Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Why I blog

Many years ago I would never have thought about doing a blog. I was always a very private person, more of an introvert. When I opened one with Word Press in 2011 I left it idle for a whole year without posting anything publicly. I didn’t think I wanted to open myself up to the world out there with my personal stuff. My first draft was never posted. It sat in the draft folder for a whole year. I was still grieving over having lost my dog to an incurable disease after spending ten wonderful years with him. The decision to have him euthanized rather than suffer through his illness was still too painful to even share and I wondered if I could ever feel open enough to share the things that touched my soul so deeply. Except for some articles, poems and stories that were published by a traditional publisher prior to that time I felt that a blog would require more of myself than I was willing to share.

When I finally felt ready to go public and come out of my introverted self, I opened up other social media accounts; Facebook and Twitter. I saw the way others posted with such candor and graphic accounts of their lives, the good, the bad and the ugly. I said to myself, Do I really want to do this? Expose myself to strangers? Will anyone care what I have to say, or write? Will my poems or stories resonate with anyone out there? Yet, I could not deny how much I loved to write, and thought at least if I put it out there, be bold enough to bare my soul, share my life, maybe I have something to offer. People are hurting, from things we don’t know anything about. What if a kind word from someone, who cared enough to share encouraging thoughts, words, or prayers was enough to make a difference? Wouldn’t it be worth it, if someone was helped by something I contributed via my blog, Facebook or Twitter?

The number of ‘likes’, ‘follows’, or ‘friends’ one gains is not important if another one who reads it is encouraged or helped by what is shared. A story, post or picture does not have to be sensational. It doesn’t have to be a part of a photo posting competition or word prompt to see who posts the best. I don’t care to advertise how many ‘follows’ or ‘likes’ I have to know that my ‘reflections’ and perspective on things are appreciated by someone. Just sending it out there is all that really matters. It is why I blog.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

Posted July 10, 2017 by Joyce in blogging, My Writings, Writing

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Remembering 9-11

Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson, 1998

World Trade Center Twin Towers, New York City, April 1998

It was April 1998, when my husband, Wayne and I took this vacation, and these pictures.  We flew into New York City to Laguardia airport on a weekday, picked up a rental car and traveled north up to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, across upper New York to Niagara Falls, down through Pennsylvania, in to Maryland, Washington D.C.,  Delaware and back into New York City and Staten Island before leaving for home from Laguardia. It was a whirlwind trip in nine days as we covered all of the upper northeast and New England from the east side to the west and back again in a loop.

While in New York City those final three days we took a ferry-boat over to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Battery Park. As we toured scenic sights of Manhattan taking pictures we stood in front of a memorial at Battery Park dedicated to the early immigrants who came ashore to the U.S., processed through Castle Gardens there before Ellis Island opened up in 1892.  It was a very emotional time for me as I walked about that park, looking up at the Statue of Liberty and wondering what the immigrants thought, what they saw when arriving through the portals of our country’s immigration processing centers.

My grandfather and his family were Germans who came over from Odessa, Russia, and were processed through Castle Gardens like thousands of others. Enduring hardships, making sacrifices to come over to America immigrants by the thousands came over on ships, hopeful to begin a new life here. They were as diverse in color of skin, religion, faith, occupation, and status in life as those in our country today. But, the one thing that bound them all together was their desire to begin a new life in a better place  than the one they had come from, and live it in freedom away from tyranny, and anarchy. Poor, destitute, seeking a new life in a country offering so much, to those having so little, they came, hopeful, committed, and excited to become an American.

New York was at that time the primary gateway into America. The hope of prosperity, the right to choose their own destiny, occupation and the promise of an education gave them a sense of purpose without rules and regulations enforced upon them by a dictator.

My grandfather was only three years old when they immigrated. His greatest dream was to become a naturalized citizen and vote in a real election for his country’s president. He worked hard, got an education and cherished every day and moment he had in life to be all he could be with God’s help.

As I stood in front of Battery Park taking pictures I was amazed at how tall and large the Twin Towers of the WTC were, as  they towered above all other skyscrapers in Manhattan. Such a stark contrast to all the rest of those in the skyline they were like beacons to our country’s business district,  icons of the American dream of success.

Who would have believed that just a few short years later we would see the annihilation and obliteration of the World Trade Centers’ Twin Towers, and attempts made to destroy our country’s capitol, and the pentagon as well?  The horrific event on September 11, 2001 killing almost 3,000 people will live forever in our memory and hearts.

As Americans we owe a debt we can never repay to our military servicemen and women  for what they did so we can have this freedom. Having fought, or died in wars protecting it we can only support them, honor them, pray for them, and thank them for their sacrifice, and service. This is my way of paying tribute to them, to our firefighters, and police officers for what they did then, and do now to protect our lives and freedom here in the U.S.

May we never forget.

****************

I am re-posting this blog post today, in commemoration of the fourteenth anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York city.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

The Written Word


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1848 – The printing year of this antiquated Bible. I was recently given this bible from someone. I love rare and antique books, and collecting classics.

My own study NIV Bible I use today

My own personal study NIV Bible

 

From quill to papyrus, or pen to paper

from cable to typewriter, to keyboard device

words have traveled down through the ages of time

written on scrolls, copied, or transcribed;

they came to be an integral tool expressing our voice

like a sonnet of tales, fabled or true,

not always believed, nor always rhymed.

But, poet or storyteller, essayist too,

memoirist, or scribe; their words, old or new;

if rewarded publication on printed page,

and kept in circulation via demand or reprint

they filled libraries, bookstores, institutions and schools.

But, there is one over all I treasure most

among my revered collected few.

It is God’s words and works within

one bound volume by writers He chose

to record and document all they knew.

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Joyce E. Johnson © 2015

The right word at the right time

As a writer our words can be profound, even memorable, but it is our life lived before others that will have the greatest impact. If what we write is not remembered, saved or shared by the reader then maybe how we respond and communicate back to that one might. We may never know what the reader is getting from anything we write if they do not leave a comment, but just to know that what we write, share and post can be of a positive, encouraging word to one at just the right time is something worth striving for; the right word and message to the one who needs or needed it at just that opportune time. And what about those who never comment, give feedback, ‘follow’ or ‘like’ what we’ve written? It doesn’t really matter if what we write or wrote was just the right word or post for that time. A word posted or written for a particular time or season delivered the right way does matter. It is something I care about as a writer.

Writing can also entertain just for the sake of the reader’s enjoyment. I love to entertain that way with whimsical poems or stories and have fun with them while writing them. Then there are just times when I want to incorporate a message of faith, encouragement, hope or support in something I write and send out. If I have asked God to help me know what to write, and ask Him to bless it and to bless the reader receiving it I am confident that it has gone to that one who needed it that day. That is worth it all.

_____________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

 

Posted May 3, 2015 by Joyce in blogging, Faith, My Writings, Writing

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AND HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED

AND HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED

Nestled snugly to her breasts the baby wrapped in cloth

was cradled in his mother’s arms, her voice comforting and soft.

The beating of her heart, her milk and warm embrace

left him feeling so content when he looked into her face.

Livestock gathered near to ward off wind and chill;

They shared their sheltered space quiet, cold and still.

Heaven’s glory filled the skies immersing them in joy.

Radiant beams of light gushed towards the baby boy.

The story of his birth was heard throughout the land,

“The prophesied Messiah is born in Bethlehem.”

People came from all around to see the child king,

“Where is he that is born those angels about him sing?”

There was much rejoicing as shepherds ran to see

the baby born to the world, the prophesied to be.

Magi heard the news traveling from places far

with gifts for the baby king guided by the star.

Kneeling before the Savior they stretched out hands in praise;

God’s unfolding gift of love, how awesome His wondrous ways.

Mary pondered all these things and marveled how, that He

from one; a virgin came the Son of God, Jesus, Majesty.

***********

MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALL!  

Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

Footnotes: Although I published this post last Christmas I am re-posting it again with my wishes to all for a very blessed and wonderful Christmas and a happy new year in 2015.

Where lies the remains of Annie C. Maguire

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Portland Head lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

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Memorial to the capsized British vessel, Annie C. Maguire, 1886

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A mist roles in from a cold, dark sea.

Waves kick up, thrashing the British barque.

Wind gusts rip sails from the bowing masthead.

A deep guttural sound bellows to the surface from under the ship’s hull.

She hits rock, breaking apart on impact.

Caught in her rigging she turns and twists in its knotted embrace. 

The Annie Maguire drifts, its SOS not acknowledged.

Were there none to hear her distress signals sent?

Darkness descends.

A bullhorn sounds, and the cone-shaped glow of light emerges.

The lighthouse; a beacon to the capsized ship and crew.

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Footnotes: Mystery surrounds the capsized Annie C. Maguire British vessel. Miraculously her crew was saved and rescued on Christmas Eve, 1886, when the ship went aground during a storm, but the ship’s remains were never recovered. You can find images and information on this vessel and story here

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 


 

 

 

Words, Words, I Need More Words

This is my response to The Daily Post, Writers’ Block Party

WORDS, WORDS, I NEED MORE WORDS

When words don’t come

and I wonder why

for all the words

there are. I’ll try

to write until

I’m out of words

and look for more

many more words.

There in this world

are words that be

found richly packed

in books for me,

words that tell

stories you see

so write I shall

forever until

there’s no more words

to write and fill

page after page

of  words written by me.

_____________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

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