Tuesday, February 27, 2007

the Free Association Blog

OK, I admit it. I am totally uninspired to write this blog post. However, I'm also totally dedicated to giving you, my faithful readers, a post twice a week. (Hello? Is anyone there? Echo!) Thus, for the next 15 minutes, I will simply write whatever comes to mind.

Remember those writing exercises? I never did like them. I always wanted to do something useful with my time. My kids hated them, too. Steven used to write "Nothing!" for 15 minutes. One day he got inspired, "i hate this i have nothing to say." Yep. A budding Nobel laureate in the making.

Of course, if you think about it, how many live journals are just that? "Didn't do much today. Oh, had ham with mustard. Ever try that deli mustard? Now there's mustard. Watched X Files for the 17th time. It's all starting to come together now..."

AARGH! I forgot to start the timer! Well, let's say 3 minutes.

I love having a laptop. I take this baby everywhere. I wake up in the morning and there it is, perched on the ironing table, calling to me. This is a GOOD THING, because my exercise program consists of marching in front of the ironing board while I check my newsgroups and e-mail. Don't laugh. Who was it on Runway who said she goes over her appointments while she jogs--as if that were unusual and innovative? At least I actually get something accomplished, rather than just think about it. Oh, and I have Calves and Fingers of Steel! Now if I could just figure out how to get rid of the belly while typing...

I got great news today. Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit astronomer and a well-known figure on the SF circuit, agreed to read Infinite Space, Infinite God for a back-cover blurb. I did the happy dance last night when I read his e-mail. (Yep, e-mail at night. E-mail at noon. E-mail in the kitchen, stirring oatmeal with a spoon.) Isn't "Consolmagno" a great name? Great consoler. Well, his e-mail made me feel better!

8 minutes.... get inspired... thinkthinkthink. Winnie the Pooh! Tao of Pooh! Tao or random associations. Rorschach! Rorschach! I'm starting to sound like something in a Terry Pratchett novel. I'll be wearing a duck on my head next!

I love Terry Pratchett. He has such a odd angle on everything. I hope my Vern novels (Dragon Eye, PI www.freewebs.com/dragoneyepi) come off a little like his works. He's much sillier and funnier.

However, my first Vern novel--Magic, Mensa and Mayhem--is going to be a silly book. Two nights ago, I wrote the airship scene (blimp/airplane hybrid) The dwarfs got acrophobia. (It's not natural! We belong underground!) and the pixies got into the gas cells and started sucking the helium. (Their voices got so high only Vern, the dragon, could hear them. No dogs on the ship.) It's been fun to write. Most of my other Vern stuff has funny moments, but is a little more grim. It is fantasy noir, after all. But I do love playing with the cliche's.

OOO--that took up 5 minutes! It's so easy to talk about your books and stories when you're a writer. Yesterday I started telling the exterminator about my book, and he's going to look it up on the Internet. I offered him an autographed copy. Tell you what: if you have read this far and would also like an autographed advanced copy at 10 percent off list price with free shipping, contact me. It'll be your reward for being so patient...or maybe just nuts.

Do you know it will probably take me longer to edit this than it did to write? I am the typo queen--which I'm sure you've noticed. AND my *(^^#@!! computer's shift key is going out again. I need to send it back to HP.

And I'm done. Wow. Better than "nothing."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lenten Laughs and events stuff

Saw this on another blog--what a hoot! Yet it does explain Ash Wednesday rather well. http://kansascitycatholic.blogspot.com/2007/02/lenten-fare.html

If anyone is on MySpace, look me up www.myspace.com/karinafabian. I'm also on Shoutlife: www.shoutlife.com/karinafabian Interestingly, I've gotten more--and more active--friends from Shoutlife.

March 3 is a PROMO DAY on http://jolindsell.tripod.com. I'll be visiting and posting stuff.

Here's the FabChat schedule through March. I'm already booked through May 3.

March 1: Are you a Catholic Writer looking for fellowship and help in getting published? Chat with the officers of the Catholic Writers Guild and see if this group is for you.

March 8: Tara Maderino chats about psychics in fiction and her book Soul Guardian. http://www.geocities.com/tjmanderino/

March 15: Colleen Drippe' chats about writing for children and about her children's books, the Little Blue House books and Mystery at Miner's Creek. http://cdrippe.tripod.com/

March 22: Lea Schizas talks about her new YA fantasy Rock of Realm and writing for the young adult market. http://leaschizaseditor.tripod.com/

March 29: Pastor and author James Somers chats about writing, getting published, and his Chronicles of Soone trilogy. www.jamessomersonline.com

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More Twisted Fiction--

I'm in a silly parody mood, so here's what I imagine would have happened if the Great Classical Authors had written really bad Biblical fiction:

"It was the best of times, it was the End of Times." (Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens)

"Call me Saved." (Moby Dick - Herman Melville)

"On an evening in the latter part of May a middle-aged man was walking homeward from Shaston to the village of Marlott, in the adjoining Vale of Blakemore or Blackmoor...and then he wasn't." (Tess of the 'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy)

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune--after giving his 10 percent to the church, of course--must be in want of a wife." (Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen)

"1801--I have just returned from delivering The Watchtower to my landlord--the solitary neighbor that I shall be troubled with." (Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë)

"You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. I's saved now and repent of my evil ways. This book is concerning my missionary year on the Mississippi and the souls I done brought to Jesus." (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain.)

"I was leaning against the pew in the Congregationalist Church on on Fifty-second Street, waiting for Nora to finish her Christmas shopping for the orphans, when a girl got up from where she had been kneeling with three other people and came over to me." (The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett)

"It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid-October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness as the Four Horsemen came galloping over the foothills." (The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler)

"Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table reading his Bible and preparing his witness for Sunday Meeting." (The Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Dr. Seuss Writes Romance From the Grave!

Lisa Logan, a friend of mine, is having a literary identity crisis! Somehow Barnes and Noble has decided she is Dr. Seuss.

Author Mix-up Has Dr. Seuss Writing Romance

Redlands, CA February 4, 2007--Fans of Theodore Seuss Geisel, i.e. Dr. Seuss, may be in for a surprise when they learn that the renowned children's writer has changed genres... more than a decade after his death.

Author Lisa Logan had just celebrated the release of her debut novel, Visions, on January 30 when she received a complaint from a Borders in Illinois. They could not find the romantic mystery to order it into their store. In checking other bookseller listings, she discovered an error on Barnes&Noble's web site.

According to B&N, the romantic mystery was authored and illustrated by Seuss in November of 2005. The author/illustrator of forty-eight children's books, including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs & Ham, died of cancer in 1991. Logan's cover and title were featured in the listing, which had appeared correctly the day before.

Logan took the mix up in stride. She quipped, "I'm as big a fan of Dr. Seuss as any, but I can't sit by and let the guy take credit for my work. That is, unless they want to send me his royalty checks."

The Redlands, CA author sought help from the publisher of her novel, Draumr Publishing, who is currently working with the distributor to correct the listing. No comment from Barnes&Noble on the error.

For more information, contact Lisa Logan at writerlisalogan@verizon.net or via her website at http://lisalogan.net.


Addendum: Barnes and Noble has since fixed the error: Now her book is only illustrated by Dr. Seuss!

Somehow, I don't think it's his usual style....

As long as Dr. Seuss is crossing genres, I'd like to suggest some titles:

Horror: Would You, Could You From the Grave?
Mystery: Horton Hears a Homicide
Sci-Fi: And to Think I Saw It on Planet X
Christian: 500 Fishes of Bartholomew Cubbins
True Confession: Did I Ever Tell You How Dysfunctional I Am?
Literary: Did I Ever Tell You How Dysfunctional I Am?: A Novel
Self-Help: You Can Lick 30 Tigers Today With This Simple, Five-Step Process OR Mr. Brown Can Moo, and So Can You In 12 Easy Lessons
Diet: 13 Ways to Serve Green Eggs and Ham
Autobiographical: The Book About me (Didn't even need to change that title)
Erotica: Seven Lady Godivas...and One Peeping Tom

I could go on, but it's your turn!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Karina Presents Thursday FabChat

I'm pleased to announce FabChat: a Thursday evening live chat with authors, editors and others in the publishing industry. We meet at 8PM Eastern Time every Thursday in my chat room. (Click on FabChat on the navbar.)

If you'd like to promote your book (new or old) or talk about another writing topic, let me know and I'll schedule you in.

FabChat kicks off March 1st when we'll be chatting about the Catholic Writers' Guild. Come learn about this exciting new group dedicated to the rebirth of Catholic writings.

March 15, we have Colleen Drippe, who will talk about writing for children and her Little Blue House books.

March 22, Lea Schizas joins us to talk about writing for young adults and about her new book, The Rock of Realm.

April 19 (my birthday), I get to be Guest of Honor at my own show to talk about Infinite Space, Infinite God. We're having an on-line party afterwards with virtual beer and Melnish tea. (Don't know what Melnish tea is? Come to the party and find out.)

Another day, I'll tell you how FabChat evolved, but right now, I need to write a little on my dragon detective story.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Guest post: Roots in Frozen Generation

Today, I have another guest blogger: Andrea Graham. Andrea has a story in the anthology Light At the Edge of Darkenss, which comes out in April from The Writers' Cafe Press and which I reviewed on my Virtual Book Tour de Net. Today, she talks about her story "Frozen Generation" and the pro-Life philosophy behind it.

Roots in Frozen Generation

By Andrea Graham

I must admit, it made me happy as a lark to get mentioned in Karri Compton’s review of Light at the Edge of Darkness yesterday:

Andrea Graham’s “Frozen Generation” explores the possibility of technology bringing frozen fetuses to term artificially, resulting in humans being used for spare parts. One woman tries to save as many babies as possible by smuggling them away and saving them from an uncertain future.

Bravo to Karri, and everyone else who has found a way to summarize the plot without mentioning abortion or racism. Honestly, with the possible exception of Cyn’s description (the line in the book’s summary about terrorists smuggling frozen embryos), this is the best yet.

I’ve heard many things about my story since we began this crazy quest June 2006, but one of the most consistent comments has been on how I combined the topics of racism and abortion. If the majority rules, the majority opinion has been that I went out on two limbs and managed not to land flat on my rump thirty feet down.

Would you like to know my secret to not crashing and burning big time in this adventure? Yes?

Easy, though in general I land on my rump more than I care to remember, in this case, I wasn’t actually standing on the two visible branches, but the shared root.

In America, racism originates from slavery, of course (it could be argued the other way around but I mean historically here) and what makes a human being a person with rights versus property with no rights, but rather subject to the will of the master.

Regardless of where you stand on abortion, the question at the root of the debate is what makes a human being a person with rights versus property with no rights, but rather subject to the will of the master. Only the particulars differ. In this case, the what is normally a temporary condition, being located in side the mother’s womb, the holder of power is the mother, and we prefer terms like “product of conception” rather than that hideous word “property,” but when a woman makes the claim, “it’s my body, it’s my choice” whether you agree with that logic or not, that is certainly a claim to property rights, with the emphasis on their supposed right to dispense with their property as they will.

Let me take time to speak to those who make such statements. In "Frozen Generation", by no means do I mean to argue with your claims to such power over the lives of your children. I merely apply the logic of the above argument to potential future technology and ask where your power to dispose of your property ends, should technology offer more lucrative means of disposal than the current options. You’re free to answer the question however you please.

I and other pro-lifers think this scenario is a nightmare, but if you're pro-choice, maybe it’s a dream come true. After all, not only would no one ever again die waiting for an organ transplant, the "wanted" children are protected(in theory) from childhood predators because these non-persons would provide an "appropriate" outlet for their "natural" sexual urges.

If, however, you're just as horrified by such ideas as I am, I leave you to justify to yourself why it’s wrong to artificially grow POCs in a lab and enslave them, etc., but not wrong to slice and dice and throw what’s left in the trash.

But I digress.

Let’s get back to roots. The root of rights of the unborn extend to the root a racism in yet another way, and it’s one few know about, and certain people vehemently deny.

My husband had an excellent piece on this when he answered a challenge to name the Top Ten Worst Americans. It probably won’t surprise you, since he’s my husband, that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger came in at #1 on his list (which means if you go read it you’ll have to scroll a bit.) But his reasons may surprise:

…Sanger established Planned Parenthood with the goal of less "unfit" people breeding, including Blacks and other minorities. Sanger was undeniably a Fascist. She wrote, "Give dysgenic groups [people with 'bad genes'] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization."

From Sanger sprang out a movement that treats children as a disease and finds the best solution to misery in human life as its destruction.

Julian Malveaux, a hard leftist, concluded that Sanger was a racist:

For all her positive influence, I see Sanger as a tarnished heroine whose embrace of the eugenics movement showed racial insensitivity, at best. From her associates, as well as from some of the articles that were published in Sanger's magazine, The Birth Control Review, it is possible to conclude that "racially insensitive" is too mild a description. Indeed, some of her statements, taken in or out of context, are simply racist. And she never rebuked eugenicists who believed in improving the hereditary qualities of a race or breed by controlling mating in order to eliminate "undesirable" characteristics and promote "desirable" traits.

Words that Sanger used like the "unfit," and "morons," were euphemisms for Blacks and other racial "inferiors" in a racist time. Many of Sanger's associates worked with the Nazis. Today, her group are missionaries of death, spreading it to the four corners of the globe. As for her own attempts at making a master race, of breeding out "the unfit," Planned Parenthood continues to work hard today, as 45% of Black babies die from abortion and 62.5% of Planned Parenthood clinics exist in areas with higher than average Black populations.

Blackgenocide.com adds to the grim statistics:

Minority women constitute only about 13% of the female population (age 15-44) in the United States, but they underwent approximately 36% of the abortions.

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion

On average, 1,452 black babies are aborted every day in the United States.
This incidence of abortion has resulted in a tremendous loss of life. It has been estimated that since 1973 Black women have had about 10 million abortions. Michael Novak had calculated "Since the number of current living Blacks (in the U.S.) is 31 million, the missing 10 million represents an enormous loss, for without abortion, America's Black community would now number 41 million persons. It would be 35 percent larger than it is. Abortion has swept through the Black community like a scythe, cutting down every fourth member.".

So not only in Abortion based on the same kind of logic that brought us slavery in America, the current movement began at least partially with racist intent, and to this day continues to be carried out in a racist fashion that targets, and is decimating, the Black community.

And now my secret is out of the bag. Though most have been lauding me for a gymnastics feat of Olympic proportions, it really came quite easily to go out on both limbs at the same time, by keeping the connecting spiritual roots of the two issues, roots that some people are bound to be outraged at me for exposing.

To balance this article out, let me add a couple things. "Frozen Generation" raises questions for pro-lifers, too. One such place is when the narrator, Azura “Mama” Borden, says of herself:

God appointed me to deliver the captives to safety, as Harriet Tubman had in centuries gone by. Only Harriet never hid her passengers in her own womb.

Granted, I only carried six to term. The rest I re-transplanted. Far too many completed their gestation in the artificial womb at my counter-breeder in the Deep South, of all places. It couldn’t be helped. Many would send money to help redeem these precious souls, but few stood up for the greatest need. Carrying them to term.

And the same it is today. Pro-lifers give money to pro-life causes, we even stand with sins and march in the streets. But how many take time to help out a mother who chose to raise her baby rather than kill her? How many adopt? Today, we don’t freeze aborted babies, but we do have thousands of frozen embryos left over from IVF, some of which are awaiting adoptive mothers willing to carry them to term through Nightlight’s Snowflake adoption program. How many of us, if God wanted us to step up, wouldn’t need struck barren before we would even consider it?

The question for pro-lifers is not only, “How far are you willing to go to stand for what you believe in?” but “How far is too far?” This ethical question is also left to the reader to sort out, but can be stated succinctly: in order to save a few babies, Azura Borden participates in the murder of many. Did Azura make the right ethical decision? I know what her argument for so many years was, more are alive as a result of her actions than if she had elected to stay home and do nothing, but I struggled within myself over this issue, and still am uncertain.

One more thing I’d like to leave you with. Those of us on the pro-life side, we all know that abortion is a sin, but what does the mother who had her own children murdered see in our eyes and hear in our words? Murderer? Reprobate? Deep in her heart, though she may deny it, she already knows this. Abortion is psychologically devastating for women. They even have a name for it, Post Abortion Syndrome. It’s true we live in a culture where more and more, we're having to go over the "you are a sinner" thing first; one won't seek forgiveness if they are not consciously aware of the need. But ultimately, the truth that this mother needs to hear is that despite her sin, God still loves her, and will forgive her.

If that’s you, and you haven’t yet drank of the living waters in the cup of forgiveness, please see this list of organizations offering bible studies to show you the way to healing and wholeness.

More links on this topic:

blackgenocide.org—Chart Comparing Abortion to other historical genocides

The Roots of Racism and Abortion

Racism, abortion, and black genocide

Margaret Sanger, Racist and Pro-Abortion:

planned parenthood's racism

Racism and Murder Why you should oppose Planned Parenthood! (the title uses the n-word)

WorldNetDaily: Planned Parenthood charged with racism

More links on Andrea Graham and her work:

Official Bio on the Lost Genre Guild


Ask Andrea (Christian Advice and Book reviews blog)

Advanced Orders for Light at the Edge of Darkness

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Come chat with me on Saturday!

First: Please join me in a live chat this Saturday, 12 noon Eastern US time at http://jolinsdell.tripod.com/ . Click on the chatroom, then type in a username and enter without a password. I'll be talking about Infinite Space, Infinite God, faith in fiction and promoting your books via virtual book tours.

Second: Please join me in my own chat room this Saturday, 8 PM Eastern US time when I'll be hosting Cynthia MacKinnon, editor of Light at the Edge of Darkness in my own chatroom. We'll be talking about the book, Christian speculative fiction and anything else you'd like to ask this talented lady. (For my review of Light at the Edge of Darkness, click here.)

If you have a book you'd like to promote, I can host you on a live chat in my chatroom or post a review or promotional blurb on my Virtual Book Tour de 'Net website.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Purgatory: A Homeschooling Mom's View

Last night, Steven and I experienced an interesting analogy for Purgatory. This year for homeschool, I'm making Steven and Amber do history on their own. Rather than take tests, they fill out the test sheets using the book, but they have to keep at it until they get an A. I've been working for years on giving them the skills to do this and do it well. Steven, however, is a lazy writer and does not pay attention to his work or the many helpful, repetitive comments I put on his papers. After 3 weeks of turning in some truly lousy work, I'd had it and told him we were staying up until he got every essay correct. We're talking about 6 chapter tests at a 7th grade level.

We were up until 1:30. He'd type something, I'd grade it, make comments, and send it back. He'd follow some comments, forget others. I'd point things out and send it back. Finally, when he was
really close, I'd sit with him, discuss the full "perfect" answers and give him his A. Oh, and believe me, it was painful for the both of us.

Back and forth, back and forth with admonitions and advice: Isn't that just like what God does with us in life? He gave us the laws and the prophets to tell us what to do; we ignore it. He gives us examples through Jesus and the saints; we can't figure out how to apply their example to our lives. He gives us grace; we mess up anyway. We put forth real effort, but still don't get it right. (Hey, we're only human, right?) Purgatory is that final effort by God to make us perfect in His sight so that we can behold the Perfection of Him.

I not only believe in Purgatory, but it comforts me a great deal. Jesus saved me from my sins, but (and I'm really sorry about this) He did not make me perfect as a result. God made us in His image, and made us the defining point between the material and the angelic. That means we have the potential to be sinless, but the weakness to be sinners. Toss in free will, since Jesus' saving us does not mean we become Christian automatons. The result: try as we might, we sin.

Last night, I yelled at my kids, mainly because I was so mad! If I'd had an aneurism and fallen over dead with "WHY CAN'T YOU LISTEN TO ME, EVER?!?!?" on my lips, I would not have been in a perfect state. Nothing imperfect can be in heaven. That is in Scripture.

But I died in love with Christ--just not expressing it well at that moment. Should I go to Hell? Can I throw away Christ's sacrifice and a lifetime of belief just because I lost my temper? Thankfully, God says, "No," and gives me the way to achieve perfection.

Thank you, God, for caring enough to help me do my best, to be patient when I fail, and to give me that one final chance to become perfect in your sight.

Here are a couple of websites for those who want more information.