When things get lost in the shuffle ~
What do you do?
For example –
Last November, I was asked to respond to a list of questions for a virtual interview on a blog. After some months, the interview never appeared.
It turns out that my interview is floating around in Cyber Space – somewhere.
My interview went MIA
I decided the lost interview would be a fun twist –
My responses to the questions that were sent to me are posted below.
This is the interview that went MIA
My Friday Favs – a Selfie!
Let’s call this a “Selfie”
which could be much like a “Self Portrait,” for I am an artist.
The Responses and Photos are my SELFIE.
Lets do it!
ME_ Thanks for inviting me to come over today. This is such a balmy March day, and it is a pleasure to visit with you. Let’s take our coffee and go into your beautiful living room. I love the light that is filtering through the window and your room looks so comfortable. I see you love plants! There is nothing like being surrounded with plants – I feel right at home for I am a collector of succulents, too. In fact, my spectacular “Partridge Breasted Aloe,” is blooming right now in my Reading Room window.
Photo of Partridge Breasted Aloe, by Lynda McKinney Lambert.
Q_ What part of the country do you live in?
ME_I live in a small village in south-western Pennsylvania. The village is over 200 years old. It is called, The Village of Wurtemburg.” My ancestors settled this village in the mid-1700s, when they came from Germany. I have lived in my home in this village for fifty-one years in a century-old house that sits on a ledge overlooking the Connoquenessing Creek.
I envision my ancestors walking on the same paths that I walk on – I feel them. I am an overlay of my ancestors. As I walk through the woods, some days, I speak to them and I listen for their gentle responses. They inspire my writings.
Q_ What do you like best and least about living in western Pennsylvania?
ME_The connections I have to a long history in this area are meaningful to me. This is a rural area in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains and it is located about forty miles north of Pittsburgh. What I like most is the privacy and seclusion of my home. I am a rather solitary person who loves to have lots of time alone where I can create my art work or do my writing in a quiet setting. The woods all around this area inspire me. I love nature in all her variety of seasonal changes. My husband, Bob, and I, take walks in the woods several times a day with our 2 dogs. We appreciate the wild animals and birds that live here. We feed feral cats and provide shelter for the cats or any other wild animals that may come around.
I cannot think of anything that I don’t like about where I live. We think of this as our little piece of heaven on earth.
A View of the Connoquenessing creek from the First Bridge, in Wurtemburg, PA.
Photo by Lynda McKinney Lambert
Q_Is your writing influenced in any way by where you live?
ME_ Without a doubt! My writing begins when I stand outside at night looking into the sky. It begins when I am walking in the rain along a path in the woods. It begins when I watch the seasons changing. I am moved by nature in every aspect that I see reflected in the land and people around me here in rural Pennsylvania. I love the vernacular speech I hear every day. This place is filled with memories of local and regional history that is unique. I am deeply rooted in this place. I am a firm advocate of “Bloom where you re planted.” While I have written extensively of other places in the world, this is the place I call “home.”
Q_ Can you describe your writing process for me? For example, do you have a certain time of day you find most productive? Or a special place where you find inspiration?
ME_I don’t know if it is apparent in my work or not, but I don’t sleep much. Much of my writing is done as I sit in a dark room with the blinds closed – during the night. I often get up at 2 or 3 a.m., come downstairs to my office, and turn on my computer. I wake up with ideas, at times. Once an idea comes into my mind, I feel like I have to grab onto and get it down on paper, before it goes away and never returns to me again. There is a sense of urgency about it.
Ideas come to me in a word or to, most of the time. It will be just a short phrase that appears like an image in my thoughts – and I grab a large black marker and write it on a sheet of paper. Later, I will put it into the computer and begin expanding on the idea.
Once I have the initial idea, I begin the research that is necessary for me to do. I will put down pages of research information. This will be the raw material from which I will begin to build a poem or an essay. I work only in poetry and creative non-fiction essay forms. I don’t care for fiction – seldom read it. It does not interest me much at all. I think there is a wealth of information to be gleaned from mythology, ancient stories, and history – as well as the present moment in our contemporary life.
I take strands of old and new, and begin literally to weave my tapestry.
Tapestry, woven wall piece by Lynda McKinney Lambert.
When I worked on my undergraduate BFA degree in Painting, I also worked on tapestries that were part of my final exhibition. I’ve always worked across disciplines in my art and writing.
My academic background and passion are in fine art (Painting and Fiber Art) and in literature. I write exactly the same way that I would create a painting or a work in fiber art. I work in layers. I lay down layer, upon layer – and the most important aspect of what I do is that I keep the piece open to change at any point in the creation of it. Change is very important to me. I work back and forth between creating and destroying – I put down, and I take away…and this is the process that continues throughout the work. These ways of working are why my writing is so different – I do not work in traditional ways.
Q_ What got you started writing?
ME_ Writing was an integral part of my academic experiences. I chose courses in a variety of disciplines that were labelled as “intensive writing courses.” I quickly learned that I was very good at writing because of my background in the Humanities.
My German art history professor spoke with me one day,
“You don’t write like an American student. Your writing is very European.”
So, with that comment, I realized this professor gave me insight into my writing style. What I did not know back then, was that I was working with the creative unconscious part of my brain – receiving information from the Ancestors. I just knew my work came from “somewhere else,” and I had to turn my back on everything around me, and look into the work and respond to that. I thought of my work process as prayer – I was engaged in praying non-verbally, my hands and my entire body. In addition to this, I often dreamed and saw myself working in ways that were unknown to me. I was actually tutored by dreams. Many of my poems and art works ae Dreamscapes.
My style was natural, and nothing I had learned or studied. I just knew that I wrote and thought differently than the students around me when I was in the university programs. I learned it was an asset and I embraced it. It was unique to me.
Q_ Why do you write? I mean, if you could sum it up in a word or in a simple statement, what keeps you writing?
ME_ I willingly step into the Mystery.
Q_ What genre is your favorite right now?
ME_ Always – it is poetry.
Not the traditional rhyming, sing-song stuff of past generations, but the gutsy, tough, bold stuff of now. Rhymed poetry makes me shudder. It is usually so predictable that I can barely get through a poem that is written like this. Typically, a poet concentrates so much on the end rhymes, they lose sight of the mystery and magic of their idea. The poem becomes locked-in and stiff. I am a descendent of Whitman, and I am all about a modernist tradition of AMERICAN POETRY.
Q_ Who are your favorite writers?
ME_ During my academic student years, while earning 3 degrees –
I focused o the work of these 4 poets:
John Donne – Walt Whitman – William Carlos Williams – Robert Bly –
During my teaching years, I came to love the work of:
Louise Glück – Yusef Komunyakaa – Dorrianne Laux – Rita Dove – Louise Erdrich – Ranier Maria Rilke – Kafka – Irene McKinney – C. S. Lewis – Gail Trembly
Q_ What color would you say best expresses your personality? Why?
ME_ I suppose the colour YELLOW must be important to me because my house interior has every shade of yellow you can imagine on the walls. Yellow is combined with rich shades of Turquoise, orange, terra-cotta- and delicate greens – my entire home is decorated in the colors of Puerto Rico. Bob and I went to PR every year in March for many years. We wanted to live in a home that made us feel happy the moment we stepped inside. No neutral colors in my life – none!
I do not embrace timidity in any area of my life!
In my personal style, I wear red and purple a lot. I consider them both neutral colors – and I can put any other colour with them and it’s smashing! I am never without jewelry and lipstick. I make just about every piece of jewelry I wear, but I also love vintage jewelry.
In decorating, I am a Maximist. I like to be surrounded with art and rich colors and objects. I collect contemporary art and antiques. I don’t have a minimalist bone in my entire body or in my home. I like layers of beauty and objects in my surroundings.
Q_ What do you like to do on a rainy day like this?
ME_I love to knit. I started knitting when I was a child of about 8. I knew no one who knitted, and a lady in a local shop helped me get started when I purchased yarn and needles in her store. I knit clothing that I wear – wearable art.
PHOTO: My Library and Fiber Art Studio.
Notice my lovely cat, Miss Opal, on my poetry shelves.
My knitting projects surround me.
Q_ What’s your favorite part of going grocery shopping? What do you think that says about you?
ME_ I shop the perimeter of the store. I’m a vegetarian since my early 20s, so shopping for me is quick and easy. My food choices are very basic – vegetables and fruits, and some yogurt or cheeses usually.
What does it say about me? I hope it says that I truly love animals and respect their position on this earth – kindred spirits and creatures who are a creation of God.
Q_ Did you ever bring a stray animal home with you? What happened?
ME_ Strays are my specialty. I’ve picked up stray animals my entire life – beginning as a child.
Fortunately, my husband is like this too – so we are always looking out for and caring for animals.
We purchased 2 German Shepherds in our life together and all of the other pets have been ones we found or rescued. Because we live beside the woods, dogs and cats seem to be dropped off nearby. We take them all in and care for them – many of them over the 52 years of living in this place.
Q_ What is your favorite punctuation mark?
ME_ My favorite punctuation is the period that is inside the quotation mark. I get stressed when I see that a writer forgot to put a period inside of the quotation mark. If it is outside of the quotation mark, where it does not belong, it annoys me. I think of the quotation mark as hugging the period and keeping it warm in winter time. I guess this is a pet peeve of mine – when a period is displaced and lost out there past the quotation mark. It’s kind of like being lost in Cyber Space!
Q_ What role have children played in your life? How about in your writing?
-What is your favorite fairy tale/children’s story? Why?
Favorite myth is about Persephone and I have researched and written about this Greek myth quite a lot. I’ve done academic presentations on it, poems, and essays. I am fascinated with the ancient concept of FATE, FORTUNE, and the OLYMPIANS. I’ve never had the good fortune of visiting GREECE, but I love the old stories and legends of GREECE. When teaching, I lectured on Greek art and history – and its fascinating. I love the big picture we get of our own work, today, when we understand the ancient past and how all of this has influenced everything we experience now. I feel sorry for any student in our culture, who is not well-read in the Classics. Their understanding will be quite limited for they do not understand their own past. When my son came home from his first semester at Bard College, I was so delighted to see that Classical texts were the center of his early education. They are supremely important.
Q_ Tell me about your family, please.
ME_ My husband and I had 3 biological daughters. We adopted 2 children, from Vietnam and Korea. All of the children are grown and most have children of their own.
We have 7 grandchildren; and 5 great-grandchildren. It is obvious we like kids! Christmas time at our house is super joyful because they all come home for the holidays. They play games around the dining room table all night long.
I don’t write about children and I don’t write for children.
Q_ Tell me a little more about your writing and where I can read your work?
ME_ Sure. I’d be glad to share that with you.
First, I’ll begin with where I am at this moment in my publishing life.
I have a new book at the editors right now. I worked on this book for the past 2 years.
The book’s title is STAR SIGNS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS.
As the title indicates, it is a book of sixty poems.
The book is divided into 4 sections.
Each represents a different aspect of life: Sky, Legends & Metaphors, Earth, and Seasons.
The book’s title is the opening poem of the collection, “Star Signs.”
Second, I am currently working on a revision of my first book that was published in 2002. “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, Kota Press.
I am updating and expanding the scope of this book of poems and journal entries.
It will have a new name as well and a new look.
This new book will be published in 2020, under the title, “Pilgrimage.”
Finally, my latest book that is available now on Amazon and other selling sites, is
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, DLD Books, 2017.
This book contains 27 essays and 16 poems. It is organized as a trip through a year, from January through December. Each chapter is a month of the year, and opens with a poem for that season.
I am pleased to say that the book is being recorded by Perkins Library, and will be available later this year as an audio book through that library.
The book will also be produced as an Audible option and available eventually on Amazon.
At this moment it can be purchased through a variety of book sellers. Check my short bio below for more links and information. Thanks for the INTERVIEW. In the spirit of the age, I loved the IDEA of the SELFIE Interview! I hope you did, too.
This essay is brought to you by the author, Lynda McKinney Lambert.
View Publications Page for updates on my stories and poems being published.
Lynda’s Author ‘s Page
This blog post is the property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.
Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.
PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS but be SURE to include the entire article with Copyright information in tact.
SHARE THE HAPPINESS
We Love you for That!