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

Book News: What I Read Recently

  1. Grounded by Neta Jackson: a Christian novel quite a cut above the usual, and not the ubiquitous romance.
  2. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: a literary read of contemporary life with a main thread of fantasy woven in expertly.  The end wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted.
  3. Spin State, Chris Moriarty: I tried, I really tried to get into this recent sf work, but I couldn’t.

Quick Tips from the Writing Notes

Hopefully these one-liners I’ve collected on the craft of writing will help you, and perhaps not just in writing.

  • DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY
  • Be true to your I.Q.
  • Embrace idiosyncrasies
  • Make them laugh and/or make them cry
  • “…a lot of times if you’re finding that you’re having to describe things with a lot of adverbs, find a stronger verb instead” – CJ Lyons interview
  • Go beyond the five senses
  • Forget about being pretty
  • Don’t fall into stereotypes
  • Verbs are the foot soldiers of action-based description”

 

“Passengers had a water leak an hour ago.” The air suddenly seemed to sharpen.
Water had been critical to interstellar travel from the beginning. Reclamation tech had never lived up to its promise, and building craft with large enough water supply tanks proved too expensive for most. So, ships like the Pinoche carried less water, relying on carefully planned stops along the route to collect ice.

A Recent Writing Exercise: Beach Prompt

Some time ago I pulled this prompt from Writer’s Digest University’s “Showing Character Emotion“. As an exercise I recently wrote a snippet in response.  It resonates with me because of the beach experiences of my childhood. The snippet is in draft form; I’ll be returning at some point to polish it by convey more emotion, directly and indirectly.

“Create a character who’s favorite place is the beach. Describe her thoughts as she stands on the sand and looks out at the ocean; use specific, imaginative, and active verbs.”

My response:
Continue reading