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Showing posts from August, 2011

Nightmare on Bibliophilic Blather Street

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER






You bolt upright from a restless slumber, perspiring despite the slight chill in the air. Your heart racing. Your awareness altered. Pulling the covers over your head, you attempt to fall back to sleep, but cannot shake that image now burrowing itself into your consciousness.

Get ready for October... Nightmare month is coming to Flash Fiction Fridays.

Please send in your microfiction pieces, 500 words or less, on your interpretation of Nightmares to karen@karenberner.com. Remember to put Flash Fiction Fridays in the subject line and to include a bio and author links. Please sign up to follow Bibliophilic Blather so we can build up our online writing community.

Nightmare flash fiction is due Monday, 10/3, and will begin running on Friday, 10/7.


Coming Up Friday

Free-for-All Month continues Friday with a great story by Beverly Diehl. You won't want to miss it.

The Playboy Club? No Thanks.

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I contributed a guest post about NBC's new fall series, The Playboy Club, on Marina DelVecchio's fantastic blog, Marinagraphy.

Please check it out and let me know what you think. Here's the link.

http://marinagraphy.com/playboy-club/


Flash Fiction Fridays

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Free-for-All month continues today with a great piece by Cleveland W. Gibson. Enjoy.


Death in The Moonlight
By Cleveland W. Gibson


As Moonlight falls upon the castle walls, and when the weak must seek
some peace in prayer, only then the Lady in White will walk quite
beautifully tonight.

See her calm, her face so fair as the wind ruffles, softly surreal the
Moonlight shines upon her hair. But grasp the majestic nature of what
you see for there beneath the proud chin shows only air; gone cut away,
the wretched body full of despair.
















So now she walks at midnight to the clock tower chime, it's on me I see
she casts a spell so tender and divine. Those, others like me, who see
her often cry, perhaps talk of her and how she came to die.

No simple plot of love gone wrong or bitter sweet the sound of song,
rather think of crime and wine, and there in perfect moonlight where she
walked for the last time.

Close she comes to pass me by, chilling me agai…

Follow Me?

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


I joined Twitter today, god help me.

I have been holding out, not because I am a technophobe, but because my life is not that interesting that any of you would want to read a daily update. But then, Richard Bon of Liminal Fiction, friend of the blog and all-around great guy, suggested it might be beneficial for me to gain some more exposure for Bibliophilic Blather, Flash Fiction Fridays and my work in general, so I caved.

Would anyone like to follow me? I promise to only tweet newsworthy items.

Click on the link to the right, or here. Thanks.

Please join us tomorrow for a great story by Cleveland Gibson on Flash Fiction Fridays.

Let's Get to Work

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


School is back in session for many across the United States. That harbinger of fall, pre-season football, has reappeared. Summer is over. Time to get back to some serious work.

I like to attack this time of year with gusto, making all sorts of lists and attempting to organize my various projects. Then I sit back in my office chair, while a sickening feeling creeps into my stomach as I gaze, mouth agape, at the enormity of the tasks at hand.

This is usually followed by a quick trip to Starbucks, from which I return, chai in hand, butterflies gone and ready to begin.

I am working on several things right now, including finishing my WIP for a late fall/early winter release, editing one guest blog, conceptualizing another, writing and editing copy for my freelance account, marketing A Whisper to a Scream, and soliciting for Flash Fiction Fridays submissions.

How about you? What are you up to this fall?

Flash Fiction Fridays: Let the Free-For-All Begin

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



No themes. No word count. Open prompt. Are you ready? The Flash Fiction Fridays Free-for-All will run from now through September, beginning with this fantastic piece by Mary Langer Thompson. Enjoy.



Bridges
By Mary Langer Thompson


The wedding soloist sings, “Wither Thou Goest, I Will Go.”

Third row. Perfect. I’m tired after the flight from California. There wasn’t much time to spruce up in the hotel. The green on this Oregon hilltop is calming. I see a covered bridge from here.

There are white roses on a front row chair to honor Dee. After all these years. Well, she was Molly, the bride’s, mother. And my best friend. In eternal time, it hasn’t been that long. In real time, twenty-five years. Bridesmaids are wearing blue, Dee’s color. The color we buried her in.

I hear “Procession of Joy.” 


“Here she comes, Tom.” I elbow my husband, and we stand.

Molly’s beauty takes my breath away. She has Dee’s smile and eyes, but dark hair, not blonde. Thirty years ago, I …

Appreciated Follower Award

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


A lovely surprise came my way yesterday when Fiona J. Phillips, playwright and future novelist, presented me with an Appreciated Follower Award. She writes a great blog, Fi's Magical Writing Haven, which provides wonderful pieces of inspiration for writers. I particularly enjoy when she posts five or so photos and challenges us to write a story about them. Usually, they are lovely shots from the U.K., which satisfy both my writer curiosity and my rampant Anglophilia. Thanks, Fi.



The rules of the award are as follows.
Thank the giver, and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.Reveal your top five picks, and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.Copy and paste the award on your blog.Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.And most of all, have bloggity-blog fun. The Appreciated Follower Award provides an opportunity for me to tell all Bibliophilic Blather readers how grateful I am that you have joined me he…

Haddad Releases Debut Novel

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Friend of the blog and Flash Fiction Fridays contributor Stephanie Haddad has released a contemporary romance novel, A Previous Engagement.

Stephanie calls herself a full-time mom by day and a writer by nap time. She lives in the Boston area with her husband, toddler, and dog. While her short fiction has appeared in several online publications and won a handful of contests, A Previous Engagement is Stephanie’s first published novel. 






Here is a short synopsis of Stephanie's novel.


Tessa Monroe may not be able to operate a toaster oven safely, but she sure knows how to create and execute a marketing plan. All that time spent climbing the corporate ladder hasn't left her much time for anything else. Christian Douglas, Tessa’s best friend since eating paste was in vogue, is a wedding photographer as romantic as his craft. Though they've technically been engaged since third grade, there's never been anything more than friendship between them... Or …

Editing for Grammarphobes: Homophones Revisited

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



I like to bring up homophones at least once a month, because they are the bane of many writers. As you probably recall, homophones are words that are pronounced alike, but have different definitions or spellings.

Here are two more word sets sure to throw off your spell checker, courtesy of The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law.


Palate, Palette, Pallet 

The palate is the roof of one’s mouth.

A palette is an artist’s paint board.

A pallet is a bed.


Pedal, Peddle 

Bicycles have pedals.

To peddle means to sell something. 

Free-for-All Flash Fiction Fridays
Thanks again to all who have sent in their work for Flash Fiction Fridays' Free-for-All month, which now is scheduled to run through September. We are still in need of two more pieces, so if you have anything you would like to submit, please send it to karen@karenberner.com and put "Flash Fiction Fridays" in the subject line. Remember, no themes, no word count, open prompt. The …

Flash Fiction Fridays: Dog Days of Summer

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Happy Friday! We have one more Dog Days of Summer story and then, the Free-For-All begins next week and runs through the month of September. Open prompt. No word counts. I hope you join us. It is going to be great fun.




Dog Day Afternoon By Libby Heily


Alfie wasn't aware of the exact moment when he became prescient.

It was an experience that lingered on for a bit. The molecules inside his balloon body heated in the muggy summer air, until they reached a point of near combustion. The heat and speed of the molecules resulted in a force, much like the Big Bang.

His first thought was "Who am I?"

His second was, "Why is my front paw so wet?"

There are a few advantages to being a balloon animal. One is that you are nice and light on your feet. Alfie found this out as he bounded out of the arms of the three-year-old that had slobbered all over his front paw.

He hit the pavement running, little legs squeaking as he sprinted away.

There are also…

Silkstone Releases New Book

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Friend of the blog and Flash Fiction Fridays contributor Barbara Silkstone has a new novel out. Wendy and the Lost Boys is the second in her Fractured Fairy Tales by Silkstone series.

Here is the description.

When a deathbed promise to one of her agents leaves Wendy Darlin, feisty Miami real estate broker for billionaires, trapped on a super-yacht with Ponzi-king, Charlie Hook, she’s forced to join him on a quest to recover his hidden treasure.




Along for the danger-filled adventure are an undercover SEC Investigator, who kindles a spark in Wendy with his "Johnny Depp" eyes, and Hook’s young female helicopter pilot who befriends Wendy as they sail the high seas, one step ahead of modern day ruthless pirates.

A laugh out loud whodunit… kidnapping, revenge, and a little murder on the side.

It is available on amazon.com.


Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



As you know, I put out a call for flash fiction last week, abandoning August’s theme and opening it up as a Free-for-All month. The response has been magnificent. So great, in fact, that I am tossing out September’s “Getting Schooled” theme and making it an open prompt as well.

A big thank you to all of the writers who have submitted. Readers, some great stories are coming your way within the next several weeks. I’m so excited to share these pieces with you.

Keep them coming.There is always room for more.

And while I am delirious with joy, I want to say how much I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and/or comment on this blog. Recent estimates put the number of public blogs at a staggering one hundred and fifty-six million, with thousands being added every week.

One only has so much time, so thank you for spending a little of it with me.

Flash Fiction Fridays: The Dog Days of Summer

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Welcome to Free-for-All month on Flash Fiction Fridays. It's all about a little of this and a little of that. Today, we have a wonderful piece of microfiction by Eileen Granfors. Next week? Who knows? You will have to check back and see. That's the fun of a free-for-all.



In the Shape of Shep
By Eileen Granfors

Orville opens the door, and Shep bounds out to dig a hole by the evergreens, mossy dirt flying behind him. Muriel steps outside like a sleepwalker, holding herself together by crossing her arms against her bosom. The dog’s frantic digging claws deeper wounds in her heart.

Muriel looks at her good shoes, the sod from the graveyard stuck here and there, the grassy, swampy smell overwhelming to her. She frowns, and her eyes fill.

“Every time I smell that dog, I’ll think of Buddy.” She pushes back hair straying from its bun.  “I don’t want him here.”

“He’s a good dog.”

Shep’s ears cock as a car crunches on the graveled road to the house.

Shep bar…

It's a Free-For-All in August

I've been thinking about what to do about Flash Fiction Fridays this month. Thanks so much to everyone who commented on last week's post about this topic. Your input is much appreciated.

Let's scrap the old theme and re-christen August a free-for-all flash fiction month. No word count mandates. No specific theme. No restrictions. Send in whatever you want. It can even be something that has been published somewhere else, as long as you provide the proper attribution information (where it first appeared, date, etc.).

Have something in your desk drawer? Send it in. Have a fragment of a scene you have been working on? Send it in. Don't be shy. This is a friendly place.

And for those who might need a little inspiration, here is a writing prompt. This is actually something one of my Facebook friends wrote as her status a few weeks ago. It was too good to pass up.

Writing Prompt

A man in a mini-van pulls into a spot and parks. A woman, also in a van, parks right next to him. Sh…

Editing for Grammarphobes: Killing Granny

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


“Every woman artist has to kill her own grandmother. She perches on our shoulder whispering, ‘Don’t embarrass the family.’” 
— Erica Jong, in Writers on Writing,  eds. Robert Pack and Jay Parini

Writers hear voices. That is a given.

Whether it is a heated argument between your protagonist and her husband or a secondary character and his landlord, we all have our consciousness invaded by those we create.

But, have you ever imagined your mother’s potential shock when she reads a certain chapter? Did the thought of that disapproval cause you to rewrite it and take it down a notch?

Say you are writing a scene in which your main character is severely displeased, no, really angry, no, totally pissed off, no, so infuriated she wants to scream (INSERT YOUR FAVORITE EXPLETIVE HERE). Did you pause, even for a scant second, before dropping the F-bomb, wondering what your grandfather would say?

How about sex scenes? Are you comfortable writing them, or does the notion …