Book Corner

July BAFAB Winner Announced

Win a FREE book at writefromkaren.com

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who put their name in the comment pot for my July Buy a Friend a Book (BAFAB) giveaway. And a HUGE THANK YOU to those that posted my button and spread the word – I heart you guys, truly I do.

I’m listing all of the people who were interested in the free book here. Since wordpress.com doesn’t come with that snazzy sticky feature (I miss the sticky feature wordpress! Waah!), I’m going to have to clear the FREE BOOK page so I can use it again for October’s BAFAB drawing. (Sorry about the comments disappearing! When I closed comments on the FREE BOOK page wordpress made them disappear! They are still there, you just can’t see them! ACK!)

But I didn’t want to lose all of the comments, or the lnks to the wonderful people who left a comment, so, I’m listing them here so their links remain and I can do what I need to do with the FREE BOOK page.

Capiche?

Don’t worry, it doesn’t really make sense to me, either. 😀

Here are the uber-cool people who put their names into the comment pot (in no particular order):

1. Shoshana 2. Danica 3. Melanie 4. Tina
5. Julie 6. Sandy 7. Emily 8. Dawn
9. Teresa W. 10. Lori Barnes 11. Elaine 12. Lulliannie
13. The Book Muncher 14. Samantha 15. Karin A 16. Johannah B
17. Carol Ezovski 18. Kristine Peacock 19. Janelle 20. Lizzie
21. Juxtabook 22. Melanie 23. Debbie 24. Book-Adorer
25. Ryan 26. Chel 27. Judy 28. The Story Siren
29. Marianne 30.avni 31. Deborah 32. ellie
33. Cyndi 34. Breanna 35. Lucy D 36. Alessandra
37. erica 38. emily 39. Nitestar 40. Joy @ Joy of Desserts
41. Pamk 42. bunnyb 43. Archana 44. Deb – Mom of 3 Girls
45. kegsoccer 46. Margay 47. Pamk 48. Nicole
50. Becca 51. Popin 52. Julie 53. Katie
54. Tina

After running the number of commenters through random.org, here are the top three picks:

July BAFAB Winner

CONGRATULATIONS BECCA!!!

(In the event that I can’t reach Becca within three days (by 5:00 p.m. U.S. central time July 6th), the second person listed wins the book. So, if your number was drawn, check your email!)

Thanks again for participating, everyone! I LOVELOVELOVE doing this every quarter! Please bookmark me and we’ll do this again in October!

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Prompt Fiction

Fiction: Missing Youth

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

This was originally published May 2, 2007

________________________________

Missing Youth

Clara glanced at her watch and frowned. It was nearly time to get back but she just couldn’t force herself to move. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the children were having so much fun playing and chasing each other in the park.

She sighed. She missed having little ones under foot. She missed her grandchildren. She missed her family. Lifting a hand, she shielded her eyes from the afternoon glare. The man on her left shifted a bit and caused the park bench to groan in protest.

Clara looked over at her companion; Ben was asleep and snoring softly. She shook her head in disgust and turned her attention back to the children. How could he sleep on a day like this? There was so much activity, so much life, to appreciate and soak in before going back. There would be plenty of time to sleep, later.

A black and white checked ball bounced off her foot momentarily startling her. A little boy, not more than five, walked shyly toward her. She offered an encouraging smile, careful not to show her teeth; she didn’t want to scare the boy.

“ello,” she croaked in a throaty voice.

The boy hesitated. His eyes darted back and forth between the ball and his friends, he was clearly debating on whether it was worth confronting her to retrieve the ball or simply run back to his friends and forget about the toy.

Clara bent slowly from the waist and tried to pick up the ball, but her bones protested loudly and her muscles locked and refused to stretch. She sighed loudly and lifted one bony shoulder into a shrug. “I’m sorry,” she said. “But I can’t pick it up. Can I kick it to you?” The croak had worked itself out of her voice and the sound came out soothing and friendly. She was pleased at the change and smiled again; this time, the smile reached her eyes.

The boy visibly relaxed at her smile and nodded eagerly. He ran back several paces and Clara laughed softly. “No my child. I can’t kick it that far. You’ll have to come a little closer.”

Ben suddenly twitched next to her and emitted an abrupt snore. The boy jumped and Clara laughed again. “Don’t mind him. He’s just dreaming.” She blinked to bring the ball into focus. “Okay, ready now?”

The boy’s face stretched into a wide grin and he clapped his hands to signal he was ready. Clara summoned what little strength she had, brought her foot back and kicked.

Only she missed and the ball remained near her feet. She glanced up at the boy. The boy stared back at her. Suddenly, they both erupted into giggles. “I’m sorry,” Clara struggled to say past her amusement. “I guess I’m out of practice.”

The boy approached her and placed a small hand on her bare arm. His smile was beatific and his eyes sparkled with life and innocence. “S’ok,” his voice tinkled out. “My mom’s not a very good kicker, either.” He gave her arm little reassuring pats before picking up the ball.

A lump formed in Clara’s throat and she felt an overwhelming sadness surround her heart. She missed her grandchildren. Dear God, she missed them.

A soft rumble eased its way past the sounds of the park and caught the boy’s attention. Clara nodded off into the distance. “It sounds like rain’s coming.”

The boy nodded in agreement. “Yeah. My dad said it was gonna rain today.”

“Your dad is a smart man.” Clara said.

“Yeah,” the boy responded. “’Cept when it comes to fixing things. Mom says he’s not a very good fixer.” He grinned. Clara’s heart jumped at his expression and she noted, for the first time, one of his front teeth was missing.

“Mark!” A voice called toward them.

“Oops. That’s me. I gotta go.” Mark patted her arm again. “Thanks for trying to kick the ball.”

Clara’s eyes began to fill with tears at the boy’s kindness. Her throat closed up and she found she couldn’t speak. She simply nodded and smiled at him in return.

She watched Mark run off, and with each stride of his chubby legs, her smile dissipated until finally, it disappeared altogether.

“Mrs. Stevens?” A deep male voice sounded next to her right ear, a large hand rested on her shoulder. “Are you ready to go?”

“But,” she glanced at the thin gold watch on her wrist. “It’s not time yet.”

“There’s a storm coming, we should go. Are you ready?”

She swallowed a sigh and sadly nodded her agreement.