Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Blank Page

Recently, I positioned one of my prized possessions,  a 1920's Remington typewriter, in one of my offices. Given to me by my husband as an anniversary gift, it fills me with inspiration each time I glance at it. Often, I brush my hands over the keys reverently as if I were a pianist stroking a Bösendorfer.  And my mind floods with questions.

Who was its owner?  And what was it used for?  Business? Or to create extraordinary worlds from ordinary words?

Throughout that first day when my co-worker, Ben, had carried the heavy item to my office, and then the days thereafter, it was apparent that it wasn't just me who seemed enthralled with such a nostalgic piece. Ben had pointed out a few of  its interesting features, and also, many people who flitted through my office door would often pause before they left to study the typewriter and then tap down a few keys. Just hearing the "click click" sound seemed to pump up energy and happiness in the room.  What magic this unique piece of history holds, I thought, slipping a piece of blank paper through the platen and relishing the fact that someone long ago performed the same gesture. The typewriter now looked complete with the piece of paper tucked inside as if waiting for the writer to begin spinning a tale.  Or so I thought.

A week or so passed, the blank paper was still curled inside, and without a new typewriter ribbon, there wasn't much I could do other than wonder what I would type on the blank page if I could.   

More days passed and as I entered my office each morning, I became bothered that the blank page was still blank.  What is wrong with me? Just take the paper out, I reasoned with myself.  Yet, I couldn't.  But why?

It was because each morning as my door opened and I was greeted by one of my co-workers, a pattern of correlation began forming in my mind. I was beginning to see that blank page as the blank page that happens every morning with every human being.  For during the night before, as we close our eyes for sleep, we are all left with choices when we awake. Will we hold on to the struggles of the day before? Or will we rise to the dawn--refreshed and determined to cast off the hardships of the past so that the new day shines with possibilities?

"Hmm," I mumbled, a rush of satisfaction filling me as I finally realized what should be written on that blank page.  Walking over to the typewriter, I tapped the keys repeatedly until their letters appeared imprinted into the paper.

Perfect, I thought.  Just perfect.

Smiling, I turned away to start on my work for the day, knowing that if any observant bystander glanced long enough at the seemingly blank page positioned invitingly in the typewriter, that they would see faintly, but strongly branded into the paper's fibers:

Make your life a story worth telling.

Gazing once more at the typewriter, I nodded.  It now seemed complete....just like my morning.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Why I Write

Often, I am asked why I write.  I thought I'd share part of my reasons with my faithful followers here on my blog.


Why I Write:

Ephesians 4:29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

On a personal note: Storytelling by a mother to her child while gliding on a weathered porch swing will have a profound impact on that child’s life.  And that’s what happened to me. At a young age, my imagination soared from the stories my mother would weave to me, and later, as I devoured classic books such as Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, and Jane Eyre, I developed a passion for character-driven stories.  It always seemed to be great characters that society and readers remembered most.

So after writing for different publishers for many years, I had never let go of my heart’s desire to write longer fiction or my steadfast belief in Ephesians 4:29 regarding the power of words and how I could use words to help others. But I didn’t want my novel idea or stories to be just “any” kind of  reading material. For non-fiction, I wanted to use my life lessons on a very real level to connect with readers, and for my fictional stories, I wanted the characters to be real people facing real life problems with elements of their faith involved.

So for this author, my readers must feel satisfied as if he or she had walked every step with the characters on a journey of self-discovery, not only for the characters but the reader as well.  If the reader feels those elements, then I can put down my pen and relax a while until the next story begins to take shape. :-)


Saturday, May 2, 2015

In The Presence of Greatness

 In The Presence of Greatness
copyright 2015 by Karen (Karina) Garrison
The day wasn’t extraordinary in any way.  Same talk of snow, same dismal December greys and browns smudging the Ohio Valley background as if painted by the hand of a melancholy artist. 
Usually, I am a positive person, turning over challenges to discover those precious gems of hope buried beneath.   But today was different.  Perhaps it was the dark news broadcast over the radio as I drove along the highway. Perhaps it was because of the next radio station I turned to that was idolizing celebrity lives and their designer wardrobes.
Whatever had me depressed, I needed to shake it off fast. Within minutes, I’d arrive at the local library to somehow lead and inspire my writers group.
“Shh…here’s the teacher,” one of the members joked as I entered the library.
I smiled but didn’t take my eyes off the new guest sitting beside one of my regular members.  Dressed handsomely in black trousers, a grey button-down dress shirt and vest, he was the definition of refinement. He grinned somewhat nervously at me when I walked over to him, and as I held out my hand for an introduction, he immediately stood, took off his hat and brought it to his chest. That’s when he captured my heart.
Now, everyone who knows me knows I love bygone eras. On those rare occasions where I have time to watch television, you can bet the channel will be turned to a 1950s black-and-white movie, where men were debonair and the women—classy.   And a gentleman rising to his feet in a lady’s presence might not seem like a noteworthy act, but it was for this man. His careful movements showed his advanced age, but with painstaking effort, he’d acted on gentlemanly principles that reflected a time when those principles were still being taught in the home and society. 
Like a tingling electrical current, I sensed that I was in the presence of someone completely different than those in my usual social circles. And I wasn’t letting go.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Around the Bend

 Wrong decisions? Regret? Wondering how you can move on after trials?
Last week, I had been contacted by a stranger (who is now my dear friend) regarding a published story that I'd written some time ago. His personal and trusting note to me about this particular story and how it led him out of darkness touched me profoundly. His letter reminded me of why I wanted to become a writer, and why to this day, as an inspirational speaker and author, I desire to help others through a very real, identifiable way.
Below is  my story, Around the Bend, published both in Chicken Soup for the Soul Think Positive, and also, in Woman's World magazine.  I hope that if you're reading this, that in some way, my story will help you or others needing encouragement to remember that hope is always... just around the bend.
Around the Bend
  Copyright by Karen "Karina" Majoris-Garrison 

 In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
~Albert Camus

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Since it's Valentines Day...

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and step away from the winter doldrums with Karina's new romantic short story....

A Written Surprise
Copyright 2014 Karen "Karina" Garrison
No part or entirety of A Written Surprise can be copied or reprinted without permission by author

               Laura Bartley arrived at the quaint Chinese restaurant just in time to see her private table become available.  Every Friday, she treated herself to her favorite dinner in hopes of mending her broken heart as she adjusted to her new life in her old hometown.
            “The usual?” Alice, the restaurant’s owner, asked. “Kung Pao with no peanuts?”

            “Yes, and no fortune cookie, please,” Laura reminded.
            “I remembered,” Alice said, frowning.  “You’re boycotting your future.”

            Laura sighed, pushed a stray wisp of blonde hair behind her ear, and then scooted into her seat. She hadn’t cracked open a fortune cookie since doing so with her ex-fiancĂ© back in Chicago.  They had shared a delightful Chinese meal that evening, but then the slip of paper she’d pulled out from her courtesy cookie hadn’t been so delightful.  You’ll have good luck but overcome many hardships.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Words--so innocent....

“Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”     -Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wednesday, December 31, 2014



I've been staring at this blank screen for a while.  I've typed several sentences only to erase them and then start again.  After all, would I be able to eloquently speak of all that I'm reflecting upon? 

You see, I'm sure that like me you've had trying days or weeks. Perhaps you've experienced a period in time where it seemed that you tried very hard to do the "right" thing, meet the "right" need, or perform the "right" deed.  Yet, no one seemed to notice.  What's worse--maybe they had noticed but didn't care.  Maybe your efforts to help a friend, a co-worker or family member were performed in vain.  Maybe, like me today, you felt tired.  Weary.  Maybe like me you even felt sad--an emotion that you usually kept in check with a thankful heart.  But sometimes sadness finds a way to penetrate our noble barriers, and then we're left fighting its ugly sibling--discouragement.