“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger — something better, pushing right back.” – Albert Camu
This is one of my best-loved quotes. Small wonder the author won the Nobel prize in Literature in 1957.
Dear WordPress bloggers, fellow writers, followers and friends,
December 31, 2018 marked my seven-year blogging anniversary.
Yikes! I’m into the eighth year! Who knew that when I published my first post, Follow the Yellow Brick Road on New Year’s Eve of 2011, my blog would still be active in 2019? I genuinely hope I’m not wearing out my welcome here and that you continue to let me into your in-boxes, your readers, and your lives for my brief visits once or twice a week. 🙂
I’m not one to get hung up on blog statistics, as I value quality of interaction over quantity any day, but I’d like to share a few highlights from my 70 posts of 2018.
I’ve set aside statistics on my About Me and Author Page to concentrate on regular posts.
The three most-liked posts of last year:
When your address is Sandy Beach Avenue and you live near one of the longest beaches in the province, posts like these are bound to show up regularly. These photos taken at Lumsden North Beach grabbed the most likes of 2018.
Winter Morning Haiku
Summery beaches didn’t get all the love.
A haiku poem with one of my best-loved winter photos,
taken from my back yard.
Kids with coffee filters.
How could one possibly resist a click?
(Again with coffee?)
No surprise – this beverage is a vital part of the day for many of us.
Even some of you who prefer tea were moved to give your two cents worth!
Blog Hop: Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray
Once again, I’m delighted to share news from my author colleagues.
I loved this book of the prehistoric fiction genre.
So much so, it got me reading the Earth’s Children series by Jean M. Auel.
I look forward to Murray’s next novel in her Man vs. Nature saga.
2018 was a special year all around, but it didn’t exceed previous records set by my blog.
January 18, 2016 still holds the favored position as the day that generated the most views thus far, when I introduced the ever-popular Newfoundland and Labrador page…
…and the individual post that has scored the most views to date under that Newfoundland banner is Berg Watching, originally shared on June 2, 2015.
Springtime in Iceberg Alley at its beautiful best.
The Sunday Snap series has gained in popularity since its inception in August 2017, and my new addition for 2018, Friday Fiction, has met with positive reviews as well.
Many thanks to everyone who visits my blog. However long I continue, I appreciate all the follows, likes, comments, and shares. Love to you all, and blog on!
P.S. to bloggers: Have a favourite post from your own blog I may have missed or you’d like to highlight? Don’t be shy – share a link with me in the comments below. 🙂
Marie Zhuikov of Marie’s Meanderings is a novelist, science writer, poet and editor that I have followed for quite some time.
From her About page:
“The meanderings of Marie’s mind blog explores life in northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and anywhere else Marie Zhuikov’s travels may span. There are bound to be thoughts about her passions, which include nature, environmental issues, the arts, music, children, dogs, books, relationships, cooking, water, wine and the like.”
In Marie’s previous novels she has focused on endangered animals, and her next one is no exception. Check out Marie’s recent post on the pine marten, also known as the American marten. She has even written two magazine articles about the marten that are on newsstands now.
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!
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?
I recently discovered Wandering Canadians travel and adventure blog and am now a follower.
Who are the Wandering Canadians?
“We’re a couple of Canadians who enjoy hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, diving, and spending as much time outdoors as we can. We hope our stories can help as you plan for your adventures. Thanks for reading.” –L & K
I was thrilled to come across their post from July where they describe their 10-day trip to the island portion of my own province, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The photography is stunning too. But please don’t take my word for it, click on the highlighted post below and see for yourself.
This 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?
This past summer, Perry’s Point here in Newtown, Newfoundland & Labrador received a new addition. A project of the Cape Freels Development Association, this information display is a reminder and a history lesson to all about the first people who inhabited this area: the Beothuks.
I will let the display speak for itself.
Please read to learn more about this fascinating First Nation.
Thank you to the Cape Freels Association, Winston Perry, and to anyone else involved in this worthy initiative.
As it happened, earlier this year I readThe Last Beothuk, the newest release by localauthor Gary Collins. I wholly recommend this historical novel to anyone interested in learning more about the way of life of these indigenous people and what ultimately became of them.
Inspired by True Events:
“Long after Demasduit’s skull has been stolen from her grave, and years after Shanawdithit has died, one Beothuk and his family survive. Bursting out of the pages of Newfoundland history appears Kop, the last true Beothuk. When all the other members of his tribe are exterminated by the Europeans, Kop seeks revenge against the Unwanted Ones. Hidden among the Bear Clan of the Mi’kmaq, the Beothuk strikes back. Follow Kop on his trail of defiance against the European marauders upon his Island. See what becomes of a man who has nothing to lose or live for. Stay with him on a hundred trails and sit with him across the smoke of a hundred campfires. You will not only weep for the last Beothuk—you will cheer him on as he pushes back against the Unwanted Ones.”
I wish I could say I wrote this lovely piece, but I found it shared on Karen Lang’s blog, Healing Your Life.
Stepping into the unknown, takes courage and strength to move out of our comfort zone. But sometimes we can be left believing it was not worth it; Be patient. In time, you will discover, you receive exactly what you need.
John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind.
In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Holly Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond.
The two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting – 7.00 p.m. at the Grand Central Station in New York.
“You’ll recognize me,” she wrote, “by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel.” So at 7.00 p.m. he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen.
Mr Blanchard describes the scene: “A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim in a green suit. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small provocative smile curved her lips. “Going my way, sailor?” she murmured.
Almost uncontrollably, I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Holly Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly inspired me.
And there she stood. Her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her.
This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever by grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. “I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?” The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. “I don’t know what this is about, son,” she answered, “but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!”