Archive for November 2012

The Night The Lights Came On At The Plaza

The below story is fiction. Formatted to be read like a poetic prose. It is my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers writing group based on a photo prompt, hosted and led by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Comments and feedback are welcomed.

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I’d not been back in years, but the memories still fresh.

All that happened out on the square.

The night the lights came on at the Plaza.

The years passed slowly. I had no news

where to look, or if he’d married.

Then I get a call and he wants to meet.

At the sidewalk café where we sipped our wine, and

I lost myself in his aqua blue eyes.

He left suddenly, with no explanation.

A man too mysterious, with too little to give back.

There he is, waiting and watching,

like a spy coming out of the cold.

Joyce E. Johnson

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Sunrise

HPIM1816

October 24, 2012. While my husband drove, I kept my eye on my target, and my window opened. We were heading east towards St. Louis, into the rising sun. I waited for the perfect moment hoping to get it at just the right time on my digital camera. Sometimes the moment comes too soon and I am not ready, sometimes too late, and the moment gone. Kind of like life in a way with a lot of things. I have a favorite scripture passage in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 of the Old Testament that talks about how there is a season, a time for everything under the sun. It often makes me think of the windows that open to us for just a moment, and there is anticipation when the time is right. Opportunities come, and go, and what we do with them often depends on the outcome. The opportunities that come can bring with it rewards when ready. The photo here is just an illustration for this poem and post, but the scripture passage in Ecclesiastes is one to remember for those times when with an opened window we see opportunity. Life is full of opportunities and ‘windows’ along the way. Solomon had great wisdom. It is what he asked God for when asking for one thing only. To have the wisdom to be a great leader, and make decisions that would bring positive results. He wanted wisdom to know when the season was right for the things he must do, and wisdom to know when not to. It is my wish and prayer too, to be given that kind of wisdom. Even as a writer it makes me aware that what I write, when, or where I share can have its rewards, or not.  It is the window of opportunity I do not want to waste, but want to know which to pursue, and which not to.

SUNRISE

Darkness dispelled;

A new day is dawning

The sun boldly rises

Where I stand to embrace

The coming too, a new season

Where a window if there be opened

Through which to look for a time to find

A moment to seize; to take hold

To not waste what I’ve been given

For too soon it may be gone

and the window be closed.

Joyce E. Johnson

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Memorial


A note on the picture above. I took this photo while walking a nature trail with my husband and dog. Our city (Loveland, Co.) is well-known for the many professional artists and sculptors who have created beautiful works of art for galleries, museums and artists’ shows. Many are on display in our city and elsewhere around the world. This particular piece with the hand points the direction under an overpass and bridge where walkers and bikers on the trail can view other sculpted caricature faces displayed. This art project was entitled, “FACES.” I don’t know if the sculpted faces are those of actual people known for specific accomplishments here, or just those depicting fictitious persons, but many are very whimsical and expressive in detail.

Each week I write my short ‘flash fiction’ story of 100 words to go with the photo prompt provided by Rochelle Fields on her website and Friday Fictioneers. Below is my story to go with the photo prompt I provided for this week’s Friday Fictioneers, “Faces.” Feedback and comments are welcome.

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“Memorial”

“It’s Dicky.”

“Yep, that’s him, alright.”

“With the same silly smirk on his face. Great work by the artist.”

“He will be missed. Everybody loved him.”

“Remember back in college? He was a practical joker, always a good laugh.”

“Yes, even with the professors.”

“Then he becomes a clown, volunteering at the Children’s Cancer Research Center Hospital. Always giving back, never asking in return.”

“Entertaining sick children for hours. Coming in every week.”

He told the staff, “I just want to bring joy and laughter to the kids, however long they might have.”

“And then he himself dies of cancer.”

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Story and photo by: Joyce E. Johnson

Hope

The below story is fiction. It is my submission for this week’s 100 word story for the Friday Fictioneers writing group. Comments and feedback are welcomed. Although this particular story is fiction, there are thousands on the east coast that can relate to the story with stories of their own, not fiction, but real and they can testify to the sadness, the pain and loss of those lost in super storm, Sandy and other storms that have left thousands homeless, misplaced or killed in its wake. My thoughts and prayers are with them all. The mention of the phrase to the “Convoy of Hope” is a tribute to a ministry that my church, and I and my husband supported financially. It is through people like them with the faith, compassion and love that they travel to areas where disasters have hit to bring help and supplies to those affected by storms and chaotic events that have disrupted or taken lives.

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Hope

“It could be days before power is restored.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll get through this. There are hundreds more in the same boat.”

He smiled at the irony of his analogy.

“Nothing works. No heat. Even those old batteries in the jar are ruined from moisture. Most of our furnishings and things are still sitting under two feet of water. What are we going to do? I can’t take this!”

He wrapped his arms around her, warming her.

Moments later, a large truck pulled up, full of supplies. Men jumped out.

“We’re from the ‘Convoy of Hope’, here to help.”

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Posted November 15, 2012 by Joyce in Faith, Friday Fictioneers, Short Fiction, Writing

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Restored

The below story is fiction. It is my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers 100 word story based on a photo prompt. I was traveling and on a trip during the two – three weeks I missed submitting a story. Comments and feedback are welcome.

Thank you, Rochelle for the photo, the encouragement, the wonderful friendship we’ve had through the years, and the camaraderie we also share as writers of fiction.

And also I want to thank Madison Woods (a.k.a. Roxanne Phillips) for her past photo prompts, helpful tips with Word Press, and the encouragement she offered too, for all her work with Friday Fictioneers. It has been fun, and getting to know other writers this way, a valuable asset to me as a writer.

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RESTORED

She sat anxious, waiting, and afraid.

“Carol, are you ready?”

“Yes.”

Carefully, the doctor unwrapped the bandages from around her face and head. About all that was left exposed were her eyes, although still red and swollen.

The glass partition in his waiting room reminded her of the thick coat of ice on her car’s windshield that day of the storm, and the horrible accident, breaking facial bones, scarring her with shattered glass.

Her husband sat with her, also anxious, but hopeful, holding her hand, squeezing encouragement.

When the doctor was done, he handed her a mirror.

“Honey, you’re beautiful!”

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When the Heavens Declare His Glory

When the Heavens Declare His Glory


A tree stands silhouetted

Against an amber sky.

I wonder at the sight

Watching from my window,

At golden hues in orange and yellow

Spread across the horizon.

Like an artist with brush strokes

God paints the heavens with his finger

Merging shades that turn

Dusk into nightfall,

And I imagine all creation

Shouting out his name,

Yahweh! Our God.

In song, adoration and praise.

Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson

Photo credit: T. Wayne Johnson

Nov., 2012

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Posted November 8, 2012 by Joyce in Faith, Inspirational Poems, My Photos, Photography, Poems, Seasons, Writing

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Home: A Nice Place to Be

Home. It is a nice place to be, and always a nice place to return to after a trip.

It has been over three weeks since I last posted, but have been traveling. Revisiting our old town of Independence, Mo., seeing our old house of nine years which was our first real home as a family where we welcomed our first child, and the streets where we walked our daughter to school, walked our dog, hung out with neighbors, friends, rode our bikes, and the list goes on. But, being away made me miss my home here in Loveland, Co., having been gone from the former for over thirty years. Twelve days on the road traveling through Ks., Mo., Il., Ind., and Ky. to visit family members, friends and relatives was nice, but I was ready to return home to Colorado, to my own kids and grandkids. We get kind of spoiled and grow accustomed to our own things and in general just our current ‘nesting place’.

It does give us a new perspective on things though while gone and seeing how life goes on in other places, foreign or familiar. The changing times and distance can change the way we view things when not living there again. I think I can relate to the way a mother bird feels when she flies away to visit places once gone to, only to return to her current, familiar place called ‘home.’

It was fun browsing and shopping in antique stores, hanging out with my sisters in places where we spent what seemed like hours looking for good ‘deals.’ Then there were the long walks along the Mo. River, through the neighborhoods looking at the colorful trees with the changing leaves, the fresh look of autumn. Those were the times my husband and I enjoyed the most. Getting the ‘perfect shot’ with our cameras everywhere we went was a venture requiring patience, charged batteries, and just the right light, and time of day. Driving almost 3,000 miles through all kinds of weather, good or bad, heavy traffic, or no traffic, getting out to stretch our legs, do quick rabbit runs, or a turtle walk around the parking lots at rest areas depended on how my stiff joints felt after long hours in the car filled with luggage, a cooler, and shopping bags with goodies and bargains. It was a great trip, but am happy to be back home and once again in a familiar routine.

The picture here is one taken at home, in Loveland of our little bird house perched among the colorful changing leaves in October.


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