Monday, December 30, 2013

Woes of Dating Cover!

Hello Woe fans!  We hope you are enjoying the holiday season.  We are excited to announce that Woes of Dating will be released in early 2014.  Details coming soon, but in the meantime, check out the first mock-up of the book cover from our talented cover artist, Vikki Rush!

Have a happy and woe-free New Year!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Woeful Spotlight: Teresa Ambord

Teresa's essay in All Woe Great and Small shows why the  good tidings of the holiday season should not extend to slimy, crawling creatures.

Your story in All Woe Great and Small is about an unsavory house guest that disrupted your holiday. What was one of your favorite holiday memories?

One Christmas my son and I were finally able to have a dog again, after a long time without one. Sandy was an Australian Shepherd, covered with long curls of gray hair.  That first year Sandy must have walked too close to the Christmas tree so that one of her gray curls on her neck caught the hook of an ornament and removed it from the tree.  Neither she nor I knew it. That is, till she came strolling up to me, dangling a shiny red bulb at her neck, just as though she'd dawned a necklace. I say she decorated herself to brighten my Christmas. 


Speaking of house guests, if you could invite one famous person (living or dead) over for Christmas dinner, who would it be and why?

The epitome of the Christmas spirit is captured in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life."  I watch it every year and always tear up in the final scene. This movie also happens to star my favorite actor, Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey. If I could have one guest of my choosing to my home for Christmas dinner, it might be Jimmy Stewart.

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

A crayon  named for me would have an unusual, but appropriate name, Merry Heart.  Merry Heart would be a vibrant green, a symbol of life. The Bible says a merry heart has a continual feast, and a merry heart is good medicine. I like that!

Promote yourself. Where else can we find more of your writing?

My personal stories have been published in several issues of Chicken Soup Books (CS for the Adoptive Soul, CS Devotions for Tough Times, CS for Positive Thinking, CS Boost Your Brainpower, CS I Can't Believe My Cat Did That, and one upcoming book) several Cup of Comfort books (CC for Christmas, CC for Sisters, CC for Dog Lovers II), other anthologies such as Dad's Bow Tie and one coming soon about blended families.  These are the stories I write for fun. I make a living writing business articles for BizActions.com and I am a paid contributor to a wonderful health and wellness site for women called liteliving.net, multiple senior publications, and I write weekly for AccountingWeb.com.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mug of Woe Named One of the Best Beach Reads!

Special thanks goes out to Motif Magazine for naming Mug of Woe one of the Best Books to Bring to The Beach!

And you, too, can be part of this award-winning series. Right now we have a call for bad, funny, and embarrassing dating stories open until June 30th!  Submission guidelines are right here.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Woeful Spotlight: Bambi Marangio

Bambi’s stories in All Woe Great and Small share important life lessons, like how to perform CPR on a kitty, and how one incredible turtle can save the day.  
 
 
Your stories were about miraculous animals. Can you share with us another story about your miracle kitty, Silver?
Silver is still alive and well. She turned black and white now, oddly is no longer Silver and white, but we kept her name. We have another cat, Sven, who showed up on our porch a few years back. So, we got him vaccinated and neutered. Rugged Sven is the outdoors’ type. He is a big Tom Cat who protects the house in his own way - he returns often a bit bloody and beaten up. Silver sits with him on the porch, licks his wounds, and comforts Sven every time! She is a sweetheart! Silver awaits her human boy, Cody, to return every few months from Johns Hopkins University - she always remembers her life saving friend and goes directly to him purring away. After all, they grew up together. Perhaps they should get a car commercial like that guy and his dog over the years.
 
You have done animal rescues and pet therapy. What is one of your favorite stories from these experiences?
The best Pet Therapy story was when this little, old grumpy man in a Nursing Home wouldn't talk to anyone - for 3 years! - until I showed him my dog, PJ, a big black Chow mix that I had in the hallway. The man, known for his extremely mean personality, actually smiled, called the dog in, and I followed. After that moment, PJ and I visited him regularly. Mr. J. became a great friend of mine. He had a lot of life stories to tell, and I understood his feelings. He was an angry African-American gentleman, who gave this blonde girl and her dog a chance. His anger was justified, and he continued to yell at others as a defense mechanism. But I got to know the real Mr. J., thanks to a friendly dog of mine. Animals are miraculous!
 
If Crayola named a crayon after you, what would it be called, and what color would it be?
I would be a mixture of Blue and Purple. Ease, Ocean, and Royalty. Crayola would have to call it, Bambi's Aura.
 
Promote yourself. Where else can we find more of your writing?
I have two articles/poems in Creative FORECASTING MAGAZINE.
Also, I ghostwrite, so no one ever knows where I may be! Lots of Comedy, but what do you expect with a name like Bambi?

I am currently proofreading a children's book - written by a 10 year old - about her true experiences in a school. It makes me laugh and cry to read the journal that this kid kept for 1 year. Everyone should be aware of what goes on in some classrooms in America - through the eyes of a child! True feelings and perceptions.

Seeking Funny Dating Stories!

Attention all writers! Because we believe in second chances, we have reopened our Woes of Dating submissions until the end of June! So, if you slacked off and missed the deadline the first time, get your booty in gear and get us a funny essay by the end of the month.


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 reopening 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 or tried to take you to lunch...in a cemetery. 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 (A story Kyle knows all too well).
 
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 mugofwoe@gmail.com by June 30, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Woeful Spotlight: Nicholas Frazier

Nick's story in All Woe Great and Small tells us of all the other things that bears do in the woods. 

Your story is about an unfortunate altercation with a bear. Tell us about another altercation you had with an animal. 

In my junior year of college, it was finals week. This one day I had studied for what seemed like 24 hours straight. It was about 6pm and my roommate and I finally just threw our hands in the air in frustration and decided to be done with studying. With all this mental frustration of studying we thought,  "how can we take a serious break to calm down?" We started drinking. 

Quite a few later we were pretty buzzed and decided to go for a walk. We decided to grab some road beers and head to this field behind our apartment building. We stood there for about two minutes when a cop car drove up to the edge of the field. The fact that we had beers in public would have gotten us a ticket. Right before the end of the school year that would not have gone over well. So being buzzed and in violation of a campus rule, we ducked on the ground and waited for them to drive along. 

Finally they drove away and when we stood up, we heard a twitch. We spun around ,and in the darkness of the field; we could hear an animal moving around. Being not in our right minds, we were very nervous. Not only were cops around, but now some animal we couldn’t see was approaching. What could it be? In a drunken stupor we scrambled to get our phones out to light the area up a little bit. When we finally got them out we turned them on the brightest mode and shined them into the field where we saw not one...not two...but AT LEAST 20 wild bunny rabbits staring at us. We got very nervous that we were about to be overrun by small bunnies. I gestured to my roommate to not move. He took it as "let's run ahead full charge," which he did. As he bolted forward, the bunnies scampered all over and I made the decision to just go with it, and we ran until we got to our apartment. Attacked by bunnies and bears, oh my.

In the story, you compare your dad's snoring to a grizzly bear. Are there any other woodland creatures he resembles?

I’d take away the grizzly part and just relate him to a teddy bear. Frazier men very often are believed to be scary and intimidating at first, but we are just cuddly, harmless creatures. This doesn’t mean we don’t have our grizzly side, but we’re typically very loving beings.

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

Could I go with them?
How often do they laugh at earth and all of its silly and petty arguments?
What kind of food do they eat?
And many, many more.

Promote yourself. What other writing projects are you working on? 

I am always writing and updating my blog. www.nicholasjfrazier.wordpress.com. As a young writer, I am always developing and maturing my writing style. I use my blog as a place to learn and grow. I had been writing a book during college until my hard drive crashed and I lost the whole thing. But I develop a million novel ideas in my head a day and have been working to put a few of them on paper since then. Of course since then I back them up a lot. On top of writing, I have a degree in visual arts, and I’ve been photographing and developing graphic design concepts since I graduated. Currently I am Case Managing for Father Bill’s & Mainspring, a non-profit working to end homelessness in the South Shore of Massachusetts. My goal and dream is to be a photojournalist reporting on underexposed areas suffering from injustice around the world.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Woeful Spotlight: Kristen Caisse


Kristen's story in All Woe Great and Small stresses the importance of fire safety...namely, having a fireman in the family who will give you CPR when your dog destroys your house. 

Your puppy Miller destroyed your house on Christmas Eve. Tell us another memorable Miller story.

One day we left Miller home alone out on our sun porch, it was only for an hour or so but when we got home Miller had eaten through the wall. Literally through the wall - as in you could almost get outside from the hole. We are guessing he just want to go outside and play, or saw a squirrel.

On that fateful Christmas Eve, your husband (a firefighter) came to your rescue in his emergency vehicle. Were there any other times his rescue training came in handy in your house?
 
My husband is very handy in general so that has definitely helped in repairing all of Miller's destruction. His rescue training has come in handy by being able to calm me down whenever I wanted to kill Miller.

If an extra-terrestrial crash landed his spaceship on your porch, what would Miller's reaction be to it?

He would probably run over, sniff it...lick it, then sit on its lap.

If you were to write Miller's autobiography, what would it be titled?

It Was Like That When I Got Here

Thanks to Buffalo Small Press, and a promise (threat?) of a return...

Special thanks to the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair for having "Mug of Woe" this weekend!  We had a great time, met some talented artists and writers, and met many new fans of Woe!

Woe editors Kyle and Jenn will be back in the Niagara region in June for the Niagara Literary Arts Festival!  They'll be teaching two classes on Saturday, June 29th -- a two-hour writing workshop Writing Humor Essays, and a four-hour writing/marketing seminar, Getting Paid to Make Editors Laugh.






Thursday, March 7, 2013

Woeful Spotlight: Karen Regan

Karen Regan's essay in All Woe Great and Small is all about man's best friend...or make that woman's best friend!
 
In your essay you talk about Sunny's not-so-fresh habit of eating female undergarments. What are some of her other "interesting" habits?
 Sunny does this crazy butt scratch thing. She sits on her butt and slides across the kitchen floor. Kind of gross but very funny.

If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

 What animal would I be? I would probably be a bird - I always wanted to fly.


If some Hollywood big wig was going to make a movie about your life, what would it be called?


Movie? hmmmm  "Fresh, Fresh Bread." That's the name of my book so obviously when it does become a movie that's what it will be called. Just a little slice of my life. Ha! Ha!
Promote yourself. Where can we find more of your work?   

Promote myself...Unfortunately but excited that this is my 1st published story - but you can find many binders full of my work hidden in the closet getting ready for print. (shhh don't tell my family.)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Woeful Spotlight: Samantha Cranston

Samantha Cranston's essay in All Woe Great and Small just goes to show that not all cats are natural hunters...especially Charlie.

So, your cat Charlie is a total wuss. What's your idea of a "brave" pet?
 
I'd have to say a brave pet is open to new experiences and accepting of new people. So basically, most dogs.


If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

 
Definitely a tiger! I just think they're gorgeous. Plus, they're solitary creatures, which means that I could become a tiger and maintain my natural introversion. Poachers are a problem, but I'd rather deal with that than any of the homework I have due this week.
 

If you had the chance to go back in time for 24 hours, where and when would you go?

This time last night, I was watching the Green Lantern and I would definitely have to go back and stop myself from doing that. Watching that movie was the thing I regret doing most this week. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Woeful Spotlight: Rachel Cann

Rachel Cann's stories in All Woe Great and Small remind us that dogs are man's best friends. Gerbils, however, are more like the annoying acquaintances you block on Facebook.  

One of your essays tells the story of how you won a court case to retain custody of your beloved dog, Boston. Tell us one of your favorite stories about Boston.

Boston's beginning was at the top of a mountain in North Conway, New Hampshire, with a breeder who called her the runt of the litter, since she was the only one left. On the 3 hour drive back to Boston, Mass, the puny pup's name became Chelsea. She was so terrified of the sidewalks, she had to be carried. Chelsea was bred to a huge  Alpha dog, which I purchased for 50 dollars, because he had had chewed everything on his owner's dresser. Precious, as he had been called by the previous owner, was so  magnificent, when I first saw him from the windows of the Florida stilt house I lived in, tears came to my eyes. This dog often tried to push me down the stairs leading to my front door, until I tamed him. Of all my dogs, Precious was the most faithful. Chelsea was determined by the vet to be unsuitable for breeding. But when he offered to dispense with the pups, I demurred. So poor Chelsea, towards the end, a big as a watermelon in the middle, had a hard time climbing those very steps Precious had sought to cause my demise. When she gave birth, "daddy" watched through my bedroom window and Chelsea gave him a snarl of anguish as poignant and readable as any human in labor might. The 13 pups were a Florida record! Boston was one. They all came with me when I moved back to Boston, but no landlord wanted dogs. Many are forced to have their dogs put down. But I couldn't do it. My heart was always bigger than my brain. We lived for a long time in my car,  where I wrote a few stories of our adventures, published in Spare Change, the newspaper for the homeless. It was a hard decision to make, but when my son offered to take one dog, Boston went to live with my 2 grandchildren. When he became 12ish and somewhat incontinent, I got him back, and my acupuncturist, Marie Cargill, gave him the same treatments she had given my other two and thanks to her, Boston and I had another year together of pure joy.  

Your other essays recounts the great personal risk you went through to deliver pet gerbils to your hospitalized son. What was his reaction when he saw them?

The gerbils were the farthest thing from my son's mind once I got him a puppy, a cat, and two Spectacled Amazonians. 

What would the title of your autobiography be, and why?

My memoir-in-progress is called Connected, and I want to inspire others to believe in what God only knows, that we are all here for a reason, and that we are all able to realize our fondest dreams. 

Promote yourself. Where else can we find more of your writing? 

RachelCann.Com is my new URL. I would appreciate some followers to build a platform.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Woeful Spotlight: Stephen Masse

Stephen Masse's story in All Woe Great and Small proves that humans are not the most dominant species, but we're still ahead of the Easter Bunny.  

Your story about Junior and his Easter Bunny ended, shall we say, unfortunately. Do you have another favorite animal story you could share?   

I do have another favorite animal story. Last year I was visiting the White Mountains and I walked into a souvenir shop that had a sign on the entry door: "Talking Dog $50.00." I was intrigued, of course, wondering what sort of growly nonsense the owner must have spent hours teaching the poor dog. So I asked, "What's up with the talking dog?" The shop keeper said, "He's right out back, you can go meet him yourself."

So I went out and saw the dog resting on the grass. I approached him and said, "Hey there." The dog lifted his head and said, "Hi there yourself, baldy. What's shaking?"

I was stunned, and looked around to see if the owner was throwing his voice. Definitely not. "So you really are a talking dog," I said. 

"Oh yes. I used to work for the State Department," he said. "I've been a spy in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia and China. I just sat in those meeting rooms and listened to everything, then afterwards I'd give my report. A few years of that, and they thought it might be time for me to find a mate, and have some puppies. Now the puppies are grown up, and I'm feeling my age. Once in awhile, I go to the airport and sniff luggage for drugs or weapons, but it's almost time to retire."

"Well, it's great to talk with you," I told him. I hurried back into the shop and said to the owner, "That is some dog you've got out there! I'm impressed -- actually, I'm amazed. Why in the world would you ever want to sell a dog like that for just fifty bucks?" 

And the owner said, "Because he's such a fucking liar." 

You are also a novelist.  If you could have lunch with any fictional character, who would it be and why

That is a question I could answer differently many times. The first fictional character that comes to mind is April McQueen in The Magic Journey, by John Nichols. April's character is drawn in this book so much like a biography that she comes to life as wild and sincere, passionate and lively as any woman I've known in real life. I am still surprised this book hasn't been made into a film. 

If an extra-terrestrial crash landed his spaceship on your porch, what are the first three questions you would ask it?  

The very first question would be, "Where's the Fed Ex package that was supposedly delivered the day after Christmas?"  The second question would be, "Do you need AAA?" And the third question would be, "This is a long way from Roswell, don't you guys have gps?" 

Promote yourself. Where else can we find more of your writing?    

Crime and suspense fans should go directly to amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com and order my novel, A Jolly Good Fellow (Good Harbor Press, 2008), which was winner of the Silver Medal in the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards, as well as Honorable Mention in the 2008 New England Book Festival for best books of the holiday season.
My latest book is a children's chapter book, The Taste of Snow (Good Harbor Press, 2012), which a few weeks ago was awarded Honorable Mention in the London Book Festival. Adults love it as much as children, and it's becoming a very popular read-aloud book (ages 8 - 14).   

Also you can find Short Circus (Good Harbor Press, 2010), a twelve-year-old boy's autobiographical sketch of a remarkable summer. Apparently grown men enjoy this book better than twelve-year-old boys, who are usually too busy playing video games to waste time reading novels.