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Showing posts from August, 2012

Flash Fiction Fridays: Sweet

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August. Time to sit back, drink some lemonade, and enjoy the dog days of summer. This month, we have an assortment of subjects and styles, a great mix of flash fiction certain to entertain. Enjoy.



How To Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
By Rosemary Biggio

My parents bribe and fib to me. I don’t mind when they do it to strangers, but their own kid? Of course, if you asked them, they’d deny it. I can remember that first time.

Mother always wanted a girly girl. Instead she got me. Someone put the notion in her head, probably Aunt Sally, that a few ballet lessons would make me graceful. Later, I learned my mother saved dollars from the grocery money to squander on dance lessons. Geez, that’s why we ate beans and franks for a month.

One day while I was wolfing down a grilled cheese sandwich, she bribed me. “Rae Lea, I thought you might want to check out that new bakery and visit the ballet school.”

I almost gagged on my lunch. “Heck, why would I want to do that?”

She cozied up to me. “Because…

Upcoming Events

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As August draws to a close, so, too, does the Orangeberry Summer Splash Book Tour. My thanks to Pandora Poikilos for organizing this event.

In approximately two weeks, I will be taking my second novel, Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two), on the road for its WOW! Women in Writing blog tour, which will run September 17 through October 17. There will be giveaways, interesting topics, and maybe even some breaking news along the way. I'll keep you posted.

The last summer Flash Fiction Fridays will run this week with a sweet piece by Rosemary Biggio. I hope you will join us. Also, please remember that submissions are open for October's Fright Fest 2012. Send your pieces of spine-tingling horror to me at karen@karenberner.com, and please put Flash Fiction Fridays in the subject line. The deadline is September 21.

Next week, my oldest starts his freshman year in college. I will be amid all the chaos that is moving-in day, so I will be taking a short blog break a…

It's Definitely Monday

The day began with me farting around with various Blogger templates. It seemed innocent enough. "Wonder what Bibliophilic Blather would look like with this one?" I thought.

I should have known better. You see, I have a history of pushing the wrong buttons.

I am not technologically adept and consequently seem to click on the incorrect tab on a regular basis, usually resulting in screens popping up I have never seen before, followed by several "Oh, shit!" exclamations and a few other choice words.

Today was no different.

I clicked on something, god knows what, and it was gone! I could not get back to the old design, no matter how many times I clicked, cursed or visited Blogger Help.

Maybe the blog gods decided this was the day to change things up a bit?

Anyway, I guess it was time for the new and improved Bibliophilic Blather.

At least until I click on something else tomorrow.

How is your day going so far?

P.S.

I wrote a guest post on Gimme the Scoop Reviews last wee…

Flash Fiction Fridays: Revelations

August. Time to sit back, drink some lemonade, and enjoy the dog days of summer. This month, we have an assortment of subjects and styles, a great mix of flash fiction certain to entertain. Enjoy.



Apocalypse Tao 
By Eileen Granfors


All the days of days ripple behind us with eternity’s oceanic tides pulling us ahead. We dance in the street making a joyful noise unto the gods, enter our house.

Our congregation of blessed elders is ready, our white gowns flaring in the spring twilight like calla lilies in bloom. Two hours remain until we ascend. Without our pets, the house is too quiet. We miss their percussion to our songs and conversations, our prayers to our gods.

After arguments and threatened mutinies, Avenna formed a plan among the unsaved to care for our animals. The kindest of the unsaved are many in our suburban neighborhood north of Sebastopol, California, but the goodbyes tested our faith.

Square-jawed and austere, Avenna stands, raising her long arms, the white drapery of her…

You Can Go Home Again

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A few months ago, I attended my 25-year college reunion. The weekend began with my son dropping me off in front of my dorm with my suitcase, all too aware that this scene would be replicated, only reversed, three months from now, this time with many more boxes and ending up with me being reduced to a gelatinous mound of tears as I watch my first-born embark on his great adventure.

He gave me a hug and whispered a very apropos "Welcome Home" in my ear. I turned to face the ivy-covered, gothic buildings filled with so many memories.

On this very campus, writing officially became my life. I had always written, of course, even was the editor of my high school newspaper, but walking into class on my first day in 1983, I made the commitment that no matter how difficult, unrealistic, and impractical everyone told me it was, I was going to be a writer.

Meandering through the old hallways, it struck me. I wrote my first real lines of dialogue here. My first short story good enough f…

A Literary Appetizer

First lines. They draw you in. Entice you. Tease you into wanting more.

Great harbingers, these words are. Think of some of the most famous from the masters.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune,  must be in want of a wife." — Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope,  it was the winter of despair. " — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
"Mother died today."  — Albert Camus, The Stranger (1942; trans. Stuart Gilbert)
Or these more recent openers from contemporary writing titans.
"Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had  turned into the wrong person." — Anne Tyler, Back When We Were Grownups (2001)
"My name w…

Flash Fiction Fridays: Fugetaboutit

August. Time to sit back, drink some lemonade, and enjoy the dog days of summer. This month, we have an assortment of subjects and styles, a great mix of flash fiction certain to entertain. Enjoy.



Family First
By Michael Robb Mathias


"Whatta ya mean she's gonna testify Vinny? She tells the council that I was selling Gamma Grain, I'm gonna do a whole lot of moon mining!"

"She's my wife, Zing." Vinny shrugged. "She's family. Wadda ya want me to do?"

"I'm your brother!" Zingo shot back. "I was family first!"

"That's what Ma said, but man I got kids to think about." Vinny shrugged again, "Whadda ya want me to do?"

"Funcklzin Bzishnit Vin! I want you to keep your wife from testifying to the council is what I want."

"They'd just chip her. Pick it all up from the sensory wave regenerations. They'd dream it out of her sub man."

Zingo glared daggers into his brother's ey…

Editing for Grammarphobes: New Words

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It's official, ladies and gentlemen. E-readers are here to stay. Well, at least according to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, which recently added the word to its 2012 edition.

"E-reader" made the list, along with "bucket list," "game changer," "earworm," "man cave," the unfortunate "sexting," "mash-up," "gastropub," which I had to look up because apparently I am not cool enough to know what that is, and "f-bomb," something I am not averse to dropping every now and again.

Rounding out this logophiles' dream is "aha moment," made popular by the all-powerful Oprah Winfrey.

How many of you have spent time reading the dictionary? Me, too. I also love Merriam-Webster Online. As a matter of fact, I might run over there right now and take one of their vocabulary tests.

Have a delightsome day!

Q & A

Last week, I made an appearance on Bunny's Review blog as part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash. To read the interview, click here.

There were some fun questions, such as if you had a time machine, would you travel back in history or forward to the future?

My favorite one was about my dream dinner party. Anyone surprise you on my list?

How about you?

If you could invite any five people over for dinner, whom would you choose?

Flash Fiction Fridays: Show Some Love

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August. Time to sit back, drink some lemonade, and enjoy the dog days of summer. This month, we have an assortment of subjects and styles, a great mix of flash fiction certain to entertain. Enjoy.


A Love Letter
By Leanne Dyck


We have always had a special relationship. When we meet, you wooed me with your clever tricks. You were never the same way twice. Sometimes your “b” looked like a “d”. Sometimes your “p” looked like a “q”. I was surprised to hear that you didn’t entertain everyone in this manner.

Later our relationship grew, and I learned that you could be collected into a group. I was informed that this group was read as a word.

Ah, how your words danced before my eyes. Sometimes “w-a-s” danced. How it waltzed! How it jigged! How it jived! Watch it now as it twists into “s-a-w”. Amazing! Thrilling!


Yet, you only danced for me.

Your behavior does make our relationship challenging.

Words dance before my eyes…unclaimed. Sometimes I am forced to guess at your intent. You are always a…

Submissions Wanted for Fright Fest 2012

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I know it is only the beginning of August, but come this time of year, my thoughts naturally progress to autumn. You see, I am not a summer person. I know, what kind of lunatic am I? Can't help it. I yearn for cooler temperatures, colorful leaves…and NIGHTMARES.

Scary stories of monsters, old houses, ghostly encounters, or whatever makes the hair on your nape stand on end.

Get ready for FRIGHT FEST 2012 on Flash Fiction Fridays.


Photo: The Nightmare by John Henry Fuseli, photo by Thomas Roche on Flickr

I am looking for flash fiction of 1,000 words or less for the month of October, spine-tingling horror during the month of All Hallow's Eve.

Deadline: September 30, 2012.

Send your submissions to karen@karenberner.com. Put "Flash Fiction Fridays" in the subject line and include a short bio and links (bookseller, blog, website, etc.) with your story.

Thanks!



Orangeberry Summer Splash

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Looking for something new to read as summer winds down? The Orangeberry Summer Splash book tour might be just the answer.

100 authors. 106 different novels. All genres.

Running through the entire month of August, the Orangeberry Summer Splash features five pages of novels, including Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two), plus the chance to win free books and a Kindle Fire.

Check out the Orangeberry Summer Splash site here.

I'm on deck for a Twitterview today, starting around noon, @KarenBerner, if you are interested in stopping by.

Flash Fiction Fridays: Yikes

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August. Time to sit back, drink some lemonade, and enjoy the dog days of summer. This month, we have an assortment of subjects and styles, a great mix of flash fiction certain to entertain. Enjoy.


I Saw a Bear Today
By Sean Sweeney

I had never seen a bear in all the long years I had lived in this sleepy British Columbian town. It had turned into something of a running joke. Wherever I went, whether it be the supermarket or even to Town Hall, people snickered behind my back.

"There she goes," they would all say, "the only person here who has never seen a bear. God pity her."

It's true. It's all true. I usually bristle whenever the hands cover the mouths and the voices carry a lot further than they should, but after about thirty years, I started to let it roll off my back.

That is, until my five-year-old started in on it.

"Mama, you haven't seen a bear? You're kidding me!" he would say at the dinner table. When your five-year-old starts ribbi…

Mourning Maeve

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One of my favorite writers died earlier this week. Maeve Binchy, 72, sold more than 40 million copies of her novels and short stories, including her most famous, Circle of Friends and Tara Road.


I first discovered her work while rummaging around a Barnes and Noble store almost twenty-three years ago. I had a feeling I’d enjoy Circle of Friends after checking out the back cover copy. Immediately hooked, I went on a Maeve Binchy binge, eagerly gobbling up all of her previous novels.



Over the years, I took her with me on the train to and from work every day, on business trips, even to my mother’s house, so she, too, could enjoy the stories. I have every book available in the United States, plus a few of her short story collections.

Reading a Maeve Binchy novel is like a literary hug — warm and enveloping — but not sappy. Her tales of Ireland speak of everyday life, whether it was going off to college, swapping houses on a whim, or starting a restaurant.

Hers was a gentle writing style, …