Because unlike my sockpuppets, blogging friendships are anything but “imaginary”

image It started with an instant message from a blogger friend about another blogger who is trying to escape an abusive relationship. Her options? Stay where she is in the eye of the hurricane or take to the streets in hopes of finding somewhere to weather the storm.

Fortunately for this young woman, one of her friends is Not a PunkRocker. And by that I don’t mean all her other friends are punkrockers and she’s lucky that one of them isn’t. Because we all know too many punkrockers spoil the broth. Or how many punkrockers it takes to screw in a lightbulb.

Or whatever.

What I DO know is that Jeanette at Not a Punkrocker… well, she rocks. She took it upon herself to not only spread the word about her friend’s need for help, she also opened up about her own experience as a victim— and how the constant mental and physical manipulation slowly destroys you from the inside out. Often to the point that seeing a way out is next to impossible because the light needed to see your way has been extinguished. Continue reading

We did something special together (Don’t worry, it’s ok to tell)

Thanks to your help, some families in my area will have a brighter Christmas.

Thanks to your help, some families in my area will have a brighter Christmas.

As many of you know, I was at Fred Meyer on Saturday for a special book-signing fundraiser for Siuslaw Outreach Services, a local organization that provides assistance to abused woman and children, and families in need.

Yes, I realize this is a humor blog and I am a humor columnist, and so far you haven’t laughed once. Keep in mind I’m a professional, so you can trust me when I say it gets funnier.

But not before it gets a little mushy.

On Thursday last week, our office manager Misty handed me letters from Katherine in Minnesota, Michelle in Kansas and Matt in Ohio.

“Look at Mr. Popular,” she said. “Looks like your parole officers finally found you.” Continue reading

Biggest measure of success as a writer? When you can use it to help others

image Welcome to this week’s edition of Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing, when I take the cumulative wisdom gained through 16 years as a columnist and, just like the unexpected arrival of a holiday fruitcake, share it with as many people as possible. Including by force if necessary.

It’s a writing feature the National Society of Fruitcake Lovers has called, “…writing tips that will stick in your teeth…”

And what Publishers’ Digest has heralded as, “…insights from a writer who has been endorsed by fruitcake lovers. We think that says it all…”

But enough accolades!

This week’s NWOW is going to be different than any I’ve done before. That’s because it’s stems from an idea I got from a reader named Sandy Wagoner. For those of you who remember my last big idea, the fact that this one came from someone else is already a step in the right direction. Continue reading