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.

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.

Sunday Snaps: Butterflies and Daisies

butterfly on a daisy

“If I had my life to live over, I’d pick more daisies.”
– Don Herold

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”
– Carl Sagan

I am s-l-o-w-l-y but surely easing myself back into the blogosphere after a longer hiatus than planned. Summer and my love for it has been a  delightful and major distraction, but of course those days are racing by. As the weather cools, you should see me around more often.

Now, where was I?
Oh yes – he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me…

A Brief Summer Hiatus

It’s that time of year again, when hubs and I gear up to leave home for the required and much-anticipated summer getaway. I will be adding on an extra week myself, starting tomorrow, to stay with my grandchildren while their parents fly off on a vacation of their own.

After that, my days will pretty much belong to me, to indulge in the things I like besides writing and blogging. Time to explore, relax, and enjoy the summery season for a spell. Time to do lots of reading, visit friends and family both in and outside the capital city, and find new moments of inspiration through the lens of my camera. You might catch a glimpse of me on other social media, but I’m going to try my best to keep that to a minimum too.

Here are a few of my backyard snaps from past summer posts, as well as a new video from a few days ago.

Vivian the beach bum
A nice kelp-free spot on our beach
The extreme tip of Perry’s Point
Neighbour Ben Perry’s buoys

***

The northern gannet is a seabird, the largest species of the gannet family.  Photo Source: Wikipedia

Northern gannets employ an ingenious way to fish for food. They “corral” the fish by flying around together in a circle over the water where the fish can see them. The fish school tightly together for safety, but that’s when these birds plummet, diving deep into the waves to catch them. Sorry for the blurriness, but it was a quick capture with my iPhone. Short and sweet so don’t blink!

Please turn up your volume to hear the gannets in their glee.

Stay safe and have fun, everyone,
and I’ll catch up with you in August. 🙂

What are you doing this summer for a change of pace?

Happy Canada Day!

Above Photo from Trios of Fun

Wishing all of my family, friends
and fellow Canadians

a fun and happy Canada Day today.

❤ Enjoy and celebrate! ❤

pexels.com
pexels.com

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Sunday Snap(s): Neighbours

The old adage “good fences make good neighbours” is a wise one, and it is usually true.

And yet, some neighbours don’t have any.
The fences we had once upon a time are long gone,
with only rolling lawns between us now.

And more pleasant neighbours you would never find. W and M are the coolest folks.
(That’s our house in the background, and W’s new bird-house in the foreground.)

Grandma M’s pot will soon be overflowing!

…and those bloomers will be blooming.

Good one, W and M. Let’s just hope Maisie and Vivian don’t drive away your new feathered tenants – or worse!

All of this neighbourly talk brings this timely quote to mind:

Whether the borders that divide us are picket fences or national boundaries, we are all neighbors in a global community.
– Jimmy Carter

Sunday Snap: Forever in my Heart

My dad in his younger days. Always missed and forever in my heart.

 “That’s my father.”  … Seemingly an innocent and offhand remark made by the youngest of his three children, those three little words meant much more to our dad. I know it made him feel proud and happy to be that father, that figure of authority and loving protector of his family.
It was a responsibility he took seriously, a role that only he could execute with his unique brand of friendship, understanding and humour…” 

~ excerpt from That’s My Father, 03/21/13

I’m thinking of relatives and friends who lost their fathers very recently.
My heart goes out to them today.

   Wishing all the wonderful dads
a Happy Father’s Day
❤ ❤ ❤

Sunday Snap(s): La Gatta

Check out pretty little Pippa. She was the resident cat at La Sorgente*, the bed and breakfast we called home during our visit to Baveno and Stresa in northern Italy.

Fun feline fact: the Italian name for “cat” depends on its gender. A female cat is “la gatta” while a male is “il gatto.”

La Gatta in Stresa

“In the little cat’s eye that sees my soul and stares into my heart,
there is nowhere to hide. I see my reflection.” – jenniferkellandperry.com

“Happy is the home with at least one cat.” – Italian proverb

*La Sorgente Bed and Breakfast is near the Alps and on the shore of the beautiful Lake Maggiore. I highly recommend the area as an Italian destination.