“Well, humor is the great thing, the saving thing, after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” — Mark Twain
Praise for The Comic Toolbox by John Vorhaus:
Although The Comic Toolbox was published in 1994, it is just as relevant today as it was then. John Vorhaus’s advice is practical and sensible, and it isn’t just for humor writers or beginning writers: anyone interested in crafting a work of fiction can learn from it. I just read it the other day for the first time, and I’m glad to recommend it.
June, 2015: This Just In:
Had the privilege of attending another great series of writers conferences: the February Bay to Ocean Writers Conference (organized by the Eastern Shore Writers Association) in Wye Mills, and the March Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (organized by our regional SCBWI chapter) in Buckeystown. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced writer, conferences like these give you the opportunity to learn more and meet some fascinating people. Check them out!
The Maryland State Arts Council is now accepting submissions of manuscripts and artwork for their annual Individual Artists Awards. For more information on how and what to submit, take a look at their website at http://msac.org.
Ever wonder what it takes to be a beekeeper? David (with a bit of help from yours truly) has just shot a video of one of our friends as he harvests his first honey crop. You can see it at https://vimeo.com/130882345. Learn how you can be a beekeeper and help the environment at the same time!
Book Reviews for Children’s Literature.
Current Book Projects
Emails from Dogs:
First, there was a dog. Then there were many dogs—all shapes, sizes, colors, and breeds. But they all had the same mission: to cheer up their young friend Rory, whose mother had died. There was a problem, however. The dogs lived in Maryland. Rory lived in New Jersey. How were they going to talk to each other? For photographs of the actual dogs who star in this two-book series, see the
Emails from Dogs section.
Charmed City: Tales of Baltimore and Beyond:
Baltimore—a city or a state of mind? In this collection of short fiction, diverse characters with their roots in Baltimore find themselves in strange and sometimes dangerous situations. From the Middle East to Asia, and from the 1800s to the distant future, the protagonists must use their intelligence, determination, and wit to survive some truly out-of-this world experiences. But why should anyone be surprised? Welcome to Baltimore, Hon!
Thumper, or, Life on the Farm:
A revolution is underway and a way of life is disappearing. Growing up on a small tobacco farm in Maryland in the 1960s, a boy faces challenges from his family and society. In the midst of this turmoil, a dog named Thumper barges into his life: an animal with the face of a hound, the legs of a dachshund, and a tail that can’t stop wagging.
The Elephant and the Bird Feeder:
Should I trust my enemy? Befriend a stranger? Believe the impossible? Three youngsters living in northeast Thailand—an elephant, a parrot, and a boy—must find answers to these questions. Their responses could determine their survival.
Previously Published Fiction
“The Ferret,” a political and military thriller set during the early days of the Vietnam War, has been published in the winter 2014 edition of “The MacGuffin,” a literary print magazine published by Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. To order your copy, or to subscribe to the magazine, please go to:
and click on the box that says, “Start Reading The MacGuffin, Order Now!”
If you are ordering only the current edition, make sure that you specify “Winter Edition, Vol. XXX, No. 2,” on the order blank.
“Baltimore Billy,” a Western about three individuals who find more trouble than they bargained for in Missouri in the 1800’s, published by “The Western Online,” July, 2013 edition.
“Ring Down,” a story about technology, politics, and intrigue in the year 2024, published in “Larks Fiction Magazine,” August 13, 2012 edition.
“One for Our Side,” a short story about Yemen prior to the Gulf War, published by “The North Atlantic Review,” Issue 22, 2011.
“The Starting Gate,” a short story about horse-racing that is out of this world, published by the on-line magazine, “Residential Aliens,” 2010.
“Oil to the Chief,” a flash-fiction story about a futuristic Washington, published by the on-line magazine, “Golden Visions,” 2007.
Previously Published Non-Fiction
“There’s No Place Like Dome,” a humorous look at building a home astronomical observatory, published by “Sky and Telescope” magazine, November, 2008.
Previously Published Photography
Photograph accompanying the article “In a Galaxy Far, Far Away,” by Leslie Ayers, published by “MacLife Magazine,” February, 2009.
Photograph accompanying the article, “Tidbits that are Good to Know,” by Mort Butler, published by “CapMac Offline, the Monthly Newsletter of Capitol Macintosh, Austin, Texas,” October, 2008.
Special Issues Reporter (Environmental), 2011—2014, League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County
Publicist, 2011-2014, League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County
Newsletter Editor, 2008—2009, League of Women Voters of Anne Arundel County