Vivian K. Perry here, covering for Jennifer while she takes a little more time away from her blogging routine. Both of my staff have been rather busy lately, what with personal and work trips, but Jennifer promises she will return to a more regular blogging schedule—and to drop in on your lovely blogs—very soon.
I was happy to travel with my peeps on our usual two-week stay in the capital city in July, but I stay home and hold the fort when they go on short road trips for work. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll hear more about all of that before you know it.
In the meantime, I will save her place in more ways than one. Enjoy the rest of summer, dear friends! 💕
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.
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!”
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
Another 1700+ words added to my NaNoWriMo work-in-progress today. So far so good. To stay on the topic of writing, I’m sharing a guest post I wrote for The Writer’s Path a few years ago, where I blog about my experiences as a novelist. The book idea I decided to set aside back then is the trilogy I’m working on now. Have a look!
Dreaming about writing a novel? NaNoWriMo is a great chance to get your book idea going. During the month of November, aspiring and published authors from around the world have committed to writing 50,000 words in thirty days.
Today we welcome NaNoWriMo published author Jennifer Kelland Perry, whose book Calmer Girls was part of a NaNoWriMo challenge.
Thank you for joining us, Jennifer!
How many years have you participated in NaNoWriMo? First of all, thank you for inviting me for this interview. I’m truly honored to be here. I have taken part in NaNoWriMo three times since 2013. The first two times, I worked on the Calmer Girls series, a duology. I successfully reached the word count of 50,000 words with both. The third and most recent time I participated was in 2016, where I didn’t reach the goal – life and a bad flu bug got…
I’m sharing one of my Evergreen Posts today, because much of its content still applies to my life right now. Between berry-picking, bread-making, and gearing up for more writing this fall with a plan to take part in November’s NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month—I expect to be busy. If all goes well, I will complete the first rough draft of my fifth novel (I have two published, two un-published) by November’s end. Thanks for reading!
I know our Atlantic Canadian summers are short and I treasure the warmer days while they’re here, but there is something about this season of change I truly love as well.
Late summer and early fall has a uniquely different quality, where on a sunny day the air lends a crisper, more metallic edge to the natural world. (This love affair hinges on one important caveat: that the northeast wind doesn’t blow too much and turn our world chilly and wet for days on end.)
The outlines of clouds against the steel-blue sky look sharper, heralding the approach of what is to come. Most foliage and grasses are still summery green. I relish them all the more, knowing the colours will soon transition into vibrant shades of red and gold before finally fading to the cool grey and white hues of late autumn and winter.
It is a season of harvest and renewal, a time of new beginnings and the dawning of fresh ideas. The kiddies are back in their classes. Though my own school days and child rearing years are well behind me, I still feel that push of motivation into new plans and goals, to make the transition into a stricter work schedule, to get back to writing more in the coming months. November and NaNoWriMo are still a ways off, but I strive to clear up all loose ends in preparation for – dare I say it without jinxing myself – a 50 thousand-word first draft of a brand-spanking new novel. But hey, I did it before, so why not?
Then there are the berries. Where would this season be without the berries?
fruits of the first trip
…and fruits of the second
In two afternoon jaunts, the blueberries are now picked, and it won’t be long before we are in on the barrens again to pick partridgeberries. (In other parts of the world, these lovely bitter, relatives of the cranberry are called lingonberries or cowberries.) I make plenty of the jam for my other half since he likes it on his morning toast all year round, not to mention in the occasional pastry tart with a generous dollop of thick cream.
Especially anticipated, besides an excursion on the barrens, is picking the plump, juicy partridgeberries that grow right here on our land. I checked all around the Point last week and it looks like a bumper crop this year, probably a sign of how plentiful their growth is everywhere else.
Coinciding with the cool-down in temperature is a return to more bread-baking. There’s nothing like the smell of a fresh batch from the oven to take the chill out of your day.
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
What do you like the most about this time of year? Relief from the heat? A return to a more orderly schedule? Getting the children out from underfoot and back in school? Or are you sad because the summer is nearly spent? Do tell!
This post was inspired by Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Seasonal.*
It’s the perfect time to add to your summer reading list. This week only, both Calmer Girls and Calmer Secrets Kindle editions are on sale for 99¢ each on Amazon.com and £0.99 on Amazon.co.uk. Check out the latest five-star review of Book 1 below the book graphics and grab one or both before July 5th.
“I usually don’t read much YA relationship-based drama, but this book has been on my radar for a few years, and I decided to dive in. I’m glad I did. The writing is polished, the story had me hooked, and these aren’t teenage characters with frivolous problems. Samantha, her sister, and her mom are all flawed, as is Ben, the love interest of the two sisters.
The story unfolds in Samantha’s point of view. Her family is falling apart. Her father has moved away, and her mother is drinking too much. Money is tight. Samantha has a crush on Ben, but he falls for her sister, Veronica. Samantha takes a hit to her self esteem, but when the relationship fails, Samantha and Ben get a chance at love.
But it’s not that easy. Resentment drives a wedge between the sisters, and mistakes aren’t going to simply disappear. Ben has some problems of his own that the author waits to reveal. The mystery around his character and issues was intriguing, and I didn’t fully trust him. I had no idea how the story was going to resolve, and that question made me read well into the night.
Ultimately the story is about a family growing up, about dealing with love, disappointment, and wounded hearts. I could relate to how painful that process was for every character in the book. Wonderful writing and highly relatable characters. Definitely recommended for readers of YA drama and family sagas.” — D. Wallace Peach dwallacepeachbooks.com
Happy Sunday, peeps and pets! Vivian K. Perry here, talking today about my television habits, of all things.
Of course, I’m at the mercy of my staff in this area. I don’t have the manual dexterity to use the remote, so what they choose to watch, I am stuck with. Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes not so good.
Playoff hockey is tolerable. I like watching the players chase after the puck like I chase after my favourite ball. But I couldn’t care less who wins!
I lost interest in The Woman in the Window movie. There was a cat in it, but she only had a teeny tiny cameo part. Anyway, my staff said the book was a thousand times better (and the cat was in more scenes).
The Younger series is silly to me, and I usually fall asleep when it comes on. Mom says she never wishes to go back to relive her twenties, and she definitely wouldn’t want to be a millennial in today’s world. Then why does she keep watching it?
Now here’s something I actually love. “Cool cat” 60’s jazz from Dave Brubeck: Take Five. I’m signing off now, but do have a listen below. Have a purr-fect week, everyone!
Canadian author, fellow blogger and e-friend Carol Balawyder recently read and reviewed my New Adult novel, Calmer Secrets, on her blog. I would love for you to check it out.
“Calmer Secrets is a novel about good people making bad choices. . . about an affectionate family sticking together through thick and thin. It’s a heartwarming book, filled with love and tenderness and suspense.”
Thanks for this, Carol, and for your lovely review of Calmer Girls as well. All of my writer friends and book-blogging buddies rock!
I can hardly believe it’s been four years since my last book was released. Although I have a finished novel and an outline for its sequel, I’m still patiently waiting for follow-up from four publishers who have requested the full manuscript. Time will tell! Have a great week, everyone.