Poetry, Special Occasions, Spotlight Saturday, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, This Day In Literature, TravelWriting, TToT, Writing

TToT: Let Us Try This Again, Shall We? #WorldBookDay #FreedomToReadWeek #WorldWildlifeDay #10Thankful

Last week I meant to share one picture, of the flowers we brought my sister after giving birth to my new niece, but I somehow ended up posting only the flowers.

Nothing wrong with flowers, so that one becomes “the flower flower flower flower post”.

B27DVDI.jpg

I am still thankful for the big things, for eight pound baby girls, but will sprinkle in a few smaller items, if I can as well.

Ten Things of Thankful

I am thankful for new music.

Lorde – Green Light

I am thankful for Mya Lynne and for my violin.

😉

Haha. Get it?

LuwA3RQ.jpg

I’m thankful that I went for it and submitted the travel memoir piece I wrote in Mexico, about my evening with the mariachis, to
CBC Literary Prizes.

I spent all of February, editing madly, and I would say I am proud of what I sent in. Now for the long wait.

I’m thankful to have made contact this week and am now in communication, by email, with the man I met in Mexico. He is doing amazing things with his life.

Everyone Has A Disability

We both know a little something about living with a disability and I appreciate his perspective.

I’m thankful for the bond already forming between my nephew and niece.

iZdd6aQ.jpg

Now, anytime I go to visit them, he always starts by saying, “Auntie Kerry, do you see my baby sister?”

Now that’s the question of one proud big brother.

I am thankful I got to read the words of a talented family member. He wrote a kickass spoken word piece about his wife and surprised her with it for her birthday last weekend.

It’s amazing to me that someone can love another person like that.

I wish I could have heard it in person, but I read the words and his writing was so sweet and so creatively epic.

Proud and thankful to be related to those two.

I would share it, but I’m not sure they’d want me to. Let’s just say, the word “citadel” is used at one point. It’s a song about a strong and one-of-a-kind woman. That’s spot on.

Ed Sheeran – Eraser (Live)

This new live Ed Sheeran song is another example of music, but with spoken word, poetry thrown in the mix.

I’m thankful for winter weather, while it’s still winter.

We went from above seasonal and warm temperatures at the beginning of the week and we’re ending it back firmly in winter, but spring is only officially a few weeks away now. The end and a new beginning, as many think of the arrival of spring, is on its way.

I enjoy a chilled night, without a harsh wind preferably, and feeling the gentle sprinkling of snowflakes coming down around me in the air. I’m going to miss that crunching noise when I walk outside in the packed snow underfoot.

I wish everyone could see that winter is supposed to be cold, to have snow, and to not show such love for the climate change that has an effect on nature and wildlife, and not in a good way. We should think about them a little more and less about our temporary discomforts. I know it’s hard. I don’t like freezing either, in the moment. But I do care about species such as butterflies and bees who pollinate. Those guys need spring to come in its own time. We shouldn’t try to rush it just because we are sick and tired of winter.

In the comments for TToT this week I say where I am from and what I love about living here. I love the four seasons we in Canada are lucky to experience. I grumble and groan my share, when I am shivering or sweating, but I want the planet to maintain itself, for my nieces and nephews, for a long long time to come.

The cousin and his wife I listed above, as a thankful, they work with nature and the environment. They’ve seen signs that aren’t good signs. They worry because they see it up close. They’ve taught me a lot.

I am thankful for people like them, doing all they can, to teach about the natural world we often neglect.

I’m thankful for the feeling of holding a baby.

v9D5WvW.jpg

She is such a contented baby too. As long as she’s not hungry, she’s happy to sleep a lot.

For me, I can feel disgusted with things happening in the world or whatever, but then I hold her and I feel the slight pressure of her in my arms and her breathing as she sleeps so still. It’s peaceful.

I then watch my nephew, all his energy, and how big he is. I am thankful for these children, at the separate ages that they are, and I know they grow so fast.

I am thankful for books and the freedom to read any book I want to.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (read by Neil Gaiman)

I have shared stories read by Neil Gaiman here in the past. I enjoy his readings.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss.

Advertisements
Standard
1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, The Insightful Wanderer, Travel

Heedless, #Travel #History #Canada150 #JusJoJan

So here we are.

Just Jot It January is back!

Though I am starting my #JusJoJan a little late this year, but really, what else is new?

GJzn8wy.jpg

Today it’s brought to you by:

No Facilities

I rang in 2017 in the best way possible. I had a great 2016 personally. I have high hopes for the coming months…personally.

But, of course, the warnings are out there, as ever and as always.

There have been warnings to not get too far ahead of myself with the guy soon to be US leader.

In 2016 I wrote about my fears and the bad feeling I had several times and this hasn’t changed, even grown somewhat, but I can’t stop it all. If I had my way, things wouldn’t feel quite so grim, but my own deeds and heeding of people’s warnings is where I have some semblance of control. Perhaps they have a point. Who knows.

Who am I to say?

I have chosen not to say his name on my blog, this so-called “leader”, if I can help it. In the Harry Potter books, I do recall there being something about “a fear of the name only increasing fear of the thing itself”. –
*clears throat*
Or something like that.
Well, I can’t help it if I am worried about the state of our world at the moment, but if there is any small possibility the attention I’ve brought to it could ever be contributing, even so slightly to the situation we’re now in and the direction things could be headed, I choose to focus on what’s good and gentle and positive in this world going forward.

There are some warnings I will heed and other ones I can’t promise I always will.

We are warned about travel, with all the terrorist attacks across the world these days. People may be more afraid than ever to venture out, but I can’t let that stop me in my tracks or I might not get started back up again.

Whatever history may have wrought, the future does not need to reflect that. We here in Canada can choose acceptance and inclusiveness over rejection caused by fear and misinformation when a fellow human being needs a little help. I wish to believe all the warnings some continue to offer up about refugees are being blown out of proportion, that human decency is universal and does not belong to one religion or part of the world with any exclusive right of ownership.

I’ve received warnings all my life, but in other ways my unique situation has allowed me to take my own chances on things, often years later than many others, but still I eventually get there.

It’s vital that we do pay attention, now more than ever, to the warnings we receive. There are precautions we can take, but I am determined to take the leap, to not let fear rule me anymore, not until absolutely necessary.

Take a chance and explore a new place, speak to someone new. Who knows. You might not end up regretting it. You might even learn something new, something you’d never considered before.

I might … I’m telling this very thing to myself as I take a giant step into the unknown of this new year in progress.

I am not so lost as I was last year at this moment. My future is just as wide open and undefined, but I don’t nearly feel as frozen in one spot by it all.

I won’t be clinging on quite so tightly to my blog and this month-long blogging exercise this time around, rather dropping in on certain days throughout January, just to check in. It is still an excellent way to discover other writers and their blogs. That is why I will be back. My month is simply a lot more booked up than it was last year.

I wish for us all to be vigilant when necessary, to heed warnings when we must, but to be mindful that too many warnings will paralyze us all.

Do not be afraid to live a little. I don’t intend to be. Perhaps, for certain reasons this year might appear to bring with it a sense of recklessness in my life, but I choose to take a more positive view of my 2017 year.

One for the books.

Right Canada?

Standard
Book Reviews, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, The Insightful Wanderer, Writing

A Review of Barbara Hurd’s Listening to the Savage: River Notes and Half-Heard Melodies

I listened, to hear things as they are. So many amazing books out there. Rivers lead to the ocean. Listen closely.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

41zGDljwFgL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgBy Alexis Paige

About half-way through Barbara Hurd’s latest essay collection, Listening to the Savage: River Notes and Half-Heard Melodies, I find myself splayed across a granite boulder in the middle of the small river that runs through my backyard in rural Vermont. Obviously, I am listening for crayfish. An avid river watcher, I confess that until reading this beautiful, brilliant book, I had not considered the role of river listener, or river monitor as Hurd calls herself, pointing out that monitor derives from the Latin monere, which means to warn or advise—even to remind or teach, according to my old Latin dictionary. From my back porch, I often eye the river’s movements, its patterns, its shimmer and light; I watch for deer, wild turkeys, ospreys, foxes, bald eagles, and the occasional Great Blue Heron. Recently, in the shallows near the yard, a few kids appeared, pants hiked…

View original post 1,586 more words

Standard
Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS, The Insightful Wanderer, Travel

My favourite Word of All, #SoCS #SongLyricSunday

I want to walk amongst you, the many shelves and shelves of you. Bookstore or library. Doesn’t matter which.

I want to write you and read you and hold you in my hand. I want to flip through you, feeling your pages slide through my fingers.

Hard-cover. Paperback. I love you both.

I want to disappear behind stacks and stacks of you. I want to live among your silent stories, stories which come alive when read.

I want to vanish into you, to go on the adventures you hold.

I want to book a trip, a hotel, in Hawaii or San Fransisco or Iceland or New Zealand. On a beach somewhere, I want to read a book as the waves come rolling in and back out again.

I want to read with my eyes, but I settle for reading you with my fingers or else I must listen to audio books instead.

I want to write my own version of you. I will do some day.

Books. Glorious books. I open one and, yes, I rest it against my face, taking in the scent of so many past memories. The pages of you hold so much, everything I love about you.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS

with my favourite word

BOOK!

And, in honour of getting this post in at the last hour of Saturday and nearing the start of

Song Lyric Sunday with Helen Espinosa,

I end this post with a classic (50 years old):

PAperback Writer – The Beatles

Standard
Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Special Occasions, TravelWriting, TToT

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

Standard
Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Piece of Cake, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: Woman In Black Blouse Holding Black Bow – Shadow Bowing, #10Thankful

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself on all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.”

–Sylvia Plath, “The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath”

img_1082-2016-03-6-06-49.jpg

Caption: Woman in black shirt smiling and standing.)

There is an App for the visually impaired where you can take a photo of anything you are in need of describing and send it away and, within seconds, an answer is given by someone somewhere who has viewed it and explained it to the best of their ability. Well, that’s the first reply given when I asked what the above photo showed. The second I used for the title of this week’s TToT because I thought it strangely eerie.

🙂

Have you heard of “shadow bowing”?

That is what I am doing. Supposedly, (as YouTube is a totally reliable source on this), I’m quite sure – if you want to practice moving your violin’s bow in a perfectly straight line, you take an empty toilet paper roll and work at moving the bow through it, over and over again. Well, let’s just say, I thought it worth a try, yet highly amusing at the same time.

The week started out badly. It wasn’t a great week at all, to be frank, but I still think I can come up with 10 things to be thankful for. Come along with me and let’s see if I can.

🙂

I made a decision, as February and its extra day came and went and March began, that I will cut back from the daily blogging I’ve been doing since the start of 2016, and will cut back to only weekends and these blogging hops and link ups I so enjoy.

I will use my weekdays to focus on my violin and writing for other places, specifically the memoir I’ve wanted to write since I was fourteen years old.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For rare disease awareness.

I shared, back when it first came out, an article I wrote which was published on The Mighty:

Rare Disease Day, 2016: Even Rarer Than A Leap Year

Well, the official day of recognition was on a leap year this time round, making it extra special.

For a song that inspires me.

Scars – Emmanuel Jal Feat. Nelly Furtado

I was shown this one by a friend, but although I could tell just by listening that there was depth and significance in the words, the music, and in the visuals, I could not see what was taking place in the video for the song.

Well, my friend explained what happens throughout. I could tell it was important, with the sound of the train at the beginning, but I now listen to this every night before I go to bed. It reminds me that we all have our struggles and our burdens to shoulder. I want to write my story, to tell of my particular tale, while this song plays on repeat in the background in my head.

Check it out if you have a moment. It’s beautiful.

For books and their creators.

As the quote at the start of this post shows, I love books for so many things. I will never be all the things I want to be, but books get me a lot closer.

This week was World Book Day.

I found myself in my nephew’s room, one day in the middle of the week, and my mom began reading “What Pet Should I Get?”, unaware that its author was celebrating a birthday on that exact same day. I celebrate Dr. Seuss and the genus he was with words.

He was highly skilled with them, words that is. He was able to stand out, reach children, and as I would love to write a children’s book someday, I try to study his brilliance, hoping always that something of it may rub off on me.

For a much needed laugh or two to brighten up a rough week. I love the coming together of a child’s imagination and the acting talents to bring it to my screen.

I did not watch anything surrounding Academy Awards mania, but I think this is better than any of the movies that actually got nominated for a trophy.

🙂

I was riveted by both these performances.

Kid Theater with Tom Hanks (Bridge of Spies)

Hanks deserves the award for that, don’t you agree? Possibly even Jimmy. If you need to smile, watch only this one Oscar performance.

For a hot shower to help with head and limb pain.

For another chance to share my writing, as part of a wonderfully important blogger series:

#BeReal – KERRY KIJEWSKI

I was glad to get some of my feelings out and on the page in a supportive environment like Hasty’s blog.

For new car smell.

I don’t know exactly what that fragrance consists of, so feel free to enlighten me, but I know it is in the materials of a newish car and it doesn’t last forever – just like most things in life.

🙂

Whatever it emanates from, it brings back nostalgic feelings that are indefinable, but warmly welcome.

For my first actual violin recital.

Not playing. Oh hell no!

🙂

Just attending, but it was highly inspiring and motivating.

I write about the experience here:

Flower of the Night

For the chance to work creatively with my musically talented brother.

img_1083-2016-03-6-06-49.jpg

Caption: Smiling man playing violin.

🙂

This was the explanation we received for the photo of my brother holding my violin.

He is a guitar player mainly. He and I decided we would try to write a song together. He has written the music and now I am faced with the new challenge of listening to it, letting the music move through me, and feeling the words and letting them come to me.

I try to lighten the mood because I have written lots of things, but never song lyrics. It’s a bit like poetry and I always doubted my skill with that. I hope it is something I can do. The challenge to myself is a tough one. I just think it would be neat to do that with him.

For beautiful pieces of writing, from such creative and talented bloggers and writers. This lovely memoir post I just had to share.

Where Is Home – Yvonne Spence

Several months back I came across multiple beautifully written blog posts and shared them here, stating my intention to share a couple that were particularly influential on me, here on the TToT every week.

Well, I didn’t follow through, but better to do it when inspiration strikes.

Home – Phillip Phillips

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

–Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

Standard
Uncategorized

My Bittersweet Love Affair With Books, #LoIsInDaBl

Today is set aside for

BOOKS WE LOVE

and is known as

TEASER TUESDAY.

braillebooks-2016-02-2-18-11.jpg

I’ve shown this photo before, but it really sums up my one true love.

I want to live in a bookstore, in a library, but being surrounded by books also makes me feel partly empty. I can’t read them. I need to scan them electronically or go to EBooks or braille.

I am happy to do this. I have an entire electronic device still full of books someone once found for me. I couldn’t likely get through all of those in one hundred years, but something also stops me from making even a dent.

So much, so many worlds and characters and ideas, so many words to be found.

Nothing can compare to holding a book, even one I can’t see to read, in my hands.

Dusty Old Books

The musty smell of the pages is divine.

I rub my fingers over the bumps on the pages on my Harry Potter book collection. I could read them over and over. It’s a love that is pure and will never end. One thing I can count on.

I’m not reading a particular book at this moment. I can’t seem to settle on one a lot of the time, even knowing how many there are out there. I often still feel removed from all the books I love, like I can’t just pick them up, read any book I want, at any moment. It’s a painfully wonderful feeling, that I have the power to read and yet I lack the ability to in many cases. It’s one of those bittersweet love affairs.

Women and Books

I have written about and reviewed several books on this blog in the past two years.

There was the two-parter review of Go Set A Watchman I wrote last summer:

Jean Louise the Silent, Part One

&

Part Two.

There were a few posts I devoted to my love of Harry Potter:

To The First Time I Read Harry Potter

&

Colour, Light, and Magic

Those last three things are things books are to me.

Never As Good As The First Time – Sade

I can easily see the similarity between the first time experiencing the thrill of new love with someone and the first time to read a book that will become a favourite. There is a rush and a feeling you can never get back, no matter how you will always love or can ever hope to again. It will remain a wistful memory and something that will forever be both sad and nostalgic and that’s just how it is.

Standard