Welcome

Dear Reader,

Welcome to my website!  Feel free to take a look around.

In work.   My primary work in progress is currently an episodic science fiction series code-named the Salvage project.  Simmering behind Salvage is a science fiction short story, Out of the Blue, that may be evolving into a novel of its own.   My mainstream novel, the Sifa and Peter project, is on hold.  And, as much as my son loves Zeddy and Bubba, my planned children’s series, I may drop the concept due to the unwieldiness of a science-based travelogue for kids between 7 and 10.  My main focus right now is honing my writing skills with the science fiction series to better prepare for Sifa and Peter.

Background.  In my former career I worked on software for over a million personal computers, for three multi-million-dollar NASA spacecraft, and for helping pilots navigate.   Read more about my background here.

Get Updates.   You can also subscribe to my email newsletter in the sidebar of this website.   It’ll give you an inside look on my upcoming works, including excerpts, and from time to time it will contain special offers.   If you just want updates to this website, that’s fine, too — you can subscribe by email or RSS in the bottom of the sidebar.

Contact Me.  I’d like to hear from you.   You can reach me through the contact form, Facebook, or email.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cindy Rae Johnson

From Jeff Goins’ article, “Trying to Be a Good Writer is a Complete Waste of Time“:

Don’t be good, be effective
Here’s the solution: Don’t be good. Be effective. Stop trying to be a good writer, and start trying to be effective.

Why? Because “good” is subjective. It’s meaningless. “Good” is an artifact from long ago when writers needed gatekeepers to determine the value of their work. In today’s creative landscape, the goal of writing is connection. Not lukewarm approval. “Effective,” on the other hand, defines a clear relationship between you and the reader. The goal is to be heard, to communicate a clear message to a particular audience.

Writing Status: Salvage, Part 1

The last fraction of Part 1 of Salvage you would think would be easy to finish.  Wrapping it up has been a little more complicated, though.  I’ve spent some time streamlining my writing process, specifically in the spreadsheets where I go from plot elements to scenes to scene elements.  In the process, I’ve detailed each key scene a little more fully.   That seems to be making writing the actual scenes go a little faster.

Continue reading

October Favorite Reads

A busy month, this October.  Here’s few that I liked:

I keep looking through the library and online for a good sf read, but so far I haven’t really liked anything.  Let me know by one of the thousand ways to contact me if you have a good read in any genre.

Well, no, not horror, I don’t read that.  Well, no, not erotica.  I don’t go there.  No, not that dark gruesome mystery or violent-filled thriller, either… I’m not a picky person, really.

Writing Status: Improving Plot Structure for Salvage, Ep. 1

So, sometimes a writer has to tighten her belt, er, plot.   Did I mention my unique talent for making a short story very, very long?  Turns out that’s something to rein in to create a great story.

After research, thought, and analysis, I’ve tightened up the plot for Salvage’s episode 1.

Continue reading

“So, Kili, want a treat?” The doctor held out a jar of lollipops.

It’s “Kaylah.” She shook her head.  Does he think I’m three?

A flicker of a frown crossed his face.  “Suit yourself.”

They were not alone in the cramped medical bay.  Beyond the doctor the medical assistant checked supplies with deft, efficient movements.  The younger man had short hair that spiked up in the oddest directions.  His lip curled up in an odd way on one side, yet, when he had glanced her way…

He seems friendly. More than the doctor, anyway.  I wonder what— 

“How are you enjoying your trip so far?” The doctor offered a false smile.

“It’s okay,” she said softly. I wish Mom had stayed with me. She shifted uneasily.

“It can be scary leaving home for some people.”  He leaned forward and pressed his hands together at the fingertips.

Who does that steepling thing? 

“It’s no big deal,” she said aloud.

“Do you miss Earth?”

Well, duh, it was my home, all I ever knew.  She shrugged.

Behind the doctor the assistant medic looked over his shoulder at her and rolled his eyes.  Her mouth twitched a little, and the burning sensation in her stomach eased.

The doctor continued, “Space is really big. Does it bother you?”

“No.”  What, he can’t use big words? Wait– didn’t he even check my file? My space stuff is all over it.

“How about ship life? Others onboard?” He asked, now scrutinizing the tablet in front of him.

The lights overhead seemed really bright, almost harsh.  Why is he asking about that stuff?