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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

White Pickups, Conversations: Sara Karsten


I’m not much for putting myself forward.

Don’t worry about it. Just talk about your personal history.

Fine. I was born, I went to school… well, I went to Morris Brown College in Atlanta, and got through one year before the college lost its accreditation back in 2002. The scholarships stopped, and I dropped out. My parents worked long hours so I’d have a chance to go to school, and then to have that happen… well, it was awfully discouraging.

Why didn’t you just transfer?

I was working on transferring to Georgia State. Then I met Jamal. We got married a few months after we met, and I thought I could put off going back for a while. That was about five years ago.

Things didn’t work out?

I might have been able to pretend to not notice his affairs, if he hadn’t let them become so indiscreet in the last year or so.


Exactly. I told him he could either have her — or them — or me… and he chose her.

I’m sorry to hear that.

Well, that’s not what he said he wanted. He claimed that he just wanted a temporary separation, to see if maybe we could work things out “once I calmed down about all that.” As if I was the one with the problem?

So you found work at Saver-Market…

The more fool me, I put off college for Jamal, and here I was with one year of college and no degree. The only jobs open to me were in retail. I told the Saver-Market people I was interested in finishing my education and having a career, and they said they would work with me on that and help me with some of the tuition as long as I passed the classes. I was getting ready to start taking classes at Gwinnett Tech in the evenings. That didn’t quite work out, did it?

I guess not. What were you going to major in?

General business: accounting, management, that sort of thing. I wanted to make something of myself. My parents were disappointed in how things turned out the first time, but they said they were encouraged with my plans. Then everyone drove off, and here we are.

Indeed. So what do you think happened?

Honestly? I think this was God’s way of starting over. He promised not to destroy the earth with a flood again, but He never said anything about white pickup trucks! I’d been reading a lot of scary things lately, about how the oceans will rise and we’ll have such hurricanes and droughts and so on. Maybe by the time there’s enough people to start hurting the earth again, it will have healed. Maybe we’ll be a little smarter about things next time, too.

I haven’t asked anyone else this, but what do you think you’ll do now?

Why not?

I just didn’t think about it.

Oh. Well, if we live long enough, I’d like to have children. I also want to go get those textbooks from the college and study on my own. Maybe by the time I have grandchildren, I’ll know enough to teach them something. But first, I want to live through this first year, knowing it’s going to be safe to have children. The children we have — and they’re almost not children anymore — are going to be enough for now.

Back to Episode 12


  1. Interesting conversation. I like the idea of using them. It really helps to set the stage by getting to know the actors.

  2. Interviews with the survivors, an intersting way of handling things, Far.

  3. Thanks, guys.

    I wrote the first one, with Tina, to clarify a few things about her… her family situation, work, and so forth. Then I did Kelly, and Cody, and I thought it might be useful, and it just went from there. I only have one or two more queued up, but there may be new ones coming later.

    Stuff you can't do with a paperback. ;-)

  4. Hiya FAR,

    I agree with CF and Boran. The conversations seems to get you more in touch with the characters. Nice going.

  5. Hey FM, and thanks. It's good to have something turn out how you hoped it would…


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