In Defense of Humor WritingErik Deckers Laughing Stalk syndicate Copyright 2010
It's the killer question that every writer dreads:
"When are you going to write your novel?"
Novel? Do people still even read novels? It's like we're not real writers if we haven't written a real, big-boy novel.
Never mind that I've been a newspaper columnist for nearly 16 years, that I helped write Twitter Marketing for Dummies, or that I have a second social media book that will be published in December (by a real, big-boy publisher). Never mind that I'm a paid professional writer who gets money for stringing words together.
"So you aren't writing a novel then?"
Mignon Fogarty, author of Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, said she's frequently asked when she's going to write her novel. She's not, she says, because she's a nonfiction writer.
A best selling nonfiction writer. A New York Times best seller list nonfiction writer.…
I Need a NapErik Deckers Laughing Stalk Syndicate Copyright 2010
I'm a big napper. I need a nap to function, especially on Sundays. In fact, with my work schedule some days, I need a nap just to make it to dinner time. I'll come home from work, turn on the TV, and pretty soon, I'm snoring on the couch.
This nap will recharge my batteries enough that I can stay up until 2:00. Then I wake up around 7:00 the next morning, go to work, and start all over again, promising that tonight, for the first time in months, I will go to bed early.
Instead, I sleep in on Saturdays, which means I end up staying up until 2:00 again. Then, when I have to get up early for church on Sundays, I'm right back where I started. This explains why most atheists are so well-rested (the agnostics are never sure if they're tired or not).
This pattern makes Sunday afternoon naps crucial. If I don't get one, it throws my whole schedule off for the week, and I'm never quite refreshed.
Several months ago, I had a chance to see They Call Me Mister Fry, starring Jack Fry, a teacher and actor. Jack is the star of a powerful one-man show about his experiences during his first year of teaching in a Los Angeles school.
Unlike most one-man shows, which are usually just a standup routine with a couple of voices, Jack puts a lot of thought, expression, and mannerisms into his characters.
Jack is having a preview week Monday – Thursday, September 13 – 16, at the Indy Fringe Theater building on the corner of College Ave & St. Clair in downtown Indianapolis. Jack emailed me and said my readers can get a ticket for half price, or $10 apiece. These shows start at 7:30.
Just email Jack at jfreidog [at] yahoo [dot] com, and he'll put you on the $10 list for the preview week only. The rest of the time, you can see the show for $20, $10 for teachers (with a valid teachers ID), and kids are $7.
If you are a teacher, an administrator, or are involved in education, I can't reco…
Erik has been dealing with a sick child this week, so we are running the best column he has ever written. Oh wait, it's Opposite Day.
Every kid has their favorite day of the year. And because they're greedy little capitalists, their favorites are Christmas and their birthdays. They also have a few least favorite days too. Like the day after Christmas, dentist day, and the first day of school. And the second. And the third. And so on. But when I was a kid, one of my least favorite days of the year was Opposite Day.
I'm sure many of you remember Opposite Day. That's the day that could be declared by any kid who wanted to be mean and nasty to another kid. They would say, "You know, Bobby, I think you're one of the smartest kids in school. Oh, and today is Opposite Day."
Then the little brat would run away, having made the other child feel the stinging rebuke of Opposite Day.
Surstömming: Swedish Delicacy or WMD?Erik Deckers Laughing Stalk syndicate Copyright 2010
I'll eat just about anything once. There is not much I don't like or won't try. Even the foods I don't like are things I only mildly dislike. There may be the odd dish here and there that I really don't like — ultra-sweet cole slaw, black pudding, pickled pigs feet — but I'd be hard-pressed to name something I absolutely hate (although "anything vegan" comes pretty close).
I'm actually pretty experimental when it comes to food. I'm the kind of guy who puts ketchup on scrambled eggs (but never on steak), enjoys smoked oysters, and loves peanut butter on a hamburger.
In fact, one of my favorite hamburgers in Indianapolis is the Shewman Burger from Scotty's Brewhouse — a quarter-pound burger with jalapeños, bacon, and a nice big glob of peanut butter. My other favorite is Boogie Burger's Rise & Shine. This tasty dish includes a fried egg, over easy, a…