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

A milestone of a finished draft… of part 1

I’ve completed a draft of the first part of the first episode of the Salvage project. May not seem much, but it took a great deal of honing my writing craft to get here.

If you’re interested in being a beta reader, let me know. I will — hopefully — cruise to the novel’s midpoint by early next year. The time I’ve taken to hone the plot and supporting scenes should really help.

November Writing Status

Part 1 of Salvage, Episode 1, is almost drafted! It’s taken awhile, but it’s closer than it’s ever been. So exciting!

There’s always more to learn about the craft of writing, and more to revise. Meanwhile, I’m also starting to work on finding beta readers. If you’re interested in being one, let me know.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dim lights flickered on, illuminating curved metal walls extending into darkness. While he waited, he put one hand on the smooth metal, envisioning the giant struts just outside, encasing the tube and holding the water tanks fast to the body of Brio’s Hope.
From down the corridor came soft sounds, a light series of tapping soon followed by tiny green lights swirling around the tube, moving closer. Soon he could see the crowd of centipede-like robots spiraling around the corridor walls, the cleaning brushes sweeping around conduit and pipe. They soon streamed around him, on their way to their docking stations.

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.

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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