5 Signs You’re a Writer Not Just a Hack

Do you have any of the 5 Signs You're a Writer? Then you may have what it takes to be the next J. K. Rowling, James Patterson, or Dave Barry. 24 Signs You're a Writer Signs You're a Writer Writers zone out in public and get accused of not paying attention. We’re called dreamers, quirky, compulsive, and creative. We collect words like churlish, debacle, and hootenanny in notebooks to be used at the next opportunity in a short story or novel. Writers discuss punctuation marks like Oxford commas, em dashes, and hyphens with unusual enthusiasm. Ever hear of the Sarcmark, question comma, or acclamation point? What are some obscure punctuation … [Read more...]

Erma Bombeck and Friends, You Inspired Me

We find inspiration in nature, yoga, TED Talks, pets, music, books, travel, and more. But for me, the greatest source of inspiration can be found at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, the only one dedicated to humor writing. It’s held every other year on the campus of the University of Dayton, fondly called the Dayton Riviera. We celebrate the spirit of Erma Bombeck, a suburban housewife, syndicated columnist and author of 15 books. Her sayings like, “There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child,” touched the heart of America and covered their refrigerators. http://humorwriters.org The Presenters This year’s presenters included Liza Donnelly … [Read more...]

How to Be An Emcee When You’re Stupid Like Me

Ever wonder how to be an emcee? If you’re considering being an MC or the Master of Ceremonies at an event that means that you’re the host for the performance or party. Your responsibilities include speaker introductions, announcements, audience engagement, and general storyteller. You’re kind of the jack-of-all-trades plus the court jester. It’s fun but to do your best, you need to learn the key essential elements. My second chance to be an emcee for the PTA went better after learning the basic steps. I prepared and rehearsed my seven-minute bit in front of the mirror and to my husband. You benefit by practicing in front of a live audience. Then the big day arrived. After the host … [Read more...]

Quotes from Writers at Erma Bombeck Workshop

Dozens of award winning authors, playwrights, actors, entrepreneurs, agents, speakers and bloggers flooded into Dayton, Ohio for the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, a workshop dedicated to humor and human interest writing. Each day, the workshop began at 9 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m., with lunch breaks featuring greats such as Amy Ephron, Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff. The fun didn’t end there. We were treated to keynote speakers during dinner such as Roy Blunt, Jr., Leighann Lord, and a one-woman staged reading of Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, starring Barbara Chisholm. Not trusting my own memory, I wrote down the quotes from  writers during the sessions. Alan Zweibel Original writer … [Read more...]

Tips to Make Screenplay into Movie – Authors Anonymous

I met David Congalton, Hollywood screenwriter and talk radio personality, at the monthly Tri-Valley Writers meeting. He shared his experience on "Tips to Make a Screenplay into Movie." His first feature screenplay, Authors Anonymous, staring Kaley Cuoco, is a hilarious and honest look at writers' critique groups. Authors Anonymous According to his handout, Authors Anonymous is about a weekly read-and-critique group of unpublished writers chasing literary dreams and supporting one another. Things become complicate when one member suddenly snags an agent, a book deal, and a movie deal, and a very famous admirer in quick succession. Grab a popcorn and snuggle up for a lighthearted evening … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Add Humor to Your Memoir

Do you believe that memoir has to be serious in order to get your point across? Think again! Let me teach you 5 Ways to Add Humor to Your Memoir. Adding humor to memoir will hold the attention of the reader longer by lightening the mood. It also helps us remember what we were reading. In his bestselling book, “On Writing Well,” author William Zinsser, writes that “humor is the secret weapon of the nonfiction writer.” It is often the best tool and only tool for making an important point. https://davehood59.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/adding-humor-to-your-creative-nonfiction-writing/ 1. Use funny sounding words Words that have the hard “k” and “p” elicit humor. We can’t help but … [Read more...]

I’m Featured on Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop

It's a great privilege to be featured on Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop this week. In addition to showcasing different humorous authors, this site provides advice for writers, author interviews, markets and contests. One of my favorite sections is called, "Erma Says." “Do you know what depression is? It's sitting in your doctor's examination room. In a paper dress. On a cold table. And it's the high spot of your week.” (from "Dumpy Paper Dress--March 31, 1977," which appears in Forever Erma) Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop will be held at the University of Dayton on April 10-12. Guess who's going? That's right! I was one of the first 350 to snag a … [Read more...]

How to Write Funny

So, you need a few tips on how to write funny? No one knows exactly what makes a person laugh but I do know a couple of writing tricks to guarantee a giggle. First, I hunt in books, newspapers and the Internet for curious words and clever phrases. Then, I use my collection to enrich my writing and keep it fresh. Here are a few examples of my word anthology: Onomatopoeia Pronounced (on-o-mat-o-pee-a): noun. The naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (as buzz, hiss) Remember the classic 1960s Batman and Robin TV show?  The fight scenes were filled with delicious words like Zoink, Bam, Zap, Whammm and Krunch. Onomatopoeia will add a snap, crackle, … [Read more...]