The Blog: Jennifer’s Journal

Completing My First Draft: Three Things I’ve Learned*

Besides being featured on Jill Weatherholt’s blog yesterday, I also guest posted on The Writer’s Path to share one of my articles on writing fiction.

It was interesting to look back on this post because I wrote it before either of my books were published. Still, I believe the concepts hold true and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Completing My First Draft: Three Things I’ve Learned

*Originally posted on Sept. 6, 2013 on jenniferkellandperry.com

Summer Spotlight & End of Sale

Happy Friday, everyone.

Come visit me over at Jill Weatherholt’s blog today. Jill is a friend and a fellow author/blogger who writes delightful stories about love, friendship and forgiveness, and she has graciously invited me to take part in her Summer Spotlight series.

As it happens, there are just a few days left to snap up Calmer Girls on Kindle for only 99¢, and you can get the link at Jill’s place. Please drop by with a comment when you get a chance, and I will chat with you later this afternoon when I get home. I look forward to seeing you there.

Have a great weekend!

I Dream*

Always in my heart – Happy Father’s Day, Dad

 

*Poem originally published here on Sept. 25, 2013

4 Things You Have To Do When Visiting Montreal

Montreal is one of the true gems of Canada, an incredible fusion of historical authenticity, cosmopolitanism and sheer beauty.

If you’re planning a trip to this wonderful city, there are plenty of ways to make the most of it. While any trip to Montreal (click the link to check out photos from one of my visits there) is bound to be unforgettable, there are certain highlights that you may want to add to your list. Here are just four:

Trek Up Mount Royal

 Image: Wikimedia

Mount Royal is probably the first place you should head to when you arrive in Montreal. The gorgeous views you’ll get of the city will instantly make that hassle with the electronic travel authorisation system worth it. It’s a lovely, scenic walk (or bus ride) to the top, and once you reach the Belvedere Observatory, you’ll be captivated by the beauty of your vantage point. It’s also a great spot for an impressive selfie! If you’re an early bird, try to catch the sunrise from the top of Mount Royal. Seeing the sun creep up over the horizon and spill its rays through the skyscrapers is a magical experience.

Try the Food

Montreal is a true foodie’s city, partly due to the French colonists’ influence. The culinary classics of Montreal may be a little greasy for some traveller’s tastes, but don’t knock it until you try it. Poutine is a trademark of the city, and while it may not be all that appetizing to look at, after just one bite you’ll probably understand why it’s become such a local staple. You also should try a four-inch thick smoked meat sandwich, a specialty of many diners and cafés scattered throughout Montreal. A lot of guidebooks will recommend Schwartz’s, but the locals may tell you otherwise.

Visit a Market

Markets are one of the best ways for visitors to meet the locals and get a taste for the city’s culture. You’ll also want to try a variety of fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables, especially if you’re there in the summer when pretty much everything’s in season. If you’ve never tried locally grown Quebec strawberries, then this needs to go on your bucket list immediately. Try to save a fair chunk of your souvenir money for a market, to look for local delicacies such as ice wines and ciders or preserves. Just like anywhere in Canada, you’ll also find countless maple-flavoured products.

See the Basilique Notre-Dame

Whatever your spiritual leanings, the Basilique Notre-Dame is one church that you need to see when you’re visiting Montreal. The Basilique Notre-Dame (Or Notre-Dame Basilica, to Anglo-Canadians) is one of the most breathtaking cathedrals in the world, and one of the few in North America that doesn’t pale in comparison to the ones in Europe. Have a wander around, and spend a while marvelling at the rustic gothic facades, the giant organ, and its beautiful chapel.

These are just a few suggestions to make your visit to Montreal a fun and interesting one. I hope I am lucky enough to return again one day to enjoy this beautiful city’s culture.

Have you ever visited Montreal?

Life Stories

Four years later, my mother-in-law Mona’s words still resonate with me.
I love to reread the comments too! #FlashbackFriday

Jennifer Kelland Perry

“There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.”  ~  Mark Twain

Mark Twain Mark Twain (Wikipedia)

As a writer, I believe in these words from the great Mark Twain with all my heart. Each of us has an interesting and unique story to tell, with a new angle, and a fresh take on our individual life experiences.

As a fitting example, my mother-in-law shared the following with me this afternoon when we visited her.

“My father first set his eyes on my mother, Amelia, or Millie as she was called, when he was twenty and she was only twelve. Even at that tender age, she must have stolen his heart, because he told her, “Millie, I have to go away to work at sea, but when I come back, I will marry you.” Upon his return…

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A Life That Matters

 “It doesn’t matter who we are, what we are doing and what our station in life is, we all have the ability to contribute to something beyond ourselves and (to find) purpose in doing so.” – Emily Esfahani Smith, author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters.

According to Smith’s research, it isn’t happiness that makes life worth living – it is meaning. It is rising each day with a purpose. As simple and as uncomplicated as that sounds, I wonder how many of us have been chasing the wrong thing.

Is developing a “meaning mindset” the only true answer to achieving fulfillment?

Living on auto-pilot, or chasing mostly what brings you pleasure, or working long and crazy hours, driving yourself to exhaustion to conform to someone else’s definition of success – do any of these pursuits sound like happiness to you?

Or have you already figured this out?

Have you found your meaning?

Author Blog Hop: Twenty-Four Days

Fellow blogger, author, and e-friend Jacqui Murray has a new book out:
Twenty-Four Days.

It’s the exciting sequel to her first novel, To Hunt a Sub.
Here’s the scoop on it, as well as my review.

Short Synopsis of Twenty-four Days:

A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don’t know what it is, where it is, or who’s involved.

Long Synopsis of Twenty-four Days:

What sets this story apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the sentient artificial intelligence who thinks he’s human:

An unlikely team is America’s only chance

World-renowned paleoanthropologist, Dr. Zeke Rowe is surprised when a friend from his SEAL past shows up in his Columbia lab and asks for help: Two submarines have been hijacked and Rowe might be the only man who can find them.

At first he refuses, fearing a return to his former life will end a sputtering romance with fellow scientist and love of his life, Kali Delamagente, but when one of his closest friends is killed by the hijackers, he changes his mind. He asks Delamagente for the use of her one-of-a-kind AI Otto who possesses the unique skill of being able to follow anything with a digital trail.

In a matter of hours, Otto finds one of the subs and it is neutralized.
But the second, Otto can’t locate.

Piece by piece, Rowe uncovers a bizarre nexus between Salah Al-Zahrawi–the world’s most dangerous terrorist and a man Rowe thought he had killed a year ago, a North Korean communications satellite America believes is a nuclear-tipped weapon, an ideologue that cares only about revenge, and the USS Bunker Hill (a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser) tasked with supervising the satellite launch.

And a deadline that expires in twenty-four days.

As America teeters on the brink of destruction, Zeke finally realizes that Al-Zahrawi’s goal isn’t nuclear war, but payback against the country that cost him so much.

My Review:

5 out of 5 stars: Fast-paced suspense in this page-turning sequel
Format: Kindle Edition
What a wild ride! This was an enthralling followup to To Hunt a Sub, which I also read; I loved the characters, including Otto the AI (I actually would have liked to read more about him), and the edge-of-your-seat suspense as the book built to a riveting climax. I also appreciated how strong and capable the female characters in the story were drawn, especially LT Paloma Chacone. Refreshing to read of this brand of heroism from both genders.
It boggles my mind to think of the research it must have required to tell this tale. I’m sure fans of the thriller and military genres would enjoy it.

Kirkus Review:

A blistering pace is set from the beginning: dates open each new chapter/section, generating a countdown that intensifies the title’s time limit. Murray skillfully bounces from scene to scene, handling numerous characters, from hijackers to MI6 special agent Haster.
… A steady tempo and indelible menace form a stirring nautical tale.

Book information:

Title and author: Twenty-four Days by J. Murray
Genre: Thriller, military thriller
Cover by: Paper and Sage Design
Available at: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular
Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.
You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Social Media contacts:

http://twitter.com/worddreams
http://facebook.com/kali.delamagente
http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher
http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray
https://plus.google.com/u/0/102387213454808379775/posts

Daily Prompt: Impression

This small photo collection, all taken here in Newtown,
was inspired by today’s Daily Prompt.

Impression: (definition #3) a mark impressed on a surface by something.

Bird tracks in snow:

Cat paws in snow:

POLAR BEAR TRACKS! YIKES!

Sandy Beach fun:

Not so fun: sandy sinkhole in our driveway when we first moved here:


Oh “Deere.”

A Moment With Maisie

Alright, I admit it.I am clearly the more introverted feline in this two-cat family.
Often the loner – the diametric opposite of my sister Vivian –
you will usually find me shying away from the spotlight.
Yes, I am a lap cat, and an affectionate one at that…
…but Vivian is the more “in your face” sister,
and the more photogenic one,
so naturally she gets the lion’s share of attention.
I’m the quiet and cautious girl who moves with stealth,
who wonders why Vivian is so annoyingly vocal.
And even though I might seem timid,
I’m actually more “alpha” than Viv.
I guess that’s why Jennifer says I’m the glue that holds us all together.

Do you live in a multi-cat or multi-pet household?
Do you sometimes feel overshadowed by your sibling?
 

Author Event This Saturday

For more information, visit:
Author Reading
Jennifer’s Amazon
Author Website