Hello! This week, “Friday’s Fantastic Finds” takes great pleasure in presenting Carol Farnsworth, author of Leaf Memories.
Hello Carol, we’re happy to have you here in Patty’s Worlds today. First, in your own words tell us a little about you.
Hi, my name is Carol Farnsworth and I’m pleased to be interviewed for your Featured Author of the Week segment.
The creative world has always been a part of me. I have been an actor, singer, dancer, pianist, and artist. I’ve won awards for the In Sights annual art contest for the past four years.
When I lost my sight completely, I turned my attention to writing. I learned to appreciate nature and use my other senses with my memories.
With two hip replacements, I could no longer walk the woods I loved. My husband John and I explore nature from a tandem bicycle. We have been a tandem team for over 20 years.
My daughter has been a help and a source for writing material. The book, “Leaf Memories,” cover photo is of my daughter Ruth playing in a pile of leaves. The poem with the same name is about playing with her.
Where do you live?
I live in a small village outside Grand Rapids, MI. My husband and I have lived here for 25 years.
Who are the special people in your life?
In addition to my husband and daughter, I have a special friend that I call my Brazilian sister.
Do you have any pets?
I have no pets of my own, but thanks to my daughter, my husband and I have three grand-kittens.
What keeps you going? I mean, like what inspires you and keeps you moving forward in your work?
Finding the humor in daily life. Being blind, there are many times when funny things happen to me. When I helped with support groups for the newly blind, I saw their despair that life was over. I approached them with the humor from my own life, so they could laugh and not feel hopeless.
What is your favorite song?
My favorite song is “O It’s time to Start Living” from the musical despair. The song is upbeat and inspires the listener to start enjoying life in whatever stage they’re in.
What is your favorite movie? Feel free to list multiple titles.
My favorite movie is Ghost. I love the idea that love is never gone even after death. I also love a good cry.
What is your favorite book? Feel free to list multiple titles.
I don’t seem to be able to name a favorite book, but historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love a good suspense story. I enjoy Dean Koontz novels which always tell the story of good taking a beating but coming out on top.
What is your favorite food? Feel free to elaborate on all your favorites.
Anything spicy. I enjoy trying many types of hot sauce.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you are going to be anything, be kind.” – Dr. Seuss.
This is something that we all can strive for.
What is your favorite affirmation? Does it in some way relate to your work?
Instead of worrying about situations that happen, I try, where possible, to use them in my writing.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people talk to the sighted person and not to me, it makes me wonder if they do not see me. Occasionally I will say “I can answer that” or “ask me,” but often they will still defer to my sighted companion.
What do you think your best strengths are, and how do they help you in your work as a writer?
My empathy for others and my sense of humor helps me connect by way of both conversation and writing.
What are your weaknesses, do they hinder your work, and how are you making them stronger?
Usually there are several projects on my burners at once. Trying to give enough time to each project sometimes means I’m not doing my best. I need to learn to say no.
What is your dream for the future, and how does it relate to your work as a writer?
I hope people who read my work get as much joy out of reading it as I did when writing it, and may they get an inkling of what it means to be blind.
What is your preferred way of communicating and how can someone best reach you if they should wish to buy from or work with you in some way?
My preferred way to communicate initially is email and should anyone wish to reach out to me for any reason, they may write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If anyone would like to purchase my books they may visit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BLSN5RD
If they’d like to learn a bit more, and find other book buying sites as well, they may visit my author website at: https://www.dldbooks.com/carolfarnsworth/
Before you go, is there anything you’d like to add about yourself or your work that I’ve not asked?
I must say, I’ve enjoyed interviewing with you. You’ve provided some wonderfully thought-provoking questions.
I would like to close with the introduction to my book.
Thank you for the opportunity to share a bit of myself and my work with your readers.
From Leaf Memories
I have always loved walking in the woods. I usually explore with my husband or daughter to act as a sighted guide. They find flora for me to touch.
When I had some vision, they would point out fauna—a deer, or a bird taking flight. At those times, I was lucky to see the white of a retreating deer or hear the sound of wings in flight.
When I became totally blind, I developed my senses of touch, hearing, smell and taste to see the world.
I incorporated visual memories to complete the picture.
After two hip replacements, I could no longer walk the woods I loved. My husband and I became a tandem cycling team. This allowed me to experience nature in a different way.
I wrote this chapbook of poems after I lost my sight. I found there are many ways to enjoy nature, such as using your hands to explore, along with your other senses.
Rain distorts the reflection in the pane.
I contemplate my twisted hold on reality.
Memory of the visual world changes with age,
reforming like a deck of shuffled cards.
The rain forms tears from heaven.
They water our souls and spirits.
I take a card to see what memory is on top.
Building a story around the thought.
That story is my new reality.
About the Author
Carol has worn many hats: speech pathologist, musician, dancer, actress, artist, and traveler. Now she has turned her hand to writing. Carol and her husband, John, have lived in a small town in western lower Michigan for the past 30 years. They have one married daughter and three grandkitties.
Carol started to write essays and poems in 2018 to tell about the lite side of blindness. Her blog, https://blindontheliteside.com/, puts a humorous spin on living with blindness. While she has experienced a gradual loss of sight all her life, Carol still sees the laughter and joy in living.
Her writing has appeared in Avocet, Plum Tree Tavern, Magnets and Ladders, Breath and Shadow, Spirit Fire Review, and The Handy, Uncapped Pen. She is a regular contributor to The Blind Perspective and Newsreel audio magazine.
In addition to tandem bicycling with her husband, Carol enjoys creating felted art animals, cooking, and working in her container garden.