Friday Bouquet #22

natural-flowers-bouquet-1920x1080

Karen at Healing Your Grief knows all about the enormous shock of suddenly losing a precious child. She lost her nine-year-old son to a car accident, and found a way to journey through the pain by writing about it in her blog.

In her own words:

When we tragically lose one of our children, our entire world comes to a grinding stop and everything we have ever believed is questioned.
Through understanding this journey you have been given, my wish for you is to connect to a new hope and to a process of complete healing.
You may at first not understand how you could ever survive this loss, that there can be no way out of this pain, yet over time, I promise, there is a way through.”

I have chosen to share her first post because it explains how she is courageously surviving such a profound tragedy.

My Journey – Walking Through Grief

shamanismandhealing.wordpress.com

shamanismandhealing.wordpress.com

Comments are closed here in the hope you will visit Karen’s blog.
If you do, please tell her Jennifer sent you.

<3

In Praise of Young Adult Fiction

I used to think I was a bit of a dork for liking Young Adult literature, even though my years as a young adult are long gone.

picblog4

Not so anymore. Although some may be too shy to admit to it or call it a guilty pleasure, YA fiction has a huge fan base among grownups; in fact, a recent study states that 55% of its readers are actually adults. And while I also choose from a variety of other genres and often crave the more literary and classic offerings as well, I particularly enjoy writing Young Adult fiction, as two of my upcoming novels will attest.

Why do I and so many others love reading YA novels? I don’t believe it implies immaturity, but rather suggests a more “young at heart” sensibility of the reader. And I am careful about not lumping all of them together; as in every genre there is great writing and not-so-great writing. With that in mind, here is what I find appealing about most of the YA and coming-of-age literature I have read:

  • It draws you in and hooks you on the first page.
  • It is usually light on the exposition and heavy on the action and dialogue.
  • The drama isn’t contrived. The teenage years, with all of its growing pains, can be filled with turmoil. Ordinary situations often feel emotional, and even catastrophic.
  • Teens are well-known to be impetuous and curious, therefore their actions are often unexpected. This opens up all sorts of drama which may include acting on violence, sexuality, and other previously uncharacteristic behaviours.
  • We’ve all been there, so we can identify with many of the common conflicts that arise. Other times, we might enjoy reading YA as an escape into wish-fulfillment: a way of righting the wrongs in our own experience.

Still not convinced to give Young Adult a try? Peruse these quotes taken from bestselling YA fiction:

recite-h0wfzl

recite-en8wqs

recite-19wy7zc

recite-13f8a3k
recite-1d5a996 recite-baznm3
recite-xdv7e1

recite-1di69t3

slide_337455_3428836_free

What do you think of the Young Adult genre?
Do you have any favourite YA quotes to share?

Friday Bouquet #21

bouquet-flowers-tulips-flower-buds_1280x720_sc

Carrie Rubin is a pediatrician who also happens to be the author of an award-winning medical thriller I recently enjoyed. Besides that, she is a blogger with a fine sense of humour.  I follow her blog, The Write Transitionand she keeps me smiling over on Twitter as well.

From her About Page:

“Physician, public health advocate, writer. I believe every experience is worthwhile, even if our paths deviate from where we started.

I am the author of The Seneca Scourge, a medical thriller. This blog chronicles my transition into the writing world, all with a dose of humor, because to me laughter is one of life’s necessities.”

cr-the-seneca-scourge-1-3

Have a look at this recent post of Carrie’s, especially if you are guilty of using, ahem, big words:

Careful, Your Frasier Crane is Showing: Using Big Words In Writing When Smaller Ones Will Do

Comments are closed here in the hope you will visit Carrie Rubin’s blog.
If you do, please tell her Jennifer sent you. 

Have a great weekend, everyone <3

The Sweetest Dream

012d

Filtering through fog and lace
and tinted panes,
the sun nudges dream’s illusion
into reality:

clouds, a patch of blue—
a gentle snore picks up the rhythm and drone
of purrs beside me,
half-buried in a sleepy trench
of warm sheets.

Does it matter
if the sweetest dream is broken
when the dark side’s light and longing
hold nothing in comparison
to this?

A chimera of coloured memories
of a life gone by
—as frivolous as
sandals in snow —
melt from consciousness,
fade like the bruises
no longer tattooed on my heart.

There is only now
and this cerulean blue as you awake,
the colour of your gaze—
cool, liquid, kind.
The last vestiges of fog, of dreamy gauze
and childish wanting
vanish and drown in the deep ocean swell
of this bright
and beautiful day.

Forces of Nature

cbc.ca

cbc.ca

Once again, iceberg season has arrived in Newfoundland.

Icebergs are beautiful to photograph and are a huge Force of Nature ( we only have to think of the Titanic disaster ) but the pack ice that often accompanies them can wreak their own special havoc. In our part of the world, these masses of moving ice interfere with fishing and sometimes even trap whales and dolphins.

028 (1280x843)

In the area of Bonavista Bay North where I live, the water is too shallow to allow the big icebergs to get very close, but we do see plenty of pack ice and bergy bits.

blogw (1)

Enter the seagulls. These hardy scavenger birds are so well-adapted to this rugged environment, I am in awe. Their ability to not only survive, but to thrive here, may well be called another force of nature.blogw (5)

002 (1280x662)

Like all of our feathered friends in the northern hemisphere, seagulls mate in spring. This is the time of year in Newfoundland we see them answer to their instinct and pair off to procreate. They are monogamous, usually with one mate for life.

blogw (8)

Like swans, they glide about, impervious to the cold.

blogw (7)

blogw (10)

On the evening I took these photos, the setting sun cast interesting shadows and hues upon the ice and the water. I couldn’t resist trying to see what I could capture.014 (1280x924)blogw (2)blogw (14)

Our neighbours had the same idea!blogw (9)

Of course, speaking of a force of nature, our Vivian needed to be a part of it all.blogw (15)

Some ice wine, perhaps? ;) photo courtesy of Wayne Perry

Some “ice wine” perhaps? ;)
– this photo courtesy of Wayne Perry

blogw (3)

What Forces of Nature do you have in your backyard?

Friday Bouquet #20

natural-flowers-bouquet-1920x1080

I only found A Novel Journey recently and am just beginning to explore this beautiful blog. Rhonda is a writer, a published author, and an avid reader who “live(s) in Colorado, but was born in northern Minnesota. My husband likes to say you can take the girl out of the woods but you can’t take the woods out of the girl. Though Colorado is now my home and it surrounds me with majestic beauty, my heart will always belong to the lakes and forests of Minnesota.”

More from her About Page:

“A Novel Journey was born by my desire to live a life of grace, through the grace given to me daily, by reaching out to others through words and story. A Novel Journey. Novel–“new” and “books.” Each “new” day is a “novel” one. One in which to live with abundant gratitude and grace, for there is so much to be grateful for in this life.”

I have highlighted the following post for my readers because of its wisdom.
Check it out for an insightful lesson for succeeding in life.

Appreciate The Struggles

I’ve disabled comments here in the hope you will comment on Rhonda’s blog.

 Have a terrific weekend, everyone.

<3

Ten Things My Grandchildren Taught Me

When most adults spend quality time with youngsters, they usually think of what they can share with them and teach them about life and the world around them.

While I spent a sizable chunk of April taking care of my two grandchildren, I did plenty of that, but – surprise, surprise – I also learned a few things about myself.

clipart-flowers-poseys

id-100125771

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. My addiction to jigsaw puzzles is alive and well. I had thought my love for putting them together (and the harder the better) had faded over the years, but helping and then pretty much taking over our grandson’s Skylander collection of puzzles turned out to be fun and surprisingly absorbing.

clipart-flowers-poseys

Screen+Shot+2015-01-07+at+10.28.45+AM

google.ca

2. It is actually possible for me to like a Justin Bieber song without being fond of the Biebs himself. My granddaughter feels the same way, so I know it’s entirely acceptable.

clipart-flowers-poseys

Just_Dance_2014_Official_NTSC_Cover_Art
3. I’ve taken a shine to the Wii Just Dance video games. Great uptempo music, effective aerobic exercise, having fun like a kid with the kids – what’s not to love? And who cares what I look like bopping around with them?

clipart-flowers-poseys

10617794. I always thought I didn’t like Brussels sprouts, but turns out I do! They can be delicious when you don’t boil the sh*t out of them (sorry, Mom). Five to ten minutes with a dash of salt: perfection. Thanks for the tip, granddaughter! Would you believe she was the one who wanted me to buy them?

050

clipart-flowers-poseys

1510625_10152826659158569_2887116631624349427_n

5. Apparently and according to my granddaughter, I smile whenever I check my appearance in the mirror. I had no idea, and she finds it “creepy”.

clipart-flowers-poseys

Rise-guardians-disneyscreencaps_com-44266. I believe five bucks is too generous a gift from the tooth fairy. I don’t care if she is an Immortal Guardian.

rise-of-the-guardians

clipart-flowers-poseys

clipartpanda.com

clipartpanda.com

 7. I no longer think there is anything wrong with wearing your pyjamas around the house all day – my grandson totally encourages it. I still draw the line at wearing them out in public. That’s a trend I will never embrace.

clipart-flowers-poseys

039

8. According to this little fellow, the skin on my neck is very soft and “crinkly”, and he won’t let me forget it…well, I am his grandma, after all.

clipart-flowers-poseys

photo (4)

9. I adore having the opportunity to indulge them. And such fun to live in the moment with them!

clipart-flowers-poseys

34688d0c7aeaaf7e1e675fdd7ad3ea4c

10. I am profoundly grateful for having these little people in my life to love.

images

What have children taught you about yourself?

Friday Bouquet #19

The World According to Dina is a photographer’s dream. Her blog includes a breathtakingly lovely collection of images from Norway, though she and her helpers “blog about everything that we connect with the North (Scandinavia)– from nature to culture.”

In her own words:

I am Dina. Actually, my name is Hanne and some even call me TofFeeFee. I come from Fredrikstad in Norway, the most beautiful land of the trolls, the fjords and midnightsun. If you take a closer at my blog, the natural beauty of Norway will present itself.”

I have chosen to highlight the following post because I am longing for summer here in Newfoundland and Labrador, and I was struck by the similarities of many of the scenes to my home province.

A True Summer Dream – Hvaler, Norway

I have disabled comments here in the hope you will comment on Dina’s blog.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Jennifer’s Journal

“You’re Like Your Mom…”

During a conversation with my husband last week, he said, “You sounded just like your mom, the way you said that.”

This wasn’t the first time he made the observation. Along with the unmistakable signs that I have become “a woman of a certain age” (ack!), sounding like my mother seems to have become yet another aspect of my getting older.

“Hmm,” I replied. “I was always told I was like Dad and his side of the family.”

“You may look like your dad, but you have more of Carrie’s mannerisms lately,” he told me.

So, yes. I grudgingly have to admit that sometimes, when the words fly out of my mouth, or if I behave in a certain way, it makes me think I may be morphing into the woman who raised me. For example, if I defend myself when teased, it’s as if I am channeling Mom. “You proper fun-makers!” Or if I refuse to give in to someone else’s demands, the comeback that comes to my mind is “And I won’t dance to your pipes!” These are just a couple of the dear old “Mom-isms” from yesteryear.

And there’s so much more. I’ve adopted her quick laugh, as well as her sardonic humour and her no-nonsense way of handling whatever life brings. All showing up in my actions, the older I get.

There was a time, when I was much younger, that I would have taken issue and disagreed with such a comparison. The truth is, I have always thought while growing up that I turned after my father. Dad had always been my hero of sorts, and he was the parent I had always identified with and wished to emulate.

But now, I see that bearing a resemblance to my mother is a badge of honour and a cherished rite of passage. In fact, I’m realizing if I could only be half the woman she was, with her intelligent observations and her kind, fun-loving nature, I would be more than proud.

In a couple of weeks when Mother’s Day rolls around, I will be remembering my mother again for the lovely yet strong person she was, for the way she lived her life, and for each and every valuable lesson she taught me.  And even though I continue to miss her every single day that goes by, I will give thanks that she is still showing up in my life in other, more subtle ways. And I will give a special thank you to the universe for giving me the dearest woman anyone ever called Mom.

mothers-day-2015-flowers-3

I love you, Mom. <3

 

Vivian’s View From Here: Centre of Attention

0121-e1363317083865 (556x450)Good afternoon, all of you precious peeps out there!

Whether you’re of the furry variety of friend or not, welcome back to Jennifer’s Journal. Maisie and I LOVE when you drop by for a visit, and even more so when we are allowed to be front and centre.

eba3da36477f5fdaf89e92ed57ad8552-e1429638008574

Jennifer woke up with a pesky migraine this morning and couldn’t concentrate on writing, so I suggested she relax, look at some pretty pictures of us, and let me do the talking. So here I am.

viv&mais

As many of you already know, my sister and I have enjoyed being the centre of attention in Jennifer’s “animal-loving world” since 2007, when she and our “dad” rescued us as kittens from the pound. Are we spoiled? Nah. How can one be spoiled by too much love?004 (640x358)

And guess what? She hardly misses an opportunity to tell us how she adores being woken up each morning by our soft nudges and warm cuddles, and how much happiness we bring to her life in general.IMG_0189 (640x516)

When she leaves us to go in town for nine or ten days at the end of this week, I know for certain she will miss our fluffy, friendly, purring cuteness more than she’s willing to admit.003 (640x299)

We, on the other hand, will muddle through somehow until she gets back.
At least our “dad” will be here with us most of the time.

IMG_0046 (640x455)

Jennifer will have to make do with these other critters for animal companionship at her daughter’s house…

Can you imagine? Such a profound sacrifice!

Ginger & Nico

Ginger & Nico

Something tells me, however, that she kind of likes that other cat — and stranger still, that big, curly, doggie creature. Go figure. And I’ll bet you dollars to dentabone treats she’s going to smell like him too, when she comes home. (Ugh!)

eba3da36477f5fdaf89e92ed57ad8552-e1429638008574

But that’s par for the course when you own a human who loves all animals, not just her own. She knows we understand. And she knows we will be waiting here with eager purrs and sandpaper smooches when she returns.

Signing off now, so until next time, thanks for reading, everyone!
~ head bumps & nose kisses,
Vivian <3

041 (800x415)

“You know, sometimes the world seems like a pretty mean place. That’s why animals are so soft and huggy.” – Bill Watterson

56c96a16835938a3c1271235f3056e48

pinterest.com

This has been our contribution to Ailsa’s photo theme: Centre
at wheresmybackpack.com
and
this week’s entry in:weeklypets

Do you ever have to go away and leave your fur babies behind?
Do you miss them when you do?