CNF Entry Shortlisted for UK’s Creative Writing Ink Journal Competition

 

My entry Old Shoes a creative non-fiction flash piece was shortlisted for the UK’s Creative Writing Ink Journal competition in December 2016. This was a piece I developed in Professor Lee Martin’s weekend flash class last year.

Congratulations to winner M. T. Ingoldby and the other shortlisted entrants. Read the winning entry here:

http://www.creativewritingink.co.uk/journal/

 

“World’s Greatest Grandpa” Published

My flash fiction story, “World’s Best Grandpa” has been published at Brilliantflashfiction.com yesterday. Many thanks to them for the publication opportunity.

If you’d like to read it and give feedback, I’d appreciate it. The story is midway in the publication. View it at: https://brilliantflashfictionmag.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/issue-11-september-2016/#more-1548

Thanks!

Karin

 

“Life Preserver” Published in the Flash Fiction Press

Hi there. I’m proud to announce that my flash fiction piece “Life Preserver” was published by The Flash Fiction Press on September 18. Please give it a look. I’d love to have your feedback. The URL is http://www.theflashfictionpress.org/2016/09/18/life-preserver/

Thanks,

Karin

 

 

Two Flash Fiction Pieces Coming in September

Hi everyone. Welcome to my author website. This has been a busy year.

Last month, my short story, “Heirloom” appeared in the anthology “Tomato Slices.” The anthology contains stories, poetry, art, recipes, and other tidbits all relating to tomatoes. It’s available on Amazon.

I am currently working on book 1 of a mystery series, “All In.” I have completed the draft of Book 2, “Operation Bingo.” Don’t ask me why I wrote book 2 first. It just worked out that way.

I’ve also started writing a series of humorous essays that will be collected into a book.

Finally, two flash fiction stories will be forthcoming in September of this year. The first is “Life Preserver” in Flash Fiction Press, and the second is titled “World’s Best Grandpa” which will appear in Brilliant Flash Fiction.  Thanks to both of these great magazines!

Keep writing.

Karin

“Feisty After 45: The Best Blogs From Midlife Women”

Hi everyone! I just wanted to announce that my essay, “Does St. Peter Give Advance Notice” was published in the anthology, “Feisty After 45: The Best Blogs from Midlife Women” this month.

It’s available from Amazon. in paperback and Kindle. My essay is also available on this blog. (See the essays listed to the right).

Here’s what the cover looks like. Hope your month is going well!

Feisty After 45: The Best Blogs from Midlife Women

Available on Amazon

 

 

Welcome to My Website and Blog

It’s the New Year, and I hope to blog a little more often in 2016. I’ve been busy completing a mystery novella, and submitting essays, short stories, and flash fiction. I’m also sending query letters to agents for a contemporary novel I’ve completed, “Bag and Baggage,” and a spiritual memoir, “With a Blind Eye.”

Also in the works for this year:

  • A collection of humor pieces
  • A mystery novel
  • More flash and short stories
  • A mystery novella

Thanks for visiting my site!

Karin Gall

Email: karingall24@yahoo.com

Musings – A Day in the Life of a Writer

Flaubert Quote

The spring flowers are bright and welcoming as I drive down the gravel driveway to the detached garage in the back of our 100-year-old Victorian home. Medium-size pea gravel crunches beneath my Sonata’s tires. Maverick geraniums dot the flower beds. Scarlet, white, and rose-colored flowers stand among the landscaped flower beds that surround the wrap-around front porch.

I’ve just returned from the local diner after gobbling down a half an omelet wrap. An omelet wrap is just what it sounds like—sausage gravy and shredded home fries enclosed in eggs that have been beaten until frothy and then cooked until set. I admit that I also ate the homemade biscuit. What a wonderful way to start the day.

I park the car in the garage and walk to the back door. I put my key into the lock and open the door. I’m greeted by Smokey II, a short-haired black feline beauty who doubles as a friend and muse. She cocks her head as if to say, “Finally. It’s about time. Ready to work?”

We climb the stairs to my second-floor office. I race her to the top of the landing, but I always lose. I turn on my Alienware computer and arrange my two monitors while Windows boots up and the word processing program opens. The monitors must be just so. I tweak them this way and that, forward and backward.

All the while, my mind is climbing upward preparing itself to receive direction from on high. Who knows what paths we’ll explore today?  It’s all part of being a writer. Each experience is different—some resplendent with hope and achievement—others with frustration and rejection.

Tomorrow will be another day—the same but different. We’ll rise, Smokey and I, and start the process all over again. We’ll keep doing it until we get it right.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations

The recent measles outbreak at Disneyland reminds me of an incident that happened when I was younger. I was in my late twenties, and working as a secretary for the Ohio Department of Education. I was married and expecting a baby. I had been married for almost ten years, and the baby was highly anticipated and planned. I was in my first trimester and following the doctor’s dietary restrictions closely. I was also taking prenatal vitamins and going to the ob-gyn on a regular basis. So when my boss called me into his office with a grave face I wasn’t prepared for what he was about to tell me.

“Carol has the measles,” he said. “Her children all had the measles and now they have scarlet fever.”

Carol was a single mother who worked in our office. She was on public assistance because the father of her children had abandoned the family both physically and monetarily. I felt bad for her, but at that moment her actions or rather inactions were sinking into my brain.

“You’re kidding,” I said. I stared at my boss. My mind started whirling.

I had pointed out to Carol in previous conversations that the State Health Department gave free vaccinations for the measles, mumps, and rubella commonly called a MMR vaccination. They also gave the DPT shot to prevent Diphtheria Tetanus and Pertussis. I had a cousin that had five children and poor health insurance, and he had mentioned that he had marched all five of his children down to the Health Department to get vaccinated free of charge. Carol’s response to my advice was to shrug and say, “So, they’ll get the measles or whooping cough. Big deal.”

My boss held his hands out in supplication. “I suggest that you go back to your desk and make an appointment with your doctor immediately,” he said.

“I’ve never had the three day measles,” I said, after searching my memory. I’d had chicken pox, the ten day measles, and whooping cough. I’d almost died from whooping cough. But I had never had the common measles.

My boss looked sympathetic. His wife had recently lost triplets so he had an idea of what I could potentially go through.

A visit to my doctor the next day confirmed what I suspected.

“Even though you’ve been vaccinated you could still get the measles. We don’t really know how long the vaccination lasts. If you get the measles,” he said, “we’ll have to abort the baby. It almost certainly won’t be normal. You’re young. You should be able to have another child,” he said, patting my hand.

But the doctor didn’t understand something. I’d had a bad childhood, and it had taken me several years to decide to have a child at all. If I had to abort my baby, I didn’t know if I could get over the loss. The doctor sent me home with the advice that I take the next week off from work so that I didn’t endanger others if I happened to get the measles. I could be in an incubation period.

From what I remember, I stayed home and prayed that I didn’t get the measles. I restricted my movements so that I didn’t go out in public and potentially expose others.
That why today I have a real problem with people that refuse to have their children vaccinated because they say they fear the potential consequences. Not only can other children get the disease, but pregnant mothers and people with compromised immune systems can get infected too.

I was born in 1950, and I had a cousin that contracted polio. Polio is a horrible disease to have. We still don’t know what causes it. Jonas Salk developed and tested the first polio vaccine in 1952 and Albert Sabin developed a polio vaccine that was licensed in 1962. I remember when I was in junior high school that we all had to line up in the auditorium to take the oral Sabin vaccine. After seeing my cousin walk with a leg brace when she was a child and others enclosed in an iron lung when I was younger, I had no problem taking the vaccine.

And now we get into people’s rights in this country. I guess someone has a right not to be vaccinated, but they don’t have the right to infect hundreds or thousands of people due to their neglect. If they live on an isolated mountain top and never leave it and have all their supplies and food delivered, then maybe don’t get vaccinated. But I don’t want to see them in the general population again until they come to their senses and get vaccinated.

Last summer, the Ohio Department of Health had a series of public announcements about the MMR and DPT vaccines. They offered vaccinations to the public free of charge whether they had insurance or not in order to avoid an epidemic. It’s been determined that being immunized as a child does not provide lifelong protection. Since I planned to attend some writer conferences, I hauled myself down to the Health Department and held my arm out for the needles.

If you’re wondering what happened with my pregnancy, I did have unrelated complications and had to stay home from work an additional week. But I didn’t get the measles. That December, I had a healthy baby girl. She’s an adult in her thirties now. I hauled her butt down to the Health Department too. She hates shots with a passion, but she’s not selfish enough that she’d risk getting or exposing others to a disease as deadly as the measles

No one should have the right to put other lives at risk for contracting diseases that could be prevented with a couple of shots. You’re going to have to come up with a lot better excuse than “I’m afraid of potential side effects” to convince me. How dumb can you get?

Sources:
Wikipedia article on “Polio Vaccine”
Merck Manual “Home Edition” article on “Common Vaccinations”