Saturday is for Sharing – Mary Hiland

Post #137

24 November  2018

Welcome to SCAN

Saturday is for Sharing

Our Conversations With the Authors

hosted by

Lynda McKinney Lambert & Miss Opal

Our Special Guest today is…

Mary Hiland

 

Miss Opal and I welcome you to our home, Mary, We love meeting our favorite authors. Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to meet with us.  It is raining and chilly today and we can’t think of anything nicer to do than chat with a good friend and learn more about your new book and other projects you are working on this fall. Welcome to our home in the Village of Wurtemburg, Pennsylvania.

Miss Opal:  Mary, please give us some information about your new book, released by DLD Books. 

Mary:  Yes, I’d love to talk with you about my book:

The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living: a Daughter’s Memoir

I am happy to say that our friends can purchase my book on-line through most book sellers. The link to the Amazon site to learn more about my book and read my reviews  for my book is:Check it out here  

Lynda:  I was wondering if you have an Author’s Website where our readers can go for more information on you and your books? 

Mary:  Yes, I do!   The editors of my book created a beautiful web page for me.  Our readers can find it by clicking onto this link:  Mary Hiland Author Website Page

 I am proud to tell you that my book was recorded and is available for blind and handicapped readers through BARD.   It is listed as DB:91261.

 Lynda:  Where are you from Mary? Do you still live where you were born or have you moved from that place? Mary: I am  a native of Cincinnati, Ohio.  And currently I live in Gahanna, Ohio with  my Seeing Eye ® dog, Dora.  Readers can learn more about where Dora came from by visiting the Seeing Eye website:  Here!

 

Miss Opal: I understand you have a wonderful dog named Dora.  Can you tell us more about her? I am a little bit nervous about dogs, but Dora seems really sweet. I noticed she is staying right beside you and she looks very friendly.

Mary,  Miss Opal, you don’t have to worry about Dora.  Isn’t she a lovely dog? She was happy to get to come along with me today and she did not mind walking in the rain.  Did you notice her new raincoat? 

Mary Hiland and her dog, Dora

Miss Opal:  Yes, I am glad you brought Dora with you today.

I was also thinking about your writing career.

Have you had your writings  published in other places before you wrote your new book? 

Mary: I’ve had my writing  published in Chicken Soup for the Parent’s Soul; Red Book Magazine; The Toastmaster Magazine;  and The Columbus dispatch.

 

JUST FOR FUN

 Lynda:  In our “Just for Fun” section,  I want to ask you a few questions that Opal and I thought about before you arrived today. 

 When did you decide to “grow up” or “Never grow up?” What does “growing up” mean to you?

Mary: I’ll say that my wedding day or the day I gave birth to my first child was the day I grew up, but they both paled in comparison to the day I signed the papers to commit my mother to assisted living. I was making decisions for another person’s lifestyle for the rest of her life. It felt like the most grownup thing I had ever had to do. I chose her residence, her room, her meal plan, her activities, her level of care, and the day she would go to the beauty shop. Role Reversals had just begun.

Lynda: I love the photos of you dancing in a bright red dress.  You look so happy. Do you have a favorite dance partner? What kind of dancing do you enjoy doing with that person?  

Mary:  My  dance partner was my teacher, Mark Miller. Although I was his first blind student, in fact, his first student on his first day at the studio. Just imagine what he thought when the universe threw this at him. But he naturally verbalized every step, every move, as if he had been doing it for years. He was kind, patient, and respectful. We laughed together when I made mistakes. He led with the skill I had never experienced with any other partner. He expected excellence from me, which made me try even harder. I loved almost every dance he taught me, but the one I especially enjoyed was the East Coast Swing. The steps are complicated, and you have to keep your mind on the dance every second, but you feel yourself smiling every second too. If you get through the whole song without a mistake, you feel like a pro.

Miss Opal:  What have you done recently that really made you feel good about yourself?  

Mary: When my friend was to undergo an extremely serious surgery last year, and she was describing it to me on the phone, I heard a voice in my head say, “Go to her.” I am not a nurse, nor have I ever taken care of anyone just home from having surgery. But there I was, asking her, “Do you want me to come and help you when you get home?” I was terrified when she said, “I would love it if you would,” but I knew it was the right thing to do. I had to fly to Florida, learn my way around her house, and jump right in with getting her ready for bed. In the morning on the first day, I asked her if she wanted coffee, and of course she did, and lots of it. I was happy to bring her the coffee in bed. As the week progressed, so did she, which pleased us both. By the end of the week, when I asked her if I could make her a coffee, she said, “No thanks, I can get it myself.” I felt I had helped her regain some of the independence she treasures, which is just as important to her as regaining her strength.

Lynda:   Describe a phone call that surprised you recently. Who called?  

Mary:  It had been on my mind for several years. I needed to apologize to someone for something I said to him in an email. I had written it in haste, and at the time, I thought it was necessary to make a point. A few years later, he saw me in a restaurant and came over to say hello and introduce me to his grandson. He was cheerful and funny, and it filled my heart with half a joy. It appeared that he had forgiven me. Or had he forgotten? I promised myself I would contact him and apologize for my angry letter, but I made one excuse after another. Even though I had asked for God’s forgiveness, I hadn’t asked for his, and it was nagging at me. Then I accidentally found his phone number and dialed immediately, praying that he wouldn’t answer, so I could leave a message before I lost my nerve. The voicemail answered, and I calmly but sincerely said what I needed to say. The next day, he called and I answered. “You have no idea,” he said, “what joy I felt in hearing your voice.” Joy? Really? There was the other half of the joy I had been needing all those years.

Additional Thoughts About Mary’s Book

 

When her mother, who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, had to move into assisted living, it was time for Ms. Hiland, who is totally blind, to step up and assume the duties and role reversals required for her mother. The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living, a Daughter’s Memoir is her first book.Synopsis:

Making the decision to move an elderly parent into assisted living against her will has myriad challenges. Like many adult children who want to respect their parents’ wishes, I didn’t take action until it was crucial. But unlike most adult children, I had to deal with this crisis as an only child who is totally blind. The logistics alone were only the start of my uphill struggle with this task.

For the last two years of her life, I learned many lessons about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and she learned to accept the difficulties of being 98 and living in an assisted living community.

Mary:  In The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living, A Daughter’s Memoir, I describe not only the move, her adjustment to a foreign way of life, and the emotional trauma for both of us, but also some advice and comfort for others experiencing this inevitable change.

What makes my story unique is that I tell it with blindness always in the background. You will find some touching moments, some troubling, and some relative to your own life.

This is a memoir woven through my observations of who my mother was and who I am.

Contact:  Mary Hiland 439 Canterwood Ct. Gahanna, OH 43230

email mary.hiland@wowway.com

_

This series, Saturday is for Sharing, is brought to you by the courtesy of Miss Opal and Pennsylvania author, Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2018. All rights Reserved.

Thank you for visiting with us today. 

If YOU would like to be a featured guest on our blog, please contact Lynda at:

riverwoman@zoominternet.net

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Saturday is for Sharing – LKHunsaker

Post #125 – September 8, 2018

Saturday is for Sharing

Series of Guest Authors – #10

Miss Opal & Lynda

Welcome YOU to

Saturday is for Sharing 

_____

LK Hunsaker 

 

Western Pennsylvania Author

 

 

  

Hi LK.

Miss Opal is seated in the window this morning and I can hear a hawk calling as the new day begins.

We  both think it is a treat to feature a Guest Author who is so passionate about MUSIC and want to know more about how  your writing projects what you love.

I am a retired professor of fine arts and humanities, and so much of my own writing is inspired by MUSIC.

Your stories are  of great interest to me and I know they  will be to our readers, too.

Q_ I’d like to start by asking you to give our readers an overview of your writing career and  books you have authored.

LK_  I began writing seriously in 1996. During this time, my husband was active Army and away much of the time, or working very long days, and we had two young children I was raising mainly on my own away from home in a place I detested. So, for the sake of sanity, I picked up my pencil and my long ago habit of writing stories, poetry, and plays, and rewrote a scene that I’d written and lost years before as a young teen. The story has been in my head since then and was inspired by an actual band of the times, meaning mid-1970s. (No, I don’t worry about showing my age. Trust me, it shows.) I started writing in scenes, on paper with pencil, filling binders by putting the scenes in order as I finished them. I wrote until tendonitis set into my wrist and spread into my whole arm up my shoulder, and then I began writing with my left hand until the right healed. The computer has sped things up quite a lot and is far better on my hands!

 

At this time, I have 18 books plus a novella

in a multi-author anthology

out under two writing names:

LK Hunsaker

and

Ella M. Kaye

My LK books run from romantic to literary to historical to art journals and a children’s book.

 

My EMK books are all contemporary romance with psychological elements all centered around the arts, in three series related by setting and art medium (Dancers & Lighthouses, Artists & Cottages, Songwriters & Cities).

 

That scene I wrote in 1996… It’s part of my epic musical saga serial entitled Rehearsal. It will run from 1974 through the mid-Eighties and is a series of 6 books approximately 700 pages each. There will also be a sequel that’s in progress and a prequel that’s in planning stages. Four books have been released, but they are in the midst of an upgrade all under my own publishing company, Elucidate Publishing. A scene from the first book of the series will follow at the end of the interview.

 

 

Q_  Do you have a favorite piece of music or a song that brings back good  memories?  

LK_ I’m music obsessed, and I have been for as long as I can remember. All of my novels include music, along with the whole epic musical saga. Naming one favorite song is rather impossible, so I’ll mention one foremost in my mind at the moment.

 

Two months ago, one of the founders of that band I mentioned, the one that inspired so many hours of writing a novel series so very close to my heart, died of illness brought on while traveling. It was a big blow and a huge mortality reminder that felt like a punch in the gut. His favorite song from his own band was “Don’t Let The Music Die” and so, that song right now brings back wonderful memories of my teen days, of my book-of-heart inspiration, and of every moment Alan Longmuir and his band the Bay City Rollers swept this young teenager away from real life and brought so much joy and upbeat vibes when they were most needed. It also brings the reminder that individual life is finite and we must use our time productively and joyfully, with any luck, leaving a nice legacy to others along the way.

Don’t let the music die…Listen to it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWJj7SZOuKc

 

Q_ Describe a phone call that surprised you recently. What was it?  

LK_ First, I should say I rarely answer the phone since it’s almost entirely spam and I can’t be bothered with that. I do not like talking on the phone. So when my husband, who doesn’t mind the phone as much, answered and came to tell me it was a radio station about the book festival, I stared at him for several seconds before taking the call.

Four years ago, I started up a little local book festival to help local authors, mainly indies, get the word out into the community about their work. It has grown to the point I have authors from out of state contacting me about attending and we’ve had over 50,000 hits to our website. Still, I did not expect a radio station to call. They were asking about advertising. My first thought: Hey! They’ve heard of us! That’s pretty cool! And then… yes, but my budget is very small. Still, it’s radio.

 

So, this year, the West PA Book Festival, located nearly on the border of west central Pennsylvania (did you know PA is the only state where we literally call our state “P.A.” rather than the actual name?) got airtime on two Cumulus radio stations. WestPABookFestival.com will give you more info about the event. We’re also on Facebook. 😉

Photo of the set-up at the

Western Pa Book Festival.

 

 

Q_ Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What makes you think you belong to that group of people?

LK_I am not only an introvert, but I’m also constantly fighting social anxiety disorder. I love to be home, alone, with either the quiet of nature, windows wide open to hear my birds chirping and trees rustling, or with my music that I play loud and sing along with if no one’s around. I won’t even sing in front of my family, although I used to be in chorus all the way through to college choir, plus church choir.

Even too much social media time is exhausting. A minor online debate will literally make me shake from nerves. Talking to people in person: my first thought is always “Um, no.” So yes, book signings have been tough. They’re also necessary, so for years, I’ve gritted my teeth and gone out there, anyway. The upside to this is that my SAD is lightening up with practice, as I realize I won’t actually have a heart attack and fall right through the floor (or dirt, since I try to stick with outdoor events that are easier than enclosed places events). That said, yes, I still decided to organize and run a book festival. Okay, I may be a little bit nuts. Actually, I’m a lot driven, so although I’d love to just hide away either inside my house or puttering in my garden (I have only one neighbor close enough to somewhat see me when I’m in my yard around the trees between our properties), I know there’s the work to be done of … gasp … marketing! … so out I go. Sometimes. Not nearly as much as I should.

Q_This might be a good spot to share a BOOK WORM with our readers? I think many of us can relate.

Q_ _Do you have a favorite kind of bird or animal? Is it a “totem” animal, to you? When did you first sense or become aware that it was a special creature in your life?

LK_ I love the Cardinal because it was so special to my grandma. I also love the goldfinch because of its bright yellow cheerfulness, and the blue jay because of its beauty and its testy personality. I love labradors and we have a full lab and a mixed lab/border collie. They’re so friendly, so sweet, so good with kids, and very trustworthy.

However, the creature I feel the most connected with is the hummingbird. They’re tiny little things that just go about their business not looking for attention, friendly as far as buzzing around my head if I’m beside their feeder without worrying much about me (they do startle me, since they sound like very large bees!), beautiful with their vivid colors, and they’re always so very busy. You have to look quick to catch them taking a drink (please do not add red food coloring to their nectar) before they’re off on their mission. There are more than 300 species of hummingbirds, all unique in their alikeness.

I’m not sure when I first started taking notice of them. It’s been a lot of years. I particularly love Anna’s Hummingbird with its bright pinkish-purple head and bright green body, but they’re all beautiful and absolutely charming. And yes, I relate to their constant busyness.

~~~

Comment from  LK_ So, there you have it. . Obviously, I do tend to be verbose in writing. Thank you so much, Lynda, for having me here.

I’ll be around for several days answering questions and comments. You can also find me at the following places:

LKHunsaker.com and www.facebook.com/author.lkhunsaker

EllaMKaye.com and www.facebook.com/ellamkaye

My blog: http://lkhunsaker.blogspot.com

~~~

As promised, the excerpt from Rehearsal: A Different Drummer by LK Hunsaker

 

Babe? He hadn’t called her that before. “As Kate told Mike, you better be careful about those promises.”

“Are you goin’ t’ hold me to it?”

Searching his eyes, she kept herself from asking him if it would work if she tried. She couldn’t believe that in such a short time, she would honestly be able to make him stay only because she asked. “I would never want you to do anything against your will, not even for me.” She took his hand and continued down their path.

They didn’t bother to talk and the silence was nice with his fingers entwined in hers, his bare feet making tracks next to hers. They walked far enough their friends’ voices faded out, and farther yet to where the smooth sand ran into large boulders and they had to walk up into the coarser sand to go up around them.

He stopped when the dock came into view. Staring at it.

“Duncan?”

“Is this wha’ y’ wanted me t’ see?” His eyes remained ahead. They were as cool as his manner.

“Yes.”

“Why?”

Susie was puzzled. It was only a dock. There was nothing else there, other than the large boulders making a cove that protected the dock on each side. “Because it’s one of my favorite places. We used to come down here before they closed off the road above. It’s pretty much always deserted now, and I like it even better this way. It’s so quiet.” He didn’t answer. “Was it too far to walk just for this?”

“Your favorite place.”

“One of them. It reminds me of Dad’s cabin, but a lot closer. I love coming here. I just thought it would be nice to share it…” His face had clouded, his breathing forced. “What’s wrong? Why are you upset?” Her stomach turned. She had done something wrong, though she couldn’t imagine what. All she wanted was to share this with him, to be alone, here, surrounded by the peace. And after their kiss, what he’d said about walking anywhere… “We can go back.” When he didn’t answer, she released his hand and started away. Away from the dock. Away from whatever she had done wrong.

He grasped her arm. “Suse, donae go.”

“What did I do?”

“You didnae do anything.” Her silence brought him closer, and his head lowered until it nearly touched hers. “Y’ did no’ do anything. I am sorry. It is … old memories. Some I had tried t’ forget.”

Memories? She thought back, searching her mind for what he already told her. Had she missed something she shouldn’t have? But he hadn’t said much. Almost nothing. Except he had grown up by the water. She remembered that.

He touched her face again, then took her hand and turned toward the dock. “Come.”

 

©2006 LK Hunsaker

Elucidate Publishing:  https://www.alignable.com/mercer-pa/elucidate-publishing

_________

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. Editors, please contact Lynda for the manuscript.

 

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.

 

PLEASE share LK’s story and buy a copy of one of her books!

 

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

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

E-mail us today: riverwoman@zoominternet.net

 

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!

 

riverwoman@zoominternet.net

September 8, 2018

https://llambert363.blog/

Saturday is for Sharing – Phyllis Staton Campbell

Post #121

Saturday is for Sharing –

#7 Guest Author

Meet  Phyllis Staton Campbell

Guest Author

Where Sheep May  Safely Graze

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Continue reading

Saturday is for Sharing – David L. Faucheux

Post #118

Saturday is for Sharing

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

by David L. Faucheux

 

Miss Opal & Lynda

Welcome YOU to

Saturday is for Sharing 

_____

Meet David L. Faucheux

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

 

 

  

Lynda_ I’ve been hearing so many good reports on your first book, Betweeen Two Novembers.  I am so pleased to present your book and hear your thoughts today on SCAN. Thank you for coming to our little SCAN office here in Western Pennsylvania. You’ve come a long way to visit with us today.

Miss Opal_ Our readers will know so much more about you and your life-long love of books and reading. I have a few questions for you this morning, just to get the conversation started. I always worry I won’t remember what I wanted to say, so I will begin first with my question for you.

 

Miss opal_ I am going to ask my favorite question!

What could you never live without? And, why? What wold happen if this would go away?   That is something that I always worry about myself, David. I hate to lose things!

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

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

LYNDA_I am a former professor, so I am getting the picture here that you are creating.  I can’t help but ask you to talk a little more about your academic challenges.  I am thinking about how a blind man would be so interested in pursuing the disciplines that you were thinking about. How did that work for you?

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

Miss Opal_ But what do you get from a library?

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

Miss Opal_ But isn’t a library more?”

David_  Yes, it is. After I lost my remaining vision, I turned more and more to a different kind of library: a postal library. That’s right, a postal library. Let me explain. The Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is a network of cooperating regional libraries that serves those who meet the qualifications. I would receive mysterious black cardboard–later blue plastic–containers full of slow-playing records. My talking book machine was my magic carpet to such fantastic realms as Oz, the center of the earth, the moon, Venus, the Italy of Romeo and Juliet, and the mitochondria of a cell. I endured the exquisite suspense of Madeline L’Engle, laughed at The Jack Tales and some Scott Corbett books, and was scared to death by several John Bellairs books. I had a hard and fast rule: Talking books were for home, and braille books were for school. I rarely wavered from this rule. And then 4-track, slow-speed cassettes made their appearance. I enjoyed the portability, ease of storage, and knowing that each pale green box held hours of listening and even a kind of para-social-friendship. I learned to speed-listen. I used the variable speed control switch to gradually increase the speed of the machine. This made reading books such as Jennings’s Aztec, Clavell’s Noble House, or Michener’s Texas faster by 50 percent. I do also remember the torture of waiting for the library in Baton Rouge to send a replacement for a cassette that had the impertinence to break before I had finished it.

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

 

Lynda_ Your thoughts on what a library is are so interesting TO US, dAVID.

iT MADE ME THINK more about What would you like to know more about? 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miss Opal_ So, everyone, here goes nothing!  I just have to ask you, David, about something else that is on my mind. I hope that is ok with you.  Tell me, what is your idea of the perfect job? What would you be doing if it were your job? What do you think is the best job ever? Wold this be Plan A for your life?

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

Lynda_ If you could write or commission any kind of book, what would it be? Have you given that any thought now that this first book is finished?

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lynda_  They SAY “TIME FLIES WHEN YOU ARE HAING FUN,  i SEE OUR TIME IS JUST ABOUT OVER AND YOU NEED TO LEAVE US.   we HAVE ENJOYED YOUR VISIT TODAY AND WE WILL BE WATCHIG TO SEE WHAT NEW PROJECT YOU HAVE COMING OUT IN THE FUTURE. H FOR COMING TO SEE US.

Additional information on David can be found on Joan Myles blog:

Read David Faucheux interview here!

David L. Faucheux

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

Scopist65@gmail.com

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

BUY  the book –  Click on the link above.

_______________________

Dear Readers of SCAN,

Your support of our Featured Guest Authors is  appreciated.

 

Here’s how YOU can spread the HAPPINESS:

Please  share this article with your friends on Social Media and by Re-Blogging.

You can purchase this book: Between Two Novembers, DLD Books, 2017.

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

 Thanks again for your support of the Authors who are featured on Saturday is for Sharing.

________________

Saturday is for Sharing

is brought to you by

Pennsylvania author, Lynda McKinney Lambert and her feline writing partner, Miss Opal.

SCAN is owned by Lynda McKinney Lambert. & Miss Opal, her feline writing assistant,.

 

Walking by Inner Vision.

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Saturday is for Sharing is Lynda’s property. You have permission to SHARE this blog post with your FRIENDS on FaceBook.

Copyright: August 11, and December 9,  2018. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

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Saturday is for Sharing – Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author

 

July 14, 2018

SCAN is hosted by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

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

 

Guest Author

Abbie Johnson Taylor

Author of  4 Published Books

 

18_SCAN_Sharing_AbbieTaylorPortrait

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

I first met you on an internet  writers group, Behind Our eyes. At that time  you were serving as the group’s president.   You were, and still are, are really the “Energizer Bunny” of this international group of writers., You are a role model and inspiration  to many of us who are writers with sight loss or blindness. You model for us all what we can do if we stay focused and keep on going on the writer’s path.

Miss Opal and I are glad to have this opportunity to share your life and your books with our readers today. 

Abbie’s Story

 

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

My full name is Abigail Louise Taylor.

My middle name was that of my paternal grandmother, but I’m not sure how my parents came up with my first name. Taylor is my married, or should I say widowed, name. Johnson is my maiden name. I like the sound of Abbie Johnson Taylor, so that’s why I publish material under that name.

 

Q_Who would you like to see walk in the door right now?  

 I would like to see my late husband Bill

walk through the white door to my office

right now. Although he has no vision, he would know exactly where I’m sitting. He would saunter up to me and start massaging my shoulders, as I’m sitting here in my chair, typing away. Then, I would stop, turn around, stand up, and we would embrace. Of course Bill hasn’t walked since January of 2006 when he suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. Now, he’s in a better place, so I know he’ll never walk through my door again, but I can dream, can’t I?

 

Q_Tell us about the books you authored. What is your most recent book?

I’ve written 5 books.

My latest published work is a memoir about how I met, married, and cared for Bill after he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side. Here’s the synopsis. You can learn more and find ordering links at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com/memoir.htm

 In September of 2005, Abbie Johnson married Bill Taylor.

She was in her mid-forties, and he was nineteen years older. Three months later, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side and confined him to a wheelchair. Abbie Johnson Taylor, once a registered music therapist, uses prose and poetry to tell the story of how she met and married her husband, then cared for him for six years despite her visual impairment. At first, there was a glimmer of hope that Bill would walk again, but when therapists gave up on him seven months after his second stroke, Taylor resigned herself to being a permanent family caregiver.

She discusses learning to dress him and transfer him from one place to another, sitting up with him at night when he couldn’t urinate or move his bowels, and dealing with doctors and bureaucrats to obtain necessary equipment and services. There were happy times like when she played the piano or guitar and sang his favorite songs, or when they went out to eat or to a concert. She also explains how she purchased a wheelchair accessible van and found people to drive it so they wouldn’t always depend on the local para-transit service’s limited hours. In the end, she describes the painful decision she and Bill made to move him to a nursing home when he became too weak for her to care for him in September of 2012. He seemed to give up on life and passed away a month later.

 

Q_Do you have a favorite dance partner?  

 My father was my favorite dance partner.

When I was a teen-ager, he taught me to waltz. My family often went to establishments where there was live music, either old standards or country and western. If there was a dance floor, you can be sure Dad and I were on it. My father passed away in 2013. When I met Bill, he could no longer dance because he had some infused limbs. Now that he and Dad are both gone, I still go to dances, but I sit on the sidelines, watch others, listen to the music, and remember.

 

Q_Do you have a favorite song that brings back good memories?  

 My favorite song is “I Want to Spend

My Lifetime Loving You”

from the movie, the Mask of Zorro. When Bill proposed to me in January of 2005, he was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I was living here in Sheridan, Wyoming. We’d been carrying on a long-distance relationship for two years. For Valentine’s Day, he sent a care package which included, besides the obligatory chocolates and other items, a cassette tape of love songs he’d downloaded from the Internet. This song was one of them. I found it amazing that a man wanted to spend his lifetime loving me, and I finally got to the point where I wanted to spend the rest of my life loving him. Here’s a link to the song.

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

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor

SCAN_AbbieTaylorBook_MyIdealPartnerCreatespaceCover (002)

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

Abbietaylor945@gmail.com

Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/ybmouz5y

Website: http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

Abbie, Miss Opal and I agree that your  story

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

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

 Abbie’s final Comment – a Poem for you!

 

THE RISE AND FALL OF MY ZORRO

With cape, hat, mask, rapier,

he rode out of the darkness.

“Take my hand. Dance with me,” he said,

“I want to spend my lifetime loving you,”

but happily–ever–after was not to be.

My hero fell and rose many times.

I felt the glory

until he fell for the last time.

Where there’s love, life begins again.

When life dies, love goes on.

__________

More about Abbie:

Abbietaylor945@gmail.com

Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/ybmouz5y

Website: http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

_____________________

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

Saturday is for Sharing

is a weekly series coordinated by Lynda and Miss Opal, her feline writing partner.  Lynda and Miss Opal live in rural western Pennsylvania in The Village of Wurtemburg. 

Lynda is the author of 4 books:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems Buy it!

Lynda has just completed her 3rd book

Star Signs: New & Selected Poems

AND… her FIRST CHAPBOOK

first snow, 16 Poems with a Wintry Theme.

Both new books  are now available for publication. Editors, please contact Lynda for the manuscript.

 

Thank you for visiting with us today.

Miss Opal and Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

 

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

Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.

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

PLEASE share Abbie’s story and buy a copy of one of Abbie’s books!

 

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

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

E-mail us today: riverwoman@zoominternet.net

 

 

Thursday Treasures #5: Reading

July 12, 2018

Post #106

Thursday Treasures #5,  by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

Note: For today’s Thursday Treasure, I went to my other blog, “Walking by Inner Vision,” Read it here!

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

I was trying to recapture my life, after an unexpected  life-altering event.

Today, I’m  publishing an article I first published on February 19, 2010.  I’ve revised that essay  for my readers here at SCAN.

 

Reading: The Stuff of Life

I am reading

 The Power of Myth

by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers.

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

 

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During my teaching years at Geneva College,

I often thought about what I would do

 

“When I RETIRE”

 

My profession required extensive reading. I loved to read and

I devoured books and periodicals like there was no tomorrow.

However, the reading I did for my courses was always centered around what I taught in my courses.

I longed for more  time to read outside my course materials and requirements.

I thought ,

Someday I will  be able to do that, when I retire.

I began working  towards that magical future time when I could read to my heart’s content with no goal of ever teaching the material. I wanted to  read  just for me. I would read to satisfy my inner longings. I would read for myself alone. I would read for the sheer joy of reading.

I prepared for my retirement, for years!

My book collection was a treasure  trove of books  gathered  & put on shelves in my home library.

The book treasures  awaited my day of liberation when I could begin reading them. I could spend my retirement days with a precious book in my hands, and have no concern about time or interruptions.  I imagined this new freedom, every day.

I anticipated the time when I no longer had to spend time on the road, traveling to classes, or taking trips for business purposes.

I would not have to organize classes or  take students on international study trips. And, no more endless meetings around a table, talking about strategies, evaluations and future plans for student development.

In my envisioned retirement, I would no longer write conference presentations, faculty reports,  or attend  professional development sessions.

I would merely be reading my accumulation of books from my library shelves. I’d be content.

 

My retirement collection contained books of poetry, art, and great literature  – many of the books are by authors I was not teaching in the classroom.

Some are by my favorite poets, and some are poets I want to read but never had time because of my intense teaching schedule. Of course, I had a collection of hundreds of books from which I created courses. But, my treasured books for retirement were different.

Each book, a treasure, carefully  selected and collected.  

 

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

 Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

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

 

All of my  reading is now through technologies either on my computer or on a special machine provided to Blind and Handicapped  people. While I am thankful to be able to read this way, it is certainly not as satisfying as holding a real book in my hands – feeling it’s heft; its unique smell; and the sense of touch from my fingers on the binding or the page edges. And, listening to someone read the book takes away almost all of the quiet and personal imagination that is so much richer.  I will never get used to a professional voice reading a book to me. The voices inside my head, in my imagination, have been abducted by those voices on the machines. I hate it!

 

Despite all of my personal emotions at the drastic changes in how I read, I am still very thankful for  books provided as sound recordings by he National Library of Congress.  I am able to order a variety of books I would like to read, but the books by contemporary poets are quite few. I still love academic books by academics and in the poetry section they simply are not there!  The books from NLS come directly to my house and are sent through the postal service to  my mailbox.

 

Because I love the feel of a physical book, some days, I struggle to read one of my books by using a CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) which is a magnification device. I can only read a very small portion of text at a time, but I am grateful that I still have a small amount of vision so I can actually SEE some text.  I still love the feeling of a real book in my hands, even though my ability to read it as I sit on a comfortable sofa in my library is no longer possible. I’d give anything to snuggle with a quilt on a winter’s day with my book in my hands  and my mind and imagination taking flights of fancy.  There is no replacement for those delights. No machine can do it.

I am thankful for this retirement time  away from the bustle and frenzy that was my professional life up until ELEVEN  long years ago.

However, the loss of eye sight brought new vision to me and I can see some things I would never have known existed if I had not lost most of my sight.  My daily walk is quite different now. But, it is a precious life, nevertheless. I can hear nuances in a voice that tell me exactly what a person is thinking – not what they are saying. I am not distracted by their  expressions now.  I am far more aware of perceptions than I ever was when I had full sight.

As I edit this essay, my two dogs lay nearby and my 2 cats come into my office to sit in the open window each morning. We greet each day together, and it is a good life. My retirement is satisfying and I have even had the time to write books and poetry.  I just completed the work on my 3rd book,  a full-length book of poems,  (Star Signs: New and Selected Poems) and my first chapbook, first snow, is ready for publication, too.

As I write. my 2 dogs  are asleep nearby.  Our 2 cats spend a lot of time in my writing office and like to sit in the open window to survey their world.

Good books and contented dogs & cats bring joy to my life.

READING  is the stuff of MY life.

____________________

 

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

Copyright July 12, 2018. All rights reserved.

SCAN is the sole property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Guest writers may not always reflect the opinions of Lynda Lambert, but this blog is designed to feature authors and artists who have a positive world view.

SCAN is a QUIET PLACE of Inspiration. We love all things ART, NATURE and Literature.

 

Miss Opal

 

Miss Opal and Lynda will

SHARE featured

AUTHORS & ARTISTS on

“Saturday is for Sharing” 

on SCAN

Click Here for SCAN

 

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

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

 

PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE WITH OTHER AUTHORS  and ARTISTS ~

We are all about SHARING.

The Cat’s Eye Point of View on Sunday Morning

The CAT’S EYE Point of View

on Sunday Morning

 

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

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

 

Bessie_Opal_1_2018

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

When Night Comes – a Chapbook

I wrote this review of a chapbook by Tennessee Poet, Wes Sims. This lovely book of poetry was published in Campbell’s World, a blog owned  by another Tennessee author, Patty Fletcher.  Thank you, Patty, for your interest in writing and promotion of so many authors.

 

READING WITH THE AUTHORS:

Author Lynda McKinney Lambert Reviews

When Night Comes

Good morning Bookworms everywhere.
After having taken a couple personal days off, Campbell and I are back in action here in campbellsworld.
This morning I’ve a treat for you.
Author Lynda McKinney Lambert is back in our Reading With the Authors column with a review of a poetry that has made even me want to read it.
I’m not one to read such a book as is described here but after reading this review and having read a bit of Lynda’s original work well I have to consider the source and agree to give it a try.
Now I invite you to read Lynda’s thoughts here, and then maybe share a few of your own.
For sure share this post with your friends and make certain to read all about how to find her books before you go.

 

When Night Comes

by Wesley Sims
A Book Review by Lynda McKinney Lambert

I met poet Wes Sims one Sunday morning while reading my weekly issue of a poetry magazine, The Weekly Avocet,  published by Charles Portolano, features poetry that has a nature theme. In one particular issue, I encountered 3 Haiku poems by Sims. Each intrigued me for he presented new ways of looking at something ordinary. The nature-themed poems caught my attention. Since Mr. Portolano encourages his writers to drop a note to other poets and to make friends with them, I sent a note to Wes Sims to say how much I enjoyed his poems.

Eventually, I learned about Wes Sims’ poetry chapbook, “When Night Comes,” because he sent me a copy. I’ve enjoyed reading this 28-page chapbook. It is a collection of twenty-four poems. You can purchase it directly from Wes Sims by contacting him – he will even sign it for you!  (I’ve included his E-mail at the end of this essay.)

The chapbook’s cover is a moody black and white photo of a nocturnal landscape by the author. I thought “This is the perfect image for this collection of poems.” In addition to writing poetry, Sims likes to do photography. I found that the all-seeing-eye of the photographer is apparent in the poems, as I read through this collection. He sees and speaks of little details that might go unnoticed. It is in the description of the little things that we are brought into Sims’ world through his poems.

In “How to Use a Shoebox,” Wes Sims gives us his secret intention for writing:
“the impact of little things preserved” (p.4)

The mostly one-page poems are created by building up layers of finely nuanced accumulations. Sims is actively viewing and preserving as he writes the poems.. Minute images are intertwined with his personal and private memories as he has known them in rural Tennessee.

Sims describes his world – the present and the distant or even the historical past of his rural landscapes in Tennessee. Reading through the poems brings the reader right into his family circle. This is the place where Past and Present merge. The poem becomes a confluence in which time is collapsed. The individuals he presents are not generalized people, but they are family and they are named.

“grandson; grandmother; Mr. Newman; Sister; Dad; Mother; Uncle Bo; Mrs.. Engle…”

This gives us a feeling that we know them personally or that we have just met them even though many of the people who populate his poems are no longer in this world.

But, more than this Sims gives us a deeper understanding of life as he has known it – and we feel like we, too, have lived this life. In the poem, “Eyes to See,” he speaks of watching a blind man…

“Until one day, when I saw
Him in a church setting
Heard his lips sing out in prayer,
And received my revelation—
I was a blind man, too.”
(from “Eyes to See,” p. 24)

Through the book we see deserted old rundown barns and abandoned empty sheds; time-worn, rarely travelled roads up into the hills; and the last days of people who have passed away. No matter where we live or what our life is like, we relate to Wes Sims and his reflections on particular individuals, rural life, death of loved ones;, flowers, dogs, songs, snakes, music, personal memory and history. We know that our lives are enriched by the small things and places we encounter over a lifetime. It all adds up, in the end. Unimportant and trivial things really do matter.

You can find this chapbook for sale on the publishers website:

Buy it at Finishing Line Press, Link here!to read more.
Also available directly from Wes Sims at:   wes4words@att.net

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Meet Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Owner of this blog, SCAN.

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems
© 2017 by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Pennsylvania artist, teacher, and author Lynda McKinney Lambert invites readers into her world of profound sight loss to discover the subtle nuances and beauty of a physical and spiritual world. She takes strands from ancient mythology, history, and contemporary life and weaves a richly textured new fabric using images that are seen and unseen as she takes us on a year-long journey through the seasons.
All stories in this book were created after her sudden sight loss in 2007 from Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. Lambert invites us to see the world with new eyes.
Available in e-book ($3.99) and print ($14.95) from Amazon, Smashwords, and other sellers. Full details, free 20% text preview, and buying links: http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert/
Edited by David and Leonore H. Dvorkin of DLD Books: http://www.dldbooks.com/
Cover layout by David Dvorkin / Cover photo and back cover text by the author

 

 

Just SCAN it!

Just  SCAN It!

SCAN: A blog

written by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

A quiet Place of Inspiration – We Love Literature!

 

 In 2018, I AM ABIDING 

WHAT DOES it mean

~ to abide?

This is my ONE WORD for 2018.  I won’t be doing anything in a RUSH. I’m taking my TIME and WAITING to publish  special articles that will encourage you and lift your spirit.

I’ll SHARE  thoughtful articles and I’ll share the work of other notable writers, editors, authors, and artists on my pages.

Thank you for visiting with us today.

SCAN (the blog) ~ created

by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

 

Why call the blog, SCAN?

Let’s have a LOOK at the word SCAN.

 SCAN  is a verb and a noun

Definition of scan for English Language Learners

  • : to look at (something) carefully usually in order to find someone or something

  • : to look over or read (something) quickly

  • : to look at the inside of (something) by using a special machine

I am a visual artist and author who is visually impaired. Everything I do depends on the use  of equipment that is developed for BLIND and VISUALLY IMPAIRED users.

 

Scan

(quoted from dictionary dot com)

 

14 Definitions of the word, SCAN:

 

verb (used with object), scanned, scanning.

1.

to glance at or over or read hastily:

to scan a page. 

The purpose of this blog will be to TAKE A LONGER LOOK at LITERATURE, AUTHORS, BOOKS, ARTISTS, and ART. We love LITERATURE and ART here at SCAN. 

to examine the particulars or points of minutely; scrutinize.

3.

to peer out at or observe repeatedly or sweepingly, as a large expanse;survey.

4.

to analyze (verse) as to its prosodic or metrical structure; read or recite(verse) so as to indicate or test the metrical form.

5.

to read (data) for use by a computer or computerized device, especially usingan optical scanner.

6.

Television. to traverse (a surface) with a beam of light or electrons in order toreproduce or transmit a picture.

7.

Radar. to traverse (a region) with a beam from a radar transmitter.

verb (used without object), scanned, scanning.

8.

to examine the meter of verse.

9.

(of verse) to conform to the rules of meter.

10.

Television. to scan a surface or the like.

SCAN as a noun

11..

an act or instance of scanning; close examination.

12..

a visual examination by means of a television camera, as for the purpose ofmaking visible or relaying pictures from a remote place:

a satellite scan of the dark side of the moon; video scans of property listingsavailable to customers.

13.

a particular image or frame in such video observation or a photograph made from it.

14.

a blog written by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 Meet Miss Opal. She is my writing companion and together WE SCAN the BEST BOOKS and INVITE the BEST AUTHORS to TELL THEIR STORIES on our blog, SCAN. 

IF YOU are an AUTHOR with a recently published book – in the past 2 years –

 

Miss Opal & Lynda

want you to tell your story

on SCAN.

Visit our INVITATION PAGE to learn more about how YOU can be our special guest on

“Saturday is for SHARING” feature.

Click Here to get your INVITATION NOW

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

 

 

 

 

_____

Brought to you by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

Visit me at Lynda Lambert’s Website

Find my latest book at 

My Authors Page.

 

The Connie

The Connie

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

July 9, 2016

 

 

 

High humidity and stifling heat on this July afternoon begins to urge me to dream of the month ahead. I admit it! I love late August days even more because they signify the approaching end of summer.

When nights become cooler I’ll begin to forget the predictable, unrelenting steamy days and nights of July. Temperature readings by mid-August will drop down into the 50s. I’ll open the windows; feel the cool breeze move through the familiar old house. July’s humidity and stuffiness will be swept away from the house and my thoughts when I begin to sense the shift of a quickly approaching change of seasons. My senses begin to stir my imagination today. There is something brewing in the atmosphere as I stand in the mid-day sunshine and look at the landscape all around me. I see every imaginable hue of green. Is it a sort of nervousness and anticipation for…what? I cannot readily say. But I get excited and anxious for the coming of August every year.

Last night I lay in my bed, listening to the soothing insect sounds drifting upwards to my open window. Unseen creatures sounded like the tuxedo-clad musicians I have listened to as they tuned their instruments before the concert began to play. Right now, it is night songs that I hear coming from below the window. The sounds blend into a nocturnal symphony, a cacophony of a summer serenade. In my meandering thoughts, I wonder if perhaps it was on a night like this one that Mozart had the first inklings of a tune that would become “Eine Kleine Nauchtmusik.” I paused for a moment and shifted my thoughts to the sounds of that familiar music.

Our century-old home is located on a ridge overlooking an ancient, winding creek that meanders for fifty miles through western Pennsylvania. People from this area call it “The Connie.” Its actual   name is the Connoquenessing creek. The arrival of people, who settled eventually in the Village of Wurtemburg, began arriving in America in the early 1700s. That is the time period when settlers from this area traveled to Germanic lands to recruit artisans to come to America and settle here. They needed skilled workers for the settlements and for over one-hundred years Germans were recruited to come to Pennsylvania. Skilled crafts and tradesmen were necessary for the survival of the settlements. My own ancestors were recruited during that one-hundred year period and arrived on ships that landed in Philadelphia. When descendants of the first Germanic people begin to do research they are often quite surprised to discover some of their ancestors married Indians who were already living in this area during the 18th Century. The Connie has been an axis of our own community history for generations. As is true for all people, we are forever tinged with history and that history is a part of our present day lives. The Connie is part of our shared communal memoir.

 

 

Photo16_TheConnie_1In the summer time, the Connie comes alive with the voices and sounds of the local “Crick Culture.” That’s what Western Pennsylvania people call it. We find that different activities take place during each season along The Connie. And here is where my own life story converges with the flowing waters of The Connie.

Kayaking begins in earnest in late winter as soon as the ice begins to dissipate. Hearty enthusiasts will continue to ride the rapids through the summer days in into the fall season. The Connie’s whitewater rapids provide the perfect setting for a swift course for kayakers to perfect their skills. Often, a slollum line will be threaded back and forth across the creek and the brave kayakers will spend the weekend honing skills when the water is high and fast.  Here is where they can learn how to avoid rocks and dangerous areas to complete the course. Later, they will move on to the most dangerous waters of West Virginia.

On summer nights I can hear people laughing from down below the ridge. People arrive at the “crick” in the late evening, in the twilight, just before it gets dark. They park their cars or trucks   under the old trees. Generations of local people come to spend the night fishing. I often watch as they pull out their gear. They bring coolers and jugs, flashlights, buckets of worms, fishing poles, nets, and blankets. Most of them wear baseball caps. One by one, they quietly scramble down the steep, rocky path that leads to the deep water below.  This is the place where another creek, the Slippery Rock Creek, converges with The Connie. We local folks refer to this part of the creek as, “the point.” Many myths are perpetuated about the depth of the waters at the Point, and the terrible whirlpools that lie hidden beneath the placid surface. It is here at the Point, where the night time fishermen like to come to spend the night in hopes of taking home fresh fish for breakfast.  On a still night, I hear them talking softly off in the distance. Their voices merge with the insect concert.

In childhood memories my father and I are in the back yard behind our home in the foothills. I still live in the valley between the steep hills.  Like most of the steelworkers in our village, my father loved to go fishing in the Connie. In the darkness of a sweltering summer night, I helped him find earth worms.  His steelworker’s helmet had a strange yellow light on the front of it.  I smelled the acrid smoke, heard it sizzle and sputter as we bent over the dark ground.  We poured mustard water down into the little tunnels where the earthworms lived.  In just a few seconds, a worm came to the surface seeking fresh air and we grabbed that earthworm, dipped it into a bucket of clean, warm water to rinse the mustard off of it.  Finally, we put our captured worms into Dad’s metal pail with the holes in the sides. He had put dirt into the pail before we went searching for the worms. We turned over rocks and found creepy creatures hiding under them. Dad called them helgramites and they made me shiver when I looked at them.

Throughout my childhood, The Connie was the place where we went swimming as soon as spring arrived. But, The Connie can be treacherous after a day of rainfall. On such a spring day in early May, I ventured into the raging water in a swimming place called, “Mitchell’s.” I only had to take a couple of strokes to reach the big rock and that was my intention when I plunged into the water. Instantly, I was swept away from the big rock. An older boy was at the creek swimming that day and he was a lifeguard. Somehow, he grabbed my hair and pulled me to the rocky shore. There is no doubt in my mind that my life would have ended in The Connie that day if the other swimmer had not been there. I, too, would have been one of the unfortunate victims of The Connie. While The Connie is beautiful and refreshing, she is also vicious and raging at times.

 

Nearly every summer there have been accidents on the banks of the Connie near my home. We know when we hear the ambulance arriving in this area, they are most likely going to find that someone has drowned in The Connie, or at least been injured. I often wonder how many people have lost their lives in The Connie and I say a prayer of “thanks” for my own rescue when I was fifteen years old. Photo15_Connie1_March25_2015

 

Our children grew up beside The Connie, too.  In their adult years they often relate stories of their own experiences and mishaps and they usually have many tales to reminisce about their childhood swimming and floating excursions in inner tubes down the creek on hot days.

 

Not only was The Connie my favorite place to explore in warm weather, it was also my first encounter with ice skating. We carried a broom to the creek and swept off a large area to remove the snow from the icy surface. Even with such careful preparations, it was a rough and uneven place to skate. That never mattered though, and there were many winter days when we walked on the ice for miles. The Connie snapped and crackled as we walked on her surface but we never even considered that we might fall into the water or even something worse.

By the end of June, the banks along The Connie are changing rapidly in their appearance. Early July is when the foliage looks soft and fragile looking with the first blooms of the Queen Anne’s lace and some varieties of sweetly scented bushes with tender little white flowers.Photo16_QueenAnneLace_The Connie July 9

 

I stop to take a deep breath, smell those flowers, and watch the tiny bees gathering all around them. It’s like looking at a whole world of mysteries, to look into those delicate flowers. The most elegant flower gardens in this world are the ones planted by the birds and bees, and growing wild and free along the roadsides and meadows. Here is where we find the glory of nature. This, surely, is what the first inhabitants in the Garden of Eden must have experienced. Breathtaking beauty!

M y favorite sight in August is the Queen Ann Lace mingled with the periwinkle blue flowers of Chicory. The two wild flowers grow together along all the roads in early August.  I take my camera outside so I can capture the beauty of these disorderly flowers.  I remember the fields of these uncultivated flowers long after they disappear for the winter.

 

Oh, I should let you know, Queen Ann Lace is my favorite flower because of the delicate tiny flowers clustered on thin, celadon green stems. The flowers seem to float in space and ride the soft wafts of the August breeze.  Fragile lace blossoms dance in the fragrant afternoon air.  The white blossoms of the Queen Ann Lace contrast with the sturdier chicory flowers.  Chicory resembles a daisy with petals branching outward from around, dark, center.  Each Chicory bloom has little oval petals that come to a tip that looks like someone snipped it off, flat, with zig-zag pinking shears.   The brilliant blue color of the Chicory seems to pop out from among the white Queen Ann Lace in full bloom side by side with Chicory. When I see the Chicory begin to bloom, I know that the season will soon be changing to autumn.

And, it always seems that it won’t be long before I’ll be shuffling my feet through the colored leaves on my daily walks through the woods, along the Connie. My thoughts drift to the stories my father told me about his Indian grandmother. I stop and look around through the woods, and down to the white-water creek. Some days my spirit calls out to her as I look around in this same rural world that she lived in, too. Often, I have a keen insight while walking along The Connie. I step slowly over layers and generations of my family members. I ask myself, “Am I an overlay from past generations of people who lived in this place?” I realize their presence because they surround me. I can feel them. Today, I asked my grandmother, “Did your feet walk on this path, too?”

Copyright, July 9, 2016. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

__________

Lynda’s Bio:

Lynda McKinney Lambert is a Christian author, blogger, visual artist. She is the author of the book of essays and poetry, “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage”  by Kota Press. She is a  retired Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

Lynda earned  BFA and  MFA degrees  in Fine Arts;  MA in English Literature. She has traveled and taught courses in writing and art, internationally.

Lynda specializes in writing poetry and creative non-fiction. Currently she has three books in development for publication in late-2016 and 2017. Her stories, essays and poems appear in many anthologies and literary magazines.

Photo16_Bio_Portrait in Red and Orange

 

Lynda’s 2 blogs:

“Walking by Inner Vision” Link:  Walking by Inner Vision Blog
“SCANdalous – Recollections” Link:  SCANdalous – Recollections Blog
Contact Lynda:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net