The Blog: Jennifer’s Journal

Sunday Snap: To All the Cats

To all the cats we’ve loved before
you beautify our wall decor
both with us and long gone
our love goes on and on
to all the cats we’ve loved before.

Our cat wall includes several images of Maisie and Vivian, our grandkitties Moochie, Ginger and Joey, as well as Padmé, Smoki, Sandy, Mitzi, and Timmy.

Missing from collection: Puff, Jinx and Tiger. Sorry, my kitties, I couldn’t find any photos of you!

Happy Sunday, everyone,
and Happy Thanksgiving
to my Canadian friends and followers! 

Sunday Snaps: Tablelands

Tablelands, NLTablelands, Gros Morne, NLOn our trip to the west coast of Newfoundland this past weekend, we took a drive to see one of the best-loved sites in the area, the Tablelands.

The Tablelands, found between the towns of Trout River and Woody Point south-west of Gros Morne National Park, look more like a barren desert than traditional Newfoundland.

This is due to the ultramafic rock (high in minerals), peridotite, which makes up the Tablelands. It originated in the Earth’s mantle and was forced up from the depths during a plate collision several hundred million years ago. Peridotite lacks the usual nutrients required to sustain most plant life, hence its barren appearance. Peridotite is high in iron, which accounts for its brownish rust colour.

source: WoodyPoint.ca

Literary Events NL 2018 Tour – Corner Brook

I’m off to the west coast this weekend for this fun event. If you’re in the Corner Brook area on Saturday, we would love to see you there!

Come out to the Corner Brook Public Library and meet Jennifer along with other esteemed Newfoundland authors!

Date: Saturday, September 29th
Time: 2:00-4:45pm
Place:  Corner Brook Public Library
4 West Street, Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador 

Special Guests:
Matthew LeDrew
Amanda Labonte
Janice Godin
Jennifer Kelland Perry
Larry Gee
Johanna Ryan Guy

-Author readings
-autographed books for sale
-tickets will be sold to win a print from Young Studios!

Sunday Snap: Got Plans?

Maisie does.

House plans?

A Tourist’s Delight: “Dear Old Signal Hill”

Wikipedia photo

Sometimes we sit lamenting as memory traces back
The old familiar landmarks that we miss from off our track.
They’ve built the railway stations where our feet were wont to skate,
They motor over footpaths where our lovers used to wait.
But there’s one left still – dear old Signal Hill.*

I’ve always loved Signal Hill. That’s probably why I incorporated into a couple of scenes in my debut novel, Calmer Girls.

Overlooking St. John’s Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean, it is the capital city’s most popular tourist attraction.

I take the time every summer to pay a visit, and this past July was no exception. Here are a few shots from that gorgeously sunny and breezy day – then again, as any tourist can attest, it’s always quite breezy atop this hill!

Cabot Tower
The iconic Cabot Tower – jenniferkellandperry.com

In the distant past, Signal Hill has been the setting for victorious battle, the location for Marconi’s monumental establishment of wireless telegraph communication, and a signalling station for approaching ships.

Today it is a National Historic Site under Parks Canada.

The best thing I like about Signal Hill?
The views, of course!

View from Signal Hill
jenniferkellandperry.com

If you look closely at some of my pics, you can see the trail around the hill.

This is not a hiking trail for the faint of heart.

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Thanks for taking a look at my throwback to July and one of the best-loved sites my province has to offer.

*Poem by Lydia Chancey, Book of Newfoundland, 1937

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

The Heart is a Lonely HunterThis is one of my favourite books of all time. Though I read it in my twenties, it has always stayed with me.

I was delighted when my husband Paul bought a copy recently and read it. I was equally delighted that he enjoyed it as much as I did!

A small sampling of reviews:

“Besides telling a good story, the author has peopled it with a small group of characters so powerfully drawn as to linger long in memory.” – Philadelphia Inquirer

“To me the most impressive aspect of ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter’ is the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice as those of her own race.” – Richard Wright New Republic

“The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter has remarkable power, sweep and certainty . . . Her art suggests a Van Gogh painting peopled with Faulkner figures.” – The New York Times Book Review

Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was the author of numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Member of the Wedding, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and Clock Without Hands. Born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917, she became a promising pianist and enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York when she was seventeen, but lacking money for tuition, she never attended classes. Instead she studied writing at Columbia University, which ultimately led to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the novel that made her an overnight literary sensation at the age of twenty-three. On September 29, 1967, at age fifty, she died in Nyack, New York, where she is buried.

What novel have you read that stayed with you for many years?

Sunday Snaps: Morning Coffee

morning coffeeNow that summer is drawing to a close and I’m back to work on my manuscript, coffee has once again become more vital to my daily routine. Yes, writers and their coffee is a cliché but with good reason. Many of us can’t live without it!

Straight up black is the way I drink it, preferably served in my favourite mug. I love the wide lip and pretty colours on this hand-painted beauty.

My writing brain works best in the early morning, so while I wait sleepy-eyed for the coffee to brew, I picture a caffeine-craving miniature version of myself swimming across the surface of a full cuppa java, gulping as I go.  Mmmmm…

What goes best with a cup of coffee? Another cup.
– Henry Rollins

Do you love coffee as much as I do?
Black or with sugar and cream?
Or is tea your go-to hot beverage?
Please share with me below!

September’s Song

jenniferkellandperry.com

I wrote the following in September of 1994. It was a time of great transition for me.

I wanted to express my readiness for the next chapter, and my anticipation of what good things might come my way. When I wrote it, I had no way of knowing I would be meeting my future (and now present) husband later in that same month.

To me, these heartfelt words of my younger self are still fresh and very much alive. They have no expiry date.

September’s Song

The September sun falls warm upon my face
as I blink back a lonely tear.

But to be alone isn’t so bad.
A decade of fragile dreams, dashed,
had prepared me for this season of solitude.

Hadn’t you known it was inevitable,
poor battered heart?

The gulf I see ahead is blue, unknown,
and strangely comforting.
I knew I would face it someday.

As surely as I had faced the impossible gulf
of a love that could no longer support us,
like a ropework bridge – frayed, rotted,
stretching into a sadder tomorrow.

No, it couldn’t be trusted to help us across.
I finally accepted its condition and turned away.

The summer of change has passed,
and an autumn of new beginnings beckons.
A crisp welcome breeze blows
the last stray doubts from my mind.

I watch a dry russet leaf skitter and dance
to a uniquely different song, of a September that holds
the inviting promise of a life not ending,
but reborn.

Where Once They Lived: The Beothuk of Perry’s Point

This past summer, Perry’s Point here in Newtown, Newfoundland & Labrador received a new addition. A project of the Cape Freels Development Association, this information display is a reminder and a history lesson to all about the first people who inhabited this area: the Beothuks.

I will let the display speak for itself.
Please read to learn more about this fascinating First Nation.

Thank you to the Cape Freels Association, Winston Perry, and to anyone else involved in this worthy initiative.

As it happened, earlier this year I read The Last Beothuk, the newest release by local author Gary Collins. I wholly recommend this historical novel to anyone interested in learning more about the way of life of these indigenous people and what ultimately became of them.

Inspired by True Events:

“Long after Demasduit’s skull has been stolen from her grave, and years after Shanawdithit has died, one Beothuk and his family survive.
Bursting out of the pages of Newfoundland history appears Kop, the last true Beothuk.
When all the other members of his tribe are exterminated by the Europeans, Kop seeks revenge against the Unwanted Ones.
Hidden among the Bear Clan of the Mi’kmaq, the Beothuk strikes back.
Follow Kop on his trail of defiance against the European marauders upon his Island. See what becomes of a man who has nothing to lose or live for.
Stay with him on a hundred trails and sit with him across the smoke of a hundred campfires. You will not only weep for the last Beothuk—you will cheer him on as he pushes back against the Unwanted Ones.”

Sunday Snaps: Kitties with a Cause – Take 2

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Hello, friends! Vivian and Maisie here, back on Jennifer’s blog to reshare a wonderful list with you. We pounced on this list and shared it during a nighttime prowl on the web back in 2015, and we both thought it deserved another post before the cold weather returns.

We were animal shelter adoptees eleven years ago, so this is a cause that is naturally near and dear to our kitty-cat hearts.

Maisie
Vivian

Have a purr-usal and see why we think these are all worthy reasons to bring a lovely little cat like either of us – or a friendly doggie! – into your heart and home this fall.

 

Ten REASONS TO ADOPT A PET FROM A SHELTER

1. Every pet adopted from a shelter, instead of purchased from a pet store or breeder, improves the pet overpopulation problem.

2. Adopting a dog or cat from a no-kill shelter can free up space for older or special needs pets that may not find new homes before the end of their natural lives.

3. There are plenty of animals to choose from at most shelters. They come in every age, shape, size, coat color and breed mix. You can find purebreds at shelters as well.

4. Compared to the cost of purchasing a pet, adopting one is relatively inexpensive. And if you get a slightly older dog or cat, there’s a good chance he is already fully vaccinated and neutered.

5. Adopting an older pet allows you to skip over the time-consuming, often frustrating puppy or kitten stage of development and takes the guesswork out of what your pet will look like as an adult – size, the thickness and color of her coat, and her basic temperament, for example.

6. Most rescues do assessments on every pet taken in, to determine things like temperament, whether the pet has any aversion to other pets or people, whether he is housebroken, has had obedience training, etc.

7. Many shelters also offer lots of new owner support and materials about training, behavior problems, nutrition, grooming and general care.

8. If you have kids, adopting a shelter animal can open their eyes to the plight of homeless pets, teach compassion and responsibility, and show them how wonderful it feels to give a home to a pet that might otherwise live in a cage or be euthanized.

9. An older adoptive pet can be the perfect companion for an older person. Many middle-aged and senior dogs and cats require less physical exertion and attention than younger animals.

10. An adopted pet can enrich your life. The unconditional love and loyalty of a dog or cat can lift depression, ease loneliness, lower blood pressure, and give you a reason to get up in the morning. A kitty asleep in your lap feels warm and comforting. A dog that loves to walk or run outdoors can be just the incentive you need to start exercising regularly.

*list adapted from source: healthypets.mercola.com

If this list prompts just one of you to adopt a pet, we have helped an animal in need. And if you share the list, you could help an animal too.

Think about it.

Love,
Vivian & Maisie

For local readers: All cat adoptions at Humane Services in St. John’s include microchipping, vaccinations, flea/worming treatments, Feline Leukemia and FIV testing AND spay/neuter. Visit http://www.stjohns.ca/…/animal-care-and-adop…/adoptable-pets for more info and to see all of their available pets.