Friday, January 1, 2016

A Moveable Feast

Reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway this morning and came across this part that affected me, and that I thought was poignantly conveyed to the reader (he is referring to his time in Paris):

With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it seemed it would never come and that you were losing a season out of your life. ...This was the only truly sad time in Paris because it was unnatural. You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed. *

*Wanted to share with those viewing this blog.  I love the minds of writers and am becoming a truer fan of Hemingway's when I had not fully appreciated his work before.


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.  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 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. 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.

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.