I started reading Salted with Fire by Nancy LaRonda Johnson. I stopped quickly … not because Johnson didn’t have a lyrical, descriptive style but because it was a combination of poetry and prose. I just can’t get into poetry. I don’t understand it. Thus I can’t appreciate it.
But I was impressive at Johnson’s wordplay. Even in the few segments I read — it was a mix of poetry and short stories — I recognized a depth in her writing. And I did find it interesting the way she wrapped up each individual piece with an open ended, Christian based discussion point. That approach paved the way to delve into your thoughts on the section you just read.
Salted with Fire led me to another of Johnson’s works — Something Told: Spoken Stories. I needed to read more from her in my wheelhouse — short stories. I needed to see if the rich descriptions that were the hallmark of Salted with Fire could be continued in a story format. I did read the 13 tales broken down into the categories of Something Funny, Something Sad, Something Dark, Something Otherworldly and Something Noble, with a little something extra at the end.
I am pleased to report, Johnson does have a deep, rich voice that brings readers not only into the stories on a visual level, but in a suggestive mental level as well. As a reader, you can envision the nuances and details of the encounter. I didn’t particularly see the humor in “Funny”, but I certainly did feel the sentiment in “Sad”, “Dark” and “Noble”. “Sad” played on my emotions. “Dark” was dark — teasingly sensuous but dark nonetheless. “Noble” made you stop and think.
I give Something Told: Spoken Stories four stars. I thought there was a flirty sensuousness, especially in Mealtime Rendezvous. I always appreciate descriptive writing and I applaud the depth of detail. I’ll leave Salted with Fire up to you.
Nancy LaRonda Johnson is a passionate — you can sense her passion in her writing — writer of Christian and other fiction, and has written short stories, poetry and personal journals most of her life. She has a BA in Sociology from University of California-Santa Cruz and a law degree from University of San Francisco School of Law. She works as a deputy probation officer.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: You can choose what kind of day you are going to have. No matter your circumstances, choose thankfulness, peace, joy and kindness. Above all else, choose love.