particular favorite. Since I tend to think in images, a lot of my poetry is inspired by artwork.

 

In Defense Mechanisms, “Stockings” was inspired by the photographer Dorothea Lange’s 1934 portrait “Mended Stockings”. Another ekphrastic poem, “Transcendence”, was inspired by Walker Evans’ WPA photography. My forthcoming collection Phoenix features numerous odes to artists of every stripe–writers, actors, painters and musicians.

_____________________

Q: Do you have a favorite animal? What do you like about it? How is it a totem to you? When did you become aware of that special creature in your life?

A: When I was little and learning to crawl, my grandmother remarked that my movements resembled a baby seal. It’s a story–and a symbol–that has followed me all my life. My favorite stuffed animal was a seal named Seabert, who became my best friend and good-luck charm in a childhood spent among doctors, hospitals, and therapists.

I have always been drawn to the ocean. For most of my life I intended to become a marine biologist, and although my physical limitations prevented me from realizing that dream, I am an environmentalist, and much of my poetry is inspired by nature–especially the sea.

Jessica’s Final Comment

Terrific questions! Very thought-provoking.

 

Jessica, I want to share another powerful poem from your book.

This is one of my personal  favorites in the collection.  I can only say to our readers,

“PLEASE BUY JESSICA’S BOOK.” I promise, you will love it!

 ____________________

December Rain

 

Through the rain-streaked windows

the Christmas lights are a gleaming

blur. The colors stretch and streak,

lighting the sodden trees with their

 

festive glow. They resemble flashing

tropical fish swimming in the blind

eye of the windowpane. The water-

darkened trees resemble me, tilted,

 

twisted, bent, their fallen leaves

stretching like frightened animals.

A row of lightning scars the sky,

flashing like neon and fading in an

 

instant, a metallic crow’s caw in the

blackness of the storm-darkened sky.

____________________

Jessica Goody’s Contacts on Social Media

E-mail: PinnipedPerson@aol.com

Book Title: Defense Mechanisms: Poems on Life, Loss, and Love

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessica.goody.58

Award-winning author of Defense Mechanisms

Available now on Amazon:  www.JessicaGoody.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Seabert1521

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jessicagoody58/

mazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Defense-Mechanisms-Jessica-Goody/dp/0985147776/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1481762643&sr=8-5&keywords=jessica+goody

Phosphene Publishing: http://www.phosphenepublishing.com/goody-jessica

____________________

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright July 21, 2018. All rights reserved.

Saturday is for Sharing, a series of Guest Authors & Artists

Presented 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. The two were rescued from Southern Ohio along with their mother, Miss Effie Pearl, and their 2 brothers, Diamond and Peachy Keen.

 

Lynda is married to Bob Lambert and the couple have 5 grown children.  These days, Bob & Lynda share their home with 2 rescued dogs;  Miss Mitchell and Miss Dixie Tulip. In addition to the 2 cats, they also care for any number of feral cats who may drop by for food & shelter eacy day. Lynda is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities, and she is a fiber artist and author.  she holds 3 degrees:  BFA and MFA in painting;  MA in English. Lynda is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA. She writes and makes art in her River Road Studio. Lynda lost her sight in 2007 due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy.

Lynda is the author of 2 published books:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems Buy it!

 

Lynda 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

Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.

PLEASE SHARE by Re-Blogging this article on Social Media.

Blogging: Good News & Bad News

July 8, 2018

SCAN 

Blogging; Good News & Bad News

Which do you want first?

 

I’ll give you the bad news first:

I am not new to blogging. In fact, I started my blog, SCAN, in November , 2014. I ’d love to tell you how successful I am as a blogger, and how many dedicated “Followers” I have. But I really cannot do that because I have been far from success in my blogging life. I am beginning to figure out why this is the case. Let me explain some things that I’ve been learning for the past 2 ½ months.

 

 

Here’s the Good News!

I am learning why I have not been successful and how I can take some steps to turn it around.

First, I need to have a REASON & a FOCUS for my blog.

 This is the backbone of a blog. I didn’t have that structure that is necessary to build on.

In November 2014, I had the IDEA to create a blog and call it SCAN.

Why? I don’t know. I just had a feeling – you know, intuition.  The name for the blog just came to me one day, and I went to the computer and opened up a WordPress Blog and called it SCAN.

Because I had no REASON and no FOCUS for the blog, I simply wrote random essays and poetry.

If you have no set expectations for writing your blog, you will find that you really never have much success with it. How did I change all of this?

Under Patty L. Fletcher’s guidance, 2 months ago, in MAY,

I realized I need a clear FOCUS on a THEME.

I needed a REASON for my blog to exist.

My FIRST JOB was to figure out my FOCUS & my THEMES.

 

Patty told me to limit my postings to no more than 3 topics for discussion. Well, that was easy for me to do.  I chose 3 topics or themes that I have a passion for.  Art, Nature, and Literature.

I knew I wanted SCAN to be “A Quiet Place of Inspiration” for my visitors. It is not a place to be contentious or to debate issues or to rant or to promote apolitical agenda. It was not about taking action against anything or anyone.

 

I wanted to create a quiet place where my readers and I would celebrate the best

of everything and a LOVE for all things Art, Nature, and Literature.

 

What did I CHANGE?

My blog now announces my intentions as soon as you get to the front page.

SCAN – A Quiet Place of Inspiration:  We Love Art, Nature, and Literature.

 

Next, I had to ask – WHO is my intended audience?

That is easy, too.

I want to attract readers and creative people who are searching for inspiring articles that lift the spirit and nourish the soul of my readers.

 

Finally, I needed to begin SHARING

with other bloggers, writers, artists

 

 

To do this, I wanted to begin a series of articles and interviews by authors and Artists who also feel this way. I intended to present them as real people, in their own voices, telling their personal and professional stories.

“Saturday is for Sharing.”

Each Saturday morning, I will post a Guest who tells a story about their life, dreams, goals, and creative work in writing or art. I posted my first Guest Author yesterday, July 7, 2018.

The response has been overwhelming. I presented Patty L. Fletcher’s story first because I wanted to pay homage to a teacher who has changed my way of thinking and opened new doors of discovery for me, a retired college Professor. In this case, the teacher (me) became a student. Patty became MY teacher. I trusted her to guide me through unknown territory and I did as she instructed.

 

At the Christian college where I taught, our mission was to create “Servant Leaders.” We were to model what it means to be a servant leader, in order to help our students to understand our faith and our life mission.  I could see Patty as a servant leader of the people she helps in marketing, blogging and promoting. I recognized her spirit of humility in leadership and I simply followed whatever advice she offered me.  Why? Because I trusted her and it works!

After only 2 Months of learning from Patty…

The statistics that WordPress provides for our blogs tell the truth of what Patty’s assistance has meant to my blog’s visibility.

 

From January through April, I averaged 60 visitors per month on SCAN.

In May and June, I averaged 229 visitors per month.

Math is not my expertise, but even I know that this is remarkable.

New Followers of SCAN are coming on board nearly every day.

 

 

Already in the first WEEK of JULY

132 visitors came to my blog, SCAN.

This number of visitors makes me excited to think about what the total for July will be.

 

Beyond that, I begin to imagine where my blog is going in the next year – or more.  And, I feel a surge – Upwards bound!

 

Note For more information on Patty L. Fletcher:  Click Here!

____________________

 

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

Good News & Bad News

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;  Miss 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

Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.

PLEASE SHARE by Re-Blogging this article on Social Media.

Spread the LOVE of ART, NATURE and LITERATURE.

We love to share what is GOOD.

 

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

Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.

PLEASE SHARE by Re-Blogging this article on Social Media.

 

 

 

Scan Presents: Christmas in July

Scan

July 6, 2018

Christmas in July – a Song and a Poem

Every year  my sister, Patti, tends her flower gardens from early spring  to the first frosts of late autumn.  

As she took me on a tour of her flower beds  one afternoon, she grinned with pride when she pointed out her roses.  Every flower gardener I have ever known has loved their rose bushes and each one has shown tremendous pride in the beauty of the flowers on a rose bush.

 

Last  August, Patti  brought me a birthday bouquet she had created from her flower beds – and the prize flower in the bouquet was a very stunning pink  rose! I think no matter how much a gardener loves all the flowers they have blooming, it is the rose bushes that seem to elicit the most pride and happiness to them.  Roses are the dazzling queens of the flower bids.  They  seems to be the proverbial “icing on the cake.”

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***Photo by Lynda McKinney Lambert:

Patti’s Flowers on my Dining Room Table

Ah, yes, I contend that the rose is Queen of all Flowers!

I am certain of it! As you begin doing some research on the “rose” as an iconic image,  you will soon   find references to

Mary, the Queen of Heaven and Earth.

She is often depicted with a rose in her hand, or surrounded by roses.  Roses are used as garlands in art and sculpture and roses are used to encircle  the Queen of Heaven. Roses are a halo at times in Christian lore as well as in pre-Christian mythology.   Mary’s  son, Jesus Christ, is  symbolized as a rose.  King Solomon described Jesus  as  “the rose of Sharon.” You can find this particular reference in The Song of Solomon, 2:1. There are many other such references as well.

***

 In a popular  German Christmas song,

these  words are from an Eighteenth Century  poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe;

 “es ist ein Ros entsprungen.”  

This can be translated in English to

“A Rose has sprung.”

You may recognize this Christmas song as “Lo, How a Rose E’er  Blooming”  or “A Spotless Rose.”  This song is a Protestant  Christmas  Carol and a Catholic Marian hymn that originated in Germany.  I remember it from my childhood  when we all stood to sing carols together at the small  Methodist Church  in my village.

Listen to this song in English:

Click Here to listen

Click here SING ALONG with the music:  Yes, I want to sing a long!

 

***

I sat down to consider the pleasure of

a visit with my daughter, Ilsa

Below you will read a  poem about her visit and something we did together. Sometimes, it is unusual when we think of a child teaching a parent a lesson of some sort.  But, here in my poem, a daughter teaches  me a lesson  in a unique way.

This poem, “When My Daughter Cuts the Roses,”  marks the beginning of Advent in our home.  The bouquet of flowers on my dining room table today  reminds me  that now is the Season of Hope.  As I listen to the latest news from around the world, it feels like the  whole world is longing for hope right now – Oh, I know! It does appear the the entire planet is in deep distress.   The EARTH could be laboring  for the birth of HOPE.  Perhaps there is a longing for hope   in the souls of Earth’s people and all of NATURE.

On the First Week of Advent we can choose to keep our thoughts  and our  eyes focused on HOPE as we light that first candle.  

There is great beauty in the  symbols  of the weekly lighting of the Advent candles.   When the FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT comes this year,  we can pause to embrace the message  of the ROSE  and the  coming of the LIGHT, who  is promised from ancient times.  

 

Ah, yes!  As  I complete the writing of this essay, I am hearing a tune in my mind.

 This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

(Final stanza of “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming)

***

  “When my Daughter Cuts the Roses”

My daughter looked

At the bouquet of fresh roses

noticed two of them were drooping.

“Let me show you how to trim the roses

so they stay fresh and strong.” she said.

Her hands held the roses firmly

one-by-one, trimmed off extra leaves

“These will make the water stink,” she said.

She found scissors in the drawer

put the roses in a bowl of tepid water

held each stem under water

sliced them all, diagonally –

“As I cut the rose under the water,

little bubbles of air come to the surface.

Now, when the rose inhales

it will only breathe water into it,

it won’t fill up with air.

The living water inside the stems

gives longer life to each rose.”

She carried the freshened flowers

In the tall glass vase

back to the center of the dining room table

darkest crimson buds, sunny yellow petals,

deep green fern leaves

and a frilly white carnation.

***

 

This essay & poem is brought to you by the author, Lynda McKinney Lambert.

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 Lynda & Miss Opal at:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net

Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and

SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.

PLEASE SHARE by Re-Blogging this article on Social Media.

 

If you are a published AUTHOR or an actively exhibiting ARTIST – Miss Opal and I want YOUR STORY for our “Saturday is for Sharing” blog features.

 

View Publications Page for updates on my stories and poems being published.

Walking by Inner Vision.

Lynda’s Author ‘s Page

this blog post is the property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright April 29, 2018.

Copyright July 6, 2018.  Revised.

Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

I welcome your COMMENTS and I love it when you Re-Blog my posts!

Please share with all your friends.

Thanks you

Thursday Treasures #4 – Reasons

July 3, 2018

Thursday Treasures #4: Reasons

What is a  TREASURE?

 How do you define a treasure?

What is your reason for calling it a treasure?

How do you recognize something as a treasure?

Do you have something that is your treasure?

____________________

My first thought is that a treasure is something precious or important to me.  Different things feel like treasures to me for a variety of reasons.

 My REASON for calling it a treasure is because of the 

human touch and creative spirit that is

embodied in the object.

Each item is unique and one-of-a-kind. 

Each item holds a memory for me. They are reminders of people I care for, the artists who created them, and even memories of trips and events.

Fine Art is a Treasure.

Decorating_Library_DadPainting

View from the Fombell Bridge, Acrylic on Canvas.

by Lynda McKinney Lambert.   Portrait of the Artist’s father, William J. McKinney (1916-1988)

 

Paintings, sculptures, pottery and fiber arts  fill my home and give me pleasure.  Each is hand crafted by an artist. Unlike commercial products  and mass-produced objects.

Why woldn’t anyone want ” the real deal” that bears the fingerprints of the person who created it?

There is a reason that I drink my morning coffee in a hand-thrown mug created by a friend. I love to feel the surface of that mug as I drink – I can feel the hand prints in the clay and feel the energy of the masterful hands that made it.  It has a human touch and it connects me with another individual who cherishes the act of making beautiful things.

 

Art works remind me of a variety of creative people I have known throughout my life.

 

I consider the works that surround me as my friends. Each one touches a special place in my heart – I know this person and I think of her every time I look at the painting she did. Each of the artisans who created the objects in my home-made the pieces with love and passion. Those things are treasures that cannot be found in a big box store where everything is made by machines and mass-produced.  There is a reason that Treasures cannot be mass produced. They lack the human touch of the artist.

Books are a treasure. 

Decorating_LibraryShelves

Photo by Lynda Lambert.  Art & Books in a corner of my studio. 

I love books of poetry. \Each of them are works of art. Each volume of poetry I have collected is a treasure. I keep my treasured poetry books all together in my library where I know they are safe.  I have them arranged alphabetically, by author’s last name. I can find exactly the book I want, when I want it.  I like to think about the books sometimes, and I like to go to the library and pull a book off the shelf to read.

Books  feel good in my hands. No technology can replace the feeling I have when I touch a real paper book.  Reading a book through an audio recording can never replace the imagination I have when I read with my eyes.  For me, it is the sight of the words on the pages and the cover of the book that thrills me. I’ve had to adjust to experiencing a book totally by listening to someone read it  and it is not the same. It never can be. Something is missing.  There is a reason that we read a book that we hold in our hands.  It is the personal contact with the author’s mind that we experience.  I miss that more than anything else I can think of since I lost my sight almost eleven years ago. For now, listening to it being read to me, will have to do.

Music is a treasure.

Blog2014_Photo_Mozart

I like to begin the day with Mozart sometimes.

Songs and melodies come to me through the day and night. II wake up in the morning with a song in my heart.  I seem to have an internal radio station that never turns off. It’s a wonderful feeling to be so filled with music and song – and I’ve heard that each person has a unique song placed inside of them by the Creator and it will be revealed when meet in person one day.  We will be recognized by God by the song we are singing when we meet Him. He wrote the music that is inside each of us.

This song  by Alison Kraus is a  Tuesday Treasure.  

Listen Now!    “There is a Reason.”

HOPE is a treasure.

It’s hidden in my heart.

Hope is in every cell of my body. 

Hope is the reason for everything I am. My hope is in my Creator, who placed in us  all the capacity to love because we am loved. We are his treasures.

 Peter 3:15 English Standard Version (ESV)

15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

__________

 

Thursday Treasure is brought to you by author,

Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright July 2, 2018. All rights reserved.

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PLEASE Re-Blog.

Please leave a comment for me so I know you visited today.

 

View Publications Page for updates on my stories and poems being published.

Walking by Inner Vision.

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this blog post is the property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.

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There is a Reason:   Listen Now!

 

Tuesday Treasures – Reasons

 

 

There is a REason for it all.