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.


 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.


 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


 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


 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
 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:

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!


CONTACT: Karina Fabian
Phone: (701) 727-6662

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 and MySpace page, "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
# # #
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!