Monday, December 31, 2007

Blog Blessings


My friend Ann Lewis blog blessed me this past week. In a blog blessing, you bless, praise and pray for three blog friends. So today, I pass on my blessings:

First, naturally, back to my friend Ann Lewis. Ann is a terrific friend, a great writer, and a wonderful and patient webmistress. We met about a year and a half ago, and became fast friends--something that actually is rare for me. Even though we've only met in person twice, we talk almost every day with Yahoo IM, often while writing or working on a project. I love bouncing ideas off her because she knows how to get right to the one thing that either wasn't working or will make my story so much MORE. Her stuff, primarily mystery romances involving Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame, are wonderful and absorbing to read. I can hardly wait for them to be published. My prayer for her is that she have the graces she needs to successfully navigate the next year with its many challenges, from having a strong-willed three-year-old to finding a publisher for the Watson Chronicles.

Next, I want to bless Lea Schizas. I met Lea when my publisher at Twilight Times suggested I present at the MuseOnline Conference. She got me involved in marketing, web-building and networking with other writers. You think I'm busy? You should see all the pies she has her fingers in, yet she manages to do them with such grace and giving. She inspired me to write a really funny "romance" involving Coyote the Trickster and to start an online conference with the Catholic Writers Guild and Canticle. It's because of her influence that I've made so many friends on-line. My prayer for her is that she continue to have energy for her many tasks.

The next two aren't really my friends, but I admire their work and their attitude, so I'm blessing the Curt Jester and Jimmy Akin. These two gentlemen run blogs with a conservative Catholic viewpoint. I find these gentlemen not only know their stuff but also think. My prayer for them is that god continue to grant them wisdom and that those that need to "hear" their words find their blogs.

Now, just for fun, I want to bless my character, Vern the dragon. He's given me a lot of fun and a whole universe to explore. My prayer for him--that I have the time and dedication to write him lots of case summaries in the next few years--and that lots of people read all about him!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I love this house! Have a Mad Russian Christmas!



Music: "Mad Russian Christmas" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Thursday, December 20, 2007

blogger course

I've been taking an on-line class called Simpleology 101. It's got some good information, but I do my best to ignore the hype. However, they sent me an interesting offer: They'll send me their newly-developed e-mail blogging course for free if I post the following message about it in my blog.

Hey, I like free stuff and would like to be a more effective blogger, so here ya go.

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Lunchbox Notes

This is the first time in 5 years that our children have not homeschooled, and I've had to deal with packing lunches. One thing I felt was important--as much to me as to them--was that I include a little note. After the first week, "I love you" and "Have a great day" got tiresome, so I started writing pithy quotes--funny, profound or Biblical.

Yesterday, Steven, my 8th grader, asked me to stop including noted in his lunches. It seemed one kid had made a sport of snatching them out and reading them aloud. (You can guess the tone he was using if it made my usually oblivious child embarrassed.)
This started quite a discussion on lunch box notes. I didn’t want to stop writing them--it was my way to let them know during the school day that I loved them, and I found that is very important to me. Amber said her friends often pass them around and have told her she's lucky to have a mom who packs her lunches and gives her notes. Alex told me he saves his to he can re-read them. Rob, my husband, wanted to know why Steven wasn't defending his lunchbox better.

In the end, we came up with a better alternative. The next day, I packed his lunch with this note:
Eavesdroppers are seldom admired, but people who steal lunch box notes to read aloud are especially pitiful! Merry Christmas from Steven's Mom

Of course, Steven, somehow not getting the concept to the Gotcha! Factor, warned him and the kid has decided to lay off lunchbox notes. In the meantime, one of Amber's friends whote "HI MOM!" on one of Amber's notes.

Guess I've got another person to write for.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Suprises: Websites and Wonders

Work on my new website continues at a snail's pace. Right now, we're trying to figure out how to change the colors on the skin--or find a new skin. We're going with something lighter because, as I said, it seems my writing is moving in a somewhat different direction.

In the meantime, people are still looking at the site, and that's led to a terrific Christmas surprise.

Rob has often mentioned to us the childhood friend that saved his life, John Wells. They had been digging in a ditch, making a battleground for GI Joe, when the cave they'd managed collapsed on Rob. His friend, though only eight, dug Rob out, got him to the highway and got them a ride home. (This was on the Air Force Academy.) Rob's parents took him to the hospital, where they discovered one of his ribs had been broken and had sliced his liver to shreds. Rob said one surgeon was ready to give up; the other said, "No. I've seen this in Vietnam." To this day, Rob says two people saved his life: that surgeon and his friend John Wells. He and John lost track of each other, as happens to military brats, but Rob has never forgotten him and has told our children the story many times.

Would you believe that John has often thought of Rob, too? And that he would feel he's the one that owed Rob a debt of gratitude; for my bibliophile husband infected him with a lifelong love of books.

Last week, John found us through my website. Rob shouted with joy: "That's my friend! That's they guy who saved my life!" Me, I'm a sentimental biddy; I still have tears in my eyes just thinking about it. What an incredible gift!

So John, even though I already e-mailed you, I want to say this publicly:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the gift of my husband. God bless you and Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Gifts for the Author that Don't Collect Dust

Rob likes to complain that I am a hard person to buy presents for--and he's right. I just don't want a lot of stuff--and the things I do want, I have to earn myself: a book contract with a big publisher, an agent, for Infinite Space, Infinite God to sell out. No one can give those to me. There are a few things, however, that could help me achieve those goals.

I think they might work for other writers, too, so here's my version of a Writer's Wish List. (And guess what? Most of them don't need dusting or have complex instructions written by someone with limited command of English! What could be better?)

--Buy ad space for the person's book in a magazine, convention magazine, fanzine or on-line venue that caters to their readership. (You may need to get the person's help in making the ad, but it's still a great gift!) Ads can run anywhere from $20 to $2000, depending on the venue. Sometimes more expensive is not better, either.

--One of the many guides to agents or publishers out there is always a good gift, but better yet--look up a half-dozen leads yourself and give your author the website link and requirements. One of the hardest things for me is researching the agents or markets. If you've read your author's rough draft or heard the story often enough, you might be able to point them in the right direction.

--Hire the services of a good editor. Every manuscript can use a good polish by someone with a keen eye and experience. Caution: make sure the editor is reputable (have they edited books that went on to sell with traditional publishers?) and make sure your writer will consider this a help and not an insult.

--Membership in a writer's association: You may have to ask your writer friend about this one, to find out which one he likes or qualifies for. Again, these can be very cheap (The Catholic Writer's Guild is only $24 a year) or up into the hundreds.

--A domain name. There are several places that let you create websites for free, but it's always better to have your own domain name. This can be as simple as authorname.com

--A conference. Offer to pay their fee to a writer's conference. Again, these can vary greatly, and of course, there is the expense of travel, hotel, food, etc., but it can be done.

--Set up a book signing. If your author has a book out and is nearby, offer to do the legwork to arrange a booksigning for them. It's really not hard--call the store, get them to agree and order some books, and show up with pen in hand and a notebook for taking names to start a fan list. If it's a stay-home parent, offer to watch the kids for 3 hours so they can do this.

--Arrange a Virtual Book Tour for them. Go to my Virtual Book Tour Primer for more information.

--Offer your services. Authors need to do more than just write stories. They need to research, contact editors, send out queries, track expenses, keep files, compile lists of contacts, fans, bookstores, markets, etc. If you are the organizational type, offer to take some of those piles of papers, post-it notes and typo-filled e-mails to oneself and put them in a database or file or whatever form your author can use. (Come to my house first, and I'll show you what I mean! Really, no charge!)

So if your author has enough pens, notebooks, writing manuals, and programs, consider one of these ideas. You'll do more than make their season bright--you'll help them make their career brighter.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Announcing Twisted Fairy Tales Anthology


I am pleased to announce the release of “Twisted Fairy Tales” by Eternal Press. Familiar children’s stories re-written for adults. Sometimes weird, sometimes sexy. My own story, “Cinders” is definitely in the weird category.

Check it out at www.eternalpress.com.au.

I'm happy dancing. I've been seeking a home for this story for over 11 years. Perseverance pays!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

30K for Christ: Goal not met, but I won

This year, I decided to opt out of NaNoWriMo and instead join my Guild's 30K for Christ project. 30K is more open-ended, so I could work on my last book in the Miscria Trilogy: Savior Psychic. it's been on my back burner for a year at least, and I'd felt both guilty and stubborn about it. After all, Miscria I: Asylum Psychic still hadn't sold; why bother? (Yes, the answer is "Bother because the story is in you," but some days, that's hard to remember, isn't it?)

At any rate, I didn't make the 30K goal, but I do think I won in a lot of ways:

Above all: I prayed about my writing more.

1. Once I made myself write, my characters led me out of a lot of plot problems I was having when I was just imagining things. It always amazes me how getting it on paper can make the problems seem easier to solve.

2. I pushed through some of my self-doubt demons. They will return again, I know. For now, however, I've conquered them, and each time I do that, they get weaker.

3. I dedicated some of my writing time to re-crafting my agent letter. It's much stronger thanks to some wonderful critiques, so I'll be ready to send it on in December.

4. And, hey--I'm 21K farther than I was on Nov 1!

That's really the goal of a writing month like this: to push past blocks, to face our fears and to learn that yes, we can do this. We've only to set our minds to our craft.

I'll have to slow down again, as I need to catch up on stuff I let slide, but I intend to keep forging ahead. I hope all who participated in write-ons like this continue to do so as well

So, to everyone who did NaNoWriMo or 30K for Christ, I salute you. We're all winners, regardless of how many words we wrote. Congratulations to all who participated!

Blessings,
Karina Fabian
aka Madame Prez'

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Laugh it up, Baby!

I'm having one of those days when I'm accomplishing less than I'd hoped, and I just realized I forgot to blog yesterday. So, in order to cross off another thing on my to-do list, I offer the following humorous links:


Trusting a Bad Man
More sarcastic than humorous, but they have a point.

What I Can't Do as an RPG Good if you're a gaming geek.

Badgerphone song Just funny.

For Moms

Have fun!

Friday, November 23, 2007

On Blessings and Mechanical Suits

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

I'm up early for reasons I'm not thankful for, but I am eating the last piece of pumpkin pie and I'm counting my blessings to cheer myself up. I have a terrific family; the kids love school and Rob loves being a commander; my Mom's heart has healed well enough that they're putting off surgery for another six months; I got three book contracts, one for Leaps of Faith, which I've been shopping for three years; I have many wonderful new friends, especially in the writing world; my house is pretty cool (always a concern when living on-base); and I'm in pretty good health. Oh, yes, and my youngest loved the soup I made with the leftover turkey so much he had seconds and wants it for school lunch. That's a first in our house.

I'm also thankful for my husband, who finds me the funnest articles on the web! Remember the power loader Ripley wears in Aliens? Rob and I thought it was such a cool idea, we're using it in our novel, Discovery. Yesterday, he found this article and video clip of a real mechanical suit.

MSN article about mechanical suit



Ripley in her mechanical suit.
Rob's already wishing his maintainers could have them.

BTW--If anyone knows how to center things in blogger, I'd love to learn. (I've tried the ways I know.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fabians in the News!

Karina's Booksigning:

I had a fairly successful book signing on Nov 10 at our local Waldenbooks in Minot. I sold ten copies--four while I was there and six to the store--had another dozen folks express interest, and made 200 contacts. I also got on the local news! They got my media release and thought it'd shake things up. You can see it here.

Amber's Debut:


Amber won first place in the Youth division and second overall in the base talent show. She sang to Averil Lavigne's Skater Boy. She had a great time rehearsing, and even had one of the other acts jump in and help her at the last minute (they were her back-up dancers during the guitar solo.) She had such poise on the stage, and even though the music was overpowering the mike, you could still hear her well. Best of all was just how much fun she had on the stage. She's been invited to participate in some of the local fairs--who'd have thought she'd go to North Dakota and be "discovered?" See her photo here.

Alex and Liam at the Races:

Boat races, that is. Our two Cub Scouts took part in the Raingutter Regatta and got lucky enough to get their pics in the base paper. See them here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Veteran's Day Speech by LtCol Robert Fabian

My husband, Rob, is an officer in the Air Force and served for a year as the speech writer for the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (Gen Jumper). So when the American Legion of Drake, ND, asked Minot AFB for a speaker for their Veteran's Day Dinner, he was glad to step up. Below is his speech. (I kept it in the original format for those who might be interested in seeing one way to organize a formal speech.)

Incidentally, the Drake folks loved it and want him back for Memorial Day.


WELCOME

 Thank you Tom for those kind words
 And for the opportunity to join your community as we remember our Nation’s veterans
• Thank you all for having me here
 I’m honored to join your community tonight, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in nearly 20 years of military service – 24 if you count the Academy
• It’s that our communities are our nation
• Small ones, like Drake, or El Dorado Texas, where I started my career as a Lieutenant
• And big ones, like Denver or Detroit, or even Washington D.C.
• Every one is a little different – and every one adds something to the American way of life.

COMMUNITIES

 Our veterans – those who have served and those who still serve, come from those communities
• And bring those differences – and the strengths that come from them – to the defense of our nation
• Poor or wealthy, urban or rural, from Maine backwoodsmen to California surfer dudes they bond together as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines
o As our Nation’s sword and shield
 Where else but in America can the son of a major aerospace conglomerate and the son of a single mother on welfare meet, bond, and form a lifetime friendship
• That’s not just an example – they’re both classmates of mine from the Academy
 Our veterans represent the strength and diversity of our nation
• And they – you - have been doing that for well over 230 years

VETERANS DAY

 This day was originally chosen to honor the veterans of the “Great War” – World War I
• Armistice Day was intended to honor those who had fought “The War To End All Wars”
 But by the end of World War II, it was obvious that it needed to be broader than that –
• Honoring all who served in defense of our great Nation
 So in 1954 Congress changed the law, marking November 11th as Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars
• From our War of Independence in 1776 right through to today
 Today, we honor all those who have served their country honorably
• Been its sword and its shield for more than two centuries across the globe
• From the beaches of Normandy to the deserts of Iraq
 And defeated those who meant us harm
• British troops and Hessian mercenaries, Barbary pirates and Mexican bandits, Nazi soldiers and Communist insurgents, and terrorist of every stripe
• American veterans taught them all that threatening America carries a heavy price
• And we stand free today, the major power in the world, because of their sacrifices

COLD WAR

 And not all sacrifices have come on the battlefield
 Today we honor all those who served, not just those who saw combat
 We often forget America’s other war – the war that didn’t happen
• The Cold War against the Soviet Union
 American veterans stood in the Fulda Gap in Germany, on alert in ICBM silos and bomber bases across the United States and just down the road
• Ready for World War III on a moments notice
• So ready in fact, that it never happened
• Our enemy looked into the abyss and drew back, keeping an uneasy peace until it collapsed under its own weight
 I fought in that war myself, as a young lieutenant assigned to a missile warning radar in west Texas
• It never happened, but the threat was terrifyingly real
 I can speak to that first hand…
• One night, at about 3 AM, I sat on watch with my crew, tracking satellites and watching for incoming ballistic missiles – a little sleepy and a little complacent having been qualified a whole two weeks…
• When a meteorite, a shooting star, blew through our coverage as it fell to Earth
• Coming through at just the wrong angle and looking exactly like an incoming nuclear missile heading right for Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado – our nuclear nerve center
 I had 60 seconds to assess the condition of my radar, check the track, and fire off a warning to the Mountain
• Thankfully, two other radars, looking at different angles, also saw it and properly identified it as a meteorite
o But from where I sat, World War III had just started
• Inside of two minutes the whole thing was over and we all wound down again – a lot less sleepy and much wider eyed

 It’s a funny story today, but it underscores an important point
• While the Cold War may not have seen actual combat – it was a war – and we owe our veterans a debt of gratitude for protecting us while it smoldered
VETERANS OF TODAY
 We often hear in the news that the new generation coming of age doesn’t get it—that they have no concept of service or sacrifice
• That’s BUNK!
 Let me tell you a little bit about the young Airmen I know
 They understand discipline—they crave it
• I command a squadron of 160 Airmen, most young, many on their first enlistment, fresh out of high school
 We maintain the 91st Space Wing’s fleet of 150 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles – enough nuclear weapons to devastate a reasonably sized nation
• The standards we demand are extreme – they have to be
• These teenagers and twenty-something’s thrive on those standards
 My training flight trains all the ICBM maintainers in our Wing
• I’ve seen our trainees go from joking and goofing around on break to the speed and precision of a NASCAR pit crew while on duty, sometimes in a split second
 And I’ve seen the looks on their faces when they graduate training
• When we tell them that they have met the high standards we demand and can be trusted to work on real nukes
• They glow – no not literally, with nukes that’d be a bad thing – but with pride
• Pride in their abilities, pride in their accomplishments, and pride in their discipline
 They face challenges head on—and overcome them with flair
 During my year as the Chief of Staff’s speechwriter, I got to meet some real heroes
• For example, let me tell you about SSgt Donny Hayes, one of what we’ve started calling our “Battlefield Airmen”
• Airmen who go into harms way alongside their Army and Marine brethren to bring airpower directly into the tactical fight
• SSgt Hayes was deep in Afghanistan and the Army SOF team he was with had been taking sniper fire on and off all day
o He had a B-1 overhead, an incredibly powerful aircraft loaded down with precision weapons - but they couldn’t find any targets
 Between them, they suggested a “low level show of force”
o Now picture this: Pitch black, ten hardened SOF troops sitting dead quiet overlooking a 30 mile long valley
o Suddenly, way out, are four 200' flames coming up the valley
o Faster than you can think that B-1 blasts the sound barrier
 In the words of SSgt Hayes, it felt “like God just hit you in the head with a hammer”
o The team took no more fire that night
 They are dedicated
• Let me tell you about another young hero I ran across while serving at the Pentagon
• While I was there, General Jumper made a point of making time to personally award Purple Hearts to our wounded Airmen at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
o One, A1C Tony Pizzifred, was from right here in North Dakota
o Assigned to the 5th Security Forces Squadron at Minot AFB, he deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan
 Where he lost his left foot to a land-mine while on patrol
• His biggest concern—he wanted to stay in the Air Force
o He wanted to continue to serve

 These kids…no…these veterans, get it—and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

 I’d like to close with one story that summarizes the pride in service found in today’s military
 Some of you may have heard of Roberts Ridge in Afghanistan – a long and bloody fight to rescue trapped American soldiers
• Two of my friends were overhead providing close air support to the forces on the ground
 But they’re not the ones I want to talk about – I want to talk about SrA Jason Cunningham, the Air Force combat search and rescue medic assigned to the initial rescue team
• They had been sent in via helicopter to rescue two American servicemen evading capture - surrounded by al-Qaeda and Taliban forces
 Before they could land, his helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed.
• Suddenly, the rescuers needed rescue, and with 3 dead and 5 wounded – then- , they set about defending themselves
 Still taking heavy fire and at great risk to his own life, Airman Cunningham remained in the burning fuselage of the aircraft in order to treat his wounded comrades.
• As their positions were overrun, he repeatedly exposed himself to heavy fire to move the wounded along with them
• With bullets and grenades flying all around and mortars exploding less than 50 feet away, he continued to treat the wounded
• Mortally wounded himself, he continued to direct others in caring for the soldiers around him
 In the end, he personally saved the lives of 10 wounded servicemen – and lost his own in the process
 SrA Cunningham was awarded the Air Force Cross for his actions – the Air Force’s highest award, second only to the Medal of Honor
 General Jumper presented that medal to his widow, Theresa Cunningham
• Or, I should say, Cadet Theresa Cunningham, a member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps
 Today, Theresa Cunningham is an officer in the United States Air Force
• She continues her husband’s legacy of service – determined to make sure that the cause for which her husband gave his life does not fail

 These are the next generation of veterans – selfless, dedicated, and deadly
• They are our future
 You, our past veterans, gave us an outstanding tradition of service and a great nation in which to live—we aim to keep it that way
 To paraphrase President Reagan – Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but veterans don't have that problem.
 Thank you.

Marketing Tip: What's in a Name? You May Be Surprised

Found this article in Sharing With Writers, a newsletter of the Authors Coalition, which is full of fantastic marketing ideas and sound advice. If you like it, consider subscribing. it's free: To subscribe to Sharing with Writers send an e-mail with "Subscribe" in the subject line to: HoJoNews@aol.com.

New Studies in Why We Buy

Judging Products by Familiar Names: New studies confirm that we don't care much about the quality of something or maybe even the cost; we judge products by what they're called and how well we know that name. The University of Cologne asked participants to pick between to airlines, one with a name they knew and one without. Mot chose the name they recognized.
Then the researchers planted negative suggestions about the big - name airline's safety record. People still chose the big - name, big - recognized airline. So, tell me that marketing your name (first) and your title (second) isn't important and I'll tell you that you've got it backward. Your name will be around a lot longer than any one specific title.

You might want to read Gerd Gigerenzer's Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious. You'll be convinced of the effectiveness of repeated exposure to a brand (yep, your name, your book's title). As a psychologist the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, this author conducted a study. People sampled peanut butter from three different sources. All were the same peanut butter but 75% of the testers thought the butter in jar that had a brand name on it was better than the other. Stanford did a similar study with French fries and the ones in MacDonald's packages won mouth - down. Now, for my theory. Yeah, it's great if you can get on Oprah. But with many (MANY!) links and mentions all over the web a few mentions in print, and maybe even a review or two, you can be a brand name to your niche audience. It's grassroots branding and most branding starts that way.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem to be published!

Happy dancing!

M E D I A R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Karina Fabian
Phone: (701) 727-6662
E-mail: karina@fabianspace.com

For Immediate Release

Dragon Detective Debuts in Fantasy Comedy

Minot, ND--Vern, a dragon Sam Spade, and his partner, Sister Grace a mage of the Faerie Catholic Church, will star in their first novel Magic, Mensa and Mayhem by Karina Fabian, expected to come out early 2009 by Swimming Kangaroo Press.
Fabian is an award-winning fantasy and sci-fi writer known for her skillful inclusion of faith and religion. Her latest work, Infinite Space, Infinite God, edited with her husband Robert, features thought-provoking science fiction with a Catholic twist. Published by Twilight Times, it won the EPPIE award for best science fiction. The Fabians also have a Christian SF anthology, Leaps of Faith, an EPPIE finalist which comes out in print in the summer by the Writers' Café Press.
In Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, Vern and Grace are "volunteered" by the Faerie Catholic Church to chaperone a few dozen Faerie citizens at a Mensa convention. Should be a cushy job, right? Not when pixies start pranking, Valkyries start vamping and a dwarf goes to the equivalent of Disneyworld hoping to be "discovered." Environmentalists protest Vern's "disrupting the ecosystem," while clueless tourists think he's animatronic. When the elves get high on artificial flavorings and declare war on Florida, it turns into the toughest case they'd not get paid for. The novel is based on a serial mystery that won the Mensa Contributor's Award for best fiction.
Her detective duo of Vern and Grace has starred in several stories in on-line and print magazine. Readers enjoy the quirky mix of legends and clichés, faith and humor. That mix attracted the publisher.
"Magic Mensa & Mayhem is exactly the kind of book Swimming Kangaroo loves to publish- a humorous blend of genres by a talented new author," publisher Dindy Robinson said. Swimming Kangaroo was founded in 2006 and has 18 titles in the Science fiction, Fantasy, Mystery and Romance genres. The independent publisher has found its niche in publishing books that don’t fit into regular genre categories.
Fabian said the DragonEye world is one of her favorites to play in. "I love putting on my fedora and getting into Vern's head. I get to write in his cynical voice, carry clichés to the extreme, and shoehorn as many legends as I can into a film noir style." Her latest DragonEye story, "Amateurs" (The Sword Review, October 2007) combines Celtic legend with the Biblical Ten Plauges.
Vern also has his own website www.dragoneyepi.net and MySpace page, www.myspace.com/dragoneyepi. "It's such fun to answer mail for Vern. He's got attitude--and why not? An immortal Faerie Dragon's entitled."
Learn more about Karina and her works at www.fabianspace.com.
# # #
Full Media Kits, headshots, and more available upon request both electronically and by post.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Right or Left Brained?

I've had a few people say they saw me on TV last week. At very least the nurses at the local hospital did--they watch the noon show every day. So if I'm sick, I can get the celebrity treatment, right?

Got a book signing on Saturday. Waldenbooks still hasn't been able to get the order. their supplier says it's not available, but my publisher is ready and even eager to fill the order. Oh, well; I have 60 copies of my own that I'm bringing. They'll resupply me for all I sell. So advice to writers: always bring some of your own copies to book signings, just in case.

For a minute of fun, check out this website on right-left brain orientation. Can you make the lady twirl in both directions? I could not. I tried for half an hour. It drove me nuts. Rob and Amber would see her one way, then the other, but I could only see her in one direction. So just before I blogged, I went to the site again--low and behold, she was twirling in the opposite direction! Just as I was congratulating myself, she changed direction! Then I could not get her to twirl the other way. So what does this say about my brain functions?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Great Day for Writing and Mothering

Ever have one of those days where everything looks up? I had one of those rare days today.

On the writing front, the Catholic Writers' Guild is starting 30K for Christ month. It's our answer to NaNoWriMo, but instead of concentrating on a new novel, you write 30,000 words toward any project or projects. You also remember to pray before you do. My project is my Miscria Trilogy, which after 20+ years is still unfinished, even though I'm shopping the first two books around. I'd decided to change the ending of the first book, making it less of a cliff hanger and thought that would mean a significant re-write of the second.

Today, though as I read the two final chapters I cut from Book 1 and the first three chapters of Book 2, I think I may not need those scenes after all. I thought I'd be disappointed--they are great chapters, very exciting--but instead I'm pretty pleased that I wrote the second book well enough that I can start with the action I did.
At noon today, I had my first TV interview. It was just a five-minute spot on the local noon show, but it was a lot of fun. I talked about Infinite Space, Infinite God, writing with Rob and was able to plug my book signing on the 10th. The only sad part is that they didn't record it, so I can't see how I came off. Probably better that way: I can't kick myself for what I said or how I think I looked. I was invited back, and that's the important thing. Later that day, traipsing the halls of my sons' school, I was asked by another mom, "Were you on TV? We always watch the noon show at the hospital!" Someone saw me at any rate!

After the show I came home to a reminder to call a Catholic bookstore. It's one of many on my list, but I hadn't been able to get a hold of the manager after three tries. Four was a charm this time; not only was he there, he ordered a couple of copies of Infinite Space, Infinite God! WOOO!

I had a great parenting day, too. Parent teacher conferences for my second and third grader were today. I got to listen to 20 minutes of how smart my kids are, how kind they are with others and how well they've adapted to a school routine after years of homeschooling. Both teachers also told me my boys use sophisticated phrases, ask questions and bring in a new perspective; I credit homeschooling with that. I left secure in our choice and proud to be their mom.

The only thing to make this day perfect would be a book contract. More on that another day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

got a book signing on the 10th!

Come on down if you're in the area!


M E D I A R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Karina Fabian
Phone: (540) 373-7494
E-mail: karina@fabianspace.com

For Immediate Release

Science Fiction Writers Beam Down to Waldenbooks for Signing

Minot, ND-- Karina and Fabian, editor of the anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God will be signing copies of her book at Waldenbooks at Dakota Square Mall on November 10 from noon to3 pm.

Infinite Space, Infinite God features thought provoking science fiction with a Catholic twist. The 16 stories cover the gamut of science fiction tropes, from realistic near-future settings to far-flung universes that rival Star Wars; time travel, fantastic inventions, dystopias--even alien abduction. Readers will meet genetically engineered chimeras and aliens who wonder what human religion holds for them. They'll also share the doubts, trials and triumphs of humans who find their journeys in time and space are also journeys in faith. With spine-tingling adventure, technological miracles and miracles that transcend technology, Infinite Space, Infinite God has gotten great reviews from critics of all faiths.

Karina edited the anthology with her husband, Robert Fabian. Together, they also wrote two of the stories in the anthology, and Karina wrote a third. The two have been collaborating on stories that incorporate faith in fiction for over a decade, in part because of their Catholic beliefs, but also because of their conviction that humankind will not outgrow its need for faith.

"All too often science fiction sidesteps the issue of faith and religion--any religion. Or it uses religion as a device rather than in integral part of human nature and culture. Yet humankind as a whole has always recognized and venerated something greater than itself. The soul is not something our species can evolve out of," Karina said.

Infinite Space, Infinite God won the 2007 EPPIE award for best electronically-published science fiction, and was published by Twilight Times in August and is available by order from bookstores nationwide or by www.amazon.com or www.twilighttimesbooks.com.

The Fabians’ first anthology, Leaps of Faith, featured Christian SF, was a finalist for the 2003 EPPIE awards, and comes out in print in 2008 from The Writers' Cafe Press. Karina is president of the Catholic Writer’s Guild. Learn more at www.fabianspace.com.

# # #

Full Media Kits, headshots, Book Cover Art and more available upon request both electronically and by post.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Online Conference for Catholic writers coming in May!

Heidi Saxton, Lisa Hendly and the Catholic Writers' Guild have been trying to set up a Catholic writers conference for several months now, but for reasons beyond our control, the live conference is not going to work this year.

So we're going virtual!

The Online Catholic Writers' Conference will be held May 2-9 at www.conference.catholicwritersguild.org. This will be a week-long conference done via forums and live chats and will cover all areas of writing--from characterization to query letter, magazine articles to marketing your books. We're looking for Catholic writers, editors and publishers and those who support quality writing.

How does an on-line conference work? Presenters will have an informational handout posted on the website. (It could be an outline of a lecture or an entire e-book, their choice.) Then they will choose whether to conduct their workshop via forum or live chat or both.

If they choose a forum, they will have a dedicated "space" where they can post messages and receive replies form those taking their workshops. This works very well if they wish to do a class-type workshop. For example, at the MuseOnline Conference this month, several presenters had daily writing exercises. Those who signed up for their workshop got on the forum, read the assignment and did the exercise. Later, the instructor got onto the forum, read the homework posts and commented. Other students commented as well. If you've ever taking an on-line class, you know pretty much how it works.

If the presenter chooses a chat, he will have a scheduled hour in one of the conference chatrooms. A moderator will introduce him, let him make whatever comments he wishes, then directs questions. A transcript is usually made available on the forums afterward for those interested but unable to attend.

Presenters may wish to do both forum and chat.

We hope to have forums for different publishers, and editors where people can simply leave questions-or perhaps present pitches. More on this later.

Finally, there will be "networking" forums: places to put your links, your business info, ask questions, make friends... We'll have one chat room open simply for free chats--the online Lounge.

Those wishing to attend will sign up at the website. Before the conference begins, they will be given a password to enter the forums and chat sites. Form there, they are free to download handouts, attend chats and participate in forums. the only exceptions will be those class-type forums with limited participants--and even then, everyone is welcome to read, just not comment.

The wonderful thing about online conferences is the flexibility. You can attend the conference all day, looking in each forum, attending all the chats, even hanging out in the online "lounge." Or you can hop onto the site for an hour each night and look at only those things that interest you.

Finally, for those who have books or programs to advertise: the Catholic Writers' Guild is setting up a Convention Store. For $10 for the first ad, $5 each subsequent ad up to $25 total, you can post a cover page/illustration, blurb (up to 200 words) and ordering information. This will stay up until the next online convention.

What's this convention going to cost? ZERO! All we're asking for is donations, which will go toward the expenses of the site and toward a live convention next year. Right now, the plan is to alternate live and online conventions.

So set your calendar for May 2-9 and periodically check this blog or www.conference.catholicwritersguild.org for more details. If you'd like to help, contact me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dumbledor's "Gay scandal" is Not

Dumbledore is gay.

Much as it's been in the blogspehere, I'm sure that's no jarring news to anyone now. And like many people who get "news" form the Internet, I of course heard it in a post on Yahoo which had a link leading me to a blog where someone pasted a piece of an AP article and her opinion. And, like so many of us Internet users, I commented on the blog and the post before going to the AP article and reading it for myself. So here are two AP articles, which I figure are as trustworthy as any source:

AP News Article

AP Commentary on how the "Revelation" changes the meaning of Book Seven


OK. Now for my more considered comments:

Sometimes, we don't choose things for our characters. For example, in my trilogy, The Miscria, Joshua is black. No reason, no agenda, no need to introduce "diversity." Joshua was Black, and that's how he came out when I wrote him. By the same token, most of my protagonists are guys--again no agenda, no secret wish to live a man's life. Those are just the characters that tell me their stories. So I'm willing to accept her assertion that she'd "always thought" that Dumbledore was gay. And if that's not the case, she has other issues, and I don't need to support her by blogging about them.

If she really had to have a gay relationship, even in the background, she handled it pretty well. Throughout the books, Dumbledore is a kind, gentle, chaste man. Never was there an indicator that he saw others--adults or children--as sexual objects. Never was the issue of homosexuality even brought up. It's totally invisible unless you have her hint--given months after the book is out.

However, if you look at Dumbledore's life as headmaster as one of a gay person, there's still nothing to object to. Even the Catholic Church has nothing against someone being gay--it's the practice of that relationship that's sin.

Oh, but what about his relationship with Grindelwald? According to the second article, this gives new light to Dumbledore's relationship with his "friend" Grindelwald. OK. Let's look at that. Dumbledore is a depressed teen in a hard, stressful situation. Grindelwald comes on the scene and offers him happiness and love--all the while filling him with ideas of wizard superiority and the use of forbidden magic in order to force his views on the world. Dumbledore is "inflamed" by these ideas--well, weren't the Germans of the 1930s inflamed by the ideas of Hitler? Grindelwald is an evil, charismatic predator.--and Dumbledore a young foolish victim. When Dumbledore finally sees the truth, it's nonetheless difficult for him to break free of Grindelwald's hold on him. When he does, it finally ends in a duel and death.
Yeah. Healthy, loving relationship, even without the questionable sexual influences. Reading about it in this light makes me accepting of the practice.

Finally, I'd like to point out that we are talking about fantasy. I am no more going to turn to a gay lifestyle than I am to the practice of magic--nor am I looking to Rowling for spiritual direction. Rowling laughs about the fanfic that may come out now. This is known as slash and slash has always been written about characters. Slash has been written about James T Kirk--and never was there a more randy obviously heterosexual character written.

Incidentally, JK Rowling is not breaking any new ground with a gay hero. Mercedes Lackey did that years ago with Herald Vanyel (The Last Herald Mage series.) Lackey writes better fantasy than Rowling, too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

MuseOnline Writers Conference 07

Sorry this blog has been so empty for a long time. My best friend, the incredible and talented Ann Lewis, is helping me revamp fabianspace. As a result I changed the password, not realizing blogger needed it to upload the blog to my site! I'm such an ignoramous on these things…At any rate, we'll get it sorted out soon.

I just came back from the most incredible writers conference. This conference had an amazing wealth of information, workshops, discussion groups, time with publishers… The best part was I could attend more than one thing at once, plus I was home to take care of the kids and handle any crisis that came along. No, I didn't clone myself: I attended MuseCon 2007--the only on-line conference of its kind.

Lea Schizas (aka the Amazing Mother Hen) organized the event, which had 1900 attendees, over 80 worshops (many with exercises and critique sessions that ran the week), moderated and impromptu chats, at least 15 publishers to ping, plus an agent or two. Writers who were so green they were yellow to well-established authors with hundreds of writing credits mingled, taught and learned. (Yes, even the experienced folks learned something new.) Classes spanned from query letters to characterization to poetry to marketing your works--and if you didn't find a workshop to answer your need, there was always a chat session or the chat forum to ask up.

I went last year as a somewhat experienced writer and yellow-green marketer, and left a marketing monster. This year, I came back to give back what I'd learned and store up more knowledge and ideas for the next year. I'm not sure what kind of monster I've become this year, but I can feel the energy, like the lightening that brought Frankenstein to life.

My workshops were a re-run of Faith in Fiction with Maya Bohnhoff and Colleen Drippe, a workshop on worldbuilding and a virtual book tour workshop. Then, after seeing some of the same questions again and again, I held an impromptu chat workshop on marketing plans. That's the coolest part of this con--if you want to do something like that, all you had to do is announce the time in an empty chat room, pull some files off your computer and go for it! Even better, I got a lot of my material from some of the other workshops! Writers working together: that's what MuseCon is all about.

I was overwhelmed by the number of workshops--too many for a week. I finally selected four: Christine Amsden's worldbuilding (She sent the homework ahead of time! Joy!), Lisa Logan's "Promotion on the Web." Earl Stagg's "Write Tight II" and on a whim Devon Ellington's dialogue workshop. Christine's helped me better develop my DragonEye, PI world; I got a lot of tips and links from Lisa's (and probably gave too much unsolicited advice), and came away from Devon's ready to write a story that had been stuck in my mind for a year now. And Earl's--well, my favorite moment was when he gave us this paragraph to re-write:
Mary had been a lonely girl all her life. Even as a young child in school, she had never had many friends. In third grade, she had desperately wanted to be friends with Rebecca, who was the most popular girl in school, but Rebecca had never paid any attention to her. When she was in sixth grade, she had a very big crush on Todd, but he always ignored her. Remaining a lonely outsider even into high school, she was never able to feel like she belonged. When other girls had sleepovers, she had never been invited to them. While the other girls would talk about dating, she would not join in because she never had any dates. Like the school dance in her sophomore year. She pretended to be sick, which was the reason she gave for not going. Once, when she asked her mother what was wrong with her, her mother simply replied absently-mindedly that there was nothing wrong with her and for her not to worry about it. It was as if she didn’t think it was important. But it was important to her then. Now, at thirty-five and still lonely, it still bothered her.

After a couple of posts, he mentioned that it seemed like it'd be the start of a romance novel, which wasn't really his style. "I need a dead body thrown in." This is what I turned in:
You want a dead body?

Detective Staggs frowned at torn yearbook pages littering the bulletin board. Rebecca Changler, "Wish we'd gotten to know each other," with a red X and LIAR! Todd Ames, elected Sixth Grade Hottie; cupid's arrow got him between the eyes. There were more--nameless faces pasted onto magazine covers of girls' sleepovers and prom shots. Below it all, "See Mom? It DOES Matter!"

"Who's next, Mary," Staggs muttered, "And where are you?"

I'm still laughing.

Lea has hit upon a beauty of an idea for conferences by using the internet. It's inexpensive (She asked for donations, which she richly deserved, but has no fees.). You can have an overload of information yet not miss anything you really want (thanks to the beauty of cut-and-paste.) People from all over the world could attend, in any time zone (thanks to the forum workshops) and even if they had disabilities. You could market your books (subtly, just be talking with folks, including characters in your exercises, and of course your signature line.) The only thing this conference lacks is a good pitch session, but I think ask the con continues to grow, you'll start seeing that, too.

If you are a writer, make a note for January to sign up for MuseOnline Conference 2008. Of all the writers' conferences available, this is the most comprehensive, easy and fun!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Leaps of Faith Finally Coming!

Every have one of those days where you really, truly intend to get a thing done, but 15 other things get in your way? Hey, then you know how my past 2 months have been. I honestly feel like I'm chopping away at an iceberg with an ice pick--and the Titanic is on the way!

But I am really, really, really resolving to start making this blog regular and more worthwhile. I just took Audrey Shaffer's Marketing/Branding course, and--big surprise--she recommends you have a blog and that you keep it to the topics for which you write....

...oops.

So my New Fiscal Year's Resolution is to start blogging a little more about the things that impact my writing: from writing and marketing tips to commentary on the issues of tomorrow (SF, you know) to what's going on in my writing world--the stories and the publishing. So, to that end, this week's blogs are dedicated to "Catch Up."


JUMPING UP AND DOWN, THANKING GOD AND CYNTHIA MACKINNON

Yes, after seven years of searching for a print publisher, Leaps of Faith will be published! The Writer's Cafe Press (publisher Cynthia MacKinnon) published quality Christian Speculative Fiction--sci-fi to horror. They've already put out Light at the Edge of Darkness and Flashpoint, both terrific books for the Christian reader who likes to have characters that deal with the amazing without forgetting the Amazing Grace.

We're looking at a Summer 08 release date, but don't hold me to that. Publishing is a tricky business.

BTW--if you'd like to support the cause of Christian spec fic, small-press publishers with conscience, or me and the many wonderful writers who contributed to Leaps of Faith, please buy Light at the Edge of Darkness of Flashpoint. Don't have money? Check them out--literally. Ask your library to purchase a copy. I'll be honest, I'm not much for heavy-handed treatment of religion in my fiction, but I did enjoy these books, especially Flashpoint. Check them out on my book blog: www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Reviews for Infinite Space, Infinite God

The Infinite Space, Infinite God virtual book tour is over. We attended over 40 blogs and two live chats. I've enjoyed the interviews and guest blogging, and have been impressed by the reviews. I was a little sorry not to see more comments, and I had some of the links wrong, but overall it was a terrific experience.
Today, I want to share some highlights from the reviews:

From Book Connection: Could a book of this nature appeal to a reader whose only experience with science-fiction is the television shows Star Trek and Star Trek the Next Generation?
The answer is a resounding, YES!
Never before have I regretted the end of a story as much as I did after I finished each of the fifteen stories included in Infinite Space, Infinite God. Each story drew me in with the depth of its characters, uniqueness of its plot, and its powerful endings. I never knew what to except in the next story, but I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.

From Lost Genre Guild: And one more thing, it is pretty darn refreshing to read good fiction that does not haul out the fictional stereotypes of predatory priests or knuckle-rapping nuns.
I thoroughly enjoyed all of the stories included in Infinite Space Infinite God and liked the fact that they forced me to ponder and question. In fact, I became so interested in the spiritual background of the stories that Karina agreed to give me a tutorial on some preconceived notions I had about Catholicism.

From The Snoring Scholar: I have never been a great reader of science fiction. Truth be told, I’ve never been very interested in what I’m supposedly missing. Walking into the sci-fi/fantasy section of a bookstore leaves me feeling cold and alien, makes my breath come in shallow bursts, and turns the world a strange dark gray. It’s just so unfamiliar. I don’t recognize old friends beckoning me from the shelves, and I don’t feel any sense of kinship with the strange premises that I find on the back cover synopses.
That may have all changed.... The authors and the editors of ISIG have woven a tapestry of applied Catholic teaching and current Catholic questioning. Even as we debate stem cell research and fight the horrors of abortion in our own time, these men and women are pushing the boundaries and blazing into the next set of ethical dilemmas we stand to face.
Is there more fiction like this? I’m certainly inspired to look. It has been among the most terrifying reading I’ve done, and also among the most invigorating. It has filled my mind with possibilities and hope, even as it made me consider the eternal importance of what we do when we profess our faith and live our lives as God has called us.

From Steven Doyle: Karina and Robert Fabian have put together an excellent collection of stories showcasing Catholic Science Fiction.

From Frank Creed: The Fabians have amassed a fine group of writers in ISIG. Besides being entertaining, these stories provoke thought, educate us non-Catholics, and give the reader a new take on commonly held suppositions about the Catholic church. Pick up a copy of Infinite Space, Infinite God and see for yourself—but careful, this is hot stuff!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Quick Life Update

Just wanted anyone who checks in to know that we are finally settling in at Minot ND. Boxes are mostly unpacked, rooms are mostly in order and my new computer is mostly at optimum functionality. (Vista and MS Word 07 are not made for writers who do not have have time to re-learn a new operating system, search for commands that were only a click away, or fight with it because it won't work nicely with other programs--including older version of Microsoft.)

The kids are in school and adapting nicely. The older two are having the middle school experience I would have loved to have had, socially. They are also displaying a confidence and knack for handling problems that would have left me stymied.

Looks like our house is sold. We have a contract, but there are always potential problems between now and closing date. However, I can now pray, "Let things go smoothly" instead of "Find us a family soon!"

Rob is enjoying his new job, but we're both getting a little tired of his blackberry going off for every little thing. He's also having to learn to tell his people to handle things, then wait, ratter than just going in and doing it himself. (Of course, this is not a problem where the technical things are concerned, but where he has to lead by telling his leaders, "make it happen," he's still fighting his instinct to jump on in.)

Our new house on base is very nice, bigger than we'd expected, though not as well insulated--you can hear everything from one end of the house to the other. The neighborhood is terrific and we're only a block from the elementary school. The older two are going to Catholic School, and the bus comes right to our door.

Tomorrow, I'll give an update on the Virtual Book Tour and other news.

Blessings,

Monday, August 06, 2007

Embrace your beigeness!

It's 11:03, and I'm going to bed in a few minutes, but I'm at a hotel with wi-fi and finally have a chance to share the beige jokes I've been promising.

For those who have forgotten, we have been unsuccessfully trying to sell our house. After the movers packed out our stuff, we hired a different agent who was more knowledgeable and willing to promote our property, and did a few more things to make it more marketable. (MLS ID# ST6497947--look it up at realtor.com!)

One of the major changes we did was to paint the bolder colored walls beige. Paraffin wax, it was called, actually--beige with snooty attitude. Personally, I hate beige, and since it was going over the chili peppers I adored and the colorful handprints that the children made as a border along the playroom wall, I was esp. annoyed at the necessity. To compensate, I make up beige and realtor jokes:

Where to Realtors go on vacation? Beige-ing (Thanks to the folks at the Writers' Chat room for that one.)

How can you tell a realtor is going through mid-life crisis? The beige sports car.

If Realtors wrote songs: "We are living in a Paraffin World." "I'm Beige" "Beige semi-gloss shoes" "Feels just like I'm walking on hardwood floors"

Realtor fashion advice: Beige is the new black.

If Realtors wrote the Bible:
--In the beginning there was beige. And God said, "It goes with everything." And it was good.
--And God said to Noah, "Why are you painting the ark?"
Noah said, "Well, God, we only needed it those 40 days and the missus thought..."
God said, "Thou Shalt Paint it Beige."

That's all I can remember. the other computer took the rest on it's death bed. Maybe it was the fumes from the beige paint. time for me to go to bed.

Fade to beige...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Infinite Space, Infinite God Virtual Book Tour Schedule

If you read my last post, you know my computer died, taking about a week's worth of info with it. (Third time for this computer. I have sworn off HP laptops and encourage folks to stay away from them.) I now have a new Toshiba, and am working with Circuit City to get a refund on my HP Lemon. We're on the road to Minot, ND tomorrow, but if we get time between packing, Rob is going to load all my info from my back-up drive, and I'll have only lost a week of work. In the meantime, I can only blog on my MIL's computer, which has dial-up. Very Slow dial-up.

Here's the schedule of the ISIG virtual book tour. Some folks have gotten excited and posted early. Please leave a comment; bloggers are getting a prize for most comments, and anyone who comments gets a chance to win either a copy of our Christian SF eBook, Leaps of Faith, or a gift certificate at Twilight Times Books.

LEARN MORE ABOUT INFINITE SPACE, INFINITE GOD ON ITS AUGUST BOOK TOUR:

1: www.doylebooks.com (summary) www.kaleidosouls.info, Day 1 (summary)

2: www.kaleidosouls.info, Day 2 (interview)

3: www.thewritingjungle.blogspot.com (interview)

4: www.freewebs.com/mary-andrews (interview)

5: http://writeurthoughts.blogspot.com (interview)

6: www.catholicfiction.net (interview) (interview)

7: http://timewithtannia.tripod.com/ (interview) www.writeandwhine.blogspot.com/ (interview)

8: http://www.jillelizabethnelson.com/artisticblogger.shtml
http://www.shoutlife.com/jillelizabethnelson
http://www.myspace.com/jillelizabethnelson (interview)

9: http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/ (interview)

10: http://cmwforum.blogspot.com (review)

11: www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com(interview)

12: www.thedarkphantom.wordpress.com (interview)

13: www.lostgenreguild.com (review) http://gloriaoren.blogspot.com (interview)

14: http://www.blogcatalog.com/blogs/dragons-of-the-pyramid-book-reviews.html (review)

15: http://beverlyjean.livejournal.com (interview) www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com (trailer)

16: http://cfvici.blogspot.com/ (review) http://catharsys.wordpress.com/ (interview) http://cdrippe.wordpress.com (summary)

17: http://www.annmargaretlewis.com/ (interview)

18: 12 Noon: Live Chat: http://jolinsdell.tripod.com
http://blog.myspace.com/grace1979

19: http://blog.myspace.com/grace1979 (review)
7:00-9:00 PM: www.writerschatroom.com (Live Chat)

20: www.marilynmeredith.blogspot.com (interview)

21: www.snoringscholar.blogspot.com (review)

22: http://solshine7.blogspot.com (review and interview) http://scifijournalist.blogspot.com (review and interview)

23: www.jamiesonwolf.blogspot.com (interview)

24: www.authoralley.blogspot.com (interview) http://www.karenee.blogspot.com/(interview) www.disturbingreviews.blogspot.com (interview)

25: www.thebookpedler.wordpress.com (interview) http://worldsapage.blogspot.com/ (interview)

26: www.livejournal.com/~paulinebjones (interview)

27: http://penelopemarzec.blogspot.com (guest blogger) http://aspiringauthor.blogspot.com/ (interview) www.disturbingreviews.blogspot.com (interview)

28: http://www.myspace.com/happywriter (guest blogger) http://zyphe.blogspot.com (review) http://360.yahoo.com/raeshylle (review)

29: 12 Noon: Live Chat "Infinite Space, Infinite God and the Infinite Possibilities of Book Marketing" http://www.virginiajennings.zoomshare.com/5.html
http://writetype.blogspot.com (guest blogger)

30: www.noveljourney.blogspot.com (interview)

31: http://afrankreview.blogspot.com/ (review)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Infinite Space, Infinite God Virtual Book Tour

The Infinite Space, Infinite God Virtual Book Tour started August 1st. We have 43 posts with interviews, reviews and more. To find out who's saying what when, check out the calendar at www.myspace.com/infinitespaceinfinitegod or at http://isigsf.tripod.com.

Sadly, my computer has chosen tonight to die or at least go comatose, so I cannot bring you any more information. (I'm on my mother-in-law's.)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bum luck and blessings

Sorry--no beige jokes tonight.

It has been a long and busy and none-too fun week. It started with painting half the house beige or white (including covering over the chili peppers and kids' painted hand prints on the wall) and ended with the three-hour mad dash to totally clean a messy house in time for an surprise open house. We'd left the house Friday night with paint cans, paint splatters, three loads of junk to take to the dump, dirty bathrooms, etc. We thought we would have all day to clean, then we discovered at 9:30 am Saturday that our realtor had scheduled an open house at noon. Since she said the ad was in the paper, we hustled to get it done. By 1:00, we were just finishing up and she came in from where she'd been sitting in the front yard to apologize--the ad never went in the paper.

Our great luck did not end there--that evening, bringing two of the kids home from a birthday party, we got hit by a drunk driver. No one was hurt, thanks be to God, but Rob's car (2007 Honda Ridgeline with 2100 miles) needs a new back panel, wheel and alignment--possibly the frame straightened. All before we leave Monday morning. Somewhere in this time, we also need to get the tonneau put on so we can carry our junk.

So the beige jokes I was promising got tossed in with all the other junk I was trying to hurriedly get out of the house for the open house that wasn't, and in light of all the other stuff going on, from getting the car fixed to finding a new realtor, I haven't had time to dig them back out.

So what are my blessings? Our neighbors--wife, husband and kids--all pitched in to help clean up. we'd have never gotten it done if they hadn't. My mother-in-law helped repair and clean, and picked up the kids after the accident when the police took so long to arrive. When we were hit, one person in the neighborhood was already calling 911 to report the drunk driver and stuck around to make his statement to the police and make a copy for us. The EMT folks were there within minutes and stayed with the lady who hit us because they were afraid she was going to run. They came by every few minutes to check on us and reassure the kids. The accident happened on a residential street at a very low speed; had she not hit us, she would have turned onto a high-speed busy road and could have killed herself or someone else.

So tonight, I'm offering up a cyber-prayer of thanks to God for giving us such great friends and neighbors, for protecting us, and for making what could have been major tragedies into merely major annoyances.

BTW--for those who asked, Alex's arm is in a cast now and he feels much better. They think we can take it off when we get to Minot.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Light at the End of the Tunnel...

...is Beige! House is painted, new carpet installed, yard work done, house half-cleaned, child in cast, and a whole slew of beige and realtor jokes have been thought up. I'll share those with your Tuesday, promise. In the meantime, we need to shut down the computers, pack up the last of our stuff and head over to Grandma's. Tomorrow, we finish cleaning our former dear home, and I kiss it good bye and declare it "That House We're Selling."

Anyway, Rob found a great article for those Catholics who wonder about evolution, science and faith: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19956961/
One last thing: I'm celbrating because my mom, who was looking at heart surgery in August, has responded so well to her medication that they are waiting six months before re-evaluating her. She may not need surgery after all. God is so good!

Tuesday: Embracing Your Beige-ity!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Broken Arms and Billboards

Movers packed out everything yesterday. Then, in the evening, Alex fell of the back porch and broke his elbow! He's fine, but four hours in the hospital put a cramp in our schedule. Over the next 4 days we need to paint the house, clean the house, put in new appliances, and shampoo the carptes--all befor ethe Sunday open house!

Just in case anyone's reading this blog--and if you are, pray for Alex's elbow--here's a cut link Ken Pick (co-author of "Mask of the Ferret" in Infintie Space, Infinite God) sent me.

Billboards Discuss Church

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Robots and Movers!

Movers called and want to pack us out tomorrow instead of Monday! So, here's a cool article to read instead of my blog. I will say that I wish I could have one of these!

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/robot-love/mitsubishi-hiring-out-robots-as-receptionists-278291.php

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Dragon Story Won an Award!

Almost a year ago, I started writing a silly fantasy noir serial for the North Dakota Mensa publication, the Prairie Dawg. Shirley Starke, the editor, had done a translation for me for another Dragon Eye, Pi story, and we'd gotten to talking about Vern and Sister Grace and came up with the silly idea of the two chaperoning the Faerie at a Mensa convention. No heavy mystery, but a lot of fairy and Mensa in-jokes.

This year, even though it wasn't finished, Shirley entered it in the Mensa Publication Recognition Program contest. I got a rather..yellow..certificate of participation, so I figured nothing came of it.

Imagine my surprise when I received a trophy in the mail today! Stunned silence followed by much whooping and jumping and happy dancing!

It's funny the coincidences life brings your way. As it turns out, we're moving to North Dakota in 3 weeks, and I already have a friend and several acquaintances there thanks to the Prairie Dawg and MM&M. Also, It was such for to write, that I've novelized it and it may be my first Dragon Eye Mystery.

If I can ever find the cable for the camera, I'll put up a photo of the trophy.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

To Tickle Your Funny Bone

The movers come the 23rd, and we have someone coming to look at the house today, and I have interviews to write for the August virtual book tour for Infinite Space, Infinite God. (Official announcement coming Tuesday.) In the meantime, here are a couple of things to tickle your funny bone.

2001 Things I'm No Longer Allowed to do in Role-Playing Game: http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=608704&styleid=74

20 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity
(Thanks to my friend Rhonda for sending me this)

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.

4.. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For Smuggling Diamonds"

7. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With The Prophecy."

8. Don t use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat with a serious face.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

12. Sing Along At The Opera

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won!, I Won!"

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"

19. Tell your Children over Dinner: "Due to the Economy, We are Going to Have to Let One of You Go"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Websites and Presentation

Do you hate websites that are hard to read? Are you concerned yours is the same?

I've run across some great information about websites and presentations that I want to share. The first is a posting on the MuseOnline Yahoo group. (Incidentally, if you have not signed up for the MuseOnline Conference in October--DO IT! It's free and totally via the Internet.)The other is a hilarious video about PowerPoint presentations. It's parody and applies to speeches, but the principles are sound and apply to websites as well.

On Website Design, by Jan Verhoeff


I often have multiple pages up and music pulls band width, so when I pull up a site with music on the page - it slows my computer and I'll actually not stay as long if there's music on the page.


Another thing I absolutely hate is a bunch of motion on a page. Flashing lights belong on cop cars and Christmas trees.

If you want me to stay on your page long enough to see what it's about, use great copy and high quality graphics that capture my attention.

As a designer, I've learned that if the colors aren't pleasing and coordinated in some fashion, the page ultimately doesn't get the attention it deserves either. So be aware of the colors you select on a website.

If your colors are subdued don't splash in neon Yellows and Greens that slap your reader senseless.

Opposites on the color wheel compliment. Split complimentary is good for a tri-color scheme.

Focus on white space to rest the eye.

While a dark background with white lettering can be read, they eye strains to read it because it isn't "normal" so even if your page needs a reverse color appeal to stand out against the crowd, you might consider a white background inserted behind LARGE amounts of text. I rarely read dark mystery online because it is so difficult to focus on the black backgrounds. If it isn't something I value reading enough to copy and paste into a document, I struggle through a few lines and skip to the next page.

Those who spend a lot of time on the computer are significantly more aware of eye strain than others... so you might want to consider who your audience online will be.

Centered EVERYTHING on the page SCREAMS amateur and unless I find something in the first couple of lines that captures my attention I exit fast. This is another style that is extremely difficult to read.

Font sizes matter.

If the page is a professional page with business information, you'll want to stay in the 10 - 12 font size range (2 or 3 on some design formats). This also applies if you have a lot of text. In print, use a serif font, such as Times New Roman. Online use a block font - sans-serif, such as Arial or Verdana.

Save the large clunky text for headlines and sales letters.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER (did I say never?) write large amounts of script in ALL CAPS online. It is difficult to read, and feels like you're screaming at your reader.

(Think about how you felt reading the last paragraph even... )

Whether you write your website using style sheets or not, organize your pages into 'expected columns' to keep your reader from having to search for specifics.

~Primary site links across the top just under the header graphic or logo.
~Links on the Left.
~Body of text in the middle.
~Ads and Alternative content on the right.
~Banners, Ads, and Important Data lower on the page - center column.

When you use a banner across the header of your page - be sure you label the graphic with the title of your page and your most accessible keyword to maximize the SEO on your page.

Maximize keywords in the page (at least to a 3 - 6%) to optimize search engine placement of your pages.

NOTE: For more about web page development, be sure you've signed up for my ezine at http://brandyourmarket.com because I'll be giving tips for site development all week this week in that ezine.

Jan

Video on PowerPoint "Tips"

http://www.davidairey.com/how-not-to-use-powerpoint/

Saturday, July 07, 2007

It Runs in the Family...

Today, my 13-year-old Steven took a "test" where he was shown some photo and asked to make a story about them. I have no idea what the evaluator will say about his answers, but as a writer and his mother, I was quietly rolling in the waiting room. (In fact, once I had to leave the building to laugh.) With his permission, I present you some of the snippets from Steve's storytelling. (And I'm sure anyone who knows me will know where he got it):

Picture (as described by Steven): A man and woman sort-of embracing. He has dark circles around his eyes. She has her hands on his sides. (I don't think he was hugging her back.)

Story: The man has been protecting something precious. A sacred artifact like the spear that pierced Jesus. Even though the girl is attractive, she wants to steal the spear. She's not hugging him. She's searching him.

Picture: Short man at an operation. There's a man on the operating table and surgeons around him. There's a gun in the picture.

Story snippet:
The midget is an assassin for a rival gang. He shot the guy dead, but they had to remove the bullet because the bullet has a spacial marking because the gang leader gave them to him. The operation was a success (Mom: I'm thinking, "even though the patient was dead..") but little did they know there was a secret eyewitness. The eyewitness told the police and they all went to jail.

Picture: Boy sitting in a cottage doorway in a thinking pose.

Steven: This boy has been grounded for eating all the cookies and he's thinking of a way to get out of it so he can go to his friends' bachelor party--no, slumber party...

One character was described as "works in a factory making Sunshade retractable awnings." The evaluator had to make him repeat that a couple of times slowly.

Another character was described as "a guttersnipe most of his life. He spent his time dodging the gangs who wanted to force him to do crimes, waiting in line at the temple for his daily bowl of soup, doing odd jobs, lemonade stands and such..."

One story ended with "Knott accidentally kills the wizard by taking it a little too far with the rage thing, so they get the reward for his head--literally. They bring back the wizard's head on a stick..."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Vacation Wrap Up

Hooray! Finally, we're on our way home from vacation. I'm typing this as we're doing our best to make it to St. Louis before quitting for the night.

We'd spent the last two weeks in Colorado. It was definitely a working vacation. Rob has a squadron commanders' course to attend at Peterson AFB, and I attended the squadron commander's spouses' course. My parents live in Pueblo, just south of Colorado Springs, so we stayed there and Grandma watched the kiddies while we went to the classes. The class was interesting; for us spouses, it was mostly about the different services on base that we can refer folks to should the spouse of the spouses of our husband's troops came to us with a problem.

On Sunday, we had a fundraiser book signing for our old Parish, St. Paul the Apostle of Pueblo West. The congregation had overflowed the parish building, and they have been trying to raise funds for a new church for nearly a decade. They have $2.5 million raised, but cannot begin construction until they raise 3.2 million. We sold every book we brought, which, even if it was a drop in the bucket, was still exciting. (Incidentally, if you'd like to contribute to a very worthy cause, please contact me and I'll send you information on how to help.)

The second week, Rob had the second part of his class, so I played with the kids, visited some old friends, and finished the manuscript for Magic, Mensa and Mayhem! This is my first novel in the Dragon Eye, PI universe, and I'm pretty excited about how it turned out. It's always fun when a character surprises you, and several of the Faerie decided to surprise me: Valkyrie Brunhilde falls in love; Coyote gives good advice. Vern considers becoming a Floridian "snowbird." Lots of laughs and of, course, twisted clichés. I've already read it to the kids. That's one of the great thrills of writing for me--reading my stories. My mom stayed up to listen, too. English is her second language, so she's not much of a reader, so that was an extra treat for me.

Rob prefers to drive, so I do a lot on car rides. I've been working hard on the interviews for my August virtual book tour, and am thinking of my next story. It's been a terrific vacation, but I'm glad to be home and ready to gear up for our next adventure--moving to Minot AFB, ND.

But that's another blog.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Steam Trek!

Tomorrow, we're on the road to Colorado for Rob's Commander's course, my Commander's Wife course (yes, they have a course), and the booksigning/fundraiser for St. Paul the Apostle Church in Pueblo West.

If you are near Pueblo, CO, on June 24, drop by Pius X church in Pueblo between 8 am and 2 pm. We'll be signing books. $3 of each book goes to the church building fund.

In the meantime: what if Star Trek was written in 1903?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6Y39gHihP74

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Value of Life

Busy week--getting ready to go to Colorado for a Commander's Course, a booksigning, and vacation with my parents. Have to get the house ready for a open house, not to mention writing Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, the media room class, and the virtual book tour...

Ann Lewis posted this on her website. Get tissue before you see it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th6Njr-qkq0


What incredible parents to strive so hard and see such beauty in tragedy.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

What if the Crocodile Hunter Met a Dragon?

I'm 50,000 words into my newest novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem, and had a fun idea.

I'd just written the scene where Vern, my sarcastic, sentient Faerie dragon, decides to catch a nap in the Everglades. Little did he know that "Gator Louie" a Deep South twist on Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, was filming a special on the endangered species of the area that day. He comes upon Vern, who's deeply hidden in the rushes, so he only sees the snout. After some discussion, which Vern overhears, they decide to film him. Vern, of course, decides to take this chance to play a practical joke on a human.

I read it to my husband, who liked it, but thought the scene could go differently--and proceeded to have me rolling with his re-write. Let's face it: "Gator Louie Meets a Dragon" has real potential. Don't you hear him already? "Get out your asbestos underwear. danger, danger!"

I want to hear your story!

Go to www.freewebs.com/dragoneyepi and click on Gator Louie & Vern. There you'll find the scene as I wrote it and Rob's suggestion. I'll include my e-mail address on the bottom. Write your own scene (300 words or less, please) and send it to me. Keep it clean and in character. I'll try to talk the publisher into printing the best ones as an appendix, "Gator Louie Outtakes," and I'll post them all in Vern's blog.

Want to try? Come on! Write your own version.

Monday, June 04, 2007

August Virtual Book Tour

I'm planning another Virtual Book Tour in August to promote Infinite Space, Infinite God, which comes out in Print August 15. 31 stops in 31 days is my goal.

I'm looking for hosts. I am glad to do this in one or more of several ways:

You post a blurb and cover art.
You interview me and post it.
You have me as a guest blogger.
I write the interview and you post it.
You review the book.
You post someone else's review.
Any other idea you have. I'm flexible.


If you have a chat room, podcast or newsletter, I'd be glad to be a guest on any of those.

I'll have a give-aways for readers and one for participants as well. I'm thinking a hard copy of the book, and an e-book version, with a coupon to Twilight Times Books for those who already have ISIG but win.

I'll be posting the calendar of sites on my website and the ISIG site and will be sending out media releases, so this is a chance for you to get some publicity for your site, too.

Now the catch: We're moving in late July. I want to have as much of this done as quickly as possible. I'll take participants until Aug 31 if I can, but the sooner you can give me a hosting date and interview questions, etc. the easier it is for me—and the more publicity advantage you get.

Please e-mail me directly at karina(at)fabianspace.com if you're interested in participating.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Guest Blogger: the Coach talks about Magic and Godly Imagination

Busy day for me today--in addition to getting the house clean for showing and massive shopping, I've got to get more written on Magic Mensa and Mayhem. (Vern, the dragon comes up against environmentalists who are angry because he traumatized some threatened subspecies of fish.)

My friend Coach Culbertson posted this on the Lost Genre Guild and I asked to cross-post it here. Coach Culbertson is the Technical Editor of Relief: A Quarterly Christian Expression and Editor-In-Chief for Coach's Midnight Diner, a genre anthology with a Christian slant coming in Summer 2007. The Diner will include Jesus Vs. Cthulhu, hardboiled detective, horror, and more. You can keep track of all of his crazy publishing adventures at http://www.reliefjournal.com.


In which Coach rambles on about magic and God and speculation about
the Universe

I used to hold to some fairly radical notions on the conservative side
of the world. I used to think I had it all figured out. Somewhere
along the line, it seems that after a few strange and odd experiences,
the world became bigger than what I thought, and I realized that I had
a lot of things wrong.

One of my mentors once told me that we don't see the world as it is,
we see the world as we are. I found this to be a scary truth,
especially when I stated reading Genesis over again. Around chapter
six, there are some very interesting passages. What did mankind do to
the earth to fill it with violence? Was it technological, or perhaps
"magical?"

Speculation: As a race we may have known more back then than we do
now. Think about the library of Alexandria and the knowledge that must
have been lost in that great fire. Perhaps, we had greater, even
intrinsic, knowledge of the physics and metaphysics that God built in
this particular system we call Earth. And due to our fallen nature, we
misused the gift of knowledge of how to manipulate these systemic
forces like gravity, harmonics, electro-magnetism, and other naturally
occurring elements that God had given us dominion over, thus injecting
a violence and destruction on the Earth rather than using these forces
as He intended to build and create. Thus, the necessity of flooding
the earth became more and more evident (not to mention the whole
Nephilim thing)to prevent further systemic degradation and perhaps
restore and reverse some of the effects of man's efforts.

As the human genome continues to degrade over time, and the
destruction that was set loose in the garden of Eden continues to work
itself out in the system that God created, it seems to me that
practices that manipulate forces that God created without a full
knowledge of consequences and effects is a really bad idea. But
nevertheless, I find very few who dispute the validity or existence of
"magic" (whatever that may mean), else it would hardly be something to
rail against.

Of course, additional problems come about when fallen angels enter
into the mix, who are more interested in riding us around like shiny
new Buicks and then dropping us off in the scrap yard when they're
done, but if in fact the rest of the angels are here to aid us, then
perhaps at one point in time, requests of angels were perhaps a valid
way of manipulating and learning about the universe as it is. Enoch is
reported to have walked so closely with God that He taught him the
names of the angels. But then, degrading into angel worship rather
than partnership, plus probably listening to the wrong angels, humans
once again screwed up the intended order of things, and brought about
the necessity of discouraging such practices.

Like we learned in the Net boom of the 90's, just because we can do
something doesn't mean we should. But when it comes to speculative
fiction, it is just that- fiction. In the fundamentalist mindset, if
something is in print, it becomes more real, more persuasive than if
someone merely speaks words. And, as always, we fear what we do not
understand, and rail against what does not fit our view of the world.

It is up to us as consumers and readers to be able to filter out truth
from lies, to become critical thinkers, but to also be able to
exercise our imaginations in a way that may actually point backwards
or forwards to a time when things did in fact operate like they
should. God did create a marvelous universe that holds mysteries for
us to uncover and to talk about, and perhaps, eventually, to expand
upon. Who is to say that in the New Jerusalem what will be possible
again? The afterlife will not be clouds and singing all the time
(thank God). Perhaps, when the universe is renewed and there is a new
heaven and a new earth, we may zip along in Enterprise ships exploring
what He has created anew, and used harmonics and telekinesis to create
and produce life-giving structures and truly become partners with God
in creation.

But who's to say we'll need spaceships? Maybe we'll just think it and
zoom off Superman style. But I digress.

We should push forward in our cause despite the nay-sayers, to revive
the Christian imagination and to further extend the reach of Christ by
creating high quality writing that will force people to think in new
ways about life and facets of this universe He has built for us to
discover.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ten reasons Why I Didn’t Blog About Working At Home Today

In no particular order. From the Home Office of Karina Fabian:

Kids kept interrupting me for help on their schoolwork. (If I have to spell "privacy" one more time...)

Steven was yelling at Liam because Liam hit him, but that was because Amber was kicking him because he (Liam) was in her spot and she couldn't see the TV, and besides, Steven is grounded from TV and Alex even told him so, but he wouldn't move so Liam hit him but...

The toilet backed up, and I'm the janitorial staff.

My friend IM'd about a problem she was having with her latest story, so of course, we worked on that and then we chatted about moving and kids... They should call it Yahoo! Watercooler.

I couldn't concentrate, so I took a long shower to think about it. Had a great idea for a story and wrote that instead. Took another shower to think about the blog.

I went to make a pot of coffee and realized the dishes hadn't been put away. Putting away the dishes reminded me I still had clothes in the dryer, and as long as I was folding them I may as well put another load in…Did those ever get put in the dryer? I'd better check.

Husband came home "frisky."

The dog wanted to play. Who can resist a dog with a squeak toy in her mouth?

It was 90 out and the pool looked sooooo good!

Oh, wait--I just did it! Never mind.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friendships Bring Energy to Writing

This week, I had the chance to go to New York City to visit some writing friends from the Catholic Writers' Guild, Ann Lewis and Lisa Mladinich. We'd become good IM buddies, and I was thrilled to get to meet them face to face before I moved halfway across the country. We had a real writers' holiday.

On the flight up, I critiqued Ann's latest mystery. It was more of a character-driven story, with the mystery tossed in the middle that helps him answer his own personal crisis, but somehow, the mystery hadn't achieved its purpose. I got an idea for restructure and wrote it down just as we were landing.

Ann picked me up and on the way to Lisa's house, we talked about my idea. It might work, but still had some flaws, these of a more theological nature-the mystery involves the famous Fr. Brown--so we decided to bring it up to the writer's group Lisa was hosting. In the meantime, Ann noted a flaw in my mystery novel. While the book was a lot of fun, there was no immediate threat to give the book some depth. "Why should I, the reader, care?" Ann explained. I'd sensed the same thing, but had dismissed it as asking too much of the plot. Now the doubts came back.

At the writer's group, we met some wonderful ladies. There were poets, children's book writers, illustrators and even a bookstore owner. We shared our stories, played with verse, and exclaimed over the illustrations. Ann's plot problem was brought up and soon we had a new organization that looked promising. I shared some of the other stories and background of Dragon Eye, PI, and in doing so, came up with my plot complication--and yes, it's so cliche'! Just like the Faerie. I gave a copy of ISIG to the bookstore owner, with some marketing ideas for it, and even sold a copy to another lady in the group.

After everyone had left, Lisa, Ann and I started our brainstorming session for a Catholic cartoon we'd been working on. Later, when Ann had to get home, Lisa and I chatted about books and writing and life (isn't it all one in the same?). I told her my Miscria plot and told her daughter my Witch Androvitch stories. She told me more about her book (Catholic paranormal romance--it's GOOD!), her puppets and her hopes for the Catholic cartoon. We talked about prayer and needing to ask God to guide us in our writing.

The next day, Ann returned, bringing her 3-year-old son, and while he played in the backyard and amazed us with his wit and intelligence, we got the majority of a pilot episode hammered out. There's a real energy from discussing something in person. Would we ever had fallen so in love with Gus the Caterpillar if we hadn't been able to see Ann pinch her glasses and lift them ever so slightly with a funny half smile as she acted out Gus in a moment of discovery? Would Lisa have come up with her lovely song if we hadn't been discussing different hymns? We decided we need to try to meet at least once a year.

As I flew home, I found myself refreshed and inspired. What a great couple of days.

We sometimes think writing is a solitary experience, but there's an energy in working with others that cannot be denied.

Thanks, ladies!