Hey there everyone.
Today I have the pleasure of interviewing a very brave and courageous lady about her writing adventures, the bond that she shares with her Seeing Eye dog and how she has never let anything get in the way of her writing.
May I introduce you all to author Patty Fletcher to start off a very inspirational week.
Hi there Patty, it is lovely to have you over here as our guest today.
Let’s start with your memoir book “Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life”. This is based on your own life and experiences with your
Seeing Eye Dog and is a heartwarming journey of Personal Development. Please tell us more about what inspired you to write the book. Did you get to a point in your blogging adventures and decide the time was right to produce this memoir to serve as a shining example of the great work that Seeing Eye Dogs do?
Hi, and thanks so much for having me on Too Full To Write. I am super excited to be chosen for an interview.
In answer to your question of what finally inspired me to write this book I have to fill you in on how it all came about for me.
You see, the book actually came first, then my online magazine “The Neighborhood News”, and then finally my blog “Campbell’s World”.
When I realized that going to The Seeing Eye was what I wanted to do, and then saw all it would entail I began to keep a journal of events. It was quite a process just to apply and be accepted. Once that happened, I needed to ready myself for traveling to the school in Morristown NJ and for the training as well. As readers will see when reading my book, I was quite out of shape, and due to previous life circumstances, quite unprepared in many other ways as well, so I had lots of work to do.
I felt like this was going to be a major undertaking and that I wanted to keep some sort of record of what transpired. Once I got into training at The Seeing Eye I was certain I’d want to find a way to let others know about all I was experiencing, but it wasn’t until I returned home and my life changed in such a drastic way that I knew for sure I had to write a book about the whole thing. From getting ready to go, going through the training process, and most assuredly about what happened when I returned home.
The first thing I wanted people to know was that even if they had multiple disabilities like Mental Illness and Fibromyalgia, as well as their blindness this was still quite doable. Hard as heck, but doable just the same. Then when I began to realize that I was not at all living the type of life I wanted, not to mention that I truly was being abused by my then Fiancé and that I was definitely going to have to make difficult and everlasting changes in my life, I was absolutely sure. You see, Campbell truly did “Retrieve My Life” and more than anything on earth I wanted the whole world to know what a huge part he, and The Seeing Eye played in that.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
The two biggest difficulties where writing is concerned for me have been the technical challenges and being financially secure while writing.
While technology for screen readers and voiceover have come a long way, we still have miles to go before we sleep, and as far as financial security goes, due to personal circumstances, I have not worked in nearly two years, so making ends meet while writing really does at times give “Starving Artist” a whole new meaning.
What is the easiest thing about writing? You ask…
Finding things to write about. Because I write nonfiction and I am writing about my own life finding material to write about is easy. All I have to do is get up and go out for the day. It is for certain something is going to happen that will end up either in a book or blog post.
Some of it is funny, some is not. Just this last week I had a discrimination issue and it made for a wonderful new addition to the Bubba Tails series I have going on my blog.
Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you?
I enjoy fantasy, science fiction, and books about the supernatural. I love the books by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and many more. My favorite books include Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.
I know. I know. Nothing at all like what I write, or is it? If you read my new series on my blog you might see a taste of some of what you see above here in it.
Do you have a favorite motivational quote or catchphrase from anyone in particular (famous or otherwise) that inspires you when you write or create?
I do have some favorite quotes and catch phrases. One of my most favorite came from my Seeing Eye instructor Mr. Drew Gibbon himself. All through class any time I became unsure of something he would encourage me by saying, “Take a chance there’s a 50 percent chance you’ll be right.” I cannot tell you how many times I have followed that advice, and have actually found that 50 percent of right.
Another favorite catch phrase of mine is “If you don’t want people to know how you are, don’t be that way.” I made that up myself. It happened shortly after I began my blog. I wrote something about someone and they weren’t overly thrilled to see it in print. I simply said, “Well, if you don’t want people to know how you are, don’t be that way.” And it stuck. I have used it many times since then including on myself.
One of my most favorite quotes I came across while looking through blog posts on About.com. It said, “I know that I’m alive because I can look behind me and see the wreckage of my life.” (Author unknown)
That one really stuck with me because for the past 4 years or so I’ve experienced quite a lot of wreckage, and even though I am lots better now than I was then, I still can look behind me and see it there. It serves as a reminder of where I don’t want to be again.
I tend to at times have a problem with doing without thinking and so the last favorite quote I’ll share with you also came from my instructor. He taught me this while learning to cross red-lights during training he always said, “Stop, think, and then act.”I have used this for many different reasons in my life of late and it never steers me wrong, but if I forget and act on impulse it never goes well at all.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
‘Why I wrote this book and why I continue to write…’
I wrote this book to tell the story of how going to The Seeing Eye™ and getting Campbell, learning to love, handle, and work him, then coming home and adding him to my life, gave me true freedom.
I tell of how changing from being a 31-year cane user to being a guide dog handler taught me things about myself I had never known before. I tell of the wonderment I experienced when I finally took that chance.
A major goal of mine is to help others who find themselves in domestic violence situations. I also want to help others learn more about mental illnesses and how different situations and environments can drastically affect those with such challenges.
I also tell how training affected me physically as a result of the fibromyalgia I deal with, along with the side effects of the medications I take.
I focus on bipolar disorder, on how it can go horribly wrong and cause a person to behave in ways they normally would not. Then I show how hurtful it can be when a person is completely rejected, made to feel as if they have been tossed out with the trash, when they become sick as a result of mental illness.
Another thing I have attempted to show is how, in certain institutional settings, attachments can develop—and how those attachments can become unhealthy for all concerned if they are not handled correctly.
Most simply, I want others to know more about me.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
On the few occasions that writer’s block becomes a problem for me I simply whistle up my dog, put him in his harness and off for a walk we go. There’s nothing more freeing or refreshing than taking a long walk with my dog. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to simply go where I want when I want with no help from anyone. When I need to work through a particularly hard chapter, or try and figure out how to make what I want to say fit in an article with a word limit, working up a good sweat while taking a long walk with my dog is always the ticket.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
Some of my free time is filled up by a new program I have recently begun with a couple of our public city schools here in our area. I call it ‘Stop and Read On Campbell’s Corner’.
When I had to leave my job as volunteer coordinator for Contact Concern of Northeast Tennessee INC., I knew I’d need something to do with my time. I started out contacting schools and letting them know of Campbell and me, and offering to come into the school system to educate children of all ages about Service Animals and how to appropriately behave when encountering one.
Over time I began to chat with the family liaisons of the different schools, and soon learned that there was a real need for children to have someone to read to. So Campbell and I began to volunteer our time by going into the elementary schools when needed, and letting children read to Campbell. It has been very well received, and just this past week one of the schools I visit most frequently asked if I’d like to make it a weekly event. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I have begun a series on my blog called Bubba Tails. The first season is called “Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye”.
Below is the infomation concerning the first 6 episodes.
Many people have enjoyed the tail of Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life (C) 2014.
Now, from that story comes the tail of how it all began! No! Not another story told from a human’s point of view! No! Not at all! Instead we will hear from the Dog’s mouth himself just what it was like for him from moment one until the very second he and his forever human mother went home together to begin the most important journey ever!
In this most awesome tail of magik mystery and more!
King Campbell Lee Seeing Eye Dog (Bubba to his friends and loved ones) tells to the puppies in the nursery at The Seeing Eye who will soon go on journeys of their own what it was like for him to learn that he was to be a Seeing Eye dog and all the things that took place in his life to get him to the place where he is today!
It is my hope that with the writing of this book more awareness of The Seeing Eye can be made available to persons of all ages, and that with the selling of this book the breeding and puppy raising programs can be funded.
I am also working on my second book, “The Raw Truth: Campbell’s Rambles Book Two”. My original projected release date for this was to have been 2017 but I’m afraid due to the financial restraints I wrote of this is most likely going to be delayed. In no way would I dare try and publish without an editor, and at this moment in time I still do not have the first book paid off, so for now my Bubba Tails series and the other things I write of on my blog will have to suffice.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
The best thing I can tell you is this, if you want to write then just do it. Don’t worry about what others may or may not think. Don’t even worry about whether or not the book will sell. Simply sit down and write.
I always knew I wanted to write a book. I simply never before had the courage to do it. Then I had this most awesome experience and I realized there was no right time, no wrong time there was simply right NOW!
I used to worry about folks that criticized me, but after a while thanks to a wise and wonderful friend named John Keane now retired from The Seeing Eye and the following words, I no longer worry too much about it.
He told me…
“Patty, Congratulations on your success! Yes, success. All successful people (writers are people too!) get criticized – a lot. There is an entire industry based on criticizing books, movies, plays, sports, cars, etc….The list goes on forever.
Don’t let the criticism get to you. You put in the work, you made it happen – only you get to decide if it turned out the way you intended. No one else is qualified. Forge ahead, do what is in your heart, write your books, sing your songs, dance your dance – be you. Everyone else can worry about being themselves!”
Thanks Mr. Keane for allowing me to use your words, they were and still are very helpful and now they may help others as well.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you being here Patty and for telling your wonderful and inspiring story and for letting us know about your book.
I’d like to say thanks again to you, for interviewing me, and to you Too Full To Write readers, thanks for reading this interview. I invite you to please read my book, blog, and if you wish sign up for my online magazine.
Until next time this is Patty and Campbell The Seeing Eye Dog saying, may harmony find you, and blessid be.
Bio:- (in Patty’s own words)
I was born Patty Lyne Fletcher in 1967 in Kingsport, Tennessee, where I still live and work as a writer. I was partially sighted until 1991 when I became blind. I am a mother and grandmother.
My hobbies include reading, writing, music, and standup comedy. I also like nature walks, light hiking, tent camping, and fishing. No, I am not afraid to bait a hook.
My favorite types of music are classic rock, rhythm and blues, and classic country, as well as some present-day country music. I also like meditation music.
My mission is to raise awareness of Disabilities such as Blindness, Mental Illness, and fibromyalgia, as well as Domestic Violence. My goal is to sell my book and give a portion of the proceeds to the wonderful organization which gave to me my freedom by giving me this wonderful dog.
You can find Patty’s website here:-
You can buy Patty’s book here:-
Still want more? Well, Patty relies on Campbell and there is a huge amount of trust between them and a bond that can never be broken. For more articles on the theme of ‘Trust’ then click on the links below:-
1. Fire! – April’s Perspective
2. Roberta Pimentel – Plagiarism is not okay
3. Angelic Hands – Trust
4. my forever – my sweetpainteddreams
5. German Audiobooks – Gabriel Burns 28: Im Kreis des Vertrauens (Horspiel)
6. Paving the Path for Trusting God: Part 1 – Lance Price Blog 2016
7. Standisms: life through my eyes – horsemanship
8. mariatries – Avoid SAS
9. What Happens When Trust is Lost – thethoughtskeeper
10. Peyton/Ben #9 – Darkly Dezire
11. Roberta Pimentel – Share your blog!
12. simply.cindy – Book Design
13. Copper Cranes – Cruella
14. logicaldreams – Mission Gone Wrong 14: Team Meeting
15. Trust? – Postcard from a Pigeon
16. Michael J. Fite – How Can You Have Trust In Yourself?
17. Joys of Joel – Memoirs of A Sundrenched Horizon
18. Trust – alifiyablogblog
19. dolphin519 – Prompt trust
20. Trust – Shweta M
21. Occasional Dreams – Cities of Fire
22. Daphne – Rouleaux strap – Long Flutter Sleeve – Sarah Janks
23. High Heels — If They Hurt, You’re Doing It Wrong – Custom Shoes Blog
24. Boat cruise Dubai marina – Super Yacht Dubai The Name you Trust – Yacht in Dubai
25. Giggles & Tales – The Daily Prompt – Trust!
26. Authentic OBS Frost Wyrm RTDA – Vape Style Blog
27. Devil Doll Musings – Suspicious Minds
28. Putting your trust in trust… – escapingperfection
29. sonja benskin mesher – . trust .
30. A trusty network – Deb’s World
31. My Guide To a One-Night-Stand. – LIVING AND LEARNING
32. Trusting Hopes – Sana Thoughts..
33. Sasha’s Writings – Life’s beauty!
34. .Trust. – Top knots and nerd glasses
35. can we talk redux – writemebad
36. Rafting – Thirty by Thirty
37. Lisa’s Journal Blog – Trust
38. Trust…(daily prompt) – my unremarkable story
39. inspiration in progress – No Trust
40. Purposive Writer – Motivation Monday 2
41. Sight of Life – Life is Short N Long- with Courage N Courageous…
42. Sacrificial Chain Breaker – TRUST
43. Relax – Midnight clear
44. Open Letter to a Spouse – From Sand to Gemstones
45. On trust and red flags. Daily prompt. – Pisstower’s Jettison
46. Ashleya Nicole – Energy Charger
47. Trust – Babygirl
48. Sandmanjazz – The Wisdom of Auron
49. The Hidden Chalkboard (The HC) – Hold Fast Till I Come
50. Companion – Angela Montijo
51. Deprive – Angela Montijo
52. Punishment – Angela Montijo
53. A Piece of Advice (To Angela, From Angela) – Angela Montijo
54. Trusting Again – Day By Day Color Living
55. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review – The Looking Glass
56. Day Two: Charlotte Dujardin Clinic – HorseAddict
57. Two Years of Kiwiontheloose – Kiwiontheloose
58. It Takes A lot of Courage – CecesTravelingStars
59. Le Drake Noir – Road of life
60. Facilius Dictu« – Trust, power, and coercion
61. Trust. – No Limit Hearts Club
62. Everything’s a matter of trust – persuasion2015
63. Leanne Murphy – Ten words #34
64. HIP TO BE SNARK – The Problem With Being Cynical
65. Making it write – Trussed
66. Grumpy Axolotl – Six (or more) Words of Advice
67. Accept and let go – I think, I say, I do
68. Trust: where do you stem from? – Tails of a Tattered Heart
69. Exploring the World of Art – English Lit Geek
70. Kochanie. – psychonomadblog (Prose, Poems, Musings)
71. Unlimited Potential – Kurilane
72. Broken – Leigha Robbins
73. Knock-knock, are you there? [Lucid dream No.2] – Afterlife Love Story
74. Looking More Presidential Every Day? – sudden thoughts & second thoughts
75. Charade – teenspirit
76. Nyctophiliac – The ink drop
77. I TRUST ALL THOSE EYES I TRUSED ONCE – Rainbow
78. wordsareallihavesite – Trust
79. Finding Hope Ness – On Bob winning the Nobel Prize for Literature
80. Trust – Image & Word
81. Exploring the World around us – Trust the base of Life
82. Laughter Brothers – Hang on…
83. Joyously Hopeful – Broken Pieces
84. Heeft Theo Herbots TV iemands verjaardag vergeten ? Sorry daarvoor – Theo Herbots TV
85. Trust – Vermont Book Works
86. Allow – Life at 17
87. Trust – Writer2011
88. Trust – Inner Whispers
89. Light & life – Heartbroken, Hopeful & Grateful
90. Trust : That Five Letter Word – THE SKY’S THE LIMIT
91. Jacki Kellum Juxtapositions: Read My Mind – Learning to Trust Your Intuition – Your Writer’s Voice
92. The happy Quitter! – Come on in Stranger!
93. Lack of Trust – Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit
94. Moonlight Reflections – Sunday Glory- Trust
95. Jibber Jabber with Sue – Uber Anyone?
96. My Simple Blog – Trust
97. Rejected blog and back again – My Web Design Haven
98. s1ngal – to Trust or to not Trust
99. juantetcts – Daily Post:Trust
100. Blind Trust – Writer’s Blog
101. Trust – Reem Writes…
102. Trust – perpeplejo
103. Words and Wonders – Exhausted, Yet Pursuing
104. My Truth – A lot from Lydia
105. One Faithfulness More – Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky
106. Trust – Trust you! – The Sparkle Lass
107. THE STRANGER BEHIND THE SCREEN – Okoto Enigma
108. americandenial – Trust
109. Haiku: Trust – atrangizindagieksafar
110. Musings of a Menopausal Maven – Should Anyone Really Trust Their Own Government?
111. Andrew Stewart: Trust – Rhode Island Media Cooperative
112. Trust(100wordstory) – LAW OF THE LETTER
113. Your Nibbled News (c) 2016 YNN – Crew trusts in luck to beat blizzard
114. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Feline Trust
115. Day 61 – A Short Conversation
116. I trust my heart – LIFE IS GOOD
117. Reclaiming the Right to Trust – Living, Learning and Letting Go
118. Zombie Flamingos – A post non-stormpocalypse post
119. Trust – Paulina Angela
120. Life Is Like That – Two words. Three Lines
121. Day 2-Three Day Quote Challenge – Harlife Journey`s
122. Gifts from Mr. Sandman/Trust ~ World Traveller – Word Adventures
123. Politics Is Dead, Long Live Politics – Le Happyone
124. Once A Socialite – Sunken Thought
125. Trust – The Inkwell
126. One Line Sunday- Trusting others – In my world
127. Fictional Journey – Sunday Quote
128. Trust – Covert Novelist
129. The Lurker’s List – Sometimes We Just Have to Trust Again
130. Poet’s Corner – Runaway Train
131. Annette’s place – Daily prompt/trust/10/16/2016
132. Tears of trust – Goodbye Teaching
133. Steps Times Two – Runaway Train
134. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Treed
135. trust me he said ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
136. I DO TRUST – rhymeagination
137. I Didn’t Know -a mile in my shoes
138. Flowers and Breezes – Trust
139. Daily post: “Trust” – Caboosemama Little Pleasures
140. To Trust Or Not To Trust? That Is The Epic Question. – emotionsoflife2016
141. Would you make the mistake of liking a snake? – Leaking Ink
142. Spectres & Stardust – masks
143. trust means allowing – Love it Now
144. There Are More Poets than Stars in the Firmament – often asked, rarely worthy
145. authoranonblog – Just Trust Me
146. Jeopardy – indisputably inconclusive
147. Michel Montecrossa Blog – Today’s New-Topical-Song: ‘I Am There’ by Michel Montecrossa
148. Scott’s Place – Trust
149. Trust? Distrust?… – Random Thoughts and Musings
150. What is trust! – Elaine’s Bloggers Paradise
151. Misstery blog – The inside walls
152. Mother Willow – Trust
153. People, Places, and Perspectives. – I Don’t Know Them and Yet I Trust Them
154. Haiku: Trusted Friend – whippetwisdom.com
155. Trust: The Daily Post Prompt – Mind of Sork
156. We never touch – Lipstick & Miracles
157. God Is Our Refuge and Strength – Le Happyone
158. Captured – november child
159. Author Cynthia Mackey – Katie Shaeffer Synopsis
160. Trust Me? – Pirate Butterfly
161. Trust – Its PH
162. Po’ Girl Shines – “Trust in the Lord With All Thine Heart;
163. I wrote a book. Now what? – Wisely Perpetrating Gullibility
164. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Trust our eyes
165. Success Inspirers’ World – Can I trust you?
166. simply.cindy – Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker
167. Trust – Poems From Psalms And Nature
168. LIFE, LEMONS, ESCAPADES – DAILY: You are Best Vulnerable
169. Enticing Food Labels, part 2 – Come in, sit down
170. The ultimate trust exercise – Back On The Grid
171. Writers’ Trust – Amongst All Else
172. Trust – The Anonymous Writer’s Notebook
173. 22 Prayers to Election Day: Trust – Growl for Justice
174. Trust in you. Qualities for being your best. – art of being fabulous
175. When life gets tough, put your trust in the Lord – susiesopinions
176. The Gad About Town – Who Do I Trust?
177. Start Today…Again! – alkasharmablog
178. manaadiar.com – Trust in me
179. thelonerose – Trusting in myself
180. Pure Shots – The light & simplicity project
181. Trust… – It Is Still Real
182. YOUR TRUST – Miss Nobody
183. Beijing fathers – Don’t hold your breath
184. And then there was one – Trust, Simple yet Complex
185. One-Word Prompt – Conquering Fears Through Trust
186. Trust – ARMY OF THE FALLEN BIKERS
187. Devil Doll Musings – Without You
188. Lost Property Repository – Amy gets her answers
189. Kate Murray – Trust
190. Silence of the lamb – The Grateful Dead – The Voice of the Mortals
191. Designer Sophisticate – Cynicism becomes me.
192. LadyLebz – WHY PEOPLE CHEAT ON THEIR PARTNERS
193. Trust – Daily Prompt – ladyleemanila
194. I, Trust. – The Wronged Soul
195. 3 Day Quote Challenge – eddaz
196. Southern By Design – Difficulty With Trust
197. Devil Doll Musings – A Matter Of Trust
198. Hot White Snow – Dear new owner of my old hard drive
199. Trust… – Emotions that matter.
200. Where is Your Trust? – Pete Gardner Psalms
201. Frank Prem – on an axis wheeling
202. SHARE YOU LINK!!! – Okoto Enigma
203. Lost Property Repository – Life In Song
204. The Moon – Bits of Poems
205. One hundred followers and counting – lucarna
206. kStan(ly) kSays – someone’s got a pin
207. About Forever Love… – Maze of the Mind
208. Lantern Words – All Your Trust