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.

 

Romance Writing Workshop

I’m pleased to announce that I’m participating in the Monterey Public Library’s Indie Author Day!

Come Join Us

Saturday, Oct 20, 2018 at 12pm to 5:15pm.  The free event includes workshops, author panels, readings, and treats!

Check out the flyer to my romance writing workshop held at 4:15 to 5:00pm…

Write a Romance with author Victoria M. Johnson

I’m also in the Author Reading Group 2, which takes place at 1:45 to 2:45 pm in the Quiet Study Room.

Check out the flyer to see the amazing authors in my group…

Author Victoria M. Johnson at Monterey Public Library

Get Feedback on Your Project

In the Query Letter Workshop, which is really a private ten-minute session, bring your queries and spend one-on-one time getting advice from published authors or an editor. 12:30 to 1:30pm.

Author Victoria M. Johnson Query Letter Workshop

Other workshops and panels include: Writing the Spec Screenplay, Science Fiction and Fantasy panel, Thriller and Suspense panel, Children’s Books panel, Youth Writer Workshops, and more!

It’s all happening at the Monterey Public Library

625 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA 93940

(831) 646-3933

ONE DAY Only!  Don’t miss it.

New Class: Short Short Fiction Bootcamp

It’s Back to School Time for Writers!

Calling all fiction AND memoir writers… Come learn how to create very short stories, also known as short shorts and flash or sudden fiction. Flash stories contain all the elements of fiction and have the power of their longer cousins to transform the reader. Discover tried-and-true techniques, look at great examples and free your creativity to write your own short pieces. Memoir writers will benefit from the lessons, too. For beginners or pros, this is a fun and motivating class that will help you improve your storytelling skills. Following a lecture each week students will write new pieces based on the topics covered and prompts designed to incite your creativity. You’ll also learn editing tips and opportunities for publishing your polished works.

For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

Sep 5, 2018 to Oct 3, 2018

Held at Capitola Community Center from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.  5 weeks.

Meets Each Wednesday.
New short fiction writing Class by Victoria M. Johnson

It’s back to school time for writers! Photo by Scott Webb

Instructor Bio:Victoria M. Johnson is a published author and filmmaker. Her published works include The Doctors Dilemma (Avalon Books), the nonfiction work Grant Writing 101: Everything You Need To Start Raising Funds Today (McGraw-Hill), and four other 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.

10 Top Reasons to Try Zumba

Fifteen million people in 180 countries have made Zumba a world-wide phenomenon.  Zumba has become a dance-fitness revolution.  But what is it about this workout that is so special?  The same reasons why I think you’ll love it:

  1. Hear great music.

The exhilarating, mostly Latin music provides a festive atmosphere.

 

  1. Dance to the great music.

You don’t even have to know how to dance.

 

  1. Learn new dance styles in easy to follow steps.

Your zumba certified instructor will cue you to their choreography steps in salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton, and more.

 

  1. No experience required.

Zumba is for anyone able to exercise.  No one expects you to be perfect.  No one expects you to know the steps.  Just follow the cues at your comfort level.

 

  1. No special equipment required.

You don’t have to buy expensive equipment.  You just need workout clothes that you probably already have and workout shoes that suit your needs.

 

  1. Meet other people.

Come for the physical fitness; find camaraderie in the friendly classes.

 

certified zumba instructor

 

  1. It’s fun!

You’ll have so much fun that you’ll forget you’re burning calories.

 

  1. It’s a total body workout.

Gain strength and stamina.  Zumba helps improve cardiovascular health, muscle conditioning, and flexibility.

 

  1. Zumba is wonderful for the brain.

Following along with the choreography gives your brain a workout too.  (In a fun way, of course.)  Zumba is good for your mental health.

 

  1. Zumba is fantastic for the soul.

All that fun and movement reduces stress.  At the end of class, believe me, you’ll feel energized and amazing.

 

Are you convinced to give Zumba a try?  I enjoyed Zumba class so much that I became a certified instructor.  If you live in Santa Cruz County in California, you’re in luck.  That’s where I currently teach.  You can also check out my Zumba page.  I’m now teaching Virtual Zumba classes so you can join me from wherever you live.  I’m sure there’s a class near you.  Do you already take Zumba?  What do you love about it?  Tell us in the comments below.

 

3 Incredible Lessons Whales Can Teach Writers

Humpback whales are magnificent creatures. They grow to about 52 feet long and weigh almost 50 tons, the males sing hauntingly beautiful songs, and humpbacks are acrobatic as they can leap high from the water’s surface, roll in the air, and then dive to 1,000 feet.

But the incredible thing I learned about humpbacks is this; their entire lives are filled with only three activities: feeding, breeding, and migrating.  That’s it.  Three activities for an entire lifetime.

So what can writers learn from this amazing fact? Here’s one way we can adapt the three activities to the writing craft:

What Writers Can Learn From Whales by Victoria M. Johnson

Feeding

Feed your soul.  Take care of yourself.  It’s important for writers to feed your creative spirit.  Exploring helps.  You can explore the world or your own hometown.  Try new things, go to new places, eat new foods, and read new books. Expose yourself to other art forms and cultural experiences.  All this discovering is feeding your creative being.  But you need down time, too.  Take time to meditate.

Breeding

I view this as your production of work.  Whatever it is you specialize in–be it poetry, short stories, novels, or nonfiction–breed new writing.  Writing begets writing.  I think writers are happiest when they are creating.  I know I am.  For success and longevity as a writer, you need to produce new finished material.  Finished, not sitting in a drawer, but out in the marketplace or getting read by your editor or agent.

Migrating

Move about.  Don’t stand still.  For writers this can represent getting out of a rut, if you feel like you’re in one; or trying something different, for example adding your short story to an anthology with other good writers.  These activities aren’t meant to take you away from your main novel or poetry writing projects, but are meant to explore other ways of reaching your readers or reaching new readers, or perhaps taking advantage of an opportunity that presents itself.  We are on a writer’s journey, are we not?  That suggests we’re meant to keep moving.

Three Activities

All three activities are essential to the humpback whale’s existence. I think they’re essential to the well being of us writers, too.