I am working on my next full-length book, Gifts of the Spirit: Stories & Poems from now till the end of 2021.
The new book is a companion of my book Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, published in 2017. See it here.
~ My Writing Process ~
I began writing stories and poems for the new book a couple of years ago.
I always like to start with a plan that gives an order in which to work out the process. I laid out a skeleton or structure for it several times over the past couple of years. I gathered lots of ideas, writings. I divided the book into categories or topics – several times. I try to put everything into a cohesive whole, bring order to the myriad of concepts.
Each new version of my draft eventually is altered.
But, not all of it is erased, discarded or moved. No, it is more like a palimpsest manuscript. Layers of words remain as other coatings vanish. Spaces appear, created, holes filled. When one works in layers, some fragments remain, some punctuation altered or deleted, meanings changed, paragraphs removed, and some words, sentences or paragraphs are shifted to new locations. I use the Socratic method as I continually ask questions in the working process. I search under, around, and through the rugged terrain of my verbal landscape.
Over my years of writing, I’ve come to an understanding of how I work. I have a process, and it’s messy!
I am going to war, and I know it before I write that first sentence.
I step into chaos. I always begin with the disorder in just about everything I do in my creative life.
Nothing magically happens when I am creating – no magic bullets and no writings that plop down on my pages. Writing, for me, is more like an excavation site. I have to dig through layers upon layers to sort, sift, discard, build, destroy, explore, and patch.
My process is physical, a painful boxing match. I am a warrior woman going into battle.
Lynda McKinney Lambert – Author/Artist
Your comments and questions are most welcome.
Most of all, I need your prayers over the next year.
When you think of me please stop for a moment to whisper my name in a prayer to our lord, Jesus.
Thank you for your interest in what I do.
Please contact me at any time if you need to speak with me or need to ask me to pray for you. I am a Prayer Warrior.
Your encouraging messages give me the GIFT of HOPE.
I’ve become familiar with the way God whispers gently to us to give us His divine guidance and ideas for the direction he wants us to go?
I feel this tender nudge from God that at times. It is usually about
something that is common sense. I often think, “Why didn’t I think of this?
Yes, it makes sense, and it’s an
Gifts of the Spirit is the new full-length book I started writing this year.
I plan to complete the manuscript draft by the end of December 2021.
About this blog –
Gifts of the Spirit.
I’ll share some new poems, reflections, thoughtful, personal essays, and non-fiction stories on this blog for the next fourteen months. You might be reading the drafts of those writings that will finally become a collection in the book, Gifts of the Spirit: Poems & Stories.
I received a personal note from my friend Lynda J.
It arrived in a moment when I was thinking about writing this post. She references the Dallas Holm song, “I Have Hope.” God sends us such gentle reminders from unexpected sources at the precise time we need them. God is always right on time.
During 2020, a year of pandemic fears and anxieties, I can truly say, “I have hope.”
Here is what my colleague and friend sent to me today:
what a powerful testimony the Lord has led you to share.
I couldn’t agree with you more if I’d written a statement myself!!
One of your sentences reminded me of the chorus of one of my favorite Dallas Holm songs:
I have joy in the time of sorrow,
I have peace in the raging storm.
I have faith that Jesus holds tomorrow,
I have hope, I’m resting in His arms.
At the beginning of 2020, I chose One Word for my entire year – GIFTS.
I started choosing One Word for my year in 2015.
I wanted to think more seriously about giving GIFTS and receiving GIFTS. Because I am a Christian, I decided to do everything this year as a Gift for my King, Jesus! In my writing, artmaking, and everyday life at home, I kept this in mind.
This entire year is a journey of surprises for all of us, isn’t it?
Of course, I had no idea how that Word would reveal new meaning as the months come and go.
None of us could have anticipated the arrival of a pandemic and how we would experience life this year. We still have no idea what to expect, but we live in the eternal hope – our lives are in God’s hands, and he will take care of us no matter what the circumstances may be at any time.
Looking at history, we know that events such as this pandemic are not exceptional. People of all ages have faced tremendous changes and fears that come with those unexpected events. I know that for Christians, we are never alone in any circumstances that we face. Our faith is built on the solid foundation of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I placed my life in His capable hands, and I find peace in times of storms or painful circumstances, and I find joy in times of sunshine and prosperity.
We have the gifts that the Father gives us in all seasons and in all cases. In fact, here is just one example of what God’s intentions are for His beloved children.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
During the first week of October, I received some beautiful gifts, and I am sharing the news with you in this message.
I am delighted that Marcia Meara, author of the blog _The Write Stuff_ published a Special Feature about my writing and award-winning fiber art.
I enjoy seeing the visitors who read the article and leave comments.
Hint: I’d love to see your thoughts, and I will reply to any comments you leave. Go ahead, make my day! Visit the link and leave a comment.
Second, I won a First Place Award for my talisman, “My Eyes are Only for You,” at the InSights20 exhibition in Louisville, KY. The show opened on October 7, and you are invited to attend the virtual opening, which is available now.
Note: This year, first place is a shared award – which is lovely for the other artist and me.
The video is live now. You can see a photo of the artwork, the artist who made it, and a description. Rob Guillen is the coordinator of this annual exhibition. He will lead you through the winning pieces via the video. This juried art exhibition is presented by the American Printing House for the Blind. All artists in the show have a visual impairment. I am deeply honored to be a part of this project – my fifth time to have my work accepted in the Crafts Division by the jury – and my fifth award.
Here is the link to see the winners of the Craft Division – See it here!
Third, my poem, “The Talisman,” inspired by the process of making the talisman in the APH InSights 20 show, is in the October Issue of Newsreel.
If you subscribe to this audio magazine, you will hear me reading the poem.
Photo by American Printing House for the Blind – InSights20 exhibition. This is a talisman, “My Eyes are Only for You.” by Lynda McKinney Lambert. This piece won first place in the crafts division – it shared first place with another art work.
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine
Tell her to make me a cambric shirt (in the deep forest green)
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
(Tracing of sparrow on snow-crested ground)
Without no seams nor needle work
(Bedclothes the child of the mountain)
Then she’ll be a true love of mine
(Sleeps unaware of the clarion call)
Tell her to find me an acre of land
(A sprinkling of leaves)
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
(Washes the grave with silvery tears)
Between the salt water and the sea strands
(And polishes a gun)
Then she’ll be a true love of mine
Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather
(Blazing in scarlet battalions)…
My first chapbook is published by Finishing Line Press.
I’ve put together a collection of 30 wintry-theme poems.
It is available in paperback, or Hard Back copies directly from the publisher at Finishing Line Press. I am so thrilled to have my chapbook available as a hardbound book and a print edition.
I am working on writing a chapbook for each season.
I love chapbooks and have a little collection of special ones in my personal library. They are like a work of art, to me. They have a feeling of preciousness, which I like so much.
A chapbook is shorter than a full-length book, and it has a focus on one theme.
Since I’ve always found winter to be a beautiful time of year in my area of Western Pennsylvania, this is my way of celebrating the season.
With this new publication, I am thinking about creating a chapbook for each of the 4 seasons. I like to work in a series, and I think this would be an excellent way to do that in the future.
My poems are spare – uncluttered by unnecessary words or punctuation. I like to keep them pure and without distractions. Readers tell me how enjoyable it is to read my seasonal poems. Here is a quote by a reader,
The crisp quality of the words and vision… is made poignant by the author’s personal history and victory with physical sight. Her heart comes through her hands and pen. Her words are fresh, yet rooted and ancient. The Natural realms intersecting with the Spiritual realms plus the Human daily-realm creates a deeply pleasing flavor of poetry. Accessible. Thoughtful. Power
_Elizabeth Enright Phillips, owner of Running Creek Co Limited, ardent minimalist, author
Lynda Lambert covers a vast terrain of subjects and topics in this new book, from lights to legends to seasons, treating us to images and metaphors about plants, people, and weather. She opens this extensive collection with the title poem, Star Signs, which walks us through the alphabet. It digs through thoughts, emotions, and observations, “Using star signs to map out new terrain.”
Throughout this book of poems, these gems of poetic creation shimmer like beads on her fabric art, like bold brushstrokes of color on her paintings, and reflect light like the gemstones on her prize-winning piece of mixed–media fiber artwork. It seems this entire collection is like a multifaceted mural.
Her attentiveness to nature and strong reflections from memory have woven from a collage of remnants a beautiful tapestry for us. It offers a beautiful feast for the eyes and the mind.
—Wesley D. Sims, Author of Taste of Change
This is the author’s third book of poetry. Cover photo by James Wheeler from Pexels Cover design, editing, layout, and e-book conversion by DLD Books
Description of the cover image of Star Signs:
The late evening photo shows several delicate, bare trees in silhouette, leaning slightly to the right, against a violet-colored sky. There is a faint streak of pinkish light to the right of the trees, low on the horizon. Thousands of stars are visible in the sky. The solid black landscape below the trees appears to be the shore of a darkened lake, which is in the foreground. A few stars are reflected in the water. The overall impression is one of stillness and beauty. The predominant colors are black and violet, along with white pinpoints of starlight. The title and subtitle are in white at the top of the cover, and the author’s name is in white at the bottom.
NEWS: This book is now available to the National Library Services BARD program. You can order the book, read by Polly Slavet by asking BARD for DBC 11608. You will LOVE Polly’s elegant presentation of Lynda’s book!
Take a journey through the seasons of a year from January through December. With award-winning Pennsylvania Author and Artist Lynda McKinney Lambert
In 2019 Lynda received the prestigious
Albert Nelson Marquis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the fields of Artist & Author
This award is given by the Marquis Who’s Who Publications Board, to honor Biographees who have achieved career longevity.
Lynda is a retired Professor of Fine Arts & Humanities, Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA
Her first book is-
Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage
Kota Press, 2002
She wrote the book from her travel journal entries, as she taught a course in Europe each summer. From this first published book, the theme of “life as a sacred pilgrimage,” This theme endures in all of her subsequent writings.
In her 2nd book, Lynda continues to take readers on the road with her as she travels through a life pilgrimage from her earliest memories to her present septuagenarian years as a well-known artist, author, educator.
Lynda retired in 2008, after sudden sight loss due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. During her recovery and rehabilitation process, she began to write stories & poems for her new blog, Walking by Inner Vision.
In the beginning, her blog was her way of communicating with the world again after sight loss.
Lynda became aware that she was now living in a world of inner vision.
She did not realize at the time that this blog was the beginning step towards the book now available on Audible.
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems
A personal, private, and spiritual walk through the seasons
I’ll celebrate my 77th birthday this year. Birthday months seem to be a time of reflection. It is kind of like New Years Day when you look ack on the past year, and at the same time, you are looking forward to stepping into the next year of your journey in life.
Officially, August is still “summertime,” but we get a sense of the shifting that is happening this month, too.
I realize that daylight comes a little later as I move through the month. I’m aware of how the mornings are getting cooler because I walk my dogs outside in the early morning.
It feels good and I begin to think about the queen Anne’s Lace and Chicory that we will see along the rural roads and in the meadows. I love this time of year when gardens are flourishing with delicate blossoms and colors.
As a contrast, I have to say that our personal gardens may not be flourishing by the end of August. I’ve been feeling like I am in a bit of a slump lately. I spent so much time in June and July, working outside for hours at a time in my gardens.
In August, I am feeling tired of those chores and I’m thinking of adjusting to other things on my agenda such as completing work on writing projects and beginning a new series of artworks that have been brewing in my mind for months.
Lately, I’ve really slipped in my exercise and dietary goals, too. Yesterday, I signed up -AGAIN – for a weight loss program on-line.
I really need to shed 20-30 pounds – extra weight slows down our body and our brain. Extra pounds on our body makes us sluggish. This is not acceptable to me and I’m going to begin changing that today. Our body reflects our mindset. Our body is a visual image that tells the world many things about us without saying a word. I’ve always embraced a healthy vegetarian lifestyle, exercise regularly, and believe in mindfulness of the gift of each day.
I will re-set my thinking and my actions.
August will be the first month in my intention of making improvements in my personal life. I need to make changes and I am gong to do it.
This morning, I read a fantastic blog post that has turned me around.
Maybe you will also get some insight into how you can turn around yourself this month.
You can visit this post today, and then think about what you can do differently in August.
I’m game. I WILL GET BACK ON TRACK, beginning TODAY.
There is a large pink flower in full bloom in the center. The tips of the flower touch the right and left side of the cover—it stans alone on a dark marble background of black and deep brown.
features a photo of the author playing the piano, and the turquoise colored text is on a light pink background. Information about the author is on the back cover.
This book is more abundant than expected for a short collection of poems, which was a pleasant surprise. Shelley dedicated her book “To Christ, my crush.”
The most unusual discovery that I quickly saw is that the book does not have page numbers. There is a chronological list of 10 writings in the “Contents” beneath the Dedication. No page numbers are listed. This is unusual but the lack of page numbers really gives a sense of timelessness and space, which I liked.
The first poem of this collection asks, “Who are you?” The poem is a listing of attributes and a variety of circumstances in the life of Christ.
In the long poem, “Creator of Time,” we are taken step by step on a journey not only of Christ’s life but also into Shelley’s life of redemption and anticipation of the future with Christ. The poem explores the many nuances of time.
In the poem, “Christ Crush,” we have an intimate view of the relationship she has with Christ.
No place to lay your head,
Birds have nests,
Lay your head here,
In my heart…
I am content,
where you are,
You are with me.”
InResurrection, the poet is standing as a witness at the empty tomb of Jesus. She listens as Mary Magdalene does not recognize Jesus as he walked up to ask,
“Why are you weeping?”
This is a stunning moment. I felt like I stood there, too, exploring my own emotions. Mary’s eyes were opened. She saw Jesus indeed rose from the grave and standing in our presence.
Through Shelley Alongi’s poems, we are taken on an intensely intimate journey through her reflections and personal responses to the ancient texts. Shelley tells the significant details so that we are there with her as she goes through the historic and world-changing stories.
I highly recommend this little book of enormous poems and a story. I think that each piece in the book could be used as a daily devotion, thus, reading through the book slowly and savoring the experience. I wanted to stop and ponder the experiences in each poem.
She explores other memorable references: the heavens, the Brightest Star, betrayal, pain, forgiveness, death, Resurrection, history, and redemption.
The selections of poems end like a victory dance with God, as he says to Jesus,
“You’ve got this!”
After the poems, there is the story “The Tree.”
I will leave this remarkable story a mystery. You will have to read it yourself and see what you discover.
My recommendation is to buy several copies of this little book, and give them to friends or family members for a birthday or holiday gift. The beauty of the book’s cover make it particularly appealing for gifting. And, the poems and story are excellent. You do not have to be a poetry expert to appreciate and enjoy this book. It’s a good read!
Visit a previous Saturday is for Sharing story about Shelley Alongi and her 4 published books – from 2018. I recommend her books to you – you will be very pleased with any of them.
Tell me what you think about this book!
Gifts of the Spirit Blog, by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.
Recently, someone wrote to me with a question about how I read a poem using technologies for the blind.
I have a visual impairment and cannot read by looking at a page. Instead, after I write a poem, I can see it on a computer screen that has a black background with white text. It must be blown up – 8 times normal. I have a screen reader that reads the work to me, also.
When I want to do a presentation to a group in a public setting. I put my poems on a device that is a digital recorder. It is small, and fits into the palm of my hand. I have previously recorded my poems, one line at a time, onto the device. I use an earpiece, and with just the touch of a button, I can hear the poem. I speak what I hear – line by line – and this is how I do a presentation. It works for me.
Question: How do you eliminate the spaces between lines where the machine tells you what to say?
I am not sure what you are asking with this question.
This implies to me that you believe there is something undesirable about a space or moments, when I read a poem out loud.
Do you mean the use of space when reading a poem?
Or, in viewing an art work?
Is it the use of space when writing the poem or creating a work of art?
Does filling spaces mean a continuous stream of chatter?
Is it like watching TV programming or listening to the radio?
No, it is not a commercial concern for filling up space with something else. I view the space as a shape in time.
In writing and in art, space is an important thing to recognize and experience. It gives us room to think and discover, at the same time we are reading, viewing, feeling or listening.
Silent spaces are crucial to poetry – in writing a poem,, reading a poem aloud, and contemplating meaning. Begin to think of space as an actual place – it is a LANDSCAPE as tangible as a TREE , or RIVER.
In the poetry and art classrooms, space is essential. Long silences are important as students become a co-creator with the author or the artist who created the work they are viewing.
Understanding goes much deeper than speech.
I am very aware of space when I read – I want to be patient and take time for space to be experienced.
Space allows for breath – and it is breath that is the scaffolding on which the poem exists. I never read by thinking about “a line.” I am much more intent on breath and space when I read anything. It takes many years to begin to understand that in reading a poem, one must learn to fall into it – to lay in it, to travel deeply into it physically and conceptually.
The poem/art requires the entire body to get to an understanding of it.
My work is influenced by Japanese ideals of balance and meaning.
For instance, I have a large Zen Meditation Garden which I tend daily. Traditionally, this type of garden is the opposite of what most people think of as a garden.
No waterfall or fountain.
It is about the entire space.
It is a complete world inside of the perimeter of the short wall of hand- cut barn stones
Instead the garden is about symmetry, textures, and nature as a metaphor.
Every space is an important element and part of the whole concept of stillness and timelessness.
Empty space is very important in art and in poetry – yet, it is not really empty. It holds meaning.
Think of Japanese woodcut prints. Empty space holds as much – or even more – meaning as the imagery does.
Filling up every space is cluttering.
I think visual and auditory space is as important as words. Space gives time for contemplation and anticipation in a way that is powerful.
As I read aloud, I have no thoughts of eliminating space. It is the same if I am reading quietly in my office or before an audience. I am speaking my own words and thoughts.
Lynda Lambert covers a wide terrain of subjects and topics in this new book, from lights to legends to seasons, treating us to images and metaphors about plants, people and weather. She opens this large collection with the title poem, Star Signs, which walks us through the alphabet as it digs through thoughts, emotions and observations, “Using star signs to map out new terrain.”
Throughout this book of poems, these gems of poetic creation shimmer like beads on her fabric art, like bold brush strokes of color on her paintings, and reflect light like the gemstones on her prize–winning piece of mixed–media fiber artwork. It seems this entire collection is like a multifaceted mural.
Her attentiveness to nature and strong reflections from memory have woven from a collage of remnants a beautiful tapestry for us. It offers a wonderful feast for the eyes and the mind.
—Wesley D. Sims, author of Taste of Change *
Here is a poem from this book:
Painting in Mid–October
Autumn’s morning light revealed changes
Undermined the scarlet–red palette
Taking center stage on the painting
Undulating rain cast gray–violet hues
Misty diffusion brought a new perspective
Not anticipated yesterday
Aroused the softened brushstrokes
Layered over the primed canvas.
Dying is a careful arrangement
A graceful staged performance
Yellow leaves are faithful dancers
Available ebook format at SMASHWORDS.
SMASHWORDS ASKED LYNDA to describe her WRITING PROCESS.