Writers Who Influenced Us…Writing Assignment #19

Writer’s Who Inspire Us
 Consider what author  left a  lasting effect on your WRITING  life.
The question for me is:  
What writer inspired me?
I taught  a wide assortment of  humanities  courses throughout my teaching career;  it is difficult to choose.
I have to consider which writers brought me to recognize  the core values I have embraced for my entire lifetime.
What works  answered the questions of life and death?
Which ones gave me a world view that goes beyond current  trends and fashions?
How did I begin to understand the Zeitgeist of the times through the different authors and texts?
During my undergraduate studies, contemporary American poet Robert Bly deeply influenced me.
At the same time, I was exuberant when I read the  language of the 16th century poets and wrote papers on romance and death I viewed  through the poetry  of the  English author, John Donne.
If I look back into my high school days I find it was the “Beat” poets who occupied my literary  thoughts.
In my earliest recollections, I listen once again to  Joyce Kilmer’s poem “Trees” ~ All school children had to memorize this poem and recite it  before the class.  I probably complained, but that poem remains, planted deeply in my own mind.
“tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair…”

Oh, Yes, I can recognize the beginning of my life-long appreciation of nature.  (Read “Trees” as published in Poetry Magazine, august 1913  at this link:

What do they  all have in common?
Authors and books stay with us forever. In the final quarter of my life, they are still here, alive and thrilling. My memories abound with the people, places, and life lessons I discovered from all those writers and poets.
After quite a bit of contemplative musing over this question, I suddenly  knew for sure exactly which writer and works were the  center of my creative life.
My source is an ancient one – the Psalms of the Bible.  I would have heard them read in church from the time before I could speak. The various Psalms have been at the core of my life.
~ King David  ~
my earliest influence
I connected  poetry with singing
We turn to literature at the most challenging days in our life.  The Psalms are always a comfort as well as a source of inspiration, happiness, singing and instruction for living life.
I focused on some of the Psalms; wrote a number of my own personal “Meditations on the Psalms.”
,”Drawing and Writing from the Psalms”
is an  introduction to the imagery and lyrical majesty found in the Psalms. I created this workshop, a course in learning how to get inspiration for your writing by using the Psalms.
 In our workshop, students  read a Psalm, meditated on the text, then wrote responses to where this text led them in their own writing projects.  We also used the imagery of the Psalms to create drawings and paintings.
Photo: Lynda McKinney Lambert is visually  impaired.writes using adaptive equipment for the blind.  Here you can see her using Zoomtext, which enlarges her print, and reads the text to her as she works.
 blog15_WBIV_May_ WriterInfluence_LyndaWriting_Compressed
Walking by Inner Vision Journal:  Writing Assignment #19
How can I use the Psalms to lead me into some creative writing?
1._ Begin by reading one Psalm (or passage  of your choice).
2._ Jot down notes on that Psalm as you read it.
3._ Continue to think about the images and language of this Psalm after you read it.
4._ You may need to read it several times to get the feel of it.
5._ Use your notes to create your own Psalm.
Note:  Reading the Psalms led me to write my book, “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage,”  published by Kota Press.  My book features work I created over a a decade  as I traveled through Europe every summer while teaching a course for college students.  My work reflects the music of life, as we walk day by day on our life’s journey.
My EXAMPLE: Below  is one of my “Meditations.”
Psalm 138 
 The link below will take you to a recording of the  original source if you want to compare my meditation with the original that inspired me one day in 1999.
You can listen to this Psalm:
“An Interpretation on Psalm 138”
           by Lynda McKinney Lambert
I am standing here,  Lord
my heart full of praises for you
I am sometimes aware
that the angels of heaven
surround me as I sing
In my imagination
I  stand against a gentle breeze
still on the mountain top
looking at your Holy Temple
The sun warms my face
How could I refrain
from singing today
as  I think about your faithfulness
and the promises you keep
Your trust is guaranteed
You know there’s been days
when I’ve been weak
my condition has been shameful
Yet, you respond to me
with encouragement and new dreams
Wouldn’t every person in this world
like to hear your voice today
Surely they would give you thanks
because you know them personally
They will see that you are great
Through the greatest dangers
we have come hand in hand
You cleared the way before us
and quietly rescued me
Is it  because you have plans for me
The vitality of life passes before
the presence of  your glance
Let this day develop as you say
and for only one reason

I am your creation


Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 1999 and 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

You may enjoy doing additional research on the value of the scribe in ancient literature.

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Tossed Salad – Writing Assignment #17

Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing Assignment #17

“The Tossed Salad Poem”


“The 20 Word Poem”

1._Make a list of 20 words. I chose words that relate to Spring Break in Puerto Rico.

Write them FAST before your brain begins to categorize or order them.

Use your inner feelings, your intuition, not your logical brain.

2._Add a proper name and a color to your list of 20  words – Now you have 22 words.

3._Look at your 22 words, and write  some very loose rhyming words to go with those 22 words.  They should not be exact rhyming words but  they should be the same syllable or beat count.

Example:  bird and song;  pie and cake; etc.

4._You will have 44 words. 

Are you ready to begin now?

5._Pretend you are making a TOSSED SALAD…

6._Start writing and just dump in the words randomly, without giving  them a lot of thought.  You will be amazed at the magic that begins to happen when you do this. Do it quickly!

Stay RELAXED, allow the words to arrange themselves as you write.

Stay relaxed and do not stress over any words or lines. This poem is a FUN poem. Keep it fun.

Pretend  you would plop a big spoon full of SALAD FIXINGS  in an empty bowl.  Each of your words will be a different ingredient that will be used to create your Tossed Salad.

Try to take as many ingredients (words)  from the list you wrote. If you cannot use them all, no problem. Just keep going into the BIG BOWL OF TOSSED SALAD. Take words from the  list and mingle them with additional words as you write.


Here is MY LIST of 20 words:






Mountains…..el bano




rain forest…..waterfall











Below, my example using the list of words:


Caribbean mornings

earthy paradise

dark island coffee with sugar

tiny  homegrown yellow pla’tanos

sunrise breeze with honey buns

rental cars spiral up the mountains

seeking abandoned plantations

hacienda tourists in a group

I wore  my new green hat

afternoon rum delivered by boat

sandy beaches never closed

coconut drinks every day

coral reefs and rusty piers

sun burned skin

soothed with aloe vera

steep mountain paths

bridges with missing planks

immersed in chilly  streams

I scream for pleasure

moan beneath a  throbbing waterfall

Caribbean nights under the stars

I danced in the streets with strangers

held lucid dreams in my hands

Tony sings Puerto Rican songs

whispers phrases  in my ear

“Cuando termina el receso de Primavara”

always in Spanish

if a volcano erupts

there may be some delays

island flights are seldom on time

when spring break is over


 PS, I just LOVE the word, “PRIMAVERA, don’t you?

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright May 5, 2015. All rights reserved.


Lynda and several colleagues from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA  taught the course, “Purto Rico Culture.” Students in this spring semester course were required to spend 10 days on the island with the course instructors, learning from the primary sources.  She wrote this poem from her memories.   Lynda and her husband,Bob,  continued to visit Puerto Rico annually in the spring time after she retired from teaching.

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Commercials – Writing Assignment #18

 My topic today is an unusual one – TV commercials.

I have to say, this topic is a first for me. I have not been much impressed by most television commercials.  It’s hard for me to even remember them at the end of the day. But, this particular one, well, I’ll be remembering it for a very long time.

Yes! It is that memorable.

How can a SIXTY SECOND commercial make such an impact as the one that aired last night on “The voice”?

Unlike most commercials, this one by COMCAST, did not try to titillate us with sexy dancing girls; seductive  male models;  extravagant beer drinking parties;  sleek, hot, expensive cars; or scrumptious foods sizzling on a pricey grill.

There was just a sweet  little girl  who talked about her favorite movie, “The Wizard of Oz.”  She  glowed with joy as she described in great detail what she SAW  when she watched the movie.   She is delightful as she talks about the world and the characters  she loves in the movie.  Her vivid description  was brilliantly colorful and delightfully  imaginative.

Emily is the little 7 year old blind  girl who SAW  more than most sighted people will ever see. It is because she sees with her inner vision; her imagination; her intuition; her mind’s eye. Some would call this her “third eye.”

I just call this intuitive life,  “Walking by Inner Vision.”  This COMCAST commercial gives a VIEW of the world as I envision it as a blind woman who is an artist.  When I started writing this blog in 2009, it was as a celebration of my own journey into sight loss and my recovery and discoveries that were made possible via technology.  When my physical eyes stopped working in the typical way, I found that my own inner vision was there to fill in the gaps. The art I make now is far more intricate, time intensive, INSPIRED and SENSITIVE  than all the years of art making I did before sight loss.  Without the intuitive and imaginative sensibilities,  art would be quite boring.  Our imagination is the key ingredient to making vibrant art.

Now, to see this wonderful development by COMCAST that enables Emily, and all people with visual disabilities to enjoy the arts and entertainment is truly something to write about! I can say that my own love of the arts has only increased over the years during sight loss, and not a bit diminished. I have a passion for art and the humanities that has always been a part of me and always will be.  Sight loss cannot take away the imagination.

Oh, yes!  Just a SIXTY second AD from Comcast . In such a short time we experienced a little bit of the world of Emily, a 7-year-old girl.  Emily was asked to describe what she sees when she watches her favorite movie – and using that description Comcast built her version. They used puppets and special designers for movie sets.

Comcast developed a “talking guide” that can be used by blind people so they can access what everyone else is seeing.  It was done by Comcast’s Accessibility Lab.  People can listen to the voice descriptions and use one-touch access to closed circuit captions.

I find it to be exciting that a major company has put money and research into making the lives of blind people better.  People with DISABILITIES  love  hearing and watching stories, movies, dance, theater, music, and other forms of entertainment  just as any other group of people.

The arts are for everyone!


To view this wonderful commercial and other videos about Emily’s world you can….

Emily’s Oz commercial – YouTube:


Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing  Assignment #18

I wrote about a particularly enlightening television commercial in my  short essay, above.

Have you watched a good one recently?

* Today, pay attention to the commercials you are viewing during the program breaks.

* While you are watching a one hour television program:

make a list of commercials and take some notes for each of them.

* Select one of the commercials you noted on your list and write a short essay about it.

* Why do you think it is worthy of writing about?

* What did you learn by watching this commercial?

* Did it change your opinion of a particular product?

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Zip Code Poem _ Writing Assignment #16

Here’s something NEW that is going around. It’s lots of fun and anyone can do it!

This project is called The ZipCode Poem.

Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing Assignment #16

Use the zip code of a place where yo live;  a place you would like to live;  a place you want to visit; or a place you have visited in the past.

If the zip code has a zero in it, you can leave a blank line.

Another way to represent the “zero” in a zip code could be to repeat the line above the “zero.”  Be creative and you may even think of another way you want to show the “zero” in your poem.


My example is below: I live in a small rural city – Ellwood City, PA 16117

I grew up here and have spent most of my life in Ellwood City.  This is where my ancestors settled in the mid-1700s.

Ellwood City was the number one producer of stainless steel in this country. My father was a steelworker in this western Pennsylvania small rural city.

 In the Zip Code poem:

I focused on those  steel town images that K knew intimately as a child  and as I see them every day.  By the early 1980s this state was devastated by the closing of almost every steel mill – every city and town along the many rivers is a landscape of abandoned steel mills.

I used the syllable count for the zip code numbers: 1 6 1 1 7

I focused on 4 words to signify the history of the steel mills in western Pennsylvania.

steel, mills, steal, still

I chose to CENTER my lines…


Zip Code Poem

Ellwood City, PA 16117



by Lynda McKinney Lambert


abandoned rusting mills



stainless  bargain priced cold steal


Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.


Email: Zgal@zoominternet.net

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Pachysandra Gifts – Writing Assignment #15

Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing Assignment #15

“Pachysandra Gifts”

Introducing:  The Diamante Poem

(The Diamond Poem) In Italian, the word “Diamante” means “diamond.”

The unique 7-Line STRUCTURE of the Diamante poem will give it the appearances of a diamond shape.

I like this form so much for it is a work of art created from words and line structure.  I give my poem a modernist flair by eliminating punctuation or rhyme.  My preference is for a clean look and I allow my readers to create meaning as they read the poem because I am not giving directions for reading it via punctuation or rhyme. Therefore, we are co-creators in the process of the poem and it’s reading. This notion is very exciting to me!

If  you choose similar nouns for lines 1 and 7 it will be a SYNONYM Diamante Poem.

If you choose opposing Nouns for lines 1 and 7 it will be an ANTONYM Diamante Poem.

(My example is an antonym poem – my subjects are “Flower” and “vines.” As you move through the 7 lines of my Diamante poem, you will see that it moves from summer (flower) to winter (leaves).


Here is the PATTERN for the Diamante Poem

Line 1:  One Noun (your subject is introduced in Line 1)

Line 2: Two DESCRIBING  words (Adjectives) about Line 1

Line 3:  Three DOING words (Verbs) about Line 1

Line 4: A short phrase about Line 1 AND a short phrase about Line 7

Line 5: Three DOING words (verbs)  about Line 7

Line 6: Two DESCRIBING words (Adjectives) about Line 7

Line 7: One Noun (this is the final subject of the poem)


As instructed in Writing Assignment #14, you will use your short essay to write this poem. Refer back to Writing Assignment #14 to gather your images and information for this poem.  I will use the short essay I published in the last article to create my sample poem for you!

Pachysandra Gifts

by Lynda McKinney Lambert


perky white

grow bloom flourish

pachysandra gifts dead to the world

shrivel wither sleep

crisp brown



Lynda McKinney Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Love of Small gifts…Writing Assignment #14

Love of small gifts:  Writing Assignment #14

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Pachysandra Blooms at the end of April

in western Pennsylvania


My own AWARENESS of SMALL GIFTS for today is the FLOWERS of the PACHYSANDRA.

Bob and I planted dozens of small starts of a luxurious ground cover that is in the boxwood family. It is the Pachysandra plants – little thick, hardy vines.  After so many years, they grow in numerous locations surrounding our rural home. Beds of Pachysandra surround the pink Dogwood tree and a diagonally leaning Apple tree. The plants flourish along the old weathered sawmill plank fence and burgeon down into the woods that surround the property.

During long frigid winter months, the Pachysandra leaves remain on the ground, brown and crisp. 

It seemed as though the sleeping leaves would never again be the deep forest green, lush, and plentiful with blushing white clover-line blossoms.

This week I discovered the myriad of fragrant flora nestled deep in the vines. I bent over and snapped off  one, sniffed it, and was surprised by the strong scent the little flowers have.  It reminds me of the honeysuckle vines that spread a heady scent of summer fragrance in the early mornings and evenings. For the Honeysuckle, once the sun is up and shining down on the vines, you cannot smell the blossoms again until evening. But, unlike the Honeysuckle, I found that the blossoms of the Pachysandra can be enjoyed any time of day in late April.   I picked a few little flowers from the vines and brought them into my kitchen to add the scent of April to the house.

In truth, I must admit that until this week, I never noticed those perky little pachysandra e flowers on the plants s before this week! The flowers bloom profusely regardless of my absence of attention to them.  Little GIFTS from God are often overlooked when we are too occupied with the big, overwhelming situations and obsessions in life. I am thankful today, for the little GIFT of a delicate Pachysandra blossoms, sprinkled with wet dewdrops in the vegetation of an early morning.


Walking by Inner Vision – Writing Assignment #14

This assignment takes you outside to have a look around – and find a small blossom blooming. Is it one you are aware of, or is it an unexpected surprise.

Write a short essay about your discovery.  Be sure to give lots of details about what you have discovered because our next assignment will turn your essay information into a poem. You want to have lots of good descriptive details in your essay so you have lots of good information to pick from when you are ready to create a poem.


You can go to our NEXT Walking by Inner Vision Journal Assignment – and LEARN HOW to WRITE a DIAMONTE Poem!  “Diamonte”  is the Italian word for “DIAMOND.”

Let’s write a Diamond Poem about a small FLOWER you have discovered.  You will use your short essay that you wrote in THIS ASSIGNMENT – Writing Assignment #14 – for information to help you get started with your poem. Your assignment foe TODAY is to go find some unexpected little blossom you had not noticed before.

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The Mountain- Writing Assignment #1

The Bear climbed Over the Mountain

The Bear Climbed  Over the Mountain

The Bear Climbed Over the Mountain

to see what she could see.


Did YOU ever sing this little song when you were a kid? I sure did! Click on this link to hear the song and sing along   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGJuoodm_BM

Well, OK, I took a look back to January 2015  to see what I could see, said the Mama Bear! (That would be me, of course.)  After I wrote my blog article for the New Year, I started thinking about what I might have been looking forward to when I wrote my article four months ago. I want to see how I am doing…Oh, Yes, it was a “big reveal.” I needed to remind myself what I INTEND for this year – now that we are 1/3 of the way through 2015.

The Essence of Our Intentions

I take a look back to my January list of Intentions here!


The Essence of Intentions

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Begin your own personal


This is the kind of winter day when it feels just right to spend some time thinking about some of the things we might want to experience at the beginning of a new year. Somehow, when the temperature drops near the zero point, we pause  in the cozy warmth of our home and take time to dwell on personal things that might be forgotten when the world begins gradually to shift once again towards a time of new beginnings.

Let’s take a few  days and map out the journey? It begins the moment we decide to take the action of thinking about what we want to do this year. Where do we want to go on our journey ahead?

As soon as we begin to think of the year ahead we often begin to feel some fear or trepidation.  Fears begin speaking to us in the beginning. That is the Inner Critic  and pay attention to how that works. It is always to throw road blocks in your path; discourage you; distract you from becoming the person you are meant to be. The Inner Critic is always negative and speaks loud and clear inside you. recognize e it for what it is – your enemy!

But there is an opposite voice inside of you, too. This one speaks quietly, sometimes in silence. It whispers. This is your spirit.  Take time to stop what you are doing, sit down and listen to that spirit inside of you that will give you guidance and direction towards the good that God has for your future.

I want you to begin writing down some of the positive intentions you have for this year.  Don’t be afraid to give them a voice.  Words and thoughts have power. Your written words will give you the strength you need throughout the year as you look over them from time to time. We’ll keep on going because we have written out a plan and we will remember our intentions for this journey.

I recently  mulled over some conversations I had with other people and the feelings I was dancing with in my solitary times of reflection.  Words of the past week of the New Year lingered in my thoughts.   I asked, “What are my own intentions? I began to realize that to find my “intentions” I needed to begin to do the mindful work, seek out the core beliefs I hold.

I am not talking about goals and dreams here. Yes, we have them, and we’ll continue to work towards them a step at a time.  I do strongly recommend that you set some goals for the year, too. Set goals that are attainable.  Be sure to outline some short-term  goals that you can work towards on your way to the end goals.  Be realistic. When you reach each of the short-term  goals; celebrate and give yourself a reward for reaching it. For goals, Write them Down. Then, Make it work! That is the best advice for attaining your goals.  But, what I want to focus on here is INTENTIONS – which are how you will find your life’s PURPOSE or your CALLING.  We all have a purpose or a calling on our life and it was planted deep inside of us from our beginnings.  Here is where we find our MEANING – what we are here to do as human beings, created by God.


 INTENTIONS –  our inner motivations –

our spirit – the very core of who we are.

We begin by asking ONLY ONE question:  “What will I gain?” Will this fit my lifestyle?


We have this moment and we have no assurance we will see another day


Begin to write YOUR INTENTIONS!

I wrote my intentions out for this year.

How did I begin this task?

Make a list of your own intentions for this year.Write each one as it comes to you.

Write what is important to you. search your own mind for what is important to you.


Here’s  a couple of my intentions for this year:

  • I’ll spend some time in silence and prayer each day. If only for short periods of time – I’ll begin by sitting quietly in a secluded place where I can be alone for awhile. Silence is where we can be open to the leading of God in our life. I can begin by just sitting alone for 15 minutes, twice a day.
  • I’ll  nurture my creative spirit each day through art and writing time. When we get quiet and begin to do creative work, we find we pass into a place that is “timelessness.”
  • I’ll be aware of the need for good nutrition and exercise for my body.
  • I’ll begin IMMEDIATELY to STOP complaining or listening to gossip. or listening to gossip. I’ll focus on my own speech, and stop the negativity in my mouth before it has a chance to come out. I won’t make excuses for myself when I fail to be positive in my speech.
  • I’ll surround myself with like-minded people who value me and respect my purpose in life. Be selective about who you speak with


Our intuition will ALWAYS give us an ALERT, deep inside.  We can learn to READ our inner feelings and listen to our intuition.

I remind myself of this every day when I look at the message I have posted just above my computer screen. It says, “TRUST INNER FEELINGS.” Learn to look INSIDE of yourself, and experience the wisdom that will come to you when you do this regularly.


  • I’ll READ  GREAT  books that will teach positive ways to live a victorious life. For instance,  I could choose to read books such as {the 7 Laws of Spiritual Success” Deepak Chopra. Another great book would be “Come Away My Beloved” by Frances Roberts.  Often we can find meaningful books that can transform our daily life. Right now, I have just read, “A Complaint Free World,” by   Wll Bowen. This book has inspired me to concentrate on being aware each time I say something that is a complaint or gossip. It gave me a goal for my life.
  • I’ll GIVE to others – things that fit in with my own passions and talents. What are your passions, talents, desires? Turn them into an intention for your life.


Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing Assignment #1

Think over what intentions you would choose for your own life.

Write them out. It helps to SPEAK them out loud as you WRITE them out.

You can write them into a short journal entry, turn them into a poem, or write an essay about your intentions.

Have fun!

Thanks for beginning this adventure – Walking by Inner vision Journal.

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Your Dream – Writing Assignment #13

Do you have a dream?


Do you have something quietly whispering  inside of you that tries to come up to the surface of your consciousness occasionally?  What would you like to do?

God plants DREAMS inside of us, and if we are not living those DREAMS, we will feel a tension or ache in our soul.

Don’t be AFRAID to dream BIG! What would you do if you could do ANYTHING in this world. Yes, I said it – ANYTHING.

Don’t think of limitations of any kind. Just DREAM.

You DREAM should FIT with your PASSIONS, your skills, talents, and your personality.  What do you LOVE to do?

One of my dreams was to write a book. I had no idea how I would do it, or how it would be published, or who might like to read my book. I did not have any experience in writing a book and did not know any publishers.
~My background is in Fine Art, English Literature  and Teaching~
As a  Professor of Fine Arts and Humanities, I traveled to Europe each summer where I taught a course for a month. My book is, “Drawing and Writing in Salzburg.”  My students came from all over the world to take my course and we lived in Salzburg,  Austria – and we traveled on weekends to Germany, Italy and the  Czech  I offered this course for the month of July, every year. Republic.
We had classes 4 mornings a week. Our classes were held in a school classroom sometimes, but mostly we traveled to a new place every morning on the local bus. There, we wrote and made sketches and worked on ideas in our sketch books. We traveled to other countries on the weekends together.
After teaching and traveling during my summers for a few years, I had several sketchbooks filled with  drawings, poems and reflections.  Without realizing it, I  created  the poems and stories for  a book which would be published.
A publisher contacted me. I did not know her and I did not seek her out in any way. She asked to see my work so  I sent my collection to her. She immediately wanted to publish   my collection. The rest is history. My book is_Concerti…Psalms for the Pilgrimage, published,  January 1, 2002. One of the works of art I created in Austria became the cover for my book. I am delighted  with the finished product.
If you have an idea or a dream, just begin working on it. Don’t worry about the little details or how you will achieve it. The people you will need to have on board to help you will come to you. You don’t have to search for them.
Just begin your project, and watch what happens. One by one  other people will come to you. You will have the help you need, and just when you need it. Your job is to begin doing the work NOW, and keep believing for everything else to come to you right on time. It all will happen that way. 
Your dream is waiting for you.
Walking by Inner Vision Journal – Writing  Assignment #13
1.)  Write down a DREAM you have in your heart.
2.)  Put a date on it so you will remember when you first dared to write your dream out on paper or in your journal. .
Remember: Create a dream that fits who you are as a person – your personality, your skills, passions, and talents.
3.)  Write a short essay about your dream and what your life will be like when the dream has manifested in your life.  What differences will it make in your life?  Who will benefit from your dream?
4.)  Release that dream – give it to God and allow him to work it out in miraculous ways so you will know it had to come from his hand.  ASK him to guide you and give you inspiration as you begin  walking towards the dream.
5.)  Be sure to let ME know how this all comes into your reality. I will be so happy to hear that your DREAM has been achieved. Don’t forget me!
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Tanka – Writing Assignment #12

April is National Poetry Month

The Tanka Poem – Writing Assignment #12

Did you set a goal or intend to do a  special project for April?

Because this month is National Poetry Month,  I chose to write a TANKA-a- Day  during  April. This is a challenge to me because I never wrote a TANKA poem before this month.  I wanted to try something new when I decided to choose the TANKA form. It dates back about 1200 years in Japan.   I had to dig into some research on the Japanese Poetry Form.  This is what I will share with you today.


What is a TANKA poem? 

The TANKA poem originated in Japan.

Typically, the topics of the TANKA are nature, seasons, romance, sadness, love, strong human emotions.

Tanka poems do not have titles.

They may simply be numbered. My Tanka poems are labeled like this:

I simply write “Tanka” and put the poem’s number behind it. (Example: “Tanka 105”)

In the Tanka, the writer uses personification, metaphor, and other allusions. The lyrical intensity of the Tanka gives a sense of a personal and intimate world

There is no need for capitalization or punctuation in the Tanka.

I like this so much since I like to allow the reader to use her imagination  by filling in thoughts as she reads through the poem.  Fragmentation in this form of poem is highly desirable. It leaves the poem “open” and allows the reader to develop the poem in a creative way while reading it.  Punctuation cuases a poem to have stops and stalls in it and is directional and didactic. The Tanka flows smoothly without this kind of direction by the writer.

What does the TANKA look like?

It is a poem form that has 5 lines.

Each of the 5  lines has a specific syllable count. It will be 5,7,5,7, 7

What else do I need to know to write a TANKA poem?

The lines will be like this:

_Line 1:  5  syllables – Line 1 would be one or two  concrete personal images. Keep it simple and write from personal experiences.

_Line 2:  7 syllables – Line 2  write reflections on how you felt or what you were doing or thinking about in the first line’s experiences.

_Line 3:  5  syllables – Line 3 describes thoughts or feelings   This is the PIVOT LINE of the poem! It refers back to lines 1 and 2; and ahead to lines 4 and 5.  You may have to switch and move lines around to get this working in the poem’s  format.

_ Line 4: 7 syllables that combine all five lines of the poem’s images and ideas

_Line 5:  7 syllables that continue to carry out your themes and imagery.


Here is a Tanka poem I wrote today. I had been outside in the early morning walking my dog. Rain had dampened the earth significantly before we departed on our walk. As we walked through the soft gray mists, rain once again started falling down on us. I put up my red umbrella, and my dog and I continued walking together.


Tanka 105 by Lynda McKinney Lambert, 2015

wet red umbrella

cool morning rain and grey mists

tiny lilac buds

we step into soggy grass

rain water soaks our bodies

Walking by Inner Vision Journal –  Writing Assignment #12

Using the directions above, create your own Tanka poem!

I would love to read your poem – send it to me or post it in the comments below.

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Morning Walk_ Writing Assignment #11

Our  Early Morning Walk – Writing Assignment #11

Photo by Lynda McKinney Lambert: “8 Am April Morning.”

Did you know April is National Poetry Month?

I decided to occasion EVERY DAY this month by keeping my focus on writing poems.


 Morning walks are a special time between me and my dog, Mitchell.

I decided recently that I want to photographically record the area where I live, and in particular the landscape around the Connoquenessing Creek in Western Pennsylvania.  This is where I have lived my entire life and the Creek has been a central image every day even when I am not consciously thinking about it.  I plan to do photos and write about the changes as they occur throughout the year. I call this series, “Life on the Connie.”


Around 8 am, Mitchell waited patiently at the kitchen door as I pulled on my Wellies and slipped into my warm jacket.  As I put her red leather harness on her she lifted one foot, and then the other, as she stepped into it. I snapped on the red leash, and we were ready to leave for a little walk.

We left the house together for our first walk of the day. I took my camera along and snapped a few photos of the landscape, all so familiar to us.

I noticed that the grass in meadow was covered with a fine, light silver layer of frost. There is a quiet beauty in frost that we might miss if we are not paying attention to the visual details of the moment.  I thought, “I know the calendar tells us it is SPRING, but it does not look or feel like it yet.”  It was crispy cold!

I paused to look at some of the details around us.  It will be changing rapidly as the month of April moves forward and if I don’t capture these days with my photos, I will soon forget how special they are.  I’ll be swept away with the unfolding of grass, weeds, wildflowers, and trees by the end of this month, I thought.

Within a few minutes, I heard an owl hooting. Just in case I was daydreaming, the Owl spoke once again. Ah, no, it is real. There truly is an owl nearby this morning. The haunting sounds of the owl, a lyrical moment; it seemed to be coming from somewhere near the creek just beyond our view. I felt like the owl was greeting us as we passed by on our morning journey.

Today’s photos show a world that still looks like a winter day.  By the time we walked back towards the house, I noticed the sun was already climbing up into the sky more than I had realized.  It was already bright and the frost was gone from beneath our feet.


Walking by Inner Vision –  Journal Assignment #11:

Take your camera outside with you today.

Look around for some little details that you have overlooked but now you are beginning to see them.

Take a few photos of some little details and some wide landscape views that catch your eye today.

When you come back inside, write down some notes about your experience.

Note what time of day it is.

Think about sounds you heard.

Can you recall the breeze, or the scents in the air?

Did you experience an internal dialogue today?

What thoughts were swirling around as you tried to pay attention to the world all around you?

Try to think about what is going on inside your head when you are looking at your world through new eyes.

Write about your experiences as you look at one of the photographs you took today.

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