The Blog: Jennifer’s Journal

Sunday Snapshot: Concerned

What is Vivian staring at?
What has gotten her so concerned?

Come back later this week to find out!

***

“The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an ax-murderer.” — Paula Poundstone

“That’s the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you.” ― Ray Bradbury

“What greater gift than the love of a cat?” — Charles Dickens

Guest Post: Connie Lacy

“From a novelist’s perspective, the Sixties, itself, is like a character – so rich was that period as a decade of change.” ~ Connie Lacy

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Connie Lacy to my blog as a special guest. I hope, dear friends and followers, those of you who read or write fiction would kindly say hi or leave a comment for her below.

Connie writes speculative fiction, climate fiction and magical realism, all with a dollop of romance. Having worked for many years as a radio reporter and news anchor, her experience as a journalist shows up in some of her novels.

Connie’s post today is about 1960s music, stemming from her research for her latest novel due out this fall. I am a huge fan of the music from that era, so I jumped at the chance to share it with you. Take it away, Connie!

The 1960s – when social consciousness hit the airwaves

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When you think of music of the 1960s, what pops into your mind? The Twist by Chubby Checker? Ricky Nelson’s Hello, Mary Lou? Maybe it’s Come Together by the Beatles, or Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone. All of those songs were popular in the 1960s. But the first two were in the early sixties. Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone hit the charts in 1965 and Come Together was released in 1969. Needless to say, the volatile decade of the 1960s saw a huge transformation in the music everyone heard on the radio. Looking back, the first few years of that decade seem like a continuation of the 1950s, while the middle and late sixties come across as a new era with a more complex sensibility.

I’ve been re-listening to some of those songs as I write my latest novel which comes out this fall. The story is set in 1966-67 as musical tastes underwent a tectonic shift. It’s surprising now to think that the actual top forty playlist as my novel opens in September of 1966 included such varied songs as: Sunshine Superman by Donovan, Summer in the City by The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, Land of 1000 Dances by Wilson Pickett and Stevie Wonder’s version of Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind, all in the top ten. Then at #11 was Wouldn’t it Be Nice by The Beach Boys and #12 was Lil Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.

The Sixties, of course, was a time of great social upheaval, with opposition mounting to the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement gaining momentum, growing demands by women for equal opportunities, and the gay rights movement picking up steam. The music we listened to incorporated or reflected growing social consciousness. Some popular songs were overt political statements. It’s amazing when you realize we went from Brian Hyland’s 1960 hit, Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, to James Brown’s Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud in 1968… and from 1961’s My Boomerang Won’t Come Back by Charlie Drake to Barry McGuire’s 1965 anti-war anthem, Eve of Destruction.

This musical evolution took us from silly novelty songs like 1962’s Monster Mash to 1965’s My Generation by The Who – a teen rebellion anthem if there ever was one. But the airwaves were also filled with anti-war songs. Think Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Peace Train by Cat Stevens, Universal Soldier by Donovan and the very powerful War by Edwin Starr – “War, huh, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.” There were songs calling for equal treatment of black Americans such as A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke and Southern Man by Neil Young. There were also songs that became anthems for women, like Aretha Franklin’s Respect, Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me, and on the Country and Western side, there was Dolly Parton’s 1968 hit, Just Because I’m a Woman.

From a novelist’s perspective, the Sixties, itself, is like a character – so rich was that period as a decade of change. Our country was undergoing a dramatic transformation and our music was changing as well. What a gift for me as a writer. And I make use of popular songs the characters listen to in my novel to help create that Sixties vibe.

If you’d like to be notified when my new book comes out, you can sign up for occasional, brief author updates here. And you can find my other novels on my Amazon author page or my website www.connielacy.com.

This article was originally posted on the author’s website here.

Thanks so much for visiting, Connie!

Readers and Writers, did you live through the Sixties?
Have you ever written a story set in that decade?
What are some of your favourite songs from the era?

Sunday Snapshot: Whitecoat

Baby Harp Seal, aka Whitecoat

This baby seal visited us here on Perry’s Point in 2011, during our first winter in Newtown. She stayed around for a couple of days before she swam away.

Barbour Tickle

Summer here in Newfoundland and Labrador is gradually drawing to a close.

It was a lovely one – and still is – and now, Environment Canada is predicting a warmer than usual fall. I’ll take it! I’d already been dreaming of a sunny September so that is more than welcome news. We are in the process of painting our house, so good weather is gladly received for that as well.

Today I’m sharing pics I took in July of Barbour Tickle here in Newtown. Along the tickle lies Barbour Living Heritage Village, which has been offering a taste of history to tourists since 1991. From the NL Tourism site:

“Venture along the coastal loop to Newtown, known as the Venice of Newfoundland to explore with local guides and experience life in the outport. Tour the active village by day, dine at the Olde Shoppe Restaurant, enjoy an evening of live music or theatre…Visit the Barbour Living Heritage Village today for a Newfoundland outport experience.”

Tours and events are wrapping up for the season very soon, so if you’re planning a visit, better make it this weekend!

Fisherman’s Stage
Waterfront Premises & Neptune II Theatre
Guest home on left, Heritage home on right

Find out more about the Barbour site here.

My Season’s End Newsletter will be emailed out next week. If you’re not on the list yet, please click on the tickle photo below to add yourself. You will then be eligible to enter a Reader Gift Basket Giveaway for a Kindle Fire, a $25 Amazon eCard & a bottle of wine to be drawn at the end of September.

See you next month!

Sunday Snapshot: Play*

*Sunday Snapshot is a brand new feature on my blog, starting today. Drop by every Sunday to see which favourite photo I’ve chosen to highlight. 🙂

Blogger Bouquet #47

Kristine over at candidkay is a journalist, marketing exec and mother of two.
From her About page:

“I write about life as I know it. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious. But always interesting.”

Kristine recently shared “one small slice of life on a Sunday afternoon that deserves a bit of limelight.” And I wholeheartedly agree. When you are part of a two-household family and you realize that an important lesson in values – namely, kindness to others – has gotten through to your child, it gives you pause to be thankful for good role models.

“Oh, waitress”

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

Have a great week, everyone.

Vivian’s View From Here: A Couple of Ten-Year-Olds

Hi there, Friends and Felines!

Vivian K. Perry here,
with just a quick note before I dash away again:

Maisie and I have super-duper cause for celebration today.

That’s right.
My sister and I are celebrating a very special birthday.

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We have reached a whole decade!

Vivian

And hopefully, we can stick around for another one, right?

Maisie

We have to go now and get this Purry-Perry Party started,
so instead of leaving a comment,
why don’t you sing ♪ Happy Birthday ♫ to us?

🎈🎈🎈

🐾
🐾

Head bumps & nose kisses,
 Maisie & Vivian

“The Flower that Smiles Today”

The flower that smiles to-day

To-morrow dies;

All that we wish to stay

Tempts and then flies.

What is this world’s delight?

Lightning that mocks the night,

Brief even as bright.*

 

*This is the first stanza of The Flower that Smiles Today by Percy Shelley, one of my favourite poems. Read the entire poem and a brief analysis here.

And a favourite quote:

“Man’s life is brief and transitory, Literature endures forever.”

― Rory Stewart, The Places in Between

Flowers of primary colours: travel theme by wheresmybackpack.com

Photos: jenniferkellandperry.com

Inspired

I’m immersed in “summer fun and frolic” mode with the kids this week, so here’s a favourite post from two years ago.
“Have you ever noticed how Children and Nature go so happily together?”

Jennifer Kelland Perry

What is it that inspires our desire to create?

What moves an artist to draw or to paint a picture? What sparks the passion in a writer to pen a poem or a story? What is it that prompts a photographer to run for her camera and try to capture that perfect shot?

Here are a few things that give me continued inspiration:

1.  The ocean, which surrounds me… (No surprise there, right? 😉 )

092 (1024x509)Every day, it is a slightly different colour, morphing between shades of blue sapphire, steel grey, or deep, dark navy with racing waves and frothy white-caps. On other days, it is as calm and flat as a mirror.052 (1024x683)The sea is a living thing: mercurial, organic, merciless, and endlessly beautiful.035 (1024x461) 2.  I’ve always had a passion for all animals (no, not just my cats! 😉 ).
Horses, dogs, whales, and birds…102 (1024x683) …natural beings of the forest and untamed…

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Hello, August. Here So Soon?

July is over! Whaaa?
Can you believe how quickly it whizzed by?

This month is shaping up to be
another busy one for yours truly.
First, there’s this:

I am honoured to be making three appearances during this Author Tour.

Getting to rub shoulders with the literary talent in our fair province is a huge part of the fun. Do drop by our libraries if you’re in Gander or Clarenville on these above dates, or if you’re in St. John’s for the Grand Finale. (More about the finale later)

I will also be busy with my two grandkids + one little friend, who are coming tomorrow for a week-long stay here on Perry’s Point.

And then there’s work on the new novel in between all of this, not to mention all those chances to soak up more summer.

FYI:
I’m running an Amazon Countdown Deal
for 
Calmer Secrets from
August 2nd to August 9th.
Score a Kindle copy
of this sequel to Calmer Girls
at a discount on Amazon.com
and Amazon.co.uk.

What are your plans for August?
Do tell!