I’m thrilled and honored to announce that Miserable Holiday Stories has won a 2021 Best Book Award in the category: Humor! MHS was also a finalist in two other BBA categories: Fiction Anthologies and Fiction Short Story.
The awards were presented by AmericanBookFest.com which states that “this year’s contest yielded over 2,000 entries from mainstream and independent publishers” including HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Macmillan Publishers, New World Library, NYU Press and Oxford University Press, among dozens of others.
About the book:
No matter what holiday you celebrate, this quirky yet bittersweet compilation will have you longing for mid-January. Featuring Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys, Miserable Holiday Stories will be sure to have you asking, “who ate all the $#!@% figgy pudding?!”
Miserable Holiday Stories (20 Festive Failures That Are Worse Than Yours)
Publisher: Racehorse (a division of Skyhorse Publishing)
Available from Amazon.com, BN.com, numerous other online retailers, and finer bookstores everywhere.
It’s a pretty well known fact that, historically, drama almost always holds up better than comedy. For example, you can still get swept up in dramatic narratives as ancient as The Odyssey. But do Aristophanes’ or Shakespeare’s “comedies” elicit even the slightest guffaws? Uh…not from me.
So, I hear you cry, are there any written works from more than 100 years ago that remain laugh out loud funny today? Well, don’t cry. Because yes, there are quite a few literary treasures that are still hysterically funny. And the good news is that I’ve done some of that research for you in my new article The best humor books from more than a century ago that remain funny today at Shepherd.com.
If you’ve never visited their site before (admittedly, the site’s in Beta, so you’re forgiven), Shepherd.com is doing a phenomenal job of creating highly curated book lists on just about any topic you can imagine – by highly opinionated authors, no less – including yours truly.
So, check out this link to find out which literary works from more than 100 years ARE still funny today! You won’t be sorry.
Happy Halloween! As a special Halloween treat, one of my favorite Gi60 pieces of all time.
Sleep Tight – a piece by Charlie Bernstein and me – from G(hosts) in 60 Seconds.
Blue Christmas, the very first story in Miserable Holiday Stories, is about a young man that has to provide an entertainer at the last minute for his temple’s big holiday party – and the only one he can find is a temperamental Elvis impersonator. In the clip below I read the story in it’s entirety, and do a terrible terrible Elvis impression. I apologize in advance. Big thanks to the Springfield Free Public Library for hosting the event!
A new one-act play of mine, The Negotiable Apology, directed by Tamara Alexander will be having its premiere at the Brewster Theater Company’s 2021 Playwright Festival over the weekend of September 24-26. And yes, this falls squarely into yet another Miserable Love Story.
Here’s the blurb info:
One afternoon, a man and woman attempt to reconcile their formerly romantic relationship from 20 years previous.
Seating is limited for all three shows and tickets are going fast. Here’s info
on how to get tickets.
And here’s a little teaser to whet your appetite:
So, why are you calling, Danny?
Well, that’s the thing, see – you know – I guess – you get to a point in a person’s life, right – where – you start thinking about things – reflecting over – over choices you made, right? And –
You’re getting divorced?
No! No. Not at all. Not at all. That’s the farthest thing from –
Look, Danny – I have to pick my kids up in, like, fifteen minutes. And this is feeling a little – I don’t know – weird. Whatever it is – why don’t you just message me on Facebook or –
See – see, here’s the thing, Margot.
I wanted to apologize.
Okay. Well. I mean – you probably don’t even remember this, but –
Try me. I have an awesome memory.
Extremely excited to announce that Miserable Holiday Stories has been recognized as a Distinguished Favorite in the Humor category in the 2021 Independent Press Awards!
In 2021, the Independent Press Award had entries worldwide. The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award winners and distinguished favorites are based on overall excellence.
About the book: “Featuring Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys, Miserable Holiday Stories will be sure to have you asking, who ate all the $#!@# figgy pudding?!”
Miserable Holiday Stories is published by Racehorse, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. For more information on the book, please click here.
For more information on the Independent Press Awards, please click here.
From the archives: Rejected Ben & Jerry’s Passover Flavors. You can read the whole article at McSweeney’s.
Here’s a preview:
Why is this ice cream different from all other ice creams?
Bread O’ Affliction! – Sure, we wanted to use real bread, but who has the time?!
Gephilte Phish! – Random, minced fish pieces in a fabulous jellied froth!
Let My People Go Eat Ice Cream! – From Yahweh’s mouth to your freezer! Right now!
Karpas-tacular! – It really is!
Coupons available Next Year in Jerusalem!
My article “Writing the Gift Story” is up at Review Tales. Here’s a bit of it:
“No one likes staring at a blank page. Fortunately, many writers cultivate all sorts of prompts and tools to conquer that authorial vacuum as much as possible – whether it be leaving the previous day’s writing off on a cliffhanger – or maintaining an endless List of Ideas forever begging to be written.
As a perpetual short story writer, I’ve developed a number of similar tools. But here’s one of my favorites that’s particularly useful at this time of year – The Gift Story.”
You can read the full article here.
I mentioned, yesterday, the great efforts being done by the Curtains on Fire workshop. One of the most interesting pieces is this new comic by Adam Wachtel illustrating a short play I wrote for the workshop, entitled, “My History with Heiwa Sushi.”
Adam is an up-and-coming young illustrator who has been breaking tremendous ground with his artwork. You’ll be hearing his name frequently in the years to come and you can see some other recent pieces at his Instagram page. The entire sushi comic is included below. And at the very bottom, is a video showing how Adam produced this work.
Continue reading “my history with heiwa sushi”