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 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.