I’m incredibly thrilled and honored to announce that Miserable Adventure Stories has won the Best Indie Book Award for 2018 in the Novella/Short Story Collection category!
The Best Indie Book Award™ is an annual international literary award contest recognizing independent authors in twelve major genres. Entries are limited to independently (indie) published books, including those from small presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors. #BestIndieBookAward
Featuring stories from New Pop Lit, The Big Jewel, Frontier Tales, Near to the Knuckle, Headstuff, and other literary journals with equally fancy names, Miserable Adventure Stories is a collection of tales calculated to take you to Victorian London, the Old West, alien worlds, Hamlet’s Denmark and other fantastic places that you would absolutely never want to visit!
Miserable Adventure Stories is available in paperback and as an e-book at Amazon.com and fine bookstores everywhere!
For more information on BIBA and the other 2018 award winners, click here.
Yes, the d.w. eye Reunion is actually happening! It’s going to be Friday, June 23, 2017 at the 20th Century Theater in Cincinnati. For anyone who’s read the book – or this blog – this will essentially be Plrknib coming to life before your very eyes (except everyone is significantly older). Comedians appearing in the book who are scheduled to perform include Drew Hastings, Chili Challis, Rico Bruce Wade, Cap & Johnny, and myself. (And this will be the first stand-up I’ve performed in Cinti in over 30 years! Oy.) We’re joined by a ton of great comics who performed at the eye shortly after the period that’s covered in the book, including Michael Flannery, Steve Caminiti, Jim Gilliece, and Mark Kline. And we expect to be joined by even more eye alumni. (If you’re reading this and you ever performed at the eye, please contact me or Michael Flannery.) Even Don Merriss, the original owner of the eye, will be on hand!
Flannery and I have been assembling this event for a couple months now. If you’re in the area – this is going to be much more than a “night at a comedy club.” We’re turning this into an event with a ton of surprises in store.
Also the night before the show, Thursday 6/22, we’ll be doing a signing of Plrknib at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion.
For more info, please visit our new d.w. eye site. You can also let us know you’re coming by signing up at our Facebook event page.
More updates as we get them!
Lots of exciting Plrknib news this week – and in the weeks to come! An excerpt from the book – nicely titled “Funny Guy” – is featured in the current “After Dark” issue of Cincinnati Magazine. It’s only available in the print edition of the magazine – which you can order here. Here’s a snippet from the piece, below.
If you’re in Cincinnati and looking to pick up a copy of Plrknib (along with the new Cincinnati Magazine) in an actual bookstore, one place you can certainly find it is at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion. A friend sent in the lovely picture below. How appropriate to be sandwiched between Savages and Madness! (I was told by someone else that it was a store pick in JBB, and had one of those “why you should check this out” notes above it. How nice.)
And we have some VERY BIG announcements coming soon, especially again, for folks in the Cincinnati/Ohio area.
Well, it’s been an interesting month-and-a-half to say the least! Support for Plrknib has been extremely positive. Thanks so much to all of you who have been buying copies and leaving reviews. It is much appreciated!
Plrknib has gotten some very lovely initial reviews at both Amazon and Goodreads. We’ve also been doing Goodreads Giveaways. The latest one is for five signed copies of the paperback. More information is here.
Plrknib now has two different Facebook pages. One for the book itself here. And this one dedicated to d.w. eye, the club that’s referenced throughout the book. Please like both pages to get updates on the book and the comics!
We’ve added a Press Section, where you can see some of the recent coverage that the book has been getting. You can expect to see more in the coming weeks.
Plrknib has also been featured on Publisher’s Weekly’s indie site Booklife for the past week.
Also, since the book is about stand-up, some folks have asked if I’m still performing – and if so, where. Yes, there are a bunch of dates coming up in 2017, and we’ll be posting those here. And chances are good that we’ll be giving away signed copies of the book at some of these performances…
I’m extremely excited to announce that Plrknib is now available at Amazon.
Plrknib – which has been serialized right here over the past year is about my experience doing stand-up comedy during my senior year of high school in 1980. The published version includes several chapters not featured on the website, including the extremely long – 30 Years Later section – and Bits & Pieces – which features an approximate version of my act 35 years ago. (Except it’s much funnier and better written.)
Early reviews have been great. Including:
“Hysterical, edge-of-your-seat drama.”
“The Power of Jokes permeates this book…in a way rarely seen in fiction.”
“I felt as though I was on stage with him 30 years ago.”
Plrknib retails for $1.99 (ebook) and $6.99 (paperback).
And! – for this week only – if you’d like a free review copy, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set you up!
The show, of course, was a complete disaster. Worse than anything I could have imagined. And not just because – with one exception – every joke I told died; every word that issued from my mouth bleated like some garbled alien language that no one could comprehend.
And not just because I was mentally and physically exhausted, and experiencing the cataclysmic self-doubt of a death row prisoner who’s chance for a reprieve had long since slipped irrefutably away.
It wasn’t simply a disaster because of the shame – the palpable shame – one feels as they watch themselves fumbling the game-winning touchdown right at the buzzer; the shame that I was to the audience, the club, the other comics, Don, my family, Cincinnati, God, myself, and, most of all, Roger. How much damage was I doing to him? Screwing up one of his vaunted Saturday nights and all the Cincinnati-Magazine-driven goodwill? Would he ever let me perform again?
For all those reasons, it was a miserable show. But it was an unimpeachable disaster because it was slow. Continue reading
You can yell at your mom and throw your dad against a tree, but there are certain things y’just can’t say to your grandparents. “Hey Gramma – pound salt up your ass!” Y’can’t say that.
One time, my father, thinking that my grandmother Alice should’ve minded her business about something, said:
Oh, just tell her to pound salt up her ass
In late November on a Sunday morning my mother burned something she was cooking and the smoke alarm went off.
And the joke was there – right there – in the air like a piece of low-hanging, very ripe fruit. And I ran – ran up to my room and shut the door and started writing in my notebook:
Her cooking. Her cooking is so bad – in the kitchen – in our kitchen we haven’t got a timer –
So she uses the smoke alarm.
And there it was: a joke. A real joke! It felt like a joke. Smelled like a joke. Looked like a joke. A kid’s joke. A parents joke. It was the first joke I’d written that felt finished, self-contained, not an idea or a fragment or some warmed-over Six Pistol bit – something only high school boys would think was funny. It felt like a joke that a real comedy writer would write. A real stand-up would tell. It almost felt like I’d bought the thing. And all because my mother had burned something in the kitchen.
My opening bit Sunday night:
Roger Navy 4-0-9er. You sit facing a TV screen – but it is unlike any TV screen you’ve seen before. For one thing there are no commercials and a sweeping white band circles the screen every five seconds. Bogie’s bearing 5-4-9 50 miles! Suddenly, you realize it’s not just a simulation – you’re under actual enemy attack!
I flailed around the stage, evoking young cadets smoking joints and then suddenly getting blown apart by bombs and heavy artillery. I made shooting and exploding sound effects.
The Navy. It’s not just a job – it’s a life or death struggle for survival.
Hidden on the corner of West Clifton and Calhoun – under a giant, black and white sign in the shape of a monocle – was a nondescript, little hole-in-the-wall: d.w. eye.
Small on the outside, small on the inside, with two rooms separated by a bar so you could see from one room to the other without getting up and spilling your drink. The main room was decorated with light green wallpaper offset by muddy brown palm trees. And in the middle of the main room was a very small stage.