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Showing posts from September, 2012

Flash Fiction Fridays: What a Show!

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Under the Big Top
By Rosemary Biggio

The harvest moon, like a seamless pumpkin, hung in the night sky, unnoticed by the folks of Clayhatchee. Ida, bookkeeper at the A&P, stuffed the money bag for the assistant manager Hank Ridley's night deposit. He corralled the carts scattered in the parking lot and locked up. Mr. Ridley had come to Jesus by way of Gideon’s Bible, compliments of the Budget Motel. Reborn, Hank would take the yoke of matrimony by resolving to make an honest woman of the bookkeeper. He pulled a circus flyer off the window of his pickup and shoved it into his shirt pocket. Ida hoisted her short body into the cab, snuggled close and pulled the flyer from Hank’s pocket.

“Hey, you didn’t tell me about this. “ Ida pouted.

“Just found out. Now, don’t get your panties in a knot. I was just about to ask if you wanted to go Saturday night.”

Ida punched his arm. “Of course, I do.” She giggled. “And don’t be talking trash about my panties.”

Wi…

In Praise of Autumn

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



My apologies, summer people — with your beaches, Coronas and shorts — your season is officially over. Time for strolls through nature’s changing art studio, pumpkin spice lattes and sweaters.

Autumnal equinox arrived Saturday for those of us in the northern hemisphere, a day I have been eagerly anticipating since, well, June 1. Every 90+ degree day this summer, I closed my eyes and chanted the words “autumnal equinox” three times, then quickly ran inside the air-conditioned house.

The day and night are of equal halves on autumnal equinox. Traditionally, it is a time to search within and seek stillness and contemplation — the perfect time to write!


Maybe it is because I am a child of October, but I love crunching through the fallen leaves, the fresh crispness of the morning, the gorgeous texture of pumpkins and gourds, and, of course, the hot beverages that accompany this wonderful time.

Autumn is the opening note of a wonderful triplet: October (Halloween…

Flash Fiction Fridays: Listless

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Missing Stephen
By Richard Bon

Shari rearranges the pillows on her couch, vacuums the living room floor, and does two loads of laundry. She makes pancakes from scratch and then realizes she’s out of maple syrup. Improvising, she mashes some fresh raspberries, throws them into a pan and adds lemon juice, sugar, and a pinch of salt. The ingredients reduce to a sauce for the pancakes and she eats breakfast with a tall cup of coffee.

She remembers how Stephen would sit beside her on the couch and nap while she watched television. She’d give him kisses and he never seemed to mind if she walked away to do something else. It’s been five days since she’s seen him.


Restless, she leaves the house and walks up the street, turns down Brown when she reaches North Third, bustling with weekend brunch goers. It’s Fall, and the leaves are turning color, and she loves this time of year. Images of Stephen in their backyard surrounded by red and orange and brown leaves nearly…

Electronic Autographs

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Here is a fun idea I stumbled upon the other day. Kindlegraph makes it possible for e-book readers to get their copies "autographed" and have personal digital inscriptions. There are more than 4,500 authors listed on the site.
If you are interested in more information on Kindlegraph, click here for a tutorial. 
If you would like a Kindlegraph for any of my novels, just click on the widget below. 





Win The Bibliophiles: Book One

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To celebrate my WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour 2012, I am giving away ten copies of the first book in the Bibliophiles series, A Whisper to a Scream. Paperback or e-book — your choice.

The Bibliophiles begins with A Whisper to a Scream, the story of Sarah Anderson, a stay-at-home mother of two, and Annie Jacobs, a PR executive dealing with fertility issues. The second novel, Until My Soul Get It Right, follows Catherine Elbert as she bounces from coast to coast in search of her true self.

Unlike most series, which follow one character through various adventures, mine is a little different. Each book club member "stars" in his or her own novel, giving each book a very different feel, while still remaining under the Bibliophiles' umbrella.



She could be your sister, best friend, wife, daughter, neighbor. 

An overwhelmed stay-at-home mom whose husband is too preoccupied with work to spend time with his family.

A PR executive scared to death she waited too long to have the bab…

Until's North American Tour 2012

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER

Today I am launching my WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour for Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two). It is all very exciting.



Visiting multiple blogs over the next month, I will be writing guest posts about such fun topics as "A Bibliophiles' Guide to Chicago" and "How to Throw a Literary Halloween Bash," holding giveaway contests and generally having a great time at each site.




The tour starts today on The Muffin, WOW's fantastic and informative blog. If you would like, check out my interview here. You can track my appearances in the column to the right. Each time I'm on a new blog, I will post the link. I have been churning out copy like a crazy woman. It's like the old newspaper days!

To treat readers to the first in the Bibliophiles' series, I will be giving away copies of A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One) starting tomorrow and running throughout the month.

Here we go…


http://www…

Flash Fiction Fridays: TGIF

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Restaurant Story
By R. Doug Wicker

Recently, at an upscale, family-oriented bar and grill, two men sat next to us at a nearby table to my left. They were dressed in conservative business suits in a comical parody of unmatched bookends — a light gray suit with navy blue tie seated across from a navy blue suit sporting a light gray tie. After several minutes of rather boring talk, one of the men said to the other something that piqued my interest.

The man in the blue suit with gray tie said, “Have your ever had…What the heck do they call it when you want to say something but say something else entirely?”

The man in the gray suit with blue tie said, “Freudian slip? Is that what you’re thinking of?”

“Yeah, that’s it. Ever have one of those?”

“Just last week. Really embarrassing, too. I was at the airport checking in for a flight and I couldn’t get the darned automated check-in thing to work. I wound up going to the counter agent, who happened to be a very love…

Really, Chuck E. Cheese?

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER





The other day, I heard a commercial that literally made me stop and do a double take. I could not have possibly heard correctly, I thought, but then the lyric blared through the television again.

“Everybody say cheese is funner.”

What?

As if the United States was not in a bad enough grammatical state, let’s make it worse by teaching millions of little kids “funner” is a word and repeating it until our ears bleed.

Awesome, Chuck E. Cheese.

One can even download the song from the company's website, so apparently they are proud of their grammatically incorrect plebian summer anthem and encourage sharing it.

Even urbandictionary.com, the premier site for colloquialisms, states “funner” is “The dumb person's way of saying 'more fun.’”

Why would anyone want to encourage that? I know Chuck E. Cheese is not PBS, but why does “fun” have to include wrong language that will only further dumb down our kids’ linguistic skills?





What Are You Up To This Week?

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


When my husband asks me that question, my usual response is "About 5'2"." I know. I'm hilarious. What's really disturbing is that I am shrinking. At my height, I cannot stand to lose any inches for two reasons. First, that means I look fatter both in the mirror and on the BMI charts, which is never good. Second, thirty years from now, I will be small enough to fit in a pocket. Maybe if the books don't sell, that can be my new career when I am about eighty — writer in a pocket — ready for all of your communication needs.

I am back to work full-time this week after dropping my oldest to college. We have been in contact several times (his initiation, I did not want to be a nag), which made me exceedingly joyous and leads me to believe I will survive this latest of life's adjustments.

Writing, writing, marketing, promotion, writing, and, surprise, more writing are on tap this week, as I prepare for my WOW! Women in Writing B…

Flash Fiction Fridays: Honesty

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



I have hesitated to write anything about the cheaters — the ones who purchased reviews, set up sock puppet accounts, gamed the system — and ongoing debate that accompanies them.

They were wrong. They deceived readers and flipped a middle finger to their fellow authors. They have cast doubt upon indies, as if any of us needed more of that to combat, and cast a shadow upon our years of hard work. 

I do not appreciate this, but rather than blather on through some sanctimonious sermon, I’ve decided to combat this the best way I know how — by providing you with one hell of a piece of flash fiction by Jack Andrew Urquhart who holds a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared at "Clapboard House Literary Journal," "Crazyhorse Literary Journal," and "Standards: The International Journa…

Be Back Friday

Hello, dear readers.

Just a quick reminder that I will be back blogging on Friday with another great piece of flash fiction.

College moving-in day is Wednesday, so we are busy getting our oldest ready for freshman year. Yikes!

Have a good week,
Karen