Harkening Explores
the
Difference Between Fiction
and Nonfiction

You Won't Know It's Nonfiction
Even as It Explores the Similarities
and Differences Between Two!

 

An excerpt from Harkening (really a full story).
Reviews for Harkening.

Carolyn's first person essay, "Beating Time at Its Own Game." 

Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered 
ISBN: 1591295505     AmErica House http://budurl.com/TrueShortStories

Harkening explores the little white lies and solemn truths that one charming,
idiosyncratic family loves to repeat.
Each story is stitched to the next to become a saga of their sojourn from Michigan through a vanishing railroad town in New Mexico,
then into Utah, and finally (happily!),
to a place where individuality can thrive

.
Harkening
has  three awards including
Word Thunder's Excellence in Writing award.


What Is Harkening All About?

Introduction (c)
Reprinted from
Harkening
(c)2001Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Just when I think I’ve heard all the family stories—many times—another is remembered and told. That its truth was revealed years after the event is matter of concern, for authenticity is certain to have been colored by my mother’s imagination and my own.

My mother always loved to read. Her voice echoes that of many great authors—which I hardly notice—and many super-market romances as well, which I do. She describes people she has met or only observed from across the waiting room at the doctor’s office. Her words paint a picture down to the last detail like a paragraph carefully wrought.

            “Her hair is as thick as a mane,” she says. She details a woman’s beauty from the shape of her eyelids to the way the tilt of her nose changes as she ages. And when she tells a story she repeats it back in dialogue, even when it happened years ago -- as if her mind were a tape recorder and has stored every nuance. She is a walking, talking example of the “new” creative nonfiction.

This book is made from my own memories and the harkenings of others. I liken the process of recording them to a child who listens to adult conversation with nuances that she doesn’t quite understand so she must fill out the meaning with her own experiences. It is a bit like a child who tries to stand upright after twirling herself into oblivion; the pictures blend into a blur like a pinwheel and then—with time -- reassemble themselves in the living world.

I admit that sometimes I stop listening because I’ve heard so many times the story about how Gram Lucretia set the table with sterling or because the language of the tale being told is so Homerian that I am tempted to snooze. The “rosey-fingered dawns” become boring when repeated too many times, no matter how poetic they may have been in the original.

Then there is the affect of mood. The mood I was in when I heard it or when I was writing it can color it as surely as a box of Crayolas, bright or faded.

I must not forget the deliberate. There are certain exigencies required to mold a tale into something, you, my reader, will want to read. So I might change the order of an event or the color of a dress to fit the need of the story. The writing of it might require me to imagine another’s point of view in order to capture the story’s full truth.

I often wonder, am I writing fact or fiction? Is any truth more true that the way the writer sees it? In some sense, isn’t a writer’s truth more truthful than fact?

It is very convenient that we have that new term creative nonfiction, but it is only a new term for a very ancient practice. I am determined to dispense with fact-driven guilt and tell these stories as I remember them or as I remember their being told to me. There really is no other way.

Tip for Readers

Carolyn Howard-Johnson provides reading lists for her students at UCLA and incorporates them into the Appendixes of many of her books and booklets. All are personally selected to make reading and and learning more about everything from the writing to the publishing of a book more fun. The tip? Don't overlook the value of a book that may be hiding in the backmatter!

Find at least one tip on writing, promotion or tech on every page of this Web site. 


Buy Links for Carolyn's Books

Great Fiction
Purchase THIS IS THE PLACE
and
HARKENING at Amazon.

Great Poetry
Purchase TRACINGS (Finishing Line Press) at Amazon.

Give the gift of poetry with a chapbook
from Magdalena Ball's
and
My Celebration Series

CHERISHED PULSE: Unconventional Love Poetry
IMAGINING THE FUTURE: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions
SHE WORE EMERALD THEN: Reflections on Motherhood
BLOOMING RED: Christmas Poetry for the Rational
DEEPER INTO THE POND: Celebration of Femininity
SUBLIME PLANET: Celebrating the Planet and the Universe as Never Before

HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers
THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER, Second Edition
THE FRUGAL EDITOR
GREAT LITTLE LAST MINUTE EDITING TIPS FOR WRITERS
THE GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION BOOK PROPOSAL
 

Survive and Thrive Series of HowToDoItFrugally Books for Retailers
A RETAILER'S GUIDE TO FRUGAL IN-STORE PROMOTION
FRUGAL AND FOCUSED TWEETING FOR RETAILERS
YOUR BLOG, YOUR BUSINESS

Most of Carolyn's books are also available for the Kindle reader and
using Amazon's app, other readers, too.
 


 

 "Careers that are not fed die as readily
as any living organism given no sustenance." 
~
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Studio photography by Uriah Carr
3 Dimensional Book Cover Images by iFOGO
Logo by Lloyd King

All Carolyn's Frugal Books Are Available on Kindle
As Well as Paperback

Helpful Books for Writers

  Helpful Books for Retailers

Poetry: The perfect inspirational gift

Fiction and Short Stories


To subscribe to Carolyn's FREE online newsletter send an e-mail.

Learn more about Carolyn's newsletter and blog.

Read past issues of Carolyn's Newsletter. 



Find Carolyn on the Web

  writers retailers

Harkening's Awards

Harkening is the winner of three awards including Word Thunder's Excellence in Writing award. Find Carolyn's other awards on this site.

Tip for Readers

Reading creative nonfiction is a little like reading historical fiction. But only a little. With historical fiction, sometimes it is hard to tell what is fiction and what is fact. If the author has been true to the spirit of creative nonfiction, you can trust the basics to be true though she'll color the narrative through the perspective of the character who is telling the story. The author must also create the dialogue as accurately as she can reconstruct it. The writer's brain, after all, is not a tape recorder.

Find at least one tip on writing, promotion or tech on every page of this Web site. 


Endorsements for Harkening

 "Carolyn Howard-Johnson is going to be one of the greats."
~
Kristie Leigh Maguire, author of Desert Heat and Emails from the Edge


 “…A fine piece of writing…”
 ~Paul Lappen, Dead Trees Review


Carolyn's Awards

Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More

The New Book Review
Named to
Online Universities'

101 Book Blogs
You Need to Read

Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
for
Sharing with Writers blog.

 


Best Book Award for The Frugal Book Promoter (2004) and The Frugal Editor (2008) and the Second Edition of The Frugal Book Promoter (2011).

 

Reader Views Literary Award for The Frugal Editor

New Generation Award for Marketing and Finalist for The Frugal Editor

Book Publicists of Southern California's Irwin Award

Military Writers Award of Excellence for
Tracings, A Chapbook of Poetry.


A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotion wins author Military Writers Society of America's Author of the Month award for March, 2010

 

Gold Medal Award from Military Writers Society of America, 2010. MWSA also gave a nod to She Wore Emerald Then, a chapbook of poetry honoring mothers.

The Frugal Editor Named #! on Top Ten Editing Books list.


The Oxford Award recognizes the alumna who exemplifies the Delta Gamma precept of service to her community and who, through the years, devotes her talents to improve the quality of life around her.

And more than a dozen other awards for Carolyn's novel, short story collection and poetry. See the awards page on this site.


Site Sponsor

Guinevere:
On the Eve of Legend

By Cheryl Capinello

Join 12-year-old Guinevere in her struggle to accept her destiny in Camelot and relive the magic of the King Arthur Legend.

"Brings Guinevere to a new generation of readers...filled with enough Arthurian legend to keep young readers entertained."---Jenny Stees, Florida elementary teacher.


Published Works Almanac


Carolyn's Awards


Home |  Literary Works |  Writers' Books |  Retailers' Books |  Writers' Resources |  Carolyn's Services |  Media Room |  Advertising |  Contact
copyright 2011 Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Recommended Web Design by BlogAid