Monday, December 31, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Robyn Renee Riley

In  Mug of Woe: Wreck the Halls Robyn Renee Riley explains why it's better to just keep those festive holiday greetings to yourself.

Your Woe essay is about an unfortunate Christmas card debacle. What was your strategy for Christmas cards this year? 

My strategy about Christmas cards this year was  to avoid them altogether. It has been a terrible year with the teenagers in this house. There are some things you cannot put into a Christmas letter. They would be more appropriate in a suicide note.
You like to write about your adventures of being a modern-day Pastor's wife. Tell us one of your favorite stories about the Pastor.
You have to understand the Pastor is a smart guy. He has three master's degrees and a Ph.D. Unfortunately none of his advanced coursework had anything to do with relationships. When we were dating - and serious - he invited some friends I had not met over to his house for dinner. I agreed to cook and prepared a lavish meal. When the couple walked in the door, the Pastor said, "This is my girlfriend, April." I have no idea where that came from. He to this day (yes we still talk about it) claims he has no idea where "April" came from. My first words to this couple were "Actually, my name is Robyn." DInner went as well as you might expect.
If Crayola was to name a crayon after you, what would it be called? 
I wouldn't care what color Crayola used or what they might call a crayon representing me, but my crayon could only be used to color precisely within the lines. Someone has a little OCD. In fact, let's leave that crayon in the box altogether. We'll just open it ever once in a while to look at the perfect, new rainbow of crayons. And maybe smell them.
Promote yourself. Where can our readers find more of your work? 
I've written a book about the Pastor - we'll see what happens! You can find me on Twitter and Facebook at robynreneeriley. I've had a blog for years, I promise I'll be better at posting on it - I blame the teenagers. Do you have any idea how many times I have been interrupted just trying to write these four things? Sheez! 2013 is going to be a great year. The kind of year people write Christmas letters about.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Bill Thorndike

Bill's story in Mug of Woe: Wreck the Halls reminds us all of the occupational hazards of Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.

Your Woe story is about an unfortunate altercation with a Christmas tree. Have you had any other memorable altercations with holiday decorations?

Not an altercation, but when I was a teenager I became a Christmas decoration. I was in a church choir that climbed up into 60-foot A-frame decked with lights and evergreen boughs. We became the “singing Christmas tree.” We all wore little elf hats. It was pretty cool.

You are a former newspaper reporter. Tell us about a memorable encounter you had when chasing down a story.

Once I interviewed a boy who became a local hero when he escaped from an upstairs window of his burning house and woke a neighbor. The neighbor called the fire department and the boy’s family was saved. This was in 1982. At the time I remember walking through the house and taking pictures of its charred interior. A few years later I bought the house. I’m still living in it. 

If an extra-terrestrial landed on your front porch, what three questions would you ask it? 

First of all, this seems to happen all the time, although they usually show up in pairs. I might think of a number and ask it to tell me what number I am thinking. That would be fun. I would probably ask if it was lost, or if it actually intended to land on my porch. I’d ask if it could use some company on the return trip. Not me, necessarily, but I’m sure someone I know would be up for a ride.

What other writing projects are you working on right now?

I am planning my Christmas blog as we speak. It will be about starting over at the back of the line, which has become something of a theme with me. Otherwise, I occasionally think about working on my novel. As I mentioned in my last Woe profile, it will explain everything.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Jennifer Worick

Jennifer Worick's story in Mug of Woe: Wreck of Halls chronicles her misadventures with the elusive New Year's Eve kiss. After reaading her ordeal, you'll find us at the stroke of midnight cuddled up withThe Twilight Zone marathon. 

You don't seem to have good luck on New Year's Eve. Can you tell us about another unfortunate encounter on this holiday?

Where do I start?

I've sketched them all out here. If I had to narrow it down to one atrosh evening (aside from the NYE and the sexually confused boyfriend I wrote about), I'd have to go with the night I fell on the escalator in the Ren Cen in Detroit. In trying to go up a down escalator, in heels no less, I fell as I neared the top, hitting my knee on the edge of the jagged step. I folded like a poker player with no hand and as I drifted back down to the ground floor, I noticed my knee was white. I had sliced it open to the patella. I wound up in one of the worst ERs in the country, getting stitched up by a cute doctor while surrounded by abused, shot, and beaten patients. One was even chained to his gurney.

You are allowed to spend New Year's Eve with any three famous people (living or dead). Who are they, and where would you go to celebrate?

Excellent question. I guess I'd go with Cary Grant, circa The Philadelphia Story, because he looks yar in a tux and would make any occasion festive and elegant. Jane Austen, who could provide a bit of decorum and social insight to the evening (and perhaps pick out an eligible gentleman for me). Then I'd go with Tina Fey, because laughter is always better than booze and I suspect she'd hold my hair back if I did drink too much. I don't care where we went, as long as good company and great food was involved (pulled pork, I'm looking at you).

If Crayola named a crayon color after you, what would it be?

What's Black and White and Read All Over? A double-sided crayon, black on one side and white on the other, wrapped in red paper.

Promote yourself. Where can our readers find your work?

Named one of the four funniest bloggers in America by Reader's Digest, I am the New York Times-bestselling author of more than 25 books, including the brand-spanking-new Things I Want to Punch in the Face (available everywhere!). In addition, I'm a blogger, publishing consultant, and public speaker. You can find me in all the usual places, as well as at

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Woe for the Holidays and CyberMonday Sale!

We are happy to announce that we have just released two new Mug of Woe books on Amazon for the holidays!

Our third book. All Woe Great and Small is a book of funny, embarrassing, and woeful animal tales that will prove once and for all that we are not the dominant species. 

And our special holiday edition, Mug of Woe: Wreck the Halls is a collection of tales of the holidays gone wrong, from unfortunate holiday gifts to capturing leprechauns on St. Patrick's Day.

Print editions are up on Amazon right now! Both Kindle versions should be up in a week.


Today and tomorrow, we have cut the price of our first two award-winning Woe books, Mug of Woe and Woe of the Road from $9.49 to $8.00 and $8.50. Prices will go back up on Tuesday, so get them now!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Call for Submissions: The Woes of Dating!

Ah the joys of dating. Sadly we've all been there. But, awesomely enough our dating adventures make for highly entertaining stories. Or at least we think they do! Which is why the sassy creators of the award-winning Mug of Woe series are stoked to announce we are opening submissions for our newest love child: The Woes of Dating!
If you have a TRUE, hilarious, awkward, or downright embarrassing story about dating experiences gone horribly wrong, we want to read it! Any dating experience is fair game, including the time your blind date showed up with her ventriloquist doll. Now's your chance to dish the dirt on your douchy ex who wouldn't let you crash at his place when you lost power for three days.
Ready to submit your story to us? Here's what you need to do: 
  • Keep essays to 1200 words or less
  • Please format your piece on a word document using the following:
    • Veranda 10 point font
    • Single spaced
  • Include a one-paragraph bio with your submission and a funky picture you don't mind us posting on this site
  • All contributors receive a copy of the book
  • Email your essays to by February 14, 2013

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tis the Season for Double the Woe

Hello, Woe friends and fans! We have two more books coming out for the holiday shopping season, All Woe Great and Small and Mug of Woe: Wreck the Halls.  And who couldn't use a little Woe in their stocking, eh? 

Cover designs, as always, by the talented Vikki Burton! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Maria Ciampa

Maria's essay in Woe of the Road shows how way way way too much of a good thing can be oh so bad!  

To this day you can't eat orange Popsicles? Any other foods that bring back gag re-flexing memories?

Hmmmmm.....Yes - chicken cacciatore. My mom made that every other night for about a year. Thank god she moved onto her pizza phase, which lasted a few delicious years. And I don't have any memories attached to it, but I gag if I think about eating oysters, because gross.

If you were reincarnated as any ice cream flavor, what would it be?

Rocky road, for the metaphor. I'd be the Bruce Springsteen of ice cream. I would wear a red bandana on my ice cream scoop head and really relate to blue collar Americans.

How long did it take you and your siblings to polish off those 30 boxes of Popsicles? 

One and a half days.

Promote yourself --- where can we find your work? 
You can find my live comedy show schedule at  If you don't understand the internet, don't panic yet. Simply come to ImprovBoston in Cambridge, MA on a Sunday night at 9 pm, and I'll be there telling jokes.  Okay, now you can panic.  Go learn internet.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Julie Kitayama

Julie’s essay in Woe of the Road proves that fairytale endings are bunch of hooey, despite what animatronic cartoon characters want you to believe.  

What is your greatest place on Earth?

I don’t know if it’s the greatest, but my favorite place to be is in my back yard early Sunday mornings.  I wake up really early, make a fresh pot of percolator coffee and sit in silence for hours reading the paper.  Luckily I only get the Sunday paper or I would be late for work every day.  

If you could be any animal, what would you be?

I would be one of these little dogs that ladies carry around in their purses.  That way I could see the world and everyone would tell me how cute I am and I wouldn’t have to compliment anyone in return. I could also growl at people that I don’t like without getting called bitch like I do when I growl at people I don’t like now.  

We hear you're into time travel. Where would you like to go?  

If I could time travel, I would go back to the day I bought the dress for my junior prom.  That was a mistake.  No one north of the Mason Dixon line should wear a hoop skirt dress.  They should have a warning label...“Cotillion Only”.

Promote yourself --- where can we find your work? 

Most of my published writing has been in the form of Chinese food restaurant reviews for an online Canadian newspaper.  That kind of work pays surprisingly well and I’m a big foodie.  My unpublished writing can be heard in my stand up comedy performances.  I perform regularly around New England and irregularly in other states although rarely below the Mason Dixon line.  I don’t have the right outfits for that...anymore.     

Friday, September 7, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Linda Morgan

This week's spotlight is on Linda Morgan. Linda's story in Woe of the Road reminds us that when our significant others say to "just follow the signs" to get to the airport, it's best to just get their asses out of bed and have them drive you.

If jet packs became an acceptable form of personal transportation, would you own one, and why/why not?

Absolutely I would own one.  Not only for the safety of drivers still on the road but for the security of knowing I wouldn't be getting stuck in traffic without a soda cup to pee in (because my daughter made me clean out my car.)

What would the title of your autobiography be?

BORN YESTERDAY - The Untimely Life of Linda Morgan

If you came home to find an alien from outer space on your porch, what three questions would you ask it?

1. Why is the sky blue?
2. Will it hurt when you probe me?
3. Does this space suit make me look fat?

Promote yourself.  Where can our readers find more of Linda Morgan? 

I am a comic, actor, and writer who just moved to MA from CT. I recently played the role of Mrs. Collins in the feature length comedy Burial Boys, which won Best CT Film and Funniest Flick at the Silk City Flick Fest. Everything else about me that's fit to print is on

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Erica Deis

Erica Deis's tale in Woe of the Road is a cautionary tale about Canadian travel. Specifically...never run over a man named Pierre. 

If you found an alien from outer space on your porch, what three questions would you ask it?

Are we talking a freakishly large headed alien, or maybe one of those Star Trek girls with fake boobs and just kind of pointed ears? 

I'd ask, "On your planet, do you know it's polite to call first before you just show up on someone's porch?" I wouldn't get too irked about it. It could be a cultural thing. Maybe aliens bombarded each other's porches all the time.

As I lead the alien to my washer and dryer, I'd ask if they knew it was a tradition in our culture (or at least my house) if you did show up unannounced on someone's porch to do all of their laundry, and fold it. I'd put it away this time, but others might not be so gracious. I'd even throw in a juice box or a glass of wine before I tossed the alien back on the porch.

If the alien had on cute shoes, or it was a male alien and he had on a jaunty ascot, I would ask "Hey, where did you get those shoes or ascot?" This would make the alien feel like they had a knack for style. It also would be a good segue into directing them how to separate the white clothes from the colored clothes. And, if they started crashing other porches and the residents were all "touchy-feely" and didn't make them do their laundry, at least I'd be the girl who complimented their attire. At least its something. 

What would be the title of your autobiography? 

"Finding The Courage to Peaceably Co-Exist in a World With Wood Paneling and Keno Pencils"

Keno pencils are so useless. They are short, stubby, ergonomically unsound, and do not have an eraser. What is the point of having a pencil without an eraser? There is something violently aggressive about them. And as far as wood paneling goes? I still haven't completely worked through that.

What would be the title of Pierre's autobiography?

I suspect I was a victim. I think he preyed on American women by leaping in front of cars driven by American women. It's dangerous, but must have earned him pity sex somewhere along the line. It could have cost him a limb, and how could you not put out if you ran over a cripple? He was a good looking guy,even splayed out on the pavement. If he did lose an arm, he couldn't do that weird pat-slap kiss thing. That first kiss may have been slightly less repulsive. If that were the case, his autobiography would be "Jumping In Front of Cars: A Canadian Carnival of Lust".

Promote yourself. Where else can our readers find your writing?

You can read one of my haikus on any downtown bathroom stall in chalky red lipstick until the cleaning staff catches wind of it. I'm working on a couple of projects that I'm excited about. It may involve lipstick, but in a more abstract way.

  You can friend request me on Facebook.  You'll probably change your mind about that decision around the time you receive your fourth dancing cat at 4 a.m.  You'd be surprised how many people like to Youtube their cats dressed up like elves doing the Macarena. You will also be amazed how much I enjoy plastering your profile with them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Amy Leah Potter

Travel extremest Amy Leah Potter has been to the ends of the Earth and back again! Her essays in Woe of the Road will make you glad you live in a country that believes in air conditioning and show you what "not" to do when visiting a monastery during snack time.

The cookie from the monastery sounded pretty gross indeed, but what's the grossest thing you've ever eaten?

Hmmm...I have eaten some pretty unusual things...puffin, kangaroo, alpaca, tarantula, guinea pig, whale, reindeer and an assortment of things that I was told was "chicken", but the grossest think that I ever eaten was definitely deep fried scorpion.  It wasn't the taste or even the crunch or the insect - it's the fact that it feels like I am still pulling legs out from between my teeth.

You're an avid traveler. What's the coolest place you've visited?

Tough question...New Zealand reminds me of home (Canada), Mongolia has a fantastic remote feeling and nothing can beat the food of Italy but I would have to say Rwanda is the coolest.  Considering the fairly recent genocide - the country has made a remarkable recovery.  Plus - everyone should spend one hour in the presence of the gorillas - an experience you will change you...

What's your idea of hell...besides a sweltering night in Cambodia?

Love traveling but loathe airports.  The flying process is hell to me.  It's not the actual flying that bothers's the countless queues, idiots trying to shove steamer trunks into overhead bins, nickel and diming airlines and folks crowded around the baggage carousel.  I am fortunate enough to have seen many things in the world...I'll see the rest of it when teleporting machines become mainstream.

Promote yourself --- where can we find your work? 

I don't have too much in the way of "work" for people to find.  Most of my days, and too many nights are spent in ICUs, Emergency Departments and Operating Rooms dreaming of the next time I can wander in a foreign land with no cell reception.  I have found that I really enjoy writing things that are not policies or work instructions.  I started to send e-mails back home to friends and family and I saved them for my own personal memories.  Most people joke that their biggest audiences are their family - not Dad once wrote back "sounds like fun".  Apparently he didn't read the entire message because I was recovering after being struck by a car.  So now, as a personal journal of sorts, I keep a blog that houses travel memories and photos.  It's not up to date and an editor would have a coronary at the grammar errors that pepper the writing but when I am having a long day - I look back and remember why I leave.  It's open on the internet so that the occasional family member, friend or shut in can see what I have been up to.  If you are ever in need of a the literary equivalent of a warm glass of milk, feel free to stop on by.  (any comments are welcome and VERY much appreciated!)
I am also proud to be a part of "Woe of the Road" and the upcoming book "All Woe Great and Small"!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Mike Ryan

Mike Ryan is a Rhode Island writer, actor, and film guru. His essay in Woe of the Road provides valuable safety information on surviving an attack by Bearzilla.

You are very active in the Rhode Island film community.  What was the strangest character you ever played in a film? 

I once played a serial killing priest with a punctuality fetish and a taste for human flesh. Eating fake skin off a naked woman who was playing dead was pretty odd. Because of my height, I’ve also played a lot of butlers, but that’s not nearly as weird.

An alien from outer space is on your front porch.  What three questions would you ask it? 

How was your flight? Why has it been so long since you visited? Want a beer?

Who would win in a Godzilla vs. Bearzilla showdown? 
Bearzilla, claws down. How old is Godzilla, anyway? He’s gotta be getting on in years, and ready for the geriatric league.

Promote yourself.  Where else can we find your work?  

Mike wrote a monthly technology column for Providence Monthly called Technobabble and currently writes a regular column on local film events for Motif Magazine in Providence. Any day now, you’ll be able watch his work on screen too at the Showcase. Just need to get Tom Cruise on board. Any day now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mug of Woe Takes Public Television By Storm!

Hey Woeians! Check out our TV debut on It's All Write with Suzette!

How to Write a Humor Compilation with "Mug of Woe" co-creator KYLE CRANSTON

Mug of Woe is a collection of humor essays of one’s most embarrassing moments. The contributors are stand-up comedians and professional humorists. Mug of Woe won Best Anthology at the 2011 New England Book Festival. Kyle Cranston is the co-editor (with Jenn Dlugos) and a contributor to Mug Of Woe. She talks about the concept of a humor compilation, the selection process, what makes humor essays outstanding, and the publication process.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Carol Raitt

This week's woeful contributor is Carol Raitt. Her Woe of the Road essay, "Move Fast. Strike Hard. Avoid the Crunch," details a night in a notel motel with several....let's just say...small roommates.

In your essay you mention once having to "extract a blood-sucking tick from my neck." Care to elaborate?
What can I say? Arachnids find me irresistible. Or, was it my sweaty, exposed skin that screamed "Bite Me!?" By the time I discovered the raised bump on my neckline the tick had consumed what I knew would be its final meal. With one good slap of my hand its engorged body exploded and I removed the annihilated (now flaccid) tick with a tissue.

If you had to pick an insect to share a room with, what would it be?  
One that is quiet, unobtrusive, and respectful of my space; a ladybug might be the perfect roommate. And, ladybugs eat aphids and other smaller insects that harm plants.   

Promote yourself -- where can we find your work?
My work has been featured in GREENPRINTS -- The Weeders Digest and in 2011 my non-fiction essay, "The Kill" received honorable mention and was included in the Outrider Press Literary Anthology: A Bird in the Hand. Visit any of these three national park visitor centers -- Great Sand Dunes NP, Lassen Volcanic NP or Wrangell-St. Elias NP -- and you'll see another side of my writing. As a writer-naturalist I have written hundreds of interpretive signs about geology, plants and animals. I am currently working on a collection of nature essays about birds and other wildlife that visit my urban, native plant garden in Seattle, WA.    

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Colleen McCauley Coughlan

This week's contributor is Colleen McCauley Coughlan. Her Woe of the Road essay, Spring Bake, proves that you should always wear sunscreen and only travel with people who actually like you. 

What would the title of your autobiography be?  

"Going Nowhere Fast!"  Or "How To be a middle aged Dependent"

Crayola wants to make a crayon in your honor.  What color would it be, and would would they name it?

Probably some color close to the color of blood due to my violent tendencies.  "Stigmata" might be a good name.  Or "OUCH, stop hitting me!"

You recently had a funeral for your departed uterus.  Have you ever held a religious ritual for another body part?

Not a funeral, per se, but I did spend a considerable amount of time mourning my flat & stretch mark free abdomen.

Promote yourself.  Where can our readers find your work/stand-up?  

When I am not procrastinating on Facebook, you can find me spending a LOT of time at open mics and karaoke!  Or texting.  Or hiding from my kids.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Carly Engels Johnston

This week’s spotlight is Carly Engels Johnston, who gives new meaning to "Don't drink the water," when vacationing in Cabo! Check out her essay in Woe of the Road!

So, Cabo seemed like the trip from hell. Did anything good happen at least?

Absolutely. I got to try a ton of new food, experience a completely different area and culture from a local perspective and the friend I stayed with was a fantastic (and hot) guide.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? 

I would say a shark because I find them incredibly graceful, but that seems to unnerve people. So, that being said, there is something about the smallness and efficiency of prairie dogs and meerkats that I also identify with. I can't stop watching them when I am at a zoo; they are just too cute!

What chore do you absolutely hate doing? 

I have to name just one? Let's just keep it broad and say overall cleaning.

Promote yourself --- where can we find your work?  

I ghost write the marketing content for law firm websites throughout the US, Canada and the UK. My creative work is by request only, but eventually I will make it available for public consumption. You can also find me on Facebook under Carly Engels Johnston, where I am known to post the occasional witty and/or alliterative remark about the banalities of life.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Mike Dlugos

This week’s spotlight is Mike Dlugos (brother to Woe editor Jenn) who chronicled a harrowing canoe expedition with his college Outing Club in Woe of the Road. Deliverance references, a-plenty.

What was your record for the most people lost during a drive to/from an Outing Club destination?

In the pre-walkie-talkie age, I would say ten. I think on one trip, two cars decided to stop for liquor and we didn’t see them again for a couple of hours.

In your essay, our ever-colorful Grandpa called one of your friends "Cider Barrel." What was your favorite car ride with Grandpa?

I would have to say the half-hour argument between Grandpa and Grandma about the use of helicopters in traffic enforcement. The debate centered around whether or not the helicopter actually lands and pulls people over, with the helicopter pilot coming out to give out speeding tickets.

You walked The Northville-Placid trail. Tell us your favorite memory from that experience.

The Northville-Placid trail is a 150 mile north-south trail through Adirondack Park. My favorite experience was at a place called South Lake in the West Canada Creek Wilderness. The lean-to was located near the lake and a gusty breeze kept the black flies away. There was also a natural beach that allowed us to go swimming in the picturesque, mountain-encircled lake at twilight. We also have fond memories of using a particular outhouse with a “seat” that was simply a 3-inch piece of wood that you had to lean on – not one of my more beautiful memories of the trail, but definitely one of the more humorous ones.

What is your dream nature vacation?

I think that would have to be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, which passes through so many neat habitats on its way to the top, including its now-endangered snow cap.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Jennifer Packard

This week's spotlight is on Jennifer Packard, whose Woe of the Road essay shows the downside of being stuck in a ditch. Like there's really an upside though.

If you were a car, what type of car would you be?
Probably a Prius since I'm all environmentally friendly and like to sneak up on people.

Name another instance where you've been stuck in an unwanted place?

One time I was volunteering at an animal shelter and the janitor lost his keys to get in. He needed someone who could fit through the office window to unlock the door, and I ended up being the smallest of all the volunteers. I stuck my legs in first but couldn't slide in, so thought I'd bend and squeeze my head and top part in. Not a smart move with my bum hanging out the other side of the window and the volunteers laughing and trying to push me through.  Being stuck in that position reminded me of Winnie the Pooh when he got stuck in Rabbit's hole. All they had to do was paint a face on my bum and put a plant on top for decoration. Not my proudest moment.

After being rescued by a woman named Cher, which celebrity would you really want to be rescued by?

Well I was going to say Johnny Depp for obvious reasons. But I have to go with Liam Neeson (for the same obvious reasons) but also after seeing The Grey and watching him lead men stranded in the Artic and take on a pack of ferocious wolves, I'm firmly convinced he could easily pull my friend's car out of the ditch, probably with his bare hands, rescue us both and have no problem taking on their fearless police Bassett Hound.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Woe of the Road -- Winner of Best Anthology at The Beach Book Festival!

Lots of love for Woe going on this month!   Right after we learned of our exciting Finalist placement for Mug of Woe in the Indie Excellence Awards, our second book  Woe of the Road has won for Best Anthology in The Beach Book Festival!  We are going to New York City this month for the award ceremony!   

Thank you to the festival for recognizing our book, and also to our fantastic writers who made our book possible! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Kathy Adam

This week's spotlight is on Kathy Adam. Her stories in Woe of the Road are cautionary tales about the dangers of getting lost on a road trip with a very hungry friend.

Your friend in your essays sounds like she gets hungry a lot. Does she have a tapeworm?

Yes, she does! She should know by now to carry healthy snacks and a have an 800 page book in case I'm running late.

Have you bought a GPS yet?

No. I refuse to buy a GPS but I do own a Boston map which is 257 pages. It was a good investment since I was moving out here. It remains in my car to this day. I'm surprised I haven't received a GPS for a gift by now.

You have visited Germany. What was your favorite memory of that vacation?

I went on one of those 36 day European Tours after graduating from college. My vaguest memories are from Germany. We were in Germany during Oktoberfest. I do remember spending most of my time in a beerhall drinking beer and eating pretzels. I do have a souvenir beer stein and an Oktoberfest hat (picture a mug of beer you wear on your head). Pictures of the event have been burned. Surprisingly I found our tour bus at the end of the day.

Why do you hate The Grapes of Wrath? It’s a classic!

I know it’s a classic but I hate it! Apologies to all writers but this is the original Woe of the Road Story in American Literature. And their luck doesn't improve once they get to sunny California. I cringe when I see the book in the bookstore or when the movie is on. This hatred goes back to a College English class. There is a chapter devoted to a turtle crossing the road. I've considered trying to read it again but haven't worked up the courage to tackle this novel.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Ryan Looney

This week's spotlight is on Ryan Looney, whose story The Saddest Spring Break in the History of College in Woe of the Road  proves that college kids shouldn't travel...EVER! 

Your essay is about a spring break gone wrong. Tell us about one gone right?

That was my only shot at spring break, mercifully.

We hear you love Boston. What's your favorite spot in the entire city?

My favorite spot in Boston is the field behind the EF language school in Brighton. It's a big open field with views of the city, and it's either a well-kept secret or I'm frequently trespassing.

If you were on death row, what would you choose for your last meal?
Steak and spaghetti. Mmm...death row dinner.

Where can we find some of your other writings?

New site! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mug of Woe is a Finalist in National Indie Excellence Awards!

Our first book, Mug of Woe: Tales To Make You Realize Your Life is Awesome is a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards!  We are so pleased our little-book-that-could has been recognized yet again!  Congrats to all of the writers and comedians whose tales of hilarious woe continue to make our book series possible! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Tom E. Morello

This week's spotlight is on Tom E. Morello, whose story A Fistful of Jokes: A South Texas Ghost Story in Woe of the Road  is proof that life as a road comic is for the birds. 

You're a comedian.  What was the strangest show you have ever done?

Bar none, the strangest show I've done yet was the first show in Texas where I was billed as a headliner.  I went from a guy who was at the end of his rope confidence-wise and uncertain whether he was transitioning out of the comedy business, to a rusty closer who hadn't had any meaningful stagetime in 2 months.  It was almost an out-of-body experience, because I was used to such supportive and comedy-savvy crowds in Boston.  I was performing at a bar that was part of a dilapidated strip of shady businesses that featured bullet holes in the front window, (there was a steel grate over the glass, so you know the bullets were fired from within the establishment).  I was equally afraid of my Bostonian comedy act not working in Texas as I was of being riddled with hollow-point rounds.  Luckily, I pounded out a sweaty hour of stand-up comedy, and nobody offered me any free shots at the bar.

What is one thing you miss from Boston that you can't get in Texas?

That brutal New England-area honesty that makes you want to weep uncontrollably and stab someone in the throat at the same time.  People in Texas aren't going to stare right through your soul and tell you everything that's wrong with you within 30 seconds of meeting you.

How can the human population protect themselves from demonic horsefiles?  

Avoid being a smug douchebag, though that's generally great advice in any walk of life.  I honestly think that fly was the spirit world getting back at me for laughing at my Incredible Hulk-sized buddy almost having bladder failure because a tiny bird sailed by his head.  I ain't afraid of no ghost, but they must've known I am indeed afraid of public embarrassment served by a filthy, diseased, trash-dwelling fly.

Promote yourself -- where can our readers find more of your work/stand-up? 

I have very active life online, and I try to keep each packed with unique content.  I'm a real person who handles all of his social networking sites himself, so I'm very accessible and genuinely happy to have fans.  Conversely, I'm not an annoying joke monkey, or a crazy marketing spambot, I'm just a man with an outrageous dream.  My dream involves people who dig my writing, so welcome aboard!

My Facebook fanpage:
My Twitter account:
My Tumblr blog:

I am a regular performer at both the Laugh Out Loud and Rivercenter Comedy Clubs.  Both clubs are located in San Antonio, TX and can be found at and respectively.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Susan Johnston

Your essay was about your worst New Year's Eve, so what was your best New Year's Eve?
New Year's 2012 was low-key but still fun. I met up with some friends for a movie and an early dinner, then relaxed at home, avoiding the crowds and setting more realistic expectations than I did a few years ago. 

What's the weirdest thing you keep in your refrigerator? 
Whitening gel for my teeth (it's supposed to keep in fresh in the fridge for up to a year). 

What advice do you have for people traveling on New Year's Eve?
Expect delays so have your electronics fully charged and allow extra time. Be VERY careful to double-check the year on your travel documents so you don't wind up nearly stranded like I did. And carry a little extra cash, just in case. 

Promote yourself --- where can we find your work?  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's Alive!

Woe of the Road is now available on Amazon!  Kindle is coming soon! 

Thanks to all the writers who submitted their hilarious stories of travel gone wrong. You are the reason we will never leave our homes again.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Woe of the Road has its first book reading booked!

Our friends at Books on the Square in Providence has booked our first reading of  our new book, Woe of the Road!  Saturday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m.!  Come on down and hear some hilariously bad travel stories! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Woe of the Road is at Press!

We got our first proof back of our second book, Woe of the Road. A full 262 pages of horrific (and hilarious) travel travels from comedians and humorists from around the globe.  Look for it out on Amazon and Kindle in April! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Calling for Pets/Animal Stories!

With our latest book Woe of the Road at press, we opened submissions for our latest edition -- All Woe Great and Small!  Check out our call for submissions page and send us your funny, embarrassing, and mortifying animal stories! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Co-editor, Kyle Cranston

One of your essays mentions a pirate cruise. What would your pirate name be, and what special pirate skills would you have? 
Four-eyed Kylie. My special skills would include bobbing for gold coins and chugging wine directly from the jug. I also think I'd make an excellent swashbuckler.

What are hand bangs? 

Hand bangs are what you get when you're a hairy beast who partially shaves the hair on his hands so you're sporting a Loyd Christmas hairdo near your pinkies.

One of your essays is about speed dating. What advice would you give someone who was going to a speed dating session for the first time? 
Don't! Skip it and go get yourself some nachos instead. Speed friending is okay though. I've actually met some good friends that way, and I'm not being sarcastic either.
If you were a professional psychic, what would your name be? 
Kyle the Radtastic - I will not rest until I've successfully brought the word "radical" back into everyday English vernacular.

Pimp yourself! Where can we find your work?
Besides Mug of Woe, You can help me earn pennies by checking out my online dating column: I have a blog I never seem to get around updating: You can also stalk me on Twitter @nerdrodite.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Co-Editor, Jenn Dlugos

One of your essays is about your attempt to hit up a costume party in a getup that would make Freddy Krueger queasy. What other costumes can we find in your closet?
Freddy has no grounds to be queasy, quite frankly, considering there is a Freddy costume in my closet.  One year I actually went as Freddy’s cat, with foot-long plastic razors on my gloves for claws.  Upside:  I won Most Creative Costume.  Downside:  I had absolutely no use of my hands for the evening.    

Define Muppet Eyes.
Muppet eyes occur when your pupils dilate to the size of Cookie Monster's during Girl Scout cookie season. Muppet eyes in humans are triggered by excessive stress, sadistic eye doctors, and almost drowning in a swan boat.

If you were to write a memoir, what would you title it?
Sense and Sensible Shoes

Who would you make president of your fan club?
My 88-year old grandfather. He's retired, so he has the time, and he’d probably do a good job as long as the board meetings aren’t scheduled during JAG or Wheel of Fortune. 

Where can we find more of your work?
My main site is, and you can follow my independent films at   You can also stalk me on Twitter @jenndlugos.   

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Woeful Spotlight: Steve Albert

You're a stand-up comic.  What is the strangest show you've done? 

I actually used to be a regular on The Naked Show. Unfortunately, the host (Andy O'Feisch, good guy. Still get along with him) decided I was too alternative for a show where the performers are literally naked. Did that show about ten times. During one of the earlier shows I blanked out 7 minutes into a 10 minute set I and asked Andy if he was ready to come back because if you're not "I am sooo f@#ked." Easily one of the biggest laughs I've ever gotten.

What is your secret talent?

After ten years of working in psych hospitals and homeless shelters I'm able to keep a straight face while listening to cubicle drones whine about stupid shit.

You come home and find an extra-terrestrial on your porch.  What three questions would you ask him? 

1) Need a beer?
2) What do you mean you don't drink?
3) Do I LOOK like I want to join your cult?!

Promote yourself.  Where can our readers find more of you? and I'm also Ratbas on FB, Youtube and Twitter