Open Your Heart: Orange Karen Anthology Countdown – Day 10 (Part 2)

Shay Fabbro steps into Part Two of today’s Orange Karen Anthology Countdown!! We figured since the deadline for short story submissions is looming (December 15th) you might need an extra reminder (December 15th). Shay’s post is a welcome reminder of what some of us wholeheartedly feel – that we have found the greatest of friends through social media (Facebook, Twitter). One of those wonderful friends is Karen DeLabar.

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Open Your Heart

Shay Fabbro

I don’t know how many times I hear people saying that social networking is forcing us further apart, creating gaps, destroying real friendships. It sounds logical, right? How many people would rather text someone than call them on the phone? I admit I tend to do this, especially if I only need a quick answer and don’t really feel like chatting it up. For those that know me this will be hard to believe since I am not known for my lack of talking 😉

It’s true that some people sit in their homes plugged into the computer and don’t spend much time with real people. When I’m neck deep in writing, I don’t leave the house much but I am still pretty social on most occasions and spend time with real, breathing folks. I enjoy movies with the hubby, dinner with my sister, church on Sunday morning, dinner with mom and dad (complete with card playing and wine drinking), lunch with the girls.

With computers in practically every room of the house and many of us with jobs using computers, it’s easy to get locked into the internet and “socialize” with people on Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social media platforms out there. But some would argue that it’s not really “socializing” unless you are face-to-face with someone, can see their expressions, hear their laughter, touch them. I love hanging out on the internet. But does this mean that the time I spend on Facebook and Twitter is robbing me of my humanity or making real connections?

One of the first thing experts will tell an author is that they have to get out there on social media and start connecting with potential readers. This doesn’t mean inundating Facebook and Twitter with messages to buy your book. It means chatting it up with strangers about things you have in common: fantasy, sci-fi, romance, history, time travel, movies, books, kids, pets, music. It’s so much fun to get in touch with folks who share your same interests.

And this brings me to one very special lady.

If I remember correctly, Karen DeLebar and I met on Twitter using the hashtag called #pubwrite. It was used as a way to hang with writers in a virtual pub so we could keep track of our Tweets easier. Oh, the topics we covered and the shenanigans we got into! I recall that OrangeKaren ending up in Twitter jail a few times while hanging in the Pub 😉  Her Tweets would literally have me laughing out loud (not just the polite LOL people throw on the end of a post) and hoping that I would get to meet her someday.

It was clear from the start that Karen was sweet, kind, hilarious, supportive. Over several conversations, we realized that we had a lot in common, so much that we often joke that we are sisters from different mothers. Just seeing her profile pictures flashing her killer smile would brighten my day. Rest assured that Karen brightened the lives of most everyone she came into contact with.

When she contracted toxic shock syndrome in the summer of 2012, to say that the news was shocking is such a cruel understatement. I felt helpless, scared, sad…all of the things I would feel if someone I had met in real life had contracted the same disease. It was amazing how people rallied around OrangeKaren: sharing posts of her progress, prayers, positive thoughts. My whole newsfeed on Facebook was filled to the brim with posts about Karen DeLebar.

That’s when I realized that you don’t have to see someone face-to-face to love them. All you have to do is open your heart and your mind and give people a chance to show you who they really are.


Shay Fabbro was born in Longmont, CO and moved to the town of Grand Junction, CO in the early 1980′s. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mesa State College before earning her doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO. While hard at work on her PhD, Shay had a series of dreams that continued to haunt her even during the light of day. The idea for a series of science fiction/fantasy novels began to take shape. Nearly a year was spent designing the multiple planets, characters, histories, cultures, personalities, and sketching maps. It would take another four years for the first draft of The Chosen to be completed and another year or more to do multiple re-writes and edits and formatting. The end result is a novel spanning an entire galaxy, filled with believable characters, human and alien alike, and conflicts both great and small.

Dr. Fabbro currently lives in Grand Junction with her husband, Rich, and their two cats. When not writing novels, she teaches biology classes at Mesa State College. She is hard at work on the second novel in the Portals of Destiny series, Shattered Destiny, as well as a new young adult series, The Adventures of Alexis Davenport.

Visit for helpful links for authors looking into self-publishing, ask the author questions, see a sneak peek into the second book of the series, and lots more!


2 thoughts on “Open Your Heart: Orange Karen Anthology Countdown – Day 10 (Part 2)

  1. Karen DeLabar

    My dearest Shay, I remember the exact night Mr. Steve Umstead introduced us. You had asked if you could find my work anywhere and I almost lost it with giddiness. You had your book out there and you were interested in supporting other writers I felt like I hit the jack pot. I always look forward to seeing your face, or book cover, pop up in my stream for I know a good time is sure to follow. Thank you for your kind words, and when we finally do meet, I’m giving you one of the biggest hugs ever!!


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