Seagull Spring

Seagulls squeal a spring duet
Swim in pairs around ice and rock
Glide as swans in graceful tandem
Hush broken by caw and squawk.

Two by two with white forms glinting
All-consumed to multiply
Nests to feather whatever the weather
Tasks that cover sea and sky.

Sun sets, wind drops, fog rolls in
From the east without a sound
Just the squeal and cry of seagulls
Nature’s twilight songs abound.


I took these photos in April 2015. This year the sea ice left early, but we still have our mating seagulls on the rocks. I love to see them pair off with each other every spring.

Book Launch: Survival of the Fittest by Jacqui Murray

Five tribes. One leader. A treacherous journey across three continents in search of a new home.

Hey, everyone! I’m excited to host author Jacqui Murray today, as she launches her newest novel in the prehistoric fiction genre, Survival of the Fittest. 

Jacqui is a prolific writer, a tech teacher, and a whirlwind of energy in the blogging world and on social media. On top of all that, she is a voracious reader. If you’re a writer too, I suggest you follow her blog WordDreams for a wealth of info and tips to help you on your writing journey.

Here’s what her latest book is all about:

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind a certain life in her African homeland to search for an unknown future. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands but an escape path laid out years before by her father as a final desperate means to survival. She is joined by other homeless tribes–from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant—all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that this enemy doesn’t want her People’s land. He wants to destroy her.

Title: Survival of the Fittest
Series: Book 1 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga
Cover by: Damonza 
Available at: Kindle US Kindle UK Kindle CA Kindle AU

Q. Is there a goal to writing this story, Jacqui?

A. All the books in this series, Man vs. Nature, will be written with a goal of explaining how man’s essentials–art, music, culture, body adornments, religion, counting, spoken language, critical thinking, and abstract thinking—bloomed from our earliest roots.

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, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Quest for Home, Summer 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Social Media contacts:

http://twitter.com/worddreams
http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher
http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray
https://worddreams.wordpress.com
https://jacquimurray.net

Congrats on your latest release, Jacqui! 

Calmer Girls Giveaway!

 In honour of International Women’s Day,
I’m having an e-book Giveaway!
↓  ↓  ↓

Grab your FREE copy of #CalmerGirls 

Book One of the Calmer Girls 2-Book Series:

getbook.at/CalmerGirls

Free promotion ends Monday

 #YA #teenfictionbestseller #loveandheartache #siblingrivalry

Friday Fiction: The Location App

During a Saturday morning long-distance chat, they had an argument, heated and out of the blue.

Before Joanne could apologize and take back the words she’d barked into the receiver, her daughter had ended the call.

No goodbye. Just a click, then cold silence.

Emily was Joanne’s only child. She’d secured a position the year before at the Children’s Hospital in the capital city. Living nearly three hundred miles apart was taking its toll. They never used to fight, until their lives became more separate – more disconnected.

On days or nights when Joanne felt particularly alone, she’d pick up her phone and jab at the Find Friends app to see what Emily was up to. Most times she was at work, other times at the mall or the gym or at an address Joanne didn’t recognize. Probably visiting friends or out for the evening at a downtown restaurant.

On her loneliest days, it became an obsession; she’d tap on the app every hour. She knew Emily was a busy professional and couldn’t always answer her texts or calls, but tracking her whereabouts gave Joanne a ray of comfort and inclusion, even in this small way.

Emily’s was the only app location to whom she had access. The only one she needed. Two years ago when Emily came home on winter break from nursing school, Joanne had been worried about the icy roads on her daughter’s long drive back to the city.

Snatching up her mother’s phone, Emily had made a few taps, and voila: she’d added and activated the app so her mother could track her progress all the way home to her apartment building.

Joanne sighed and called Emily back. It went to voice mail. She sent a text. Not read, no response. She waited an hour and tried again – same result. Over a stupid disagreement!

When she picked up her phone another hour later and jabbed at the location app, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Her heart twisted in her chest.

Emily had turned her location off.

Joanne finally gave up trying to reach her at 7 pm. All she’d wanted to do was apologize for what she’d said and for being so needy.

While she stared into the fridge at the overdue leftovers, a twin beam of headlights illuminated the window and flickered across the kitchen wallpaper. Joanne waited until she heard the slam of a car door and the click of a key in the lock. She ran to the front door. It swept open and Emily, eyes red-rimmed, fell into her arms.

“I’m sorry, Mom.”

“I’m sorry too, honey. You came all this way! But why didn’t you call or text, or answer any of mine? And why did you turn off your location?”

“I took a week’s family leave to spend with you, and I wanted it to be a surprise. I’ve missed you so much, Mom.” She brushed her lips across Joanne’s cheek. “Now, what’s for supper?”

***

Thanks for reading!

Jennifer’s Friday Fiction

Friday Fiction appears on the occasional Friday as a place to share my writing in the form of short stories, flash fiction, poetry and vignettes.

A Valentine from Vivian

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I know you may think
that I look kind of lazy
But not every day
I’m as fresh as a daisy

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Precious few are so perfect
to wear halos above us
So we look past the faults
of who we love and who love us

Like where did this dog toy
come from, we inquire
When there are gorgeous kitty cats
here to admire?

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But I won’t dwell on that,
just an oversight, maybe
I’ll forgive and forget
and not act like a baby

And we won’t envy Jennifer
with her life that’s just ducky
‘Cause we know of a time
when she wasn’t so lucky

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So don’t be concerned
if you haven’t seen Cupid
Don’t be down on romance
because that would be stupid

Just realize your True Love
may not be that far
And besides,
you are wonderful
just as you are!

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If you still find you’re sad
and alone on this day
Take a look at our cuteness
to chase troubles away

And please, pretty please,
know we love you like crazy
Happy Valentine kisses
from me and from Maisie. ❤

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The Daily Post Prompt:
Cupid’s Arrow – Write an ode to someone or something you love. Bonus points for poetry!

This was my first time using the new “Copy a Post” feature on WordPress for evergreen content. Originally shared in 2015 here.

Winter Afternoon

January 14, 2019

Winter afternoon
peace and quiet so serene
clear and cold and blue
– but I’m never blue with you
in our home beside the sea.

***

The Japanese tanka is a 31-syllable poem.
Tanka translates as ‘short song’ and is known for its 5-line, 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count form.

Wild Geese

Beloved poet Mary Oliver passed away on Thursday at the age of 83.  Oliver’s poems were much inspired by the link between the natural world and spirituality.

When I read her poem Wild Geese back in 2015, it stirred me to write about my feelings of belonging, or lack thereof, and of my own place in the world.

Having lived through a number of moves, changes, and upheavals, my transitions often deemed me as a newcomer who will probably always feel a little like someone on the outside, looking in.*

Yet, when I read that poem and let the words sink in, they seem to grant me the freedom to love and experience all the things that mean the most to me. I can now belong in this life I’ve created, just as everyone belongs to the bigger picture that is the universe, to bear witness to a journey filled with joy, sorrow, and exquisite beauty.*

Of course, Mary Oliver said it better than I ever could:

photo: jenniferkellandperry.com

*Excerpts from my blog post: Belonging, March 12, 2015.
Many of the comments on your own feelings of belonging were a real eye-opener for me!

What is “your place in the family of things”?

Friday Fiction – A Special Guest

Jennifer’s Friday Fiction

I’m pleased today to feature a special guest post on Friday Fiction.

My 12 year-old granddaughter Leah wrote the following flash fiction piece for school recently. When her mom showed it to me, I liked it so much, I asked Leah if she would allow me to publish it here on my blog.

Our family’s budding new writer readily agreed. Friends and followers, please take a moment to read it and tell me what you think!

roller coaster ride

Bart, the security guard, has always loved his job at the amusement park. He loves the greasy smell of deep-fried onions and the sweet smell of cotton candy drifting in the breeze as people happily skip by.

But there was just one thing that made Bart sad. He would always see people of all ages having so much fun with huge smiles on their faces as they jumped with excitement. Bart looked down at his chubby belly sticking out under his uniform with grease stains all over it from his recent lunch break. “I wish I could ride one of the roller coasters,” Bart thought to himself. All he wanted was to be able to ride a roller coaster and know what it was like to be happy and have fun.

Bart decided to make a plan. Maybe he could sneak onto a ride. No one would notice he was gone from his post because no one ever noticed he was there. Except for Trevor.

Trevor was Bart’s very strict boss. If Trevor ever found out about Bart’s plan, he would fire him for good and Bart definitely did not want that to happen. But he wanted to ride a roller coaster so bad, he was willing to take the chance.

Late one day, Bart was ready for action. It was 9:00 pm and the park closed at 10:00 pm. It was dark out so he wouldn’t be seen as easily. Bart slipped off his uniform so that he was left with a T-shirt and a pair of shorts on. He quickly put on his ball cap and ran off to the scariest ride in the park called “The Brain Wash”.

Bart got in line. While everyone was passing their tickets to the tall man standing at the entrance, Bart squeezed past the man without being seen. Bart had made it through!

He was finally on the ride. As the roller coaster was going up the steep hill with a ticking sound, he looked down at everyone below. They all looked like little ants. But there was one face that Bart could pick out. It was Trevor looking up at him with his arms folded across his chest. What if Bart got fired from his job?

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Visiting Day

Happy Monday, everyone!

I recently agreed to a fun interview with fellow Canadian, Esme, at Esme Salon, Share, Care & Inspire. Please pop over there for a visit if you have a minute.

Comments are closed here, but I would love if you left a few words on Esme’s blog.
I’ll be sure to drop over later to answer any questions. 🙂

Here’s the link: Jennifer on Jennifer Kelland Perry

Jennifer Kelland Perry, YA Author

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!