I am working on my next full-length book, Gifts of the Spirit: Stories & Poems from now till the end of 2021.
The new book is a companion of my book Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems, published in 2017. See it here.
~ My Writing Process ~
I began writing stories and poems for the new book a couple of years ago.
I always like to start with a plan that gives an order in which to work out the process. I laid out a skeleton or structure for it several times over the past couple of years. I gathered lots of ideas, writings. I divided the book into categories or topics – several times. I try to put everything into a cohesive whole, bring order to the myriad of concepts.
Each new version of my draft eventually is altered.
But, not all of it is erased, discarded or moved. No, it is more like a palimpsest manuscript. Layers of words remain as other coatings vanish. Spaces appear, created, holes filled. When one works in layers, some fragments remain, some punctuation altered or deleted, meanings changed, paragraphs removed, and some words, sentences or paragraphs are shifted to new locations. I use the Socratic method as I continually ask questions in the working process. I search under, around, and through the rugged terrain of my verbal landscape.
Over my years of writing, I’ve come to an understanding of how I work. I have a process, and it’s messy!
I am going to war, and I know it before I write that first sentence.
I step into chaos. I always begin with the disorder in just about everything I do in my creative life.
Nothing magically happens when I am creating – no magic bullets and no writings that plop down on my pages. Writing, for me, is more like an excavation site. I have to dig through layers upon layers to sort, sift, discard, build, destroy, explore, and patch.
My process is physical, a painful boxing match. I am a warrior woman going into battle.
Lynda McKinney Lambert – Author/Artist
Your comments and questions are most welcome.
Most of all, I need your prayers over the next year.
When you think of me please stop for a moment to whisper my name in a prayer to our lord, Jesus.
Thank you for your interest in what I do.
Please contact me at any time if you need to speak with me or need to ask me to pray for you. I am a Prayer Warrior.
My first chapbook is published by Finishing Line Press.
I’ve put together a collection of 30 wintry-theme poems.
It is available in paperback, or Hard Back copies directly from the publisher at Finishing Line Press. I am so thrilled to have my chapbook available as a hardbound book and a print edition.
I am working on writing a chapbook for each season.
I love chapbooks and have a little collection of special ones in my personal library. They are like a work of art, to me. They have a feeling of preciousness, which I like so much.
A chapbook is shorter than a full-length book, and it has a focus on one theme.
Since I’ve always found winter to be a beautiful time of year in my area of Western Pennsylvania, this is my way of celebrating the season.
With this new publication, I am thinking about creating a chapbook for each of the 4 seasons. I like to work in a series, and I think this would be an excellent way to do that in the future.
My poems are spare – uncluttered by unnecessary words or punctuation. I like to keep them pure and without distractions. Readers tell me how enjoyable it is to read my seasonal poems. Here is a quote by a reader,
The crisp quality of the words and vision… is made poignant by the author’s personal history and victory with physical sight. Her heart comes through her hands and pen. Her words are fresh, yet rooted and ancient. The Natural realms intersecting with the Spiritual realms plus the Human daily-realm creates a deeply pleasing flavor of poetry. Accessible. Thoughtful. Power
_Elizabeth Enright Phillips, owner of Running Creek Co Limited, ardent minimalist, author
Lynda Lambert covers a vast terrain of subjects and topics in this new book, from lights to legends to seasons, treating us to images and metaphors about plants, people, and weather. She opens this extensive collection with the title poem, Star Signs, which walks us through the alphabet. It digs through thoughts, emotions, and observations, “Using star signs to map out new terrain.”
Throughout this book of poems, these gems of poetic creation shimmer like beads on her fabric art, like bold brushstrokes of color on her paintings, and reflect light like the gemstones on her prize-winning piece of mixed–media fiber artwork. It seems this entire collection is like a multifaceted mural.
Her attentiveness to nature and strong reflections from memory have woven from a collage of remnants a beautiful tapestry for us. It offers a beautiful feast for the eyes and the mind.
—Wesley D. Sims, Author of Taste of Change
This is the author’s third book of poetry. Cover photo by James Wheeler from Pexels Cover design, editing, layout, and e-book conversion by DLD Books
Description of the cover image of Star Signs:
The late evening photo shows several delicate, bare trees in silhouette, leaning slightly to the right, against a violet-colored sky. There is a faint streak of pinkish light to the right of the trees, low on the horizon. Thousands of stars are visible in the sky. The solid black landscape below the trees appears to be the shore of a darkened lake, which is in the foreground. A few stars are reflected in the water. The overall impression is one of stillness and beauty. The predominant colors are black and violet, along with white pinpoints of starlight. The title and subtitle are in white at the top of the cover, and the author’s name is in white at the bottom.
NEWS: This book is now available to the National Library Services BARD program. You can order the book, read by Polly Slavet by asking BARD for DBC 11608. You will LOVE Polly’s elegant presentation of Lynda’s book!
Take a journey through the seasons of a year from January through December. With award-winning Pennsylvania Author and Artist Lynda McKinney Lambert
In 2019 Lynda received the prestigious
Albert Nelson Marquis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the fields of Artist & Author
This award is given by the Marquis Who’s Who Publications Board, to honor Biographees who have achieved career longevity.
Lynda is a retired Professor of Fine Arts & Humanities, Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA
Her first book is-
Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage
Kota Press, 2002
She wrote the book from her travel journal entries, as she taught a course in Europe each summer. From this first published book, the theme of “life as a sacred pilgrimage,” This theme endures in all of her subsequent writings.
In her 2nd book, Lynda continues to take readers on the road with her as she travels through a life pilgrimage from her earliest memories to her present septuagenarian years as a well-known artist, author, educator.
Lynda retired in 2008, after sudden sight loss due to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. During her recovery and rehabilitation process, she began to write stories & poems for her new blog, Walking by Inner Vision.
In the beginning, her blog was her way of communicating with the world again after sight loss.
Lynda became aware that she was now living in a world of inner vision.
She did not realize at the time that this blog was the beginning step towards the book now available on Audible.
Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems
A personal, private, and spiritual walk through the seasons
I’ll celebrate my 77th birthday this year. Birthday months seem to be a time of reflection. It is kind of like New Years Day when you look ack on the past year, and at the same time, you are looking forward to stepping into the next year of your journey in life.
Officially, August is still “summertime,” but we get a sense of the shifting that is happening this month, too.
I realize that daylight comes a little later as I move through the month. I’m aware of how the mornings are getting cooler because I walk my dogs outside in the early morning.
It feels good and I begin to think about the queen Anne’s Lace and Chicory that we will see along the rural roads and in the meadows. I love this time of year when gardens are flourishing with delicate blossoms and colors.
As a contrast, I have to say that our personal gardens may not be flourishing by the end of August. I’ve been feeling like I am in a bit of a slump lately. I spent so much time in June and July, working outside for hours at a time in my gardens.
In August, I am feeling tired of those chores and I’m thinking of adjusting to other things on my agenda such as completing work on writing projects and beginning a new series of artworks that have been brewing in my mind for months.
Lately, I’ve really slipped in my exercise and dietary goals, too. Yesterday, I signed up -AGAIN – for a weight loss program on-line.
I really need to shed 20-30 pounds – extra weight slows down our body and our brain. Extra pounds on our body makes us sluggish. This is not acceptable to me and I’m going to begin changing that today. Our body reflects our mindset. Our body is a visual image that tells the world many things about us without saying a word. I’ve always embraced a healthy vegetarian lifestyle, exercise regularly, and believe in mindfulness of the gift of each day.
I will re-set my thinking and my actions.
August will be the first month in my intention of making improvements in my personal life. I need to make changes and I am gong to do it.
This morning, I read a fantastic blog post that has turned me around.
Maybe you will also get some insight into how you can turn around yourself this month.
You can visit this post today, and then think about what you can do differently in August.
I’m game. I WILL GET BACK ON TRACK, beginning TODAY.
Photo: “Caribbean Sea,” pottery, by Lynda McKinney Lambert.
In December, Sara Joseph a Christian artist in Texas, challenged her friends to write a Mission Statement. She asked that we pray about it and ask God to show us what our Mission really is and how we live it.
This way of considering a Mission Statement is different from what I have experienced in my past positions in museum management and in higher education. Those ones were created by a team of people employed by the museum or the college. It was a team effort and we worked until we reached consensus. Now, Sara s asking us to look deep inside of our creative life and pray about what God would guide us to do and be as an individual creative person. This was much different than past experiences.
Since last December, I’ve spent a lot of quiet moments alone with God and talking with him about my personal and professional mission. I’ve asked him to show me a different perspective in what I do that is a benefit to others in my writing and art making. I’ve considered how my gifts and passions are reflected in my work.
Sara told us that our Mission Statement would probably be revealws to us in fragments – little bits and pieces at a time. And, it has! Over the past five months I have been given more insight into the value of who I am and what I do.
The first insight came on January 1, 2020. This is the day when I set my intentions for the year according to One Word that will be with me for the year. This year, 2020, marks the 6th time for me to choose One Word and live it out for the year.
The word that came to me is “Gifts.”
Sara also encouraged her readers to consider every creative act we do this year as “Gifts for the King.”
As a Christian, my King is Jesus.
My purpose and pleasure is to
make and present my GIFTS to my King.
I am thinking about everything I create this year as a Gift for the King.
This led me to understanding what my
Mission is and to write a Mission Statement that is mine.
Five months from the time I started praying about it, I have written my statement.
Mission Statement for Lynda McKinney Lambert, Author & Artist
I am the keeper of memories. I reveal what is forgotten, lost, or unseen.
I bring Gifts to the King through spare poems and thoughtful personal essays.
I bring Gifts to the King through brilliant colors, precious materials, and tiny movements of my slender needle – one stitch at a time.
My writing and my artworks are personal prayers, my Gifts to the King.
For contemplation –
What is your calling or your mission in life?
What is your unique gift that is of value to other people?
How is your gift manifested in everything you do as a creative person?
Write out your Mission Statement as it is revealed to you by God as you seek his wisdom and revelation in your creative life. Keep in mind, it will most likely be very slow in coming to you. But when a piece of it comes, you will know it. Write it down and keep on praying for guidance and eventually you will have your Mission Statement that is just for you.
Self Portrait of the Artist, Lynda McKinney Lambert.
Photo taken at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA.
I like to begin organizing and cleaning my home in March each year.
I feel good when I finish the work and sit back to enjoy the fresh atmosphere in my home. I learned this as a child, helping my grandmother , Ida Matilda, and my mother, Esther, as they cleaned their homes in preparation for the warm days ahead.
Back then, in the 1950s, we took out all the rugs and beat them with a “rug-beater” while they hung on a clothesline. We beat out all the dirt from wintertime that accumulates in the fibers. Of course, we did not have electric sweepers at that time – so this was essential.
Next, we took down all the curtains and washed each panel individually. While the ruffled curtains were still wet, we stretched them out onto curtain-stretchers. It was a wooden frame with little sharp nails all around the edges. This task took a lot of time, and you could get your fingers pricked if you were not careful. But, when the delicate organdy curtains were put back upon each of the newly-washed windows, the room looks exquisite.
My mother and my grandmother took such great pride in their homes and keeping them clean and pleasant in all seasons. I do, as well. My home is my castle and the place where I find peace and solace. I love my nearly century-old home in The Village of Wurtemburg. My house has roots so deep into my ancestry, and so do I.
I grew up with a deep appreciation for my ancestors and this little spot of “heaven-on-earth” the Village of Wurtemburg in rural western Pennsylvania.
I’ve enjoyed a life of travels to magnificent places in this world, yet, coming home to Pennsylvania was always delightful. I had a feeling that my home always welcomed me upon my return. I never took it for granted. This place is my paradise on earth.
This week, I started organizing a tall hutch in my 1920s kitchen – This tall cupboard holds a collection of ruby red glasses on the topmost shelf. Beneath that shelf, I have two more shelves where I store canned goods, and I am working on organizing them today.
Because I have deficient vision, I am assisted by my willing helper, The Merlin CCTV, which magnifies each of my cans so I can know what is in it. Once I know, then I make a 3 x 5-inch recipe card for each box.
On that card, I use a BIG MAMMA marker – the biggest you can find – and I put down a few letters that indicate what is in that can. When I finish the lettering, I put a rubber band around that card to hold it onto the can.
Each item can be carefully organized in my cupboard for me to be able to know what is there. Things take time for me. The little things that I used to do very quickly can now take days. Or more. I am grateful I have always been a patient person with the ability to stay focused on any task at hand. God prepared me in advance for this road I am walking on today. God always prepares us for the next step – even when we are entirely unaware of it. You can ask him, “What am I prepared for?” The answer comes. It arrives as a still small voice – a breath, the Holy Spirit that indwells us.
Like Queen Esther, in the Bible, we are placed where God needs us to be at the right time.
Esther 4: 14.
Esther 4:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
My mother’s name is Esther, and I remember the meaning of her name.
Esther could be translated as “star” in Persian. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia. This was not her desire, but she was put in this position by God and through Esther, the nation was saved.
If you have committed your life to Jesus, our Messiah, then you don’t need to worry about your next step – as it was for Queen Esther, your arrival will be on time. Trust in God to guide your days, and you will be precisely where you need to be at the right time.
Right now, I need to be in my kitchen organizing my cupboard and in my office writing some more Haiku today. Bob has the dogs out for a walk, and when they return, we will be working in the kitchen today. One little thing at a time is all it takes to make your life and your home a more excellent place to be as we shelter-in-place and wait out the pestilence that is moving across this country and the entire world.
Don’t live in fear. Know that God has everything in control no matter how it appears. I recommend that you not watch much on TV because the majority of the reporting is based on fear. Be filled with faith, instead. Do something that makes you feel good inside.