Archive for June 2012

Friday Fictioneers, June 29, – The Raspberry Patch

“Mama! Look! Raspberries!” Pudgy bear said, plucking a handful, stuffing his mouth full.

“You did good, son. Your hunting instincts have improved. Now save some for your sister.” Said mama bear.

“She can find her own. You told us to find our own food, and eat all we find.”

“But she is smaller than you. She needs more. This time, you share.”

“Grrrr!” Pudgy growled at his sister.

“I’m littler than you.”  Sweetums bear said.

Goldilocks crouched down, hiding in the trees, holding her breath, and her basket of berries.

I should have listened to my mama, and stayed home!

Posted June 28, 2012 by Joyce in Friday Fictioneers, Short Fiction, Writing

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Friday Fictioneers – June 22, Melon Felon

The below story is my 100 word Friday Fictioneers story submitted for June 22, in Madison Woods Friday Fictioneers: Thank you Madison for the opportunity to be a part of Friday Fictioneers, and providing the photo prompts to use for the inspiration. Here is my entry for this week. Got it right to 100 words again, and has sure  been a lot of fun. Feedback and comments are welcome.


“I have stomach pain. My head feels hot. Chills, headache, nausea. I hurt all over.”

“What did you eat?”

“Just some cantaloupe.”

More questions.


“The farmer’s market.”

I overheard their quiet discussion, something about a shipment of cantaloupe. It’s exposure to infected… flies? Carrying what?

Cantaloupe? I loved it. I thrived on fruit during my weight loss, to get the weight off… to get healthy.

Can’t hold up my head. Feeling faint. So dizzy. Don’t remember anymore.

Drifting, in and out, everything, everyone, fuzzy.

Shadows, forms rushing around me.

“Quick! The paddles.”

“Hurry! We’re losing her.”

“Good! She’s stable!”


Posted June 21, 2012 by Joyce in Friday Fictioneers, Short Fiction, Writing

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Not My Dwelling Place

It has been like watching a wild roller coaster gone amok, jumping the track destroying acres upon acres of Colorado’s hills,  meadows and mountains. Well over 100,000+ acres in Colorado has been burned in the last two to three weeks. We know that the forest trees with the pine beetle kill needs to be consumed for a regeneration process to take hold and bring new growth. But, it is difficult to watch what we loved changed, to make way for the new, and for new growth to take place.

Yet, it is in the aftermath of lost homes and our beautiful Rockies that grips the heart, and wears down the spirit when one has to watch it all reduced to ashes and cinder. Whether it is someone’s primary residence, a cabin, or a quiet little camping refuge nestled among the pines, cedars and firs, atop the mountain peaks, it was ‘home,’ before the fire.

It is hard to financially and materially rebuild what has been lost. Rebuilding after a fire is difficult, or maybe even impossible to the average homeowner with a mortgage. It can never look the same, feel the same or hold the same memories as the one they had before. Still, one has to start over, somewhere and begin to heal. Lives lost, however cannot be replaced. A beloved pet that could not be taken, or died as a result of the fire can neither be replaced.

It is when these storms in life come and take from us what cannot be replaced that leaves one feeling the hopelessness and despair. It leaves one often wondering, What else is there out there that God or man can take from me when I have lost it all?

I do not believe it is God’s will to purposely take from us what he has given us, or blessed us with. But, when disasters come for those who do not know him there is a void He wants to fill that cannot be destroyed. It is what, and Who we hold in our heart that carries us through those times and storms like none other. 

God does not dwell in a house of mortar or stone, but in a heart made pliable by the potter’s hands.

This earth is not our home, but a temporary dwelling place.

In Acts 7:48-50, Stephen, one of the apostles defended the gospel of Jesus Christ, replying to the Jewish Sanhedrin who accused him of blasphemy, and disobedience to the Jewish law.

“The Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord. ‘Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’”

Stephen was stoned to death for his defense of the gospel, but the gospel lived on and lives on today. God becomes our refuge through the gift of His son, Jesus Christ. When storms come, and fires rage we have that assurance that though we may lose our earthly home it is in Him we dwell, and there is no destroying that. Sometimes, it is during these times that God wants to make new what needs to be changed.


COPING WITH REALITY – The wildfires in northern Colorado

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Coping with reality is often one of the most difficult things to do. One can only wish it was fiction, like the fiction I have written and shared on this blog site. But, life happens. Not all of it pretty. Not all of it sane. And in the aftermath of destruction, or chaos to see if there was any good that came from it maybe depends on one’s perspective. But, when we cannot see any, God can, and the future beyond it, if we believe there is a reason and purpose in His plan.

I will use the illustration of an event happening this week where  my husband and I, and our family live. Wildfire, the worst our county has ever seen has been raging through our region and mountains here in northern Colorado. We have waited through this entire week to see if the fires would spread further, hoping it would be contained. We remain hopeful that beauty will come forth from the ashes and embers burning our beloved Rockies. This is one of those difficult things to deal with, as I hope and pray for the rain to come and a rainbow to burst through the smoke-filled skies with a promise that God will bring new growth, lush  green trees, tall and erect, to our spacious beautiful mountains again. Colorado is my birthplace, a place I have always felt my true home although I have lived in other states and regions.

The devastating pine beetle infestation on the trees and their destruction is the only good thing I can think of that is the good to come from the fires. But, the destruction of homes and property where people have built their lives, raised families, or even just taken their families to picnic, camp out, climb a peak, or take a rafting trip down the Cache La Poudre River may be but only memories pushed back into history.

My husband and I own property in a part that sits in wait right now to see if it will be spared. We have had our lot in Glacier View Meadows for over twenty years now. Our grandchildren were just babies when we took them up there with us to enjoy the camp-out, campfires, smores, hikes, and family outings. The remains of five (dogs) of our family’s pets are even buried up on our lot. They all loved the wide open space, and roamed it, as did we all, enjoying Spring rains that preceded the blooming of beautiful wildflowers in the summer, strong winds that blew the smell of our fragrant Cedar trees, Douglass fir, and Ponderosa pines across the mountain’s landscape, and fresh, deep snows that promised a good supply of run off in our streams and rivers. It was ‘postcard’ picture perfect and we relished every picture of our secondary home and family refuge. Our collection of pictures and videos show it all the way it once was before the fire. But, the way we imagine it can look after the fire is one implanted in our minds and hearts we don’t want to keep, but have to cope with. It is reality.

So, we wait. And we keep praying: for the protection of the firefighters and rescue crews, for the wild life and animals, pets – large and small – to make it down and out of harms way, and for the homeowners’ homes to be spared. But, that is not the case as many have lost their homes in the fires. One life has been lost in the fire. We are thankful there has not been more. Homes can be rebuilt, new trees planted or regrown from seedlings popping up months later. But, there is no replacing a loved one lost, or a pet that lived a part of its life with one, now gone. 

Chaos, and catastrophic events ordained or allowed by God cannot be explained. One cannot know when to expect them, or even how to be prepared for them. But, we can be ready to go regardless our fate when we know the one who holds our destiny in His hands. It is ultimately in His control, and we must just deal with it, coping with it the best we can. I am thankful I know my Redeemer lives. It is what makes the coping with reality not easy, but more bearable. And it is with Him where I count it my real home, one day.





Friday Fictioneers – WHERE ARE WE?

Friday Fictioneers 100 word story (June 15, 2012) – “Where Are We?”

Note: First off, I can honestly say that this sixth story of mine is once again exactly 100 words, except for a title I added. Second: The below story is true, not fiction as all the ones prior to this have been. This event happened exactly as told,  exactly at this time last year in June (2011) when my husband and I were vacationing in Glacier National Park, Montana. To fill in a little bit more on what really happened I will add a few of the details. We started out on a trail after parking our car and got lost for over two hours in the rain. The fright at being lost, and maybe running into a grizzly bear was as real as can be imagined. We had already had one encounter with a black bear two days prior when one ran right out in front of our car while driving down the road. I am a believer in the power of prayer. I depend on God for his divine protection and mercy, every day.  It is my faith that keeps me strong, focused. So, I take nothing for granted.  When Madison Woods posted the picture prompt for this week’s Friday Fictioneers story,  it was like experiencing this adventure all over again. The picture was so much like the ones I took  while on our trip  that I am going to post mine here instead of re-posting Madison’s. I don’t know where her picture was taken, but mine here were taken in the Glacier National Park the day we went on that hike when hiking through the forest, an adventure I and my husband are not likely to forget.




With every step, and thump of my walking stick the bell jingled, loudly. My eyes anxiously darted around every tree, rock, bend in the trail. Do they smell me, hear me? 

Grizzly bear habitat, Glacier National Park, Montana. The rain continued, cold.

“We’re lost. There’s no path. We don’t have our map, nor a compass.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll get us back. Wait here. I’m going to look for our car.”

I waited alone, praying, scared. God, where are we? Where is he? I’m going. I can’t stay here. Please help!

I walked on.

There he is.  Our car. We’re safe.


FRIDAY FICTIONEERS 100 word story, June 8, “BOMB SCARE!”

Superbowl, Sunday.

“What?! Did you say bomb? Confirmed? Where? The blimp? How can that be…?”

I looked up. It hovered over the stadium, the object of impending death and destruction.

“Evacuate? There are over two hundred thousand seated in this stadium. OK, sir. Right away. We’ll get started, but send me more officers. It will be pandemonium, chaos.”

People ran, pushing, shoving, climbing over seats, over people, desperate.

“Get out of my way!”


Every seat, now emptying as people merged into the swarm rushing at the stairwells, elevators, ramps.

I jerked, waking up. Again! Dreaming the same dream.

Posted June 7, 2012 by Joyce in Friday Fictioneers, Short Fiction, Writing

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Down the coast and out to sea,

a voice, a whisper beckons me.

It is the sound of her calling my name.

Would she still love me, a man with my shame?

Will she remember the hands that caressed

her face and body, and how I confessed

of the love and tenderness for her in my heart,

wrenched and torn, when we had to part?

Now, I’m returning and will look for her,

alive with the burning desire to stir

the love we shared when I left for the sea.

I pray she’s still there, waiting for me.

There was a fight. Oh, God! What a mess.

It was late that night. I drank to excess.

I did not know, but did not care

that her husband knew of our love affair.

Coming alive with a fist to my jaw

intent on surviving once the knife I saw

I sprang with shifting feet in dread,

landing a blow with my right to his head,

then felt the piercing pain and might

of flashing silver turned crimson bright.

With his knife to my flesh, and muscle it tore.

Bleeding and enraged I came down and bore

the knife I captured, to his chest then came

in self-defense went at him the same.

His breathing stilled, and he lay dead.

Was justice served this way instead?

I went away broken, feeling despair

leaving her behind, her grief to bear.

Like an anchor weighed down

with heavy remorse

wherever I sailed, wherever my course

I could not forget how she once loved me.

Now I’m returning from a dark, cold sea.


Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson



Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson © 2009


A blushing face under a bonnet one day

Stopped my heart and roving eyes that May.

With swishing skirt she coyly walked,

  Her voice, a soft whisper when she talked.

Could she have known? Did she see?

Could she tell from my look how she affected me?

She was like sweet nectar on a flower to be

  Planted beneath the old withered tree.

 Some will say that love is blind,

  That eyes cannot see what the heart doth find;

 A moment of pleasure, a moment in time,

 No word spoken and no thought of mind.

 Like a love that is destined from the start

 Like a bud in bloom from out of the heart.

 Pledging her love that day to me

We embraced beneath the old withered tree.

But there came another. Bold was he

intent on stealing my sweetheart from me.

“Too experienced in love,” they say,

he charmed his way to her heart that May.

His reputation followed. Stories told

 of “a man who broke hearts, was callous and cold.”

I hoped she’d come back and want only me

to be married beneath the old withered tree.

Her hair in the wind, her face from the sun

  trying to protect me, she started to run.

Wanting to shield me, she came to cover

my body from the bullet, the one from her lover.

She fell silent to the ground alongside me

 her skirt turning red against my knee.

I carried her back to the spot where we

  once sat beneath the old withered tree.

Yes, I was in love, and I was the fool

to challenge her lover to a duel:

the man who stole from me is now gone.

My remorse and regret adds more upon

 my guilt and the sound of the wind like a song

singing a sad refrain of what I did wrong:

it plays a eulogy for my sweetheart where she

   lies buried beneath the old withered tree.



Writing – Always a ‘Work in Progress’

I believe that variety and diversity is optional, but often needed, even expected for a writer to communicate effectively to the reader, depending on the message or style, genre, age and gender. Illustrating through stories, fiction, prose, poetry, essays – or any media – that can convey a message is not easily forgotten if it captures one’s attention from the start. Words live on in print only if saved and read, never destroyed: every writer’s dream. But, now with the myriad ways our words and images can live on through cyberspace one can leave imbedded impressions there.

In my writing I have used a variety of different forms, or format. I have rhymed simple poems and stories for the sake of just having fun at what I do, whether doing it for myself or for children. Not all of it will make sense, but neither did Dr. Seuss’s writing, while rhyming when he wrote children’s books. He was one of the best, and most known for communicating to children with his scrambled made up phrases and rhymes. His books are all favorites of mine and I love to read them aloud to myself and to my grandchildren. The old Mother Goose stories and rhymes are favorites of mine too. I think there is a sense of freedom and free style to today’s writing that can have a message, or maybe not, if it is written for the sole purpose of entertaining. That is OK, even if there is a lot that even I cannot relate to. But, it is the writer’s style all his, or her own that brings pleasure and satisfaction, however it is written, or for whom.

Whether to entertain the reader, to write for the pure joy and pleasure of writing, or to communicate a message of truth and conviction, there are things I write that I will share with the public, and other things I do not, reserving them for just myself, or for my family, friends, or for God. Not everything a writer writes will be enjoyed by some, but as a writer, we express, we communicate, we entertain. Some (people) will think some pieces sad, some will think some pieces bad, and maybe other things will just make some mad. But, it is the ‘craft’ of writing I work at, the tool I use to communicate, the voice I use to speak what I feel, what I want to say. Feedback and comments are always welcomed. All are a learning lesson. I am teachable.

Posted June 5, 2012 by Joyce in Writing

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