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Showing posts from January, 2012

Flash Fiction Fridays: Petty Annoyances

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Rounding out January is a great piece by Richard Bon. Next up, get in the mood for Valentine's Day with romance month.




The Little Things
By Richard Bon

Lots of times the little things bothered him.

She’d leave a room for the night without shutting the lights. She always left retractable pens around the house without retracting the pen. She’d call him in the middle of the day for no reason when she knew he was too busy to talk. Well, the truth was he loved receiving those calls from her; he only acted as if they annoyed him.

Of course he did his share of little things that got on her nerves too: rarely hanging his coat in the coat closet, stacking books beside their bed instead of on shelves, leaving his morning dishes dirty in the sink. He knew of these complaints she had, but didn't change.




Work and parenting were enough to fill their days and they never had the time or energy or money for anything else.

“Join a gym,” their friends advised.

“Take…

Editing for Grammarphobes: Let's Play!

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


I love word games. Crossword puzzles. Word searches. Scrabble. Hurray!

So today I thought it might be fun to play a matching game.

Can you pair up the correct archaic word with its definition?

Don't cheat! Since Blogger does not an upside down typeface option, the answers will be at the end of the post.

Have fun!


BIBLIOPHILIC BLATHER ARCHAIC WORD CHALLENGE


1.  dasypygal                                  a.   fear of excrement
2.  gynarchy                                   b.   fear of relatives
3.  saprophilous                              c.   living in rotting waste
4.  smellfungus                               d.   the feeling one gets when a limb "falls asleep"
5.  galeanthrophy                            e.   a person who will not stop talking
6.  scatophobia                                f.   having hairy buttocks
7.  blatherskite                                 g.  a government consisting of women
8.  obdormition�������������������������������…

Show of Hands. Who Loves Words?

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


I came across two great websites while researching this past week, Grandiloquent Dictionary and The Phrontistery, both of which feature obscure and long-lost words. I could not help but scan their pages, delighting in the treasure trove I had found.


These sites will come in very handy when I begin writing Thaddeus and Spring’s book in a month or so, because our dear Bibliophile Thaddeus is a rampant anglophile who delights in using archaic words.


Here is one to whet your appetite.

Q: Can you guess what redactophobia is?

(Here’s a hint. It is something quite a few writers suffer from.)

A: The fear of editing or editors.

Wish I would have known when I was working in magazines. I could have gotten a lot of mileage off of it.

Please join me Wednesday when our word fun continues with a matching game featuring some awesome locution.


A Reminder


The deadline for romance flash fiction is coming up on 1/30. A sweet love story or Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance&q…

Flash Fiction Fridays: Choices

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Here is a great piece from a new Flash Fiction Fridays contributor, Jack Urquhart. Enjoy.


Mister Courtman Heads Home
By Jack A. Urquhart


He runs in circles, a miles-long loop through town, up into the foothills, back to where he started. As always, the last two hundred meters he takes at an arse-kicking pace —panting, arms pumping, a flat-out sprint — running for his life.

Because he is.

His wife has seen to that.

“We can’t go on this way. I’ll give you a week to decide, Mister ‘C’,” she’d said.

He’d flinched, been taken off guard by Linda’s unruffled tone, by her appearance in the kitchen at an early hour.

“After fifteen years, I think that’s long enough.”

Clearly she’d been standing there a while, watching him lace up his shoes, waiting to be noticed.

“Enough time to get your priorities—‘straight’?”

Impossible to ignore the humiliating pause or the emphasis she’d imposed on the word, much less her stoical smile — as if it were all so sadly funny.

Straigh…

And, I'm Spent

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Whew! My WOW! Women on Writing blog tour is officially over. It was a great experience, and I was able to do many things I have not done before, like my first podcast interview, but, I have to confess something. I'm tired.

Writing twelve+ original articles, doing interviews and commenting on everyone's blogs, all while getting ready for the holidays, has left me a bit drained. I mean, after all, being that amusing and witty takes a lot out of a lady.



Most of the time, my life is write, do laundry, write more, edit, make dinner, repeat. Not do a phone interview, write multiple articles, and make an appearance at a book club meeting. Oh, hey, did I tell you that? Last week was my first book club appearance at an Irish pub down the street. It went well, and I had a lovely time. Even got a black and tan out of it, so it was all good.

However, there is no rest for the wicked. I am writing my posterior off, finishing the second book in the Bibliophiles …

MLK Day, 2012

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


I was told I was stupid so many times in grammar school, I cannot even begin to estimate the number. Polish jokes were big where I grew up, in a neighborhood of first-generation Italians. Apparently, everyone thought they were true.

That and the fact that I was female.

I worked harder, developing a sharp tongue that could fire back a devastating insult guaranteed to shut up even the most annoying harasser.

In hindsight, I guess I should thank them all. Formulating those insults helped me to realize how much I loved words and their combinations.

But still.


These were the days of the women’s movement. Television newscasts aired footage of protests and marches. Oh, how I wished I was old enough to wear a bra so I could burn it!

“What do you know, you’re a girl?”

When I was old enough to study Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work, his messages struck a chord. Obviously, my inconveniences were nothing compared to what he and his people had endured. Dr. King’s spee…

Flash Fiction Fridays: Frustration

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


I recently became acquainted with John's work through his wonderful blog, The Bathroom Monologues. Enjoy.


Shameless
By John Wiswell


They had to be newlyweds or serial killers. Cheryl preferred them to be newlyweds, two kids who had never experienced the carnal and found it extremely to their liking. When they finished, she'd knock and ask them to please move the bed six inches away from the wall. She couldn’t nap with all that unnecessary shared thumping on her bedroom wall.

An hour of unnecessary shared thumping later, she wondered if it was a couple at all. Perhaps there was a washing machine up against that wall, one that squeaked like two pairs of panting lungs. She turned up her surround sound and attempted to lose herself in a blockbuster movie of swords and stubbled men.

Two hours of unnecessary shared thumping later, she questioned how many washing machines had such a long cycle. What kind of stains would require that kind of intensity?

Thr…

A Sad Day

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


I received word today that LC Evans, one of our Flash Fiction Fridays contributors from last March, passed away from cancer last night. She wrote "The Toughest Kid in Town," remember?

I met Linda through Kindle Boards awhile back. She was a talented writer and extremely supportive of all of us on the boards. When I was putting together comedy month last year, I knew there was no one better to contact than Linda and her cohorts over at A Moose Walked into a Bar. She graciously consented.

Her bio states "L.C. Evans began her writing career with short stories and essays before branching out into novel writing. More than a hundred of her stories and humorous essays have been published in such magazines as Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Woman's World, Horse Illustrated, and Ladies Circle among many others. Over the years Ms. Evans has won awards in writing contests and has kept busy honing her craft by taking writing courses and at…

Opulence, Sex...and Murder

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Flash Fiction Fridays contributor and friend of the blog R. Doug Wicker has released a new novel of intrigue aboard a luxury liner.




Here is a little about some of the main players.

The Globe —38,500 tons of ocean plying opulence housing in its fabulous apartments some of the wealthiest people on the planet.

Reynard Chevalier—The Globe’s security officer. An expatriate American with a new name, a new country, a new life, and a past that is rapidly catching up and threatening to destroy him.

Staff Captain Katarina Giordano —Reynard’s boss during the day, his lover at night.

Jane Hanover —The Globe’s latest resident. The fiancée from Reynard’s previous life. The woman who has sent Reynard’s past careening on a collision course toward his all too vulnerable present.

Charles Hanover, III —Jane’s philandering husband. A man who rationalizes his infidelities by demanding that his wife also find solace outside their marriage.

Security Officer Sarah Brighton —Reyn…

Romance Flash Fiction: Who's In?

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


This Monday morning, I am looking forward to February, when a jaded writer's mind turns to thoughts of...love?

It is time to think about romance flash fiction to get us in the mood for Valentine's Day, which, despite all of its nauseating, flowery pink, is a lovely idea at its core. And who doesn't enjoy a good love story?




So, please send your submissions (1,000 words or less) to karen@karenberner.com by 1/30. Put "Flash Fiction Fridays" in the subject line and include a short bio and links (bookseller, blog, website, etc.) with your story. Also, if you haven't done so already, please sign up to follow Bibliophilic Blather, so we can build our online writing community.

Thanks so much.

Flash Fiction Fridays: Winter Strikes

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Welcome to the first Flash Fiction Fridays of 2012. Here is a poignant piece by Brittany Pedersen.


The Loss
By Brittany Pedersen


Mitchell set his wrinkled hand on the kitchen counter. He studied the mica top, searching in the counter's design for his purpose. Why did he go to the kitchen? His frown deepened, revealing worry lines etched on his brow. For an instant, he forgot completely where he was and who he was. Scared, he shifted his aging body to the dining table and sat down. A tear formed and escaped down his cheek as he realized something. He was more afraid of slowly forgetting everything and everyone than he was of death.




Brittany Pedersen currently resides in the Portland Metro area. She recently graduated from PSU, but is taking a year off before beginning the publishing program at Portland State. To learn more about Brittany, visit her blog.

Special Thursday Post

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER






Fellow bloggers Kelly Hashway and Fiona J. Phillips have both passed along "Versatile Blogger" awards, which was a very nice way to get back into the swing of things this week. 
The rules of this award are that I should mention the blogger who gave the award, tell you seven things that you don't know about me and pass on the award to five other bloggers.
So, without further ado, seven things you probably do not know about me.
1. My favorite color is green, but I enjoy watching people's faces when they ask what my favorite color is and I reply "black." It always throws them and makes me chuckle inside. But since black is technically the absence of color, I go with green. 2. I am eagerly anticipating the return of Downton Abbey Sunday on PBS. Whoo Hoo! 3. My guilty pleasure is watching any of "The Real Housewives" franchise, except for Beverly Hills, which is altogether too much for anyone. 4. To get psyched up for wor…