Hey look, I am keeping up with Funny Strange for once, even though this is the one time you’d probably give me a pass for not updating all that much. I actually like working during holiday seasons—I find that I am much more productive when I don’t have one thousand emails (all on different subjects) flying at me every day, don’t you? I know you will not laugh at me for watching an SEO case study this morning, right?
More book plugging: my YA novel, “The Dirt ” is available for FREE today on Amazon, so if you have an eReader, I think you should get on that right now. That’s FREE, even if you’re not an Amazon Prime member, today only. Go get it! My dad even liked it, and I don’t believe he has ever read a YA book.
Secondly, I have to share with you this amazing present Stephan got me (in addition to all the other amazing gifts, of course). This particular amazing gift would be a custom-made Muppet that looks like me (since I already run like a Muppet and Bjork is my Muppet Queen). Please welcome her to the Funny Strange world, won’t you? I have named her “Phoebe Muppet (with the French pronunciation of “Moo-pay, of course).
My Muppet and I are so happy together. I am taking her with me today to run some post-Christmas errands.
Well well well—how is your Christmas prep going? I finally made it to California, and have been Christmas shopping / Christmas prepping for the past three days. It’s going pretty well, actually, with the exception of yesterday, when a thing so absurd happened, this is really the only place I can think of to write about it.
Oh, before I really get myself started, I should tell you that my YA Novel, The Dirt is available for free if you're an Amazon Prime member, so I think you should get on that right away, especially if you are from the desert. What's better than a free book that will probably make you laugh at least once?
In other (yet equally awesome) book news, my friend and client Shannon Tassava's book has also just come out, it is very good, and I think you definitely should get it if you're a Stay at Home Mom (or know one who is getting a Nook or an iPad for Christmas).
Here is the cover and the link. Super-cute, right? It's called "The Essential Stay at Home Mom Manual: How to Have a Wondrous Life Amidst Kids and Chaos." She's a great writer, so I am positive you will like the book. I'm going to make another big announcement about this book on the 26th, so I just thought I would get you up to speed now.
So—ok, yesterday I was at Starbucks, waiting around for a conference call I had to get on, before meeting up with family members to go do some more shopping. I’m just saying that to contextualize this absurdity, so you would know why I was sitting there, and why I didn’t move right away. Remember, my computer is charging and I’m waiting for someone to call me, so I’m kind of stuck there, at least for ten minutes.
This guy sits down next to me who is clearly (shall we say) residentially challenged, but he’s a nice enough guy, and he starts chatting with me. First we talk about the weather—he’s from somewhere in the Midwest where they have tornadoes, so he likes California better. Then we move on to the impact of tornados on refrigerators and other things containing Freon, and this discussion is kind of losing me, but I’m smiling and nodding, and eyeing my computer so I can get it as charged as possible before my phone rings and I have to run outside to take the call (because I am so not one of those people who would do a whole conference call at Starbucks, and besides, I find it very annoying when people get on conference calls who clearly ARE at Starbucks, and you can’t hear anyone for all the background noise).
I must have spaced out of the conversation with all of the battery and phone watching, because when I tuned back in, he was talking about childhood stuff, and trying to figure out how old I was so he could determine if we shared similar childhood experiences (I think).
I hope I am adequately setting the scene for you, because after I say what he said next, you are going to be laughing too hard to remember anything else.
Oh yes, because the next thing out of “Homeless Perhaps On Purpose As a Political Statement” guy’s mouth is: we probably grew up at the same time—what are you, like—fifty?”
FIFTY, people. HE GUESSED THAT I WAS FIFTY YEARS OLD. Fif-ty. 50. Five Oh. FIFTY.
Let’s let that one sink in for a moment, shall we?
Dude, I’m not saying I look 30 years old, but I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT LOOK FIFTY, and it is nine hundred kinds of inappropriate for you to guess a woman's age, and for that guess to be more than a decade in the wrong direction, is it not?! Also—I’m guessing this guy is single, because no one’s ever told him that when in doubt, LOW-BALL a woman’s age, or don’t even mention it. Or, maybe he WAS low-balling, and he thought I was really 75 but looked freakishly young? Who knows.
This is when I start laughing at him, tell him never to guess anyone’s age ever again because he is very bad at this game, and ask if he would next care to guess my weight, since clearly nothing is off limits. I may also have told him to get a shovel because he was going to need to dig himself out before I would listen to him anymore.
Then he says “No, I don’t want to guess your weight—you look fine.”
That’s when my conference call started, so I quickly packed up and left even though my computer wasn’t all the way charged, even though I would truly have loved to hear what came out of his mouth next.
FIFTY, people. FIFTY. I'm going to just leave you to chew on that, and go back to wrapping my Christmas presents.
Dude! I am still trying to digest the season finales of both "Dexter" and "Homeland," plus I don't know if you've seen them yet and I certainly don't want to be the one that spoils them for you, so today I would like to discuss an ad I keep seeing that I think is weird, but I can't point my finger on exactly why.
I don’t know if you’re with me on this, but I’m not feeling this new Subway ad. “Feast, Drink, and Be Melty” is just a little bit too much—right? I get where they’re trying to riff on “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry,” but I think it just makes your brain work too hard, and not in an “I’m hungry” direction. Also, the photography on this is by no means flattering to the sandwich-- it basically just looks like a pile of food on some of that nice bread from Subway.
Also, I think it is quite hilarious that Subway has added Philly Cheesesteaks to their menu, because it’s Subway, and they’re famous for being the healthy alternative to fast food, and yet here they are with their thousand-calorie sandwich, trying to creep into McDonalds' territory. I would also add that since it’s Subway they probably don’t make a very good Philly Cheesesteak (at least not as good as Pat’s in Philly, which by the way is located in a neighborhood so skeevy, they have a real-life trashcan fire going there at all times). Stephan would probably contradict me on this, because he regularly enjoys Subway’s OTHER menu expansion product, the Meatball Parm, and I have to admit, that one is pretty good.
Lastly, since people sometimes ask, you can find out more about me and my books here, on LoriCulwell.com.
I know, it seems like everything is going in slow motion up in here! I’ve been on a business trip for a few days and am preparing to go to California for the holidays AND my printer is broken again, so I am now positively buried in email (even more than usual). Also (and I’m not complaining, it’s super awesome to be busy), it kind of feels like everyone who has a book coming out in 2012 has now realized that 2012 is in two weeks and has reached out to me to make a website or fix their social media for them, so while everyone else in the world is winding things DOWN for the year, I AM CRANKING THINGS UP.
Oh, and speaking of books, in case you didn’t know, I wrote a new novel, it’s about life in Palm Desert, it’s funny, and I think you should buy it, especially if you get an eReader for Christmas. How’s that for shameless plugging? Oh, you don’t know if you’ll like it? Well, check out this awesome review!
Anyhow, yesterday in the Nashville airport I finally experienced the wonderful “full body scan” that everyone has been talking about. I really could care less about the actual process because I think it must be more disgusting than prurient to see scans of people’s bodies all day long, and besides, they seem to have added a layer of privacy to the scan so that you appear as a vaguely you-sized cartoon of you, with whatever “problem areas” are possibly on your body highlighted with red boxes.
Side note: by “problem areas” I do not mean cellulite. The TSA does not care if you’re fat. I mean metal things, or things that could pose a security problem on your flight.
The TSA found not one but TWO of these “problem areas” on my cartoon body, which resulted in them having to pat me down (this was also not sexy, get your mind out of the gutter) with special emphasis on MY KNEES, WHICH THEY SAID THEY THOUGHT WERE MADE OF METAL.
Dude, this is what our tax dollars are paying for. In case you’re wondering, I do not have metal knees, and I don’t even know if metal knees are a real thing, and yes, they did FRISK MY KNEES before allowing me to board the plane.
So there’s that. I refrained from making snarky comments during the actual knee frisking, because I’m certain that what might be an innocent snarky comment is actually a federal offense if you make the comment within the confines of an airport.
Also, there is a document stuck in the “print queue” of my printer, and if I had to guess, I would never, ever have guessed high enough if I were trying to guess how many times this could annoy me in one day. I have Googled every possible permutation of “my printer won’t print” in the book, have tried uninstalling/ reinstalling, and absolutely nothing is working, while at the same time it seems that every other person who emails me needs me to actually print something out.
Note to Canon, the makers of my non-working printer: HOW CAN THE PRINTER NOT BE DETECTED? IT IS RIGHT THERE.
So , in summary, I'm busy, I do not have metal knees, and my printer is not being detected, so that’s awesome. Soon the reason it won't print will be that I have run over it with my car.
So, guess what? I totally had to stop doing NaBloPoMo (that’s “National Blog Posting Month” for those of you following along at home) because it was sucking the funny out of life for me. As it turns out, The Funny which is the subject of Funny Strange has to reveal itself to me in its own time, and if I try to force it, I end up being really, REALLY not funny, and this is sort of painful to me. Because I didn’t want to subject you to me attempting to strain the funny, I decided to just concede that this blog was probably not meant for an exercise like that. I did enjoy the ritual of sitting down every day and giving attention to this blog, until it became painfully obvious to me that I was not going to be able to write something amusing every single day, and that if I tried to continue this, I was going to go to my dark place and start talking about depressing things like “What is the meaning of life?” and “How come The Secret only works for people who sell “The Secret?”
And so on. The good news is that it’s December and I’m back with a fresh perspective and a big announcement—my new novel came out over Thanksgiving!
In case you don't know, it’s called “The Dirt” (some of you might have known it as ‘that YA book I’ve been working on for a couple of years), I’m excited about it, and I think you should definitely check it out, especially if you liked Hollywood Car Wash. In fact, if you liked that novel and have ever said “When is your next book coming out??”, then this post and this book are for you. In fact, if you like "Gossip Girl" or "Pretty Little Liars," then this book is for you.
I’m all about saving trees, so I think you should definitely get the eBook (Kindle/ NOOK/ etc) version, but who am I to say you can’t have a paper copy.
Here is the description of the book, which is set in my hometown of Palm Desert. Fellow desert natives will find it especially funny, as it makes references to everything from Highway 74 to The Nest to the McCallum Theatre and everything in between.
Lucy Whitley cannot wait to get out of Palm Desert. It’s not a place for a frizzy-haired science nerd, particularly when her fashion-obsessed older sister Sloane is the head of a clique of pretty girls who rule the school – and practically the whole town.
Fortunately, life is about to change forever. Lucy’s dad is getting re-married, and then she can transfer to a boarding school in Connecticut, escaping all the mean girls and the endless whispers about the Whitley family scandal. Everything is going to be perfect – as long as the wedding goes smoothly.
I’m really excited that people are finally reading this book! Yay! I will of course share details about how the book is doing, and if any Hollywood people decide to option this book and actually make a movie or a tv show out of it.
As always, thank you to everyone who contributed to the book, and to everyone who is nice enough to keep reading my stuff. I appreciate every single one of you!! Oh, and one last thing-- in case you want book-related updates (for all of my books), I do have a Facebook Fan Page dedicated to that sort of thing.
How to Become a Pharmacist We're launching a project where we make educational cartoons. Here is the pilot, "How to Become a Pharmacist."
Laser Pet Toy My favorite pet toy of all time. Good for a cat, good for a dog, and it's also a pen and a flashlight. Good Lord.
Maria Carvainis Agency Maria Carvainis Agency, discovering new talent and managing bestselling careers for more than 30 years.
My Book on Book Marketing Not ironically, I wrote a book on how to market a book, and called it "How to Market a Book." I wish more writers would take the initiative to get out their on their own behalf, so I wrote up a set of instructions on how to do that.