Category Archives: Funny

Queries: The Best Of The Worst

Some people scribble a few lines down on paper and are convinced they’ve written something worthy of publication, admiration, and instant fame and wealth. Most of the time, this is so not the case. That’s when we get really bad query letters and all those books that give self-publishing a bad name. Every once in a while, though, someone good takes the time to do something so bad, it becomes awesome. I stumbled across one of those instances on Query Shark recently. So, now, for your edification and entertainment, I give you what Janet Reid called the ∑ of All Queries:

Dear Most Exalted Shark of Snark:

JOHN SMITH (who’s a girl, but her parents wanted a boy so they named her John, even though it’s totally misleading because she’s gorgeous with fiery red and orange tresses the color of autumn leaves, and sparkling forest green eyes that glisten with secrets) is the best friend of Aphrodite Pantaloonacy, who is actually our protagonist.
In a blinding fit of rage, John Smith (whom Aphro has nicknamed Elvis) runs off to Iceland, to better escape the ghosts of her past and the pitfalls of her own artistic temperament. While there, she plays ice hockey. They’re’s*** also an Amusing Scene with a Turkish ghost on holiday taking a bath (Turkish baths, etc.). But one day, when the sky churns with storms and across the see Aphrodite has a terribly chilling feeling of icy foreboding, Elvis falls down a rabbit weasel hole, killing her instantly.

In order to deal with her crushing grief, Aphro and the tortured-soulled boyfriend of Elvis, Maisie (who is actually a boy but his parents wanted a girl so they named him Maisie, go figure right?) flee to the mystical land of Genovia Canada Barbecuasia. It is a place where dragons roam free and the cursed are damned. Where blood can flow quick and fast or slow and at a snail’s pace. It is here that Maisie and Aphro can find their dreams. It is here that Aphro can finally confront her destiny.

Since birth Aphro has had a birthmark in the shape of a question mark right in the middle of her snowy forehead. It is a gift from the Barbecuasian gods signifying that she is her mother’s daughter. What this means, only Maisie can discover, because of the key his grandfather gave him that he’s always carried around his neck that opens the chest where the true powers of Lord Carbunkle dwell.

Aphro, Maisie, the ghost of Elvis, Dandelion, Alkaline, Mjehrithuuqreaei, a baby, a snaggle-toothed troll, a shark with a devastating scents of humor, all these characters and more go on a piercing and heart/gut-wrenching journey of self-discovery and what it means to be a human. Also tacos.

As your eyes pour over each and every carefully selected word (you tell us to edit a lot so boy did I!) I know you will guffaw with laughter (The book is funny). You may even maybe snicker and chortle and giggle and titter and then maybe cackle a bit but only at the funny parts. The serious parts are the parts where I am fully and fervently convinced you will boohoo. I tested this out on test readers (ages 7-84) and there was so much boohooing that I “drifted away on a sea of beautiful tears” (Rosemary, age 67, Tulsa, Oklahoma).

I would be so honored if you would consider reading my 350,842 1/2 (people get interrupted mid-word sometimes) word gritty crime novel work of fiction, the first in a series of seventeen tomes sure to rival the epic sagas of Larry McMurtry, William Shakespeare, Homer [Simpson] and Barbara Walters. It is a compelling work of staggeringly-employed metafores in the timely and bestselling genre of young adult thriller hipster communist manifesto. It is rated X for explicit sex scenes.

I sent a joke once to a joke magazine and they printed my joke (I have included the magazine and highlighted the page for your convenience). Literature is my passion and I have named all my cats after literary characters. Please do not tell me that you do not have the time to read my manuscript, since I know where you live and I see that you stay up very very late at night reading, and there really isn’t any reason you couldn’t be up reading my stuff too.

Ever faithfully yours,

(name redacted) aka (pen name redacted)

Am I the only one who kinda wants to read a book written by the character who wrote this query? Love it!

BUT, at the same times, don’t do this. It won’t get you far. 😉

Random: Google And Cracked

Right now I am experiencing the joy of new love with Google Drive. I’ve been using Documents to Go for my file synchronization for a few years now, and for most of that time it worked perfectly. Recently, though, we’ve been having some problems. Then I heard about Google Drive.

Google Drive gives you 5 GB of free storage that will automatically sync to any PC, Mac, or Android based mobile device (iOS coming soon) with the Drive app installed. So far, it works like a dream and has simplified my file sharing system immensely. Speaking of file sharing, Drive also gives you the option to share files, folders, or your entire drive with individual users or the entire interwebs. While I don’t plan on making my first drafts public domain at any date in the foreseeable future, this is an amazing tool when collaborating on a novel with another writer who lives on the other side of the country! (I’m staring at you, Lani!!) I’ll let you know if I run into any problems that dim my fondness for this program, but right now the desktop applications are nearly perfect and with a couple of upgrades, the mobile apps will be too.

Now, because I’m still low on time, here are some articles I think you might find amusing, all found on Just a warning, though, these contain foul language to some degree.

7 Commonly Corrected Grammar Errors (That Aren’t Mistakes)

18 Images You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photoshopped

5 Gender Stereotypes That Used To Be The Exact Opposite

The 5 Depressing Lessons We Learned From Highlights Magazine

Life: Never Stop Learning

One of the many reasons I’m crazy busy right now is I’ve signed up for a Writer’s Digest online class called Fiction Pitch Slam where my query letter and pitch gets critiqued by working agents and editors. Between today and Monday I will be listening to lectures by industry experts and submitting my query letter for revisions.

The man giving the first lecture is Chuck Sambuchino, an author and expert who works with Writer’s Digest. His blog is a wealth of information on and interviews with agents and I’m hoping this weekend will help me work out the kinks in my pitch which I’m having a hard time simplifying to less than ten sentences. The point? Even though I’ve been doing this for years now and I’ve written more than a few query letters already, I never feel as though I know everything. In fact, I still feel like what I know is only a drop on the bucket.

Never think you’ve learned it all. If you have, what else is there to live for? If you keep learning and discovering, you’ll keep finding stories to tell, and that is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Poems: You Probably Won’t Ever Find This In An Anthology, But…

Oh. My. Goodness. I was going through some of my grandfather’s things this weekend and found a letter written on the back of a typed poem. The letter was dated in 1945 while my grandfather was still serving in the Army, but when I started reading the poem I bust out laughing. For some reason my grandpa held onto this for more than fifty years! WTH?! 😀

Just, um, as a warning, the poem isn’t explicit, but it’s implicitly explicit… FYI for my few younger readers and those who don’t care for such things. 
Hope you’re as amused by this as I was!

Book of the Month – Author Unknown
Suzzanne was a lady
with plenty of class
who knocked them all dead
when she wiggled her
Eyes at the fellows
as girls sometimes do
to make it quite plain
that she wanted to
Take in a movie
or go for a sail
and hurry home
for a piece of
Cake or ice cream
And a slice of roast duck
and after each meal 
she was ready to
Go for a ride
or a stroll on the dock
with any young man
with a sizable
Roll of big bills
and a pretty big front
and if he talked fast
she would show him her
Little pet dog
who was subject to fits
and maybe she’d let him
take hold of her
Little white hands
with a movement so quick
why she’d reach right out
and tickle his
Chin while she showed him
a trick learned in France
and asked the poor fellow
to take off his
Coat while she sang
off the Mandalay shore
for whatever she was
Suzanne was a bore.

Movies: A Book’s Worst Nightmare

 I try to see movies before I read the book. This seems counter-intuitive to a lot of people, but let me explain.

I get really attached to books. The story, the characters, the little moments that only seem to work on paper. A movie changes all that and, sure, it may be great in it’s own way, but if I walk in expecting what I read in the book, I’m disappointed 99% of the time. The only exceptions I can think of off the top of my head? The newest version of The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe and A Walk to Remember. However, if I see the movie first (for example, the newer version of The Count of Monte Cristo) I can appreciate the cinematic qualities of the movie and then fall in love all over again with the book.

Thinking about it makes me wonder if I’ll be able to let go of the rights to my books when I’m published some day. Will I be able to trust some screenwriter and director to mold the story I’ve created into something worth seeing? Right now, I’m not sure, but I guess I’ll have to jump that bridge when I come to it.

Research: Beware Misconceptions

See the original here.

I found this XKCD comic online recently and then asked myself, does Wikipedia really have a list of common misconceptions? Another Google search showed me that, yes, they do! How intriguing. Some of the information on this rather long list I already knew, some of it I didn’t. What it made clear to me, however, is how easy it is to get something wrong. Misconceptions, misperceptions, and misunderstandings happen all the time. In fact, it’s a little scary how easy it is to misunderstand someone.

Since misinformation is so prevalent, how do you know what to believe when doing research for your books? Especially when a lot of research is being done online and all it takes to make a source look legitimate is a good website and a believable url. It’s a tricky question and truly depends on the subject. A lot of times, though, finding someone who works in the field and asking them to direct you to reputable sources or answer some questions is the best and safest way to go. If this fails, books published by a reputable house are usually (but not always) safe. Textbooks are safer. You can use the internet as a starting point, but don’t let it be the only way you research.

Below the cut line are some of the misconceptions I found interesting, amusing, or weird. Since they’re on Wikipedia, I in no way vouch for them being 100% true, but it’s still interesting. To see the full list, go here.

Continue reading

Holidays: Merry Christmas!

Christmas is overly commercialized and stressful. That being said, people do get pretty crazy and pretty creative during the holiday season. So to celebrate the day, here are some awesome, scary, funny, cool, or unique Christmas related pictures I found on the internet. [sorry! They’re gone now… You can find a bunch with a couple of Google searches, though.]
Merry Christmas!

Writer’s Block: Share The Blame!

I found this online… Who knew?! Everyone blames writer’s block on a blank page when really it’s the pencils!

Writing: Don’t Let Interruptions Get You Down

In my apparently ongoing series on how to use your life and your world as sources of inspiration, I bring you my post on interruptions.

I recently followed Penguin (the publisher, not the Batman villain) on Twitter and they posted a link to a short article by author Virginia Lowell. [[edited to add: story not there anymore!]]

Despite my love for cats, I gave Olivia Greyson, owner of The Gingerbread House, a Yorkshire terrier. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with dogs and love them dearly. However, Olivia has a dog because of yet another interruption to my doomed writing schedule. One sunny summer afternoon, while I was writing Cookie Dough or Die, I glanced up to see a huge black Labrador on our tiny back porch. He stared at me with friendly intensity as if he’d checked out a few homes in the area and chosen ours. I tried to ignore him and get back to work, but it was hopeless. Those limpid brown eyes….

No family in our neighborhood included a black Lab, but my visitor was clearly someone’s pet. I joined him on the porch for a chat. I learned he was friendly, a gentle giant, and eager to follow me anywhere. I also realized he had no collar. With the Lab trotting beside me, I walked across the street, where my neighbor gardened while her feisty little Yorkshire terrier protected the perimeter. When the Yorkie caught a whiff of black Lab on his territory, he let loose a torrent of deafening yaps. Yorkies are like that. It struck me that he had no idea how small he was. In response, my sweet newfound buddy—did I mention he was the biggest Lab I’d ever seen?—bunched his substantial muscles and roared at the little guy. Things were not going well. War was averted when my neighbor grabbed her Yorkie and locked him inside her backyard fence. He kept yapping, but at least no blood was shed. The Lab relaxed at once. He seemed happy to hang with us while we discussed how to find his owner.

The story has a happy ending. While we talked, we noticed a van driving slowly down the road. The Lab’s family had been searching for him for close to an hour. When the van’s back door opened, the Lab leaped inside and settled next to an overjoyed little boy. Frazzled Mom explained the dog had escaped from their fenced back yard, and he couldn’t wear a collar due to an allergy. All was well. And I’d lost a chunk of precious writing time.

Back in my living room, I lifted my laptop lid and knew at once that Olivia needed a Yorkshire terrier. And Spunky was born. Spunky escaped from a puppy mill and wandered the streets of Baltimore before a rescue group caught up with him. He is smart, brave, and noisy… and he has proven himself helpful when there’s a murder to be solved. Next I gave Chatterley Heights’ gangly young deputy sheriff, Cody, a gigantic black Lab, prone to running away. Unlike the dogs in my real life adventure, however, Spunky and Buddy are the best of pals.

When I read a good story, I sense the author’s deep involvement in life, combined with a habit of noticing the small yet telling details. I love those stories. And I always wish I’d written them! So now when my concentration is under assault, I think of Spunky and Buddy, and I remind myself to be open to the interruptions. Because it’s during the interruptions that life happens.

Like Virginia’s story about the dog or like Kanye West breaking into Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV awards, you can’t predict what will happen during a day or even during the next hour. Of course you have to budget writing time, but don’t block yourself off from the world either. The world is where the stories are.

Funny: In The Meantime…

Sorry about the absence! I found out earlier this week that I have extra paid time off I didn’t know about, so I shall be taking it next week. That decision, however, means that I have a lot to finish up before then. PLUS, my sister arrived from Wednesday night. A real post shall be coming later, but in the meantime here’s something to amuse, annoy, and keep you entertained. 😀

Photo found here.

Edited to add: I totally miscalculated. I’m just getting home and it’s after midnight my time. So… posts tomorrow! Three, in fact, to make up for my absence!