Funny book recs and success is random
August 2022 newsletter
It is back-to-school time at my house—my kids went back this week and my teaching semester starts next week so things are kind of hectic. I had a good summer but summer is always a little more challenging for me to get any writing done.
I have been working on a new book proposal but I have not really had time to write or submit shorter pieces. I think it’s hard to not have anxiety about what I can’t get done over the summer but so it goes.
I have also lately been thinking there should be some sort of writing challenge for people with extremely limited time that is just about writing like 50 words a day but not every day of the month. Let me know if you want in on that.
This month I’ve got funny book recs, BookTok thoughts, and other distractions.
Books, humor, and other distractions:
Fun distraction: I stumbled on the above tweet and the cat search and the other easter egg suggestions in the replies entertained me (and my kids) for a while and made me declare that Twitter isn’t a complete dumpster fire. Others to try — go to Google and type “do a barrel roll” (don’t actually include the quotation marks) and send the words “pew pew” to another iPhone user.
Short humor: Writer friend Jenn Knott had this funny piece about James Taylor as a roommate in the New Yorker this month and it was her first piece in Shouts and it was in print! I like a good backstory, and on Twitter, Jenn said this piece got its start in Luke Burns’ humor writing class, and fun fact: The first Shouts piece I ever got accepted got its start in a Second City humor writing class so this newsletter is now dedicated to humor writing classes of the world.
Introverted parent read: Joy Netanya Thompson, a student who was in the virtual parenting writing class I taught earlier this year published this great piece about the mom in Bluey being an introvert. This had not occurred to me before but I can definitely see it now.
Summer reads: I have been leaning into some lighter summer reads and recently really enjoyed Nora Goes Off Script (about a romance channel screenwriter mom and a famous actor who stays with her and her kids for a while) and Book Lovers by Emily Henry (which has some snappy Gilmore-Girls-Esque dialogue) but Beach Read is still my favorite Emily Henry book so maybe start there if you haven’t read any of her’s yet.
Kids book: My kids always like funny books and they both enjoyed Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli recently. And if you are looking for funny picture books this list of ones by female authors is a great starting point.
Writing links and news from me:
The coverage of the Department of Justice antitrust trial about the merger between Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster is a really interesting look into the publishing industry and also surprisingly contains jokes, many of which are about how no one can predict a book’s success (like the one above). I also appreciated Kate McKean’s take on this in her newsletter.
I tried BookTok a bit more for book promotion last month and actually had some success. I wrote more about it here.
I was quoted in this fun piece by Liz Alterman about mom jokes vs dad jokes on Care.com.
That’s it for this month, see you in September. Start working on your Green Day-related September jokes!
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I’d be into a challenge where you write 50 words a day, but not necessarily everyday. Sort of a sporadic flash thing.