With Apologies
To Steinbeck's Charlie . . .

Though Steinbeck's adventures with Charlie inspire me,
mostly travel alone or with my spouse (also a writer),
never with my any of my three Great Danes.
Each would have required an adult ticket. (-: )  
Sometimes I write travel articles (scroll down for a sample of one)
but mostly my travel inspires poetry.

Note: All the poems, articles and pictures on this page are available
for reprint at no charge. Please include a tagline and byline. Please inform me that you are using it and send me a link so I can keep the promotion carousel for it turning.
If you need to make changes, please check with me and I will try to arrange that for you.

"Travel is not a vacation.
It is touching. Spirit to spirit. Culture to culture."
~Carolyn Howard-Johnson

“Only it seems to me that once in your life before you die

you ought to see a country where they don’t talk in English

and don’t even want to.”
~ Mrs. Gibbs from Our Town  by Thornton Wilder

For resources on tolerance, one of Carolyn's favorite themes.

Cruising a Quarter Distance of the World
Singapore to Rome via the Suez Canal on the Ocean Princess, 2012

Malacca Strait (c)

evening turns mauve as the sun sinks,
watercolor sky. Van Gogh brushed sea
marked with freighters,
smudges, parentheses afar,
looming presences up close. floating
R2D2s trail the giants’ cool wakes,
oil fields to refineries in Singapore,
beyond to the world.
danger in their bellies.

Osama Bin Laden’s Death (c)

Scholarship lecture series aboard the Ocean
Princess. Garbled speaker, captain, equipment.
Obama. Osama. Even after we understand,
we hear only vibration from giant
turbines that make the ship go. 
The lecturer returns to cultural influences
in Southeast Asia. Still no one leaves,
no one whispers. I later heard the world

Snapshots from Ocean Princess’ Maiden Suez Voyage (c)

May, season of Suez crabs, great egg-drop along the banks. Egyptians drop nets, voices high on still-white air, their canoes once-painted, now faded like bleached stones, security coiled like cobras at the bow. Beneath plank slats, crab claws grasp, cling, reach for water, roil and reek of brine and death. Reeds sopped with salt, grey-green like oregano.

Port Said far to the east, a spired Oz mid emerald fields of sugarcane, papyrus, beans. Oleander, bougainvillea, white, pink, fuchsia specks on shore, unused fishing boats tucked between their trunks.

Saying goodbye. Asia on our right, tribal states. Africa on our left. Black flags. Black for oil, black for volcanic rock. One hundred six from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean in the sun.

Copper Canyon, Mexico
Via Holland America Cruise Line, 2011

Carolyn with Tarahumara Indian woman and her daughter. Notice the dolls
they carved from small branches. They are also known for their baskets. I hope you'll take time to Google the Tarahumara, known for their running and their amazing baskets.


Mexico's Copper Canyon, the Cinderella sister to the Grand Canyon.
Sootier shades but possibly a bigger heart.

Carolyn and Eve's Writers' Retreats

Travel and Writing Go Together!

Eve LaSalle Caram and I sponsored the most amazing writers'
retreat in Rome
at this villa. Learn more about it and follow the link for future plans for creative writing adventures. Highly recommended for rentals in Italy, www.theparkercompany.com. Tell Mario we sent you. (-:

The Famous Alexandria Library
Alexandria, Egypt, November 2010
Princess Cruise


The Alexandria Library: A miracle and testament to humankind's
perseverance, love of learning, and creative souls.

The photo on the left shows characters from every language used as symbols on the facade.

Serendipity: My Own Found Poem (C)

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

"Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness. "   Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881),

Inspiration, a fissure in an eggshell,
promise of a chick.

I search for an article,

Coffee beans fragrant,
useless without a mill.

Ballpoint ink acrid compared to
fullon lampblack,
the look weak next to paint whisked on silk.

Burned meter, poetry-flare brighter than fire.

Which better, pristine notebooks
or half-scribbled and never read again?

Alexandria's library full of what was once
only papyrus pulp
and rice-pressed mush.

 Waiting too long, paper yellows, crinkles
to dust.

Who was this Egyptian scribe seated,
scribbling in stone?

That shining place, the Parthenon.

A dyslexic, brilliant, hears music in his head.

Pampas plumes in early light,
the color of blood in milk.


Here I am at the Roman theater in Alexandria.

Have You Ever Had a
A Truncated Vacation?

That's truncated with a "c," not a "k!"

I was headed to Nepal to realize a lifetime dream of seeing Mt. Everest in its ever-so snowy and rocky and thin-aired real-life person. And this  trip was going to be better than I imagined! A National Geographic tour offered just such a trip with Peter Hillary as its leader. He--not only an expert on the Himalayas but also a fellow author--lead the trip. After a grueling 24 hour flight from Los Angeles to Beijing I was on my way. We would fly to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, spend four days there touring and acclimating ourselves to the 12,000 foot altitude, then climb into four-wheel drives to travel the back roads of Tibet to Everest's base camp. I was in ecstasy.

Now, here's the thing about travel. You know to expect the unexpected. You know anything could happen to you. I knew it could happen to me. Heck, I spent a night in an Italian airport because of an earthquake once. Missed seeing Iceland because of bad weather. Missed Turkey (once!) because of a terrorist attack. Watched a terrorist (I think it was about 1978) drive a hijacked bus up and down the tarmac at JFK rather than spend that time flying first class to Rome.  I have a string of adventures I could tell you about. But they belong in another story. On this trip I got evacuated to a hospital in Beijing  because of ill health. 

Though I teared up at the news that I would have to go, it wasn't all that bad. The four days I spent in a hospital room with a lovely (male!) guide and escort from Tibet was both life affirming and a good lesson in preconceived notions about the ways of other countries.  And those four days in Lhasa? That wasn't what I went for, but it was an amazing experience I shall never forget!

So here is a picture and a series of Haikus to commemorate that trip:

From the amazing to the sublime: Carolyn with
artful stacks of yak dung in the countryside near Tibet, left.
Right, monks chanting for the Tibetan earthquake victims (May 2010)
at a Lhasa monastery. The candles burn in a tub of yak butter.

Tibet Haiku Medley
Copyright 2010

Far, Far East

Board plane for Bangkok
Chase dark shadows, West to East
One sunrise mislaid.

 Tibet’s True National Flag

Sun-faded, wind-frayed,
blue, green red, white, yellow-earth,
each a quiet prayer.

 Drepung’s Unseasonal Storm

Barren brown hills coax
icy nuggets from the sky.
Gentle persuasion.

Hail big as poplar
blossoms, covers barren hills.
High mountain magic.

Falling snow-pellets,
pretty beads for coats and hair,
melt on thirsty hills.

Mediterranean, East and West
Norwegian Jade, 2010


Carolyn at Giza, back-to-back cruises on the Norwegian Jade.
Pure bliss. Spain, Italy (Etruscans), Greece (Poseidon's Temple), Turkey (Ephesus), Alexandria (The New Library), Cairo (Giza), Morocco  (a visit to a Berber village near an oasis), and Cairo (the tallest and most gorgeous minaret in the world), the Canary Islands, the Madeira's (before their big flood--just before!),  Granada and the Alhambra and beautiful, beautiful Barcelona.  February 2010. Oh, yeah! Malta. No one ever tells us how beautiful it is!

Star Alliance (c)

Pale Egyptian sky stretches, turns                  
to Bedouin blue by night.
Basalt breathes its heat
tombs and temples,
what stars have seen

                                                 Vast, sand-kicked dunes
                                                 dance infinite answers 
                                                 to storied tales  
                                                 assaults the senses
                                                 a gesture against my cheek
                                                 its message clear on clear.

                                                  New moon shining
                                                  sculpted sand.

Sample Travel Article
The article below is available to reprint with permission of the author.
Please credit as shown or e-mail Carolyn for permission to make changes.

Making the Princess Fit:

Or How a Girl Who Loves Museums and Archaeology
Can Find Happiness On a Cruise

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This is the Place and
Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered and several chapbooks of poetry

In My Fair Lady, Professor Higgins says—with perfect diction that emphasizes his delight, “By George, I think she’s got it!”

He isn’t, of course, referring to Eliza Doolittle’s finally learning how to fit the conventions of a cruise into her travel preferences but, nevertheless, it was an “Aha!” moment similar to what I felt this year when I finally figured out how a girl—well, OK, a woman—who loves to spend hours in museums and isn’t much on cutting her feet on coral or wrangling with jellyfish, could live with the cruises her husband likes to take.

I admit to taking three cruises with my husband in six months. Maybe this is the kind of intensity required for me to learn how to make this kind of travel work for me, provide me with just such a moment of elucidation.

Because my husband and I like to travel differently, we have taken separate vacations for years. He loves first class (He says he got enough roughing it in the Army.) I on the other hand, never tire of extended hanging about in foreign corners—out of the way spots if only the basement rooms of museums—by myself. I am not much on shopping, and hate to pay for the luxury of gold-plated faucets when I’m too tired to notice them. Still, we thought it was time for us to share some good times together. He—this new traveling partner of mine to whom I’d been married 45 years at the time—has always said, “Even lab rats learn to run a maze after a few tries.” I guess that applies to me. I’m a slow learner. But at least as capable as a white rat.

Here are my secrets for adapting a cruise to my preferences:

  1. For psychological reasons, choose a cruise with ports that are inaccessible excepting by water (the Greek Isles are an example.). This sets one’s synapses—if they are arranged at all like mine—into a pattern that makes it impossible to say to oneself, “If I had been traveling by train I would have spent two extra days in St. Petersburg at the Russian Museum gazing at Repin’s ‘Barge Haulers on the Volga.’” You see? No trains available. No choices. Happy camper.
  2. Choose a boat—er, ship,--that’s small enough so that disembarking at ports of call does not resemble a cattle call for Spartacus.
  3. This onerous task of getting on and off the ship is minimized if you resist the temptation to save $10 by purchasing your tour from someone who hangs around the pier hawking his wares. To save those extra few dollars, you will probably disembark with hundreds of others who want to shop or hang out on the beaches. Instead, choose a tour from the many offered by the cruise lines. Most organize these tours so the crowds on and off are staggered. Not as frugal, certainly, but worth the price.
  4. To extend suggestion #3 one more step, select more expensive tours (Over $80). I am known for my. . . er, thrifty tendencies (I'm sometimes known as The Frugal Book Promoter)  but I have found that the more costly tours are the best values if only because they tend to attract fewer travelers. That improves the quality in general but also makes egress easier.
  5. Any tour will become more enjoyable for travelers who share my preferences if they avoid shopping during the time allotted for that. The time is too short, you don’t want to miss the bus. Turn those moments into something relaxing instead. (Save shopping for your return to the port city.) Instead you might:
  • Talk to a local.

  • Practice your Spanish with someone sitting on a park bench.

  • Play with children in the plaza.

  • And if you must buy something, nose around the shops that might be used by natives like the pharmacies or grocery stores. If you can’t resist a souvenir, buy from a local vendor and get a snapshot of yourself with her.

  1. Choose tours that interest you, of course. For me that means selecting ones that take me to the sites I’d visit if I were backpacking or going on a dig with university students. Fewer fellow cruisers take these tours—perhaps because they are more arduous. I talked my husband into one from the port of Acapulco to Taxco—four and hours on the road each way. There were only five other people with us including the ship’s tour master. That gave us a chance to relate to our fellow tourists. We saw amazing terrain on the way including a kind of Saguaro cactus called Candelaria that had dozens of elegant arms. I bought pescanovios (finger catchers), at 35 cents each!, for the children at home from a vendor who sold from her home on a side street. On a similar tour, from the port of Manzanillo to Colima, we sampled coconuts (Scroll down for the combination  recipe and poem about that experience) at a potty stop. I didn’t once wish I had more time to explore because every minute of both of these tours was fascinating.
  2. Now for the most important tip. Take a journal and use it. A few years ago, my daughter and I were given a cruise to the Caribbean. It was a business perk from one of our suppliers during my retail days. I hardly remember which islands we visited. They all blended together excepting for Cancun (that one stood out because of the Mayan site, Tulum). If you see five ports in 6 days with only one of those days at sea and they are all kind of well, Caribbeany in character, you may not have time to assimilate details. My journal works well as a memory booster.
  3. Take a moment when you’re at sea to assemble the pictures, notes and treasures into your journal. This can be as much fun as reading a forgettable mystery from the ship’s library. Of course, you’ll want to prepare for this activity. Take with you:
  • a tiny bottle of glue

  • double-sided cellophane tape

  • blunt-nosed scissors that air security won’t confiscate

  • a couple of marking pens and plenty of pencils and ballpoints

  • maybe even a hole punch, miniature stapler and travel themed stickers

Note: The ship you are traveling on may offer scrapbooking sessions or a class on journaling. They're fun!

  1. Do something creative with your journal. Pick up a streamer or some confetti shot into the audience at a dinner show and tape it to a page. I write poetry—very rough, of course, but some have turned into publishable material when I returned home and rewrote them.
  2. Here, for an example, is what I did in Antigua instead of playing on a beach:
  • I learned Antigua is pronounce An-tee-guh, because the British, (I imagined a Rex Harrison kind of Englishman in 16th Century garb)—mispronounced it. I also learned the country recently became a fully independent state.

  • I discussed the recent election on the island with my tour guide and how “the lovely green stone” used in construction there was really limestone.

  • We encircled the entire island and I learned about their NASA tracking station from some locals at lunch.

  • And I wrote this poem, in spite of poor roads and a bouncy bus when it struck me that Antigua, in spite of a thriving tourist business, was indeed enduring economic woes often experienced by newly emerging nations:


Antigua’s Hope

                                Sweet Potato Man sits
on the tailgate of his battered
pick-up, parked near the road
that tracks Antigua’s shore.
Like a flower drawn to the sun,
                           Sweet Potato Man turns
his face toward traffic. Crumpled,
brown as a prune it is. Languid
he is. Waiting. Waiting for someone
to pay for his crop. Nearly black-baked
by the Carib heat as he, sweet
potatoes like twists of dark yarn
lie on a blanket.
                        Sweet Potato Man’s legs
dangle from his perch, limp,
puppet limbs. His shoulders hunch,
sweat glints on his cheeks, his eyes
white buttons. I sense he wants
me to stop,
                       Sweet Potato Man knows
I will pass him by.                          

All in all, my last cruises couldn’t have been better if I’d been trekking overland by train or zipping by rented car because . . . well, I finally learned that when I cruise I can combine the best of both worlds. I even came to appreciate the enforced days of relaxation at sea. They are very fine additions, indeed.


(Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards. Her creative nonfiction stories in  Harkening won three, and her poetry and short stories are frequently seen in review journals. She is an instructor for UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and her practical and detailed series of HowToDoItFrugally series of books--one for writers and one for retailers--are multi award winners.


Sidebar for the above article: One of Carolyn's series of recipe poems

Colima’s Coconut Treat

A recipe within a poem.
Dedicated to Roberto, a former schoolteacher
turned tour guide in Manzanillo, Mexico


                                        Roberto used a machete. (Substitute
a sharp carving knife in your kitchen
at home.) With one swift stroke
he scalps a coconut pod, instructs 
us that the head must be green. The juice
sweet water then, no deadly cholesterol 
he assures us Americanos.. When in Mexico

do as the Mexicans do
, they say:

We drink the fruit’s gift, retain liquid
at the bottom of our new chalice,
slice chunks from the hat Roberto
just removed from the fruit, place
them in the bowl we made, 
sprinkle with a pinch (no need to measure)

                                                of chili powder. Roberto says La via
de Mexico, sure he and his countrymen
are genetically programmed
to appreciate its bite. Now you have,

red and white, two-thirds
of Mexico’s national bandera
We still need green, to complete
 our patriotic salute, the sap from limones
de Mexico.
Sweeter. Juicier than limes
at home. We, Diego Revieras at work,
perch twists of color on the summit
of our coconut bowls, sprinkle rock salt
to intensify the flavor. Margaritas.
Tongue to salted edge of
the glass, bests tequila itself.

We eat with our fingers, mimic
our host. Dip the last coconut shards
into the juice left at the bottom
hand-feed our lovers who suck
the flavor from our fingers—one piece 
at a time. Even Mescal could not improve
the flavor. An easy morsel, eaten
at a stand by the side of a dusty Mexican
road. Memory’s favorite souvenir.

                 Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the
                 award-winning chapbook of poetry, Tracings (c)

Caribbean Cruise, 2007

 Ellie, Carolyn, and Gracie with a friendly stingray in Carib waters, Nassau, Bahamas. 2007


I've eaten animals
disguised by deceitful
Beef not cow,
pork not pig,
mutton not sheep,
calamari not octopus.
Octopuses blush
before, during
and after they make

A pretty name
or breading will never
again be masquerade enough
for me to dip their
curls into hot sauce.

I fed a stingray today,
held it in my arms,
it's skin silky
as a soft, wet kiss.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson,
author of the multi award-winning 
chapbooks of poetry, including Tracings

West Caribbean Cruise
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas (July 2008)

Moises,our shaman and tour guide for Temazcal sweat baths near Cozumel.
Find Moises' tours at www.TemazcalCozumel.com.


The Temazcal Sweat Lodge

Here in this place of ancient miracles
Moises pours a brew of wild basil, rosemary,
lemongrass and orange onto coals,
the womb-shaped lodge black as the orb
of the universe with no stars, dark
as our beginnings, lifetimes measured
in minddays, No shaman
Moises claims, but he knows I am Moonday One,
Year of the Red Spectral, Day Eight of the Red
Electric Dragon, tone of Service, guided by
Lifeforce. Afterward, my body weightless, I float
alone in a cenote, water like liquid gold,
tannen-stained. Cool, quiet. A mosquito
hovers but does not land.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning chapbook of poetry, Tracings

Transatlantic Copenhagen,
Dover, Dublin, Belfast, Greenland and Iceland
Crown Princess (September 2008)

Note: We missed Iceland because of bad weather!


My husband's  idea of a joke. The plane was so cold, my nose is red!


Canterbury Cathedral at Canterbury, of course.
The cathedral famed for its blue windows and Chaucer's tales.

Mini Cruise
San Diego, Catalina, and Mazatlan, 2007


Carolyn sails the Stars and Stripes of America Cup fame.
Well, she got to help hoist a sail and stand at the helm. (-:  (Above, 2007)

Above: The beautiful Stars and Strips
where it is docked in the San Diego harbor.

Above:  My husband Lance with, for want of a better description
the huge jeep sized Mercedes four-wheeler we toured Catalina in.
Great fun putting our backs out!

Mexican Riviera
Mariner of the Seas, 2009

Puerta Vallarta.
I love animals, even lizards this big.
Here's a poem I wrote, inspired by a lizard, though this one obviously isn't the same beast as the one in the picture...


The Dangerous Lizard from Gabon

(This poem was originally published in the Journal of the Image Warehouse.)

One coke-cork eye scrutinizes me
from page four of the Smithsonian
Magazine. He doesn’t twitch,
this lizard from Gabon. Corn nub
scales march, marching
margarine-colored blisters.

If he senses my heat, spots
my fear with that one still eye,
he will drop his jaw,
lash his tongue and swallow.

Corn-row alleys, our family’s
contoured jungle, ingest
a child. Their phallic husks
disguise burrowing larvae.
She cannot understand
how dark trails shield
her from raspberry thorns,
tomato worms with horns
but also from orchards
wild flowers beyond.

I grab down first prize
for best costume, “Begin the Beguine,”
a hand-me-down from my
sister’s performance,
skirt too big, bugle beads
the colors of Brazil’s flag,
like up-ended sequins
stitched across a serpent’s
hide. Flounces held
at the waist with a safety pin,
earrings made from canning
rings. Sweet’s Chocolate
Sticks, made in a factory
just across the tracks,
jelly-filled, Utah’s heritage.
An award in a box
for masquerading
as someone else.

My mother calls long
Wear the St. John
I sent,
the yellow
with platelets that shimmer
I can fool my audience,
she thinks,
with a garb like that.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning chapbook of poetry, Tracings



 In the world of writing, one of the best perks is that some travel is tax deductible.
Keep perfect records, receipts, and copies
of the writing you do while doing you research.

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
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

Amazon’s Kindle e-books are available on Kindle for everyone no matter how they prefer to read their digital books. On their PC. On any reader or device from iPad to iPhone to Blackberry. And Amazon stores your purchase to their cloud so if you should change devices, all your e-books are still available to you.

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

Find Carolyn on the Web

  writers retailers

Carolyn's Blogs

The Frugal Retailer Blog
Carolyn shares nearly three decades of retailing experience   with
an emphasis on marketing.

Sharing with Writers
All things publishing with
an emphasis on book
promotion. Named to
Writer's Digest
101 Best Website list.

The New Book Review
Great way for readers, authors, reviewers and publicists to get more
mileage out of
a great review.

The Frugal Editor Blog
This is the Frugal, Smart
and Tuned-In Editor blog.
Covers editing, grammar, formatting and more.
Get the answers you need.

Carolyn's Awards

Awards for Carolyn's Books, Blogs and More

The New Book Review
Named to
Master's in English.org 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.

Published Works Almanac

Other Interests



Carolyn's Poetry

Imperfect Echoes
Celebration Series

Carolyn's Literary Works

This is the Place
Published Shorter Works

Carolyn's How to Do it Frugally Series

For Writers
For Retailers

Carolyn's Stories

Everyone has a story.
Everyone has stories to tell.

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

Click here for story and presentation ideas for the media.

Click here for a compete short story from Harkening.

Best New Writing 2013, 2015

My short story “Love Story” is included in 
Best New Writing 2013
"Dr. Pena's Lesson on
Culture" is included in

Best New Writing of 2015

Both are published by Hopewell Publications.

Honors for Author Lance Johnson Who Has Researched in More than 89 Countries

Lance, congratulations!

You have one of the top 10% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012.

LinkedIn now has 200 million members. Thanks for playing a unique part in our traveling community.

Carolyn's Travels Inspire Poetry

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 Alternative-Read.com


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

Carolyn Travels
to Teach and Present

National Stationery Show May 17-20, 2009 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY Consider this a business essential.

New York, NY. Presenter 2009, 2010

Presenter, 2008, 09, 10, 11

West Hollywood, CA. Panel moderator, 2007

Atlanta, GA. National Span College
presenter 2002

Culver City, CA. Fellows presenter, 2007, 08

Co-sponsor and presenter,
2007, 08, 09, 10, 11

Dayton, Ohio. University of Dayton Erma Bombeck Writers' Conference, 2006, 2008

Sisters in Crime,
Pasadena, CA. 2009

On the Los Angeles Valley College Campus 2012, Rancho Library 2013,
Valley College Spring 2014

Wisconsin Regional Writers Association
Presenter, Keynote 2010

Book 'Em, NC,
Three Panels 2013


Pasadenta, CA. Presenter, 2013

Los Angeles, CA. Seminar Speaker, 2014

St. George, UT. Keynote, 2013; 2014


Los Angeles, CA. Secrets of Great
Dialogue, 2015


Learn of more about Carolyn's conferences.

Travel Inspired Poetry

Proud to Support World Wild Life

with Sublime Planet
book of poetry
Earth Day

Featured in
Pasadena Weekly
Arts and Entertainment Section

All Proceeds to be donated to the World Wildlife Fund

Sponsoring Site

If you love my 3D book images, you can have one done for your book, too!

Try Gene Cartwright's iFOGO
village and Amazon List Network
3D book cover service.

A Multi Award-Winning Book Inspired by Travel

As Featured in
Publishers Weekly

Gold winner for Readers Favorite Nonfiction/ Education

And a silver
Global E-Book Award

A Selection of Carolyn's Past Speaking Engagements

National Stationery Show May 17-20, 2009 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY Consider this a business essential.

Presenter 2009, 2010

Presenter, 2008, 09, 10, 11

Panel moderator, 2007

National Span College
presenter 2002

Fellows presenter, 2007, 08

Co-sponsor and presenter,
2007, 08, 09, 10, 11

University of Dayton Erma Bombeck Writers' Conference, 2006, 2008

Sisters in Crime,
Pasadena, 2009

On the Los Angeles Valley College Campus 2012, Rancho Library 2013,
Valley College Spring 2014

Wisconsin Regional Writers Association
Presenter, Keynote 2010

Book 'Em, NC,
Three Panels 2013

Presenter, 2013

Seminar Speaker, 2014

Keynote, 2013; 2014

Secrets of Great
Dialogue, 2015

Digging Up Memories and Bringing the Dead Back to Life

Frugal Book Promotion.
Judith Briles' Extravaganza,
Denver, CO, 2016

Learn more about Carolyn's conferences.

Carolyn Sponsors Contest

Carolyn sponsors the Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for literary efforts that  explore the human condition, use exemplary English or experiment with it. She eschews titles that have already won prestigious prizes or appear on bestseller lists. In other words, she wants to build lists each year that feature works that deserve more attention than they're getting. Contact Carolyn for information on submitting a nomination. Go to MyShelf to read her Back to Literature column where she announces her awards each January.

The Ultimate Aid
for Writers

Carolyn's multi award-winning
Frugal Book Promoter takes you from the reluctant marketer stage to a fully participatory partner for powerhouse publishers or publicists. You'll also be equipped to go it on your own!


While You're Browsing...

...find at least one promotion, writing or tech tip on every page on this site. Sometimes you'll find two or three! Happy browsing and collecting!


"There are not enough compliments I could give to Carolyn. She is certainly a mentor of mine and such a tremendous inspiration! What doesn't she do, and do well, after all? Talented as a writer/author, she is also an amazing marketer/promoter who is generous with her time and talent with other publishing professionals. Carolyn is a STAR in the publishing community and I give her the highest recommendation I can give to any colleague I have. If you want a passionate professional who delivers, Carolyn is your woman!" ~ Bev Walton-Porter