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TToT: Faith and a Spinster’s Gratitude List – Harvest Moon, #10Thankful

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
–L.M. Montgomery

In the books, Anne Shirley believed, for a long time, that she would end up an old maid or spinster, instead she got her happy, storybook ending. Montgomery almost ended up one herself, but she still ended up unhappily. I sometimes fear the same will happen to me, either one, but it could always be worse.


It’s been a strange week. Goodbye September and a beautiful September it was, but I do love my Octobers.

I’ve just been thinking a lot lately, as September has bled into October. It seems that big things are happening to people, from my past. This has made me remember certain things from days gone by.

R. E. S. C. U. E.

Catchy, catchy song.


Do you remember Disney’s The Rescuers, a highly underrated Disney film in my opinion with arguably one of the nastiest female villains, the sweetest little cartoon orphan, and two brave and adorable mice?

Someone’s Waiting For You – The Rescuers Soundtrack

I have been thinking about how my ex became a father for the first time last month. Also, an old friend’s younger brother just got married; not to mention, that’s the second one, little brother of a friend, to do that this week.

I remember that little boy, at three years of age, and how I used to lift him up and twirl him around and around as a game. It’s a strange feeling to remember him that way, then be brought back to reality, to realize he is not that tiny child anymore.

It made me search out a few movies from my childhood, on NetFlix: Homeward Bound (The Incredible Journey) and The Rescuers. Major doses of nostalgia for sure.

The Journey – The Rescuers Soundtrack

Life is a journey and this week’s journey, for me, starts off with an apology.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Montgomery was right, as usual.

Ten Things of Thankful:

First thing’s first…

For forgiveness.

I’d ended last week on a bit of a sour note, with my lack of appreciation for a friend’s generous hostessing of me in Toronto.

Well, I made sure not to go to bed without apologizing of course, but I wasn’t certain she’d fully accepted my apology.

In the morning we talked about it again and she assured me there were no hard feelings, that she doesn’t let little things get to her like that.

I appreciated her saying so because it wasn’t so little really. I am grateful and thankful for the ability for other people to forgive because I would hate to leave things in a negative state, with anybody, if I can help it. I know many relationships are severed everyday because insensitive things are often said, anger is thrust at others, and apologies aren’t given when they should be. I know, firsthand, just how hard it can be to apologize, as more and more time slips by. Either you are afraid they won’t accept it or they will make you feel even worse than you already do. It can be hard to take that leap, but so worth it and a giant relief when all is said and done.

For giant book fairs.



I attended my very first

Word on the Street, Toronto.

This was just like those book fairs, back when I was in school, always held in the library. Well, it was exactly like that, only much bigger and better.

For the bookish version of my rockstar/groupie moment.


He is Canadian publishing royalty. Honestly, if I’d known who I was standing next to, when we were first introduced, I would have been a lot more intimidated.

He has published Alice Munro and a couple past Canadian prime ministers and I listened to his witty and insightful reading and then we chased him all over the place, before finding where copies of his new book were being sold. I was totally over-the-moon ;-), about his inscription in my book:

“To Kerry. From one writer to another. Best, Doug Gibson.”

“All photos taken by Glenda MacDonald)

@glenda_macd on Twitter

For a relaxing lunch by the waterfront.

This began with a humorous and entertaining waiter, and it continued with some excellent discussion with my friend about writing, a cool and refreshing glass of sangria, the most delicious salad I’ve ever tasted (full of kale, walnuts, and chickpeas), and a wasp landing on me at some point during it all.

Okay, so that last one wasn’t the great part, but it’s even worse to be there with a writer who uses words like “burrowing” to describe the wasp’s movements on my skin. She can’t help it. It’s the writer in her.

For the magic of a super moon/eclipse, even if I didn’t get to see it live.

Harvest Moon – Neil Young

I wonder what I’ll be doing, what my life will be like, in the year 2033 – the date of the next super moon, lunar eclipse.

I know there seem to be a lot of these lately, or several variations, but the moon is endlessly fascinating and I will never grow tired of any of it. Is there anything more romantic, more inspiring, more beautiful than the moon?

I was on the eleventh floor of an apartment building, in the middle of the city of Toronto that night, but I did see a great shot on the news the next day. I am able to see the moon, in the sky, when it is full and bright enough. From everything I know about the super moon, I would definitely have seen it if I’d been in the position to look for it. On the screen I saw the bright outline and the dark centre of the eclipse. Don’t think I could see that if I were outside.

I am thankful I can see the moon at all.

Here is a post from a blogger and Fellow Canadian with some shots of the night before.

Close enough.

For an unexpected and a highly lovely dinner out with a friend.

I discovered I had some extra time, a free evening in Toronto, and decided to invite an old friend out for $5 Margarita night at

El Rincon Mexicano Restaurant.

I would happily recommend this place. We ate an authentic Mexican meal, out on their covered patio with the orange walls and sombreros.

For the ride home I nearly got to ride in style, in a Mercedes. Instead we rode, less in style and more what felt like being in a clown car or video game actually.


Fun just the same. It was one of those smart cars. Very bumpy.

My friend had a membership to one of those car sharing services, offered in big cities, for people who it makes no sense to have a vehicle of their own, but for whom a car can sometimes be necessary or simply handy to have, as an option in a pinch.

For making it home from the big city, safe and sound…eventually.


I missed my ride in Toronto. Oops. It happens.

I was supposed to have help to locate my correct bus, but I waited and waited and the guy never showed up and before I knew it, it was too late.

These situations are annoying, for sure, but they’re ones to be thankful and grateful for because they help me, force me really, to become a better and more independent traveler. I figured it out, late yes, but I got home in the end, both tired and invigorated.

For the chance to officially celebrate the birth and the arrival, of a beautiful little girl. I think it is nice to have the baby shower after the baby is a part of our lives.

She’s five months old now, but it was nice to celebrate with that little girl’s mother, their family and a few friends and I am proud to be one of them, maybe even a bit of both, in some small way.

It was just nice to fit in, to blend in, and to feel like a part of the group. I had the perfect seat, one of those high bar stools at the kitchen island. This allowed me to spin my chair around, from the kitchen to the living room, depending on where people were at the time.

I felt like just one of the gathering and I didn’t feel like I was in a place I was all that unfamiliar with. The gathering wasn’t too big or too small, but just big enough. There were snacks, punch (both with vodka and without), and ice cream cake.

For a friend I’ve known for enough time, many years, that I am just “Kerry” to her. She doesn’t treat me any different or make me feel like I don’t belong or that I am any different than anyone else. I feel at home with her and with her family.

She understands me and would defend me to most anyone, in most any situation or circumstance.

She is a mother now, but she isn’t someone who would make me feel any different because I am not one myself. I value her for all these things.

The guest of honour at this particular party wasn’t feeling very well, but part of it could have been all those different faces and voices. I understand how intimidating a group of people can be. I thought this song was an appropriate fit for her day, for the occasion.

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To.

The shower was held on a day, most appropriately, of showers – rain showers and wind that nearly blew me over and that’s October for you.

Tomorrow Is Another Day – The Rescuers Soundtrack

Life is a journey and tomorrow is another day. I appreciate the reminders of these facts.

I was watching a documentary about Georgian times and there was a lot of talk about what it was like to be a spinster during that period.

I suppose I would be considered a spinster: over thirty, single, and childless. I can’t pretend that new babies born and weddings of those more than five years younger than me don’t make things difficult sometimes, but that’s why I am here to find the silver linings, why I am writing down my TToT, and why the following quote from The Rescuers meant so much to me on this particular week, even more than most…

Faith is a bluebird, we see from afar. It’s for real and as sure as the first evening star, you can’t touch it, or buy it, or wrap it up tight, but it’s there just the same, making things turn out right.

–Rufus the Cat.

Another one of my favourite characters from the movie, one who always reminded me of my grandfather, and wisest one of them all.

Whether it’s love, the moon, or a bluebird, I know what it’s like to believe that these things exist, even if I can’t actually see them or feel them at every moment. This is what faith is and what having faith means.

Spinster at Thirty-one

Blogging, Book Reviews, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, SoCS

Surprise Surprise, #SoCS


I am back, after another break, and ready to talk about expectations and the unexpected:

Bet you don’t know what to expect.


Last weekend I was not able to participate in Stream of Consciousness Saturday because I was in Toronto. I’d gone there, expecting to do a handful of expected things, but I ended up doing the unexpected.

I went to a Native Pow Wow…unexpected.

I had a delicious Mexican dinner with a friend…unexpected.

I got into a fight with another friend, after I was unnecessarily and unusually rude…definitely unexpected.

I went to a giant book fair by the waterfront. This was planned, but what was really unexpected was my meeting Canadian publishing royalty. This is the type of unexpected event I love. That’s what makes life so great.

I am now left with expectations. I gave my book to a friend, others have said they are buying a copy, and I am now waiting to hear reviews. Did they like my story? Did they not? I don’t know what to expect, but the whole thing makes me question what I think I’m doing writing anyway. I guess I did not think the whole thing through, that people might actually end up reading my writing.

I went to a baby shower today, for a friend. I am not quite sure if she was expecting it. She answered the door when I arrived and I feared I’d come too late, too early, blown the surprise.

I think I am getting a cold. I feel the early signs and symptoms coming over me. I had been expecting this, frankly. It’s going around lately. My friend in Toronto, where I stayed last weekend, she was sick. Lots of people are. What do you expect?

Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, TGIF, Writing

2015 October Platform Challenge: Day Two, #platchal

It’s Day Two of the Writer’s Digest’s “No Rules” 2015 October Platform Challenge.

Setting Goals

When it comes to goal setting, the one in charge of this challenge, Robert Lee Brewer states:

“There are some people who believe in just charging blindly forward,”

and I guess I am the literal example of this.


Sometimes I do this … Or I always do this … I don’t really know where one ends and the other begins.


Short Term Goals
**Finish writing a literary travel essay for a travel writer I greatly admire.
**participate in my very first Internet radio show interview.
**Complete a story for a visually impaired themed magazine.
**Completing this 2015 October Platform Challenge.
**Enter a short story in the Alice Munro Short Story Competition.
**Get paid for something I’ve written.

Long Term Goals
**Have written my own book.
**Find my book in a bookstore.
**Write multiple novels.
**Get an essay published in Full Grown People.
**Get an essay published in New York Times, Modern Love.
**Make a reasonable living and be able to support myself from my writing.


What are some goals you have for yourself? What are your dreams? Whats the difference between the two?

Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Writing

2015 October Platform Challenge: Day One

October has arrived, once more. Hmmm. This is not very Halloweenish, but here goes.

Growing up, we started getting a subscription for Reader’s Digest. Soon, very soon, the wall of our computer room in the basement was lined with Reader’s Digest volumes, in braille.

I read one particularly gruesome story in RD, on the way to a family function, and I never read from those braille editions again.

Eventually, we got rid of them, when I moved out and we were cleaning house.

I was delighted when I discovered, not only was there such thing as Reader’s Digest (as much as I loved to read) but that Writer’s Digest existed too.

A lot of selling of their products, but I loved to write and I am now participating in their month long

2015 October Platform Challenge

As for platforms, I have mixed feelings.

I know it is important, in this modern moment in time, to have one. I have one and am trying to find my voice there, but the mood comes and goes. I am not quite sure why.

Here goes and I am not participating in the commenting on WD’s website. It involves all that fun stuff I just love about websites. I tried to sign in and it wasn’t a simple process.

Surprised? Not at all.


I don’t care about winning some prize of a huge book for writers, one I can’t even read anyway, so I will go with the daily promos and see how that goes. See if I make it through the month.

I have never gone and done any monthly challenge, posting every day, so I hope this will not annoy the hell out of any readers I have gained in almost two ears of blogging.

My platform is this blog and the second blog I began a year ago, I guess it was now.

Name (as used in byline): I am Kerry Kijewski


Kerry L. Kijewski

Kerry Kay (a future author’s website title idea)

Her Headache

The Insightful Wanderer



Take your pick.


Position(s): published author, writer/blogger, public speaker, travel writer, interviewer/interviewee

Skill(s): writing, literary writing, creative writing, fiction, non fiction, memoir, reviews, interviews, poetry, articles and blog posts, speeches, public speaking

Social media platforms (active): I am on Facebook and Twitter most often.

I have a LinkedIn page, but not sure I like it.

Also, an Instagram account for any future travel, but not sure I like it. Need a photographer on staff.


I started a Pinterest page a few weeks ago. Don’t yet understand that platform at all.

Did I do that, trying to find more of a platform, just because everybody else did it first? Why do everything everyone else does anyways?


This blog.

Accomplishments: being a blogger, published author, Certificate of Creative Writing, public speaker, guest blogger on many blogs

Interests: creative writing, fiction, non fiction, memoir, doing interviews, blogging, reading, travel, movies, psychology, marine biology, astronomy, feminism, women’s and gender studies, history

In one sentence, who am I?

Kerry is, first and foremost a writer, but also she blogs and she is interested in honing her writing skills for any and all future possibilities which might present themselves.

I am bad at summing up, at being brief, and that is why I hate these one sentence questions.

“Feel the rain on your skin. No one else can feel it for you. Only you can let it in.”
–Natasha Benningfield, Unwritten


Guidelines were made to be broken, right?


Who are you? What is your platform? Can you sum up who you are, using just one sentence? Or do you need more than one, like I do?

Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Happy Hump Day

What I Spent My Morning Writing


Still taking a bit of a blogging break while I write. This story I’m sharing this week is sweetness.

Originally posted on That Shameless Hussy:


Sometimes, before you can write the mature, introspective stuff, you have to get the sentimental business out of the way. This is that. I sat here and cried while I wrote it, and I wish similar bittersweet agony on anyone who reads it. :) :) :)


They are lying tangled together on the living room floor, her legs across his, recording their conversation on a cassette tape recorder. His voice, then hers.

You are so cute.

Shut up. I am not.

They are near the attic fan, as there is no central air, only two window units, one on each floor, in this 60 year-old bungalow. They are here because they are sixteen and in love and it is hot outside and all they want is to be near each other. They are listening to the same part, over and over again: Rewind. Play. Rewind. Play.

You are. All of you is cute. You have cute hands…cute elbows…cute shoulders…..


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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, RIP, Shows and Events, TToT

TToT: Peppers and Leaves #10Thankful

Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.
–Tennessee Williams


I don’t know if I can complete this challenge today, but here is a lovely list that I can share, from someone else.

The Building Blocks of an Extraordinary Life

Oh wait! I got some.

This week has had its good points, for sure, but it’s ended on a negative one and I needed to count my blessings even more than I needed sleep apparently.

And so, I am writing.

Ten Things of Thankful:

For Terry Fox.

The Relentless Terry Fox

He is a household name for Canadians. We hold him up as the spokesman for cancer, even all these years after his death.

There are so many diseases out there, but we’ve all been touched by cancer. He did an amazing thing, walking across Canada, with his artificial leg. He and I are part of the artificial body part club. And although he died four years before i was even born, I will always remember the Terry Fox run, at my school, every September.

During those years that I was too sick, myself, to run, I thought of him, running.

My sister-in-law does the run, every year, as a tradition with her mother. It’s something they do together and which means a lot to them both. Maybe she will carry on that tradition with my niece.

For the 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion blogging movement.


I know the reality. It has been many months, the eighth month of doing it, and the number of participants taking the time to write a blog post about the theme of compassion and linking it up with the others has lessened over the past few months.

Why did I think the drive for more compassionate vibes put into the universe could last?

It’s sad that this is just one more thing that can not be sustained, not unlike love or happiness, in many cases.

I still have hope for it, and my role in it. I thank it for giving me something positive, like this weekly blogging challenge does, for keeping me hoping for more good in this world and for the chance to focus on the positives.

For a friend trusting me with her most prized possession.

Unfortunately, she had a death in the family and needed someone to watch her baby girl for a few hours, while she attended the funeral service.

I was honoured she asked and that I got to spend the morning with a sweet little girl. She played, danced, and napped in my lap on the front porch swing. I hated to give her up when her mother returned.

I like to think she is seeing me enough, that she’s begun to recognize me when she sees me each time, a little more and more.

For scones and scrubs.

I enjoyed some delicious scones: peach and strawberry. The peach ones had a touch of cinnamon and the strawberry ones reminded me of strawberry and vanilla muffins.

So decadent and obviously made with real cream and butter. I never realized how wonderful scones were, not until recently.

And for scrubs. I realize the two make a strange pair, but I wanted a pair of comfy pants, just to hang around in, like someone that I know once did, and he was right.

I am loving the comfort and I can pretend that I am a nurse.


For my favourite season.

12 Beautiful Photos of Canadian National Parks in Autumn

September 23rd was the first day of fall and I couldn’t be happier.

So many people hate winter and fall comes before. I feel it gets a bad rap personally, because of this, but, in my opinion, it truly is the most transformative of all of the four seasons.

I never could see the colours of the changing leaves, not even when I had more sight, but there is something about that leaf scent in the air and the smell of a bond fire in the crisp, cool air – all of which I am grateful to have, living in Canada.

For lunch with friends.

Again, I got to spend an hour or two with the same adorable girl and her equally lovely mother.

An old friend was home for two family weddings and she joined us. It was nice to catch up and she’d said we needed to have some cake to celebrate my recent publishing success.

Well, she had to cut out and get back to wedding prep on the family farm, but she made sure to treat us to the lunch and to add a piece of cake to the bill when she generously paid.

The cake was hazel nut and amazing too.

For the chance to live near and to spend time in a diverse city like Toronto.

I came for a visit and it always amazes me, when I am here, just how many different people, from all places and races, that are all living in one city like that.

For a new cultural experience at a Cultural Days event.

I attended my very first Pow Wow.

A few weeks back I introduced a friend to rural, small town life and she returned the favour by introducing me to a big city pow wow in the park.

It was just nice to witness a gathering that was obviously filled with nothing but positivity and pride in one’s culture.

The Native Peoples of Canada are something I only learned about in school textbooks growing up. I didn’t get to be in contact with them. This was a place and a time for a broader understanding. I felt a connection there, as I imagine many people must feel when meeting me, a blind woman, or anyone with a disability for that matter. It’s something new and different, which takes time to get used to.

The music and the dancing were the entertainment. It was drumming and chanting and, I’m sure, colourful costumes. Not to mention vender after vender, selling skins, beads, jewelry, herbs such as sage, and so much more.

For Toronto’s TTC.

I said something horrible to a friend and I felt embarrassed and ashamed after. I just hope it’s not the sort of thing that is unforgivable because I know, in life, that there are some things that are said that can’t be unsaid.

She’d gone out of her way to invite me into her home and didn’t deserve to be attacked. I don’t know where it came from and afterward I broke down. The ride on the streetcar gave me time to collect myself and take some deep breaths. I needed that time and the ride so I could compose myself.

For peppers: green, red, orange, and yellow.

Like the leaves that are green in spring and change into other bright shades for fall, I thought of the beauty and the splendour of peppers and leaves. I hope for the changing of seasons and the colours that come along with that change.

But I do love those green ones best.


I was riding a Toronto streetcar and thinking, feeling really, that although I was surrounded by people, I’d never felt more lonely.

That made me think of the Jann Arden song

The Sound Of…

and the question of when we feel lonely and when we feel alone, the difference between the two, and how the two interchange.

That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.
–F. Scott Fitzgerald

Being in Toronto just got to me I guess, not turning into the weekend I’d envisioned when I’d decided to go, and I took that out on someone who did not deserve it and on a city that didn’t either, rather than deal with the feelings I was increasingly feeling.

Being in a city like Toronto makes me feel inadequate because I see so many people, all going about their lives, and I know I don’t fit in here.

Whether it’s feeling like my blindness is a burden on others.

Or that my body betrays me at every turn.

I need to be thankful for something.

Note: Kerry asked me to finish this TToT post, as she met a guy in a grocery store, in Toronto, and went out clubbing with him all night long. She hasn’t been heard from since.

P.S. Only kidding mom and dad. You had to be there.

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Uncategorized

What Are You Afraid Of?


I posted pretty much every day last week, but I’m taking a bit of a blogging break, for a week or so, to work on some writing assignments for other places. This weekend I’m facing some fears and this essay is all about that.

Originally posted on The SisterWives:


You’re going where? my mother asks me.

To Texas. To meet some of the women I blog with.

Don’t do anything daring, she warns

Like what? I say.

It is 1960’s New Orleans. My mother stands in front of a full length mirror in a dressing room reminiscent of Blanche DuBois. The air ripples from the merciless summer heat as a breeze stirs the curtains and blows warm air in through the windows and balcony doors that are carelessly thrown open in a way that suggests decadence and revelry and women of ill repute. It is early evening, and Jazz and Zydeco music dance on the air into the hotel room from the French Quarter below.

I don’t like you staying in a hotel. Always keep your door locked. Do you know any of these women? I don’t like this.

She is there on holiday with four girlfriends, and it is a time when everyone left…

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