Thursday, December 31, 2020

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Mailbox...

Photo by Eduardo Arenas

Former contributor Audrey Lintner graced us with her humor for many years here at the Blood-Red Pencil, not least in her guise as the most prolific of our Style Mavens. But her hilarious story about her swashbuckling paper route tops it all. Read on to find out why you should never mess with Audrey.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Mailbox...

Audrey Lintner does her best to find humor in almost every situation, unless you want to talk about the morning that her husband announced that there was no coffee. When she has time to write, she posts columns as The Procraftinator. Audrey also provides copy and line edits, beta reading, and friendly suggestions at reasonable rates. Contact her via Alto Editing Services.


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

A Little Post-Holiday Fun

This post of Maryann Miller's originally ran here at The Blood-Red Pencil on December 29, 2010.  It first ran as a column in the Plano Star-Courier when she was known as the Erma Bombeck of Plano, then she incorporated it into her humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant & A Paycheck. Enjoy...

Read A Little Post-Holiday Fun to find out why the day after Christmas was usually one of the best and one of the worst days of the year for Maryann's family.

Excerpted from Maryann Miller's humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant and A Paycheck.  You can find out more about Maryann, her books, and her editing services on her Website and her Amazon Author Page, read her Blogand follow her on Facebook and TwitterHer online workshop on self-editing, part of a series of online writing workshops from Short And Helpful, can be found HERE


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Make It Comedy


Photo by Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr

When Candace Kearns Read shared a humiliating experience from her childhood in her memoir she didn't expect this scene to be met with laughter from her readers. As the saying goes, “If it’s painful make it a drama. If it’s too painful, make it a comedy.” Often the best way to write about difficult things is to make light of them. Find the emotional truths that contain an element of absurdity. There is usually some angle from which these things that have made us cry can also make us laugh, and sometimes making our readers laugh can actually touch them more deeply.

Read all of Candace's post here:

Make it a Comedy

Candace Kearns Read is the author of the memoir The Rope Swing (Eagle Wings Press, Sep 2016). She is a screenwriter who has also been a Hollywood script reader for actors and directors, including the likes of Anthony Hopkins and Michelle Pfeiffer. Her screenplays have been optioned by producers and developed with Fox, Disney, HBO, and Lifetime. She teaches creative writing for Antioch University and the Young Writers Program at Denver’s Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She’s the author of the screenwriting handbook Shaping True Story into Screenplay, and co-author of the memoir Bogie’s Bike. Her essays have appeared in, The Manifest-Station, and The Rumpus.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Writers Gotta Read, Right? Humor

I probably don't need to say this, but will say it anyway. Whatta year!

 Given that this month's theme focuses on humor, I thought I'd offer up lists of humorous reads for your consideration. After all, laughter is the best medicine, right? And a great stress-reliever. Or so they say. (And who is "they" anyway...? Oh, never mind! Blame my digression on the caffeine-fueled hamster-powered wheels of my brain.)

Before I start listing, let me point you to this Blood Red Pencil interview with romantic comedy author Rich Amooi. A former Silicon Valley radio personality and wedding DJ, Rich now writes romantic comedies full-time. And if romantic comedies are your forte, after checking out Rich's website you might want to pop over to this Popsugar list: 25 Fluffy Romance Novels That Will Make Your Heart Feel So Full

On to other lists, starting with genre-specific and non-fiction. I tried to pick lists that were created (or at least updated) this year, just to have ones that are current with the times.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

For the young'uns (and the young at heart), we have the following.
Looking for a little of everything? Try Reader's Digest list of 37 Funniest Books of All Time. Goodreads Listopia also has scads of lists of humorous books. Here's one for Humor New Releases.

Have a book to recommend that tickles your funnybone? Please share!

And I'll confess: I made an "impulse buy" from the Seattle Public Library's Humorous SFF list. Care to guess which title? ;-) I'll come back in a week and let you know in the comment section.

Stay safe, stay well, and treat yourself to a few laughs (or at least a giggle or two) as we soldier through the last of 2020.

Ann Parker authors the award-winning Silver Rush historical mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press. During the day, she wrangles words for a living as a science editor/writer and marketing communications specialist (which is basically a fancy term for "editor/writer"). Her midnight hours are devoted to scribbling fiction. Visit for more information.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Writing To Sell: Knock ’Em Dead!


Image by Miguel C Balandrano, MX

Linda Lane wrote this post in November 2010:

"Of course, you don’t want to literally eliminate your readers. Writers need all the fans (aka readers) they can get. But the idea of “knocking” them into a chair with your book in their hands and holding them in place with your compelling story does have considerable appeal."

Read all of this post here: Writing To Sell: Knock ’Em Dead!

Editor Linda Lane has returned to her first love—writing—while maintaining her editing work. Her novels fall into the literary category because they are character driven rather than plot driven, but their quick pace reminds the reader of genre fiction. They also contain elements of romance, mystery, and thrillers. You can contact her through her websites: and


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Drop It on the (Comedic) Beat


Image by Greg Reese, Pixabay

Comedy is one of the toughest genres to write. If you try too hard to be funny it sounds forced and… well, just plain not funny. Some of the most skillful humor writers manage to make comedy integral to a story, not forced but fluid.

Read all of Shon Bacon's excellent post here.

Creative Passionista Shon Bacon is an author, a crafter, an editor, and an educator whose biggest joys are writing and helping others develop their craft. You can learn more about Shon at her website, ChickLitGurrl.


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Laugh or Cry, Your Choice


Image by Alexas Fotos from Pixabay

Maryann Miller originally wrote her post "Laugh or Cry, Your Choice", about using humor as a coping mechanism, in September 2019, but in so many ways it is still applicable. Maryann says, "This has been such a challenging ten months for so many of us since the first wave of the Corona virus brought us COVID 19, and now we're bracing for the second wave. How do we stay positive and upbeat through all the ways it impacts our lives?

"It was easier, I think, to deal with the challenges and limitations back in the spring when we thought they were short term.  We were positive. We were strong. We girded our loins and covered our faces and said we would get through this. We had no idea the pandemic would drag on this long and certainly didn't envision celebrating winter holidays without the usual family gatherings. For many of us, Thanksgiving was a bust, and the Winter Solstice Holidays, Christmas for me, aren't shaping up much better.  

"So, what do we do? Like I said back in September 2019, we can laugh or we can cry.

"I'll do my best to follow the advice I offered back then."

Award-winning author Maryann Miller has numerous credits as a columnist, novelist, screen writer, and playwright, and also has an extensive background in editing. You can find out more about Maryann, her books, and her editing services on her Website and her Amazon Author Page read her Blog, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Her online workshop on self-editing, part of a series of online writing workshops from Short And Helpful, can be found HERE.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Polly Iyer Interviews Polly Iyer on Genres


Image from WikiMedia Commons

Writers. We talk to ourselves all the time, don't we? (When we're not talking to our writing sheep.) So who better to interview a writer than the same writer. 

In this one, Polly Iyer tackles genre, a topic so confusing it makes writers want to invent new categories just to fit in. Unfortunately, the traditional publishing industry is not very tolerant of inventiveness. Fortunately, there's another way...

Read Polly's post here: Polly Iyer Interviews Polly Iyer on Genres

Polly Iyer is the author of seven novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and three books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, and Backlash. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit her website for more on Polly and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Tag, you're it


Image by BRRT from Pixabay

Who doesn't love a good game of (virtual) tag? In this one, from way back in 2008 when this blog was brand new, you can learn six random bookish things about our fearless leader, Dani Greer. Before you click through, have a guess what Dani likes to eat while she reads. I bet you won't get it right ;-)

Tag, You're It

We'd love to hear a few funny, random things about you, our readers. Drop them in the comments below.

Dani Greer is a long-time publishing professional who is the founding member of this blog. She lives in the Colorado outback with her husband and too many cats. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.