Saturday is for Sharing ~ Butterfly Thomas

 Post 180

Saturday is for Sharing

Good morning to our Readers

SCAN-a-BLOG

Author’s Interview with

Butterfly Thomas

by Lynda and Miss Opal

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 ~ Butterfly Thomas ~

~ A Virginia Author ~

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

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

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

 

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

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

Butterfly_ Well, here is what happened!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Can you describe your creative work space?

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

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

 

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

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

when did you remember this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I can no longer see the pictures.

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

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

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

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

_

Find out MORE about Butterfly Thomas:

  Butterfly Thomas Book title: Head Held High

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

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

  • Official book blurb:

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

_

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

and Lynda McKinney Lambert. 

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

Saturday is for Sharing

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

Lynda is the author of 2 published books:

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

~ Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Thank you for visiting with us today.

 

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

Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.

 

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

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Saturday is for Sharing: Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Post #172

Saturday is for Sharing

February 23, 2019

 

Good morning to our Readers

SCAN-a-BLOG

Author’s Interview with

Lynda and Miss Opal

  We  are so delighted to welcome a fellow writer and author

 ~ Jo Elizabeth Pinto ~

 

Jo Elizabeth Pinto ~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Book Excerpt

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

                “Are you ready to do something about it?”

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

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

 

Reflection – About the Book

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

 

 

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

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

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

Maybe you can share a couple of internet Links?

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

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

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

Just  click Here.

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

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

Lynda_ Could our readers find your book on GOODREADS?

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

And the final one I can share is this one:

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

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

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

https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/

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

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

About the Book

   

 

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About Lynda McKinney Lambert

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

Lynda’s Author Page – Click Here!

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

Saturday is for Sharing is a Special Feature Article, coordinated by Lynda and Miss Opal, her feline writing partner. Lynda and Miss Opal live in rural western Pennsylvania in The Village of Wurtemburg.

Lynda is the author of 4 books:

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

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

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

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

Both new books are now available for publication.

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

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