Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Imagine That! A Guest Post by Fiona Johnson

I would like to welcome my very good friend, Fiona Johnson, to My Friends Call Me Kate.  Fiona and I met on Twitter, and together we have been able to build a wonderful online friendship thanks to the amazing world of Skype. If we could, we'd spend hours sitting in front of our computers sharing our concerns with one another, and dispensing to each other solid advice about the important things in life, like, where to hang a picture... or what book to read next. No, seriously, although we've never met, we've become quite close.  I love her like a sister. Lately, Fiona has been busy writing and publishing a series of short stories with Trestle Press. And today she is going to talk to us about the power of imagination... our imagination; the things we see when we read. 

Thanks so much to Sabrina for allowing me to appear on her blog today because I’m not sure that she knows what she’s let herself in for! Anyway, don’t let that worry you, settle back and come on into my little world for a while and you never know, you might like it and decide to hang out with me but beware, you’ll not find any of the cool kids here – just the nerdy writer types who love words and the worlds that only exist in their crazed imaginations.

And that’s where I want to start – imagination…do you have one? I know Sabrina has because most of the time in her head she’s cycling up and down roads on a pink bicycle in her pajamas or other such crazy stuff. I’ve been thinking about imagination today because earlier on I was reading a story called ‘The Bird, the Mouse and the Sausage’ to a class of 5 and 6 year old children. I had only just started when the little ones at the front were demanding, actually nearly tugging the book from my hands, to see the pictures. I stopped and explained to them that I wasn’t going to show them the pictures this time because the pictures that their imaginations can create would be even better. Some of the kids weren’t particularly pleased with me so I explained how the books I read don’t have any pictures at all but I see everything that happens very clearly. This was news to them….

So where am I going with all this? Well have you ever considered how hard a writer works at creating those pictures in your imagination by only using words made up of 26 letters? Recently I finished reading ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS by Anthony Neil Smith and his ability to take me to places in my imagination just blew me away. The book is set in two polar opposites, the freezing cold of Minnesota and the arid heat of Somalia. Smith used his awesome talent to make me feel the cold, the snow, and the ice and then taste the dust in Mogadishu. Remarkable.

This is why I love reading and writing so much; the ability to be moved out of my everyday setting and transported to another world, to a place that I’ll never visit or experience but through the talent of the writer I can at least imagine what these amazing places might be like. You can’t get this from a photograph or even by watching a programme on TV. The written word is special; it has a human connection that no other medium can bring.

So where can I take you? Well, if you care to come along, I’d love to show you the Scottish islands, to take you to the most perfect deserted beaches and to let you hear the silence of a summer’s evening. This is a world that I know well as I spent nine years living on a little island that could only be reached by a two hour ferry from the mainland. My latest collection of stories PEAT SMOKE AND PRIMROSES is set on the Scottish islands that pepper the west coast of the country and they are amongst the most beautiful and unspoiled places on earth.

The people who live there are also very special as they have a heritage and culture that is still alive and vibrant, now long gone and missing from most other places that I have lived in. Even today, islanders don’t need to lock their doors when they go out and when you drive along the single track roads you wave to every passing car because everybody knows everybody else.

So I invite you to come with me for a little while, leave the hustle and bustle of the 21st century behind and discover a slower more peaceful way of life. You never know, you might quite like it!

Fiona Johnson lives in Argyll, Scotland, easily one of the most beautiful places in the world, steeped in history from prehistoric standing stones to Celtic crosses with castles and countless lochs and glens.

She sits at night, laptop on knees, and writes about romance or murders depending on what mood she is in…well, what else would she do?

Fiona has had stories published in Shotgun Honey and The Flash Fiction Offensive. KICK IT and KICK IT AGAIN her collections of crime/noir short stories have been published by Trestle Press. Fiona is one of the contributors in OFF THE RECORD and THE LOST CHILDREN, both charity anthologies. Her most recent collection of short stories PEAT SMOKE AND PRIMROSES is also published by Trestle Press.

Fiona also writes under the names McDroll and F.G. Johnson.

Her books are available on Amazon:

KICK IT by McDroll

KICK IT by McDroll

PEAT SMOKE AND PRIMROSES by F.G. Johnson
 
THE LOST CHILDREN: A CHARITY ANTHOLOGY

OFF THE RECORD

5 comments:

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

Lovely post, Fiona... but I'm afraid you have so many aliases now that I'm not quite sure what to to call you the next time we Skype.

McDroll said...

Just call me wonderful! ;-)~ Thanks so much Sabrina for allowing me this space today...so pleased you enjoyed my post!

Christine H. said...

Sabrina/Kate, CONGRATULATIONS, you invited someone from “home” to share your blog…..Fiona’s description of where she lives definitely reminds me of home. Your imagination can run wild while exploring those hills and dales and moors on an island. A Scottish one at that. Fiona how fortunate you are in living on an island with all the hedgerows on the narrow one laned roads and I’m sure honking your car horn when you go around a corner so as not to crash into another “neighbor.” And the heather growing on the hills. Lovely! Delightful! What peace you must feel when you sit quietly writing your stories with GREAT IMAGINATION. Good Luck on your future writings and THANK YOU Sabrina/Kate for introducing Fiona to your blog for us all to enjoy her books.

Elizabeth said...

Well done, Fiona! It's been so enjoyable watching you go from (borderline) reluctantly posting stories on your site to having three collections out. Go, you!

ajhayes2 said...

Ms. MickyD should be on everyone's top-of-the-list lists. Stirling post Fiona. Thanks for posting it, Lady S. Cool