Category Archives: Funny Things

What People Think Writers Do

There is an internet image meme going around along the lines of “What People Think _____ Do,” the “blank” being filled in by variation occupations (entrepreneurs, producers, etc).

There is a screenwriter meme that is pretty close to fiction writing, but not so close enough so as to be satisfying. And a professor one that makes me laugh–because I teach at a community college, and that one, that one resonates.

I think it’s time for a “What People Think Fiction Writers Do” poster. But since I’m a writer, and not a graphic artist, I am going to put down my thoughts in writing, and not attempt photographic images.

What I’ve started needs some revision, but you get the idea…of What People Think (Fiction) Writers Do:

What my mom thinks I do: never make money and sleep on a park bench at night

What my friends think I do: sleep in, take luxurious lunches, peruse bookstores in the afternoon, and be reliably available for coffee/lunch/dinner/drinks

What society thinks I do: come up with an idea and while impeccably coiffed with a cup of gourmet coffee, write the novel in four hours in aforementioned coiffed state and in my spare time, go to an Occupy protest or fall in love.

What “investors” i.e., editors/agents think I do: never sleep, never shower, hardly eat, never FB, typing away with bleeding fingers

What I think I do: Stare at the wall all day, end up with three words.

What I really do: stare at the wall, fight back tears, write, delete all that i write, write some more, find a sentence i like, celebrate (tweet/FB/watch TV/drink before the self doubt erodes all joy), then write some more, delete all that i write, stare at the wall some more, believe that the wall will give me answers, write some more…and spend a lot of time on twitter/FB and watching TV, and procrastinating…go back and write, delete, write some more. somehow write three words a day until i have a novel in a year/decade

Update: My gracious blog reader, Jelena, decide to share with me her rendition of “What (Fiction) Writers Do.” I love it!

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Scarlet the Wiener Dog strikes again!

Scarlet the Wiener Dog discovers the tp dispenser!

I have wiener dogs who looove to eat facial tissues and toilet paper. I am not sure where/how they cultivated this singular passion, but it’s gotten to the point where in our house we cannot leave facial tissue boxes lying around within wiener dog lunging reach. (Scarlet the Wiener Dog has figured out how to pull tissues out of the box).

Fairly recently, Scarlet the Wiener Dog discovered the phenomenon of Infinite Toilet Paper!!! INFINITE! TOILET! PAPER!!! (aka: the toilet paper roll).

It only took her 18 years to figure that one out, but we are simultaneously dismayed and amused. Mostly amused.

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? My old dog has been learning a lot of new tricks lately: the toilet paper dispenser, and staring at herself in mirrors.

This morning, I discovered a toilet paper roll on the floor, behind the toilet bowl. Huh. Weird.

I picked it up, noticing the gnawed-upon roll. Very curious.

Scarlet the Wiener Dog cracks me up. I hope she makes you laugh, too.

Found gnawed-upon roll of tp on floor. Scarlet the Wiener Dog strikes again!

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we interrupt regular programming…

My sweet potato has a vagina

….to announce that my sweet potato has a vagina.

That’s all.

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The carrots, the carrots!

Why are carrots in NYC SO BIG?!

Why? How? Why…?

Really. Why are the carrots SO BIG out here in NYC? The carrot you see above is typical of carrots in NYC–just…ginormous. It was procured at Fairway Market in Harlem–but I have seen similarly sized carrots at the Union Square Greenmarket, too.

Do they grow a different variety out here because of climate/soil? I have so many questions. So.many.questions.

But for now: NYC Carrots. #WINNING!

Also, I had the most WINNING (yes, Charlie Sheen’s “WINNING” has replaced “FTW” in our vernacular) ramen today at Ippudo. It was ramen-mazing:

Kumamoto Tonkatsu Ramen at Ippudo

I promise, this blog will get back to regularly scheduled programming soon. But it’s been a crazy week: I got the flu (some mega-germ traveled in someone’s body fluid (spit?) onto my hand, into my mouth, into my flu-shot-immunized body, braved the elements, and managed to take over the ship). This hijacking occurred during the week we were moving apartments. Any vertically-oriented minute was spent unpacking, or shlepping my body over to the new place.

Monday begins a new week: back to the novel. 🙂

And something I’ve been meaning to throw out for some time…
You should read Mat Johnson’s* amazing new novel, PYM. I just finished reading it, and did not want to put it down. The voice, the plot, the themes! If you don’t believe me, read the NY Times review, the Wall Street Journal’s review of PYM, or Salon’s book review.

And you should read Vida by Patricia Engel**, too. Pitch perfect stories that were recently optioned into/as a film. And for the record, Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times LOVED it.

*Mat is a friend and mentor/teacher of mine. Just sayin’.
**Patty is a good friend of mine–we met Mat together. Also, just sayin’, in the interest of full disclosure.

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Filed under Funny Things, Life, New York City, Reading

Why don’t New Yorkers laugh?

Sign outside of Aveda: I have a dirty mind

I’m not sure why New Yorkers don’t laugh more often. When I crack a broad grin on the subway, New Yorkers duck, thinking the next thing I’ll do is break out in song and ask for spare change. Maybe not, because even the buskers don’t smile.

Check this sign out (located in front of the Aveda Institute in Manhattan, where students cut mannequin hair in the evenings–a dozen plastic heads sitting on their tables, getting groomed). I was laughing almost hysterically next to a couple of 18 wheelers vying for space in an adjacent loading dock.

Sign: Purchase $75.00 worth of product receive a Free Trial Hand Relief!

Me: (snicker) Hahaha.

Sign: *Ask us about our Facials!!

Me: Dying of laughter.

Also, I ate a knish today.

eating a knish

And walked through snow laden Central Park…

Central Park

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My honest writer bio

please don't eat us.  we're not REALLY hot dogs.

After reading Ellen Potter’s amusing post entitled, “The Big Fat Lie of the Author Bio,” my enterprising friend Nova wrote “a more honest author bio,” and challenged other writers to do the same.

Aha! A challenge! I shall take thee up on your (thy? dammit. I suck at Old English? Middle English?) quest! Um.

My official bio, up at on my About page, reads:

My work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as ZYZZYVA, Verbsap, and Yomimono. An adjunct instructor at a local college, I received an Ardella Mills Fiction Prize from Mills College in 2005, placed as a finalist in Poets and Writers Magazine’s Writers Exchange Contest in 2007, and received an honorable mention in Glimmertrain’s Fiction Open in 2009.

I earned my undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and my MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. I am the Fiction Editor at Kartika Review and, in addition to writing short stories, I have a novel in progress.

It’s so sanitized. So professional sounding.

My more honest bio (written spontaneously, because honesty comes without premeditation) would read:

Christine works at a dining room table surrounded by piles of teaching materials and student papers that need constant grading and she writes with a needy geriatric wiener dog who smells like corn chip Fritos on her lap and another needy wiener dog with feral survival tendencies who is up to no good somewhere in the kitchen. She dotes on her husband who dotes on her and together they get through her sporadic writing self esteem troughs that sometimes attack daily and sometimes leave her alone for weeks. She should be running and exercising, but instead she is baking cookies and eating them. By herself. In front of her laptop. Trying to revise her novel. She is very pale.

What is your honest author/writer bio?

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“Ninja say WHAT?!”

oh holymoly, this is funny. Thank you to Kimchihead for the link.

Everyone needs a good laugh. It’s the funniest sh*t I’ve watched in a long time. Watch it. I’ve seen it 5 times, and I keep laughing harder. I swear, if I had seen this even just last week, I’d be in pain, laughing while holding in my cartilage torn ribs with my hand (they’re healing now).

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