Deb Claxton grew up reading
the humor columns of Erma Bombeck who inspired her dream of finding a
husband, living in the suburbs, and having three annoying children.
When that didn’t work out she became a humor writer/newspaper
reporter/ photographer instead.
do zombies, the Mayan Calendar, deathbed confessions, and Christmas all
have in common? They’re just some of the subjects Deb Claxton tackles
with her unique brand of humor in, “It Ain’t Heavy –It’s The Lite
Side.” For three years Claxton wrote a weekly humor column called “98%
Fat Free – The Lite Side.” At the request of her fans, she took her
most popular columns along with a lot of new material and published it
in her book which takes a humorous look at taxes, sharing too much
information, back to school shopping, holidays, movies, music, and much
She is also the contributor
to a new Humor Anthology, “My Funny Major Medical.” They say laughter
is the best medicine especially since there’s no co-pay. “My
Funny Major Medical” gives everyone something to laugh at with a variety of stories by some of today’s funniest writers.
Claxton retired from the newspaper business but she continues to
spread her wacky view of the world through her blog, which can be
accessed via her Website/Blog at www.debclaxton.com. She’s also on Facebook and Twitter @calendarday.
been writing since I was fourteen, and been published a handful of
times between there and here, but there still remains that age old
question: What do I do to get published?
have sought different remedies, and tried everything under the rainbow.
But the answer is really quite simple--so simple, most people overlook
In order to get published you have to do... what you love.
roll your eyes. Passion, from my experience, IS the key to success. Of
course, that implies the old cliches everyone knows (if you work in what
you love, you'll never work another day in your
life). But I really think writing about what you love, and then sending
your work to people who love the same things as you... that's when you
can get published.
example, take my short story, "Being Practical" that was recently
published by Wayman Publishing in Open Doors: Fractured Fairy Tales.
When I wrote that piece, I didn't do it because an anthology was looking
for fairy tale pieces. I didn't even know that the anthology existed. I
wrote "Being Practical" because earlier that week, I was doing what I
love: sitting on a couch, watching old fairy tales with my friends
(including Rosie Hendrickson, whose short story can also be found in
this same anthology), and making fun of bad acting and impractical movie bits that
all good old 80s
films have. My friends and I joked so much about the impracticality of
Cinderella (Why is the carriage always white when made from an orange
pumpkin? Why doesn't Cinderella freak out when a strange lady appears in
her house? Why can Cinderella never find her own way to the ball?) that I decided to write about it. I wrote the first draft of "Being
Practical" for the enjoyment of my friends, and most especially because I
knew I would love writing a spoof of Cinderella (I'm a sap for fairy
tales). When my friends enjoyed my short story, I began searching for
contests/anthologies to enter "Being Practical" into, and stumbled
across one Fractured Fairy Tales Anthology. After a great deal of
editing (I was 2000 words over limit) I submitted my fairy tale to
Wayman Publishing. It was accepted.
will take you far enough, desire and dedication will too. But if you
really want to be published, you must be passionate about what you
write, and then find other people who are passionate about what you
write. Simply put, getting published is about... being practical...
About the Author
Kay was born and raised in North Salt Lake, Utah, as an avid lover of
horses, words, chocolate, and puns. She’s had a recent obsession with
fairytales, especially the ones with happy endings. Currently she’s
attending Utah Valley University to complete her BA in English while
seeking to get her young adult novels (which, to match her obsession,
are fairytale retellings) published. Kimberly has previously been
published at Stories for Children Magazine (http://storiesforchildren.tripod.com/).
Robert G. Ferrell is a
lifelong computer geek and amateur radio operator (KF5SAR) living just
outside San Antonio, Texas who also exhibits avid interest in writing,
history, quantum physics, music, art, and ornithology. He was a finalist
for the 2011 Robert Benchley Society Humor Writing Award and has been a
humor columnist for ;Login: Magazine since 2006. He has several dozen
publications to his credit, the scope and range of which can only be
described as eclectic. Or possibly, dyslexic. Links: Site, Twitter, Blog, 8baud Blog
Wayman received this email the first day the anthology came out:
"I just readThe Little Red Hen Moves to
Beverly Hills. I LOVED it!"
Here's a review left on Linkedin:
"The third story in this
anthology might be the best short story I have ever read. I have got to
find out if the author has written any other stories, so I can read
them. If this is the first story the author has had published; I'm
begging him [if you haven't started writing your next story yet]; wtf
are you waiting for!? Get started already!"
5-star Reviews on Amazon: "I especially liked Hanzel and Gretyl: A Boomer Fairy Tale. Kudos to author Timothy Hurley, M.D. Fairy tale meets modern suspense thriller combining Brothers Grimm, Abbot & Costello and an iPhone." --Deborah S. Marcus
"Open Doors: Fractured Fairy Tales is an eclectic compilation of
clever, funny & imaginative (& sometimes, even a little scary)
takeoffs on well known nursery rhymes & fairy tales. Give yourself
and/or your friends a treat & buy this book. It was an absolute joy
to read!" --Fishducky
"All I can say is, wow! I had no idea there would be this many stories
combined into this book. And what is even more impressive, is all are
top notch. There are a ton of different writing styles, which allows for
everyone to find something they like. Fairy tales have never been so
colorful. Add to your must buy list today!" --Pat Hatt author of The Honk of Zagonk
"Fun book to read! Such fun, interesting variations to the fairy tales!
Especially loved the story by Debra Kristi ;The Lonely Egg. Very good
writing skills! Such a beautiful story! Anyone would love these stories! Some made me laugh out loud! Loved the humor and other touching stories. They warm your heart! Highly recommend!"
Linton Robinson has
written humor articles for newspapers, syndicates,
and national magazines since the first ice age, and gotten
little more than awards and suspicion to show for it.
He currently resides in Mexico, which is a rich source of
humor that nobody will read. His cult Nineties
humor column The Way of the Weekend Warrior, has been converted to a widely-reviled novel and is available on amazon and www.adorobooks.com
is founder of the International Humor and Healing Institute established
in 1986. She worked with board members Norman Cousins and Steve Allen
as well as prominent physicians in promoting hope and humor in healing.
As a long term cancer survivor, "Jan's Army" acknowledges and sends
"Badges of Courage" to other heroes. Jan
is currently the humor columnist for Senior Correspondents and writes
satirical essays for several online magazines and newspapers.
R.K. Grow was kind enough to feature Wayman Publishing on her blog today. You can read about that HERE.
She also wrote a very entertaining post where she's answered questions about herself. Here's a sneak peek:
What does the R.K. in your name stand for? My first name is Rebekah and my middle name is Kevin. Anytime I
tell someone my middle name they are always interested in the story
behind it. I was named after my Uncle Kevin who died when he was young.
In fact half of my sisters have boy middle names and we are all named
after male relatives in our family. I still to this day think it was a
way for my dad to have boys in the family.
For more info about this author, please visit her BLOG.
Parham is the award-winning author of humor columns, essays and short
stories. He is a recovering software freelancer and a music fanatic.
Parham is the author of the 2009 sleeper, "Why I Hate Straws," his debut
collection of humor and satire including the award-winning stories,
'Going Green, Seeing Red' & 'Driving Miss Conception.' In October
2010, Parham published "Sorry, We Can't Use Funny," another
award-winning collection of general-topic satire and humor, and the more
targeted "Blush: Politics and other unnatural acts." He followed up in
2011 with "The Middle-Age of Aquarius," a
growing-old-but-not-so-gracefully vehicle for the award-winners
'Comfortably Dumb,' 'Snowblind' and 'The Zodiac Buzz-Killer.' "Full
Frontal Stupidity" (2012) is Parham's 5th collection of humor, satire
and observations, and features more award-winning stories, including
'Skirts vs. Skins' and 'Scenes From a Maul.' Most recently, his work
appeared in the 2011 national humor anthology, "My Funny Valentine," and
his essays are slated to appear in two more collections in late 2012.
writer and editor, Fran can make anyone laugh. As her 74th birthday
present, she flew in the same anti-gravity plane that the astronauts train
in! She walks with a cane, but did one-handed pushups & flew like
Superman--WHAT A BLAST.
For more information about Fran/Fishducky, please visit her BLOG.
Aimee was a writer long before she was born. Her hands know little else, and feel most comfortableholding things and tapping things with which ever-afters sing and stories breathe. She married hermost favorite character of all time, a boy she met in high school with bedroom eyes and a recklesssmile. Next year, they will celebrate 19 years of marriage and the end of his 20-year Army career.They plan on buying Harleys and moving to the beach. They are the parents of two beautiful littlemuses, their 15 and 17-year-old sons. Her day job is spent writing for doctors, but by night, she isthe supreme ruler of infinite worlds created and destroyed with her toolbox of nonsense. She writesabout her Earthly oddities at PleasantlyDemented.com, and her chimera daydreams hold sway atGoddessInTheMachine.com.
winning author Diana M. Amadeo sports a bit of pride in having an
excess of 500 publications with her byline in books, anthologies,
magazines, newspapers and online. Yet, she humbly, persistently, tweaks
and rewrites her thousand or so rejections with eternal hope that they
may yet see the light of day.
name is Afobos, and I'm originally from Greece. My family immigrated to the
states in the late 60's ,and I've lived here since. I've always loved writing
and have written quite a few things mostly for my own pleasure.
Books by Afobos
I'm a massage therapist and have been practicing for the past 17 years--one day I'll get it right!
30 minutes south of Houston in League City TX with my 3 indoor cats. Outside
I have possums, racoons, and lots of squirrels for company.
I enjoy kayaking,
sport bikes, the occasional windsurfing, and fighting the never-ending battle of the bulge. I used to be a bodybuilder back in the 80's and it
kind of fizzled from there . . .
I have worked in a lot of different
fields ranging from pizza delivery driver to being a cook, teaching English as a
foreign language, teaching Greek, being an interpreter, selling ladies' shoes, working private
security, being a bodyguard, a delivery driver, etc. . . . Something about working for
someone else though has never agreed with me. I guess you can't fire yourself,
that's why I like working for myself. I speak fluent Greek, a bit of
Spanish--which I learned from ex-wife's family--a little German, and you can
catch my accent when I mispronounce words like sheets and sheep . . . . I'll let you
guess what sheet sounds like when I pronounce it. In my line of work
(massage therapy) I've learned to replace sheets with linens. Cuts down on
For more information about Afobos, please check out his books (above) or visit these links:
I was sipping a bottle of iced tea and glanced at the writing inside the cap: “Spend more time on what makes you happy.”
reading, running, movies, spending time in nature, and visiting friends
and family make me happy. What if I couldn't do these things? What
would a character in a story think or do, and how would he interact with
people if he's not truly happy? If he's unable to pursue his passions?
prompts are everywhere, and everything in life is material for your
writing. These details will help you tell your story. What are you
passionate about? What do you want the world to know?
like to read my horoscope once or twice a week as simple food for
thought, although the astrologer can be eerily accurate. One day last
month, my horoscope said “You will have a strong feeling and a
connection to a physical item. It's OK to be unsure as to why.”
happened to see a small, inexpensive journal while I was at the store,
and was drawn to the blue and green shiny butterflies on the black
cover. I'm almost finished with my current journal, so I took this as a
sign that I needed to buy it. I could write a story about a girl who is
drawn to some butterflies she sees in a park on her way to school, and
decides to follow one that circles around her head before heading toward
a grove of trees.
Your journal can be a great source of material. I'm reading Keeping a Journal You Love,
by Sheila Bender, in which she shares practical instruction, writing
prompts, and journals entries from 15 respected writers such as Pam
Houston, Denise Levertov and Ron Carlson.
of the most intriguing prompts from this book is “Write about something
someone told you during the day and what it makes you feel about life.”
I was explaining a dilemma to a friend recently, and she asked, “What
do you want to do?” I had to repeat the question in my mind. “What do you really
want to do?” Without taking anything or anyone else into consideration,
my decision became clear. I now had permission to pursue my own
same thought process could end up revealing something about a character
that I might not include in a story, but is important to understand.
Maybe that character is hesitating to make the right decision because
she knows it will hurt someone she loves.
details that provide depth to your protagonist. What quirk or tendency
does he have? Maybe it's something that annoys another character. Maybe
it's a flaw that will affect the story's conflict.
overheard some funny and interesting portions of conversations over the
years, while standing in line at the grocery store, sitting in a coffee
shop, or waiting for a movie to start at the local theater.
In the November/December 2012 issue of The Writer, Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Birds of Paradise, said:
“When I'm starting a new book it seems as if everything inspires me. I
think of that time as 'sticky brain.' Anything can set off a story: an
angle of light through trees, an item in the newspaper or a bit of
overheard gossip. Basically, I think you have to be sort of naturally
receptive toward inspiration. Be open to being inspired by whatever
comes your way – then you'll never run out of ideas.”
A friend gave me Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul,
by Melody Beattie. Just before finishing this blog post, I read the
entry for today's meditation, about awakening to the storyteller within.
“Each of us has a story to tell, a story to share with the world...Tell
it with joy and flair. Commit to telling it with love and passion.”
Good luck on your writing journey! I'd love to hear what inspires you.
About the Author
Valdez writes short fiction and personal essays. She was a finalist in
the Grey Sparrow Journal 2012 Flash Fiction Contest and her short story
“Little Red Riding Hood Seeks Vengeance” appears in the anthology Open Doors: Fractured Fairy Tales. Contact her at www.KatherineValdez.com and find her on Twitter (@KatValdezWriter) and Facebook (KatherineValdez2012@gmail.com).
Timothy Hurley is a writer, retired physician, and family man with four children and
six grandchildren. Coast-hopping between New York City and San Francisco
Bay Area, he writes literary, speculative and humor fiction. His
heroes, M. Twain, E.A. Poe, and E. Hemingway, among others, are not
returning his emails. His works-in-progress include collections of New
York and Mars short stories, The Grumpy Old Men’s Club, and a memoir of
his medical career. When not writing, he reads, and often walks the
neighborhoods of New York searching for the perfect pizza. Timothy and
his wife, the architectural historian and author, live in Brooklyn.
They will celebrate their forty-fourth anniversary the day the Mayans
bring the world to an end, but they’re not afraid. Timothy blogs
occasionally at The Lunatic Assylum, his name for Earth,and tweets at @timothyhurley3. Email Timothy at email@example.com.
Book Report”, humorous book review of Me Talk Pretty One Day by David
Sedaris at The Satirist, thesatirist.com September 2012. “Being in the Box”, speculative flash fiction at Fiction and Verse, fictionandverse.com, October 2012. “Hanzel
and Gretyl: A Boomer Fairy Tale”, humor short story in Open Doors 2
anthology, eBook and paperback, Wayman Publishing, December 2012.
Zeke Jackson was born on 11/18. At the end of January the following year, he died in my arms. Today, to honor my son on his birthday,three of my eBooks are available for FREE download. Here they are:
Zeke would have been ten today. I'll never forget him or the lessons he taught me.
About the Author
spends most of her time taking care of four rambunctious kids who are
better than green eggs and ham. They're pretty darn fun, but despite
that, after she had kids, her boobs shrunk, she lost hair, but gained a
greater sense of humor! When she's not scavenging through the vents, where her son--the Zombie Elf--likes hiding things, she's sewing, playing her violin, or writing.
It works like this. You’re on dive boat in the ocean. The current is ripping at three to four knots.The wind causes the water to stand up in peaks. Your scuba tank is strapped onto your buoyancy compensator which hugs your torso. You test your regulator tomake sure your breathing apparatusworks. You look over the side of the boat. Visibility in this chop is about one foot, and you’ll be divingdown to eighty feet. Someone hands you your photographic gear. You turn and sit on the side of theboat, exhale, and tumble backwards into the void. Seconds later you’re in the deep blue, clearing yourears, descending slowly, and feeling the exhilaration that comes from entering another world. You don’tknow what you’re going to encounter, or how the photo shoot will turn out. You’ve spent years takingunderwater pictures that were over lit, under lit, spattered with sand you inadvertently kicked up, out of focus, or just plain dull. But you’ve persevered. And by now you’ve done it so many times you knowthat when you spot a particular piece of coral, or a flaming scallop, or the sun shining through the waterat a certain angle, you can use the knowledge you’ve acquired to compose a photo with elements others have used but in a way that’s unique. And you have the awards to prove it. Writing fiction isn’t very different. There’s the knowing what to do and how to do it. And there’s thedoing it. Several years ago I heard about a creativity experiment in which Japanese art students weredivided into two groups. Both groups were given several days to complete their assignments. Group A’sassignment was for each student to make a single drawing, perfecting it as much as possible. Group Bwas told to produce as many pictures as they could in the allotted time. At the end of the experiment,researchers found that the students who did several drawings produced better, moreoriginal work thanthe group who used the time to create a single piece. A blank page (or an empty screen) is the writer’s void. Trying to write the perfect story is the writer’snemesis. Jump into the void. Write. Learn the rules. Then learn when to break the rules. Use the tricksyou’ve acquired to bring characters alive, to give your stories a unique voice, to use time and place toweave a fictional world where things happen. Write. As much as possible.
About the Author
Rayne Debski has been an innkeeper, a college instructor, an editor, and anorganizational development manager. She now lives and writes in central Pennsylvania,where she shares her life with her husband and their enthusiastic yellow lab. Her award-winning short fiction has appeared in several online and print journals and anthologies,and has been selected for dramatic readings by professional theatre groups in New Yorkand Philadelphia. She is the editor of Aftermath: Stories of Secrets and Consequences, forthcoming from Main Street Rag Press in December 2012.Between hiking, cycling,and kayaking adventures, she continues to work on a collection of linked short stories.
My brother treated me to eight days in Rome, Italy a few years ago. We
stayed at a private apartment half a mile from the Vatican and walked
everywhere. Imagine, he a “liberal” from Berkeley and me, a
“conservative” from North Carolina, wandering the streets of that city
museum of civilization together, napping in the Pantheon, climbing above
the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, savoring chocolate gelato as a
street-side lunch. The talks we had! Much could be said about that marvelous trip, but for our purposes here,
the most important part was barbecue sauce. Stubb’s barbecue sauce.
At a certain alimentaria (Italian grocery) in Rome, I was amazed to
discover bottles of Stubb’s on the shelf, and all the way from West
Texas. Stubb’s was once the favorite at the dinner table with me, my
wife, and six children, and it seemed so out of place in Italy. I guess
Stubb’s gets around.
And it’s tasty enough you could slop some on roast possum and enjoy. Possibly I exaggerate.
A picture of Mr. Stubblefield is printed on every bottle. He’s a
handsome older man in a cowboy hat. We share a lot in common. His
most famous quote is “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m a cook” and his second
most famous quote is “My life is in these bottles.” I like those
quotes. They’re inspirational. So, following Mr. Stubb’s example, I
will simply say “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m a writer and my life is in
Therefore, open up a bottle. Read one of my stories, either
true-to-life or speculative. What they all contain, I hope, is fun
entertainment that offers intriguing, maybe even unsettling
Charles Reed has graciously allowed me to slip in through the back door of this cyber domain to talk a bit about the hero of “3GOLDILOCKS & THE BEAR” and my Native American Lord of the Rings, THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS.
Or rather about the meld of the world's myths that makes for the world of Hibbs, the bear with two shadows. Why two shadows?
Isn't there a duality of natures in all of us - a white wolf and a black wolf, both contesting for control of our spirit, the Lakota would say. And the one who wins? The one we feed.
Ancient cultures were defined by their mythology, shaping the sacred stories to show their values, beliefs, and concerns. Those myths expressed the spiritual and intellectual life of the people of those cultures.
Those myths had superhuman beings such as Gilgamesh of Mesopotamia - not just a culture hero, but he was the founding father of a whole society. Hibbs is such a character, more than what he seems, though less than what he yearns to be.
In many myths, the discovery of knowledge is related to the human characteristics of curiosity and playfulness. Such is the case with the ever-curious, ever playful Hibbs -- much to the consternation of the mysterious Turquoise Woman.
She represents several dualities common in myths :
The Native American tricksters often take on animal form such as Raven or Coyote. That particular role is taken on by Little Brother, often seen as a hawk. But rarely, and luckily so, seen as Chaos or the ThunderBird.
Estanatlehi, the Turquoise regally assumes this role, much like Spider Woman. Though a helper and teacher, she can also be dangerous and unpredictable. And that is to be expected as she is also :
The Turquoise Woman is the electro-magnetic consciousness that circles from pole to pole of our world. She is, in fact, the mind of this planet, who can take physical form. And because of that she leads to an important aspect of my novel :
THE MELD OF THE WORLD'S MYTHOLOGIES -
The Australian aboriginal aspect of the Dreaming flows into my novel, shaping the universal Great Myth of Hibbs' adventures. Why universal? Which of us does not dream?
Hibbs' adventures in the Dreaming, the creation time, interconnects all the world's myths, turning the landscape of the entire world into a living body. The Lakota see the world as one large web of life, each strand vibrating to the beating of the heart next to it.
THE MYTH OF THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS
Myths are not fixed truths. Rather they are ever-winding, ever-shifting paths to misty glimpses of possible answers to questions. And each wanderer down those paths asks different questions, so their eyes and hearts whisper different answers.
Sometimes those eyes are at odds with the hearts. And considering the two shadows we share with Hibbs, should not this be so?
Thank you for letting me draw back the curtain a bit for you to peek into the myths which live in THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS.
WHO IS THIS STRANGE MAN WHO WROTE THIS BOOK?
My family left Detroit when I was quite young so my last memories of Detroit are hub cabs and knee caps. The further south we went, the hotter it got. So I was glad when we stopped in Lafayette, Louisiana, because I was real sure the next stop would have been Hell.
A year there taught me to say "sir and ma'am" and to pronounce David and Richard in really strange ways when they were last names. And it was not a pretty sight when I said Comeaux for the first time.
Lake Charles was the next stop. I remember standing in the front yard of our new home, watching the neighbor across the street beating in his front door (his wife had locked it) with a fence post.
I looked up to Mom and said, "You know, if I had a degree in Psychology, I would probably understand what's going on there."
She ruffled my hair and said back, "Lot's of luck with that."
And she was right. A master's degree in psychology hasn't unlocked the why's of the pain I see. It just helped me put fancy labels on them.
I have been everything but a pirate, but since I once worked for a tax preparation firm, I guess you could say I've been that, too. I was a teacher for awhile. Then, a family counselor. My mother contracted cancer, and I emptied my savings, opening my own bookstore to give me freedom to go with her for her out-of-town treatments.
Mother died. The reason for my store died with her. I saw an opening at Lifeshare Blood Center in the Product Management department. I applied and was hired. And the rest is infamy, ah, I mean history.
I've been writing most of my life. Most of my old writings burned up when my home burned to the ground. But now, I have an e-book, THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS, on sale at AmazonHERE.
Hibbs also appears to fend off the Twilight of the Gods in post-Katrina New Orleans along with the Lakota shaman, Wolf Howl, in END OF DAYS. Click HERE for more information.