Archive for January 2013

Casting Apparitions

Every week a photo is posted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields provided by her, or someone else for the benefit of inspiring writers from all over the globe to submit their own 100 word story based on the photo prompt.  Below is my story. It is pure fiction in the literal sense, entertaining, but never autobiographical of any experience I, or anyone I know, have experienced. My characters, plots and locations are those of my own creation, and from the world of ‘make believe.’ They are not indicative of my own beliefs, or perspectives, necessarily, but of their own, real or imagined. You may find all my prior 100 word stories under the category of Friday Fctioneers, Flash Fiction, or Short Fiction if you are new to my blog and wish to go back and read any of my older stories. I welcome you to come along with me to my imaginary world of ‘make believe.’

Joyce E. Johnson

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Casting Apparitions (Friday Fictioneers Flash fiction, Jan., 31)

“Your piece is shaping up, nicely. Add a little more detail here though. Who are they?” My art instructor asked.

“They’re my ancestors.”

“Oh, yes. Your other passion. Family history.” 

“Right. One is Robert Walpole from the British parliament, the other, Ludwig Van Beethoven.”

“Oh! Really?”

“Seriously.”

Their images shared the space with other old family documents.

They came to her that night again, while she lay sleeping.

Two white apparitions; Beethoven, performing symphony #9 on the piano.

And Walpole; pounding his gavel on the old, rustic, withered white bench. “Guilty as charged!”

Music to her ears.

She slept.

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Joyce E. Johnson

Portrait of Beethoven in 1815, two years after...

Portrait of Beethoven in 1815, two years after the premiere of his 7th Symphony.

English: Robert Walpole prime minister of Brit...

Robert Walpole

British Parliament


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Priorities verses Procrastination

Priorities verses procrastination.

Priorities: to pick or choose what is most important to me, then make time for it, whatever else. There is often not enough time for it all.

Procrastination: there are often too many things and projects that are left undone, or put off for another time, or day. Then I have to go back to determine what is most important with the time I use for that which I have put off.

Does anyone else have a problem with this? Setting priorities, then keeping to a routine that works to balance all those important to your life? There are days when I waste time I should have utilized better; when every moment and hour counts, but I don’t count them all important enough to do what I put off.

Then, there are times when I want to crowd more projects or things into a day, when the 24 hours to a day does not seem adequate enough. We are the stewards of our time. Trying to be a good steward of my time means setting priorities, aside from those that are essential (like allowing an adequate number of hours of rest and exercise to maintain good health). The remainder of my day is adjusting that which is left to things that are important to my fulfillment, as a person and as a writer. Balancing all means no more procrastinating of those priorities.

But, time can be too structured, leaving little for the flexible. Allowing for the flexible means adjusting time allotments where I don’t have to feel guilty when I fail to meet my own expectations. Those include times when emergencies or other unscheduled things come up that take priority over everything else. Especially, when it involves my family. For those things there is no adjusting to a secondary agenda. For my girls and my grandchildren, I make those moments count.

That leaves my writing: a personal priority I deem most important, allowing that time for projects, yet unfinished, works in progress, and those I have only ideas for, but not started. Fiction heads the list in this priority category, and my longer stories of novel/book length heads the ‘fiction’ category. What follows after that are the shorter fiction or flash fiction pieces, 100 word stories that I am using to turn into longer pieces of fiction. That includes stories, ideas, plots to map out, and characters to create. That is fun, but is a lot of work, so needs a lot of time. Again, the organizing of projects, fitting in time sequences to allow for work on each, and finishing each to its final, edited draft with no more procrastination on any.

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Joyce E. Johnson

 

Posted January 28, 2013 by Joyce in Writing

Tagged with

“I Do, Take Thee…” – (Flash Fiction, 100 word count stories, Friday Fictioneers), Jan., 23

Every week a photo is posted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields provided by her, or someone else for the benefit of inspiring writers from all over the globe to submit their own 100 word story based on the photo prompt.  Below is my story. It is pure fiction in the literal sense. My characters, plots and locations are those of my own creation. You may find all my prior 100 word stories under the category of Friday Fictioneers, Flash Fiction, or Short Fiction if you are new to my blog and wish to go back and read any of my older stories. I welcome you to come along with me to my imaginary world of ‘make believe.’ And as always, feedback and comments are welcome.

Joyce E. Johnson

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Palms swayed. Wind blew off the Keys. The surf was up, the tide coming in. The sun was high and bright, a beautiful day.

It has been over forty years since we declared our love to one another on Valentine’s Day, our wedding day, here. Today, we will renew our vows. But, will he remember any of it? Alzheimer’s has claimed his mind, his memory, our time left, and our love. I cannot think, or hope beyond this day.

I pushed his wheelchair onto the old, creaking boardwalk, our children walking beside us.

Will he remember any of it?

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Joyce E. Johnson

The Daily Post Writing Challenge, The Devil is in the Details

I guessed him to be about five feet, eleven inches, with chocolate-brown eyes that drew me in. I could not help but stare. A lock of hair, the color of bronze fell stubbornly over his forehead. A man with skin color like Russian Amber, as if he soaked up the sun at Odessa’s Black Sea Resort Club had me wondering how many women he had trailing in his wake.

His English, although fluent enough to understand left me asking him to repeat things. It was I who was embarrassed, trying to focus on the interview. His ancestry was Russian. His dialect was Ukrainian. And his dark pinstriped suit, impeccable.  At the age of thirty-eight with a PhD in political science and cultural studies from the University of Odessa, Russia, one did not question his credentials or qualifications to the appointment as Consulate of Domestic and Foreign Affairs in Ukraine.

His charm was electrifying, irresistible even to those who disagreed with him, or criticized his work ethics. Could I trust him to advise me? As handsome as he was, his manner refined, polished and practiced I held back.  What was behind that teasing – almost sexy – smile? I was a novice at this kind of business, a thirty-one year old single woman, an American in a foreign country. I was his guest. He was my sponsor.

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Joyce E. Johnson

“Missing” – Friday Fictioneers 100 word story – Historical Fiction, Jan. 16, 2013

“Sasha. I told you before. You cannot color on mama’s pictures. They are very old, very special.”

She picked up the crayons, handing them to him. “Here, you go color on the paper I gave you.”

“Yes, Mama.”

Irina set out fresh candles for the menorah, gleaming from a recent polish.

The phone rang. She was too busy to talk, but answered.

Maybe it is Jacob. Why is he so late getting home?

“Irina? It is I, Isaac. Jacob did not report for work. Some of the workers were roughed up, outside the factory. Jacob was…”

“No!”

Not my Jacob!

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Tranquil Reflections

Misc 005

It was Autumn when I took this picture. My husband and I, and our dog did our usual walk that day. This is a popular walking trail, along the Big Thompson River. On that day the water was calm. The air was still with little wind. Squirrels were out at play, crows and woodpeckers could be heard all along the trail. It was one of those tranquil moments one can only capture on film. It is why I like to have my camcorder or camera with me for just these times: instilled serenity, where I can go back and view it on film or photo. I’m waiting for warmer weather again to have more of these moments. But, then there are more people and dogs out on the trail too, more noise, and less of the quiet. So, we enjoy these times when they are warm, tranquil and calm, lazy and slow.

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Liquid Gold

Misc 008

My husband took this picture when he and I, and our dog were out on one of our daily walks along the Big Thompson River in Loveland in the Autumn of 2012.  The reflection from the green-gold colored hues of the river made the photo all the more beautiful to me although it may seem like the water had turned rancid or slimy from the continual runoff over the rocks.I have found the river walks comforting and a consoling place to be.

On longer drives up through our canyons and Rockies west of Loveland we often stop and picnic by the river and enjoy the rippling sounds the water makes when it is running low. It can be very peaceful and soothing. The landscape changes from season to season and we have seen the rivers and lakes around here flowing over their banks when there is flooding from too much rain or runoff. Then, it is like the rapids, and roars through the canyons with a vengeance if full with high water. It has the strength and force of nature to wipe out everything in its path: village properties, resorts and canyons, as did the Big Thompson River Flood in 1976 that killed 144 people.   

But, we have also seen the water levels so low, from drought like we had last year that they nearly dried up completely, looking scorched, the ground baked and cracked. That is when the wildlife and birds leave to go find water elsewhere. The Big Thompson River and the Cache la Poudre River were running very low after a very dry season without rain, or adequate snowfall. When we took this picture we had recently received a good rain, refilling and replenishing many of the river basins. Colorado is still way under the required water levels needed to adequately provide for and serve the needs around these regions. When the country – not just our state – experienced the devastating wildfires last year, much of the water to fight those fires had to be drained from rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. The High Park fire last year came too close to our own four-acre lot in Glacier View Meadows. But, it was spared. 

I hope things will be better this year and we receive the needed amount of moisture, whether it is in the form of snow, or rain. And hopefully the number of wildfires will be decreased substantially. We can only hope and pray we have enough and don’t experience another year like last year. It is why I call this ‘Liquid Gold.’ It is how I see water with a new perspective. 

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