Wednesday News: Summer is Coming


Pro: I don’t have to get up early

Con: There are children here. Loud children. I do not have quiet time to myself to write, read, or watch netflix while thinking “Huh I should write something” for another nine weeks.

Here's my house - picture me way off in the background trying to write something and stealing all the chips.

Here’s my house this summer – picture me way off in the background trying to write something and stealing all the chips.

This has not stopped me from forming big plans, including some blog projects. I’m trying some new things out in the near future. These include:

1. Wednesday links!

We’ll still have videos, but in a context of pointing you towards other people’s work instead of posting the finished product. I want to be respectful of everyone’s ownership of their work and make sure I’m, not violating copyright, because that would be bad and I would go to writer hell. In writer hell all you get to read is 50 Shades of Grey. Please don’t send me there. Plus I’ll be linking to articles that interested me during the week, and anything I’ve published over at smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

2. Tuesday interviews and guest posts HEY! Got something to say? Email me at I regret that I can’t pay contributors because my blog is not monetized.  However…

3. At some point this summer I have high hopes of carving out the time to switch to for hosting, which would allow me to run giveaways and post ads. I’ll also be adding affiliate links. Guest posters – if I make money, so do you. So let’s pull this thing together!

4. And let’s not forget that San Diego Comic Con is coming up! This year I have a kid in tow so my coverage will be a little different – more staring at cosplay and hanging out at booths, less waiting in line for panels. Last year left me both exhausted and energized – can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Be patient with me as I navigate kids, pets, and big plans. Hope your summer is full of beaches and books!


Friday Book Club: 700 Sundays

SWT-Book-ClubsThis month we’re finishing off our humor writing series with a thoughtful, bittersweet memoir by Billy Crystal, 700 Sundays.  If you are in the Sacramento area, come to our in-person book club at Arden Dimick Library in Sacramento, on March 23rd at 2PM.  There’s no book club in April, but we’ll be back with a three month series about animals in May!

700 Sundays, a book based on Crystal’s one-man, Tony award winning play, is about Billy Crystal’s life from early childhood through college.  The main focus of the book is Crystal’s relationship with his parents.  His father worked six days a week, but spent Sundays with his family.  Crystal’s father died of a heart attack when Crystal was only fifteen.  He later calculated that he had 700 Sundays with his father.

Crystal talks with great appreciation and affection about how his father exposed him to some of the most prominent jazz musicians of the day, and encouraged Crystal’s love of baseball and, of course, comedy.  He also admires his mother, who, after a lifetime of being a homemaker, found a job and supported the family after his father’s death.

The other two books in our humor series (Thank You, Jeeves and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) took a madcap approach to humor, with lots of physical humor and farce and satire.  Crystal’s humor in 700 Sundays is more gentle and reflective.  His humor is a force for family bonding and for healing.  Here’s my favorite passage, from the week after Crystal’s father’s death:

And then one day, I heard laughter.  Big laughs.  Everybody was having a great time.  I had to come out to see who was working my room.  And it was my crazy Uncle Berns.  Performing for the family.  He was making everybody laugh, even my mother was smiling.  He was carrying on, making everybody else feel a little bit better, and taking some of the pain out of his heart as well.  Berns was making people forget just for a few moment why they were there, and it was OK.  He had just lost his brother, the person he was closest to in the world.  And the message to me was profound, because it meant that even in worst worst pain it’s still OK to laugh.


Friday Book Club: Announcing Our Read For March!

SWT-Book-ClubsThe last book in our three-month series on Humor Writing is 700 Sundays, by Billy Crystal.  This a poignant autobiography about Billy Crystal’s early years with his family.  He talks about the roles music, baseball, and performing comedy had in his family, and he talks about his relationship with his father, who died young of a heart attack.  700 Sundays is based on the one man play Billy Crystal wrote and performed on Broadway.  It won a Tony in 2005 for “Special Theatrical Event”.  If you are in the Sacramento area, come visit us on 2/23/14 at Arden Dimick Library in Sacramento, CA, at 2PM for an in-person discussion of this sometimes heart-breaking and often very, very funny book!


In honor of the occasion, here’s a clip of Billy Crystal from an earlier time in his career, as the marvelous Fernando in Saturday Night Live!

Friday Book Club: Prepare to be Amused

SWT-Book-ClubsFriday Book Club is going on a bit of a vacation, but we will be back in January with a three-month series that features humor writing.  If the last series, Gothic Literature, made you mopey, then January should perk you right up.

Our January book will be:  Thank You, Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse.

This classic British comedy is the first full-length Jeeves novel, and what a joy it is, as the unflappable butler, Jeeves, has not one but two upper-class idiots to take care of.  Thank You, Jeeves was published in 1934.  I’m still waiting for the final Jeeves installment, which I’m sure will come any day now:  Jeeves, Put Down that Uzi!

Cover of Thank You, Jeeves

The February Book Will Be:  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

I can’t imagine humor, or science fiction, or…well, anything, without this delightful book.  The Guide has been a radio show, a TV show, and audiobook, a hollywood film, a stage play, and of course a trilogy consisting of five books (not a typo).  Follow the insane adventures of Arthur Dent, Earthman, as he travels though space with his friend Ford Prefect, fellow earthling Trillian, the two-headed party boy and President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the eternally depressed robot Marvin (“Life.  Don’t talk to me about Life”).

Cover - Hitchhikers Guide

And for the Grand Finale:  700 Sundays, by Billy Crystal

700 Sundays is a change of pace, from wacky madcap British comedy to bittersweet autobiography from one of America’s most beloved comics.  In this book, Billy Crystal talks about the family and friends who supported and inspired him.

Cover of 700 Sundays

So, start reading now, and join us back here for Friday Book club, starting January 3rd!