Saturday is for Sharing: Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Post #172

Saturday is for Sharing

February 23, 2019

 

Good morning to our Readers

SCAN-a-BLOG

Author’s Interview with

Lynda and Miss Opal

  We  are so delighted to welcome a fellow writer and author

 ~ Jo Elizabeth Pinto ~

 

Jo Elizabeth Pinto ~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Book Excerpt

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

                “Are you ready to do something about it?”

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

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

 

Reflection – About the Book

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

 

 

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

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

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

Maybe you can share a couple of internet Links?

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

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

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

Just  click Here.

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

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

Lynda_ Could our readers find your book on GOODREADS?

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

And the final one I can share is this one:

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

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

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

https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/

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

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

About the Book

   

 

  –  

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

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

About Lynda McKinney Lambert

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

Lynda’s Author Page – Click Here!

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

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

Lynda is the author of 4 books:

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

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

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

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

Both new books are now available for publication.

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

Please SHARE:  We LOVE YOU FOR THAT!

Please include copyright information with article. Thanks so much.

 

Saturday is for Sharing – Patty L. Fletcher

Welcome

Saturday is for Sharing

  Patty L. Fletcher, Author

 July 7, 2018

SCAN is hosted by

Miss Opal  and Lynda McKinney Lambert.

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

Guest Author

Patty L. Fletcher

Author

Campbell’s Rambles

SmashwordsCover

Patty is the Owner of

Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing.

Email: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com

 

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

I first met you on an internet writers group some years ago.  I have watched you create a remarkable career through your publications and your many accomplishments through the blogs you write and manage and the authors you promote. That includes me, and It’s great to work with you.

I’ll begin our interview with this question:

Patty, What is the most important thing you want people to know about you?

 I am kind, caring, and honest.

That is important because, to me,  being kind, caring and honest is a large part of a person’s foundation.  It’s important for others to know these things about me because people need to be assured that those they keep time with are decent people.

It is important to others because the world in which we live today can be a cold cruel place to live sometimes.

People can be unkind but I think people must feel safe, cared about, and loved.

I simply want to project the type of person I want around me.

I treat others how I want to be treated, and make sure they know that whether they’re someone who is important to me or someone I’ve just met they will be treated well.

Q_ How do you decide what really matters in your personal and professional life?

I decide what really matters according to my values.

I think it has a lot to do with how we grow up and what our family values were. Things we are taught as children stay with us for a life-time and learned behaviors are hard to unlearn. I’ve had many in my life who were not so, and the scars will never go away.

Q_Do you have a handicap of some sort? If so, how does it affect your life and what you do?

Yes, I have multiple disabilities. I am totally blind; have Fibromyalgia; suffer from Bipolar Disorder; and Short-Term Memory loss.

Being totally blind affects how I get from place to place, how I dress, cook, clean my home, and even my writing.

As a totally blind person I must rely on others to drive me. If a person who doesn’t drive doesn’t live in an area where there are accessible forms of public transportation they are left to the mercy of friends and family.

No matter how well-meaning folks are when they say, “Call if you need anything” they cannot be expected to drop everything they’re doing every time someone needs to go somewhere.

Sometimes a person just wants to go out for the heck of it. Maybe run out and grab a bottle of wine or a burger.

People aren’t just going to drop what they’re doing to come get me at 2 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon all because I have a craving for a cheese burger, fries and bottle of wine.

Luckily, I live in a town where there is a public transit system and decent taxi services.

Even when I moved into an area where I could not walk easily to a public transit stop, I found our Dial-a-Ride services well run and easy to use.

We have same-day-service, unless the system is extremely booked, should I suddenly decide I want a burger or bottle of wine I can get a ride.

Our taxi service in the area is not bad either. If  I want to go out and about on the weekends when our busses are not running, I can still go out.

 

Fibromyalgia is a horse of a different color.

Sometimes Fibromyalgia  causes so much pain and discomfort I have trouble doing the simplest of tasks.

There are mornings when I can barely get out of bed to take my guide dog out for his first walk of the day.

I find that having the dog does lots more for me than providing safe travels to and from all the places I want to go.

Campbell keeps me going and helps me push through days that I might simply choose to give up and stay in bed all day.

Having to get up and be active whether I feel like it or not most times makes it easier to deal with the pain I sometimes experience.

Bipolar is the worst disability I deal with.

Being an emotional person can be a problem all by itself.

Being a person who suffers from wildly swinging moods, and at times what is considered to others strange behaviors can really cause problems in my every-day life.

It causes problems in relationships with family and friends. It causes problems with dating and it for sure has caused me to lose people in my life.

 

Short-term memory loss is just,well, a pain in the tail.

Imagine not being able to remember where you sat something down. Then compound that problem with being blind and not being able to sweep your gaze around the room and see where it is sitting.

 

That, friends is problematic in the worst kind of way.

When I was working in the public sector and needed to be at work on time I had to be absolutely certain of where everything was the night before and sometimes even take notes about it so that in the morning’s rush to get ready and leave for work I did not waste time hunting here and there.

People advise putting things in the same place all the time.

That does not necessarily work because if the memory loss kicks in that place where ever it was, is forgotten.

 

Q_How can a person overcome a handicap and what would you want that person to know?  

 

Overcoming handicaps like mine takes arduous work,

perseverance and patience.

I don’t mind the challenging work, and persevering is something I’m getting better and better at but I’m still running very short on patience.

As far as how my handicaps affect my writing, well as I say I am totally blind. I use a screen reader or voice over technology on my computer. The sighted world forgets about blind persons a lot of the time so lots of times things do not work for me as they do for the sighted computer user.

Examples are:  screenshots, memes and info graphics are not readable for screen reader users.

The world is full of them and no matter how many times I remind people of that fact, many do not take those things into consideration when they put their works out for the world to “See.”

 

This is a topic I am quite passionate about these days.

In fact, just today, I’ve been involved in a Facebook conversation about this issue.

A friend was really in a tizzy over an update that changed the fact that when the background colors are changed on a post, a  person using a screen reader or voice over can no longer read it.

The comments on their posts ranged from mild annoyance to downright rude angry and childish.

So, I got onto my own timeline and wrote how I understood that it is annoying when sites like Facebook update and our needs are left out of the mix. I, too, lose my cool at times and rant on it but if we have educated conversations with people about it we would find that people would listen to our side of the situation. Many times things would get resolved.

A friend of mine commented that the old saying was true and that we would most assuredly get more flies with honey.

I wrote back the following.

I love this way of looking at it.

I hated to be in such a snit about this, but it just gets so old reading people’s puling on and on about how the sighted world just gives us no thought at all.

It’s simply not the way of it.

 

It’s no different from the fact that I don’t have a clue what it takes to drive a car. I have no idea how tiring it might get driving from place to place, how much strength it might take, how uncomfortable it might be for someone who has a back issue whatever.

 

My point is:

People simply cannot know what they don’t know, and they don’t put into the forefront of their minds something that they do not deal with all the time.

 

Just a little while ago I clicked onto a page of someone who had shared a post. I like the stuff they write and say or share from others so of course I wanted to see what they had to share. Well, when I got there it was a darn photo and all I got to read was, “Photo may contain text “Well it disappointed me. I really wanted to know what it said. So rather than go into a rage rant snit about it I wrote.

“Shame it’s one of those pesky pictures

that only says to me photo may contain text”

Then the poster and I had a chat about it.

People today want everything right now. The youth of today knows nothing of what it was for blind people even ten and twenty years ago. They’re covered up in technology that makes their lives easier than those who grew up in even the 80 and 90’s knew. And we’re not going any further back than that because they could not possibly comprehend it. I get so annoyed when I read someone griping about a book that has not yet made it to Bard.  (Bard is the National Library Services For the Blind and Physically Handicap)

See: That All My Read

First, I want to know why they cannot spend $4 and buy an eBook that is one-hundred percent accessible with voice over and Amazon even has a free Kindle app for their computer, so they can read it.

Second, I want to ask them how they’d have liked it if they’d had to sit around and wait on the mail to bring cassette tapes or records that might or might not play when they arrived. (I’m dating myself here, but the youth of today is soft spoiled and plane out nerve-racking.)

 

Not long ago I wrote a blog post called “Challenges of a Disabled Writer”

POST URL:  https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/challenges-of-a-disabled-writer/

 

I felt it was time to start raising awareness on a higher level. Sometime later in a different post the subject came back up yet again so I re-shared the post link into that conversation’s comment section.

 

I spent the remainder of that day having a ton of magnificent conversations with a whole bunch of bloggers on the subject and by the end of that day, more people had an idea of what they could do to make things easier on those of us who do not see.

Blindness does not define who I am. None of my handicaps do.

They are a part of me, I must live in this world and like it or not,  persons who are disabled are the minority.

 

I obviously cannot walk around angry about it all the time so, to me,  the best thing to do is to talk about it in a polite rational informative manner.

We, all of us, have issues that we deal with. If people really stopped and thought about it everyone in the whole wide world is handicapped in some way.

I have a saying…

“There is no right way. There is no wrong way. There just is, a way.”

 

Q_Patty, can you talk a little bit about how and where you do your writing?

Do you write in solitude or in public places?

I mostly like quiet solitude when I write.

There are times when I toss my Laptop in a backpack, grab a set of headphones, my phone and Bluetooth keyboard and all other necessary writing tools and head off to a favorite bar or coffee-house.

I usually do this when I find myself running low on inspiration.

Sometimes I don’t really need to engage with others. I just need to be able to listen to conversations and activities going on around me while I write.

It seems to help my writers’ block when I change my environment.

When I wrote my first book,

Campbell’s Rambles:

How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life,

I wrote a sizable portion of this first book sitting in the phone room where I worked.

We would get quiet time sometimes on the phones and I had to have something to do to fill that time.

I found I could write my book there because people I worked with loved hearing the stories of things that happened during my time at The Seeing Eye so while I told stories I wrote them down.

Final Comment from Lynda and Miss Opal:

Patty, Miss Opal and I agree that your interview and story is encouraging to us.  We appreciate your honesty and courage and how you described  your daily battles & victories as a person with multiple disabilities. 

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

Q_Patty, please give us a final thought about your book,

 In this magical and love filled tail, King Campbell (AKA Bubba) travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs. Just as he is about to finish his tail, a wee pup becomes very frightened of all that lies ahead, and one frightfully stormy night she runs away! Will King Campbell hear the urgent call from the puppy nursery in time? Will they find her and save her so she can fulfill her destiny?

The use of “Tail ” instead of “Tale”  –  and – “Magik” instead of “Magic” is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell

Buy Link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0765BWDJF

The use of “Tail”  instead of “Tale”  for story and “Magik” instead of “Magic” is intended for these short stories. A great play on words from King Campbell

 

Patty’s final comment:

I’m very grateful for having had this time to share a

bit of myself with you and your readers.

 

18_SCAN_PattyFletcher_BubbaTalk

____________________

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

Saturday is for Sharing

A weekly series coordinated by Lynda and Miss Opal, her feline writing partner.  Lynda and Miss Opal live in rural western Pennsylvania in The Village of Wurtemburg. Miss Opal has a sister-cat named Miss Bessie.  Lynda is married to Bob Lambert and the couple share their home with 2 rescued dogs;  Mitchell and Miss Dixie Tulip. Lynda is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities, and she is a fiber artist and author.

Lynda is the author of 2 published books:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems Buy it!

 

Lynda has just completed her 3rd book

Star Signs: New & Selected Poems – 60 poems

AND her FIRST CHAPBOOK

first snow, 16 Poems with a Wintry Theme.

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

 

~Thank you for visiting with us today~

Miss Opal and Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

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

Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.

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