Spring Cleaning

April 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hey all. Since it’s spring and we just just reached the one-year mark with the blog, I decided to do some much needed organizing this week.

0128_shelf01Over the past year, I’ve accumulated a couple publishing credits around the web and guest-posted at a few other blogs around Word Press, so I gathered all the links from the various posts and listed them all in one easy to find place: About Me & Where to Find More of my Work.

Past that, I’ve been hard at work on some future publishing possibilities, as well as a new longer series of posts about humor in speculative fiction, so check back in the coming month for exciting announcements and developments.

 

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Jokealong: BIRTHDAYS

April 19, 2013 § 2 Comments

Since people are continually stumbling onto The Oldest Jokes in the World in search of actual jokes, not just abstract theories about them, every other week we have a joke-along post. I’ll search through the site’s stats for a specific joke people have been searching for, comb the internet for the best existing examples, and try come up with one of my own. And then you all can add your own in the comments, so the next time someone comes searching, they won’t leave disappointed.

Since this week marks the one-year anniversary of The Oldest Jokes in the World, we have a very special Birthday Jokealong! On April 16th, 2012, I posted this blog’s first post; this jokealong is our sixtieth since, so I haven’t quite lived up to my promise of twice-weekly updates, but I have managed to say something at least every Friday. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I’d last half a year, but the experience has been more rewarding and more challenging than I thought it would be, so I’m already looking forward to the next. I’m most grateful for all the great fellow bloggers I’ve met in the past year, as well as anyone and everyone who stopped by for a quick laugh without saying, “Hi.” So without further ado, let’s get on with the celebration.

For a present this year, it seems the internet got me my easiest jokealong yet! Maybe it is due to the fact that birthdays are a time when people come together to make each other merry, or maybe I can just thank a century’s worth of discarded greeting card slogans, but there is a wealth of birthday humor out there for anyone looking. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

Q: Why are birthday’s good for you?

A: Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest!

And…

Q: What do George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Christopher Columbus all have in common?

A: They were all born on holidays.

Or…

Q: “Were any famous people born on your birthday?”

A: “No, only little babies.”

There’s also quite a few “You might be old if…”s out there, most of which are pretty tired. You might be old if you are a you might be old joke. The best one I found, anyways, comes to us from Bob Hope:

You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.

The most fun I had, though, was poking through our culture’s vast catalog of alternative birthday songs. You may or may not know that Warner Music Group owns the copyright to “Happy Birthday To You”, making $2,000,000.00 a year even though their claims to it are laughable at best. The whole situation is hilarious to me in that desperate all-you-can-do-is-laugh way, as well as a with a more triumphant David-and-Goliath glee, since as much as they’d like to, Warner can’t collect every time you sing to your grandma in the nursing home’s party room. They do, though, charge $10,000 to anyone who want to use it in TV or film, so there’s a humorous tradition of cheap imitations detailed in the video below:

There’s a push out there to get a new song that is free to everyone just for being born. Creative Commons and the Free Music Archive have sponsored a contest, and you can listen to the winners here. My favorite, though, is Jack Black’s attempt at writing the next birthday song on Saturday Night Live a few years ago.

As a result, for my contribution to the jokealong, I tried writing a new birthday song, too:

CHORUS:

We hope your birthday is your worst day.

We hope your birthday is your worst day.

May the next year be all up-hill from here.

We hope your birthday is your worst day!

VERSE ONE:

We are certainly not trying to say

We hope your celebration saw sorrow.

For the next 365 days

we want to set a high bar, though.

Which is to say,if you had a cake today,

we hope you have two tomorrow.

VERSE TWO:

When we next feel the urge to smother

You in our loving good cheer,

We know not to wait for another

Anniversary of your birth to come near:

You deserve a check from your grandmother

On every single day of the year!

If someone wants to set that to music, I’ll share the copyright with you and we’ll make millions. And if you’ve got any more good birthday jokes, please do share them in the comments. This post might also make a great birthday present on someone’s Facebook wall, if you want to share the good cheer that way.

Otherwise, stay tuned in the coming weeks because year two will see some exciting changes to The Oldest Jokes in the World.

Red Birds are Still Chirping Despite Snow

April 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sorry world.  I jinxed everything with all the talk of spring in my last post; apparently, I should have stayed in the library working on a longer post for you all, because it didn’t take too long for it to snow once I started playing hooky.  And now it feels like spring will never come.

The good news is that spring is still going strong at Red Bird, so we can all keep ourselves warm with good chapbooks.  As promised Shaun Rouser’s darkly comic “Family Affair” is now available for purchase in our store.  The three stories in this beautiful, hand-bound chapbook explore, with a disturbing exactitude, the convoluted obligations that bring us together as family.  Mr. Rouser has a unique, erudite voice, so please do click on the cover below to check it out in our web store.

2694900

In more big news, we’ll have this and other fiction titles available soon in ultra-affordable (though far less lovingly-physical) ebook formats at out Smashwords Store.  I’ll let you know as they become available.

8946430Lastly, I wanted to stress one more time we would love to consider your fiction manuscript for publication as a Red Bird Chapbook. Please, please, please send us your flash fiction or short story collection! Just click the little birdie on the right and he’ll take you to our submission guidelines.  And don’t forget to come back next week for our special 1-year anniversary jokealong extravaganza.

Red Birds are Chirping

April 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

Spring has finally come to Minnesota. Looking out the window of the library I write in, I can see the snow on the hills melting down into the little lake that I watched freeze over almost six months ago now—so I hope you understand why that it’s going to be a short edition of The Oldest Jokes in the World this week.

I do have some exiting news to share with you all after a big Red Bird Chapbooks editor’s meeting we had earlier this week. We’ve been having a great first quarter to 2013, with a burgeoning staff and line of great chapbooks.

I’m especially proud to announce the newest fiction manuscript we’ve accepted: Ivory Children by Joe Baumann. Joe writes striking flash fiction, and the vignettes in this collection range from fantastical and surreal to grounded and understated, but they all contain a concentrated chunk of humanity. Some of the stories included have already been published at various literary journals around the web, so I encourage you to check them out for free in advance of Ivory Children‘s release in a few months:

“Thimbles” at The Dying Goose

“Sally the Imortal” at matchbook

“Porcelian” at Crack the Spine

I also just received a copy of the final product of the first manuscript I worked on at Red Bird, Family Affair by Shaun Rouser. The chapbook is a beautiful home for Mr. Rouser’s darkly comic tales, and I’m anticipating a great swell of pride when it becomes available to the world at large. It should be available for purchase at the Red Bird store any day now, so I’ll keep y’all posted.

8946430Lastly, I wanted to stress that, apart from these two wonderful collections, we have a drought of fiction manuscripts at Red Bird right now. With increased sales and recognition for our beautiful chapbooks, the poetry editors are being inundated with more verse than they can keep up with—which is making us fiction editors lonesome. Please, please, please send us your flash fiction or short story collection because we want to publish it! Just click the little birdie on the right and he’ll take you to our submission guidelines.

Anyhow, I’m going to get the hell out of this stuffy library (the first day of spring is the only day of the year on which I will insult a library), but check back next week: it is the one-year anniversary of the blog, so we’ll have a special birthday jokealong! If you’re wondering what to get me, I like puns.

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