Friday, June 25, 2010

Simple Gifts contributor kudos: Shanon Lyon

It takes a crafty village to make a book. I wanted to give a shout-out to the lovely and ingenious Shanon Lyon, a professional writer and author herself, who showed up to my friend's birthday party with the cutest knitted wine sleeve. She told me it was made out of a sweater she accidentally shrunk. A trip to Goodwill later and I was in business. In fact, I even found the same striped Gap sweater she had used for hers! What are the odds?

What have you made out of stuff lying around the house?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Come visit the Facebook fan forum for TIWTPITF

My humor blog, Things I Want to Punch in the Face, now has a Facebook fan page. I realized that the comments section of the blog really only scratches the surface of the things you'd really like to beat down. Come visit the PITF Facebook community and join the curmudgeonly confab.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kick off your summer reading program with Simple Gifts

Simple Gifts hit the market this month and I'm already hearing great things from folks who are trying out everything from the salted caramel recipe to the toy top project (never underestimate the magic of a classic toy). If you do dig the book, I'd love it if you'd consider posting a review on amazon—they really do help.

And if you aren't in a position to purchase a book at this time (it is $14.39 on amazon, fyi), you can request it from your local library. Go to this handy website, find your local library's site, and place a request.

I used to love the summer reading program at the Sodus Township Library. I'd rip through 10 books at a time. I think Mrs. Ribecki started putting a cap on the number of books that could be checked out at a time because I was so ambitious about it. I loved the library so much that I worked in the children's department of the Benton Harbor Public Library when I was a teenager. There, I threaded filmstrips of The Lorax and The Creature from the Black Lagoon and listened to kids report back on the books they were reading for the summer program. These days, I'm not quite as competitive with my reading regimen, but I still manage to take out a pile of books from the library each time I breeze through my branch.

If you make a project from the book, shoot me a photo of you and the finished gift. I'd love to see your handiwork!

(photo of ticket garland project: Gregg Snodgrass)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Reader's Digest names me one of America's funniest bloggers!

In its June/July 2010 issue, Reader's Digest names the four funniest bloggers in America and, yep, I made the list for Things I Want to Punch in the Face! And yep, I'm geeked!

As you may know, TIWTPITF came out of my "Bad January," a suck-ass eight days I experienced last year. I like to think of myself as economical and creative, so I turned my grief and irritation into something that felt productive, cathartic, and even healing.

So I went on a rant, one that has lasted 17 months and shows no signs of slowing down.

But I'm still a nice person. Really. When I'm writing a first-person story or blog post, the "I" that I relate to you is not the real me, or rather, it's the me that I choose to share with you. Chuck Klosterman put it this way (in an essay about the Unabomber in Eating the Dinosaur): "I enjoying writing about my life, but I don't like people knowing anything about me." I don't mind people knowing things about me, but I can't stand when they assume things about me based on what I choose to write about myself. If you only read TIWTPITF, you may assume that I'm a hateful curmudgeon or a bitchy cynic. You may also think I'm funnier than a PT Cruiser full of clowns.

I am, but that's not all I am.

If you read my craft books (like the just-published Simple Gifts), you may conclude that I knock out homemade masterpieces like a machine and that I'm sweet as pie.

I'm currently crafted out. And many of my creations look, to put it kindly, shot in the ass.

However, I just might be the nicest person you've had the pleasure to meet.

Writing about myself has proven to be tricky. I'm a lot of things, I like a lot of things. The current wisdom would be to pick a lane and develop my brand. That would be smart, sure, but it might also make me claw my face off. I like addressing all facets of my personality and writing about my many interests. I like being nimble and able to switch gears. And I sure as hell like punching things in the face. That's a safe assumption.

Check out the Reader's Digest story and congrats to the other bloggers!

A sampling of my books