Tag Archives: humor writer

Why I Love (and write) Humor Books

Rose A. Valenta is a nationally syndicated humor columnist. Her irreverent columns have been published in Senior Wire, Associated Content, Courier Post Online, NPR, Newsday, USA TODAY, the WSJ Online, and many other local news and radio websites.

She is the author of Rosie’s Renegade Humor Blog. This is the blog for people who would be knowledgeable about current events and politics if only politicians and news anchors didn’t stretch the truth. “What else is there to do, but share an honest laugh?” Rose said.

Rose regularly attends the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton, is a member of the Robert Benchley Society and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC).

Rose lived in Philadelphia for over 40 years, where she honed her humor writing skills by being married to a Philadelphia Policeman and giving birth to three children. “Times have changed. Now that we have 10 grandchildren, I’m not sure how I feel about children being exposed to the evening news. Humorous things happen, like the time my grandson asked us to come outside to see his version of ‘Frosty the Inappropriate Snowman’ right after Snowmageddon.”

Rose worked for a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill, Datapro Information Services, for 12 years as a technical staff writer, and also wrote freelance articles for other computer industry publications.

She claims that her Italian heritage stunted her growth. She is English on her Father’s side and believes that in a past life, during medieval times, she was probably a trusted member of the Counsel of the Jesters.

Her latest book is Sitting on Cold Porcelain which you can find out more about at her website at www.rosevalenta.com.

Why I Love (and write) Humor Books

by Rose A. Valenta

As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed reading and writing humor. I think everyone enjoys a good laugh and deservedly so.

Almost on a daily basis, we face all sorts of events that nibble away at our initial good mood. You wake up in the morning feeling pretty, maybe sing in the shower, remember something funny the kids did to make you smile last night – then it starts: rush hour traffic, road rage, unpleasant news reports, crowded coffee shops, and your daily routine on the job. If that isn’t enough, the company café has a lousy selection for lunch; so, you resort to eating a mundane salad; you find that you are overdrawn in your checking account by $30.00; and at 5:00 PM, it’s rush hour again. When you get home, the evening news is filled with doom and gloom and the kids need to be motivated to complete homework assignments.

You, my friend, need a good chuckle. Why? The weekend looms ahead and you already know what to expect. The kids are home from school and a fist fight will break out, your DIY project is waiting, and Murphy’s Law is always alive and well at your house – breeding offspring. Sometimes I believe the more free time we have on our hands, the harder Murphy’s reproductive system works. You have to turn the tables, or else!

In my case, I wait until the crisis is over and write satire about it on my bog, Rosie’s Renegade Humor Bloghttp://www.rosevalenta.com. You can also read humor books and blogs that address the conflicts you face, but with a funny twist.  If you do that often enough, you will actually lighten up and see things in a better perspective.

While my humor book, Sitting on Cold Porcelain, is designed to address myriad topics with a funny twist to entertain you, humor blogs have been underrated. There are hundreds of them that you can sneak read with your iPad or Kindle at work. Trust me; it will lighten your load.

Because of my humor writing, I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet some of the folks, who write humor blogs on the Internet. I have made friends with them on Facebook and have linked the best ones at the bottom of my blog page, so you can enjoy them also.

Just to name a few, we have a school teacher from Texas, Jody Worsham, who is retired and has adopted two children in recent years. She writes a blog called The Medicare Mom. You will love her mature witty take on motherhood. Marti Lawrence, a caregiver from Missouri, usually has to miss our bi-annual get-togethers at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop (EBWW) in Dayton, OH; but we fill her in via e-mail. She is very entertaining and writes Enter the Laughter. Wanda Argersinger is a Director of the Lupus Support Network, she loves to write humor books on motivation and authors a blog called Lost in the Land of Confusion.  The Director of EBWW, Matt DeWald, writes My Five-Minute Commute. Our baby boomer dad, Jerry Zezima, is a very funny guy. He just released a book called Leave it to Boomer and his blog is linked on my page. If you are really feeling down, Dawn Weber’s blog Lighten Up is for you. Please check them all out. You will get more than a few chuckles.▪



Filed under Author Interviews

Christmas in a Box by Humorist Pat Snyder

Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!

Christmas In a Box
by Pat Snyder

Hallmark tells us what Christmas should be like, and I’ve tried my darndest to replicate it. But try as I might, the memories I create are not always the ones I intend.
Take, for example, the Christmas breakfast box.  The idea was a timesaver, I thought, an easy way to feed the family on Christmas morning.

“Box breakfasts this year!” I announced to my boys, who at 2 and 6 had no idea what I was talking about., and headed off to a bakery to purchase empty white boxes – the kind puffy glazed doughnuts and iced pink cupcakes come in.

If you liked this story, click on cover to purchase an even better story by Pat Snyder!

One would think that the bakery boxes would have spoken to me before I even left the store.

“Fill us right here!” they should have said. “Just go with the doughnuts.”

But no. I was young, still navigating Marriage #1 (there were ultimately two) and intent on creating clever traditions unique to our little brood.

Instead, I took the flat paper creatures home, fit Tab A into Tab B and proceeded not only to fill them but to personalize each one with homemade felt cut-outs reminiscent of the recipient’s interests.  It was a laborious process involving eight boxes, enough for ourselves and two sets of eager grandparents who could not be dissuaded from watching the opening ceremonies on Christmas morning.

“This will be so much simpler than cooking,” I cooed, as I scissored golf clubs, golf balls, American flags, flowers, hamsters, bicycles and roller skates and glued them on the boxtops.  No need to repeat the process, I told myself.  I would simply re-use the boxes.

Inside would go hardboiled eggs, oranges, candy canes, and sausage biscuits wrapped in foil.

The kitchen counter, piled high with the boxes on Christmas morning was, to be sure, an impressive sight, and the first year everyone raved about my cleverness.  The second year, I recycled them – same boxes, new breakfasts – and so on, until the boxes were finally lost in a move. Mysteriously.

It touched me last Christmas when one of my boys, now grown, asked the other, “Whatever happened to the breakfast boxes?”

“Aw, they miss them,” I thought.

But when the two of them looked at each other and started doubling up, laughing like crazy, I knew something was up.

“How long were you going to keep using those boxes?” they howled, and went on to paint a vivid picture of boxes lined in foil to cover up grease stains and other ghosts of Christmases past.

“It’s a wonder we didn’t all die!”

Then they asked if I’d do it again, resurrect those breakfast boxes after almost 30 years.  Of course, I said yes.

Pat Snyder is a recovering lawyer and mother of three from Columbus, OH, whose new book, The Dog Ate My Planner: Tales and Tips from an Overbooked Life, includes the Frantic-Simplifier story and other light takes on the too-busy life. Find her online at www.PatSnyderOnline.com.

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Guest Blogger Kelly Epperson: Gotta Get My Jolly On

kelly-epperson2I have a guest blogger today! Her name is Kelly Epperson and she’s here as part of her virtual book tour this month, but we’re doing something a little different. With the holidays here and Christmas just…uh, let me count…NINE days away…and since she’s a talented and quite funny columnist and author, I asked her to send me one of her past Christmas columns, the funnier the better.

So, grab a cup of hot toddy, light the fire in the fireplace and enjoy…

Gotta get my jolly on (from December 2007)

christmas-treeCharles Dickens conjured the Ghost of Christmas Past; what I need is the Spirit of Christmas Fast. The holidays sort of snuck up on me this year. Maybe it was the mild weather we had in November. Maybe it was the fact that Christmas decorations hit the stores Labor Day weekend so I learn to ignore them. Maybe I’m just a little too busy. Whatever the reason, it happened. Bam! The holidays are here.
Trying to get my festive frolic kindled, I spent the entire day wandering the mall and in and out of every big box store wearing a hat with mistletoe mounted and dangling over my head. Not one single person kissed me. I’m kidding. Lots of strangers kissed me. Now I’m really kidding!

santa I don’t have a mistletoe hat, but I tempted to craft one. As an experiment in human behavior, of course, not because that guy at the bookstore is kinda cute.
The truth is that my merry is not as bright this year. We didn’t get Christmas lights put up on the house. We didn’t get a real tree. We didn’t make the roll-em-out, cut-em-out, frost-em-and-eat-em-up cookies.

It is my plan to make those cookies after Christmas. My boys are on school break through January 7 so we’ll have plenty of time after December 25. There’s no rule that states every celebration must culminate on that particular date. If the hype can start months in advance, a few days of holiday food after the deadline certainly is okay.

snowman Since I broke tradition with an artificial, pre-lit tree, it’s also okay to keep my tree up longer. All year long, if I like. Decked in pink and white, it’s sparkly and glittery. Quite lovely and romantic, perfect for Valentine’s Day.
I wrapped all the presents in one whirlwind sprint. In my rush, I did not play my Christmas tunes. I did not go crazy with bows and ribbons. I did not have a coordinating colored paper theme. And it didn’t bother me. I didn’t feel Scroogey, just…normal.

I’m not Bah Humbug, but I wanted to feel a little more HOHOHO.

I had a gal paint quotes on my kitchen walls (Angie-the-Artist is Amazing). Facing the table is the instruction “Eat, Drink & Be Merry.” That’s not just a holiday only entreaty.

Every day is a day to eat, drink and be merry. I don’t have to feel festive because the calendar tells me that I must. I can be pretty darn jolly all year, with or without “seasonal” decorations.

As Christmas Eve hostess for my extended family, I added cage bingo to the mix of games and found some “fabulous” prizes. The mini Thomas Kinkade calendar was bought with my aunt in mind. It was my hope that my college-aged nephew would go back to campus with the Elmo plate that says “Hurray for you!” The armband tattoo would be a hoot for Grandma. Silly and jolly are synonymous for me.

The holidays have been less stressful because I don’t feel obligated to “do it all.” There is no quota for cheer. Or cookies. We can make merry and bright all year long. And to the guy in my neighborhood who keeps the Christmas lights on through March, I won’t say a word this year. Rock on, dude.

Charles Dickens’ famous ghosts have stood the test of time. His quotes have as well. “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”

Me too, Charles. Me too.

when-life-stinks2Kelly Epperson has been dubbed “Everywoman” and “Rare woman” in the same breath. Kelly’s style is uniquely her own, yet she can relate to all of us. Her weekly columns of life, real everyday life as well as travels through Europe, bring a warmth and a wit that we all long for.

Leaving her job at the IRS ten years ago (it was “sucking the life out of her”), she then embarked on a new career, and served as resident court jester, at a local nonprofit agency that taught English and reading to adults.

Kelly’s motto and quote that hangs over her desk is “To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?!” After a year in France, Kelly returned to the states and launched a fulltime career of writer, ghostwriter, and speaker. Every day, she does the happy dance in her kitchen.

To maintain connection and spread a little joy with friends, family, and readers, Kelly recently started a weekly “happy mail” – When Life Stinks, Find Your Joy. To check it out, send Kelly an email to kel_epperson@yahoo.com.

Kelly lives in Loves Park, IL (city with a heart) with The Man of the Place, her two teenage sons, who are brilliant and witty of course, and a sweet dog Starburst who sheds like crazy. FYI-Kelly hates dog hair, hence, the essay, “It’s Not Easy Being Cruella DeVil.”

For more info, please visit www.whenlifestinks.com.

WHEN LIFE STINKS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’08 will officially begin on December 1 and end on December 23. You can visit Kelly’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in December to find out where she is appearing!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner(s) will be announced at the end of every month!


Filed under Guest Bloggers