Today a reader…

Please encourage your children to read.

Give them books they would enjoy for Christmas.

Take them to the public library to get their own library card.

If they are too young to read themselves, read them bedtime stories.

It’s never too early to inspire a love of good books. No, they won’t all become leaders, but research shows that reading to children and discussing the book is the best way to increase your child’s IQ and instill a love of reading.

10 Ways for Parents to Encourage Their Child to Read

Blogger Bouquet #53

wordpress blogger bouquet

I was pleased this month to discover Milly Schmidt and her blog, The Cat’s Write.

A writer and a cat person – could I have picked a better blogger to follow?

From her About page:

“I’m a writer, blogger and crazy cat lady living in the New England, Australia. Some bloggers mistakenly think I’m from the New England in the US, but I really don’t mind, any way to bond is fine by me!

I’m currently working on my first crime novel, When She Goes, a psychological thriller set in rural NSW. When not writing or blogging, I work in the human resources sector and I have a Bachelor of Criminology from the University of New England. I am also a member of the New England Writers’ Centre and the Australian Crime Writers Association.”

I’m sharing a post where Milly tells about an exceptionally mean rejection letter she received for an article she submitted to one of her favourite online writing magazines. That same article that was criticized, 9 reasons why you should self-publish, went on to become one of the most popular she has ever written.

The Subjective Nature of the Creative World

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

Have an inspired weekend, everyone.

Blogger Bouquet #50

Raimey Gallant is a Canadian writer I recently discovered here on WordPress through the Insecure Writers Support Group.

From her Welcome page:

“I’m an activisty, feministy, world-traveling, wannabe comedian who writes crime thrillers and YA contemporary…I’m also a marketing and fundraising consultant, and zumba champ.”

Raimey’s blog includes a collection of tips and tricks on the craft of writing, as well as advice on the marketing side of writing. If you’re a writer, you just might want to follow her too!

Here’s a helpful article on the creation of a fictional villain:

Five Ways to Find Inspiration for the Next Great Villain

Comments are closed here but you can leave one on the blogger’s page.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

The Cutest Ornament?

Our grandkitten Joey is going to be the cutest ornament on the tree this Christmas – that is if and only if the tree survives his yuletide antics!

My daughter (who snapped this pic) said the little rascal climbed to the top in under half a minute, and in the space of twenty minutes he climbed it eight times.

Readers: Any pet pointers for this pressing pussycat problem ?
Please post below!

How to Use Nature to Connect with Your Grandkids

Today’s post is brought to you by my guest, author Susan Day.

Photo by Fay on Unsplash

Spending time with your grandchildren is one of the best things you can do for them, and for you too, for that matter.

Sure, kids love gifts and candy, and they get really excited about going to a theme park or spending time with their friends. However, there is a secret world which exists right outside the window and one which has a powerful allure. I’m referring to nature.

Nature offers an endless array of beauty and wonder, and for the most part it’s free and easy to access. Taking your grandchildren outdoors is a great way to build a strong connection with them. Just spending time and ‘being’ with children is important for their wellbeing.

Some children don’t get outdoors enough, and the simple act of wandering along the street, running at the park or tramping through the beach sand is an experience they are sadly missing out on.

Ignite a Sense of Curiosity

Research tells us that curious kids are intelligent kids. The more questions they ask, the more their minds grow and develop.

Nature has a bounty of things to be curious about. You could literally spend hours outside with your grandchildren exploring, and you don’t have to live near a forest or a beach to enjoy nature either. It’s in your yard, in your neighbor’s yard, at your local park, or any place a tree is growing and the birds are singing.

Do your grandkids know where bees go, and what they are doing buzzing around those flowers? Do they know why some birds migrate, and others live in the same area all their lives?

Point Out the Beauty in Small Objects

Each time your grandchildren come to visit, make a point of taking them outside and showing them something nature is doing. It might be new buds on the tree or the color autumn leaves are turning.

How many people rush through their busy days, not noticing subtle changes happening around them? Isn’t there something magnificent about the way birds take off or the way clouds move across the sky?

“Isn’t that interesting…” you might begin to say, and then point out an aspect of nature that is happening right under their very noses.

Look at a Leaf

What shape is it? Does it have any spots or spines? Compare it to another leaf from a plant that is growing close by. What things are similar? What are different? You could also begin a leaf scrap-book and share details of trees and shrubs that live in your area.

Analyse an Ant

Who doesn’t love bugs? Well, most adults don’t find them interesting, but kids love ’em! Bugs, beetles, aphids, and ants are like miniature dinosaurs or creatures from outer space living in our backyards. Without interfering with their busy lives, make a point of sharing these remarkable creatures with your grandchild.

Marvel at Moths

Moths, butterflies and dragonflies all go about their daily lives in nearly every place on earth, living in the most amazing ways.

Your grandchildren will love to learn about them. They will enjoy the wonder nature has to offer through your eyes, and come to a deeper understanding of how remarkable the world really is.

“I’d Rather Watch TV, Grandma!”

Nature has a way of going about its business whether we are watching or not, and all the while our televisions and devices are nagging us to watch and engage.

You may find your grandchildren are not used to examining nature in so much detail. They may not understand what you are getting at, but one thing is for sure: they won’t forget the time you have spent with them and how important nature was to you. It is a privilege to be able to see what nature is doing, and stand in awe of what it will do next.

What child doesn’t deserve to be introduced to all of this wondrous world?

No doubt your grandkids will grow and mature, and will find themselves stopping to admire a flower or cloud patterns. They will turn to a friend, their partner or even their own children, and share memories they have of you and how you introduced them to one of the most magnificent things on this planet – nature.

About Susan Day

Susan Day is a passionate author, educator and, of course, a grandmother. She wants to empower all grandparents to build meaningful relationships with their grandchildren. Discover here the Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing.

Susan lives in Australia with four dogs, three bossy cats, two rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo.

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Interested in sharing one of your original articles as a guest? Feel free to submit your ideas to jennifer@jenniferkellandperry.com. Preference is given to topics relevant to my blog, such as books, writing, nature, photography, travel, children and pets. – Jennifer

The Marathon of Novel-Writing

I’m guest-posting on A Writer’s Path today, sharing my experiences as a novelist.

Come on over for a visit and check it out!

The Marathon of Novel-Writing

Sunday Snap: Play*

*Sunday Snap is a brand new feature on my blog, starting today. Drop by every Sunday to see which favourite photo I’ve chosen to highlight. 🙂

Blogger Bouquet #47

Kristine over at candidkay is a journalist, marketing exec and mother of two.
From her About page:

“I write about life as I know it. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious. But always interesting.”

Kristine recently shared “one small slice of life on a Sunday afternoon that deserves a bit of limelight.” And I wholeheartedly agree. When you are part of a two-household family and you realize that an important lesson in values – namely, kindness to others – has gotten through to your child, it gives you pause to be thankful for good role models.

“Oh, waitress”

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

Have a great week, everyone.

Blogger Bouquet #46

D. Wallace Peach (aka Diana) is a delightful blogger and fantasy writer that I’ve discovered only recently and am now following.

From her Myths of the Mirror blog About page:

“I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show.
Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit.

Tolkien … literally changed my life.”

Seeing as I’m taking a short break from my own blog for the next couple of weeks, I’m highlighting a timely post of Diana’s today where she asks: “How does anyone keep up with blogging and not burn out?” Check out the useful tips and tricks she shares in the link below.

The Benefits of a Blogging Break

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

Have a restful weekend, everyone.
See you all in August!

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