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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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  

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Saturday is for Sharing – Amy Bovaird –

Post #122 – Aug. 25, 2018

Saturday is for Sharing

Series of Guest Authors – #8

Miss Opal & Lynda

Welcome YOU to

Saturday is for Sharing 

_____

Meet Amy Bovaird

Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss

 

 

  

Hi Amy,   I am so pleased to present your books and hear your thoughts today on SCAN.

Your life-long love of travel and your humorous adventures abroad,  teaching English as a Second Language, seem to be  the backbone of  your writing.  No matter what the story is about, we get an excellent view of the world as you experienced it.  You bring us along wherever you are, in your writing. I’ve been reading your stories for a number of years.

Recently, I listened to the Spring/Summer issue of “Magnets & Ladders Literary Magazine.” This magazine was  recorded on digital cassette by the Perkins Library. I really enjoyed hearing your essay, “The Sweet Breath of Africa,” which won an Honorable Mention for non-fiction.  This story is about an African nurse  who took care of you while you were alone, in a foreign country,  in a hospital. It is a beautiful  and sensitive story. I have listened to it twice because it is so compelling. You are a natural storyteller, Amy.   Read this story here:  https://www.magnetsandladders.org/#the-sweet-breath-of-africa-memoir-nonfiction-)honorable-mentionwzxhzdk47by-amy-bovaird

Q_ What do you think about your name and do you use a pen name for your books?

Amy_ There is so much to a name, and over the years, I have learned not only to appreciate but also to cherish mine. My three siblings are named after other respected family members, but my mother said she chose my name simply because she liked it. That is so sweet, all by itself. As I traveled overseas to teach, having a small three-letter name like ‘Amy’ fit just right. My last name—French in origin—posed problems so my overseas students called me “Miss Amy.” This made me feel close to them; it facilitated stronger relationships and forged cultural ties.

In one class, which focused on teaching strategies for TOEFL, a college-entrance exam needed for non-native students to enter western universities, we came across the word, “amicable.” My Indonesian student said, “This is you, my teacher.” His observation filled my heart with gratitude. At some point, I heard the term, “Bon ami,” French for ‘good friend. and added that on to the lovely nuances of my name. It also has roots in Spanish, “amistad,” which means “friendship,” and “amor,” which means love. That described me well as I loved to make new friends. Later, I learned my name meant “beloved.” At that time, my walk with Christ was deepening, so my given name became even more meaningful.

I think it’s amazing how God ensures we have the tools we need to succeed in our careers—and that certainly includes the name we go by. I went by it as a teacher and I also use it as a writer.

Q_What have you done recently that really made you feel good about yourself?

Amy_ In the 90s I had the most wonderful job ever—teaching specialized English terms (think map reading, tanks, helicopters, etc.) to international military personnel at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base. I even helped set up language programs overseas. I left my job to marry an Egyptian Captain and teach in a civilian women’s college in the Middle East. I could never duplicate the unique teaching environment I had at Lackland.

About three weeks ago, one of my former colleagues and I met up in San Antonio and reunited with past co-workers. It was a whirlwind of excitement, beginning with an unexpected stop at the base from the airport and two full days of meeting up with memorable colleagues. It was also the best thing I could ever do for myself – to reconnect with the bold, daring teacher and intrepid traveler I once was in the days before the huge drop in my vision. It was good to remember I was still that person.

Q_ Are you a “Mountain,” “Valley,” or “Beach” person?

 Amy__I am definitely a mountain gal. Give me a backpack and I’ll climb high! I have a couple of humorous anecdotes in my second book, Cane Confessions: The Lighter Side of Mobility, about climbing mountains in Scotland and Japan. You can probably guess the challenges of climbing the Scottish mountain named Goatfell! There’s something about the high altitude that goes hand-n-hand with adventure.

 

Q_ What is your most notable achievement or accomplishment to date?

Amy_  I am  quite proud of my second book launch. I collaborated with the Sight Center of Northwest Pennsylvania to unveil Cane Confessions. We found a great location to hold the launch, a large senior center in our area. We put our heads together to create a strong line-up of speakers for our program.

The CEO of the Sight Center was our emcee. She introduced each speaker for the event. Other speakers included the director of the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services. This organization provides counseling, training aids, rehab and orientation and mobility to those who are blind or have low vision. Another speaker was on the Board of Directors for the Sight Center but also represented Pennwriters, a state-wide group of writing professionals of which I am a member. It also included the head of the Lions Club (of which I belong), followed by a leader dog (guide) trainer with her leader puppy. The keynote speaker was a laser eye surgeon, who I asked to speak on gene therapy. I also spoke and read a humorous passage from my book. The line-up ended with my pastor, who prayed for the outreach of my memoir, and also for the food.

While we served cake and punch, and I signed books,

we had a fabulous new group perform some original music,

including one song they wrote specifically tor the launch.  One of the group members was from Pennwriters.

We even had someone to take the money for the books, so I only had to focus on signing and connecting with those who came to purchase them.

I don’t think any of us expected such an incredible, comprehensive program to unfold without a hitch! We were thrilled! Unfortunately, although we sent out a slick press release to the media, they failed to show up. What a shame as my launch showcased so many facets of assistance available to the visually impaired community. We certainly put up a united front. It is still one of my fondest memories.

 

Q_ Tell us more about how you began to write books. 

Amy_ The first professional paid writing job I fell into was a ghostwriter job. I wrote a memoir my client termed as “the greatest love story ever told.” It was an upbeat story of my client and his wife (the love of his life) as they dealt with her ovarian cancer. I was so proud of it when I finished it.

That prepared me to write my own memoirs. I have written two books about mobility (using a white cane), which includes elements of fear, faith, humor and adventure. (I am currently working on my third and final mobility book. I plan to finish the series by December of this year).

Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss

is the memoir I want to share with you today.  This new book combines my faith and experiences in a devotional format. It consists of forty-five devotions where God met my needs at desperate points of loss during my time in the Middle East. The first section focuses on loss in childbearing. The second section focuses on getting through divorce. The final section focuses on coping with the discovery of my father’s stage-four cancer while I was in the Middle East.

Writing these devotions helped me better understand how God carried me through my heartbreak. My devotions reminded me how God had ministered to me in the past, which, in turn, helped me recall who was in control of my life. Certainly not me. I was deeply grieving over the loss of my mother, who was eighty-seven. One day she was fine; the next, she suffered a massive stroke. You think you’ll be prepared when an elderly parent passes away but few of us truly are. The loss of a loved one causes grief no matter what the age of the one you love or of the bereaved.

The greater purpose in writing this memoir was to reach out to others facing similar losses. When I go to speak, not everyone can relate to challenges of my sight loss. However, many can relate to losing a child or a parent. Additionally, one out of every two marriages end in divorce nowadays. There is a great need to know God will remain firmly at our side in those frightening moments when we face our biggest fears, failures and disappointments. All devotionals show testimony and mine does the same, only thematically.

 

If I could pick a page that would sum up of the message of my devotional book it might be found in this devotion.

LOVE TRANSCENDS TOUCH

 “‘I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow,’ declared the Lord.”
–Jeremiah 31:13, NIV


When Noor died, everything happened quickly. Nadir completed the legalities for her birth and death at the same time. I received no birth certificate or inked footprints to remember her. Nobody brought Noor to my bedside, so I could hold her and say goodbye. Nadir carried her shrouded body away. He placed her directly into a gravesite somewhere in a Dubai cemetery I would never see. Losing a baby in utero devastated me. It left me without even a photograph—as if conceiving her never happened. My second twin’s heart beat together with mine. I nurtured and sang to her, fought and prayed for her. After I delivered Noor, the nurses whisked her away to an incubator. Most of the time, my emergencies kept me from going to her. Except for One. Special. Moment. I reached through the incubator holes to stroke tiny legs—my first touch. One time to last forever.

My lack of input and involvement in the burial left gaping wounds. I cradled a single Polaroid the doctor snapped of Noor shortly after birth. Nadir hid the photo. He believed it unhealthy and wanted me to move forward. But I had no closure.

That summer, I wept for the missing rituals and mementoes that typically accompany motherhood. To fill that gap, God gave me a beautiful song about love being deeper than touch. The lyrics slowly filled the void, like rays of hope seeping through a heavy black cloud.

The words seemed penned for my twins and me. When I listened to that song, I thought about how beautiful it was to have those hearts beating inside me for even a short time. I believe one day I’ll have that privilege again.

 

Heavenly Father, thank you for scripting special words to heal our unique pain.

 _____________________

 

Contact information:

Name: Amy L. Bovaird

Book Title: Seeking Solace: Finding Joy After Loss

Email: mailto:amybovairdauthor@gmail.com

Website: https://amybovaird.com/

Book Description: https://amybovaird.com/seeking-solace/

Blog: https://amybovaird.com/blog/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/amybovairdauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Amy_Bovaird

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ls28BO

*Book is available in regular, large print, ebook and audio.

Audio is available at Audible.com, iTunes, Amazon and my website.

_______________________

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: 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.

________________

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: August 25,, 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!

 

Tuesday Travels #4 ~ Venice

Tuesday Travels  #4: Venice, Italy

____________________

If you arrive by train you will have an amazing view of the Grand Canal immediately. The sights & sounds of Venice are spectacular.

Venicie_GrandCanal

Your travel in Venice will be by walking and by water taxis.

It is an exciting experience and you will want to return again, and again, once you have been there.

I recommend you visit a concert while there! They are spectacular.

Photos are the property of Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright.

 

 

The Architecture

 

Venice_Bridge05

The Music of Venice.

Listen to The Mandolin Concerto:  Listen now!

 

 05LyndaStMarks

Lynda stands in San Marco square  on one of her annual visits to Venice.

 

Tuesday Travels  is brought to you by author,

Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright July 12, 2018. All rights reserved.

Please LIKE & SHARE with your FRIENDS.

PLEASE Re-Blog.

Please leave a comment for me so I know you visited today.

 

View Publications Page for updates on my stories and poems being published.

Walking by Inner Vision.

Lynda’s Author ‘s Page

this blog post is the property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.

 THANK YOU FOR SUBSCRIBING TO SCAN.

Blogging: Good News & Bad News

July 8, 2018

SCAN 

Blogging; Good News & Bad News

Which do you want first?

 

I’ll give you the bad news first:

I am not new to blogging. In fact, I started my blog, SCAN, in November , 2014. I ’d love to tell you how successful I am as a blogger, and how many dedicated “Followers” I have. But I really cannot do that because I have been far from success in my blogging life. I am beginning to figure out why this is the case. Let me explain some things that I’ve been learning for the past 2 ½ months.

 

 

Here’s the Good News!

I am learning why I have not been successful and how I can take some steps to turn it around.

First, I need to have a REASON & a FOCUS for my blog.

 This is the backbone of a blog. I didn’t have that structure that is necessary to build on.

In November 2014, I had the IDEA to create a blog and call it SCAN.

Why? I don’t know. I just had a feeling – you know, intuition.  The name for the blog just came to me one day, and I went to the computer and opened up a WordPress Blog and called it SCAN.

Because I had no REASON and no FOCUS for the blog, I simply wrote random essays and poetry.

If you have no set expectations for writing your blog, you will find that you really never have much success with it. How did I change all of this?

Under Patty L. Fletcher’s guidance, 2 months ago, in MAY,

I realized I need a clear FOCUS on a THEME.

I needed a REASON for my blog to exist.

My FIRST JOB was to figure out my FOCUS & my THEMES.

 

Patty told me to limit my postings to no more than 3 topics for discussion. Well, that was easy for me to do.  I chose 3 topics or themes that I have a passion for.  Art, Nature, and Literature.

I knew I wanted SCAN to be “A Quiet Place of Inspiration” for my visitors. It is not a place to be contentious or to debate issues or to rant or to promote apolitical agenda. It was not about taking action against anything or anyone.

 

I wanted to create a quiet place where my readers and I would celebrate the best

of everything and a LOVE for all things Art, Nature, and Literature.

 

What did I CHANGE?

My blog now announces my intentions as soon as you get to the front page.

SCAN – A Quiet Place of Inspiration:  We Love Art, Nature, and Literature.

 

Next, I had to ask – WHO is my intended audience?

That is easy, too.

I want to attract readers and creative people who are searching for inspiring articles that lift the spirit and nourish the soul of my readers.

 

Finally, I needed to begin SHARING

with other bloggers, writers, artists

 

 

To do this, I wanted to begin a series of articles and interviews by authors and Artists who also feel this way. I intended to present them as real people, in their own voices, telling their personal and professional stories.

“Saturday is for Sharing.”

Each Saturday morning, I will post a Guest who tells a story about their life, dreams, goals, and creative work in writing or art. I posted my first Guest Author yesterday, July 7, 2018.

The response has been overwhelming. I presented Patty L. Fletcher’s story first because I wanted to pay homage to a teacher who has changed my way of thinking and opened new doors of discovery for me, a retired college Professor. In this case, the teacher (me) became a student. Patty became MY teacher. I trusted her to guide me through unknown territory and I did as she instructed.

 

At the Christian college where I taught, our mission was to create “Servant Leaders.” We were to model what it means to be a servant leader, in order to help our students to understand our faith and our life mission.  I could see Patty as a servant leader of the people she helps in marketing, blogging and promoting. I recognized her spirit of humility in leadership and I simply followed whatever advice she offered me.  Why? Because I trusted her and it works!

After only 2 Months of learning from Patty…

The statistics that WordPress provides for our blogs tell the truth of what Patty’s assistance has meant to my blog’s visibility.

 

From January through April, I averaged 60 visitors per month on SCAN.

In May and June, I averaged 229 visitors per month.

Math is not my expertise, but even I know that this is remarkable.

New Followers of SCAN are coming on board nearly every day.

 

 

Already in the first WEEK of JULY

132 visitors came to my blog, SCAN.

This number of visitors makes me excited to think about what the total for July will be.

 

Beyond that, I begin to imagine where my blog is going in the next year – or more.  And, I feel a surge – Upwards bound!

 

Note For more information on Patty L. Fletcher:  Click Here!

____________________

 

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

Good News & Bad News

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;  Miss 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.

Spread the LOVE of ART, NATURE and LITERATURE.

We love to share what is GOOD.

 

Saturday is Sharing Day

Post #84

Saturday is Sharing  Day #1

 

Saturday is  Sharing Day

#1 in a series

Today, I am SHARING

Spirit Fire Review

 

Do you LIKE to read uplifting stories & poems?

Do you LIKE ee beautiful photos and art work?

 

If you said, YES,  then I have something nice to SHARE with you.

 

Spirit Fire Review Click HERE!

__________________________

Spirit Fire Review is a magazine of celebration ~

changing the world through love! 

Our mission is to show the goodness of God by sharing through the creative and literary arts our experiences of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. We hope you will join us by reading, sharing, and submitting your own experiences and work to Spirit Fire Review”  Quote from Spirit Fire Review, April 2018.

_____

 

Saturday is Sharing Day

is brought to you by

Pennsylvania author, Lynda McKinney Lambert.

SCAN is owned by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

View Publications Page for updates on Lynda’s  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 May 27, 2018. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

Please share with your Friends on FaceBook and SHARE to your blog.

Leave me some comments and let me know what you liked about this post today.

 

SHARE Good Thoughts

with someone EVERY day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

TGIF:  A Reflection on This Week

#1 in my new series of Friday Favorites

 

  Friday is always a good day to pause and reflect

on the week that is almost behind us.

 

What is YOUR FRIDAY FAVORITE REFLECTION for this week?

Does one bright and shining moment stand out to you?

I’d love to hear about it – you can leave a message for me at the end of this post.

 

 

My Friday Favorite Reflection is:

“Primavera: When Spring Break is Over,”

was published.

for the first time this week by Editor, Ron Harton, NatureWriting Literary Magazine.

 

I wrote this poem in 2015. I revised it recently and sent it out for consideration to this editor.

It is a collage or collection of events, people, and stories  from many Spring Break trips to Puerto Rico. I combined these things with my imagination to create a memorable poem.

 Read my poem and see a photo of a tropical waterfall by going to this link, on NatureWriting.  

Click here to read my poem on Naturewriting

 

Do you take photographs or write in a journal when you are on a trip? 

You can turn them  into a poem or non-fiction essay.

Poetry is a good way to share your life experiences with an audience.

 When you look back over this week, can you find some special people, events, travels or opportunities that just happened to pop up on your horizon? Friday is a great day to think about what you experienced this week.

What do you have to be thankful for this Friday?

I am thankful for good editors who make it possible for writers to share their work with a wide audience.

Write what comes to your mind today.  

 

 

____________________

Western Pennsylvania author, Lynda McKinney Lambert, writes full-time from her rural home since her retirement from teaching in 2008.

Lynda’s 2 full-length hybrid books:

Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, 2003, Kota Press.

Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, 2017 DLD Books.

_Nominated for “Skirt Best of the Net for 2016-2017” for her issay, “Knitting a Life Back Together.” This essay  was published in Spirit Fire Review, 2016.

_2018 Proverse (Hong Kong) Poetry Publication Prize for, “Red December,” published in Mingled Voices #2. Available on Amazon.com.

_ “first snow,” her first chapbook, now available for publication opportunities.

_Lynda’s career featured in the new book, Artful Alchemy, editor, Anne Copeland,2017.

_Lynda’s work appears in Indiana Voice Journal; Spirit Fire Review, Magnets & Ladders, Breath & Shadow, Poetry Quarterly, Tana Society of America (Spent Blossoms, Anthology 2016), Plum Tree Tavern, NatureWriting, The Avocet, Plinth, blue Unicorn, Pro Christo, Proteus, No Limits, Kaleidoscope, Wordgathering, Proverse (Hong Kong) Poetry Prize & publication in Mingled Voices 2, Anthology),  and more.

Lynda loves a rural lifestyle; walking through a meadow of wild flowers and thistles; gazing at a star-strewn sky; spending solitary winter days with her husband, Bob, their 2 rescued cats and 2 rescued dogs.  Lynda is an avid knitter who designs wearable art. She creates award-winning Talismans and art works of encrusted beadwork.

 

Lynda’s newest work:

_ first snow.  This chapbook is ready for publication.

_Star Signs: New & Selected Poems, Full-length book is now ready for publication.

 Copyright 2018. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

Contact Lynda at riverroad@zoominternet.net

 

 

 

Thursday Travels

Post #80

May 16, 2018

Thursday Travels:  Venice, Italy

I sat on a bench and drew  in my sketchbook.

My annual weekends in Venice were nearly always in July.  I came to celebrate Redentore Festival.

Link to Redentore Festival, 2018 schedule

I was usually outside on the streets most of the day when I was in Venice. There is so much to see and enjoy. I didn’t want to miss a bit of it.

  I enjoyed watching the city come to life each day.

There is a feeling you have in Venice that is different than any place I’ve ever visited.  Elegance, history, and beauty surround you any time of day or night.

First, the street sweepers  arrived before dawn.

They begin cleaning the streets of  accumulations from the day and night before. Each morning  the streets are renewed by a team of street sweepers.  They work quickly and I love watching them. This morning ritual was like watching a lyrical dance on a stage.

Next, the people who live in  the buildings that surround the campos arrive.

Some scurry off to work; others are opening their shops; some to church services; others, to sit quietly and talk toge.  You have the feeling that this activity has not hcanged over the centuries – it is a ritual of awakening each day in such an historic place.

I always carried my sketchbook with me on my excursions. 

I sketched; wrote poems; snapped photos. 

This photo captures life in Venice, Italy. 

PHOTO:  The 2 Venetian women never saw me sitting nearby  for they were absorbed in conversation.

This is their  hood.

___________

Thank you for visiting my SCAN blog today!

How I appreciate all of you!

This essay and photograph is brought to you by the author, Lynda McKinney Lambert.

View Publications Page for updates on my stories and poems being published.

Walking by Inner Vision.

Lynda’s Author ‘s Page

this blog post is the property of Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Copyright May 17, 2018. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Coming Home

I always knew  it!  I am Irish and German.  

 

This year I joined Ancestry dot com

Surprise! Surprise!

 

In Addition to Irish and German ancestry, I am

Scandinavian (over 30 percent)

Iberian

Greek

Eastern European Jewish!

I descended from a wide variety of cultures

     and I bet you did, too!

 

What big surprises you will have in store. All of the ancestral groups above moved around over the centuries because they were chased away, persecuted, and unwanted at some time in the past.

I would say that all of the various people groups, at some time in history, have been moved to a variety of locations and continents because of wars, religious persecution, slavery, and/or  the desire to have a better life in a new place.

It didn’t take me long to find my ancestral roots in Europe. In fact, the first day I traced my paternal grandmother, Effie Pearl Rugh, back to my 8th Great-grandfather in the Palatinate  area in Europe, which is now in Germany.

I WAS home.

Another few days brought me to the location from which my maternal great grandfather and my Maternal 2nd Great Grandparents  came from in Bavaria, Germany. I was overjoyed to learn this because for about 12 years I traveled to Bavaria every summer where I taught  a college course. Now, I know why I always felt like I came home when I arrived there every summer. I believe we have a collective unconscious that allows us to intuit such inner feelings as this. After all, we can know through our DNA that we belong to many different ethnic groups – it just makes sense to me that not only our DNA reveals this, but our MIND reveals it, too. We are home!

_____

Photos and essay by Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

_____

 

 

2006_Koenigsee_View

 Köenigsee, Germany

Photo by Lynda McKinney Lambert

A Kick in the Head

A Kick in the Head? Really?

What is going on? 

 

Why would anyone destroy a work of ART?

A violent scene of the destruction of public statues is nothing new in the history of humanity. Recently, I considered the historical context of what I’ve been watching on TV recently when I saw groups of people destroying public statues and literally kinking the a sculpture’s head as it bounded in the street after a violent encounter with anti-art protesators.  But their anger is not really at the art, but at the memories and ideas that the art reminds them of from the past.  This is something that has taken place for centuries, in every culture.  When people feel like victims and that they have no voice, destruction of art and artifacts  happens.  Often, this anger is over political or  religious differences and based on historical clashes.

As an artist, I am well aware of how a piece of art can affect people. It can be affirming and positive to them – or – it can make them feel insecure and threatened. Art makes a powerful statement and different people can interpret a variety of ways. we view a piece of art through our own personal lens and world view.  Sometimes, we can even view it through the lens of an entire culture, and not individually.  This is when it can become a threat and cause resentment and anger many times.

This group-think type of behavior  is quite interesting to SEE and makes us ASK, “What is going on?” Is art really that dangerous to humanity? Seems like a strange way of behaving, doesn’t it! But, this has been happening for centuries, and is not something unique or new in our own time.

Some serious research into past historical events, from the Ancient to Contemporary cultures, will provide examples of this same behavior. But in most of the past circumstances, the general public  didn’t have television to view it every day like we do now. I’ts  also happening in other countries around the world besides here in the United States of America. Seems senseless, doesn’t it!

Is ART Dangerous?

Art always reflects the heart and soul of a civilization.

Art is ALWAYS viewed as the FIRST TARGET that must be DESTROYED by invading people groups. The destruction of ART is the beginning of what is to follow.  Destruction of the nation’s art and the burning of libraries and books – go hand in hand. You see, those things are dangerous for they reflect the ability to THINK and to show a Collective Consciousness and PRIDE in their country. Invading groups want to destroy any artifact that reveals a nation’s PRIDE and THOUGHTS about life in the time in which they are living.

For the Greeks.

As a Humanities Professor, when I was lecturing on Greek Culture, I was always asked, “Why do all the statues have missing arms or heads? Why are the statues all broken up and why are they buried under the rubble of buildings?”  We have to THINK about why the statues are broken up and body parts missing, and why is there so much rubble from buildings that were magnificent?

It’s always the same answer – another culture who wanted to conquer them came to destroy the culture that made the statues and buildings. For the Greeks, it was the Romans who flooded into their country and destroyed everything in sight and enslaved the Greeks. Yet after they destroyed the Greek cities, the Romans enslaved the Greek artists and sculptors and made them make ROMAN works. Every culture that destroys another culture, will TAKE the IDEAS from the ART of the conquered culture’s country and remake it into their OWN. It is RE-Presented as their own art. (Check out Greco-Roman art to see what I mean!

Culture is what people  left behind – the ART.  We can know the heart and mind of a people by viewing their art. In the art we see their IDEAS.

For the Romans.

It was barbarian tribes who lived in areas surrounding Rome, and also those foreign people were permitted to enter Rome and were given citizenship. They flooded into the country, and became a fifth column, that brought Rome down. These invaders were Islamic and even the insides of the beautifully decorated Roman buildings were white-washed over to destroy the stories and scenes on the walls that were crafted in mosaic.

For Now.

We have seen in our own lifetime, the destruction of ancient Buddhist statues in remote mountain areas, blasted or pulled down by Islamic radicals. We have seen museums vandalized and priceless artifacts from the ancient past destroyed by invading hoards of ignorant and violent people.

For Us.

We see this same hatred of art  in our own country recently. Just like the plunderers of the Greek Art Works, a hand-full of Zealots are destroying statues – works of art. The destructive individuals appear to be in a frenzy.

I have to wonder if any of them have ever taken the effort to dig into their own cultural roots. I mean,  the thousands of years of their migrations and influences and the overall big picture of their very own history. I think their ancestors would be ashamed at their lack of respect for the land and the laws in which they live presently. But we have far more in common than we have differences.

What Do We Have in Common?

Every people group in this world has been persecuted at some point in the  long historical past. We find that such movement of various people groups over the thousands of years from one geographical place to another. When we begin doing work in ancestry, we soon see the migrations of the various people groups – and I mean ALL of them. We are ALL descendants of a VARIETY of people groups – every people group on this planet has roots from a variety of cultures. When you get your DNA done and you begin doing research, you soon learn you are a descent of  about 6 or more, different people groups from wide areas of the world.

Anarchy ALWAYS pinpoints the CULTURAL ARTIFACTS of a country or people group to DESTROY as a way of trying to destroy that very culture. They are trying to destroy Cultural Memory – but they don’t even know what that is. Angry people from a variety of cultural backgrounds are at work today to destroy their  own world. Each individually involved in anarchy and destruction of public art is really giving their own culture a kick in the head.

As with all art, it is the perception of it that makes the difference. We have be be able to view it through the lens of others as well as our own world view. That makes a big difference.

 

 

_____Copyright, August 20, 2017. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved. _____