Imagining the Future
Ruminations on Fathers
And Other Masculine Apparitions

Third in the Celebration Series of chapbooks
by Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Cover and interior photography by Ricky Ian Gordon,

Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball conceived Imagining the Future for the men in their lives (and yours)--men who aren't particularly disposed to clichéd sweetness and light; men who prefer bone truths and 24K sentiment. And the women who prefer it that way, too.  We know real and rational poetry can be meaningful, can open discussions that lead to more meaningful relationships. So, for birthdays, Father's Day, or any occasion you gift special men in your life, we hope you'll try tucking this book into an envelope, maybe try adding a white daisy and let it stand as the best inexpensive and thoughtful gift you've ever given to him.

Only $6.95--Little more than a most greeting cards, less than some.
Quick Links to More Information on Imagining on This Page
Endorsement Review
Contents Sample Poems
About the Poets


Quick Links to Buy the Celebration
Series as E-Books or Paperbacks
She Wore Emerald Then
Sublime Planet
Cherished Pulse Blooming Red
Deeper into the Pond Imagining the Future

Imagining the Future


Authors Magdalena Ball, and Carolyn Howard-Johnson open the doorway of memory through words echoing thoughts, and feelings on fathers that are so strong they can be touched and heard through voiceless memories that forever cling to us all.  Words unspoken between parents and children are uttered in these poems of pain, love, and always truth.
~ Kim McMillon, playwright, producer, and host of the blogtalkradio show Writers’ Sanctuary

Review for Imagining the Future
by Joyce White

Imagining the Future:
Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions


"Together they swam through a remembered past."


Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball have woven their Imagining the Future: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions (Volume 1) on March 22, 2010, together like sisters of the same mind when it comes to the men in their lives. Carolyn begins her medley of childhood memories beginning with “All the sound in the world sucked to a waving wailing note as I perch on my father’s knee.” Later giftedly pondering, “The things I didn’t know about my father, his coming and goings, the fearing he would not return. One day, only a dawn or decade ago, he didn’t.”


“Then, then!” writes Carolyn, “Decades of dread (conflicts?) with names we remember and some we don't. Bosnia, Kosovo, First (!) Gulf War, Korean, Bay of Pigs, Rwanda, Afghanistan, the Berlin Crisis for god's sake. More than 300 of them, words like the bass beat of drums. Vietnam when those troops who did come home couldn't walk or wouldn't talk. I tell my grandson, then only 12, how we who remember the grunt of that war see it differently from those who marched in the Double W Wars, wars when we wanted to be there.”


Carolyn Howard-Johnson's grandson served two tours in Iraq. Her husband is a retired Army officer who served in the 1960s Berlin call up. I can hear the sober sounds of the National Anthem in the background of all her poetry, with the throat voice of Uncle Sam warning, “I want him. He’s mine. You can’t have him!” All wives and little girls cry.


Magdalena pulls metaphors out of the air with, “You recede a little more. I reach for you over thought waves little girl’s hand hung in the air your absence, finally, matches reality to imagination trying to get truth from pretty metaphors that can’t touch your flesh still young somewhere while the precious science you drank like fine wine grinds your atoms to dust.”


Carolyn Howard Johnson and Magdalena Ball have written a wonderful little memoir celebrating Father’s Day and all their sacrifices as girls and women growing up in the 50’s and together they swam through a remembered past. I recommend this little gem and I give it Five Stars for Amazon. Happy Father’s Day to all…wives, children and our husbands who take care of our very basic needs while we write poetry.


By Joyce White

Sculpting the Heart Book Reviews


Imagining the Future

Poem Credits

Poems in this manuscript from Carolyn Howard-Johnson have appeared in literary journals
(Spring 2009), Apollos Lyre, and her chapbook Tracings (Finishing Line Press)

Poems in this manuscript from Magdalena Ball have appeared in literary journals
Swords & Cyclamens, Earthborne
, and her book of poetry Repulsion Thrust

List of Poems

From Carolyn Howard-Johnson  

Deciphering Earliest Remembered Sound  
Long Before They Shut the Napster Down  
Finally, Uncle George,
Grateful: The Last Lesson in Who He Was,
Who I Should Be 
Remembered for his smile 
Atrophied Spirit 
The War to End All Wars 
Unsung Heroes 

From Magdalena Ball  

Father Earth  
Junk DNA
Foaming Stone
Truth Versus Fiction  
Virtually enhanced  
Grandpa’s Birds 
Horizon Scanning  

Boat Yard 


After poetry reading at the Glendale Main Library l. to r. poets
Sona Ovasapyan, Rita Gabrielyan (volunteer), Carolyn, Christina Alexanians.
We are holding commendation certificates from city and state officials.


Quick Links Learn More About Other Chapbooks in the Celebration Series
She Wore Emerald Then
Imagining the Future
Cherished Pulse Blooming Red
Sublime Planet Deeper into the Pond

Sample Poems
Imagining the Future

By Magdalena Ball

 Your body imprints sand
then you’re off
drawn by sea-stained blowholes
crunched sand-dollar sting
dolorous seagulls.

Olive bladderwrack
spreading vesicles
on pale sand
kicked aside
as you move along the beach.

at twilight
waves break at the shore
other than you, me
and one dedicated surfer 
out there in shades of blue, green, grey
sky, ocean, sand blending to memory.

I can’t keep up
scooping shell fragments, mother of pearl, bits of seaweed
sticky clues
still wet with life.

In this frail opening
between the deception of time
and the prison of space
I’m always a few steps behind.

You broke
before I was born
crashing against the shore of my mother
your secret hurt keeps you safe
while I scan the beach
a failed archaeologist
sifting flotsam in your wake.

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

How little I know of dragonflies,
how they come in August,
leave again without a word,
wonder where they live when I can’t
see them, whether they sting, whether
that is a song they sing
or a warning.

 This dragonfly, small, the first I’ve seen
dressed in amber and gold sunlight,
joins me in a swim, skims
the water’s surface, divebombs.

 Then comes
another—this one familiar
opal, much larger, mating perhaps,
two of them faster than one.

I duck to avoid them, frightened,
feel the water close over
my head. I choke, inhale air.

The things I didn’t know
about my father, his coming and goings,
the fearing he would not return.
One day, only a dawn or decade ago,
he didn’t.

About the Authors

Imagining the Future

Magdalena Ball

Magdalena Ball runs The Compulsive Reader. Her short stories, editorials, poetry, reviews and articles have appeared in a wide number of printed anthologies and journals, and have won local and international awards for poetry and fiction. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from CCNY (New York), an MBA from Charles Sturt University (NSW, Australia), and has studied literature on a postgraduate level at Oxford University (UK). Magdalena lives in on a rural property in New South Wales with her husband and three children. She is also the author of a poetry book Repulsion Thrust, the award winning novel Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment, and a poetry chapbook Quark Soup. Visit her website at, The Compulsive Reader at

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's first novel, This Is the Place, won eight awards. Her book of creative nonfiction, Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, won three. An instructor for UCLA Extension's world-renown Writers' Program for nearly a decade, her book The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't was named USA Book News' "Best Professional Book 2004," and was given the Irwin Award. Her second book in the How To Do It Frugally series is The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Both are now in their second editions and have garnered many other awards. Her chapbook of poetry Tracings, was named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads list and was given the Military Writers' Society of America's Silver Award of Excellence. She is the recipient of the California Legislature's Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community's Character and Ethics Committee awarded her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly's list of 14 "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen" and given her community's Diamond Award in Arts and Culture.

She blogs at Sharing with Writers, aWriter's Digest 101 Best Websites pick, The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor, and on War, Peace, Tolerance, and Our Soldiers.


Buy Links for Carolyn's Books

Great Fiction
HARKENING at Amazon in their new and used feature.
Both of these books are out of print. They are available only on Amazon's New and Used feature for about $1.

Great Poetry
Purchase TRACINGS (Finishing Line Press) at Amazon.
IMPERFECT ECHOES: Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters,
lie and oppression with Small

Give the gift of poetry with a chapbook from Magdalena Ball's
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 Earth and the Universe

HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers
Second Edition

Survive and Thrive Series of HowToDoItFrugally Books for Retailers

Most of Carolyn's books are also available for the Kindle reader.
Did you know that with the Free app, Kindle can be adapted to any reader--even your PC!

"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

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.


Frugal E-Book Tip

Kindle E-Books Aren't
Just for Kindle Anymore

Did you know that Amazon’s Kindle e-books are a low-cost/no-cost way to access books even if you don’t have a dedicated Kindle reader? You can read Kindle's e-books on smartphones, desktop computers and any e-device in between. You can even store the books on the Amazon cloud.

~ Quote from Diana Schneidman, author and marketer


Other Links


Carolyn's Commercial Acting


Celebration Series of Poetry Chapbooks


This is the Place, a novel



Tracings, a chapbook and memoir in one

Harkening, true short stories

Carolyn's Poetry

Helps For Retailers

Helps For Writers

Full Published Works Almanac

Travel and Poetry

Published Books






Subscribe to
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Sharing with Writers Newsletter

and get a FREE copy of
Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers

"I have been a professional writer 40 years, and am also a tenured full professor of journalism. Carolyn's Sharing with Writers newsletter is  most useful for me--and for my students. I emphasize to them that while research is 90% of writing, and the actual writing is about 10%, there's another 100% out there called promotion. Carolyn shows numerous ways to get the message to the mass media."
~Walter Brasch, author and educator

"A decade of bettering writers' careers with how-tos, tips, and publishing news."

Find Carolyn on the Web

  writers retailers

Carolyn's Awards

Published Works Almanac

Carolyn's Awards

Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More

The New Book Review
Named to
Master's in Online Universities'

101 Essential Sites for Voracious Readers

Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites
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.

Finalist New Generation Book Awards 2012, The Frugal Book Promoter; Finalist 2010 The Frugal Editor;
Winner 2010 Marketing Campaign for the Frugal Editor

The Oxford Award
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.

The Frugal Book Promoter is runner-up in the how-to category for the Los Angeles Book Festival 2012 awards.

Glendale City Seal
Winner Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts
Glendale California's Arts and Culture Commission and the City of Glendale Library,

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

Proud Member
Honorary Member

ABWA is a group of highly skilled networkering women in business.

Military Writers' Society of America

Also, honorary member of Publishers and Writers of San Diego, Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS), IWOSC, and Publishers Association of Los Angeles (PALA)

Book Publicists of Southern California (BPSC)  Pix: Proud Irwin Award Winners
Carolyn and Janet Goliger.

Carolyn's Poetry Books

Cover art by Vicki Thomas, Poetry by Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson

"Cherished Pulse is full of poems that describe love from the eyes and hearts of young and old. We see love in its youthful stage, stirring the hearts of man and woman alike and tying a bond that even death cannot break. As we continue reading, we understand that love deepens into an awesome, but quiet joy as the couple grows older. These poems renew our faith in love as they remind us of our own experience with this most sought after emotion."
~ Lucille P Robinson for


Third in the Celebration of Chapbooks with Magdalena Ball, Imagining the Future is written expressly for fathers "and other masculine apparitions."

She Wore Emerald Then is a book of Moods of Motherhood: thirty poems by award-winning poets Magdalena Ball and Carolyn Howard-Johnson, with original photography by May Lattanzio. A beautifully presented, tender and strikingly original gift book, ideal for Mother's Day or any day when you want to celebrate the notion of motherhood in its broadest sense.  Share this collection with someone you love.

More on Blooming Red: Christmas Poetry for the Rational on this Web site.

Sublime Planet is an e-chapbook and paperback published in the time-honored tradition of poets everywhere. This collection of ecologically oriented poems traverses a wide terrain, moving from the loss of species to the beauty of the natural world, from drought to the exploration of alternative planets. It's an exhilarating collection that breaks boundaries and leads the reader deep into the personal heart of perception. Released by award winning poets Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball to celebrate Earth Day, this is a collection of poetry that weaves the personal with the universal. Photograpy by Ann Howley.

“Whatever your age these poems celebrating women will speak to you of times to look forward to or to remember. These are not poems to be read once. They will stay with you forever.” ~ Nancy Famolari, author.

Also by Carolyn:

Tracings is winner of the Military Society of America's Award of Excellence and named to the Compulsive Reader's Ten Best Reads of 2005

Imperfect Echoes is Carolyn's newest poetry book. Writing Truth and Justice with Capital Letters, lie and oppression with Small. 

Cover and interior art by Richard Conway Jackson
All proceeds go to Amnesty International