I’m shucking excited over my new book cover

image As I admitted a few weeks ago, I spent the morning with an oyster. Nothing kinky. Just a photo shoot for the cover of my new book coming out in September. Given that the title is a play on words related to pearls and shucking, the idea of incorporating an actual oyster into the cover seemed the responsible thing to do. For about two hours, a photographer friend, Joshua Greene, did his best to capture something cover-worthy.

And let me tell you, holding an oyster as it slow-cooks under the lights is its own special kind of hell. By the time it was over, I was essentially holding nature’s seafood petri dish of shellfish poisoning.

When it was over, I thanked Joshua profusely. He shook my hand and smiled. “Let’s not ever do this again.”

I posted the top five picks here a few days later and a lot of you offered your feedback, which I really appreciate. The final image (above) was among the top two, which I then sent to another friend, Eric Wilder, who I met several years ago in the WordPress blogosphere at The Grimm Report (a hilarious but, sadly, now defunct blog offering news reports from the land of fairytales.) In addition to being an author, Eric also has a highly successful graphic design business, Wilder Design and Advertising, a beautiful wife and children, is stylish, uber talented, and even knows what to do with all that extra silverware at fancy restaurants.

Yet some how, in spite of all that, he’s simply too nice to dislike — and I consider myself extremely fortunate to call him a friend.  Continue reading I’m shucking excited over my new book cover


See? I’m just as in the dark as everyone about Taco Bell’s new menu item

imageThere are certain perks that come with being a syndicated columnist. For example, just last month at the Oregon Plumbling Convention, I was honored with delivering the opening plunge in the Northwest Clogged Commode competition. In terms of prestige, this is like ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. At least in the competitive plumbing circuit. I have also been a guest judge at the Portland Freestyle Burping Contest and keynote speaker at the Nouns of Baskervilles writers conference. Yet in spite of my notariety, I was admittedly a little surprised when Taco Bell included me among its new “Mystery Box Menu Item” promotional ads for the Super Bowl.

If you haven’t see these commercials, sports stars like James Harden and other high-profile celebrities are given a plain green box representing Taco Bell’s new menu item, but aren’t told what the item is. That’s because thanks to marketing wizardry — and an unfortunate incident that resulted in 500,000 burned taco shells — the new item won’t be available to the general public until Feb. 8. But considering the release of the Waffle Taco last year, we can all agree anything is possible. Which could explain how I ended up with a “Mystery Box” in the first place.   Continue reading See? I’m just as in the dark as everyone about Taco Bell’s new menu item

Not being taken seriously has its advantages

image At Siuslaw News and newspapers everywhere, editorial and advertising staff are strange bedfellows. Anyone who’s been to our company pajama parties knows this.

Assumning they can remember anything.

But no matter how much one department may feel it’s more important than the other, both know they rely on each other for survival. Without advertising dollars, you don’t get a paycheck; without editorial content, you are… FOX News.

In which case no one takes you seriously, including advertisers.

And maybe even your mother. Continue reading Not being taken seriously has its advantages

Always call for back-up when talking turkey

image Over the weekend, I was the victim of an unprovoked and extremely frightening turkey attack. In my defense, there were five of them (technically known as a “gang” of turkeys) involved in the assault, which started because of my proximity to a preening female turkey, which had apparently snubbed her suitors in favor of me.

Possibly because she was confused by my chicken legs.

Whatever the reason, the male turkeys didn’t take well to this and decided the best way to handle the situation was to join forces and, one by one, take turns flapping their giant wings at my [censored]. Before I knew it, I was being circled by an agitated turkey gang and wishing my editor had assigned me to something less dangerous, like covering a Blind Axe Throwers convention. Continue reading Always call for back-up when talking turkey

Coming soon to a group meeting near you: My shameless self promotional tour

As you can see, I'm positioning myself for potential sponsorship from Swanson's.
As you can see, I’m positioning myself for potential sponsorship from Swanson’s.
This morning officially kicked off my book promotion junket — or in my case, dinghy — by speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

My topic?

Biblical Prophecy and Its Warnings About Miley Cyrus.

At least, that was going to be my topic. But following the advice of my publisher, Ellen, I made a last-minute topic change:

Life Without Humor is No Laughing Matter (Get it?) Continue reading Coming soon to a group meeting near you: My shameless self promotional tour

Product placement…?

While looking for the last box of Count Chocula cereal, I documented proof that product placement isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. I don’t think I’ll ever look at cinnamon toast or Mary Lou the same again.