Archive for the ‘Creative Writing’ Tag

Things I’ve learned in writing

The things I’ve learned over forty-two years of writing since my first poem are numerous. All that I’ve learned are either through experience – what worked, what didn’t – and the much-needed instruction and information gleaned from instructors, mentors and successful published authors.

I absorb all that I learn. To get a foothold into a real publishing venue of credible, significant standing it is an ongoing process of self-improvement as a writer. The number of self publishing, vanity type venues that feed their till and their reputation on the cash and costs required of writers wanting to see their name on a book jacket is becoming as long a list as the number of writers needing representation. Who should a writer trust? What can they expect?

I have read reviews, and writers’ stories and complaints of those they relinquished their book manuscripts to, and researched others I wouldn’t trust with what I’ve spent years writing, or trying to perfect. One can take a risk with no guarantee of their legitimate services and find out that they are not what they really claim to be. In the meantime I work at the craft until I have complete confidence that my work or project is worthy of the best representation, and focus on these points hoping to progress along the way.

  • If not nurtured or practiced every day it can become weak, shallow, meaningless words without any depth.
  • Don’t wait for inspiration to come. Life is full of inspiration, every experience, an opportunity. Use them all. 
  • Use words worthy of enticing readers to the first paragraph, page and chapter, reading clear to the end.
  • In fiction, write to compel and draw them in with a plot that makes them feel as if they are there at the scene, with lead and supportive characters they can relate to, identify with, and feel as if they know them personally.  
  • In fiction, write so as to hold the reader’s attention, with well-chosen words, each page and chapter leading to the next, building emotion, suspense, imagery, descriptive scenes. If memorable it will be embedded in their minds. If a non-fiction work the message should have truth, be unforgettable, influential, life changing. It isn’t the subject or genre that matters so much as the substance in choice, and strength of words used to make a point, deliver a message, or tell a story.

Maybe, it can be said that a writer is only as good as the feedback or reviews received from those who read their works. Being conscious of this should be reason enough to work harder at the craft. It is for me, and what drives me onward, to be that kind of writer.          

 ________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2016

Posted May 15, 2016 by Joyce in My Writings

Tagged with , ,

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.

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015

A Country Taken (Part 2)

When I woke, I saw only the blackness in what seemed like a bunker somewhere below ground level. I heard coughing, the whispered cries of one praying, and agonizing pleas for help.

I felt someone’s breath on my ear as he leaned in.

“What’s your name?”

“Get away!” I hissed.

“I’m not going to hurt you. Just want to talk.”

I said nothing; just scooted closer to my corner of the cell. He moved too, towards me.

“Well, if they’d wanted to kill us they would have done so by now, don’t you think?” he asked.

“Maybe. I don’t know.” My head felt like it would explode. Whatever was in that injection was not something to help or heal, but to finish me.

“The beheadings I think are just a small part of a larger plan to rid the world of us Christians, Jews or by whatever name or label we give ourselves. In their eyes, we’re all ‘infidels’ of some kind or other. I think what they want is to turn us into weapons of terror.” His rambling now had my attention.

“How?” I asked him.

“Well, we all thought we could count on the protection of our country’s administration, police, and military arms of service. But, we were wrong. They acted too late to destroy these terrorists before they came over, infiltrating our country. So, here comes this new wave of ISIS from somewhere. But, where? They’re popping up everywhere, and no one is safe. They behead some, but not everyone. Why? We fought back, but they grew stronger in number, and our little band of resistance fighters grew smaller and weaker. The worst of it is I think the ISIS have plants in the government, maybe in congress, the pentagon, the military.”

“You’re crazy. That’s absurd.”

“Is it?”

“Did they inject you?” he asked.

“Yes. But, if it was an antibiotic it isn’t helping. I’m shivering. My head is burning with a fever, am dizzy, and so… ”

“It is no antibiotic they gave you.”

“Then, what was it? Since you think you have all the answers.”

EBOLA.

____________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015) This is a work of fiction and Part 2 of a 3 part story. Part 1 was posted last week, and Part 3, the conclusion will be posted in a few days.

Trees in transition

084 (2)

Trees in transition,

leaves turning; autumn jewels

gold, red and amber

a profusion of color

bursts forth in rich foliage hues

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)


One year after

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  Nature reclaims what

the flood took away last year.

This weeping willow’s

branches bow with due respect

to trees lost last September

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 Footnotes: This week marks a year for our state when devastating floods from days of unrelenting hard rains and raging high rivers destroyed much of our front range; parks, roads, homes, businesses, even parts of the Interstate highway. It took lives too. Our local newspapers have run stories on surviving families and people who have forged on and begun the rebuilding of their lives and homes again with a strong commitment and determination that is born from tragedy leaving scars and wounds in ways that devastate lives and livelihood. There are other posts on this story in my archives under the Big Thompson River Flood.  And also  here

Ancient Family History

Below is my submission for this week’s Daily Post Writing Challenge Full Tanka

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/full-tanka/ 

 

I pulled from the box

old photos; dour faces

staring back at me;

There is not one, a smile; but

just their sad look that graces

 

our new family

seeking ancient history;

For all they will have

is what is left to pass on

in this box of old faces

 

so I pulled it out

and began with my long search

looking for good clues

but learned it was not to be

so easy once I started

 

so I shoved it all

back into the dusty box

where they all remain

together even this day

sealed inside their box coffin

_______________

Footnotes on the above Tanka poems. This story poem is true fiction in the literal sense as I actually have over 30 years of successful family genealogy on my paternal grandfather’s German family from Russia with boxes full of not just photos of ancestors but piles and stacks of documents and many other resources used throughout the years as well as membership into one of the leading German Russian genealogy organizations. So, even though this story is fiction, my own family is not, and has a long heritage of Germans from Russia.

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)


Farewell Sweet Summer

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves; this photo is one I took a year ago at the peak of Autumn.

 

Farewell sweet summer nights

when a cricket’s chorus

sings to dark, cool skies,

and lulls my slumbering eyes.

When through my window, a breeze

 turns to early dew,

and blooms shiver in the morn,

and the rising sun

brings a cold brisk autumn chill.

With the change of season comes

colorful array

of trees that shed their bright coats

now red, amber, gold,

and the harvest’s bounty grown

in abundance on the ground

gathered up and sold

to town markets all around,

with baskets full of

ripe cornucopia found.

Farewell to sweet summer’s end.

 __________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 

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