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A Love Affair with Words*

All around the world, people are playing Wordle. The popular daily word game has become a must for me (at least until a paywall presents itself), as it has for many of my friends, relatives and acquaintances.

Thinking about word games reminded me of a post I wrote ten years ago this month, not long after I started this blog. I spruced it up a little and added a couple of photos:

As far back as I can remember, I have had a penchant for words, especially the written word.  Whether that love was instilled in me by a father who himself had a strong interest in language and books, or because I genetically inherited from him, I do believe he deserves most of the credit.

A familiar scene from my childhood was seeing Dad enjoy a little “light reading” before bed—devouring such tomes as War and Peace and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. On more than one occasion he was known to take an atlas to bed, to study up on the world geographically in relation to the news of the day.

Remembering my father that way always makes me smile. If only I could talk to him more about the books we’ve read. If only we could watch one more episode of Jeopardy together or play one more game of Trivial Pursuit as a family. He would have been eight-eight years old tomorrow (March 21), but we lost him nearly twenty years ago at sixty-nine. I’ve missed him every day of my life since.

I usually read about a book a week, but my passion for words doesn’t stop there. When I think of games, word games have always been my favourite.  Give me a competitive game of Scrabble any day over other board games.  I also delight in solving a difficult crossword puzzle, anagram, cryptogram, or jumble.  And if playing Jeopardy, what is my favourite category?  You guessed it:  Word Origins!

When I think of word origins, one particular book comes fondly to mind, recommended and owned by our father, and now in my possession.  Our Marvelous Native Tongue – The Life and Times of the English Language by Robert Claiborne, is probably the best book ever written about the origins of our language.  Thorough in its examination and encompassing the first intonations of our caveman ancestors to the many dialects of today, I found it hard to put down, even on a second reading.  Particularly notable are the many words we ‘borrowed’, and then kept from other languages, making English a true amalgam, and the rich, colourful and ever-evolving tapestry of words and speech we know today.

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.”  ~ Truman Capote

Readers and writers:
Do you play Wordle?

What—or who—instilled in you your love of words?
Do tell!

*Most of the above is from an Evergreen Post written in March 2012.

Wordless Wednesday

Vivian’s View From Here: A Fresh Look

Hello everyone! Vivian K. Perry here, eager to bring you a fresh look of me enjoying Perry’s Point this morning.

It’s been an odd sort of winter here in Newfoundland and Labrador, with less snow than usual, particularly here on the Bonavista North coastline where a strong gale often whisks the flakes away before they can even think about settling. But overnight last night the light wind allowed a pretty layer of snow to fall, and the sun came out, so I couldn’t wait to go outside and explore.

This was my second trip outside this morning.
Time to make more tracks!

I’ve made plenty of paw prints but I look for the dry spots too.


I think I’ve had enough for now. Time to go inside for a cuddle.

“You know, sometimes the world seems like a pretty mean place.
That’s why animals are so soft and huggy.” – Bill Watterson

Check out my very short YouTube video below
to see how I try to retrace my snow-prints! ~ love, Vivian


Photo Challenge: Sunday Stills – Another Fresh Look At…

Sunday Snaps: Feeding the Birds, Parisian Style

Happy Sunday, all!

This afternoon has me wistfully looking back on our European trip, yet again. For this post in particular, I’m reminiscing about Paris and our visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

As enthralling as it was to take a tour inside this extraordinary example of French Gothic architecture, I was equally enamored with the feathery congregation outside!

In April of 2019, a massive fire tore through the roof of the Notre Dame, but a restoration by artisans is in the works. I have a feeling these birds have missed the tourists and will be happy when this historic cathedral reopens in 2024.

By the way, did you know that February is National Bird Feeding Month in the U.S.?

“Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom. We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious.” ~ David Attenborough

Photo Challenge: Sunday Stills — Are You a #Bird Feeder?

My photos originally shared here: Scenes From France – Part 3: More Paris!

Which Way?

Happy Friday, all!
Here’s a fun photo challenge from the blog Alive and Trekking.

Which way do I go for my favourite local walking trail?
To Greenspond, of course!

Greenspond Walking Trail

And which way to Bennett Island?
Across the water from Newtown, that’s where.

Rowing to Bennett Island

“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

While visiting Italy, which way to Siena?
Through this archway!

Our group entering Siena in Italy.
Most of the walls built in the 10th and 11th century still surround the city today.

And which direction do we go to spend lots of money?
This way!

Shops and boutiques line many of the streets in Siena.

Here I am getting ready to leave Grand Central Station
to explore New York City. But which way should I go?
There’s so much to see!

Excited to visit the Big Apple

Back in Newfoundland, what is the only way
to enter St. John’s Harbour from the Atlantic Ocean?
Through the Narrows.

From Signal Hill, watching a boat enter the Narrows of St. John’s Harbour

“Happiness is a direction, not a place.”
~ Sydney J. Harris

Signal Hill, St. John’s

And finally, which way was Maisie going on that lovely August day?
Where was she leading Vivian? Who knows?

“Right behind you, Sis!”

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
~ George Harrison (and perhaps Louis Carroll?)

Photo Challenge: Which Way by Alive and Trekking

Weathered

“Some old things are lovely warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them.”
~ D. H. Lawrence

I snapped these photos with my phone on July 11th last year while visiting my daughter and her family at their summer property in Lead Cove, NL. They are of my son-in-law’s shed, which once belonged to his father, and to his grandfather before that. The above quote came to mind from one of my previous posts, titled Old.

The weathered closeup depicted in the last photo takes me back to that summer afternoon, when I pressed my hand on the sun-warmed clapboard, grey as driftwood under its flakes of peeling paint. There’s something about old structures that inspire a longing, speak in soft whispers, as if sharing with me the poignant aura of days long gone.

Photo Challenge: Weather(ed) – Travel With Intent
Photo Challenge:
Closeup or Macro – Cee Neuner

Ten Years Blogging!

Hey everyone, look what WordPress told me today:

Jennifer’s Journal all started with a little procrastination on my part because I couldn’t pull myself away from my best-loved musical / fantasy / children’s movie, The Wizard of Oz. Check it out!

Follow the Yellow Brick Road…

PUBLISHED ON 

Hello, and welcome to my Journal! This is my first foray into the world of blogging, so being a total newbie at this, I am not even sure where my words will take us. The one thing I can tell you, Dear Reader, is that Jennifer’s Journal will be a sharing of my thoughts in the forms of prose, poetry and musings. As well, I plan to include selections of photography that I think you will like.

New Year’s Eve 2011 is upon us, and 2012 beckons with promise. I should be getting gussied up for the Ball at the Barbour site here in Newtown in a few hours, the first one in several years for us. I should be primping and preening, painting my nails, curling my locks and donning a frock to ring in the new year in style with the local revelers. Instead, I’ve happened upon The (wonderful) Wizard of Oz, a movie that has hijacked my attention for the hundredth time.

And once again, I ask myself, What is it about the Scarecrow (always my favorite), that makes my silly heart melt? Is it the way he falls about in his straw-filled pants, like he hasn’t a bone in his body, or is it the way he talks so kindly to Dorothy, making me wish I was her? Yes, I smile at the Tin Man, and I laugh at the Cowardly Lion, but it is the Scarecrow that makes me PVR the rest of the movie before I am reluctantly pulled away.

And I know it is the last day of the year, but I didn’t want to wait for January One, which would have been the expected start date of a blog. I had to ask that very important question today.

Perhaps, Dorothy has the answer?

Originally posted here.

wizardscarecrow3

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who visited, commented, and continue to follow my blog.
You’re the best!

Wishing you all
a happy & healthy 2022
and beyond!

Cats of Christmas Past and Present

Meowy Christmas, peeps and pets! Vivian K. Perry here today, filling in for Jennifer while she finishes getting ready for the holidays.

I got to reminiscing about my sister Maisie this morning, who went over the rainbow bridge in May of 2020. Here we are, together, several Christmases ago:

And here is Maisie, unable to resist our little tree:

Jennifer has many other cats in her extended family.
Here is Joey, one of her daughter’s cats:

. . . and here’s Joey with his sister Ginger:

Jennifer’s sister-in-law owns this fluffy kitty who goes by the name Scotty—aka Butterscotch:

Not long ago, Scotty had a brother named Merlin:

This cat’s name is Gerald. He belongs to Jennifer’s niece:

Jennifer’s sister had a cat named Zoe:

. . . and Jennifer’s son had a cat named Miss Mooch:

Jennifer and I are sending out Season’s Greetings to all of our friends, family, pets and bloggers.
We look forward to catching up with you again in 2022!

~ Love and purrs, Vivian.

Calmer Girls: a Book Review by Luanne Castle

Happy Monday, everyone!

I’m thrilled to see that my debut novel, Calmer Girls, has been reviewed by American writer and poet, Luanne Castle, on Goodreads and Amazon. This is something that never gets old for an author, and is especially appreciated when such a sparkling review is from an esteemed writer like Luanne. Have a look below! You can also check out Luanne’s website and blog here.

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: Calmer Girls and its sequel Calmer Secrets are on sale for 99 cents each on Kindle until January. Here are the links to Amazon:
Calmer Girls
Calmer Secrets

5 out of 5 stars – “Exciting, gritty coming-of-age story”

“Samantha is the introverted, artistic, good girl sister of beautiful party girl Veronica. Veronica is very self-absorbed and can be cruel to her little sister. Their parents have separated and their mother has moved the girls across the island, away from their father. Their mother, Darlene, upset over the separation and her husband’s responses (including not always sending money for the girls) finds it hard to keep a job and begins to drink far too much. Samantha feels so alone. She falls for a handsome boy, Ben, but what will happen? Every boy is always attracted to Veronica at Samantha’s expense. The book explores these events and lead to a dramatic climax.
The characterization of Samantha is so well done. She is a good girl, but when she goes a bit “bad,” we can understand why. She’s only human, after all. Perry uses quotes from the Bronte books to begin every chapter, and they relate very well to what is going on. When Samantha begins to “act out,” the very next chapter begins with a quote that made me nod my head in agreement. The quotes add to the story being told, and they are meant to show what Samantha herself is reading (Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights). Veronica is less carefully drawn, but that is because the reader is really seeing her through Samantha’s eyes. Samantha has every reason to despise her sister. The question is, does her view change by the end of the book? Read it and find out! You won’t be disappointed!”

Thank you so much, Luanne!

Sunday Snap: Sunrise

Sunrise over Bennett Island

Happy December, everyone!

Wait—what?? How can this be? I had thought my November would have dragged by much more slowly, after I signed up for NaNoWriMo and sequestered myself to my writing cave for thirty days. Most of those days started early too—pitch-black early before the clocks rolled back on the 7th—and yet the month flew by anyway.

It was pleasant rising with the sun on those mornings. Most of this blog’s “sun photography” has been of the sunset variety like the one on my header, but there is something special about the quality of the sun at dawn. The stillness, the quietude, the fresh hope that gives birth to each new day is perfect inspiration for writing a new chapter in a novel or starting a new chapter in your life.

“I write for the same reason I watch the sun rise every morning. Not to express some great truth, but because it makes me feel wildly, gloriously alive.” ~ Marty Rubin

A Photo a Week Challenge: Sunrise