Category Archives: Humor

Nomophobia–Modern Society’s Greatest Ailment


Friends of mine live on a sailboat full-time and travel the Seven Seas. They have been throughout the Caribbean, all around the coast of South America, to Africa, and are presently moored in Australia, while taking a brief trip home to help aging parents.

The couple is a husband-wife writing duo. The wife also authors a blog called “Just a Little Further” (www.justalittlefurther.com), sharing the adventures and mis-adventures of life aboard a sailing vessel.

In a recent post, my friend Marcie talks about nomophobia. Here’s an excerpt from her humorous look at what ails modern society:

“Yes, yet something else to worry about: nomophobia. It’s a fear of being without mobile phone contact … NO…MObile..PHOne…phobia. The term was coined in the UK when it was determined by a study that people who lose their phones, run out of battery power or don’t have network coverage, suffer the same anxiety that folks suffer when heading to the dentist’s office or getting married. Yikes!

“More than half the people (in the study anyhow) never ever turn off their mobile phones. Really? More often than not, we forget to turn ours on. I’ve been using my mom’s phone since I got back into the States. When I do remember to charge it and then turn it on, I forget to take it with me when I go out. . .”

I fall into the same category as Marcie; I seldom turn my phone on, or I forget to take it with me. It really bothers the nomophobes in my life. As an author who is soon to be published, I guess I better prepare for the onslaught of literary page editors who will be ringing me up for an interview. I better practice turning the phone on and putting it in my pocket.

Oops. Then I’ll need a publicist to manage all the pocket dialing that is bound to occur. I can see the headlines now.

New Author Arrested for Making Harassing Phone Calls

New Author Caught Dialing and Hanging on the Line Without Saying a Word

New Author’s Pocket Calls Lead to Embarrassing Moments

Come to think of it, I better leave well enough alone. I’ll have to settle for missing a call now and then. I’ll leave the worry about those missed calls to the phone addict on the other end of the line.

Me? I’ll be calling my own cell number with my land line and wandering around the house listening for the ring. That’s if the battery is still charged on my misplaced cell phone.

 

Mystery Writer Lauren Carr Book Tour and Guest Post


Blast from the Past Book Tour

Blast from the Past

Guest Blog by Lauren Carr

Ten Advantages to Having a Mystery Author for a Friend (in person or on Facebook).

  1. If you’re ever locked out of your home, your mystery author friend will know best how to break in.
  2. Who better to show you where best to conceal a weapon?
  3. At Pampered Chef’s parties, they are very handy in detailing what kitchen utensils make the best weapons for use in self-defense … just in case your family launches a coup after serving them your world infamous tuna casserole once too often.
  4. Mystery authors are less sappy at conferences than Romance authors. We don’t hug as much. That isn’t because we’re standoffish. It’s because we don’t want you to detect our concealed weapons. Since we don’t hug as much, this means we don’t spread as many germs and you’re less likely to catch a cold when you get home.
  5. Mystery authors are more exciting. They are the only friends able to plot out your murder and list your friends and family as suspects in order of interest when you’re fifteen minutes late for lunch. (If your friend reveals that the babysitter did it, you may want to take a closer look at the sitter’s text messages.)
  6. During those paranoid moments when you think your next door neighbor is a mob assassin because he has been acting suspicious, your mystery writing buddy is the one friend you can count on to not only support your belief, but break into his house to illegally search it for proof. Of course, you can depend on your friend to bring the lock pick kit and know how to use it. (Don’t ask her how she knows how to use it.)
  7. If your spouse leaves you for another woman, your mystery author friend can advise you on how to fake your death and make it look like he killed you so that he will spend the rest of his life in jail for what he did.
  8. Your mystery author friend is more than happy to run a background check on that new mate you met online.
  9. On that first date, you can count on your mystery writing friend to tail you and your date all evening to make sure you don’t end up in a plot for their latest book … whether you want her to or not.
  10. We know what countries don’t have extradition.

So make a Mystery Writing friend today! I’d love to make your acquaintances at any of my sites:

Lauren Carr photo

Websites: 

http://mysterylady.net/                    

http://acornbookservices.com/

Blog: Literary Wealth:

http://literarywealth.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lauren.carr.984991

Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries

Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT LAUREN CARR’S NEW BOOK BLAST FROM THE PAST: Blast from the Past Press Release

a little about

Lauren Carr

Author/Publishing Management

Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award.

Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. It’s Murder, My Son, Old Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder, have all been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Blast from the Past is the fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

Released September 2012, Dead on Ice introduces a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The second book in this series, Real Murder will be released Spring 2013.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This spring, two books written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and two dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

 

 

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lauren Carr

(304)285-8205

E-mail: acorn.book.services@comcast.net

Website: http://mysterylady.net

The Past Comes Back with a Blast

In Blast from the Past, Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents.

After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars—Archie Monday!

Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town of Spencer, Maryland, things may be hotter than even he can handle.

In this fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mysteries, readers learn more about Archie Monday’s past in a flash—as in a gun fight when the syndicate comes to town. “Readers love to be surprised,” mystery author Lauren Carr says. “In Blast from the Past, they are going to be surprised to discover the secret of Archie Monday’s past, which threatens her and Mac’s future.”

Blast from the Past also takes the Mac Faraday Mysteries to a new level as his relationship with Archie Monday moves onto a whole new level. “I do listen to readers,” Carr explains. “They have been clamoring for Mac and Archie to get together for three books.”

What about Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s canine inheritance—the only German shepherd to be dishonorably discharged from the United States Army? “It’s not a Mac Faraday Mystery without Gnarly,” Carr promises. “Let’s just say Gnarly kicks things up a notch in his own way.”

Available through: CreateSpace, Ingram, Baker & Taylor,

Barnesandnoble.com, Amazon.com, and Everywhere Fine Books are Sold

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. It’s Murder, My Son, Old Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder, have all been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Blast from the Past is the fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

Also receiving rave reviews, Dead on Ice, released September 1012, introduced a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The second book in this series, Real Murder will be released Spring 2013.

ISBN: 0985726776 • ISBN-13: 9780985726775 Pub. Date: January 11, 2013 • Trade Paperback/Kindle • $13.99 (Print)/$0.99 (EBook)

Some Days I Will Have to Settle for a Laugh and 200 Words


I awakened early this morning, about four hours early, before the birds or the sun were up. I read for a while, seeking a jumpstart on my day through inspiration. I got nothing. I ate breakfast, fed the dogs, loaded and ran the dishwasher, loaded and ran the washing machine, dressed for the day. Still nothing.

At this point, I ponder my options.

I have 4,000 words of a 7,000 word story completed. I have half a novel completed. The Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe has started the next anthology, a Christmas themed one this time.  I haven’t started my taxes yet. I can work on any of these projects and be  productive. Yet I can’t muster the energy to start anything.

My shoulder hurts. I am almost three weeks post-surgery. I want to blame my lethargy on the pain, but it would be a ruse. The fact is I am in a funk.

Now what?

Recently I wrote about my Uncle Dick and his family newsletter that he sends out monthly. The new one sits on the ottoman in front of me. I open it and read.

About page two, I chuckle to myself while reading a humorous commentary Uncle Dick has borrowed from the Time Union. Afterwards, I grab the computer and start this post. It’s progress. At least I have written almost 300 words today. And it’s not yet 9 o’clock in the morning. So there’s still hope to get something done and scratched off the to-do list. Right now, I am happy for a belly laugh and 200+ words.

My Uncle Dick


In our lives, we have people who have lasting influence. Uncle Dick is one for me. He’s a retired principal from the elementary education system. Had he been born in another time, I think he would have been, in addition to the Exchequer to the King, a Poet-Philosopher.

Uncle Dick’s wife, my maternal aunt, recently passed away. Aunt Jeanne routinely helped others and nurtured Uncle Dick. He habitually complimented her positive qualities aloud, publicly. Her loss hit him hard. His children arranged for a Care Corps volunteer to keep an eye on him. The woman who showed up at his door had many of the characteristics of my aunt. Of her, he wrote:

The volunteer from Care Corps–

To ease the vacuum of losing Jeanne,

So much like Jeanne in her caring ways–

Karen.

To me, Jeanne’s twin sister,

Born tardy, forty years late.

Uncle Dick appreciates humor. He sent me a quip about writing that made me smile.

The only way to create a sensation as an essayist these days is to write something mean about a cat.

He reminds me of the importance of awareness, being alive in every moment, at any age. Uncle Dick is in his nineties. In a recent newsletter that he sends monthly to family, under the heading “How to Think More about Sex,” he wrote:

“I quote from a book review for the author Alain de Botton, ‘Deep inside, we never quite forget the need with which we were born: to be accepted as we are, without regard to our deeds; to be loved through the medium of our body; to be enclosed in another’s arms.'”

Thank you, Uncle Dick, for giving me a living example of a love story, for demonstrating the power of language, and for teaching me how to live and laugh in the shadow of loss.

Just Kill ‘Em


A friend of mine writes murder mysteries. She has found a positive way to channel negative energy connected to a particular person: she turns the person she is angry with into a character in a book. Then she kills them. End of story. End of her frustration.

I found that tactic hilarious. I didn’t think it would work for me. Then, I had a fight.

After I had strong words with a person, I felt badly. My head ached, and I was sick to my stomach. I realized I needed to change my response to this negative stimulation. I pulled out my laptop and began working on a story as a way to get my mind off things. The adrenaline increase from the argument was rerouted to my creative brain. Before I knew it, that re-channeled energy helped me produce 1,000 new written words.

I liked the outcome of that choice. My body appreciated my turning away from the gut-churning negative emotions to the zen-inducing creative thoughts. I am certain my blood pressure dropped several points while writing.

So there you have it. Redirect your anger or angst. Get writing. Lower your blood pressure. And, if need be, kill the bugger!

Guest Post–When Writers Have To Speak


Today’s post is courtesy of Karel Henneberger, one of the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe. You may reach her at writerKMH@gmail.com.

Writers write. Right? Right.

But sometimes writers also have to speak. In public. To a group of people. A large group of people. And not people you know.

Most people get nervous when they have to speak in front of an audience, even a small group of friends. And many find public speaking a totally paralyzing experience, mostly because we are all afraid of being publicly humiliated.

Some advisors say to picture your audience naked. Hmmm. Not a pretty picture when speaking to adults, and a worrying one when speaking to children.

But there are several things you can do to help you overcome stage fright.

First, you need to decide what you will talk about. If you are asked to speak about a particular topic–explaining, informing, or showing something, then you are well on your way. Whatever you talk about, remember that old advice–Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Then tell them what you told them.

Also decide whether you want to use visual aids or just wing it. Use your aids to supplement, not be your program.

There are many websites that can help you write your speech (though don’t plan to stick to the exact words you write)

Well before THE DAY:

  • Practice your speech in front of a mirror
  • Read your speech out loud
  • Read s l o w l y
    • When you’re nervous, you tend to speak and move more quickly
    • It’s hard to understand when someone speaks too fast
    • Speaking  s l o w l ynot only gives your brain a chance to catch up with your tongue, it is calming–a good thing for a speaker
  • Time it several times to make sure you’re consistent.
  • Start by READING your notes, then begin to just glance at them
  • Then try to give the speech without notes (that probably won’t work, but it will show you where you need to brush up)
  • Make very basic notes to take with you on THE DAY

Besides the speech, decide:

  • What to wear–this will depend upon your audience
    • Is the occasion casual?
    • More formal?
    • Businesslike?
  • What your audience is expecting to hear
    • New information
    • Solutions to a problem
    • Entertainment
  • Know your strengths–and weaknesses
    • If you have a weak voice, use a microphone (practice with one first)
    • If you are very tall or very short, make sure the podium, microphone, etc is set at the correct height
    • Consider the speech as a role you will play–dress the part and you’ll be more likely to act the part
    • The right clothes will make you feel more confident
    • Consider a shopping trip (a thrift store outfit won’t cost much and can be kept for similar occasions

Before walking onto that empty scary stage try one of these ideas:

  • Do meditation exercises just before going onstage–this requires learning specific techniques
  • Simply close your eyes and think of a favorite place, a place where you have been happy–this also needs some before-hand practice
  • Carry a worry stone in your pocket. When you feel yourself losing control, just slip your hand in your pocket and rub the stone

When you are standing in the middle of the stage:

  • Take three deep breaths (more might cause you to hyperventilate)
  • SMILE
    • Nobody will know you are not smiling at them
    • It will make you feel more relaxed and confident
  • Pick three people in the audience–one in front and one on each side near the back
    • While you talk, move your head from one to the other
    • This makes it appear that you are looking at most of the people in the audience.
  • If that is too hard to do, look at an empty seat, a flower arrangement, a pillar, or a decoration on the wall, again moving your head from one to the other

The three most important things to remember when you must give a speech are:

  1. Know your topic
  2. KNOW your topic
  3. KNOW YOUR TOPIC

When you know your topic thoroughly, you will find you can improvise if necessary. Know your topic so well that you can continue even if:

  • You lose your place in your notes
    • Take a deep breath and fake it
    • Joke about being clumsy (the audience will most likely laugh–go with it)
  • The lights go out
    • Joke about someone not paying its electric bill (again, laughs relax everyone)
    • Ask the audience questions about their knowledge of the topic (ask them to raise their hands if they __________.Again, laughter helps)
    • Let them ask you questions (You really know your topic, so you will have answers and if you don’t, use a politician’s ploy–give a non-answer–talk about a somewhat related subject that you do know about)
    • And DON’T MOVE AROUND THE STAGE until the lights come back on
  • Your visual aids suddenly fall to the floor
    • Say something like, “Well, if you could see it, this chart would show…” (laughs again)
    • While someone picks up your stuff, go on to the next part of your speech.

Really KNOWING your topic will let you turn a potential disaster into a success. And success will give you confidence. Confidence will make it easier to give the next speech. So, don’t be afraid to be a writer who speaks.

I’m Off My Meds Again!


Listening to advice from friends, I am going to start other blogs to carry topics unrelated to writing, instead of clogging the space here. Since my favorite off-topic interest is off-the-wall stories in our modern or pop culture, the first new blog is called “I’m Off My Meds Again” and can be found at http://www.offmymedsagain.wordpress.com. It’s MY platform for MY craziness. If you love the world of abnormal, bizarre, whacko things, then you’ll love this space. If crazy talk isn’t your cup of tea, stay away!