Tree in Autumn*


On the cusp of her dark autumn

November gathers and descends
once bright in October’s glow
her fallen raiment of gold
now flies upon the wind.

Stiff limbs scrape the starless sky
mute shadows fill her spaces
so no one sees the cracks
wrought by her many seasons
of frost and limp regret.

©J.K. Perry

***

*Photo taken November 14, 2019 in Grand Falls-Windsor

Nighttime and Here I Stand:
2 titles in #2019picoftheweek challenge. For details see MariaAntonia

The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction – how many have you read?

Barbara Vitelli, a.k.a. Book Club Mom, compiled this list of Pulitzer Prize winners for Fiction two years ago and updated it this year. By 2017, I had read only 10 of them, but since then I’ve added 5 and hope to read more. How many of these novels have you read?

Book Club Mom

Someday I’d like to say I have read all the Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction. I took a look at the all-time list, and discovered I have a long way to go!

2019: The Overstory by Richard Powers

2018: Less by Andrew Sean Greer(read and reviewed)

2017:  The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

2016:  The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

2015:  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (read and reviewed)

2014:  The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

2013:  The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

2012:  No award

2011:  A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

2010:  Tinkers by Paul Harding

2009:  Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (read and reviewed)

2008:  The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

2007:  The Road by Cormac McCarthy (read and reviewed)

2006:  March by Geraldine Brooks

2005:  Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

2004:  The Known World

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Sunday Snaps: Tuckered Out (but in a good way)

Hey friends! It’s been longer than usual since I’ve blogged or shared a snap, but I think I had a good excuse. I’ve been going over the final draft of my latest novel manuscript with a fine-toothed comb in recent weeks—a little snip and tighten here, an extra fleshing out there—and I’m happy to say it is finally in the hands of its first beta reader.

Due to a few changes made, it took longer to get to this point than planned when I blogged about the final draft in June, but between the jigs and the reels and the hope that feedback is mostly positive, here we are.

Much has fallen by the wayside getting to this stage, so I’ll take the coming week to finish reading Jacqui Murray’s latest novel, and begin another one for my online book club. Along with that I’ll catch up on neglected chores and, of course, all my favorite blogs. (Sorry for not commenting much lately, bloggers!)

I had hoped to take part in NaNoWriMo this month, but instead my plan is to write a blurb, query letter and synopsis for submissions to publishers. I also hope to complete the outline for Book 2 of my speculative fiction trilogy by month’s end. That way, writing the first draft can begin on December 1.

I’m tuckered out, but also STOKED. I feel good about the book and am more focused than ever on my writing.

But first, I will follow Vivian’s lead: flake out, hang out, and recharge. See you next week.

Book Launch: The Quest For Home by Jacqui Murray

I am delighted once again to help fellow author Jacqui Murray  with the launch of her latest novel. The Quest for Home is the second in her Crossroads trilogy.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the prehistoric fiction trilogy, Survival of the Fittest, and I highly recommend it. Jacqui is a masterful writer and researcher, and I can’t wait to read this next book in the series.

Summary:

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind her African homeland, leading her People on a grueling journey through unknown and perilous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she trusts with her life.

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, the one destined to obliterate any who came before.

Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

The Quest for Home info:

Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga
Genre: Prehistoric fiction
Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

I asked Jacqui a couple of questions about her book:

1. If I am not reading these books in order, does it matter?

Survival of the Fittest starts the Crossroads trilogy, The Quest for Home is Book 2. Crossroads itself the second trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga. Each trilogy is a stand-alone story; each book in the trilogy fairly standalone in that I include details to catch you up on what occurred in prior books but without most of the drama. They can be read out of order, but you may find the experience enhanced if the three books in each trilogy are read consecutively.

2. Could Xhosa, the main character of The Quest for Home, really have traveled with a wolf companion?

Dogs weren’t domesticated until about 10-15,000 years ago, long after Xhosa lived 850,000 years ago. But her understanding of man and animal were not what ours is. To Xhosa, the line between man and animal was blurry. She didn’t think of animals as lesser creatures. Why would she? As far as she knew, like her, they could plan, think, problem-solve, and display emotions just as she did.
So, for Xhosa to partner with a wolf made perfect sense.

It does make perfect sense, especially for an animal lover like me.
Thanks so much, Jacqui, for letting me assist with your book launch!

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  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2020, the final chapter in the Crossroads Trilogy.

Find out more and follow Jacqui Murray on Social Media:

Amazon Author Page
Blog
Twitter
Website

Evergreen Post: Snapshots from a Summer Day*

Now that summer has officially arrived–at least according to the calendar–I’m sharing an evergreen summer post from July 2015. Happy Sunday, everyone, and have a wonderful week!

pablo (27)

pablo (28)

pablo (22)

pablo (21)

pablo (26)

pablo (25)

pablo (24)

pablo (23)

*Selected verses from Summer, a poem by Jennifer Kelland Perry, 2012
Photos ©2015 jenniferkellandperry.com 

Fridays and Final Drafts

Crunch time is here for my latest novel.

I’m nearing the end of the final draft, which means my beta readers will soon whisk away my manuscript for their constructive perusal. The timing couldn’t be better.

With the weather finally improving, I look forward to a couple of months to recharge and get ready for the next steps.

Friday turned out to be a super nice day. So mid-afternoon, I tore myself away from the laptop to step outside into sunshine, breathe the soft ocean breeze, and enjoy the view.

I think Maisie had the same idea.

“Does this camera angle make me look fat?”
Finally looking like summer around here!
“Stay out longer with me next time, please?”

It wasn’t easy to go back inside, but when you can see the finish line, it gives you more incentive to keep working. And once that line is crossed? Rest assured, Maisie–I will stay out with you much longer then.

“Best advice on writing I’ve ever received. Finish.”
~ Peter Mayle

Roma

Flashback to eight years ago this week: Beautiful Rome, the first destination of our 3-week trip to Italy and France. We hope to return to Europe within the next few years–the UK this time–and I can hardly wait.

The Colosseum was only a few minutes from our hotel. Notice the workers upon the ledge!

A little verse I wrote in Rome:

Roma

The click on terracotta tile
a welcoming staccato beat
quick-sure heels on cobblestone
we join the rhythm on the street.

Mellifluous foreign banter
fill sidewalk cafes and bars
laughter tinkling, glasses clinking
under the Italian stars.

Heady scent of sweet ambrosia
lips stained red with deep dark wine
swarthy locals’ smiling faces
lovers with their arms entwined.

Tastes and smells are all around us
food and drink beyond compare
warm night air drapes on our shoulders
sated, sleepy, not a care.

Street musicians serenade us
as we stroll our way back home
memories to last a lifetime
summer nights in downtown Rome.

***

Travellers:
What has been your best-loved destination?

Are You More Creative in the Morning?

newtown Sunrise
Sunrise in Newtown, Bonavista Bay
Newtown sunrise 2
Ten minutes later

 Research has proven the brain is most actively creative immediately following sleep.

Your subconscious mind wanders and makes connections while you sleep. That is what creativity is – making connections between different parts of the brain.

This makes sense to me. I think my writing is better and more productive in the morning.

Yet I hear some writers and creatives say they are more attuned to creating in the afternoon, evening or night. Is it simply a matter of being a morning person or a night owl?

Still others say they have no choice but to write whenever they can find the time.

When do you do your best creative work?

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!