Dear friends and readers,
Today I would like to share this blog post: Don Massenzio interviewing me on his blog.
A great opportunity to visit his site and discover lots of interesting topics.Β  πŸ™‚

Author Don Massenzio

This week’s edition ofΒ A Perfect 10 features author Karen Obelaender. Karen tells us about her work and her inspiration.

Please enjoy this edition ofΒ A Perfect 10.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com


KarenDoes writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing is rather energizing for me. As soon as the adrenaline kicks in, my writing juices…

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Gallery  —  Posted: May 1, 2017 in On Writing, Reblogged
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Oh. My. Dog! #40

Posted: April 23, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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We sat in shocked silence for a while, then everyone started talking at once.

β€œThey were terribly young for a four-year-old child.”

β€œHow could they do this to the little one?!”

β€œWhy didn’t they get help?”

β€œWhere were they headed, any clues?”

Mr Cairns’ ringing phone put an end to the chatter. His eyes grew wide as he listened intently. β€œAll right, they can stay there for the night. Please make sure that they come to the station in the morning for a statement.”

After disconnecting, Mr Cairns stared into space for a while. Bud whimpered softly and Mr Cairns turned his attention to us.

β€œYou won’t believe this.”

Clearing his throat, he continued β€œThis young couple stole the car with the sleeping girl inside. The girl’s mother had exited the car to get a newspaper, she was gone for less than a minute. Apparently they had lain in wait for the opportunity to get transportation. Presumably they weren’t even aware of the little girl.”

β€œWhy could this couple be mistaken for the parents?”

β€œThe papers were in the car. To make matters worse, the car was reported stolen during shift change. Therefore we didn’t learn about the connection sooner.”

Oh. My. Dog! #39

Posted: April 9, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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β€œWhat did Mr Cairns say?”

I held Bud, sensing his desperation as I asked this.

β€œHe listened, immediately barking orders to his team. Before he disconnected, he told me that a local police car was already close by.”

β€œWhat did he tell them?”

β€œHe told them that it was an anonymous caller. As you called his personal smartphone, they won’t check.”

We sat in silence as buses and passengers came and went, not in the mood for a change of location. Then Mr Cairns called. β€œWhere are you?”

A little later he picked us up, his face not giving anything away. He didn’t drive to the station, he brought us home instead.

Mrs Cairns already expected us, coffee and other delicacies were waiting on her kitchen table.

β€œHands!” This order was also directed at her husband. We obeyed.

Cleaned and refreshed we gathered around the table. Mr Cairns cleared his throat.

β€œWe pulled out the car, inside a young couple and their 4-year-old daughter. The paramedics could revive the little girl. They expect her to fully recover.”

What a relief. Bud sighed audibly.

β€œThe parents didn’t make it. Year-long drug abuse affected their constitution way too much. They were only 20!”

Oh. My. Dog! #38

Posted: February 12, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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“Thank you, Ken.” A slight smile appeared on her face as she planted a kiss on my cheek. The rain stopped as if on cue, and the sun shimmered through the clouds. The day was no longer dull when we headed back to the station.

We didn’t talk much on the train, it wasn’t necessary. Bud watched the landscape, visibly enjoying the journey. Until – shortly before reaching York – he pricked his ears, staring at something only he could see. He was subtly growling.

β€œBud?!”

He turned away from the window, sadness in his eyes. When we got off the train, he pushed us toward a bus station. We sat on the bench, and Bud laid his paw on my knee.
β€œNo way!” I couldn’t believe my eyes. This was horrific.

Bud repeated the exercise and Lynx immediately grabbed my hand. β€œKen! You need to tell Mr Cairns immediately!

My fingers trembled as I hit the dial button.

β€œMr Cairns, this is urgent – a car just went into the Ouse! Bud just showed us.”

β€œWhere exactly?”

Lynx took my phone.

β€œYou know that old barn by the bend of road, the one hidden from view? Right there, give or take a few!”

Oh. My. Dog! #37

Posted: January 8, 2017 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Lynx and I had agreed on visiting the cemetery the following Saturday. As the train was due to leave York station at 10 o’clock, I had time for a second mug of coffee before getting on the way. Walking briskly, Bud and I arrived at the station with nearly twenty minutes to spare; heading into the cafΓ© I ordered a coffee and a cinnamon roll to go. Both were long gone when Lynx arrived at the platform – right as the train entered the station.

We boarded the train and found our seats; I let Bud to the window, knowing how much he enjoyed watching the world go by.

It was cloudy when we left the train, meeting none of the villagers on our way to the small cemetery where only the ravens greeted us. Bud led us to Lynx father’s grave. Lynx was pale as she took a minuscule plant from her bag. Carefully, she planted the arbor vitae in a corner.

Bud gently nudged her and she got up. I could see her tears despite the heavy shower that soaked us through within seconds.

β€œDo you think they let the tree there?”

β€œI’m confident – they’ll think it was the gardener.”

Oh. My. Dog! #36

Posted: December 11, 2016 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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We left Mrs Cairns and James in animated conversation; they didn’t seem to notice that we were gone.

I unlocked my door, instantly revealing the whole flat. Compared to Lynx’s accommodation it was tiny, completely furnished by my landlords.

I grabbed two bottles of sparkling water and switched on the coffee machine.

β€œThis is nice. Like a lottery win, having your own ‘house’, a landlady like Mrs Cairns…”

β€œYou cannot complain about your flat, Lynx!”

Lynx clenched her fists. β€œI know, it’s mine. Do you know why? My father didn’t like my lifestyle. He bought that flat in my name, left me 18 000 Β£, telling me to never contact him again!”

Bud laid his paw on my knee. I saw a graveyard, and an inscription. ‘Final battle’ was often used for patients who did not survive cancer.

Bud’s eyes locked with mine. He seemed to ask if he should show it to Lynx as well. I nodded, edging closer to her. She gasped on seeing the images, unshed tears started running freely. I held her, Bud snuggled close; Lynx’s finally taking a deep breath ended our group hug.

β€œCould you please come with me to the cemetery? I can’t do that alone.”

Dear friends and readers,

cover_inasmallcompass_1It has finally happened: My first book, In a Small Compass – Vol. 1, was published on November 30, 2016 as a multi-format ebook by Smashwords. As many of you may know, the book comprises my first 15 (optimised!) short stories. I hope you’ll take time to check it out at Smashwords, where you can download the book for free.

In a Small Compass – Vol. 1 is available at many retailers. Mobi format is available at Smashwords.

Buy/download links:Β  books2read.com/u/m0zodW

I am looking forward to your feedback and reviews.Β  πŸ™‚

Best wishes,

Karen

Oh. My. Dog! #35

Posted: November 13, 2016 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Mrs Cairns’ high tea was delicious – as always. Throughout the meal, I felt Bud’s watchful eyes on me. He sensed my restlessness; he presumably knew the reason why.

β€œWhy don’t we go outside, our garden is beautiful on bright autumn days like this.”

We cleared the table, then we followed Mrs Cairns to the garden. The rose-bush seemed bigger, or perhaps I was imagining things. Bud pricked his ears as we heard soft voices behind the hedge. He let out one of his silent barks and trotted to the garden gate. His joyful wagging indicated that it had to be Lynx. I rushed over to meet her. As expected she had James in tow.

I made the introductions. Mrs Cairns recognised James immediately. She greeted our visitors with a warm smile. β€œWould you like some freshly made lemonade, or would you prefer coffee?”

Lynx politely declined. β€œThank you, we’re good, Mrs Cairns. I know for a fact that James is dying to see your garden, though. Can you imagine that his father denied his studying landscape gardening? He insisted on business management!”

Mrs Cairns chuckled. β€œBusiness management studies followed by landscape gardening make for a successful future job, I suppose.”

Oh. My. Dog! #34

Posted: October 16, 2016 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Have you ever come across a gardening geek?”

Lynx looked surprised. β€œExcept gardeners? No. Besides, I cannot imagine a gardener applying surveillance devices for plants. This would rather be a nerd with botanical interests.”

β€œRight! Mrs Cairns told me about a ‘friend’ looking for me.”

Lynx was thunderstruck. β€œWhy didn’t you tell me before?”

Bud laid his paw on her knee as I admitted that it had simply slipped from my mind.

β€œI’ve seen him on campus, James something. He hardly ever talks, doesn’t seem to socialize at all. I’ve seen him watching you, though.”

Lynx and Bud held eye contact, she smiled. β€œI knew you were special, Bud.”

If there was really a camera, he might have overheard Mrs Cairns and wouldn’t dare to return.

Lynx interrupted my musings. β€œJames seems horribly shy. He surely doesn’t want to do any harm. I am going to have a little chat with him.”

We agreed that I had better stay away.

Two days later, Lynx carefully approached James after the last lecture. β€œI could kill for a coffee. Would you like to join me?”

At the Costa, it became obvious that Lynx had been right: James was shy and very lonely.

Oh. My. Dog! #33

Posted: August 21, 2016 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Leaving The Yorkshire Terrier, I considered the weather highly adequate for a jog along the river Ouse. Bud and I enjoyed the sights; really enjoying York – our new home.

+++ +++ +++

We returned at the pub with two minutes to spare. When Lynx came out to meet us, I learned that she lived less than a minute away.

Lynx unlocked the door to her flat, inviting us in with a bow. Signalling that I was to take care of the drinks, she turned to Bud, β€œAnd you make yourself comfortable and look good.” Bud grinned.

After dinner, we focussed on the ghost gardener. I told Lynx everything we had learned so far, including my theory that the ghost gardener would return once to admire the gardening work – which hadn’t happened.

β€œWhat about Mrs Cairns’ rose bush? Has the branch recovered?”

β€œNo, it hasn’t changed.”

β€œSee? The ghost gardener didn’t return, still waiting for a success.”

β€œAll right, the ghost gardener will wait until there is progress but – how?”

β€œDid you search the premises?”

I admitted that we hadn’t.

β€œThe ghost gardener might have left a camera.”

Mr Cairns handled serious cases, this one seemed harmless. Who would consider tracking a plant’s healing process?