Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Sarah Blodgett

You are a stand up comedian.  What was the strangest stand up comedy show you did?   
Well, I practice my set in the shower.  I never think it goes well, but the audience seems to like it.
Do you have a secret talent?   
If I told you I would have to kill you.

If a film studio was to do a movie on your life, what would it be titled?   
Well, since Clueless is already taken, I’d say Gentlemen Prefer Blonde Comedians.  It’s not true, but, hey, it’s my movie.
Promote yourself:  Where can our readers find more of your work and comedy? 

You can find me online at www.SarahBlodgettOnline.com where you can sign up for my mailing list and find links to my Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.  I really get around…the internet I mean.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Chris Matteini

What's the weirdest travel experience you've ever had? 
 I went abroad to Galway, Ireland with two of my best boys Spring semester of junior year in college. We went travelling on the main land after the semester had ended. We said our goodbyes in Paris and split up. My one buddy was headed to Denmark, the other to the northern coast of Spain, and I had my heart set on the southern coast. After however many hours on the EuroRail, I decided I didn’t want any more train, so I hoped off in Madrid. It was the night before my 21st birthday. I was asking around for a good club, and I met a guy who called himself Toro. He had me over for a couple beers and a sandwich. We met up with his friends and were hanging outside in a city square. I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned. It was the buddy who had planned on being on the northern coast. He had decided last minute to stay on the train and hit up Madrid. He says, “Weird, huh?” I say “Yeah,” because it totally was. We were really in tune those days, always experiencing big synchronicities. Anyway, we tied one on that night for my birthday and went our separate ways as the sun came up.

How did your now wifey react when your tooth popped out while wandering around Yellowstone Park?
We had come all the way across the country and were headed to our destination, San Francisco, the next day. We were reflecting on our trip and our future and basking in the glory of Yellowstone. A beautiful moment. Then my tooth feel out. Again. We both laughed pretty hard.

Where did you get the inspiration for your novel?
San Francisco was my muse. Angel Island was my muse. A door on the roof of the building next to mine, opening only inches from the ledge with only a shoddy wooden railing before it, became my obsession.

If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?
1. A house on a lake in New Hampshire.
2. More Radiohead albums.
3. To see a movie of my dreams.

Who is your all-time favorite writing instructor and why? ;)
I had been writing my story for close to five years when I finally decided to take a class. Eight weeks under the tutelage of Kyle Cranston, and I was able to finish my draft with greater depth and passion, head back to the beginning and start improving every sentence.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Jim Frazier

One of your Mug of Woe stories was about an altercation with two raccoon “thugs”.   Have you and the raccoon population since made amends, or is it still an estranged relationship? 
I would like to report that we are all friends, but alas I cannot. Also, don't hire a squirrel to mediate a feud with a Raccoon. The squirrel is the Raccoon's puppet. First they won custody of my deck and then they were awarded bathroom rights. Raccoons have terrible bathroom habits by the way. Plus they turned my cat against me. I came home one night to find her with dark circles painted around her eyes and eating out of the trash. She was hopped up on used coffee grounds. I finally decided to enter the little known Varmint Protection Program. The cat and I are both getting therapy. I think we're safe. But I have to admit, every time I lift the cover off of a trash barrel I wonder, is this it?

If there was a deity that handed out superpowers, what power would he/she give you? 
I would like the ability to make real cupcakes a health food. Now before you fitness nuts start sending recipes on whole grain cardboard cupcakes, I'm talking real cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes with sugar frosting dripping down the sides. I think I could save the world with such a power.

If you could go on a road trip with any famous person (dead or alive), who would it be and where would you go?  
God. Anywhere. Because I really need to know if he has a sense of humor. I hope. I hope. I hope.

Mug of Woe is your first publication.  What other writing projects are you working on right now?  First, let me say thank you for allowing me to be a part of this awesome project. You have really opened up a new door for me. Second, I am struggling to get my priorities straight so that I can finish my sitcom pilot and submit it proudly and without hesitation. Also, the novel that I've dreamed about so many times has finally started to take shape.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Nicole Levesque

Other than writing, being struck by buses, and going out on bad dates, what are some of your other hobbies?
The vast majority of my time is spent fending off the romantic and often volatile advances from my homeless gentlemen suitors, refinishing furniture, and dreaming of a Crate and Barrel life.  I also enjoy baking, bicycling, old lady magazines, and an unhealthy amount of celebrity gossip.

If you could have one super power, what would you pick and why?
I would prefer to have any and all of the powers of Mary Poppins.  Her purse fits everything and more, with a snap of her fingers rooms clean themselves, she avoids excessive air fare fees with her handy umbrella, and, by her own and others admission, she is practically perfect in every way.

What can you tell us about your first short story? It sounds juicy!
Like many stories I have, it was born out of pain, embarrassment, and the realization that others find my particular humiliations to be amusing.  I think when we’re starting out we want to be like Zach Morris and Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell, but often come out like Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano from My So-Called Life: awkward and faltering.  

What's your idea of a great date?
I’d have to say April 25th, because it’s not too hot, not to cold, and all you need… kidding!  My idea of a great date would include conversation, cocktails, and a lot of laughs.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Dave Fox

Your Mug of Woe story is about you tackling an Irish sheep.  Have you ever had to perform wrestling moves on any other four-legged animals? 
No. Four-legged animals are for amateurs. I have since moved on to 17-legged animals. Also, I frequently have to wrestle with my own mind, but that's another story.

Tell us about an unfortunate travel experience you had. 
I don't believe in unfortunate travel experiences. To me, travel is all about collecting stories, and our most unpleasant travel experiences usually make for our best stories later. My most traumatic travel experience occurred when I was teaching English in Turkey in 1995. An evil salad inflicted me with a nasty intestinal parasite and landed me in a blood-stained hospital bed (not my own blood). This led to a series of mysterious secondary infections that went on for months. It was a horrible time in my life, but 10 years later, I wrote my first book, Getting Lost: Mishaps of an Accidental Nomad – a collection of humorous tales about things that have gone wrong in my international travels. Nothing had gone more wrong than this particular experience, and I knew I needed to write about it. Dredging up these traumatic memories was hard, and putting a humorous spin on them was even harder. It was the most challenging chapter to write, but it ended up being one of my favorites.

If a film studio was to do a movie on your life, what would it be titled? 
"Don't Try This at Home." (But, really? A film studio? I would prefer that a movie about my life be shot in a scruffy dive bar with an outdated cell phone camera.)

Where can our readers find more of Dave Fox? 
My website, davethefox.com, has lots of my humor columns, plus information about the online travel and humor writing classes I teach, my free e-mail newsletter, and my two books – Getting Lost (mentioned above), and Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals (and still have time to enjoy your trip!) I also guide small-group creative writing / travel writing tours in Asia and Africa. Info for those ultra-fun writing adventures is available at GlobejotterTours.com.