Bad Influence

“Come on kiddo, lets go meet up with Mom.” I said, reaching a hand out to little Kenny. Who would have thought a day at the fair would be so exhausting. I felt like I could fall asleep where I stood. Kenny, as usual had a bottomless supply of energy like only small children possess. A day of eating funnel cakes and cotton candy probably didn’t help the situation.

He hollered, “Let’s get ice cream!” Bouncing and tugging my arm in the direction of the ice cream stand.

“No.” My own stomach turned at the thought of more junk. “You’ve had enough, and we told Mom we’d meet her outside the flower building now.” I resisted his pull and plowed onward.

“Billy wants ice cream!” Kenny insisted, trying to pull his hand away. When I tightened my grip, he began to whine and fuss. Looked like the long day was taking its toll after all. “There he goes. We have to follow Billy.” He pulled wildly on my arm; man he was strong for a little guy.

“I don’t care about Billy,” I said, and I didn’t. That imaginary friend of his was becoming an increasingly bad influence. He loved to encourage an awful lot of naughtiness. Too many carpet stains and broken knick-knacks were being blamed on Billy. I was in no mood. Time for a talk. I squatted down to look my son in the eye.

“Kenny, ” I sighed, searching for the words to get through to him when I saw something over his shoulder that dropped any coherent ideas away. A green and yellow dragon the size of a German Shepard was bounding toward the ice cream stand. I couldn’t be seeing this. Squinting, I tried to get a clearer look; it must be a kid in a costume or something.

“Daddy, plleeease?” Another tug on my hand, and I blinked. When I looked again, it was gone. Definitely time to go.

I decided to let my wife drive home.


Rocket Launch – a mini memoir

Hovering nearby, I watched Daddy set my rocket on the plywood launchpad in the deserted schoolyard. Once ready, we ran to a safe distance.

“Three, two. . .”

The package said to use and ‘A’ engine, but Daddy said a ‘D’ would be better. He always said that.

“One. Blast off!”

He pressed the button and the rocket roared up trailing smoke. It climbed out of sight. Necks stretched upward, our eyes strained not to blink watching the bright sky. Then Daddy spotted the speck of the open parachute. We cheered, then anxiously watched where it fell. Not in the street this time; it landed on the school roof and I dashed off to find the janitor, again.

The above photo is from the NASA website. It’s the launch of Apollo 4 (not my toy rocket – in case there was any confusion.)

This is a little story I wrote many years ago, but I still like it. It makes me want to spend some time this summer building rockets with my girls and going to Grandpa’s house to launch them.


The State of the Novel

I’m still working on my NaNoWriMo novel, but not as much as I had hoped to. We’ve had a lot of excitement at work that has taken more of my attention than usual. Things should be settling down now though, so I won’t have that excuse to throw around any more. I’ve only grown my word count up to about 58,000 since the end of November. For three months of work, even three super busy months, that’s disappointing.

Now, I’m going to do something that most writing advice seems to frown upon. I’m going to start editing and rewriting before my first draft is completely finished. But I believe I have a good reason to do so. I had an epiphany last week about a problem with the story that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I’d set the story up such that a vital element, the base idea that the novel was supposed to be built on, wouldn’t ever happen. At the beginning, I just didn’t want it to seem too easy, but now that I’m so far along, I see that the obstacles I put in place will actually keep it from happening at all. So I need some fundamental changes at the start, and I don’t really see the point of finishing the first draft before these changes are put in.

A lot of what I’ve already written can still be used, but obviously a lot will also need to change. As I worked on the revisions last night and started to realize how much would need to be reworked, I was surprised to find that I wasn’t sad. It was exciting instead. The story no longer felt stale and pointless. It’s going to get back on track. Yea! Hopefully, the new energy I have for the story will translate into speedier progress as well.

While we are on the subject of writing, I’m proud that I have three short stories sent out right now; one with some encouraging feedback so far. It would be great to have a publication to report here soon!


Giveaways are fun.

I want to give away a copy of my zine. Would you like it? If so then just comment on this entry (as long as your comment links me back to someplace I can contact you if you win) or send an e-mail to me at karabu74@yahoo.com with Zine Giveaway in the subject line.

I will collect entries through the end of Aug, and announce a winner at the beginning of Sept. This is a kind of ‘Thank You’ to everyone for giving me such encouragement at Etsy, and with my blog. It really means a lot to me. Plus – giveaways are fun.

and, as promised, here’s the link to my story published at A Long Story Short:


New shop. New zine.

I finished my first zine. It has super short stories – all with a family theme (about kids, parents, husbands, family memories, etc.)

I was afraid people might assume that my zines were children’s stories if I put them in my Karabu shop (everthing else there is for kids) so I opened a second Etsy store: Paper and Words – http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5162914
I plan to add other paper items – more zines, greeting cards, blank books, and so forth, in future.