In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways. – Edith Wharton, novelist (1862 – 1937)


Five years ago, in November of 2008, I wrote my first blog post and called this little niche of cyberspace The View Through My Lens. Much has changed in the 5 years since then, but many things have stayed the same.

To celebrate these 5 Years of Blogging, I have 2 sets of photography greeting cards to give away (see below), a donation to send a girl to school for a year, as well as the opportunity to share some funny little-known fact about you here to help me celebrate and to enter for a chance to win. I hope you’ll help me celebrate by leaving a quick comment. Thank you!

But first, a list …

5 Changes in the past 5 years

1. a Studio

For the first time ever, I have a dedicated place to work. The windows stretch floor to ceiling, face East, and get morning sun, and the room has space for an easel, a writing chair, a desk, and rows of mounted bookshelves. Though it’s situated near the action in my house (with 3 growing boys, it’s loud!), my studio has doors that close. If you can picture my writing chair in a corner of my son’s room for the past 4 years in Prague, with my easel set up just beside my bed, then you can understand that now I’m quite truly in heaven.

2. Always a Work-in-Progress

A couple of years ago, my wonderful Dutch friend showed me around Amsterdam and the Van Gogh museum. I’ve sometimes had trouble with the blank canvas and page, thinking what I might paint or write is not worthwhile or important or necessary. But since I’ve stood face-to-face with Van Gogh’s work, I’ve realized that all artists aren’t great when they begin. The important thing is to do the work. And so I now always have a work-in-progress, a novel going and a canvas going on the easel, which fuel me onward.

My biggest painting yet, 36" x 24", The View of Tuscany from Siena's Walls

My biggest painting yet, 36″ x 24″, a color-drenched canvas of The View of Tuscany from Siena’s Walls

“Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don’t know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas is, which says to the painter, ‘You can’t do a thing’. The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can’t’ once and for all.” – Vincent Van Gogh

3. Popelka

Poppy, we call her. A mini-Labradoodle, she is my constant shadow, my writing companion, my always-smiling dog. She was born in Prague and her name means Cinderella in Czech, because when she was 8 weeks, with the exception of 2 white paws, she was all black. Now, she’s wonderful in every way. Meet Poppy.

Me with Popelka

4. Mořic and the Birds

I’ve never had a cat. This one, pronounced More-zhitz, a traditional Czech name of a Lobkowicz prince, has a story about his name, his history. We tell his stories at dinner with friends and we all laugh for hours. He’s a character, and mostly not a nice one. But that’s okay. We all love him. He’s the other immigrant in our family.


The birds belong to my middle son (12 years old) who has always been an animal and bird lover, and a basketball player. We had to leave our beloved Buddy the parakeet behind in Prague with friends, and, as these things go, we have 2 birds in Buddy’s place now. Their primary occupation? Playing basketball with their mini-hoop toy. It’s very annoying entertaining. :) Yes, I live in a zoo…

5. Wine and Coffee

Those years of European friends and influence changed me a bit. 5 years ago, I didn’t like coffee. 5 years ago, I didn’t appreciate wine. Now, I’ll just say the day is not complete without a great cup of coffee to start, and a great glass of wine with dinner.

So, I have changed in these 5 years, and change, I think, is good…

Jennifer Lyn KingAt Montecchia, tasting wine; one of my favorite wineries in Italy

What’s Happened Here in 5 Years

I’ve written 1 post per week for 5 years (= over 260 posts!). I still love to write and sit down daily for a few hours to work, still enjoy photography and painting and sharing here. And though I started out at (free), I switched to several years ago with much frustration, but learned a lot and love it now.

The Goods

I’ve recently found an art-production site to partner with for my photography and art: RedBubble, a website which prints high-quality greeting cards, framed images, and gallery wrapped canvas. Here is a sample– I love love love the product.

Jennifer Lyn King Red Bubble Portfolio

I’ll be giving away 1 set of 5 greeting cards (of your choice) to each winner…

Jennifer Lyn King's photography asGreeting cards from RedBubble

Greeting cards from RedBubble

The cards arrive wrapped in clear cellophane

The cards arrive wrapped in clear cellophane

And greeting cards arrive in an elegant package which made me laugh with its wit and charm...

And greeting cards arrive in an elegant package (witty and charming, too…)

Like the package says, above, the cards are so nice you’ll want to send them to yourself.

And I’ll make a donation to one of my favorite charitable causes, sending a girl in an impoverished country to school for a year.

How to Win

So, help me celebrate these 5 years by leaving a comment with the best little-known fact about yourself that is new within the last 5 years. (Fiction is okay, too :) ) Extra points for humor.

On Saturday, November 9, I’ll draw 2 winners (randomly). Both will win a set of 5 greeting cards of my photography at and I will make a donation to send a girl to school in an impoverished country.

Thank you for celebrating with me! I’ll email the winners on Saturday. Now, click on the comments and leave a little tidbit about you. Thanks! xo Jennifer


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