Friday, December 30, 2011

And now for something completely different…

This particular blog post has absolutely nothing to do with writing or publicizing my new novel or promoting anything other than some rather ridiculous fun.

Over the last few weeks I have become slightly obsessed with ‘new to me’ foreign foods, or more to the point what I consider to be bizarre foreign foods. 

I would consider myself to be a typical American foodie with a decent palette for diverse delicacies. Rather than allowing myself to become stuck in a rut, I really enjoy mixing up my culinary indulgences by trying new cuisines and flavors from around the world as often as possible. I have found many new favorites, as well as some things I will never eat again including some I can’t even think about without a tiny gag, but it has been a delicious and fascinating journey so far and I don’t intend to quit stretching my curiosity any time soon.

Okay, so I cannot place myself in the same category with the ‘professional taste testers’, and definitely nothing nearly as extreme as Andrew Zimmern. I think he stands is in a league of his own when it come to strange and exotic tasting curiosity.

I do have my limits and they definitely stop far short of Cambodian tree slugs, but I do like to explore new things and food is just one of the many guilty pleasures I like to experiment with. 

As well, I’m sure there are many more people in the world that may have a like mind and might appreciate the possibility of at least looking into the new and unusual edible possibilities from around the world. I believe that some of the foods from right here in my little home town might seem strange and unappetizing to others from various cultures too.

I decided this morning that maybe others out there might enjoy a bit of a cultural food knowledge exchange, so I have delved into some of my favorite sites and gathered some of the things I thought you might enjoy. 

I don’t usually make resolutions because I rarely keep them and feel as if I’ve set myself up for a bit of a failure. But I have decided that with the coming new year 2012, I will reside to resolute in trying some of these interesting offerings from around the globe. If there is even an ounce of interest, I will post my discoveries and my reactions to these said experiences throughout the coming year. 

I'm not saying that I will be trying all or any of these delectable choices, this is just to expand exposure to the possibilities available.

In the mean time, feast your eyes on these vids, pics and links that I kindly submit for your enjoyment, they make me giggle, curious or repulsed. I have done my best to authenticate the following products to ensure that these are actual edibles available to purchase. 

In addition, I'm not making a joke of and no insult intended to any culture or ethnicity, it’s all in good fun. 

I really would love to hear what you think.

S.J. Johnson

 Yumm! Haggis and Black pepper Potato chips. I bet this would be fantastic with a tuna sandwich and pickle.

I would have never imagined this flavor combination. Ginger-ale and chocolatey Krispy Kit Kat.

 Sounds interesting.

 Imagine the possibilities at your next Bar-B-Que! I think this one is definitely worth a try.

Who in their right mind would do this to chocolate?

 Intense Dill Pickle? Seriously?

 All the flavors of a calorie infested dinner without the hassle of gaining any of the pounds, and no pesky after dinner tryptophan coma. Fantastic idea!

I must also include this "Emmy: Made In Japan" video. I really love her YouTube vids, very engaging, informative and entertaining. Exposing me to this fascinating world of Japanese candy actually made me want to go to our local Japanese market to get some and try it for myself.
All I can say is Popin'Cookin' brand candies are really fun for kiddies to be able to make their own sweeties, tastes just terrible. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


The process begins.

You’ve invented this incredible story idea and you decide that you must write it.
Maybe it’s about a past experience that you need to share, or a really good idea that is an accumulation of many people’s life experiences. It could be a complete piece of fiction which originated from a childhood fear or the culmination of multiple fears. Your story could be a plot derived from a book you read or a movie you saw and thought, “I could have done that so much better, I would do it this way…”

Regardless of however the story comes into being, you know it’s a good story and the passion to create it begins to build.
 In your mind these people come to life. The landscape begins to form, the plot thickens and evolves into something rich and engaging. You can see the entire sketch of this new reality from beginning to end. You know these characters and the occurrences inside and out. The characters become real, you know everything about them; how they look, how they react, how they think.

 The story, inside your head, has already happened.  Now you just need to walk the reader through the events one page at a time and acquaint the observer with the tale, carrying them clear through to the blissful ending.
 The process continues and you begin to write.

Maybe it happens slowly at first, until you begin to fall in love with one or more of the main characters, then the story unfolds like water pouring from a bucket and at times it happens so fast that it’s hard to keep up with pounding it out on the keyboard fast enough before you lose your train of thought.  Or maybe it’s a fight to find the next step in the plot, or even the next line in the paragraph but it becomes a labor of love which forces the need to finish telling this tale. Either way you are now committed to immortalizing this story.
The creative process is a strange a mysterious place, but oh so wonderful when you become struck by its power.

Then just as you get into the swing or even halfway through the process of crafting out this masterpiece, you discover that something similar already exists. A movie that is being released next month, a new book being promoted by a popular writer or a friend tells you about story written many decades ago and your heart sinks in your chest because it’s ‘your’ original idea.

 Someone at some point imagined the same story and beat you to the punch line by telling it first. This is where a lot of would be very good writers will succumb to the self-doubting process that all creative minded people share. They allow themselves to stumble and fall and let their story die without so much as a brief glimmer of existence because someone else also thought it was such a good idea they were compelled to tell a similar story.

You cannot give up. Know that this is just a hurdle in being a writer.

This is the point where you must forge forward despite the fact that someone else is doing it or has done it. Even if your story line has ‘similar’ features, even though there are a couple of coincidental occurrences, you must remind your inner doubt that your story is still just as unique and individual as you are.

The story of “Romeo and Juliet” has been told thousands, if not tens of thousands, of times throughout literary history. “Beauty and the Beast” has been resurrected in a magnitude of different genres with many different equations mixed into it. The eternal battle between good and evil, the dark and the light, will be retold countless times before and even long after you’re no longer alive to tell your version of the war.

What you need to remember is that you are writing your story. Inside your mind these people, this place, these trials happen from your point of view and no one on the planet can tell it from that vantage better than you can.

As your story continues to progress changes will occur, growth in an unforeseen direction will present itself and your story will come to life in a completely different light.  Even during the editing process the storyline changes and plots twist in new ways that you can’t possibly conceive of at the moment of conception or during the rapture of creation.

The source for your inspiration lives only inside you.
Whatever you decide, don’t stop writing. Finish it, read it through and only then should you decide if you want to or need to change anything.

Never stop moving forward in your journey simply because someone else has walked the path before you.

Good luck and keep writing.

Come 'Like' my Facebook Fan Page and join the fun!
S.J.Johnson.Author Facebook Fan Page

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Price ONLY $2.99 for 'the drive' by S.J. Johnson in Kindle and Nook

Happy Holidays Friends !
Just in case you have a 'mystery/action/suspense/thriller' book lover on your holiday gift list, 'the drive' by S.J. Johnson is available on Kindle and Nook for only $2.99 and it's delivered immediately to their reader/laptop/PC - (no waiting, no extra shipping fees)
It's a fantastic deal and a very good book. 
 Check out the reviews from Barnes & Noble:
"The Drive - Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!
A bit of a slow start but an amazing ending! Great read."
The plot is rich and new. The characters are very real. I was completely captivated. Good story!!
I am going to recommend this for the next read at my book club."
Check out this review from Amazon:
"The Drive (Kindle Edition) 
This is one of the best suspense novels I've read in a long time. Each page kept me wanting to read the next one and by the end I was so engrossed with the story and so involved with the characters that I was crying by the last page. Between 'the drive' and S.J. Johnson's other book 'Pages', this author is definitely on my watch list. I can't wait to see what she comes out with next!!"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I have been so busy the last couple of days ...

I have been extremely busy the last few days sending donated copies of my book “The Drive” to our courageous men and women stationed overseas through an outreach program, Operations eBook Drop.

It has been an overwhelming, rewarding and inspirational experience. The thoughtful and encouraging comments that I have received so far has been heartwarming. What an amazing association this has been and I feel honored to have played a small part of it.

There are now 1,153 participating authors involved with Operation eBook Drop offering free and donated downloads of their books for our brave men and women in the coalition of the Armed Forces.

If you get a moment you should check out the Facebook page. There is such a great need for so many worthy people.

I would like to personally thank all of you that have sent in their donations, to what I feel is a very worthwhile cause and for making me a part of something so important. You have graciously spread the word with your generosity of love and support for their efforts and they are greatly appreciated by everyone involved.

S.J. Johnson

From the Imagination and Graphic Artistry of K.A. M'Lady & P.M. Dittman. supports: Operation eBook Drop

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Building the Facebook Fan Page

Okay, here's how this works. We want to get to over 100+ new Likes for the Facebook Fan Page, so Like and then share this post! When we reach 100+ Likes, we'll look at all the Shares that happened on the day we reached 100+ (Yes, this means if you share, we reach 90 and the next day we reach 100+, you can share again and you are eligible). We'll randomly pick three winners from everyone who shared on that day and those winners will get a free downloadable copy of the new novel THE DRIVE. So, Click the link, Like & Share and get in the game! Good luck!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Twitter Confuses me

I’ve been told I need to ‘tweet’ because apparently that’s what all the cool kids are doing nowadays. So I reluctantly joined, said my introduction and watched the conversation on my screen roll forward.

I make comments, no one replies. I watch the conversation roll on again.
So far what I see is a lot of people sucker punching their promo ads at anyone who will listen (or read in this case).
It’s boring people!

When I was first approached about tweeting I was told it’s where people connect, quickly chat about their day in short bursts of conversation, post where the good food is located in their city, what their watching on tv tonight, etc. I thought that it might be kind of fun so I researched the proper etiquette about tweeting and signed myself up.

I don’t get it. Is my twitter broken?

Doesn’t anyone out there on the internet have anything absolutely redundant to say about their lives?
Was I misinformed?  Am I doing it wrong?

Someone, please set me straight on this.

Thank you