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We want YOU…as a punch recruit

It’s been a, ahem, full few weeks promoting TIWTPITF. And we’re far from done! In Seattle, we’ve hosted two amazing Punch Parties with loads of talented people showing up to read their own rants and play a saucy game of “Punch in the Face or Make Out With.” Last night, as part of Seattle’s Lit Crawl, I was on a Funny Ladies panel reading a Seattle-specific Punch in the Face rant. Needless to say, it was high-larious (as were all of the other talented women on the panel).

But wait, there’s more!

I’m now in Southern California for a weekend of punch-drunk love. Bring a rant to tomorrow’s Punch Party at Vidiots Annex or Sunday’s Punch Party at The York in Highland Park. Things get under way at both venues at 6pm. Bring a friend, bring a diatribe, bring yourself! If you’re interested in coming out and punching something, here’s the deal:

  • I’ll introduce you briefly (let me know if there’s anything I should mention; I’m all for promoting your stuff too!)
  • You’ll read your own PITF (loudly, with feeling and hopefully with wild gesticulations)
  • Your PITF should be a couple of paragraphs or about 200 words, so we can make sure everyone who wants to share has time (if you really need to get something off your chest and take 10 minutes, so be it; I won’t bring out the hook)
  • I don’t need to see your PITF in advance
  • It will be fun!

And if you’re in Seattle or Portland, never fear. Punch Parties are coming your way on October 26 (Queen Anne Books in Seattle) and November 9 (Powells at Cedar Hills Crossing, Beaverton).

With the holidays breathing down our necks, now is the time to ease the pain by picking up signed copies of TIWTPITF for your stocking stuffers, hostess gifts and Secret Santa presents. It really does have something for everyone.

Check out all my upcoming events here.

(photos: My publisher Colleen Dunn Bates and I checking out the book at the Pasadena Urban Outfitters)

Punch Party: Secret Garden Books

The Punch Party train pulled into Secret Garden Books last Friday and a great time was had by all. Who knew punching could be so much fun?

Me.

Yep, just as the blog struck a chord when I started it, so too has the book found its audience. I read a few of  my favorite posts from the book and then invited friends to share their own prepared or impromptu rants. Michaela talked about Seattle’s perpetual “let’s get together”, Janice bitched out the mood lighting in restaurant bathrooms, Kerry punched the whole “body after baby” tabloid stories (“that asshole Giselle” is still making me giggle), and Kathy went off on the invasive insects in Africa who raid her panty drawer. See, the things to punch in the face are as deep and wide as ever.

We then picked three contestants to play a fun round of “Punch in the Face or Make Out With,” with Laurel taking home the prize.

It really was a magical evening and because I like pushing my luck, I’m doing it again and again. You can join the Punch Party this Thursday night at 7pm at U Bookstore and on Oct. 26 at 6:30 at Queen Anne Books. I hope to see you there!

Meet Yeardley Smith, shop for shoes, and get a copy of TIWTPITF

If you know me, you know I like to shop, usually for shoes. Join me this Saturday, Oct 6, at J Gilbert Footwear in Belltown (2025 First Avenue, Seattle 98121), from 12-4pm to meet actress and designer Yeardley Smith, shop her new fall collection of Marchez Vous AND get a free signed copy of Things I Want to Punch in the Face (the first 50 people will get a book with a purchase of $200). This is one of J.Gilbert Footwear’s infamous signature shopping events. Get 15% off the entire fall collection, a chance to meet and get an autograph with Yeardley, plus an exciting adventure for two (trust me; it’s GOOD).

(photo: marchezvous.com)

New trailer for TIWTPITF!

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!

Things I Want to Punch in the Face Haiku Deck

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.

Blogversation 2012: What have you done when some life-altering event has happened to you?

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.

Today’s question comes from Kay Hoffman Goluska, who blogs at Pen on Pointe.  She’s @PenOnPointe on Twitter.

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.


Join the Punch Party

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).

Presales bode well for Punch in the Face

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.

Blogversation 2012: What do you do to take care of your health?

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.

(photo: iamgratefulhowareyou.wordpress.com)