Prompt Fiction

Fiction: Caught on Tape

Thursday Thread
Thursday is the day I post a bit o’ fiction.

This was originally posted May 16, 2007.

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Caught on Tape

“What in the world does she hope to gain by doing this?”

“I’m not sure,” Sharon replied, her eyes glued on the fourteen-year old girl on the TV monitor. “I honestly don’t know what to think.”

Kathy placed a comforting hand on Sharon’s arm. “I’m really sorry about this, Shar.”

Tears welled up in Sharon’s eyes and she blinked them away impatiently. “I have to say, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I never would have believed it.” Sharon could sense Kathy nodding beside her. She sighed. “What am I going to do? I mean, do I ignore this and hope it’s a phase? Or do I confront her so she can act oblivious and lie to my face?”

“I … honestly don’t know.”

“If it were your daughter going through your jewelry box …” Sharon slapped a hand against her thigh and gestured hopelessly at the screen, “and now going through your purse, what would you do?”

The two women watched the girl pocket three twenty-dollar bills into her jeans and then dangle a gold necklace from her fingers. She appeared to be mulling over whether or not she should take it.

“Maybe she won’t take the necklace,” Kathy offered helpfully. The girl shrugged and stuffed the necklace into her pocket. “Or maybe not …” Kathy’s voice trailed off.

“I simply can’t believe my own daughter would steal from me. I mean, if you hadn’t talked me into planting a video camera in my bedroom, I never would have bought this crap.”

Kathy sighed next to her. “Teresa is my friend, Sharon. I knew she wasn’t the type of person to steal from you. She’s been cleaning my house for, oh God, years and we never had any problems. I just didn’t want you to falsely accuse her of something.”

“So instead of firing my housekeeper, now I have a delinquent daughter to deal with.”

They continued to watch the girl rummage through Sharon’s purse before finally giving up, glancing one last time through the room to make sure everything was in its place and finally leave.

“This is going to break her father’s heart,” Sharon mumbled. “I can’t let her out of the house with her stash.” She spoke the last word bitterly. “Is she going to buy drugs? What else would a fourteen-year old girl need money for?”

Sharon stood up and headed toward the door. She paused and turned around. “Unless …” she swallowed. “She doesn’t need the money for drugs. What if she’s …” Her eyes widened in horror. “And she needs the money for a doctor …” Her hand flew up to her mouth and she hurried out of the spare bedroom after her daughter.

“Sara!” She walked briskly to the stairs and grabbed her first-born child by the arm before she could get away from her. “We need to talk.”

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I started a new tweet (I guess that’s what you call them) on Twitter called, appropriately enough, Blog Fodder. Every day I post a writing prompt, just something extra to help you get through the blogging humps. It’s not really a question, per se, but rather something that might trigger a memory, or something you can use as a springboard to write a story, or a blog post. Anything goes. Use the prompt any way you wish.

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen – About Me, N to Z

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(TT number #112!)

This list is a continuation of last week’s TT.

1. N What’s the story of your NAME? were you named after anyone? Do you go by a nickname? Any aliases?

I’ve written about the story of my name before. In essence, my mom wanted to call me Carrie (don’t you just think about the Carrie covered in blood in Stephen King’s novel? I’m so GLAD that name didn’t work out) but my dad wasn’t crazy about it (thanks dad!) so they compromised and called me Karen instead.

(Added: Though being named Carrie wouldn’t be all that bad nowaways – it could be cool to be compared to Carrie from Sex in the City – sans the shoe fetish. Oh all right, I sort of have a shoe fetish, too. Only I’m too cheap to really DO anything about it. I just settle for slobbering all over them when I’m at the store – I’ve been asked to leave on more than one occasion. Did I just say that out loud?)

I was called KK a few times when I was little, but it didn’t stick for some reason. Pity, I rather like that nickname.

Aliases? Oh probably, but none I would want to repeat here. 😀

2. O OBSERVANT – What’s around you right now? What do you see?

My cluttered desk, which consists of: my Baby Blues desk calendar, Lands End catalog, Washington DC paraphernalia, a Writer’s Digest renewal form (note to self, mail that off!), a ton of old calendar pages that I’ve torn off and used as scrap paper and am too lazy to throw away, school information letters/forms about the upcoming school year, post-it notes, a check stub, a copy of JUICY email correspondence (would love to tell where I got that or what the “juicy” part is, but alas, I’ve been ordered not to talk about it on my blog – but think SCANDAL). On the floor next to me? The book I’m currently reading, an Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (because we’re going there next summer even if I have to drag my three guys there by the short and curlies – ew, that’s a gross visual), and a fan that I turn on because I’m hitting that time in my life where I get FREAKING HOT ALL THE TIME.

3. P Who are the special PEOPLE in your life?

Why, my family of course. Duh.

4. Q Any Little QUIRKs About Yourself:

I love to wear sexy underwear.

HA! NOT.

Okay, no underwear.

HA! NOT.

Seriously? I can’t think of anything. I’m boooring. Waah!

5. R What do you like to do for RECREATION?

You’re kidding, right? You really want me to answer that? Why blogging, of course! And reading! And writing! and sipping Starbucks drinks!

6. S Do You SING in the Shower? In the car? For your friends? Shower?

I’m not a big bathroom person, period. I do my business and I’m outta there. So no, no singing in the shower. But the car? Oh yeah, I have a tendency to really crank the music, especially when I’m by myself (my husband tried calling me three times on my cell the other day and I had no idea because I was jamming my heart out at the time). Not only do I crank? I totally sing. And depending on my mood (or the time of month, ladies you know what I mean), I totally don’t care if other drivers see me singing. In fact, I have a tendency to ham it up if I know I have an audience. *grin*

7. T What’s at the Top of your TO DO list?:

Get this website project DONE! Upload a website that’s ready to go (HA! That one’s not my fault, thankyouverymuch), and write something for this literary mag because I LOVE them and would certainly die and go to heaven if they ever published something of mine.

8. U Any UNUSUAL Experiences:

I’ve had quite a few unusual experiences in my life – many I’ve already talked about on this blog. But two come to mind that I don’t think I’ve mentioned before.

1. My husband’s remote control airplane, the one he built FROM SCRATCH, was stolen right out of our garage one night. He (and we still debate as to who actually left it open) left our garage door open one night and some perp (we suspect our next door neighbor – they had the police over there quite a few times and he was actually taken away in handcuffs one time) stole it. My husband toughed it out, but I think it really depressed him that he spent all of his time and money building something so cool and only flew it once before it was stolen. People suck sometimes, don’t they?

2. We woke up one morning, opened our garage door to go to work only to discover a strange truck parked in our driveway. It was parked askew as if someone had parked it and then ran – which is precisely what happened. We called the police and they tracked the owner down, which happened to be one of our neighbors. We’re not sure why the thieves decided to abort the crime so close to the owner or why they left it in our driveway, but it was creepy and fascinating at the same time. In fact, that would make a great story, wouldn’t it? *grin*

9. V VEGAS,Vienna,Venice,Vladivostok… How far have you traveled? What’s your favorite City?

Cozumel, Mexico is the farthest I’ve ever traveled. We went there for our honeymoon nearly 18+ years ago. I completely cried like a baby when I got there because duh, no one spoke any English and it freaked me out. (I never claimed to be smart back in those days).

Favorite city? Oooh, a toss up between St. Petersburg, Florida and Estes Park, Colorado. St. Petersburg was uber cool and oh so beautiful (full of beautiful people) and Estes Park … well four words – COOL AND NO BUGS. ‘Nuff said, right?

10. W WINTER, Spring, Summer, Fall… What’s your favorite season?

Oh Fall, hands down. I can bury my girth in sweatshirts and jeans and not FEEL fat, you know? Whereas summer, you can’t HELP but be aware of all of your flaws because geez, they’re on display for everyone to gawk laugh stare at admire.

And Fall is my opportunity to wear my cowboy-looking shoes!! (They aren’t full boots, just a shoe with cowboy heels, CUTEST things!)

11. X EXes – Things You Don’t Do Anymore (but did, once (would you, again?))

I used to be able to stay up late, but then I married an early bird and it’s all I can do to keep my eyes open past 9:00 p.m. Geez, how pathetic is that??

Would I marry my hubs again? Absolutely. (Really, what did you expect me to say? 😉 )

12. Y Any secret/deep YEARNINGS?

I have several secrets, but nothing suitable for Internet consumption. Yearnings? Oh yeah, to be published – several times to be greedy, but once in my lifetime to be satisfied.

13. Z ZERO to ZENITH – Where are you in your life? Still growing? On an upward (or downward) curve? Just skating along?

I’m doing good. I have matured a lot in the past ten years and I’m starting to finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m happy in my life and I’m looking forward to enjoying the next twenty/thirty years of graduations, grandkids, and good times travelling cross country.

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Want a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to one of several popular retailers? Post your picture and leave a comment on this post! HURRY! Voting starts soon!

Here is the list of players right now:

Karen of Sillymonkeez Terri of Mrs. Squidley’s Place
Em Dy of Captured Beat Kim at Kim’s Photo Blog
Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time Thea at I’m a Drama Mama
Penelope of Sassy Mama’s Cafe at the End of the Universe Monkey of Where You At?!
Karen at For the Love of Pete … Alisha at Izzy ‘N Emmy
   
   

Who’s next?

Life

Life Resumes After the Blog-a-thon

AAAHHHHH ……

The blog break did me good. Did you miss me?

I missed you.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked – no surprise there.

Sunday, I got up early, inserted toothpicks into my eyelids (Gah, what an image!) so I could be awake (notice I didn’t say alert) enough to participate in bible study (hey, just because I elected to stay up all night and do the blog-a-thon doesn’t mean I could ignore my familial responsibilities). And by the time bible study was over, I had gotten my second wind so I was able to do my normal household chores. In addition, I went out to our little 21 foot travel trailer, unfolded the beds (it’s the hard-shelled kind that have the pop-out beds), sprayed the canvas down with waterproof stuff, and then cleaned it out so we could use it this weekend (we’re doing a quick camping trip to Branson – in 90 degree weather – did I mention I LIKE to sweat? *sigh*).

Messing with the trailer put me and the hubs in the mood for the whole “we love camping!” mode, so we drove to the Marshfield Camping World (first time there! And it was pretty small for being the ONLY Camping World in Missouri – we hicks heart our camping) to buy a new faucet. Our old one was made out of cheap plastic and had split in two and I don’t know about you, but it’s sort of important to have running water (along with air conditioning, a microwave, a CD player, a TV/DVD player, a toaster, because we’re BIG into the whole roughing it bit, *snicker*) when you’re out in the middle of nowhere. (Actually, that’s not true, we’ll be camping right off the main 76 Hwy “strip” in Branson so we’ll be within WALKING distance of a Chinese restaurant – per the boys’ insistence – our boys heart Chinese food).

We were also on the lookout for a new awning because the husband accidentally took a corner too sharp when we started out for our Colorado camping trip last summer and ran into a stop sign – that octagon attacked us with a vengeance! As a result, we have two lines of small, quarter-sized holes dotting one side of our awning. We can still use it, but if it rains, well, think sieve.

They didn’t carry any awnings at the store and the ones we found online were about $200 (just for the canvas!?) so now we’re thinking that since it isn’t really that bad, we’ll just patch it. Hey, I put up with a pop-up camper in near-hurricane weather on several occasions over the last ten years – we have the whole hillbilly look DOWN when compared to the monster RV’s that surround us. What are a few holes in our awning? Pfft. We’re used to the snooty once overs by fellows campers. (Actually, that’s not entirely true, other campers are usually pretty friendly, there are no strangers – sort of like a Shriners’ convention where everyone knows everyone else and pass the moonshine, will ya?)

As if sweating a few dozen pounds off from working on the trailer in humidity so thick you actually gag wasn’t enough, I thought I’d abuse myself JUUUST a bit more and work out for two hours. I did the 20 minute Turbo Jam session and then walked 90 minutes and watched “Numb” with Matthew Perry (don’t waste your time. Matthew, I love you, but dude, choose your scripts wisely, please).

I think that’s why I spent the majority of Monday in a headache-induced stupor because I rung my body out like a sponge on Sunday. (Dehydration is BAD). I sometimes get these sinus headaches and NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, knocks them out. They aren’t so bad that I’m curled into a fetal position on the floor and drooling all over my chin or anything, but they are annoying enough and persistent enough to prevent me from thinking straight – or thinking about anything, actually.

However, I did manage to drag the boys away from their games long enough to watch LOST with me:

Watching LOST

We’re currently on season three – no spoilers, please! We just finished the first disk and WOW, talk about a 180 degree stylistic turn from the other two seasons. The first episode was so dark and depressing that the boys and I just sat there and blinked in shock at one another. But we’re not giving up on it, we’ll trudge forward because now we’re too invested in the story NOT to.

This leads me up to Tuesday. I felt 100% better when I woke up Tuesday morning (though I woke up at 2:50 a.m. and not being able to go back to sleep, read for an hour) and I kicked butt on my to-do list, well on the IMMEDIATE to-do list – does it really ever go away? I worked out to Turbo Jam’s Punch, Kick and Jam, cleaned bathrooms, vacuumed, and made some progress on another website I’m working on (that kind of stuff gives me a CREATIVE high! LOVE doing that).

And this leads me to today. After my weekly lunch date with my husband, I have a meeting to attend and then I’ll most likely get some grocery shopping done because tomorrow, me and the boys are heading to our county fair with my mom and nephews. I have mixed feelings about the fair. On the one hand, it’s the FAIR, something I’ve gone to nearly every year since I was a kid (!), but on the other hand, it’s the FAIR, something I’ve gone to nearly every year since I was a kid – not much has changed, you know? But I love my momma and she LOVES her some fair (she enters a ton of things every year and usually walks away with a ton of ribbons every year) and I don’t want to disappoint her and besides, it gives me a chance to act all silly and be spoiled because my mom? Is the QUEEN at spoiling. After the fair, I’ll need to pack up the trailer because we’re leaving early Friday morning, which will work out perfectly because I’m sure I’ll be one huge, sweaty salt hill by the time we leave the fair (I sweat, all the freaking time!) so I won’t have to worry overly much about getting even more sweaty when I pack up the trailer.

That was one of the “agreements” I made with the husband so we could go camping – I’d do everything (except for hooking up the trailer and actually driving the thing), and he could sit back and relax. He’s been working uber hard lately and he truly needs to relax. Aren’t I a good little wife? *cough*

And now you’re caught up in the mundane things I like to affectionately call my life (seriously, no sarcasm intended – I adore my boring, mundane life).

Your turn. What have you been up to these past days?

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Want a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to one of several popular retailers? Post your picture and leave a comment on this post! HURRY! Voting starts soon!

Writing Stuff

Welcome Home Story Recap

For those of you just tuning in, (WELCOME btw!), I wrote a 12-part story throughout, and DURING, my 2008 blog-a-thon experience. This was the first time I’ve attempted anything like this and I must say, my brain simply SHUT DOWN after the experience; it sucked every last creative cell I had remaining and those cells stayed dried for a few days afterwards.

I wrote “Welcome Home” on the fly, which means I wrote it a few hours before I actually posted it. This was both foolhardy and exciting: foolhardy because the more tired I became, the more I think it sort of rambled on, but also exciting because it was an adrenaline rush to write, to be so PRODUCTIVE in such a short amount of time. And then to go public with what I wrote, with my rough draft … I should get a medal for laying it all on the line (or online in this case) for the entire world to see, that wasn’t easy, let me tell ya. 🙂

At any rate, if you would like to read this story that I wrote “on the fly” without having to toggle through the rest of the blog-a-thon entries, I’m supplying links to each part for your convenience. (In addition, I’ve uploaded the entire story to Scribd if you want to read it that way.)

Welcome Home
Welcome Home by Karen M. ©2008

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve

I have to admit, that in addition to sharing the link love on an issue that is near and dear to my heart (Supporting Our Troops), speaking as a writer, and having written the Welcome Home story, which was 24 pages and 8,409 words long in a 24-hour period, was EXHILARATING! And I’m totally tempted to do it again, just to challenge myself. Maybe I’ll devote one day a month to doing more stories like this.

That’s a big maybe.

Also, while we’re on the subject of writing – ATTENTION MY FICTION-WRITING FRIENDS! Lynn Viehl, over at Paperback Writer, is holding a week-long fiction-writing workshop. And not only is the information she’s sharing with us invaluable, she has a whole slew of links from other writers who are holding similar workshops at their blogs, too. REALLY worth checking out if you’re curious to learn more about the art of writing. Tell them Write From Karen sent you over! (And don’t forget to dedicate your first book to me. 😉 )

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I’m on Twitter if you’re interested!

Monday Morning Meme

Monday Morning Meme – July 28th

All you have to do is answer the questions below either in the comment section, or on your blog. And elaborate! Make these questions show your unique and special personalities. This meme entry will post at 12:01 every Monday morning and will be the first postentry listed on WFK all day Monday morning. (This is an all-day Monday meme, so please, play all day!)

Monday Morning Meme at writefromkaren.com

July 28th Questions:

1. What is your blogging style?

  • Stir it up
  • Can we talk?
  • Observing the scene
  • Stuff you want to know

Why is that? Tell us why you think your blogging style falls into one of the above categories. Are you okay with this style? If you could change your blogging style, what would you change it to?

2. Have you ever read a book because Oprah suggested it? If so, what was the title and was it what you expected? If not, why not?

3. Who do you turn to if your techie things die? Why this person? Are you very good at fixing techie things? Tell us your most successful, or most terrible, experience at fixing something techie.

4. July is nearly over, any final words? (Sum up your month for us – the good and the bad).

Giveaway/Contests

Photo Contest – Summer Time!

The 2008 Summer-Time Photo Contest is officially over!!

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CONGRATULATIONS GO TO … Kim of The Misplaced Midwesterner
(Kim, if you read this before I’ve had a chance to email you, contact me and let me know which retailer you would like your gift certificate to!!)

Kim wins a $25 gift certificate!!

Here are the final poll results:

Kim of The Misplaced Midwesterner 45 votes

Kim at Kim’s Photo Blog 34 votes

Karen at For the Love of Pete … 18 votes

Karen of Sillymonkeez 17 votes

Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time 16 votes

Alisha at Izzy ‘N Emmy 14 votes

Penelope of Sassy Mama’s Cafe at the End of the Universe 10 votes

Kristen at Kristen McLane 9 votes

Angela at Mommy Bytes 4 votes

Amanda M. at The Crazy Life of the Mills Family 4 votes

Terri of Mrs. Squidley’s Place 4 votes

Em Dy of Captured Beat 3 votes

Thea at I’m a Drama Mama 3 votes

Monkey of Where You At?! 3 votes

The winner will be announced will get to choose one $25 gift certificate to any of the following (winner’s choice!)

Old Navy
JcPenney
Kohl’s
iTunes – (I’m not sure they offer e-certificates, so will probably need winner’s address)
Target
Land’s End
Amazon.com
Busy Bodies
Life is Good

If you have questions, please contact Karen.

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Contest Participants

Karen of Sillymonkeez Terri of Mrs. Squidley’s Place
Em Dy of Captured Beat Kim at Kim’s Photo Blog
Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time Thea at I’m a Drama Mama
Penelope of Sassy Mama’s Cafe at the End of the Universe Monkey of Where You At?!
Karen at For the Love of Pete … Alisha at Izzy ‘N Emmy
Angela at Mommy Bytes Amanda M. at The Crazy Life of the Mills Family
Kristen at Kristen McLane Kim of The Misplaced Midwesterner

If the poll does not appear in this post (due to technical difficulties), please click on this link.

Blog-a-thon 2008

Blog-a-thon ’08: The Final Post

Support Our Troops

Wow. It’s over. I survived the 2008 blog-a-thon and I still have enough brain cells to type this last entry.

Barely.

It was fun, folks. I had a blast and I hope you had fun, too. Even though I didn’t receive very many comments, I KNOW you were out there, reading and keeping me company and for that, I humbly thank you.

Remember, the reason I stayed up 24 hours wasn’t to entertain you, though that was certainly a pleasant side-effect, but to inform and remind you how important it is to SUPPORT OUR TROOPS and SHOW THEM WE CARE and that WE WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICES.

So, to all our military personnel and veterans, THANK YOU and GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.

I’m going to bed now. But not before I remind you of three things:

1. The July photo contest post IS NEXT. Stay tuned and as soon as it shows up, put your name in the Mr. Linky so we can find you!

2. The Monday Morning Meme Questions (sneak peek and otherwise) will post at the regularly scheduled time.

BUT

3. I’m taking a short blog break because wow, I could use it after this weekend. I shall return on Wednesday. But what, are you kidding me?? You have 48 posts you can read and follow links on so you can’t POSSIBLY miss me while I’m gone. Right? 🙂

Thank you all for visiting and GOODNIGHT!