Sunday Snaps: Root Cellars of Elliston

Elliston, root cellar capital of the world

root cellars of Elliston, NL

These photos of root cellars are from one of my November posts five years ago. I’ve been thinking about them lately because in the speculative novel I’m writing, an abandoned root cellar figures largely in certain plot points of the story.

More than 130 root cellars have been documented in the Elliston area, dating back as far as 1839, and some are still used today to store homegrown vegetables.

According to Elliston folklore, the older folks told the children that babies came from root cellars. For more photos and info, click on the link below:

Mom, where do babies come from?

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?

pexels-photo-991438.jpeg

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?

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.

Throwback Thursday: She Writes

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Here’s a throwback to July 2013, when I was in the thick of creating the first draft for Calmer Girls. At the time I was also blogging twice a week, but hey, when your muse is whispering in your ear to pen a poem and she won’t shut up, you pen a poem. There’s no getting out of it.

She Writes

She wakes tangled in themes
through a cobweb of dreams
with gossamer remnants
that linger and tease,
pushes back dusty curtains
and on a page blank and white
she writes.

 She deletes the clichéd
yesterday she okayed
and contemplates words
like ephemeral and moonglade
they taste like confections
with her tangerine sections
and jolts of black coffee
she writes.

She’s reminded of chores
she keeps trying to ignore
with the scatter of crumbs
that litter the floor,
shrugs her shoulders and thinks
it will be there tomorrow
she writes.

The bills wait, unpaid
And the bed’s still not made
There’s this blog post to write
and it can’t be delayed
her novel must wait
it’s a musing or rhyme that
she writes.

She reaches again
for the manuscript when
her mind can’t break free
from the plot line within
and it makes him uptight
there’s no dinner tonight
but he digests her flaws.
After all, it’s because
she writes.

***

photo by pexels

First published here.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Book Review – Encounters: Relationships in Conflict

I’ve been reading various collections of short stories lately, the latest of which was written by Fred H. Rohn.
Encounters: Relationships in Conflict is a unique, insightful and entertaining read.

The preface alone is a treat, where Rohn explains how he came to create this collection from accumulated notes and short stories over the years, and how each of them exhibit relationships and the “conflict between people resulting from differing perceptions, often between men and women and between different generations.”

In his preface, he also sets forth the belief that creativity does not have to end as you age, and that many seniors like himself are productive in a variety of artistic and creative endeavors. After all, they’ve lived through some pretty tough experiences which, I surmise, affords them a better grasp and understanding of the human condition. Reading this book only further convinces me of that!

As I began each short story selection, I found myself immediately engaged by the author’s sublime writing style and smooth but compelling narrative and voice. Each piece has its own charm, but I do have my favourites. The Piano Recital, Reunion Deals, Jennifer (!), Doc Brunner (that one brought a tear) and Harry particularly resonated with me, while others, such as The Old Man, made me chuckle.

This book offers clever insight to young readers and familiar life experiences for older readers. I highly recommend this lovely collection.

Review has been published on Amazon.ca and Goodreads.

Readers: do you enjoy short story collections?
Do you have any recommendations for a short fiction fan?

Blogger Bouquet #52

wordpress blogger bouquetMiriam – aka Delphini510 – is a blogger I haven’t been following all that long, and yet she quickly became a favourite.

Her blog is My Window: Sharing my thoughts, poems, travel and art. It was chiefly her poetry that caught my attention.

From Miriam’s About page:

“It is a long way from a little island in North Sea to the British shores but I did it albeit in a circuitous route. Much will be revealed as I go along. I tried my hand at many things but the Arts have always been my love. From tender years books were never far from my side.”

Check out this beautiful, heartfelt poem by Miriam. It was difficult to choose just one!

Sorrow and Strength

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

Have an inspired weekend, everyone.

Happy…and Busy!

It’s a cold and snowy day here at home, but the following warms me down to my toes.

I’m thrilled to see another powerful 5-star review on Amazon for Calmer Secrets!

Take a look:

“Calmer Secrets is a fascinating and mature, well-written second look into the lives of the Cross girls which takes place some four or five years after the events of the first book. The time gap and the substantial content in each novel support Jennifer Perry’s decision to split this story into two books.
Samantha is all grown up, Ben is gone, and against her self-centred, irritating sister’s advice she tumbles into a relationship with old friend Kalen – who has turned into a hot rocker. Their mother continues to wrestle with her issues, and the charming Henry, Veronica’s four-year old boy, is Samantha’s darling. The scene is set for a gritty, realistically told and engrossing unravelling of events, and old secrets, which will change everyone’s lives.
The gripping story kept me helplessly reading on, late into the night. Hints are dropped, with a thud, or a tickle of the mind, and I yelled at Samantha not to be such a fool, at Ronnie for her attitude, at Kalen, at Ben, at Darlene, at Cash… the only one I didn’t yell at was little Henry.
*Much* is explained as the final secrets are revealed and the ends of the story are resolved, and one begins to understand the complexity and depth of these beautifully crafted characters.
This is an excellent novel of family, love, and the damage that secrets can do. Highly recommended, but you have to read the first book first. Together, they make an epic story of ordinary life.”

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1D4NN653C42PN

*Comments are closed because I’m feverishly writing this week and trying to minimize distractions. See you on Sunday!

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.

Blogger Bouquet #49

Annika Perry – no relation to yours truly – is a writer, wife and mother who was born in Sweden and lives in the UK.  She is busy finalizing edits on her first short story collection, and is also working on the last edits for her debut novel, Island Girl.

From her About page:

“Writing has been a passion since childhood although it is only in the past year that I have seriously started to write fiction.

In Spring 2014 I won First Prize in the Writing Magazine Short Story Competition which was a joy. Furthermore, I was short-listed for Inktears Short Story Competition in 2014.”

I’ve highlighted the following post of Annika’s where she shares the highs and lows, as well as the distractions, of the editing process. For example, how does a breakfast bowl end up in the bathroom? Check it out:

CHIPPING AWAY!

 

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

Have a great weekend, everyone.