Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Maureen Wittbold

Do you have a secret talent? 

I wish I could say I have a secret talent like tying a knot in a cherry stem with my tongue; however,  if you know me and I have a talent, you are sure to have heard about it by now.

If you could go on a road trip with any famous person (dead or alive), who would it be and where would you go? 

I would take a road trip with Mother Teresa. I doubt we’d stop to buy anything but I’m sure we’d give a lot of ourselves away and that in itself, would be a gift.

If a film studio was to do a movie on your life, what would it be titled?

A movie about me would be called “Coloring outside the Lines” and would be the film version of my novel. I grew up in a large Irish Catholic family with five brothers. No matter how hard I tried, I never seemed to do anything perfectly right so I spent my days trying to be the very best I could so that I could save the souls of my brothers who were also lovable but far from perfect themselves.

Promote yourself – where can we find your writing, and what projects are you working on right now?

I am in the process of looking for an agent for my novel. Coloring outside the Lines takes place in, an upper middle class suburb and is home to Harry and Lillian LeBlanc. Harry is the hardworking underdog, victim to Lillian’s alcoholic post bridge game rages, and father to five children. Lillian, the mistress and matriarch of the household, hires and fires the help; however, the help, as often as not, raid the liquor cabinet and leave of their own accord. Deceived and enraged, Lillian feels entitled to use what would have been the maid’s salary, to reward herself with a weekly antique for the domestic services she herself had to render. She fashions herself after Jackie Kennedy and is perpetually chagrined that her husband sells carpet when other husbands golf, enjoy martini lunches, and hobnob with the elite. The children are raised to be guilt ridden ‘you could die in your sleep’ Catholics. Every Sunday, before the Holy Communion wafer has had a chance to dissolve on Lillian’s acerbic tongue, she launches into a commentary about ‘the fruits,’ ‘the wops,’ and the classless members of the church’s congregation. Nightly, the family gathers to pray the rosary.

 Joseph, the oldest son, shares his mother’s sense of entitlement and emotionally batters his siblings. Gerard believes he is a reincarnated Confederate soldier who spends ‘a lot of time on the battlefield in his head.’  Ann, the only daughter, feels a grave responsibility to be a modern day saint until, fueled by hormones, she falls from grace and lusts after swarthy bad boys. Paul, ‘the fanatic,’ irons his Fruit of the Loom underwear. An outfit is never complete without his scapulars. Benjamin, when not being ignored, is ostracized for his simple mind and hearing impairment.

Prejudice is promoted by the adults, battled by the uncomprehending innocents and dominates the themes of sibling rivalry, Catholicism, sexual discovery, success, failure, heartbreak, desire, and loss. Dialogue is succinct, strong, and witty, shaping the characters. Details cement a strong sense of time and place. 

 Fate rears its ugly head when Joseph, falls madly in love with and beds Monica, a young Jamaican maid. The book comes full circle as Lillian, sipping her Jack Daniels Manhattan, pens her yearly Christmas newsletter detailing the illusionary life of her perfect family. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Paige Kane

Your story is about a case of mistaken identity.  If you were a spy, what would your secret code name be? 
 If I were a spy, my secret code name would be Payne.  First name, Ophelia.  Of course, this is because I am a spy employed by OSHA hired specifically to investigate the folks in the body piercing industry and their relevant background experience.  I find it fascinating that people who can't muster the fortitude to complete a GED are granted license to poke holes in other peoples' bodies. "Here's the form, the fee and the boy scout promise not to pierce anyone under the age of 18."   I think there's more to it than that, but that gets your foot in the door.  Whoa.
What do you miss about being a kid?   
I miss everything about being a kid.  I miss not wearing a watch.  I miss melted popsicle juice slobbering down the front of my terrycloth halter top and yet looking perfectly appropriate for a kid on a hot summer day.  I miss the sense and excitement of an entirely unknownlife ready to unfold before me…that anything is possible.   But what I miss the most is just being with my family.  So many of my extended family members moved away and didn't stay in touch.  It's sad.  And, of course, all of those who have passed.  When you're a kid and you’re stuck for hours on end at a family function, you take for granted that it's always going to be that way.  I never guessed that our family would scatter, but they did and I don't have nearly enough photos of those early memories.
If you could go on a road trip with any famous person (dead or alive), who would it be and where would you go? 
If I could go on a road trip with anyone,it would be JFK, Jr.  We would travel to places that most represent the idea of Americana to me.  Charleston, St. Louis, Austin.  Yes, I know. You wanted to hear me say someone riveting like the Dalai Lama or someone controversial like Richard Nixon.  I'm certainly interested in history and social issues but sorry folks, if I'm going to be confined in a vehicle with someone for more than an hour, they have to look good and smell better.  It's that simple. 
 Promote yourself – where can we find your writing, and what projects are you working on right now?
The things I've written are hard to come by as the majority of my work (screenplays) aren't usually made available to the public.  Although, I did win the Nevada Film Fest's 2009 Short Screenplay top prize and I'm willing to send it to anyone interested in reading/producing it!  I recently wrote a promo/doc for the Newport Film Commission, a children's book for which I am currently researching agents and I've been working on a novel about an American family struggling against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.  Other than that, I haven't been busy at all!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: John J. White

So, your wife is your editor. Are you ever forced to sleep on the couch for silly grammar mistakes, such as using a semicolon wrong?
No. The couch is reserved for spelling mistakes. My wife won her fourth grade spelling bee and has been rubbing it in ever since. I can’t spell. I have never used their, there, or they’re properly in a sentence. I also can’t type, which is why St. Pam, as my writing friends call my wife, types my hand written prose, which looks like it was written by an apoplectic chicken on Oxycontin.

Obviously, stealing toilet paper takes the cake of embarrassing college stories, but do you have any others you'd like to share?
The city shut off the water temporarily to my college apartment complex at 4 PM. That didn’t stop me from trying the faucets and leaving them on. I went to work and came home to my second story apartment about 10 PM to hear water pouring into my neighbor’s apartment downstairs. Fortunately, I had no money so they couldn’t sue.
So, you actually met your future mother-in-law before you met your future wife. How did Myrtle react when her daughter brought the infamous Toilet Paper Caper home for the first time?
She raised her eyebrows when she recognized me but never said a thing. Probably because earlier that day I had gone surfing in big waves and the seawater got stuck in my nasal cavity. Hours later it dripped out when I least expected it, right on my porterhouse during dinner. I believe that made Myrtle forget the toilet paper incident.
What's in the works for you right now in the realm of writing?
I am finishing a novel titled Nisei, about a Japanese – American boy in Hawaii and his experiences at Pearl Harbor, in the internment camps, and during his tour of duty with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Europe after D-Day. It’s not supposed to be funny, but I do have some other humorous short stories and novel excerpts on my website at www.jjwhite.org. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Connie Donnelly

Your story is about an embarrassing thing you said during a blind date.  Please share another time you stuck your foot in your mouth.
 
Fortunately (with the exception of the most recent story) I have become more tactful over the years. So, it's a struggle to think of times during my adulthood where I really put my foot in my mouth. My childhood is another story. At one point, my father was doing a lot of business with Russia. It was not uncommon for us to have some Russian businessman (typically very refined + conservative) over for dinner with his interpreter. One time when one was over and I was giving him a tour of the house (I was a good tour guide), the interpreter picked up one of my antique dolls when we stopped in my playroom.  The Russian said to her, "You look like the Madonna & child."  I was impressed by his knowledge of American pop culture.  After dinner when the adults were having coffee, I bounded into the living room with two Madonna albums, "Like A Prayer" and "Erotica".  "Have you seen these in Russia?" I asked. Evidently, he was talking about a different Madonna.  Who knew?

You have a dog named Versace.  Tell us a Versace story. 

I truly admire those people who rescue abandoned dogs from animal shelters. I'm not one of those people though. I like a particular type of rare breed dog that has superior breeding and extensive paperwork. Finding Versace was not an easy process. I had searched high and low until I found a breeder I approved of. The day had finally arrived for me to get him. The woman had told me that she wouldn't pre-place a specific dog with its owners until I could meet the entire litter. I knew that I wanted Versace though. He was the smallest, the whitest and the calmest. When I walked into her home I was horrified to find that there was a woman and her 10 y/o son there - they were also looking at the dogs.  There was Versace in the boy's lap. The kid was not holding one but THREE puppies. I grimaced, braced myself and politely ask the heavily perfumed woman "Oh, have you just started looking?"  She replied, "Yes, but we can't decide." That was my cue. I immediately swooped in, picked up Versace and said, "Oh really? I have." and handed the breeder my check. I felt guilty for about 20 seconds but then I figured that I saved Versace from getting some stupid name like "Snowball" and possibly dying of asphyxiation on the woman's perfume.

If you had to be stranded on a deserted island with only five items, what would they be? 

A survival book, a mirror, vodka w/ rocks that never melt, Mr. Big from Sex & the City.

What would your autobiography be titled? 

Strength, Grace and Some Profanity.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Eileen Beard

Your story is about an altercation with a mattress.  What other household furnishings do you have grudges against?

I don't normally hold grudges against inanimate objects.  On the contrary, I have been in a passionate love affair with my couch for years now.  It just gets me, you know?  In fact, I think I'll send it flowers . .

What is the funniest thing about your home state of Arkansas? 
Me.  Hey-o!



If you could go on a road trip with any famous person (dead or alive), who would it be and where would you go? 

I would go on a road trip with the Mug of Woe editors, Jenn Dlugos and Kyle Cranston, to a destination of their choosing (See what I did there?).  On the road, we would talk about my submission for the next edition of Mug of Woe. 


Pimp yourself.  What other writing projects are you working on right now?

You mean besides my submission for the next Mug of Woe?  I am working on several television scripts - writing for TV is my dream.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Dot Dwyer

What is the funniest thing your Mother ever said to you? 

My Mother said many funny (crazy) things to me over the years. When I had told her about a recent break-up with someone I had been seeing for a couple of months (I knew it wouldn't last but I was sad about the break-up just the same), she paused , like she was trying to think of something to say to cheer me up and said "Did you use that voice you use on the phone?"  .Well, I did speak with this man over the phone many times, so, yes I did use my voice to communicate with him, but I wasn't sure what "voice " she was referring to. "You have a tone on the phone, you sound mad. You have to change it. That's why he broke up with you".She had never met the guy and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have liked him if she had, but , still, she took his side.

Probably the funniest thing (to me ) she ever said was, one time, she sat me down at the kitchen table and wanted to help me through my obvious social problem and explained to me that the reason I didn't have a boyfriend is because "You  don't have a personality"  This made me burst out laughing because about the only thing I have going for myself is my personality! Two weeks later, my friend's wife called to offer me tickets to Lord of the Dance. As we sat in our second row seats, I leaned over to her and whispered in her ear "What was that you were saying to me about no personality?" She said, "I don't know what I was thinking! Yeah! You got personality!"


My Mother and I shared a lot of laughs. On numerous occasions, we would be doubled over begging the other to stop talking or one of us was going  to pee ourselves. Which would make us laugh harder and then we would pee ourselves anyway! I really miss her. 

If you were an amusement park ride, what kind of ride would it be and what would it be called? 

If I was an amusement park ride, it would start out really flat and uneventful for quite a while. Just when you think the ride isn't going to do anything, the track drops out from underneath you in a free fall. Then, somehow, it gets back on track and then starts going up an incline so gradually, and then you are at a 90 degree angle. Logic tells you that you should fall off, but you don't and then the track goes flat again for so long that you fall asleep. When you wake up, the ride is over and you get off the ride thinking "I'll never do that again!"   But by the end of the summer, you're back at the park waiting in line for that ride again. This ride would be titled "The Dunce's Delight". 

If you came home to find an extraterrestrial on your porch , what three questions would you ask?  

      #1) How was your trip ?
      #2) Would you like something to eat ?
      #3) Is there anything I can do to help ? 


Where can we find more of  you?

Usually, I'm at home doing laundry or watching TV. I write for my annual union newsletter, a little column titled "Actor's Corner". You'll have to join my union to read it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Dr. Katherine Howard

What is the strangest thing I would find in your house right now?   

There are so many things in my house that might be considered odd by some and normal by others.  Why, just within a few feet of my desk you would find the following: a gnome mooning, Sigmund Freud bobble head, talking Yoda, Sigmund Freud action figure, and a psychology Magic 8-ball.  Oddest might be the little clear box that has tiny teeth in it.  These are the collections of the tooth fairy gathered from years of nighttime visits.  I don’t know why I collected them initially instead of throwing them away.  It has been years since any teeth have been added to the little box but the box has survived many clutter purges.  I do not think it has any connection to my membership in the Anthony Hopkins fan club – do you?  

Your story is about how your son embarrassed you.  What is one of the best pranks you played on your children? 

Ahhhh…where do I even begin?  I love April’s Fool Day and think it should be renamed “Ensuring Your Children will need Professional Counseling in the Future Day”.  I have tormented my children over the years and each memory brings a grin of pleasure.  One of my favorites is the “Fright Night Drive”.  My daughter (and favorite victim) was 14 and we were driving up to Wisconsin to visit friends.  Being a city kid, she was a little unnerved by the very dark isolated country road we were traveling on that evening.  She was talking about different scary movies she had seen and how they reminded her of the isolated road we were on.  We  crested a small hill and I could see that there was no traffic in front of us or behind us.  Unnoticed by her, I moved my hand over to the left side of the dashboard.  Without any warning, I slammed on the brakes and screamed, while simultaneously pushing in the headlight knob plunging the car into total darkness.  Needless-to-say, my daughter (and my sons innocently sitting the back seat), FREAKED out.  The bloodcurdling screams could have woken the dead.  Poor girl even lost some bladder control.  Meanwhile, I was laughing so hard I thought I might have a similar accident.  It took her a few hours to forgive me – my uncontrollable giggles each time I relived the moment didn’t help.  There was no lasting damage and within days she was begging me to pull it on her friends.  

Tell us about one time you stuck your foot in your mouth.  

Hmmm…this is a little harder question to answer.  I don’t tend to reveal things that shouldn’t be revealed.  I do recall one “oops” moment that I wished I could have put my foot in my mouth.  My daughter had announced that she was breaking up with her boyfriend after school.  Later that evening, I ran into him at the store and offered my condolences to him.  He just stared at me with a confused look on his face.  Yep, she had changed her mind during the school day and never said a word to him about breaking up.  The relationship didn’t last much longer and she still blames me for the breakup.  

Pimp yourself – what are your other business ventures?  Where can readers find your writing?  

I have a personal blog.  It combines the trials of my medical journey in the aftermath of stomach cancer with my somewhat subdued humor.  I am currently working on a collection of humorous parenting stories that also offer practical parenting survival suggestions.  Other writing ventures have been put on hold while I have had to concentrate on troublesome medical issues.  My interest in writing remains high and impromptu opportunities like “Mug of Woe” are welcome distractions.  I also have my own crochet business called Enviable Creations. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Woefull Spotlight: Alex Freeman


What would you do if you ever met the great, Bela?

Immediately fake an ankle injury and gingerly jump into his arms.
We hear you're working on a memoir. Care to tell us a bit about that?
Schooled is a humorous, honest and harrowing account of my two years teaching middle school Special Education in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I began the project not knowing the first thing about memoir writing, but knowing my students' dysfunction, wisdom and vitality was too grand to keep to myself.  Check out whatbroughtustothispoint.wordpress.com for working excerpts. 
What do you miss about teaching?

The contact high I'd get each spring morning when marijuana smoke wafted from the hallways into my classroom.  That and inspiring wayward youth. 

What do you have against squirrels?

Squirrels are rats with furry tails that we let run wild.  Plus, they've been known to attack.  Enough said.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Book Reading!!!!

Hello our wonderful fans and contributors! We want to be the first to tell you about our very first Mug of Woe reading. Join us Friday, November 4th at 7:00 p.m. at Books on the Square in Providence, RI. See some of your favorite Mug of Woe stories come to life as our contributors reenact their woeful accounts. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Jessie Baade

Your Mug of Woe story was about the grueling art of comedy.  Tell us about your strangest stand-up comedy experience.

I used to have epilepsy because of a lesion in my temporal lobe. No one noticed for a long time because the kind of seizures I had was mild and I didn't lose consciousness. It interfered with my ability to retain my act though, made me rely on audience work a lot as a safety net.  Then in 2001 something happened to the lesion in my head and I got a worse more noticeable form of seizure. I would black out completely leaving my body to do things like make weird faces and hoot and cluck and such. They never lasted long but it would take a while for my memory to catch up with my state of awareness. I would go out for about two or three minutes and the time around it would be erased.  This is what happened the first time I ever did really well on stage. I remember being at the bar at Gotham Comedy club looking at my hands and the next thing I know I am being helped down the stairs by my friend, Lou. I hear I killed. I wish I had recorded it. I have no idea what I did. Which is a prime example of the inner workings of a stand up comic. I was much happier that I was funny than I was concerned that I had left the planet without my body.

If there was a deity that handed out superpowers, what power would he/she give you? 

I have been reading super hero comic books since the late '70's. Most super powers, generally, wind up biting you in the ass. You will never find a whinier or more askew lot of folks than the ones with superpowers. Even the ability to be perfectly happy with everything could potentially screw up my stand up act. So I would say something easy like decent eyesight (I'm recently becoming pretty freakin' blind) or the ability to keep teenagers happy during puberty.  My name would be Lady Hormone and my side kick would be The Cramp.

Crayola wants to create a crayon in honor of you.  What would they name the color? 

It would be a crayon that is mostly white with a little ring of black on the bottom called Bleached White With Roots. 

Promote yourself:  Where can our readers find more of Jessie Baade?

You can always friend me on Facebook but please let me know where you found me (so I don't think you are a spammy prostitute). And also, I keep my schedule and clips and such on http://www.jessiebaade.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Teresa Roberts Logan

Your Mug of Woe story is about your valiant efforts against a cockroach.  Do you have any superpowers against other household pests? 

Just ants. And mainly that's cause I spray them with toxic substances.


A theme park wants to build a ride based on you. What type of ride would it be, and what would it be called? 

Coolio!!! It would be called "Teresa's Zombie Fun House of Mirrors." And you wouldn't know if you were being chased by a zombie, or just seeing yourself before you've had coffee. Or maybe seeing yourself after a bigass funnel cake.


You are required to move to a deserted island for one year.  You are allowed to take five items.  What do you take? 

1) A copy of "Dracula"
2) A sketchbook
3) 365 pencils (is that 365 items?)
4) a pencil sharpener
5) sunscreen


I'm presuming that I wouldn't have wifi . . . if I do - well, I guess I would want an internet café.

Promote yourself:  What are you working on right now and where can our readers find your work online? 

My Laughing Redhead Bloggy Wog is at http://www.LaughingRedhead.wordpress.com and my site is www.LaughingRedhead.com.  I'm always working on cartoons  and silly sentences. I was nominated for a Reuben this year, so I guess I'm working on winning next time :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Danny Gallagher

You are a stand up comedian.  What was the strangest stand up comedy show you did? 
Actually, I haven't done stand-up in a while, not since my mid-20s, which was back in the year of our Lord "never you mind, a-hole."
The show that sticks out in my mind involved the first and only time my parents came to see me perform. They learned somehow that I was taking a comedy class while I was going to school at UT-Austin and insisted on coming down to see me perform. By this time, I had my act down pretty good and didn't want to mess with it since this was my first capacity crowd and I was towards the end, which means the audience would be at the right level of intoxication (not too sober to see through my obvious lack of talent and not too drunk to see if they could beam me in the head with a Shiner Boch bottle from across the room). My cousins were also in town and my parents invited them, along with a very old family friend. So I go up and do my act in the raw and trust me, it was. I cursed a lot. I yelled into the mic. I smoked and drank on stage. I did a joke about masturbating to the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, which I still think is pretty good ("This close up shot of Kristi Yamguchi's tight skater's butt is brought to you by Jergen's Hand Lotion"). And I killed the joint. I didn't notice the whole time that my parents were just waiting to pounce because I had embarrassed them and everyone in my family tree going back to my Irish ancestors who used to laugh at rudely shaped potatoes. The guy immediately after me then does a full 15 minutes (10 minutes over his allotted time) on the funny, wacky things that happen in crack houses.  So look for that in "Mug of Woe 2: Mug Woer."

Do you have a secret talent? 
I can do the "Human Blockhead" trick with a Q-Tip. I'm working my way up to a power drill.

If a film studio was to do a movie on your life, what would it be titled? 
"The World's Fattest Starving Writer." I can see the giant Coney Island Sideshow style movie poster every time I close my eyes. 

Where can our readers find more of your work and comedy? 
I'm a regular contributor for the Spike Channel's website (www.spike.com), Playboy's "The Smoking Jacket" (www.thesmokingjacket.com), MTV's Clutch (http://clutch.mtv.com) and the Shadowbox Comedy Theater of Columbus (www.shadowboxlive.org). My humor and feature writing has also appeared in Aol's TVSquad.com and Asylum.com, Esquire Magazine, Cracked.com, Mental Floss Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune's "Redeye," The Austin American-Statesmen and The Center for the Easily Amused. I don't shower much.

My website is www.dannygallagher.net. I can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/dannyboythezombie and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thisisdannyg. Join me or die.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Mary DeBerry

Your Mug of Woe story is about an unfortunate Christmas Eve mishap.  What was the most memorable Christmas gift you ever received? 
 My most memorable Christmas gift was my first "sophisticated" dress which was silver and glittery (I was 13). But when I wore that dress to a school dance it caused another embarrassing incident. The silvery outer layer was not sewn onto the inner layer (a white lining) at the zipper - so if I put my arms up (like to dance) it showed. All night friends kept whispering in my ear that my dress was damaged and my slip was showing.  

You are required to move to a deserted island for one year.  You are allowed to take five items.  What do you take?  1) A year's supply of ice tea and crumpets    2) My computer (with a friggin' incredible wireless range and lifetime battery)    3) An incredibly comfortable bed   4) A professional masseuse   5) A giant tube of sun-block SPF#150

Crayola wants to create a crayon in honor of you.  What would they name the color? 
Mareuse (a combination of Mary and Chartreuse)

Promote yourself.  Where can our readers find the writing of Mary DeBerry, and what other projects are you working on? 
A variety of my interviews, articles and reviews can be found online at: http://www.ahtspot.com/, http://www.associatedcontent.com/ (now part of Yahoo), http://www.imageiconent.com/, and http://www.rifcfilms.com/. I'm currently writing a script for a documentary called "Higher Ground" about the destruction and resurrection of a family owned paper mill in Hindsale, NH. I'm the Publicist for Daydream Theatre Company and playwright Lenny Schwartz. We'll be traveling to New York City this summer for Schwartz's latest play, "Fidelity", which will premiere as part of The Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.  I've also started on a multi-media project about understanding and destigmatizing mental illness titled, "Mary Explains the Brain".

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Lizzy Miles

Your Mug of Woe story is called “The Dentist of Oz”.  If you were a dentist in the land of Oz, would you consider the Lollipop Guild a hindrance to your business or job security?
Definitely job security.  In fact, the Lollipop Guild would be my secret minions who pass out free lollipops that look like toothbrushes.
 If you could speak to the ghost of a famous person, who would it be and what three questions would you ask?
I would talk to Carl Jung and get a free psychotherapy session.  Dude, what's up with my crazy spider dreams?  What's heaven like?  How do I shake this shadow?
 You are required to move to a deserted island for one year.  You are allowed to take five items.  What do you take?
I am not really cut out for island living.  I assume you have a luxury villa for me with all the domestic accoutrements.  Otherwise I'm not making the move.  Do I have internet access?  I would take a power generator and my Ipad.  I really think I could entertain myself pretty easily with access to TV, music, books, Facebook and word processing for writing.    Hmmm, maybe a yacht...that counts as an item right?  I will settle for a paddleboat if you think a yacht is too much.   Let's see... I suppose I would need a Cessna too, to island hop.   Does a pilot/male companion count as an 'item'?  I would concede the paddleboat for the man.
Promote yourself -- what are you working on right now and where can readers find your work?
I'm a contributing author for opentohope.com and my blog is at followthesigns.blogspot.com.  My new book entitled Somewhere In Between is available on Kindle. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Kris Earle

People are talking about time travel.  What year would you time travel to, and what would you do when you are there?

I would go to the year 2020. I would meet Future Kris from the year 2020 and sit down with him and chat over a baloney sandwich.

"How's it goin'?"


And future Kris would look me square in the eye and say,

"Not bad."

That's it. There's no magic, no mystery to it. Just a guy in the year 2020 who enjoys a good sandwich and doesn't know what the hell he's doing.....just like the Kris from the year 2011.


Except Future Kris will have less hair.

Or more.

You never know because it's..THE FUTURE.

If there was a deity that handed out superpowers, what powers would he/she give you?

I would like the power to text while driving.


If someone was to write The Kris Earle Story, what would he/she title your biography?

"The Kris Earle Story: A footnote of sadness and despair"
"Thundercock"
"For the love of Kris"
"39 and loving it!"
"Is that a rash? The Best of Kris Earle."
"Boy Story 3"
"101 Ways to Piss People Off"
"Expiration Date: 2012"
"I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU: How to ruin a man's spirit with five words."

Pimp yourself – where can our readers find your comic stylings?
My mother keeps a few of my colorings still on her refrigerator. One is from 1977 and depicts a fun filled summer scene of bunnies picnicking on an orange field with an above-ground pool with a diving board. In the sky above is both the Death Star and a Giant Ass that shits fireworks. Both my 2nd grade teacher and my principal of the school didn't think it was fireworks. My mother and step-father got a phone call and had to meet with the principal and teacher to convince them that it wasn't a giant ass that shit fireworks even though it was. We won.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Winston Kidd

Your Mug of Woe story is about an “interesting” hotel in Washington D.C.  If that hotel was to host a conference, what type of conference would it be?

The World Pimping Convention. ·        

You do a lot of travel.  Tell us another unfortunate travel experience you had. 

I travelled to Superbowl 42 in Phoenix, AZ.  Had seats in the Giants end-zone.  That was really unfortunate.· 

You come home and find an extraterrestrial on your front porch.  What would be the first three questions you asked it?

  1. You can see that I am not a redneck, so you can put that thing away, right?
  2. Where did you park?
  3. Mind posing with me for my Facebook page?·       
The pic is the look on my face 2 seconds before being abducted by aliens.

Where can our readers find the comedy stylings of Winston Kidd? 

Follow me on my Facebook page, Winston Kidd.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Karen Webb

Thanks to contributor Karen Webb, Mug of Woe was in the Hopkinton Patch paper last week!  Stay tuned later on this week for another story about her in the Patch! 

Your Mug of Woe story is about your children.  Tell us a funny thing one of your children did recently. 

I found my son in the middle of the garden last summer standing in the middle of the sugar snap peas.  He’d look over his shoulder to see if anyone was looking and then snap off a few peapods and stuff them in his mouth.  I watched him for a few minutes doing this repetitively.  When I stepped out to catch him in the act, my husband grabbed my arm and asked “What the hell are you doing?”  I looked at him dumbfounded.  “He’s in the garden!”  My husband then pointed out to me: “He’s eating vegetables…and he thinks he’s getting away with it.”   Today, he still doesn’t know he got caught, and so when he’s grabbing cherry tomatoes off the plants or munches on the green beans this summer, I’m turning a blind eye.

You are also an independent filmmaker.  What is the funniest thing that even happened while you were making a film? 

When we were filming “Blazing Needles,” a short Western for the 48 Hour Film Festival Boston, we had the perfect opening:  blue sky with puffy clouds, vast land, a Sheriff in chaps on a beautiful horse riding across the field.  As the Sheriff and horse trotted near the camera, stopping on a small hill to look off into the distance (a perfect shot), the horse raised his tail and crapped.  As a filmmaker, you try to plan for all the contingencies, but that’s one I honestly didn’t think of.  Thankfully it was a comedy, and despite the several takes we took of that opening shot, we used the horse crapping version to rave reviews and hysterical laughter.
 
You come home and find an extraterrestrial on your front porch.  What would be the first three questions you asked it?  

The first question would be “Where do you want to go?”   The second question would be “What do you want for dinner?,” and the third would be “Where’s your laundry?”  Apparently my kids think all I do is drive them around, clean their clothes, and cook for them.  Why would a four-foot extra-terrestrial be any different than the four-foot monsters that live in my house?

Promote yourself:  Where can our readers find more of Karen Webb? 
I’ve been co-producing a documentary film on the Boston Red Sox and spirituality called “The Joy of Sox:  Weird Science & The Power of Intention.”  http://www.thejoyofsoxmovie.com/  The film’s in final editing now, PBS has agreed to list it in its catalog, and we’re building our distribution plan.  I’ve won a few handfuls of screenwriting awards in the past year, and I’ve been working with my agent to try to place these with the right director/production company.  When I’m not doing the “film thing” (or driving my kids, doing laundry, or cooking,) I run a consulting company focused on providing strategic marketing services to high technology companies.  You can read more about my work at www.PinchHitMarketing.com. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Seth Brown

What is your secret talent?
I was going to say rapping. People don't expect that from a geeky-looking white guy with a goatee, so when I get on stage and begin freestyling, people are often surprised. But after a lot of local performing, my release of a rap about cheese, and a rap music video about dungeons and dragons, maybe it's not a secret anymore. So perhaps my secret talent is playing the harmonica with my nose? But now I mentioned that too. Okay, I have another secret talent, and I'm not saying what it is.
 


You are required to move to a deserted island for one year.  You are allowed to take five items.  What do you take?
A long-lasting generator, a wireless modem, a computer, a shelter to protect it all, and someone else's credit card so I can order everything I need off of the Internet. What can I say, I'm a pragmatist.

 If a film studio was to do a movie on your life, what would it be titled?
"Seth's Success Seth's Success Seth's Success" -- Not that I've been very successful, I just like the idea of having a movie that nobody can pronounce.

Promote yourself:  Where can our readers find more of your writing and comedy?
 
I am at
www.RisingPun.com. There you can find links to my humor column ("The Pun Also Rises"), my most recent book ("From God To Verse" -- a line-by-line translation of the Torah into rhyming couplets), my rap persona (Ham-STAR), and various other random things.

But all you have to remember is
RisingPun.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Charlie Hatton

You once lived in a house that had 30+ steps on the outside.  Did you receive regular death threats from delivery people?
Death threats would imply that the delivery folks actually bothered to lug packages all the way up our "Staircase O' Doom". Instead, we'd find parcels hucked halfway up the hill, or piled at the bottom. Often burned. Presumably in effigy.
As it happens, there were exactly 39 steps from street level to front door, which was kind of a cool literary reference. Though to be honest, I never read the book. Maybe if the house had been on the way to Mulberry Street or there was some kid with a giant peach living in the basement, I could have managed it.
On the bright side, I now Stairmaster at an eighth grade level. So that's something.

If there was a deity that handed out superpowers, what power would he/she give you? 
I've always assumed that any gods out there in the aether would only interact with us mortals to get a kick out of screwing with our heads. Either Greek mythology made a lasting impression on my childhood, or I've repressed much more bullying from the older kids than I care to consider.
Either way, I'd expect a superpower that seems tremendously helpful at first, but actually leads to the sort of hubristic hijinks that make Zeus upsnort his ambrosia in a fit of giggles. Like invisibility that doesn't include hair, or turning everything you touch into Wal-Mart store credit vouchers.
For me specifically, I think I'd be given the ability to read peoples' minds -- but only if I'm physically in contact with their heads. So unless I became a hairdresser or dental assistant or professional earlobe masseuse, it'd be essentially useless. Other than finding out what my wife's really thinking about while she's kissing me. And I do not want to go there. Because it's probably Wal-Mart store credit vouchers. Yow.

You mentioned in your bio that you do “smart, sophisticated comedy about life, language and the size of your naughty bits – not necessarily in that order.”  What daily factors control the order of those humor goldmines?
I think it's important to engage the audience on their terms. If I can use my personal experience to make a connection with a listener or reader or parole board member, that's a very genuine sort of interaction. So I share what I've known in 'life' to bond with people who've had similar experiences: clueless husbands, office doormats, incontinent pet owners, the socially hopeless. Cynics. Smartasses. Idiots.
My aim is to provide what the folks around me may relate with. This being Boston, there are an awful lot of bookish academic sorts who may appreciate a clever turn of phrase or amusing bit of wordplay between arguing over Neitzsche and building Lego robots on Saturday nights in their mothers' basements. Thus, 'language'.
To your actual question, it's pretty clear by now that none of those people I just mentioned are actually paying any attention to me. So if I want to wax poetic about the size of my enormous... ego, I'm free to do so. These days, I just flip a coin and go -- heads, it's gerunds; tails, it's genitals. If it rolls under the couch again, it's slice of life time. Simple.
(Of course, the 'naughty bits' angle does have its downside when you're playing your own crowd. My audience gets to laugh and point at me standing naked in the bathroom mirror. That'll suck the nuggets right up the old humor goldmine, let me tell you.)

Pimp yourself:  Where else can our readers find your work? 
I write regularly on my own personal site, Where the Hell Was I?, and mostly irregularly anywhere else I can get away with it.  At the moment, that includes a staff gig at Bugs & Cranks, where baseball humor rounds third and heads for home, and the Zolton Does Amazon prank article series over at ZuG.com. If you're quick enough, you might also catch me Twitterpating.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Ben Lard

What exactly is fish water?

Something that is very hard to find on a Saturday morning.
We hear you just finished a novel. Can you tell us a tiny bit about it?

It's about the modeling industry in New York. I worked there as a model agent for several years, where I both saw and experienced a lot of interesting things. Some good and some otherwise. This novel was my way to get some of those experiences down on paper in a compelling way. My hope is that this book will pull back the curtain a little bit on an industry that is usually defined by its myths and misunderstandings.

What is the best compliment you have ever received?

Perhaps it was a little backhanded, but it was that I was honest.

If a genie suddenly said he'd grant you three wishes. What would they be?

Am I allowed to wish for more wishes?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Denise Robichau

One of your stories in Mug of Woe is about your Mom.  Tell us a funny story about your Mom.
A funny story about my mother:  Hmm.  So many half-baked stories in my head.  Here's a quick snapshot of a time she stood apart from the other mothers in our neighborhood.  Way back in the 70s, our neighborhood decided to have a block party.  Someone dragged a big TV out onto the street with mega-extension cords to play movies and cartoons.  There was potluck food from everyone on our street.  Games, contests, all of the cliches like potato sack and three-legged races.  On our street, two moms were named "Pat," mine and Mrs. McKeon.  For some reason that became a source of competition, who was the Alpha Pat.  At least that's how I imagine it in my look back on childhood.  One of the prizes kids were given out during the contests were paddle balls -- the wooden paddle with a rubber string and small rubber ball hanging from it. My mom was pretty good with it, having just the right wrist action.  For some reason, smack talk arose and the gauntlet was thrown down to the other Pat for a paddle ball contest.  My normally shy, school teacher mom, girded her loins for battle.  It was epic.  I remember her as a paddle ball warrior who totally dominated psychologically and physically, paddling for a hushed crowd into the hundreds.  She wiped the mat with the other Pat and declared herself town paddle ball champion.  For weeks, she'd pick one up around the house and bat it around a bit, feeling the weight of the rubber ball and the pull of the string, and then go back to her usual chores.
A theme park wants to build a ride based on you. What type of ride would it be, and what would it be called?
 Theme park:  I think my theme park ride would be kind of a fun house, where you get lured by a seemingly normal facade up onto a boring porch and then through the door into something different.  Part of the effect would be both entering the crazy turns and unexpected things a usual funhouse has, combined with folks outside watching through a two-way mirror or something the reactions of the people inside.  The people-watching is actually more interesting to me.  I created that situation kind of accidentally on purpose at work.  I had to plan a "team-building" event and brought 30 people to my friend's studio, where he makes artisanal birdhouses, to play with power tools.  Only it's a tiny garage with makeshift everything in a tiny yard, and I led everyone through to his single file maze of birdhouses on shelves until they realized that they couldn't turn around and had to shimmy past each other to squeeze back out from whence they came.  The reactions to all of it were amazing, it was so out of everyone's expectation zone.
You are required to move to a deserted island for one year.  You are allowed to take five items.  What do you take?
Ahhh, the old desert island question:  My iPad, my iPod Touch, a solar generator to keep them charged, juggling balls or clubs and I guess my boyfriend would be a nice round up for the five.
 Pimp yourself --- what are you working on right now and where can our readers find your work? 
 I wish I had something to pimp hard.  I plan on reawakening my 'blog (at dee-rob.com) and my stand up comedy any minute now.  In fact this week, I've lost someone close to me, and it's a wake up call to make something happen creatively since I get a lot of encouragement in my life.  Ultimately, I'm hoping that I'll finish the memoir I started about myself, my mom and stand up comedy, "Burying My Mom in Leopard Print Undies."  The very first time I ever got on stage to do comedy, my mother's house burnt down to the ground.  Seriously.  I think there's something there.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Release Madness!

'Da Editors:  Jenn and Kyle
We’ll be continuing with the Mug of Woe writers’ spotlights next week, but we have a few very important announcements!  


July 15th was an important day for Team Mug off Woe – it was our book release party at  the Lansdowne Pub!  The evening was uproarious, diabolical, and dare we say….magical? (it could have just have been the sangria that made it seem magical.) Check out pics of the release party on the Mug of Woe Facebook Fan Page! 
Even more exciting, Mug of Woe -- the book of your dreams (and all the contributors’ nightmares),  is finally available to buy on Amazon!   We also have some very exciting things planned, such as book readings, podcasts, and more interviews with our contributors!  Stay tuned!