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TToT: Vermilion Hearts and Lucky Clovers – May Day! May Day! #10Thankful

I learned a new word this week. Want to know what it was?

OPSIMATH

Are you one? Am I?

Is she one?

Immediately, upon seeing the letters “math” made me think it had something to do with mathematics. I had already discounted myself.

As it turns out, the word actually has nothing whatsoever to do with my favourite numerical subject.

Read on…

Opsimath, noun: One who learns late in life.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For the chance to learn a new word every once and a while.

In this particular instance, thank you goes to Stephen Fry for the latest.

And to one of his literary heros: Oscar Wilde of course.

That is where I learned the word “Vermilion”, which I originally thought meant something having to do with vermin, but glad it actually means a shade of my favourite colour: red.

For “April Showers” which round out the month, giving way to the promise of “May Flowers”.

I was told of a new one, a wild flower called a “May Apple” and I love the name.

I’d include a photo, if this dying old laptop would allow it.

For the perfect weather.

At this time of year, I can step out my door and the air carries the scent and the freshness of multiple seasons.

I can be out without shoes on and not freeze, but yet the breeze still hasn’t become humid with summer. There’s still the faintest glimpse of crisper fall memory, winter frostiness.

All seasons combine into one perfect feeling on the air.

That I met the “Ten Things” group, almost exactly one year ago.

For a retelling or a continuation of one of the most beloved stories by one of them.

ALMIRA STORY

I’m really loving this one.

For the opportunity to be a member of a special group.

They are a gathering of talented writers and I am lucky to count myself as one of them.

In this place there are fascinating literary travel writing discussions.

Interesting topics come up and I’m getting the chance to learn so much from so many varied perspectives.

That the celebration of a very special one-year-old’s birthday was enjoyed this week.

I was the lucky one to get to be there for the first several months of her life.

I was sorry to have to miss the chance to actually celebrate with her and her mother. I spoke to my friend, who now lives on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a rough time, lately, partly because I miss them both so much, but I am grateful for everything that precious little girl has brought into the lives of all who love her.

For my first “Wilde”, as this week I read my first Oscar Wilde novel.

The man sure could weave an odd tale. I would say that “The Picture of Dorian Gray” was not at all what I was expecting when I started it, but I’m glad I read it.

That April is over.

The month had its good points, but it wasn’t an easy month overall.

This is a hard time of year for me, for several reasons, and there’s really no guarantee May and beyond will turn out any easier, but I have a lot to look ahead to.

That although this laptop has pretty much had it, as I discovered officially earlier in the week, that at least, while I figure out my next move, I have more time for violin practice and reading all those books (Wilde and otherwise) that I put off for my writing and blogging.

🙂

All about those silver linings, am I right?

Which rounds out my thankfuls this week.

None of these guys could be called “opsimath”.

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

–Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

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TToT: Daylight Savings and Snowdrops, #10Thankful #PledgeForParity #WorldKidneyDay

“”They tried to bury us. They did not know we were seeds.”

–Mexican Proverb

snowdropcloseup-2016-03-13-09-57.jpg

Spring is close now, an additional hour of light.

THE SNOWDROP – HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

The flowers are appearing. Growth is possible.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For an excellent spotlight interview on the American program 60 Minutes with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Not sure how many people saw it, but I was watching, and I was proud and thankful to have him speaking for my country.

He spoke about being born into a politically royal family, his feelings on boxing and how it’s all about risking being knocked down but then getting right back up again, and he was asked what Canadians would like from our neighbours, what we’d like the US to know.

Oh boy! This was the interviewer’s attempt to start something and some Americans were very definitely offended and showed it on Twitter.

Justin Trudeau on 60 Minutes: Twitter Pulls No Punches For New PM

But I thought it was funny when an image on screen of Justin’s Father, with his supposed wife and mother to his children, actually turned out to be a shot of Pierre on a date with Kim Cattrall. Thought Americans at least were familiar with “Sex and the City”.

🙂

For the ability to be there when my sister needed me.

I want to be available to watch my nephew when she is at work, whenever possible. He’s learning, growing, changing so fast.

The other day, when she walked out the door, he stood there and clung to me for what felt like ages and ages. It was as if, without words, he was reassuring himself it would be okay…that his mother was gone but that he still had me. I never wanted that moment to end and wished it could have gone on longer than it did.

For snow drops.

There are flowers all over the place, starting to spring up.

😉

Then, the other day my mother (lover of all growing things) placed a small flower, on its stem, in my palm. It felt droopy, and I was then informed it was called a “snowdrop”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galanthus

I personally would have named it a snow-flop, but I liked the name and the transitional image of winter evolving into spring again.

For IWD2016

International Women’s Day 2016 – Pledge For Parity

I was trying to cut back a little on blogging during the week,

(Cracks in the Ceiling)

but I felt I had to write on March 8th, to say my piece, my peaceful piece.

🙂

Speaking of recognizing female voices…

Sophia Bush Speaks Her Mind On Feminism

For the discovery of a new song and artist.

She came on the local college radio station and I immediately liked the song, its signature Electropop sound.

I looked into her further later and discovered I knew one of her songs already, but I found a new favourite.

Halsey is another young and emerging artist, like Lorde for example, but she has a definite Ellie sound to her.

I am happy to have found another like Ellie Goulding, but a change from Goulding too because sometimes certain memories that go along with a specific singer or voice can still hold painful recollections. I’ve found a new voice to focus on for a while, even though I will always love Ellie in a way nobody else can top.

For bookstores.

I love standing in them. I love being surrounded by my favourite things, books, but I can only be in them for a short time before the fact that I am unable to simply reach out, grab a book, and start to read will wash over me and I will realize my limitations. It is at this point that I am thankful and grateful, but I must flee because the urge to burst into tears becomes a difficult one to hold back.

For World Kidney Day

Exactly twenty years ago was when I was first diagnosed with kidney failure. It was March, 1996, and finally my family doc sent me to a paediatric specialist, who immediately confirmed what my blood tests already showed. I was very sick and needed dialysis within a few months.

That was a scary time and, even all these years later, I will never forget what it felt like to be so ill.

For the option of doing dialysis to treat end-stage renal failure, like the kind I was in twenty years ago.

I am lucky to have a kidney from my father, for nineteen years now, and I was lucky, at that time, that there was such thing as dialysis as a treatment for kidney failure. Other organ failure did not and does not have just such a stabilizing treatment option, which is no cure, but is better than nothing, better than the alternative. I am lucky to be here.

For a successful visit in Washington, D.C. between the first families of the US and Canada.

The two men (Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama) they are a lot alike, see the world similarly.

No matter what else is going on with the US and their elections for a new president for November, now, in Washington, I liked to see peace, lighthearted humour, and harmonious relations between our two countries.

Trudeau might just be starting his time in office, while Obama and his rational good sense is on the way out, but I just liked the week that was. It made a nice “bookend” to the interview that started my week off right.

Finally, for the fact that I seem to be able to escape many people’s issue with losing that hour last night.

I had a nasty headache, sure, but I really don’t think I can blame that on Daylight Savings.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night from the pain, but I usually don’t detect a problem in my sleep pattern.

I am choosing to give this whole Daylight Saving thing the benefit of the doubt because I get headaches all the time, and I have a feeling I can place the blame squarely on something else entirely.

As I finished off my weekend and welcomed the lost hour and its additional light to come, my head began to pound. This song and all the signs of spring promise better days ahead.

Haunting – Halsey

In this song Halsey speaks of “diving in deep” and the song ends off with her, or it sounds like she is under water, scuba diving. It’s awesome!

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Just Jot It January: Celebrities, Sadness, and Stormy Weather, #JusJoJan

Today’s prompt is brought to us by:

Aaron Elmore.

As a new year begins I search for the motivation I see all around me, the kind that is going to get me to the places I strive to get to. I feel the blueness of January and hope I can find some momentum in the months to come.

This week has been a bad one for loss. It seems strange that I let the deaths of celebrities I’ve never met affect me, but perhaps it’s a way for me to channel some of the sadness I feel for people in my life that I do care about.

Where is my missing motivation then? How can I find it?

It’s vitally important that I do because, as I feel the losses of late, I know that life doesn’t wait around forever. I may not always feel the motivation to wake up in the morning and take the world by storm. I don’t always feel like I have the energy for that. If there is a storm, I take shelter from the wind and the rain, but then I come out and search in the debris, and looking for that missing motivation is a real fight some days.

I try not to think too hard about how far I’d have to go. I know it isn’t an easy process, to do the hard work necessary, to find success as a writer. If that is my dream, can I find the motivation required to reach that goal to, in any guise?

I want to write things, lots and lots of things, and to put them out there, sharing them with others. I have goals and I want to be published in a specific literary magazine or website, but at my worst moments I lack the motivation that it would take to make that happen.

Realizing that life only gives us all a certain number of chances, I hope to do better. I hope 2016 can help get me there.

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

Linda’s contribution today is highly thought-provoking on the things I often ponder about my writing and when I read about other people’s lives online:

Just Jot It January 14th – Motivation

If you are motivated to know more about this month-long blogging project,

you will find all the rules here.

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TToT: The Tempestuous Sea That Is Jan-uary – Circles and Rectangles, #SundayFunday #10Thankful

“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”

–J.R.R. Tolkien

I have more photos from Christmas.

youandbrianwithyourphonestoyourearssidebyside-2016-01-10-00-14.jpg

I will be featuring some of them here, over the following TToT posts, to help pass the first month of 2016 a little faster.

#SundayFunday – MAGIC!

One last shot of the holidays, I hope, before they are a distant memory.

christmastree-2016-01-10-00-14.jpg

It always makes me a bit sad when all my mom’s hard work and creativity is removed for another year.

birthdaycupcakes-2016-01-10-00-14.jpg

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For a genius and the world of Middle Earth he created.

There are so many wise quotes to choose from him. I could hardly decide which one to start of this week’s TToT with.

Happy Birthday to Professor Tolkien, who gave me something amazing with his writing. It opened me up to the possibilities, showing me that I shouldn’t close myself off to something like the fantasy genre, like so many other things in life.

For the birth of another genius, so long ago.

http://www.sylvianenuccio.com/louis-braille-the-french-inventor-that-changed-blind-peoples-life-2/

The inventor of braille makes my thankful list on a continuous loop, as he is all of why I have words to love so much to begin with, but I am recognizing him now, as he would have celebrated his birthday on the beginning of the week, beginning of the year, with a second early January birthday.

I can’t fully express in words what it has meant to my life to have the groupings of six raised dots, forming words, that one man dreamt up once upon a time.

Braille literacy is one of the skills I am most proud of. I owe this man a great great debt of gratitude, forever and always.

For the news that my friend, her baby girl, and mother/grandma arrived safely in Ireland.

There was, apparently, a little bit of a snag with their rental car, on a deserted Irish road, but a couple helpful policemen showed up on the scene and saved the day, helping to repack all the baggage in a replacement vehicle.

Or so the Facebook status update said.

I read the word “police” and my heart nearly stopped, before I went on to finish reading.

For a brand new year beginning and my inclusion in and amongst so many who are looking back with gratitude and looking forward to a year just as great or better.

Proudest Single Stride of 2015 From People All Over the World

I was quoted, with my pride in the story I had published last year, in one of my favourite blogger’s 2015 posts.

For a return I made this week to my writer’s circle.

I was even missed. How about that.

🙂

For the bonding time afterward.

We all went out, as a group, and I got the hangout with them that I missed out on just before Christmas, thanks to unforeseen events. One was even kind enough to pay for me because I hadn’t come prepared, asking for nothing in return.

For my schooling on Dungeons & Dragons and other nerdy things.

The best thing about this group, other than all the writing and talking about writing we all do, is when we aren’t just discussing writing. We are all geeks for whatever it may be: literature, video games, television or movies and trivia. There were a few Simpsons quotes thrown in by myself and a few other members throughout the evening too.

😉

For my brother’s remarkable recovery in just one month and his triumphant return to his college program.

He is so close to graduating later this spring and I know it’s hard to know for sure when is the right time, not wanting to push himself. We didn’t want him to take on too much, too soon.

He still has time to make a final decision, but he did well.

For January.

It is a bit of a contemplative month, with the new year so new and fresh, but I value it for its melancholyish quality. It is a quiet time of reflection and so much possibility ahead.

For a newly discovered blogging challenge that came around at precisely the right time for me.

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

I was struggling a bit, wondering what the next twelve months might hold for my blog and my writing and my life. This extension of the weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday I participate in was welcomed strongly by me.

It’s giving me an entire first month of 2016 to just imagine what my writing could look like this year.

Lights – Ellie Goulding

“Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge and that is vitally important for us if we (the blind) are not to go on being despised or patronized by condescending sighted people. We do not need pity, nor do we need to be reminded we are vulnerable. We must be treated as equals and communication is the way this can be brought about.”

–Louis Braille (1809-1852)

Braille’s above quote may sound critical, to some, but he was a product of his time. I wonder what he would think if he were alive today.

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Just Jot It January: Hip Replacements, Scouts, and Thieves #JusJoJan

It’s the end of the first full week of 2016 and week one of Just Jot It January has come to a close.

I have never felt robust. Looks like I’ve missed the boat again, yesterday.

I missed it because of just how not robust I’ve felt. I read how hip/knee replacements have worked wonders in reducing pain of several people, but these people are mostly sixty and older. I am under forty. I joke about needing one, but at times like this it feels as if it couldn’t be any less of a joke.

I always think that if I were in a fire-in-a-crowded-theatre type situation, I would be trampled to death, unable to keep up with a fast moving herd of terrified people.

If I were in some desperate sort of war, life and/or death scenario, I would not survive.

I am not robust. I could hardly handle a short walk the other night and again the next morning without depositing myself on the doorstep of a surgeon who could give me a new hip right then and there.

I am writing, jotting really, as much as I possibly can this first month of 2016 and that’s because I thought it would be the best way to find my rhythm for the new year, while trying to decide if I wanted to continue to submit my writing for publications of all kinds for the months ahead.

Now I am faced with writing about honour, while feeling less robust than ever, and I don’t have anything whatsoever to say on the subject of being honourable.

Survival of the fittest.

Honour among thieves.

Is that all I’ve got, just a couple cliches related to these last two days of this January blogging challenge?

Well, it is the middle of the night and I am wishing I’d procured that hip for myself. Maybe my mind isn’t all that clear.

Oh wait…I just thought of another one: Scout’s honour.

Not sure that refers to the Scout I’m thinking of, but Harper Lee did write a lot about honour and what it means to be considered honourable in her stories of Atticus Finch, his children, and his community.

I read and wrote a lot about that when Go Set A Watchman was released, a highlight of my 2015.

Now it’s a new year and what it means to be honourable hasn’t changed much in fifty or sixty years. I don’t think it ever will. There are just some truths that are timeless.

Linda writes about honour, ethics, and puppies:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/08/just-jot-it-january-8th-honorable/

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

Rules are simple really.

&

Today’s JusJoJan is brought to you by Corner of Confessions.

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Just Jot It January: Starts, Stalls, and Blank Slates For Writing, #JusJoJan

I am equal parts afraid and optimistic. I am a lot hesitant and somewhat hopeful. The fear that I could go a whole year and not get anywhere at all clings on tight. On the other hand, I see a wide open year ahead as full of unknown possibility and promise of something great.

So Close – Shawn Hook

You never know the experiences you might have, the events in life that you just can’t plan for, and the people you may meet, who may come into your life for all kinds of reasons, for the short term only or for longer.

Just Jot It January #JusJoJan

It’s 2016 and I didn’t write a post about my hopes for the coming year. I focused on summing up all that last year brought, in the hopes that this year will deliver just as many delights and wonders.

I didn’t look too far ahead, while last year went along, but now it has arrived and all I see now is a whole lot of openness, life to be lived, but how…I can’t say for sure right this minute.

When I was a child, growing up in the 90s, the far-off date of the year 2000 seemed far enough off to me.

In 1996 I was feeling increasingly unwell and I would need all the strength I could muster to get through the following years.

I turned the big 16 when the new millennium hit. The thought of turning twenty, in 2004 was a strange one.

After 2000 the years seemed to blend into one another, being marked, here and there, by a memorable event or two.

This year, 2016, it will be ten years since my sister and I bought a house.

What do I know for sure about 2016: Will I keep writing? Will I take chances? Or will I shrink away from life?

Will I finally get as comfortable with my travel website as I am with this one? Will I fail at that, having to face the fact that I should have stuck to what I know, even if very slightly?

I am looking forward to

Girls – Season Five

next month. That’s really as far as I can see, yet, for the year.

I Will have been blogging for two years during this 2016 year. I will turn thirty-two in 2016.

I have not resolved to do anything this year. I read about how I too can become a freelance writer, that it’s just “that” easy to make happen.

I want to work toward more organization, in my emails and in my writing. My mind can’t fully organize and prioritize. I feel stuck and stalled a lot of the time.

I think it may be a January thing, as much as I try to fight it. I equal parts look forward and celebrate my birthday next month and dread its significance, just like I do the speed of which the years seem to come up on me. They hold me back from a lot, while simultaneously dragging me forward with them.

I see those twenty years older than me who are just now taking steps to better their situations. Do I have to wait that long?

What about the state of the world in 2016? The world’s human population increases, while our habitat encroachment and destruction threaten wildlife. There’s hunting and environmental devastation. Animals are going extinct. What will the state of all this look like in 2066, fifty years from now?

I focus on my own life for 2016 and then I think of the wider world. It’s an in-and-out focus.

I want something great, something grand to happen to me this year. I don’t want more mass shootings and political bickering. I don’t want a certain person to win the US presidential race next fall.

I want to skate again. I want to enjoy a concert. I want to celebrate that my brother is still with us. I want my loved ones, those who are wishing hard, to get everything they deserve. I want my niece to keep learning and growing. I want my sister to find strength and faith that my nephew will do great on his first day of school. I want to remember that 2016 includes the existence of all three of the children in my life, being here was a time, not so long ago, that they weren’t yet with us. I want my friend and her daughter to find their way together, starting a new adventure, somewhere out there in the world.

This year can be great, if I have faith myself. I can’t close off my mind to what could be, just because I can’t yet imagine all that it might be.

This is only January, the first month of 2016. I need to remember that the year’s just warming up, to pace myself, and to give myself a break and a fair chance to make it a good one, the best one.

The rules for Just Jot It January are right here.

For today’s prompt, Linda decided to list the things on her bucket list, one of my favourite things:

http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/05/just-jot-it-january-5th-2016-my-bucket-list/

Check out Fiona’s Favourites, for more here today,

on the new year of 2016.

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My Top Spills and Thrills of 2015

Okay, so instead of a movie review for the newest instalment in the Star Wars franchise (which I am postponing until 2016), I am attempting to sum up this past year: the good and the bad.

kerport-005-2015-12-30-09-04.jpg

It has been a year of huge surprises, stupid spills, and awful scares for myself and my family, but there were thrills to be had throughout. It all ended, with a bit of a bang, and now here I am. I see I am not the first to write one of these, but since I waited and just posted about my hopes for the coming year, last New Year’s Day, I thought I would follow that up with another review, of sorts, about how those hopes translated into one wild ride of a 2015.

First Day of the Rest of My Life

I say in that post that I am not a fan of resolutions at the end of one year, with the blank slate of a new year stretching out in front, but I did have a vision for what I hoped my year might look like.

Now that I can reread that post and see how I fared, I want to bring it all together.

This is how it’s done.

So I thought I would take a page out of this blogger’s book/blog and go month by month. Bare with me.

JANUARY

One of my first posts of 2015 was all about trying new things.

Speeding Up and Slowing Down

I hoped this would be a sign of things to come for the year.

I continued participating in something that matters to me, that is all about a subject near and dear to my heart and life. I would continue writing about awareness for equality and disability rights. This post was a kind shout-out to all that.

I Don’t Want Coffee. Here Are Some Links, Though.

This links to another blog hop I could participate in, if I had more time and more days of the week, but I read it weekly. I have found and left a few different circles of bloggers and blogging groupings over the last few years, but many of these circles intertwine with one another, here and there.

Speaking of blogging circles – January was the start of one of the best things I’ve gotten involved in in a long time.

We All Need The Village

&

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Thank you: Lizzi and Yvonne.

Also, it was a month of endings and beginnings.

Letting Go and Continuing to Write Another Day

The ending of an opportunity for the short story I’d written gave way for the beginning of a chance event, one for which I am so glad I snatched up my chance to be included in, in the months that would follow.

FEBRUARY

This, my birthday month, brought not only the day to celebrate my birth, but also the celebration of my first full year of blogging.

One Year and Counting: Kind and Generous

Then came

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

And after that, my first contribution of many for #1000Speak, there came more focus on kindness with a post I’d written, which was published on a site devoted to love and friendship.

A Friend In B By Kerry Kijewski

I continued to write about a vitally important cause to me, rare illness awareness

Rare Disease Day, 2015: Ventilation

There was a weekend in Ottawa with a friend. This I will never forget.

This year I took a step forward, in the right direction after lost love, and began dating again.

Dating in the Dark

This is my life.

MARCH

This was not easy for me and I didn’t want to do it, but I did it and hope to do more of it.

Microwave Popcorn For Dinner It Is

As the year went on I managed to keep a secret that I’d been keeping hidden for a few months. It would involve the struggle I constantly have inside about the fine line between truth and fiction, memoir or not?

Truth Or Fiction: Which One Is Stranger?

The first of two weekly blog hops I would soon come to depend on for both comfort and inspiration began as the third month of 2015 came to a close.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

And I finally published an interview, long worked on and awaited, with a female who is making a mark for herself as a smart businesswoman.

Keep Calm and Get Your Hair Done

There were three deaths this year, in the entertainment world, of which were sad ones to me.

The first was Richard Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. Edward Herman died almost exactly one year ago.

I did not write a post for this at the time, but wanted to include him here and now, with news recently of a NetFlix Gilmore Girls reboot, of which the man who played Mr. Gilmore will not be able to reprise his brilliantly portrayed role.

RIP Edward Herman

(He had an amazing voice and used it to read voiceovers, playing Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Ken Burns documentary, of which I watched near the end of the year, after Herman was gone.)

Second,

Love and Despair

with the shocking death of Jonathan Crombie (Gilbert), the man behind the portrayal of a great literary heroic character.

Third, Christopher Lee.

Into The West: RIP Sir Christopher Lee

APRIL

Babies are born and babies die everyday.

Departed and Demented

Upon hearing of the loss of one precious life, for which I had to rant about the unfair ways of the world, next came a re-blog from my own blog, written one year earlier, the worst kind of anniversary imaginable.

The Dark Mark

These few things from early in the month on my blog only served to show the contrasted miracle, the wonderful shock I would get at the end of the month

I had no idea I was about to learn of the upcoming birth of a sweet child in the month of spring’s renewed promise.

Let’s just say, to say I was shocked to learn of my friend’s pregnancy was an understatement. Best surprise all year and, as I continue on with this 2015 summary, that is about to demonstrate how much this brand new little girl means to me because she is a part of my oldest friend. No publishing achievement or literary goal met can possibly compete.

I saw my aunt twice this year, in her new home, a senior’s long-term care facility, sadly. My uncle, my father’s half-brother, he visited from Germany. He wanted to see his sister because nobody knows when it will be their final time together.

Milestones and Siblings

I spent lots of time with family, not only during the month of April, but I make a point to do this every month, any time during any given year. This year, 2015 was no exception.

Orphaned

It was only by doing this that I could think enough about how lucky I am to have family of my own, that I was able to write the guest post about famous orphans in literature.

MAY

Into the fifth month of 2015, nearly halfway now, and things really took a lousy turn.

I was distracted and although the first computer problem was a simple mistake, a fluke thing and a sign of my naivete with technology, it was only when I was careless enough to have a sticky drink next to my precious laptop that I really had something to kick myself over.

Having to fall back and depend on an ex boyfriend to fix things was a hard thing to do. I knew he’d help, if I asked, but I didn’t wish to bother him. It was still hard to admit that he was the one person I would still need, in the desperation I was facing, when it came to computers and technology, the one person I would still trust most to help and help he did. He’s good like that.

If it weren’t for the honour of a request to write a post on a writer’s site whom I greatly admire, the month would have been a total disaster.

Writing the World, Sight Unseen

The girl’s got a way with coming up with titles. Oh, and she’s got the neatest sounding last name around.

🙂

Oh, and then there’s this.

The Second Chances Anthology

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At least some good came from the month of May.

Oh, and I can’t forget this either and never could.

Ten Things of Thankful

May was the month I joined this wonderful weekly blog hop. Many examples of what TToT stands for and looks like can be found in the comment section of this origin post.

There was, also, the series finale of a truly great show.

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Men World

End of an era really, or several, from the 60s onward to the end of 2015 and the start of 2016.

JUNE

And I had a publisher. Yay!

Little Bird Publishing House

And with that, I had to attempt to put into words what writing means to me.

How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life

Still working on this, but I keep letting other things come first.

Close But No Cigar

The year 2015 was now halfway over. I was still working on both education and love.

New Month, New Me

Another milestone. I made it another year with my father’s kidney, working and keeping me well and off dialysis. Every year I avoid that is a reason to celebrate.

The year 2015 has been a spectacular one for music.

Every F****n Day – Lolawolf

“You must be curious. Even…just…a little.”

🙂

This song, among others, made my year and it was only half over.

Figure It Out – Royal Blood

I was trying.

This year, 2015, meant the anniversaries for my grandparents’ deaths:

**Five years for Grandpa

Ruby Red

**Five years for Oma

Gardens of Sunset

**And ten years for Grandma

You Are My Sunshine

Speaking of death, the composer of the wonderful Titanic soundtrack died, tragically, in a plane crash.

RIP James Horner

The US did make some progress this summer.

ROYGBIV

JULY

My country has made some much needed changes this year too.

Canada Day, 2015

We’re working on reconciliation and welcoming our differences, rather than hiding them away and spreading fear.

Life is all about the fireworks.

BANG!!!

Whether it was the stress of a first date or the unpredictability of a summer fling,

(Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus, and Then There’s Jupiter)

I had one hell of a summer.

One Last Kiss

I’VE BEEN PUBLISHED!!!

CHECK!

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That’s another item I can check off my bucket list.

Color, Light, and Magic

Plus another guest post on J.K. Rowling’s end-of-July 50th birthday.

AUGUST

It was a truly spectacular book and a fascinating study in literature.

Jean Louise The Silent: My Review of “Go Set A Watchman”, Part One

&

Jean Louise The Silent: My Review of “Go Set A Watchman”, Part Two

The summer was full of not only literature, but also some amazing theatre performances, culture, and history.

Read a review of the play here:

Stratford’s Diary of Anne Frank

And the summer ended with a bit of nature by Future of the Ocean.

Big Blue Live

And one more guest post I had published on Hasty Words.

Be Real

My summer of 2015 was full of new experiences, harsh realities, and missed opportunities.

Rural Pride, County Wide

Sometimes, some things just aren’t meant to be.

SEPTEMBER

When the anthology with my story first came out in the summer it was only available as an EBook, but finally I could hold a book with a story I’d written in my own two hands. It was an indescribable feeling and a dream come true.

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With the arrival of autumn there’s the twenty year anniversary for Jagged Little Pill.

Perfection

At the end of the month I had a trip to Toronto which was full of surprises and adventures.

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Faith and a Spinster’s Gratitude List – Harvest Moon

OCTOBER

I tried my hand at Writer’s Digest’s month long October Platform Challenge, but I messed it up and did not finish. Admittedly, it was a bit of a half effort and I misread the instructions.

Check it out here.

This year marks three anniversaries for television and music I’ve loved:

Gilmore Girls, A Boy Named Goo, Beverly Hills 90210

By the time we were nearing the end of 2015,

Canadians felt it was time for a change.

I also decided to try something a little different, when I was invited to do an interview for an online radio program.

Travelling with the Speed of Sight

Canada’s one-and-only Major League team, Toronto Blue Jays, came closer than they have in more than twenty years, to winning the World Series. It was a wild ride.

NOVEMBER

The eleventh month of 2015 found me trying something new, something I’ve wanted for a long time.

Words with Friends

Being a part of a writing group is exactly what I have needed to progress with my own writing. I hope to continue with this in the year to come.

Remembrance Day and November 11th had a special significance this year.

In Flanders Fields: One Hundred Years Later

An unassuming Friday the 13th in November turned into much more, so much devastation,

with the attack in Paris.

Then came the first of the hospitalizations for my brother for 2015 and this one was frightening enough, but it was only a prelude to what was to come for our December.

And with one one hundred year anniversary there came a forty year one shortly after,

with a Great Lakes ship wreck and a song written more like a tale set to music.

It was time to celebrate a great man.

happybirthdaypa-2015-12-30-09-04.jpg

My Father Turned Sixty

On the final day of November.

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DECEMBER

As Long As There’s Christmas: My Grownup Letter For Santa, 2015

We almost made it. We’d arrived at mid month, only a few weeks left in 2015 and then the bottom dropped out.

My brother had a bad fall and suffered a brain injury.

For a few days we weren’t sure what kind of Christmas we would have, but my family and his friends never stopped believing he would come out of it the same old Brian.

Decade Adrift

The doctors didn’t want us to get our hopes up, but we had a Christmas like the others.

cameraawesomephoto-2015-12-30-09-04.jpg

We were all together and Brian played music again.

My last guest post of 2015. – Advent Calendar Day 20: One Tradition After Another

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Now I end 2015 with a huge Happy Birthday wish for the most special five-year-old around and I ring in 2016 with a friend. Girl’s night!

In the world of feminism, 2015 was a fabulous year for discovering awesome female voices in music, literature, travel, social issues, and history.

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE: NEW SINGLE PACKS A PUNCH

The Danger of a Single Story – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Talking to Amy Gigi Alexander

He Named Me Malala

&

The 1994 Miep Gies Lecture

Not all of these are current, but the act of me finding them this year is the point. All examples, of females who are or were strong, which gives me the push to keep moving forward.

Women of the Year: 30 Canadians Who Rocked 2015

On the continually fascinating subject of wickedly special females, three albums and their artists are worth mentioning this year:

First, Vulnicura.

Black Lake

by Bjork.

Second, How Big How Blue How Beautiful.

Ship To Wreck – Florence + The Machine.

And third, Honeymoon.

High by the Beach – Lana Del Ray

As for The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, it was an every Monday sort of thing for the previous half of 2014 and I continued, missing a week here and there, but I have not forgotten about its importance in my own world and here on my blog.

This coming year I plan on really starting something that I want to focus on though. The year 2016 will be 20 years since I began the journey that matured me before my age likely would have otherwise.

Let Them Eat Cake

I have imagined writing a book about it, memoir called Piece of Cake, for years. Now that I have this blog I will start by writing about those days, as the next few years pass.

I have goals and dreams for 2016 and beyond, but I hesitate to speak of them all out loud, in fear of falling short.

FGP’s Virtual Holiday Party

I want to make more connections with writers, creative and smart women, and I want to keep writing. I want to not be afraid to keep putting my words out there, even though the fear of more rejection is a lingering one.

I want to keep working on the one and only “resolution” from 2014/2015: jealousy. I hate that part of myself and I wish I could let that go. That doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for others and don’t cheer other people on. It just means I do both and feel conflicted.

Some make resolutions, others pick one word for their year, but I resist doing both. If I have to choose one word though, I suppose I will go with “Adventure”. I do want more of this, as I believe life is one giant adventure, all the years we get to live it.

We in Canada made a change and took a stand in 2015 and, the question for 2016 is and will be: America, will you?

Okay, so I just went through my entire blog for the year, to prepare for this post. I know. It was a long one.

Wow, I wrote a lot. I did not receive an end-of-the-year WP blog stats report like I did last year though. Hmmm. Wonder if that means I didn’t do well with follows, comments, and views this year. Ah well. Staying true to myself and remaining authentic is all I can ask for.

Goodbye 2015…hello 2016. Be kind.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, RIP

A Fragile Amendment, #BlogShareLearn

Oops! Did not follow the instructions. I love it when a blogger takes the time to host a blog party:

http://www.livingwithbatman.com/2015/11/12/blogsharelearn-linky-party-november-1315/

I love a good link up. Just forgot a couple steps…

https://kkherheadache.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/why-men-lie-not-what-it-seems-vip-blogsharelearn-bluskyfriday-linkyourlife/

(Just saw the news. Accounts still trickling in.)

😦

Seems strange to “party” when such crazy things are going on in the world, but that’s part of why I write and blog in the first place. I am sure there will be a lot of people blogging about their feelings at the horror of these latest events.

I promise that my post, despite its clickbait sort of title, is a lighthearted little story and we could all use a few more of those, even more so on a night like this.

A week from today:

http://1000voicesspeak.org/

I am grateful for a lot of things. I will write about some of what I am grateful for, over the next week, like I have been doing, at least once a week, for months. The creator of #1000Speak just said, upon hearing of the violence in Paris, that we need to continue with our push for compassion, even more than before.

Fragile – Live in Paris

She is wise and she has never been more right.

Paris is in the world’s thoughts tonight.

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Interviews, Kerry's Causes, Memoir Monday, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, Writing

Travelling With the Speed of Sight

We’ve all heard of travel at the speed of light, but how fast is travel at the speed of sight?

I’ve been away from posting on Monday for

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge,

but I return, with a special edition of

THE CHALLENGE.

This one is bringing awareness through an interview I did the other day on something called Purpose Talk Radio and Blog Talk Internet Radio.

Meet the Blind

Travelling With the Speed of Sight.

It was my first Internet radio show interview. I think I will stick to writing and my blog, but just as I feel an invisible push to do that, Cindy Freeman does her online radio show and this month she has been focusing on the subject of blindness for the month of October.

I am more than just that title, but I know it is necessary to grab people’s attention in the first place.

We spoke about my blindness, my writing, blogging, and my love of travel.

She asked me what I feel my purpose to be. It’s writing. That’s all I know for sure. It’s writing. It’s always going to be.

October 15th was

White Cane Safety Day

in the US.

This is just when you’d want to meet the blind, but when I think of titles and what they say, as far as my Memoir Monday posts and disability awareness, I get a little stuck on titles like, “Meet the Blind”. I can’t help feel that I am more than “the blind”. But just how much more? What more?

So she met me and I got experience that I wouldn’t otherwise have had. I answered her questions to the best of my ability.

I needed a break from disability awareness, but then I realize I can’t get away from it, no matter how hard I try.

As for RDAC, I guess I got a little burnt out on the Q&A format, but I aim to complete all 50 or so questions by the end of 2015.

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Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: Thanks and Thankfuls – That Was Awesome! #10Thankful

“The more I see, the less I know for sure.”

–John Lennon

Not sure why,

😉

but I love this one.

oct2015-322-2015-10-11-01-53.jpg

“Living is Easy with Eyes Closed.”

I often have my eyes closed in pictures taken. I am told this is a pretty good shot, so they should be open.

🙂

The Lighting of the Peace Tower.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8

Should I say thanks, be thankful for the thanks or thanks for the thankfuls?

This week I am not sure.

10 THINGS OF THANKFUL

Yes, I am Canadian and that means October is when we celebrate Thanksgiving, not November like the US does. Okay, so the actual day isn’t until the 12th, officially, but I celebrated two days early.

For me, this holiday is not and never has been about pilgrims coming across and landing to a grand celebration with The Natives. In Canada, for this Canadian girl in particular, it’s more about celebrating my favourite season (and we get em all in this country), the pumpkins, and the colourful leaves as they fall. Family is the best part, not the pie.

Sure, my family have always eaten turkey and It is true, that I am thankful, but I am just as thankful at Christmas and every other day of the year.

I am a little muddled, as this is my first Thanksgiving as a part of the TToT group – lot of being and feeling thankful going around here. I am a little overwhelmed with that word, “thankful” and all the thankfuls I have running around in my head.

Here I go anyway.

Ten Things of Thankful:

For friendly and down-to-earth writers like Anne Rice.

A couple years back I went ahead and read Interview with the Vampire – my first and only Rice book so far. I am not her biggest fan, but not in a “not a fan” sort of way. I just couldn’t quite let myself grow comfortable with her dark and mysterious writing style I suppose. I look down the extensive list of books she’s written in her three or four decades as a writer and I am impressed, even if the world of supernatural she’s continuously creating remains still unfamiliar to me.

It’s her devotion to her fans, as shown on her Facebook page, that really draws me in and of which I truly admire. As someone beginning to think of herself as a writer, I don’t necessarily think social media is for every author, but I do admire Rice’s dedication to her readers.

Anne Rice Fan Page on Facebook

She is quite obviously the one to handle the page. She doesn’t just post occasionally. She only has her assistant post when she herself isn’t feeling well. She posts daily and is clearly glad to do it.

She engages regularly with her millions of fans, saying good morning and goodnight to them, and having discussions, posing questions, and posting articles.

For friends and graciousness and people willing to help spread the word.

Amy Boviard Author

and

Original Bunker Punks

in particular.

I thank you for your thoughtful shares and I am thankful that you took the time to talk about or publish me, and then go ahead and share that with your website’s readers and then on your Facebook pages.

For the ability to go and turn on the heat.

The weather is turning to the autumn crispness I love so much, which means I have been going back and forth, unsure which type of weather there might be outside my door in the mornings. Things are changing

On a particularly rainy and windy day I broke down and, instead of just loading up on heavy sweaters, took that step and turned on my home’s heat. I am thankful for this because I have it so easily accessible to me. I’ve been going on and on about humidity, heat, and my air conditioning since I began with TToT, but Canadian winters always end up as cold as Canadian summers are hot.

For familial beta readers and editors.

I am not a writer with a publishing contract and an editor on hand to read the things I write, able to give their feedback and offer their suggestions. I don’t have the money to pay people to read all the stuff I’m writing nowadays, but I have managed to cultivate and maintain a number of relationships with these people. I don’t ask them to help, as I am glad to just have their expertise and knowledge to occasionally learn and draw upon. This is where the family obligation comes in.

🙂

Okay, they wouldn’t say it that way, but I still feel bad imposing. Of course, I could impose a lot more often than I do, only asking them to read over something when I really need it.

I apologize eternally to any readers of this blog, as I edit myself, as best I can, but don’t have someone read over my post before hitting publish each and every time.

If a capital letter or punctuation is missed now and then, or perhaps more often than that, I am sorry. These days, with the VoiceOver and Mac, my writing and blogging programs usually catch any incorrect spelling.

As for a week where I have written a piece I’m sending off somewhere to be evaluated and possibly published, to grow a more expanded readership, I look to my family to read my work and offer ideas and first impressions. Usually, this means my big sister. She has a life of her own, you know, with a husband and young son to attend to and spend time with. She works some days and has her own interests, so when she takes the time to help me out I am incredibly thankful.

For my mother and the very fact of her birth. This is worth celebrating and declaring my thanks for, as without this and her, I would not be here to write these words.

For everything she does and everything she is, I am thankful and grateful. I may not always show it, but I mean it from my very soul, with all the feeling words can muster.

I have never been more thankful than for her. Happy Birthday Mom. Xoxoxo.

For purring.

My cat will come over to me and walk across my legs. I don’t know, but I choose to believe he knows the pain therapy he is providing in that moment.

My chronic pain is an all over sort of deal. My legs are sensitive and just the right amount of pressure helps.

As for the purring, when he rests himself against my legs and purrs, I feel better. This is worth a bunch of irritating cat hair on my clothes and furniture.

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For a fun Thanksgiving day at the farm, pumpkin patch, and corn maze with the fam. Got an excellent view of the place from my watch tower perch.

Leaping Deer!

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My first time through a corn maze. I loved the sound of the rustling corn stalks in the cool fall afternoon, but it would have been creepier in the dark. They said you were supposed to give them your names when you went in, presumably in case they needed to find us in the event that we became lost, but we were rebels and told nobody – well, the family knew, I think.

For the pleasure of getting to give my niece and nephews a little something, a small gift, out-of-the-blue.

It wasn’t a holiday where presents were expected, and that made it all the better. They were surprised and I am thankful I got to make them smile.

They are learning and growing, with each Thanksgiving that passes, and that makes me sad, but in a really grateful way. I get to love them and be there, and that’s worth an unplanned and a surprise puzzle, book, or sticker set now and again.

For optimism, without which, I could never find a thing to be thankful for at all.

Whatever else I give thanks for, I am thankful for the TToT and others who have thankfuls in their lives as well.

This one, from this week’s group, is the perfect example of finding the silver linings, all done with beauty and humour.

A Moment In Time – Summertime Wandering

I can use all the optimism I can muster today. I am off to watch the Toronto Blue Jays play, what could be their last game, and the end of any possible hopes their fans had of a World Series win after more than 20 years eager anticipation and hope.

I am thankful for all the togetherness that is shown around here, after being in Toronto a few weeks back and feeling the energy of the baseball fans, the Toronto supporters growing, and I know today is their last hope and the odds are against them, but until that hope is dashed for certain I choose to be positive and optimistic.

It could happen. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Okay, I’ll see where things stand by this evening, a week from now, at next week’s edition of the TToT.

OK…BLUE JAYS…LET’S…PLAY…BALL!

I’ll end this week’s post with one of the most optimistic quotes I know, in the hopes of something sticking, and, as Anne Rice always says to her FB fans,

Signing off.

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

Lucy Maud Montgomery

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