New Writing Classes! One Virtual and One In-Person

I’m excited to announce two new writing classes coming in September 2021. One is a virtual class and one is in-person.

And one more highly anticipated class is coming in October.

Take a Writing Class by Victoria M. Johnson

 

All classes are offered through Capitola Recreation.

In Praise of Poetry

Sept 1 – Sept 29

Join me for this invigorating class where you’ll explore and write several forms of poetry.  From Acrostic to Haiku—from Ode to Triolet—and a few other poetic forms—you’ll have fun while learning and creating.  We’ll look at work by experienced poets and discover how to put some of their techniques and craft elements into practice.  Gain exposure to new poets, forms, and styles while unearthing your own voice.  Novices as well as seasoned poets will be enriched by the instruction.

This is a live virtual class taught on Zoom.  5 meetings.

For more information or to register:

Call Capitola Recreation at: (831) 475-5935

Or Visit:  Capitola Recreation website

Registration for this class has ended.

 

Self-Publishing Bootcamp

Sept 21 – Oct 12

Calling all writers who want to become published authors in 2021! This course introduces you to everything you need to know to professionally turn your manuscript into a book that you can sell or give to others. Whether you want to self-publish a novel, a nonfiction book, or your poetry, you will learn how to turn your words into a book or an ebook. This fun, helpful class will cover manuscript preparation, book production elements, publishing platforms, marketing, and much more. Register today to discover the steps to self-publishing success.

This is an in-person class taught at Capitola Recreation.  4 meetings.

For more information or to register:

Call Capitola Recreation at: (831) 475-5935

Or Visit:  Capitola Recreation website

 

Then, in October 2021

I’ll be offering my ONE DAY CLASS

How to Write Your Novel in Two Weeks!

Discover techniques to write fast and get your first draft written in two weeks. Learn how to prepare for the two-week event, how to execute during the two weeks, and how to fine-tune your masterpiece. For beginners or pros, this is an exciting and motivating workshop that will help you improve your storytelling skills. Don’t waste years trying to get your novel written. Learn secrets to avoiding writer’s block and write your novel once and for all! ALSO: For those wishing to participate in NaNoWriMo—THIS—is the best workshop for you! BRING your lunch for a short break.

This is an in-person class taught at Capitola Recreation. One meeting.

For more information or to register:

Call Capitola Recreation at: (831) 475-5935

Or Visit:  Capitola Recreation website

 

I hope to see you in one of my classes soon.  Let’s get you going on your writing goals.

 

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My 100 Word Story Is Published by Friday Flash Fiction

I’m happy to announce my 100 word story, The Sloth, is published by Friday Flash Fiction.

It’s a fun tale. And it’s my first time writing such a brief story, but I think it resonates.

Sloths are cute in some ways and not so cute in other ways.

photo by Meg Jerrard

Take a look. And while you’re there, check out some of the other 100 Word Flash Fiction on their site. Some are humorous, others heartfelt drama, and even some sci-fi. They have longer stories and poetry, too.

Read it here: The Sloth

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Embracing My Wonkiness

I am fairly new to sewing with a machine and to any kind of quilting. During covid I took up quilting and made three quilts for family members. I thought I had the hang of it. Until someone requested quilt blocks with circles.

I belong to a local quilt group, PVQA (but because of covid the meetings occur virtually). I learned so much about quilting through the talented people in this group (and through YouTube).  So, a year into the pandemic it was that time of year where members make Thank You blocks for the volunteer officers of the organization. I eagerly read the list of what type of block each officer wanted. I was pleased that I could handle each type of block—except the circles. I hadn’t ever made circles with fabric, let alone sew them back together with contrasting fabric. If we were meeting in person, I could easily get guidance. But we weren’t, so I had to learn on my own. After many online and YouTube tutorials, I tried the technique that seemed the most doable. I failed. I tried and tried and failed and failed. I used other techniques, and failed. I meshed techniques, and failed. I used this tool, that template, a plain old teacup, and the results were the same. Once I sewed them, my circles refused to be round. My circles were wobbly and wonky. I showed my misshapen circles to a few ladies in my Tuesday zoom quilt group meeting. They gave advice. I followed their advice. No mater how much I tried changing settings on my machine, using different thread, different fabric, putting in a fresh needle, etc., my circles did not come out circular. I finally gave up. I cut squares of beautiful fabric, larger than the requested size of the finished circles, and gave that to the officer along with a note that I had tried to make her the blocks she wanted.

And then a surprising thing happened…

Victoria’s Wonky Circle

The PVQA invited a guest speaker, Brenda Gael Smith, to give a workshop showing us how to make freeform circles! The core of her techniques was to make unexpectedly abnormal circles. She was going to teach us how to make wonky circles! I decided to embrace my wonkiness and I registered for her workshop. It was so much fun and I learned a variety of ways to make uneven, bizarre, non-circular circles. I had a blast and I learned a valuable lesson. I learned to not fight what comes naturally to me. Apparently non-conforming circles are what I’m meant to make. Smooth, perfect circles are not my thing. And that’s okay.

I’m enjoying this quilting journey I’m on, I’m grateful for the new friends I’ve made, and I’m learning odd things about myself. And now, I’m off to make a quilt of crazy circles.

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Join My Virtual Zumba Class

Zumba changed my life and I love teaching it and sharing that zumba love with others.  My low impact classes are a place where you come weary and leave energized.  Come sad and leave happy.  It’s the movement, the music, and the camaraderie.  With the easy-to-follow moves and the friendly atmosphere, you’ll forget you’re burning all those calories and improving your health.

The BEST way to shake off stress?

Attend my virtual zumba class!

Register today to revitalize your mind and body.

CLICK Here for my My Zumba Page to Register and see upcoming classes.

I’m starting off with classes on Wednesday @ 11:00 am PST
Use the link above to register for my LIVE Zoom class.
Each weekly class has a unique registration link and passcode.
Still not convinced?
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Taking Stock of Your Writing

If you piled all your writings together in one place how much room would you need?  A shelf, a closet, or an entire attic?  Think about all your journals filled with your poetry or musings, all your novel manuscripts, and maybe even published books.  How much space do they take?  It may be an eye-opening experience to give this taking stock exercise a try.

Photo by Simson Petrol

I had the opportunity to do this taking stock (by accident) when we moved to a larger home.  I only meant to shelve things so my office wouldn’t be cluttered, but by sorting all my writings into a huge closet in my office, I learned a few things.

1.  I had written a lot of words.

There was a lot of work stuffed in that closet and I felt a sense of pride that I was doing what writers are supposed to do.  I was producing words, thoughts, and stories.  I had proof I was writing.

2.  I submitted a very small percentage of the words I wrote.

I was stunned that I hardly ever submitted most of the work filling that closet.  That is a weakness that I need to fix.  Writers write, but they also submit.  I vow to get more of my work out into the world.

3.  I write in many different forms.

For someone who thought of herself as a romance novelist, it surprised me that I had completed more screenplays than novel manuscripts.  Nowadays I’m writing a lot of poetry, too.

4.  I need to purge some of this.

The biggest discovery from this exercise was the amount of paper—old drafts, manuscripts I’ll never submit, and other stuff that I don’t need anymore—still taking up my space.  The journals I plan to keep forever, I find good material in them.  But stories that I have no intention of revising… those should go, right?  How much of my previous writing do I really need to hang onto?  It’s hard to let this proof of my writerliness go.  Do you have the same difficulty?  How do you manage the paper?  Let us know in the comments.  Any advice will be appreciated  🙂

 

Online Class: Flash Fiction Bootcamp!

New Online Class:  Flash Fiction Bootcamp
Come learn how to create very short stories, also known as short shorts and sudden or flash fiction.  Flash stories have all the elements of fiction but are condensed to as few as 100 words and cap at 1,000 words!  Discover how to free your creativity to write your own flash pieces.  For beginning writers or pros, this is a fun and motivating class that will help you improve your storytelling skills.  Write new pieces each week based on the topics introduced and prompts to get your creative juices flowing.  By the end of the session you’ll have at least 12 new stories written.
This is a LIVE class offered on Zoom.  
Meets four Wednesdays: June 10, 17, 24, and July 1
At 5:00pm – 6:30pm.
Fee is $56.  City of Santa Cruz residents get a discount.
FMI or to register call (831) 420-5270
Register Today!
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Take a Workshop by Victoria M. Johnson
The course is offered through the Santa Cruz Recreation Department.
Use Class ID: 213405-01
Instructor Bio: Victoria M. Johnson is a published author of six books.  Her poetry appears in online literary journals and print anthologies.  Victoria is both writer and director of four short films and two micro documentaries.  She has presented workshops on writing in the Bay Area; Chicago; Washington, DC; Vancouver, Canada; and New York.  

 

Sustain Your Creative Writing Habit

Sustain Your Creative Writing Habit New Online Class

photo by Kristin Hardwick

We’re all sheltering-in-place a bit longer than expected.  It is a challenging time causing hardships, isolation, and uncertainty. Now is also the best time to write!  Could you use encouragement to cultivate your writing practice? For beginners and pros alike this fun and encouraging class will motivate you and set you on a path for developing and sustaining your writing habit. Every week students will receive inspiring in-class writing exercises. Filled with tips and feedback (for those who choose to share their work) this class is perfect for writers eager to ignite their creative writing and those ready to learn the next steps.You’ll learn techniques of craft and tips for editing and polishing. You’ll end with plenty of new material, inspiration to keep your creative practice on fire, and knowledge of publishing opportunities for your work.

Class offered through Capitola Recreation Department. FMI or to register:

https://apm.activecommunities.com/capitolarecreation/Activity_Search/sustain-your-creative-writing-habit/7871

5 Meetings beginning May 11, 2020 and runs through May 25th.  LIVE classes on Zoom.

We’re all in this together.  Let’s write together.

Personal Writing in the time of COVID-19

In these times when the world seems to have turned upside down and many of us are facing hardships and isolation, it is also a time for self-discovery and writing. Through prompts and exercises you’ll dig deep to uncover personal meaning in your observations, beliefs, and experiences. This class is for fiction and nonfiction writers, memoirists, and poets who want to delve inward and write through fear and uncertainty and find personal growth in these challenging times. Come for the inspiration, mental exercise, and camaraderie. Some of the class time will be quiet for students to respond to and write to the prompts.

Class offered through Capitola Recreation Department. FMI or to register: https://apm.activecommunities.com/capitolarecreation/Activity_Search/7846

5 Meetings beginning April 13, 2020 and runs through April 27th.  LIVE classes on Zoom.

Writing class by Victoria M. Johnson

We’re all in this together.  Let’s write together.