Category Archives: Writing

I SOLD MY BOOK!

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I’m very excited to announce that I sold my book to Tidal Press and it will be traditionally published in May/June of 2017!!!!

The book is a collection of comic essays, a few you might have read here plus many brand new ones never before seen!

Between the essays are updates on my life that take place over two summers: the first, when I’m stuck smack in the middle of my mother/daughter sandwich and wanting to please everyone yet satisfying no one, and the second, three years later when I’m trying to savor every last freaking minute before my eldest leaves for college and consequently rips my beating heart from my chest and stomps on it with her expensive Doc Marten boots (metaphorically speaking of course).

The title – well that’s still up for debate. All ideas are welcome! Probably the title should have something to do with summer. Something catchy and funny that makes people want to buy a copy instantly.  That’s all I require.

If you’d like to leave your email address in the comments, I’ll be sure to send you a note when the book is released.

Thanks for everyone’s encouragement over the years. So many of you have been so kind and supportive. I truly appreciate it.

More details and updates to come!

Kristen

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Breaking: New Pooh Bear Manuscript Found

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New books from deceased or aged authors are as common now as insulting comments by Donald Trump. Fresh on the heels of new releases by the late Theodor Geisel and Harper, comes rumor of another exciting literary discovery, this time from the estate of A.A. Milne, author of the beloved children’s series, Winnie-the-Pooh.

Word of a new manuscript’s existence has set off a firestorm of debate. Literary experts and others with too much time on their hands believe that Edward Bear: Despot of the Wood (its believed title) will be a stand-alone addition to Milne’s collection, much like the new Dr. Seuss book, What Pet Should I Get. Others claim it will be more akin to Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman, likely a rough draft of a later, more impressive work.

In leaked excerpts cited below, the Edward Bear character surprisingly refers to himself simply as “The Pooh,” and comes across as a tad rough around the edges. Experts now speculate that Milne’s original intension was for these stories to scare the bejesus out of his only child; encouraging him to stay the hell away from the dangerous woods.

 

Excerpt from Chapter II: 

IN WHICH Pooh Takes Protection Honey From Rabbit

 

“ . . . Rum-tum-tum-tiddle-um. Here I am at Rabbit’s house. Is anybody at home?”

“No!” said Rabbit.

“Bother. There must be somebody here,” said The Pooh, who wasn’t one to take “No” lightly. The Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o’clock so he forced his way through the hole and got in.

Rabbit was duly terrified of the tyrannical Pooh because of his weekly demands for honey in exchange for not harming Rabbit’s many relations. So he shook nervously as he set out plates and mugs for The Pooh.

“Honey or condensed milk?” Rabbit asked.

The Pooh appeared to be having a thoughtful moment, then took a deep breath and bellowed, “Honey! Always honey. Why do you waste my time? Honey!”

After taking his fill of honey and exacting a promise of a delivery of additional pots later in the week, Pooh began his climb back out of the hole. He pulled with his front paws and pushed with his back. Soon The Pooh became stuck.

Rabbit ran to the outside of the hole to help pull The Pooh, but it was no use. About this time, The Pooh’s loyal henchman Piglet arrived. The Pooh launched into an angry tirade about the poor construction of Rabbit’s hole, made unseemly character aspersions about Rabbit’s relations, then ordered his man Piglet to fetch the girly-haired neighbor lad, Christopher Robin, straight away.

“But P-p-pooh, what if he won’t come?” Piglet asked.

“P-p-Piglet,” The Pooh mocked, “I may be a bear of very little brain, but my claws can shred you into bits of breakfast bacon, and will, if you dare question me again. Now, go get that twit of a boy. And bring me some trousers as well. Why didn’t anyone tell me I wasn’t wearing any bloody trousers?”

 

Excerpt from Chapter IV:

IN WHICH Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Assaults Him With Nails
 

. . . it was on particularly sunny day that Eeyore happened by Pooh Corner where Piglet and The Pooh were resting while their captive human boy Christopher Robin cooled them with a fan made of twigs.

“Good morning Eeyore,” Christopher Robin said.

“That pretty mouth of yours is meant for one thing and it’s not talking,” The Pooh reprimanded.

“If it is a good morning,” Eeyore said. “Which I doubt,” said he.

“W-w-what’s the matter, Eeyore?,” asked Piglet.

“It’s pathetic, “ said Eeyore. “One day soon an evil Fascist will take over Germany, invade Poland, war will be declared and a blitzkrieg of bombs will probably rain down upon us. Nobody cares. Pathetic. That’s what it is”

“Oh Eeyore, you’re always so gloomy.” The Pooh said, and laughed at his strange friend with the ridiculous imagination.

“Pooh?”

“Yes, Eeyore.”

“Would you mind returning my bell rope knocker so that I may have a tail once again?” Eeyore asked.

“Certainly,” The Pooh said. Then The Pooh removed the rope knocker from his door and nailed it into the backside of his dear friend Eeyore.

Eeyore screamed in agony.

“Oh, would you prefer it over here instead?” Pooh asked as he hammered the tail into Eeyore’s chest. “Or over here?” Pooh asked as he hammered the tail once again into Eeyore’s bum.

Eeyore screamed repeatedly and bucked his hind legs and ran into the wood, and The Pooh and Piglet enjoyed a hearty laugh at their good friend’s misfortune.

Excerpt from Chapter IX

IN WHICH The Pooh’s Stash is Entirely Surrounded by Water
 

Never had the 100-Acre Wood seen so much rain. While Piglet was anxious to be such a small thing entirely surrounded by water, The Pooh was focused on the safety of his numerous honey pots.

The Pooh commanded all the animals of the forest to carry his pots to high ground and maintain a twenty-four hour watch until the crisis had passed. It was on this longest of longest of nights that Owl began telling a lengthy nonsensical tale about an aunt giving birth to a seagull’s egg by mistake.

The Pooh suddenly interrupted, “Piglet, my dear friend. Do you happen to have a slingshot? Perhaps the one we took from that boy with the funny smock and unfortunate hair?”

Piglet did indeed have the slingshot and handed it to The Pooh. By this time Owl was fully engaged in the telling of his never-ending story. So The Pooh took aim with his slingshot and fired. The unsuspecting bird let out a blood-curling screech and fell to his death below.

“But The P-p-pooh,” Piglet said, “who will watch the honey pots now? Owl was our best nighttime sentry.”

“Oh, Bother,” Pooh sighed.

 

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Martinis & Motherhood – Available today!!

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The book I’m in is available on Amazon today!

From the Press Release:

June, 16 2015 – Mom’s Night Out is set to have a new theme starting this June when Tipsy Squirrel Press releases its first anthology, Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!

The book pairs up short and relatable stories of motherhood with customized martini recipes inspired by the tales themselves. Continue reading

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HuffPo Comedy and Advanced Reader Copies of Martinis & Motherhood

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My Contractor Satire piece is in the Huffington Post Comedy section – Likes and comments on HuffPo are welcome!

Here’s a link  “A Letter to My Contractor (Please, Please Call Me Back)”

 

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And, advanced reader copies are now available for the upcoming anthology “Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe  & WTF,” where I’ll be featured in the “WOE” section.  Yes, woe is me.

The publisher has allowed me (3) three copies so if anyone wishes to receive and write a review on Amazon, please contact me at kbrakeman@earthlink.net, or leave a comment below.

Thanks!!

 

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TSL Thursday – Beyond Your Blog

As promised, another edition of “Throw Some Love Thursday!”

Today I’d like to introduce you to Beyond Your Blog.  It’s run by Susan Maccarelli.

Susan has posted a ton of links for places to submit your writing – from unpaid guest posts on blogs to paid columns in published books. For anyone trying to boost their writer profile there is lots of helpful advice here.

Enjoy!  And feel free to Throw some Thursday love on your blog.

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Throw Some Love Thursday

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I’m happy to introduce a new feature to my blog, “Throw Some Love Thursday” where I’ll feature a blog I like and/or want to introduce to ya’ll.  I’ll do it every once in awhile – on a Thursday.  Feel free to steal the idea.  I figure, we’re all trying to be heard!

First up is Hairpin Turns Ahead, run by Liesl Testwuide who I was introduced to in last year’s Blogger Idol competition. Liesl had a post go viral last year. Very funny stuff.  Check out Liesl and follow and like and do all that stuff we needy writers appreciate.

Thanks!

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Book Review – No Land’s Man by Aasif Mandvi

I’ve signed on to do book reviews for the New York Journal of Books.  Here is my first!  It’s on Aasif Mandvi’s essay collection, No Land’s Man

Perhaps you know Aasif Mandvi from The Daily Show.  I didn’t, however. Because I rarely watch The Daily Show.  I know I shouldn’t admit that.  It make me unhip.  I always intend to watch it, but then I forget.  Anyway, I had never heard of this guy before.  Which is probably good because that made me unbiased, right?

Let me know what you think.  By the way, writing in the third person is hard, it turns out.

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http://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/no-lands-man

No Land’s Man by Aasif Mandvi

If you are looking for behind-the-scenes dish about The Daily Show, you won’t find it in Aasif Mandvi’s collection of essays, No Land’s Man. But what you’ll find instead are fascinating and funny tales about Mandvi’s childhood, South Asian family, and acting career—all told with rich description and an engaging, self-deprecating humor.

Mandvi, the “Senior Muslim Correspondent” for The Daily Show, begins his story with the realization that even though he had just completed a one-man show, “Sakina’s Restaurant,” about being an immigrant in America, the experience left him with a greater desire for more self-exploration.
Continue reading

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I’ve Been Translated!

Hey, I’m big in Germany !

My 10 Parenting Tips The Experts Won’t Tell You column was on Huffington Post Parents and then got translated for the German version of Huffington Post.  For some reason I find this thrilling!

Check it out here

And the English version here

Also – I wrote a piece for LitFactor  – about trying to get published.  It’s called “Writers Write and Other Lies”  Check it out here!

After this post, I promise not to jaw on about writing anymore and actually do some.

 

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Writers’ Roundtable

I was asked to participate in a Q and A about writing by the good people at WordPress.

Check it out here!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/freelance-writing/

Thanks!

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Why I Write For Free

Featured in the Huffington Post Media Section Dec 9, 2013

Back in October, essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider wrote an entertaining opinion piece for the New York Times, Slaves of the Internet, Unite!  that admonished young writers to do the rest of us a favor and not write for free.

Since I’ve spent years in the trenches writing comic and personal essays (sometimes paid, sometimes not), his words really hit home. In fact, I shared the essay with many of my colleagues and friends.

Of course writers should be paid for their work. Why, as he pointed out, do people think nothing of asking a writer to work for free yet would never dream of doing the same to their surgeon, their gardener, or even their dog walker?

Though Kreider’s plea stoked the fires of my inner Norma Rae, after a few weeks of enthusiasm, reality set in. Sure it would be great if we could pick a day where each town crier would climb to the top of a mountain and yell, “Henceforth, no more free words!” But in the real world where your number of blog followers is more important than the content or quality of your writing, it’s just not going to work.

Last year, when I first tried to sell my collection of essays, a respected literary agent told me Continue reading

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