Archive for the ‘Writing’ Tag

THE SCRIBE

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THE SCRIBE

With sheets of old yellowed parchment spread out

the scribe sits down at his splintered worn desk,

and with withered hand he dips his quill

into a thick substance inside the inkwell,

and turns his face towards Heaven, blessed be He,

God of the universe, and praise to the One

who sits on the throne, all the earth be His.

It is not what the scribe hears with audible voice,

but what his heart hears and knows to be true

for that which is given him scribed upon

with sweeping gesture, flourish and swirls

the Hebraic characters penned in ink

are the scribe’s writings on ancient scrolls.

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Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

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.          

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Joyce E. Johnson © 2016

Stairway – the ascending and descending in life, one step at a time

When I was toughing it out through the months of rehab after my two total knee replacements these last few years, to gain full use of the artificial joints it got easier with each step I took, over and over again. The more I took those steps in my stairway at home the easier and more comfortable it got.

In getting back to other things I loved, like hiking and bicycling it was a matter of being ready to advance to the next step in that ‘stairway’ on the mountain ridge in hiking, or climbing up onto the seat of my bicycle.

In life, I think that is true with the steps that allow us opportunity to ascend, or if necessary descend to a ‘floor,’ or level more compatible, conducive in ways that accommodate that which we are not ready yet to take. Those stairways can seem like the hills, or mountains in our life, taking one step at a time. Now, as I contemplate getting back to bicycling, another sport I loved doing – before knee troubles – it again seems like standing at the bottom of a stairway, not certain how, or if I can regain that momentum to ascend one step at a time to where I feel comfortable. It is not a decision I make easily, as I celebrate another birthday and look back on those things that I did when young, and wonder, Can I do it again? Am I ready?

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This is my post for today’s writing prompt in The Daily Post word prompt; Stairway

Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

 

Dusting off my ‘old projects’

There is still only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. It is a new year and we’ve barely started 2016. But, as I have said before, for me each moment counts in itself, and there are those times when I have to reorganize, juggle those priorities, projects and promise (only to myself) that I would finish what I started so very long ago. Admitting to how long I’ve put off my book ‘project’ is too embarrassing to share. 🙂

I lack only a few chapters to complete,  The Informant’s Agenda, re-edit again and do a final draft. But, it is only a third of the way done on another book project, When Dark Closes In, that is also a long-awaited goal shelved for way too long.

Procrastination is what I do best.  🙂  Organizing my time is what I want/hope to do better, and working on those book projects is what suffers as the result of too much time spent on other things. As the minutes of each day tick away into history, those uncompleted projects become more a part of my writing ‘history’ than a possibility or probability of its future. The characters and I in each book have sadly become strangers because of too little contact, and they are not on social media networks.  Now I must resurrect them so I can feel as if they are once again a part of my life in the sense that we can be ‘friends’, and I can begin again to mold them into the characters I see and know.

In the meantime I am absorbing all the instruction and mentoring I can get from a well-known, well published writer friend to help me along the way towards seeing my goal, or goals accomplished. But, sometimes what takes center stage and pushes my book projects to the back is the posting and creating new posts for the blog. So, at times I will need to post less frequently in order to put that required time into my book projects. From time to time I might add a new chapter here to all others posted before, but if not it is not an indication I have not completed it, but because I have improved it, revised or rewritten parts of it, and want it to be the best. We’ll see.

As life goes on, and the minutes and days tick by, so do the years, and we ‘baby boomers’ don’t want to waste any.  This one doesn’t. 🙂

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Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

 

Posted January 11, 2016 by Joyce in My Novel, My Writings, The Informant's Agenda, WHEN DARK CLOSES IN

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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.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

 

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

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Not a tech savvy nerd, but…

At least I am getting to know my way around Windows 8 on my new Dell desktop computer. It has a lot of cool stuff, a lot of apps I won’t probably use, more than I need, but a lot of things that will make my writing, and exploring more fun. I love the fact that it is WiFi compatible, equipped with twice the size of memory and hard disk my old desktop had and keeps up with the current new perks. Although the newer PCs have the ‘all in one’ with computer disk drives built into the monitor, I did choose to get a ‘tower’ again as I like having the disk drives separate from the monitor’s housing, and think it gives better performance and assurance to a longer life.   

On my old (8 years old) Gateway computer I had those weird little square computer faces (‘Snap’ pages?) on the screen looking back at me with what looked like a wagging tongue hanging out of its mouth, dilated eyes, and measles, was slow, sluggish, and would sometimes just shut down on a whim, even with the highest internet speed. But, surprisingly, my old computer refuses to die or retire altogether, so has been demoted or relegated to a lower position of ‘rank’ and was moved to our basement where it once again is connected, bringing up the games much to my husband’s satisfaction, and even brings in the internet, although slower with a little USB WiFi adapter. It is now all his to maintain, revive or resuscitate when needed. 🙂  

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Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 

Posted October 9, 2014 by Joyce in My Writings

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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.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

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