If you would like more information, contact me, Karen Christoffersen, directly at [email protected]. Please send a progress report and timeline for your book so I may review it,; then we can talk.

I continue working on my book, what I call a fictionalized narrative based on true events . . .. The Bright Side of the Road is a collection of “vignettes of the life of an unremarkable person,” and is set on each road wherever I lived. The chapter on Route 66 is my favorite. I will post a few short excerpts for fun.

But I must add that it’s hard for me to find time to add to it as so many of my active authors keep referring friends, family, and associates to me to work on their books! I am deeply appreciative of these authors’ support and their wonderful comments. This is the best job in the world!


From: Chapter: Route 66 of The Bright Side of the Road

Tiny Preface: Butch was an 11-year-old cute blond boy who lived in my dad’s trailer park (I was trailer trash…) and I was infatuated with him. Also, my sister, Christine (7 years older than me) loved Elvis and played his records so much I thought he was my brother. It didn’t help that Randy, my brother, really did look a bit like Elvis…

Here goes . . .

Butch had a dog named Gunnar. He was a big German Shepherd, mostly black, but he had a lot of golden fur on his face, and he was beautiful. He was bigger than me, probably twice my size. A happy dog. Always looked like he was grinning, kind of like me. (Dad called me a grinning idiot.) Butch had to keep him on a long rope because we didn’t have fences. So, Gunnar had to be leashed when we were at school.

I remember riding the school bus home one day and, as we got to our stop right in front of the trailer park, there was a dark “something” in the middle of the road a ways in front of the bus. I didn’t think anything about it at the time, but when we walked to our trailers, I noticed Butch was looking around and couldn’t find Gunnar.

He called him. Gunnar would always come when he heard Butch call his name. But not this time. And then I knew what that black thing in the middle of the road was, and I was sick at heart, sick to my stomach, and didn’t know what to do.

Butch and his dad dug a hole near the back of their trailer space and buried Gunnar. I remember it was in the spring because the wildflowers were in bloom, and I picked a bunch to put on his grave.

Butch was pretty stoic; I liked that word. It meant strong and quiet-like. (I loved big words even as a child.) I knew he was hurting, but he didn’t show it. I liked that. He could hurt inside, but he didn’t have to show everybody and make a fuss. At my house, someone was always making a fuss. That kind of quiet strength impressed me. I wanted to be like that. But I was a girl and girls, well, usually are not the epitome of quiet strength. The role model I had at the time was just the opposite.

I remember standing there as Butch’s dad shoveled dirt into the hole, singing quietly to myself, “You ain’t nothing but a hound dog, crying all the time. You ain’t nothing but a hound dog.” It was my requiem for Gunnar. He was a good dog. A loyal and loving one, who died on Rt. 66 just east of Albuquerque the summer I turned seven.

copyright2024 Kline-Christoffersen/BWP


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