To know me is to know I geek out over creative ventures in any shape. So you can imagine how much fun it was to work on a video trailer for Things I Want to Punch in the Face. I collaborated with the very talented Joni Blecher to create this video, offering up a pupu platter of favorite entries to convey the flavor of the book. Actress Susan Harmon lent her outraged, snarky voiceover talents to the project, and publisher Colleen Dunn Bates and agent Joy Tutela offered their input. If you like it, please repost or pass it along! Thanks!
The talented marketing whiz Catherine Fisher Carr of Secret Sauce Creative (follow her @MamaTweeta) created this awesome Haiku Deck for the book’s publication.
Haiku Deck allows you to create cool meme-like slideshows on your iPad. Even better, when you key in your text, it will pull high-quality, Creative Commons-licensed photos for you to choose from. Rad.
Throughout this year, several bloggers will engage in a conversation here and on their blogs — asking questions of each other and responding. Others are absolutely welcome to join the conversation, as well. Learn more about the ladies of Blogversation 2012.
While I have many life-altering events under my belt—really, isn’t every moment in your life an opportunity for change?—the one that immediately springs to mind is the bad January I had back in 2009. It wasn’t just one event but four—a breakup, death of a pet, book cancellation, and surgery—that happened over an eight-day span that set me off on a different path.
I was seriously grieving, realizing that we no longer have a culture or ritual around grief. We don’t know how to talk about it. So we internalize our pain, at least I did. I felt like I was going to fucking explode. I was on edge, annoyed at every little thing. So one night, alternately crying and channel surfing, I decided to create Things I Want to Punch in the Face, a humor blog to smack down all the various and sundry things in life that chap my hide. Now, it’s a book and getting great buzz. Even as my grief subsided, I continued with the blog because it made me so darn happy. And following that bliss in an authentic voice has led to new opportunities.
On a more personal level, that bad January broke me. And it allowed me to rebuild myself in new, healthier ways. I work with an amazing leadership coach, I have an incredible support network, and I’m continuing to do work on myself. I see patterns in my behavior that I’m working to shift. For example, that unexpected breakup in 2009 made me realize I was dating the same time of guy over and over, a guy who wasn’t a good or healthy fit for me. So now, I can see that more clearly from the get-go and make different choices (i.e. RUN AWAY!). Certain events can be devastating, certainly, but after working through the initial pain, there is always an opportunity for profound, toe-curling, goosebumpy change.
And that makes me want to fucking explode…in a good way.
You are cordially invited to participate in a Punch Party. I’m setting up Punch Parties/Book Signings to promote TIWTPITF and I’d love for you to participate! Here’s how it works: I’ll read a few posts from Things I Want to Punch in the Face and then cede the floor to you. Write your own short PITF essay and read it at the event.
- Have a bad dinner at a supposedly good restaurant?
- Tired of rude or terrible drivers?
- Can’t stop griping about a recent trainwreck of a trip?
Bring it on. We’ll have an open mic forum at the events, punch and snacks, and some sort of game. It will be a hoot, I promise! And we’ll all feel better for collectively smacking down the little things in life that bug! And if you haven’t done this sort of thing before, this is your opportunity to test out your comic chops in front of a receptive audience!
Scheduled Punch Parties include:
- October 5: Secret Garden Books, Seattle, WA
- October 11: University Bookstore, Seattle, WA
- October 21: The York, Los Angeles, CA
- October 26: Queen Anne Books, Seattle, WA
Interested? Let me know via e-mail which event you’d like to attend and we can get you on the roster (and if you’re an author, your books in the store).
I’ve always said that writing my books are only half of my job. As an author, it’s also my responsibility to do everything I can to promote, market, and handsell each title for optimal sales performance. See, I love seeing my name in print (I’m as vain and proud as they come) but if the only copies are the author copies on my shelf, there’s not much point. I want to share what I’ve created with as many people as possible. That means beefing up my amazon page, reaching out to local booksellers, seeking out every media opportunity, and trying to walk that fine line of annoying and motivating my social media networks with my frequent posts.
Of course, I do this in cooperation with my publishers. Ideally, in the world of book publicity, you want to create a blitz of publicity and marketing in a two-week period when the book first hits stores. The more media hits you get, the likelier that a potential book-buyer will hear about your book in more than one place. I think there’s a belief that you have to see something in seven places before it sticks in your grey matter. Two weeks isn’t much time to make this happen so we are working now for Things I Want to Punch in the Face’s October publicity date. We’ve set August 23 as the amazon preorder date; ordering one or several copies on this date will help amazon’s algorithmic ordering system to take notice of the book. I’m also setting up book events in Seattle bookstores and beyond. We are reaching out to long-lead media for hits in publications, on radio, and online (and if you have any suggestions or contacts for media, I’m all ears!).
I think we’ve got a shot at getting this particular book into a lot of hands (that’s my cautiously optimistic way of saying we could sell a buttload of books). My publisher (Prospect Park Media) called me today to let me know that Urban Outfitters, a purveyor of hip, funny gift books, nearly doubled their initial order, sending us back to press for a second printing. And the books just hit the warehouse this week! The books haven’t even hit the market and we’re reprinting. That’s pretty darn cool. And it makes this part of my job a little easier.
Throughout this year, several bloggers will engage in a conversation, asking questions of each other and responding. Others are absolutely welcome to join the conversation, as well. Learn more about the ladies of Blogversation 2012.
Today’s question comes from Blogversation hostess Colleen: @cnewvine on Twitter: What do you do to take care of your health?
Well, I don’t run. Here’s what I do do: I listen to my esthetician.
I’m not kidding. She improved my skincare and my complexion, certainly, but she also inspired me to be a healthier person, to improve my appearance from the inside out, to address inflammation in my system. I can’t express what a huge deal this is.
See, I’ve had GI problems for twenty years. To know me is to know I can belch like Barney on The Simpsons. I’ve downed barium to figure out why I burp so much. I had an endoscopy to check out ongoing acid reflux. I’ve elevated the head of my bed, I’ve taken two Prilosec a day. The best I’ve been able to do is manage the pain and chalk up my gut issues to stress.
And then, a couple of years ago, while getting a facial, we got to talking about inflammation, diet, green powder, and alkalizing the digestive track. Suddenly, a lightbulb went on. Aha, if I clean up my system and start eating better and more mindfully, I might alleviate my problems and improve my skin.
This might be obvious to some, but it took me decades to figure it out.
So I started reading, chewing through books like The pH Miracle and Ultraprevention. I asked my GP for certain blood tests to check stuff like my magnesium levels. I started taking digestive enzymes, probiotics, and a boatload of supplements. And I made myself a green-powder smoothie every morning.
I won’t say I was cured after a week. But now, on the flip side, by following a few guidelines (see below), I’ve lost twenty pounds and get compliments nearly every day about how fantastic I look. Someone told me just today that I look very serene. I think my skin has a glow, not from the occasional facial (although that helps), but from good living and eating. I don’t diet, but I’ve changed my diet. And my body continues to thank me every day.
A few tips I’ve incorporated into my life:
- Buy unprocessed, raw, whole food whenever possible
- Add in raw foods, seeds and nuts whenever possible (chop chard or kale and add it to soup, for instance)
- Take Omega-3 fish oil and Omega-6 borage or black current seed oil supplements, as well as other supplements, digestive enzymes, and probiotics
- Try to drink a smoothie with green powder every day
- When traveling, bring fruit, raw almonds, and trail mix to snack on. Airports contain virtually no food that’s unprocessed
- Dry brush your skin vigorously before you shower; it helps to eliminate toxins
- Minimize or eliminate coffee, sugar*, soda, red meat
- If you’re going to eat ice cream or any other processed food, look for a few ingredients as possible
- Brew a pitcher of iced tea at night and try to drink it the next day (it’s a good way to stay hydrated)
- Chuck all the old salad dressings in your refrigerator door. It’s very easy to make your own
- Stir fries and fajitas are a staple, as they are quick and healthy
- Don’t count calories; focus instead on the quality and kind of food you are putting in your mouth
*When thinking of sugar, remember that any starch—potato, bread, pasta, baked good, etc.—turns into sugar (i.e. glucose) in the body. Try to keep your starch/sugar intake to a minimum at each meal. I sweeten tea with stevia.