Follow Me on Pinterest!

Here is a sampling of some of my 120 Pinterest Boards:

Affirmations

Art: Ideas

Bon Appetit: Food

Bon Appetit: Drink (Alcoholic & Non)

Celebrate: Reading & Writing

Celebrate: Marie K Johnston

Fashion: Graphic Tees

Fashion: Jewelry Wish List

Health: Buddhism

Health: Yoga

Health: Mental Health Secrets

Music: The Beatles

Marriage

Sports: The Astros

Follow me on Pinterest at https://www.Pinterest.com/kmmccurry now to see all 120 of my boards!

Enter to win a set of 4 signed copies of my books at https://gleam.io/pquX9/marie-k-johnston-book-campaign-i!

As always, continue reading at:

https://www.Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston (Biography & Bibliography)

https://www.BooksbyMarieKJohnston.com (Extended Bibliography)

&

https://www.BipolarLifer.com! (Journal & Self-Help)

Follow Me on Facebook!

Like me on Facebook on the official Marie K Johnston Fan Page and get access to exclusive messages found nowhere else on the web!

Click here: http://www.facebook.com/mariekristenjohnston/

Click here now to enter to win a signed set of the 4 books I am currently promoting: https://gleam.io/pquX9/marie-k-johnston-book-campaign-i

Keep reading by clicking on one of these exciting website destinations:

https://www.MarieKJohnston.com (Fiction & Folk Art)

https://www.BipolarLifer.com (Journal & Self-Help)

https://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston (Extended Biography & Bibiography)

https://pinterest.com/kmmccurry (119 Boards)


A Signed Book Giveaway in May 2020!

I am now working with a marketing company to create buzz for my published work!

The first contest to drum up awareness of, and interest in, my work is contest to choose your favorite book cover out of the four books I’m currently promoting: “Mental (a novel), “Dandelions (a poem for children and their parents),” “Disaster and Harmony (a poetry collection),” and “Cosmogony (a long poem in rhyme and meter).” Three winners will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of each book. An image of each cover can be found below:


I painted the cover art for “Mental” and “Dandelions” in my art room, so I’m secretly hoping that you guys think one of these two covers is the best!

You will also have a chance to follow me on Goodreads, Pinterest and Facebook after you choose your favorite cover, so please visit these sites! I have put a lot of time and effort into making these three sites an interesting read…

The contest began in the wee hours of the morning today (May 20, 2020) and will conclude on June 20, 2020.

You can enter daily to increase your chances of winning!

The contest can be found by clicking here: https://gleam.io/pquX9/marie-k-johnston-book-campaign-i

As always, continue reading more of my work at:

http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston (Biography & Bibliography),

http://www.MarieKJohnston.com (Fiction & Folk Art) and

http://www.BipolarLifer.com (Journal & Self-Help)!

“Mental (2018),” A Novel


“But all the chartreuse buds on the new spring branches are also the brown crispy leaves that blow to the ground in the fall. It’s natural. It’s the way life works…”

–Chapter Sixteen, Mental

Mental (2018), which took 23 years to complete, is based on Johnston’s late teens and early twenties in the 1990s in Texas. Weaving journalistic scrutiny with magic realism, Mental draws upon a broad set of themes, all of which reveal why one young woman’s emergence from childhood to take responsibility for her life was belated.

Told by identical twin narrators in three parts, Mental delves deeply into the inner workings of the psyche to achieve a hard won happy ending, leaving the reader with the suggestion that it is one’s attitude that directs one’s fate. Drawing upon Buddhist wisdom and with a strong foundation in the natural world, Mental‘s subject matter may at times be dark–but the message of the piece as a whole is overwhelmingly positive.

This Second Edition of Mental, released on the first anniversary of its original publication, is meant to inspire those who are struggling to find themselves in a world that can be full of evil, disappointment, loss and grief. This novel is about dealing with changes and transitions, and is offered to illustrate the importance of continuing the search for peace even in the midst of suffering.

This is Johnston’s second novel. Her first novel, Leaves Subsiding (2010), written under pen name M Yoshida McCurry, is about the elusive search for happiness. She is also the author of Dandelions (2019), a long poem, Disaster and Harmony: A Poetry Collection (2019), and Cosmogony (2019), a rhyming and metered poem about the natural world and one girl’s place in it.

To read a preview of Mental (2018) for free now, go to https://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston, where you can also enter to win a copy of one of the four titles Johnston is currently promoting. Mental is an eBook ($9.99) and a paperback ($9.99) for sale now on Amazon.com. Go to https://www.amazon.com/Mental-novel-Marie-K-Johnston/dp/1690980842/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1569337062&sr=1-1 to add this novel to your personal library now!

PUBLISHED BY MARIE K JOHNSTON

Marie K Johnston (aka Kristen M McCurry) is a novelist, poet, visual artist and website creator. She is a 42 year old married mother of one living in a little arty town just northwest of Houston, TX. She was educated at The University of Texas at Austin and Cornell University and was accepted into Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Marie K Johnston wrote for a variety of print and online publications (including Walmart.com and Rice University’s Web & Print Division) and taught English and Liberal Arts for 14 years before she married. She is the author of 2 novels and 3 books of poetry, which can be previewed and purchased at http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston and http://www.BooksbyMarieKJohnston.com. She writes local color “faction,” taking a journalistic approach to magic realism to show everyday life in Texas where resilient female protagonists are both soft and strong. A preview of her visual art can be found at http://www.MarieKJohnston.com (“The Fiction and Folk Art of Marie K Johnston”). Johnston is currently working on two projects: 1) the publication of her journal, which explores the themes of love, loss, marriage, motherhood, dealing with mental illness, and coming into one’s own, and 2) a third fictionalized narrative dealing primarily with her daily, lifelong battle with Bipolar I with Psychotic Features. Both of these projects are due for publication and release in December 2020.

“Dandelions (2019),” A Poem For Children and Their Parents

“Instead of little boys, dandelions had

come out to play, their furry heads

swaying to flower music and their tiny

leaves waving him a hello…”

—Dandelions (2019)

Dandelions (2019) will be a delight for anyone interested in the simple joys of childhood. Charlie Taylor is a little boy who believes adventure will always be found around the next corner. He inadvertently discovers one of Nature’s secrets in the field where he normally plays with his friends, and then hurries home to share this new knowledge with his mother.

Told in vivid, modern stanzas, Dandelions is a gently unfolding tale about the innocence of childhood and the wonders of Nature. Setting this story in rural Spring, TX, where Johnston grew up, allowed her to create a lovely, realistic yet magical backdrop to this long poem.

This is Johnston’s third book of poetry. She is also the author of Cosmogony (2019), a rhyming and metered poem about the natural world and one girl’s place in it, and Disaster and Harmony: A Poetry Collection (2019), which focuses on the themes of love and personal struggle. She is also the author of two novels. Her first novel, Leaves Subsiding (2010), written under pen name M. Yoshida McCurry, is about the elusive search for happiness. She recently released the Second Edition of Mental (2018), a novel about overcoming a difficult childhood.

To read a preview of Dandelions (2019) for free now, go to http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston, where you can also enter to win a copy of one of the four titles Johnston is currently promoting. Dandelions is an eBook ($7.99) and a paperback ($7.99) for sale now on Amazon.com. Go to https://www.amazon.com/Dandelions-Poem-Marie-K-Johnston/dp/1083036041/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1569340745&sr=1-1-spell to add this book of poetry to your personal library now!

PUBLISHED BY MARIE K JOHNSTON

Marie K Johnston (aka Kristen M McCurry) is a novelist, poet, visual artist and website creator. She is a 42 year old married mother of one living in a little arty town just northwest of Houston, TX. She was educated at The University of Texas at Austin and Cornell University and was accepted into Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Marie K Johnston wrote for a variety of print and online publications (including Walmart.com and Rice University’s Web & Print Division) and taught English and Liberal Arts for 14 years before she married. She is the author of 2 novels and 3 books of poetry, which can be previewed and purchased at http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston and http://www.BooksbyMarieKJohnston.com. She writes local color “faction,” taking a journalistic approach to magic realism to show everyday life in Texas where resilient female protagonists are both soft and strong. A preview of her visual art can be found at http://www.MarieKJohnston.com (“The Fiction and Folk Art of Marie K Johnston”). Johnston is currently working on two projects: 1) the publication of her journal, which explores the themes of love, loss, marriage, motherhood, dealing with mental illness, and coming into one’s own, and 2) a third fictionalized narrative dealing primarily with her daily, lifelong battle with Bipolar I with Psychotic Features. Both of these projects are due for publication and release in December 2020.

“Disaster and Harmony: 2000-2019 (2019),” A Poetry Collection

“What is risk when this is all we have–

the houred day,

the finite span of years,

consciousness of aging

and sure death beyond.

I would rather make risk my lover…”

Disaster and Harmony: A Poetry Collection, 2001-2019

Disaster and Harmony (2019) is full of poems that deal with personal struggle, difficult relationships, true love(s), searching for peace, and finding joy despite chaos and pain. These poems were composed between the years 2001-2019 and are randomly arranged.

Johnston writes frankly about deep depressions, marriage and family, being in love, beginnings and endings, taking joy in little and big things, and personal growth.

This is her third book of poetry. Johnston recently published Dandelions (2019), a long poem about the wonders of a childhood spent in Nature and Cosmogony (2019), a rhyming and metered poem about the natural world and one girl’s place in it. She is also the author of Mental (2018), a novel about overcoming a difficult childhood. Her first novel, Leaves Subsiding (2010), published under pen name M Yoshida McCurry, is written in the style of magic realism and is about the elusive search for happiness.

To read a preview of Disaster and Harmony (2019) for free now, go to http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston, where you can also enter to win a copy of one of the four titles Johnston is currently promoting. Disaster and Harmony  is an eBook ($7.99) and a paperback ($7.99) for sale now on Amazon.com. Go to https://www.amazon.com/Disaster-Harmony-Collection-Marie-Johnston/dp/1687743703/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=disaster+and+harmony+by+marie+k+johnston&qid=1569339640&s=books&sr=1-1 to add this book of poetry to your personal library now!

PUBLISHED BY MARIE K JOHNSTON

Marie K Johnston (aka Kristen M McCurry) is a novelist, poet, visual artist and website creator. She is a 42 year old married mother of one living in a little arty town just northwest of Houston, TX. She was educated at The University of Texas at Austin and Cornell University and was accepted into Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Marie K Johnston wrote for a variety of print and online publications (including Walmart.com and Rice University’s Web & Print Division) and taught English and Liberal Arts for 14 years before she married. She is the author of 2 novels and 3 books of poetry, which can be previewed and purchased at http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston and http://www.BooksbyMarieKJohnston.com. She writes local color “faction,” taking a journalistic approach to magic realism to show everyday life in Texas where resilient female protagonists are both soft and strong. A preview of her visual art can be found at http://www.MarieKJohnston.com (“The Fiction and Folk Art of Marie K Johnston”). Johnston is currently working on two projects: 1) the publication of her journal, which explores the themes of love, loss, marriage, motherhood, dealing with mental illness, and coming into one’s own, and 2) a third fictionalized narrative dealing primarily with her daily, lifelong battle with Bipolar I with Psychotic Features. Both of these projects are due for publication and release in December 2020.

“Cosmogony (2019),” A Poem in Rhyme & Meter

“Stretched upon the cream velvet sky,

I watched a soft violet glow press nigh

against all below as first dawn;

it was I who silenced Earth’s yawn….”

Cosmogony (2019)

Cosmogony (2019) is a rhyming and metered poem that came to Johnston during a hurricane and subsequent flood in Spring, TX, her hometown, in 1994. In this tale, the major forces of Nature in turn tell their origin stories to a dreamy seventeen year old girl on a Galveston, TX beach and she spins their words into her own tentative life philosophies.

This poem, exactingly created in a sort of time vacuum when the natural world around her was on center stage, is a great example of her early ability to transfuse beauty and hope into her writing.

Readers familiar with Johnston’s 2018 release of Mental, a novel which focuses on one woman’s determination to be whole and happy, will recognize these verses from Part Two. Reprinted here to spotlight one height of her creative skill, this poem is a clever and thought-provoking drama of magical pathos.

This is her third book of poetry. Johnston recently published Dandelions (2019), a long poem about the wonders of a childhood spent in Nature and Disaster and Harmony (2019), a poetry collection full of poems collected between the years 2000 and 2019. She is also the author of Mental (2018), a novel about overcoming a difficult childhood. Her first novel, Leaves Subsiding (2010), published under pen name M Yoshida McCurry, is written in the style of magic realism and is about the elusive search for happiness.

To read a preview of Cosmogony (2019) for free now, go to http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston, where you can also enter to win a copy of one of the four titles Johnston is currently promoting. Cosmogony  is an eBook ($7.99) and a paperback ($7.99) for sale now on Amazon.com. Go tohttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XSCVQ5Q/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1  to add this book of poetry to your personal library now!

PUBLISHED BY MARIE K JOHNSTON

Marie K Johnston (aka Kristen M McCurry) is a novelist, poet, visual artist and website creator. She is a 42 year old married mother of one living in a little arty town just northwest of Houston, TX. She was educated at The University of Texas at Austin and Cornell University and was accepted into Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Marie K Johnston wrote for a variety of print and online publications (including Walmart.com and Rice University’s Web & Print Division) and taught English and Liberal Arts for 14 years before she married. She is the author of 2 novels and 3 books of poetry, which can be previewed and purchased at http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston and http://www.BooksbyMarieKJohnston.com. She writes local color “faction,” taking a journalistic approach to magic realism to show everyday life in Texas where resilient female protagonists are both soft and strong. A preview of her visual art can be found at http://www.MarieKJohnston.com (“The Fiction and Folk Art of Marie K Johnston”). Johnston is currently working on two projects: 1) the publication of her journal, which explores the themes of love, loss, marriage, motherhood, dealing with mental illness, and coming into one’s own, and 2) a third fictionalized narrative dealing primarily with her daily, lifelong battle with Bipolar I with Psychotic Features. Both of these projects are due for publication and release in December 2020.

Check Out My “Mental: A Novel (2018)” Black Friday (11/29/19) Pinterest Ad!

My “Mental (2018)” Pinterest advertisement is currently under review, to be released at some point tonight!

Check it out here:

This ad, featuring the cover art from “Mental,” will run daily to an audience containing you and 60 million others, until 12/9/19!

And, as always, you can follow me and read my biography and bibliography here,

http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston

…where you can preview and purchase “Mental (2018)” as an eBook ($9.99) or a paperback ($9.99)!

Thank y’all for following and reading!

🦋🦋🦋,

Marie K Johnston/Kristen M McCurry

Brilliant, Beautiful and Brave—Choosing a Manic Stance in My Creative Life

My psychiatrist’s goal of pulling me out of a seemingly endless bout of mania was achieved about two weeks ago. Far from turning out to be grateful for this feat, I have gradually found myself pretty much disappointed in what remained of my life after the manic glow had dissipated.

My delusion of being recognized for my writing, something I believed in wholeheartedly because it seemed so tangible when I lived under the manic spell, turned out to be less evident once the bubble burst. The audience I thought I was writing for is smaller than I thought when manic. My judgement of my creative skill today is much more critical than it was under the haze of a manic sun.

These facts caused me great anxiety as I tried to reenter “real” life. I hated admitting that it wasn’t the exciting, passionate and mostly positive life I had believed I lived when manic.

The vast majority of my real life is actually spent alone while my family is away during what can easily be described as bleak workdays where time spreads out before me, along with a kind of curse of always having too much of it on my hands, where I attempt to perform constructive creative work to ward off looming and frequent bouts of bipolar disorder and loneliness.

My “real” life is an empty page which I desperately seek to fill up, as I believe most people in my position would, with the kind of meaning and truth that can be found in the pursuit of creative work—this has become a reason to continue on in this mostly solitary, somewhat sad, existence.

Delusional or not, believing I can achieve my creative dream has become an integral part of my evolving understanding of myself. Believing the best despite having enjoyed only marginal success has taken on the higher meaning of giving me hope for the future.

The truth is, if I gave up on my literary and artistic goals, the result would be that I would have no real direction left inside my own solitude and nothing to do except housework and tv to fill up the majority of every day.

I am beginning to understand why I might have preferred a manic mindset for all those months—the narrative I wrote for myself was an exciting trip to literary stardom by a woman who was beautiful, brilliant and brave, beating the hell out of the “normal” me: full of self-doubt, recognizing my own lack of distinction, forced to focus on my less than successful royalties…

…I’ve gone abruptly from believing my writing is good enough to make it into the American canon of letters to recognizing that without an advertising and marketing budget of some size, my work will remain mostly unknown.

I have gone from fiercely believing that I can achieve at the highest creative levels to recognizing that in reality, “normal” me has issues just getting through a typical, solitary, boring weekday.

So, although no longer within mania’s grasp, I have decided to choose to continue to adopt a manic perspective in my life because the possibilities for anybody’s creative professional growth should be limitless, my self-esteem (like everyone else’s) should be high, my passion for living should be intense, and my ability to look forward to an exciting and fulfilling future can perhaps still be rewarded if I have the “right” kind of positive attitude.

I choose to focus on the view I saw through my formerly rose-colored glasses, a view which showed me that I was in the midst of achieving the fulfilling, meaningful life of an artist that I had worked these twenty years since graduating from college to enjoy and make the most out of, even if in actuality I am going to die in relative obscurity.

Even if this is a choice to fictionalize my real life, it is this choice that could end up making “real” life worth living…

I choose to feed my dreams of selling my writing and artwork bc it feels better than giving up, even if any sane person in my position would quit and just go back to living an everyday existence.

I choose to conclude that the underlying message of my work, that of never giving up even when life seems more full of downs than ups, will resonate with most people because they are struggling with a similar fate.

I choose to believe that hard won happy endings are possible (in literature and life), and that the human spirit should be uplifted by as many voices as possible, including mine, however imperfect my story.

Although somewhat of an illusion, the manic worldview is an insistently hopeful one in which abilities are limitless, disappointments are fleeting and success a natural given.

It may not seem sane to choose to see life through manic eyes, but it seems healthier than choosing a worldview focused mostly on disappointing realities. After all, writers write the script of their lives as well, so I am choosing to write mine from the most positive mindset possible.

Believing the best for your path can hardly be a mentally ill thing to do, it is rather an inherently hopeful belief in the best of possibilities and is, as such, choosing to adopt a healthier attitude than realism alone can deliver.

Follow me at http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston to read my biography and preview and purchase my bibliography!

Continue reading on one of my other exciting website destinations:

http://www.MarieKJohnston.com (“The Fiction and Folk Art of Marie K Johnston”)

http://www.BipolarLifer.com (“The Journal of a Bipolar I Woman and More!”)

http://www.AstutePursuits.home.blog (“Ivy Leaguer Writes One Page Resumes with a 48 Hour Turnaround”)

http://www.HalcyonDaysPress.Wordpress.com (“A Division of IQ Publishing Haus of TX, With Divisions in Tomball and Houston, TX”)

As always, thank y’all for reading!

Marie K Johnston/Kristen M McCurry