Good afternoon campbellsworld visitors. So glad you could drop into the Author’s Corner today.
This afternoon author Lynda McKinney Lambert has stopped by to share a bit of craziness from her life with us. I understand this is the beginnings of yet another book from her.
Speaking of books, be sure to keep reading after you’ve enjoyed today’s offering to learn of all her other wondrous works.
As always, thanks for stopping by and do share and tell your friends.
“Full Blueberry Moon”
First Draft 7 July 2018
Stories, like puffs of clouds I have watched, seem to float across a summer sky as I lay on the grass looking into the heavens.
Each wispy version of my own life story merges into other varieties of local gossip or family legends. The hovering layers keep moving in a myriad of word-driven implications – in and out of my consciousness. I confess, I am in a quandary about how to begin to write a memoir.
How does a woman, like me, who is approaching her seventy-fifth birthday begin to speak about the stories of an entire lifetime? At such a late stage in life, I am bursting with memories, facts, fabrics, and rumors. Where do I begin when I have so much to disclose?
Should I begin the personal narrative in the summer of 1943, at the very beginning of my life? If so, I’d begin with the earliest memories. I have kept those obscure fragments a secret, deep inside of me, from the time before I could speak or understand spoken language. Should my tale be told chronologically from that first year until the present? I’ve often been told that a story needs to have a beginning, middle and end. And, it must be in that order – “chronological,” they say. That notion just doesn’t feel right. I decided I will just keep those early memories for a later time, buried deep in my life story, to be discovered like a shiny lump of black coal in the Pennsylvania mines. Coal deposits are discovered in layers, beneath the surface of the landscape. I’ve lived here in this rural area for so long that my stories are accumulations of coal deposited. Each one must be dug out of the earthy depths of my understanding.
Life stories resemble a collage. You have bits and pieces of so many different kinds of materials arranged carefully onto a canvas. You can put in objects that you have found –little ordinary tidbits like gum wrappers, tissue paper, buttons, glitter, or you can even paint on that canvas with colorful brush strokes. All of your objects and papers are glued onto the surface. Everything can be mixed up, over-lapped, shaded, sliced and clipped, or outlined, as you wish.
You don’t have to begin with any particular idea or color scheme. Pick your bits and pieces of raw materials up and kick-off to anywhere. Yes, that is more like a life story, isn’t it! I’ve heard people say, “Things just happened that way,” and “That’s Life.” Because life is not a linear chronology – a fully visualized construct, measured out by numbers and placed into little boxes. My life has not been a grid with avenues and streets carefully numbered and laid out. Life changes, shifts, moves, stalls, and breathes as we move through our days. At least that is how I understand life. I’ve refused to be put into a little box and labeled. I can pivot and change.
I’d rather like to speak about my stories in fragments, like the small shards of our thoughts. In my real life, the slivers come into focus at odd moments when I am not expecting them. Moments, people, and actions materialize rather randomly. Just as quickly, they fade away, replaced by more stories, other years, and details are in layers,
For instance, some days feel like something out of a movie. They don’t seem like they could be real. I just returned home last night from a weekend getaway with Angelique, my granddaughter and her 2 little girls. Isabella is almost 9 years old and her sister Ava Sue will be 8 in just 4 more months. We left on a large tour bus in the early morning last Friday. There were fifty passengers. We were on our way to New York City for the weekend.
We arrived in the Big Apple in the late afternoon. We were on our own. We found a place to eat dinner and we walked all the streets and avenues around our hotel to get acquainted with the grid system. After a good night’s sleep in our hotel, we got up early on Saturday and it was raining. By the time we were ready to leave the hotel the rain turned into a torrential downpour That was fine with us. I packed us four umbrellas and we each grabbed one and headed down to the lobby to begin our day. I did not inspect the umbrellas that I selected before I packed them. Bella grabbed the one she wanted first. We all broke out in laughter when she unfastened it and popped it up. It looked like a rat had been gnawing at it – chewed out a section of the umbrella. I have to be honest here, I am still laughing as I write about her droopy sad-looking ripped up green umbrella. This was hers for the day. Fortunately, around noon the rain stopped and she could put the miserable-looking umbrella down.
Despite the wet start for our day, we learned how to ride the busses to go wherever we wanted to explore. We spent the entire day on Saturday checking out most of the neighborhoods in the city. We liked the top deck of the busses so we could sit in the sunshine and feel the breeze as we wafted about the city. Angelique kept busy by taking videos and photographs with her cell phone. At one point she put the video on and asked the kids to talk about their trip to the city. Ava Sue spoke up first. She made a quick statement about riding the bus and seeing the city. That is when Bella grabbed the attention to herself and began to spill the beans about the naked women she saw last night in Times Square. Once she captured the attention of her audience Bella leaned right into the camera and dramatically describe the scene.
“The women are naked here in New York City. They are showing their but cheeks and their front parts. They have painted flowers on their butt cheeks and they only had on a thong – and there was one other lady who looked like a grandma. She was completely naked and had saggy boobs. Oh, they looked aweful!”
Bella is quite dramatic and she had all the right moves and facial expressions as she revealed what she witnessed. We are wondering just what she will tell everyone when she gets home. Bella is quite a good storyteller.
We toured the city on busses all day and after dinner we went to Broadway to see the musical, “Frozen.” We joined in the crowds of cheerful people who were leaving the various theaters for the night. We stopped to watch a street artist paint a nightscape on his canvas. Like magic, the Empire State Building appeared out of the darkness of black spray paint, as the artist scraped in the shapes of the skyline.
Two days ago, I returned from that trip and I’ve had a migraine headache since Sunday morning. I had to cancel my dentist appointment for 12:45 today due to the pounding and painful headache. I was hoping this week would be off to a good start but I was wrong about it.
After cancelling the dental appointment, the day went into a tailspin.
Before breakfast today, our dog, Miss Dixie Tulip, peed on the white carpeting in the dining room – again. I soaked it up with a few paper towels and my husband, Bob, turned on the fan to dry it out. We adopted Miss Dixie over 3 years ago but we had no idea she was never trained to pee outside. She still isn’t.
But she is an old dog and so cute, so how can you yell at her for these mistakes. We will just have to have new carpeting and cleaning done after she passes on. What else can you do?
While I was away on my Big Apple Breakaway Tour, one of the feral cats gave birth to 3 babies. Bob found them in a box on the front porch. We called that feral cat, Little Blue, because she was so tiny and cute and her color was a velvety blue grey. She seemed like a little baby herself. But, her sides were bulging out right before I went away so we knew she was about to multiply.
As our luck would have it, Little Blue disappeared yesterday afternoon. By late morning we knew she was most likely not going to be back and the babies were crying and moving all about in the little nest I made for them. I worked all day trying to get help with 3 kittens because I knew they would not have a chance to survive without their mother. Since I am legally blind, I cannot see enough to even begin to care for them. Worse yet, Bob suffers from Chemo-Brain after 4 years of treatments for acute myeloid leukemia. He becomes anxious when he has to do things that involved a lot of steps or that require him to be precise.
He gets distracted. Trying to figure out how to get some milk into newborn kittens is not something he can do. He tries his best. Meanwhile, these little babies needed help before they began to get weak.
Between the computer where I was posting emergency messages asking for help – and the phone where I was trying to call animal shelters, it was a full day. I felt frantic and Bob was so anxious to know the kittens would be safe.
At last we had a breakthrough and found a woman who rescues and cares for little kittens Our luck was changing rapidly, I admit. It turned out that she lived only 6 miles from us and we were able to deliver the squiggly bundle of kittens, wrapped in a towel, by 7 p.m. tonight.
I guess that today, on the 7th of August 2018, is as good of a place as any other, to begin my memoir. Of course, this will be a collage of many different colors and pieces, artistically arranged on my canvas.
Everything is crazy here. As I mentioned already, my husband was upset and anxious over the disappearance of Little Blue, the feral cat and the 3 babies who needed care.
By tonight, I am relieved that this all did work out. The rescue is complete. My migraine head ache seems to be gone or at least I have forgotten about it in all the challenges we had to meet today.
Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention that this afternoon our other dog, Miss Mitchell, saw an opportunity to push the kitchen door open. After I finished checking on the kittens, I discovered she was GONE. I found the kitchen door wide open. As I came into the house Miss Dixie Tulip came running out to meet me. She looked worried, her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth. She seemed to say, “Look, I am still here! I am a Good Girl, I did not run out the door with Mitchell.”
As Bob set out with leash and harness to find Mitchell, I remembered that Miss Dixie Tulip had peed on the dining room carpet earlier. I wondered –
by now, has she peed on the dining room carpet again? Life here is like living in Zoomland. You would think I could just get used to it. But, no!
Is there a full moon tonight? I’m thinking, MAYBE.
But I just checked the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and the Full Blueberry Moon will be on August 26. That is one night before my seventy-fifth birthday – August 27th.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR…
Lynda is the author of 2 books:
*****Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems
© 2017 by Lynda McKinney Lambert. DLD Books.
This is the 2nd book authored by Pennsylvania artist, professor, and author Lynda McKinney Lambert. She invites readers into her world to discover the subtle nuances and beauty of a physical and spiritual world. She takes strands from ancient mythology, history, and contemporary life and weaves a richly textured new fabric. She uses images that are seen and unseen as she takes us on a year-long journey through the seasons.
All stories in this book were created after her sudden sight loss in 2007 from Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. Lambert invites us to see the world with new eyes.
Available in e-book ($3.99) and print ($14.95) from Amazon, Smashwords, and other sellers. Full details, free 20% text preview, and buying links: http://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert/
***** *****Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage
© 2003 by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Kota Press.
Lynda authored this first full-length book in 2003. She created poems and stories from her annual journeys in Europe as she taught a course for college students in drawing & writing. This book is out of print but a few are available from the author:
Contact Lynda: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amazon: Buy it Some copies available as used books.
This book is out of print. Occasionally, available from used book sellers at Amazon
Lynda’s stories & poems are published in a variety of Literary Magazines, Anthologies, and Books. She is an award-winning writer. In 3027 she was nominated by Spirit Fire Review for Skirt Best of the Net Award in Essay. She was also a winner in the 2017-18 Proverse (Hong Kong) Prize for a Single Poem and it is featured in the anthology, Mingled Voices 2.
Lynda’s career and story is featured in the book, Artful Alchemy, edited by Ann Copeland, DLD Books, 2017.
Lynda has won awards for her fine art since she began her career in 1976. She has won awards for the past 4 years in the InSights: international art exhibitions in Louisville, KY.
Her art works have been juried into international exhibitions in Osaka, Japan; Papua, New Guinea, and she has exhibited in over 400 exhibitions world-wide over her career. She creates talismans and wall pieces in fiber art.
She earned BFA and MFA degrees in Painting.
She earned a MA degree in English.
Her cross-discipline approach to her education and her life-long pursuits in fine art and writing, have opened a niche market for her creative works around the world.
Lynda’s newest full-length book of poetry, Star Signs: New and Selected Poems, is currently completed and she is ready for publication of this book that features sixty poems.
In addition: Lynda just completed her first Chapbook. This little book of 16 poems with a wintry theme is called, first snow. Now ready for publication.
Lynda is married to Charles R. (Bob) Lambert. The couple have 5 grown children. Bob and Lynda live in a century-old home in rural western Pennsylvania. Lynda works in her fiber studio and in her writing office daily. The couple have 2 rescued cats and 2 rescued dogs. They enjoy gardening and taking care of any feral cats that come for a meal or a safe place to hang out.