The Ten Best Humorous Fiction Books

So you read a funny book and it felt good. Maybe even the kind of good your mother and childhood religious figures warned you against. 

And now you want more.

Next thing you know, you’re googling, “books like Good Omens,” or “top funny books,” at work one Tuesday afternoon rather than compulsively scrolling your Twitter feed as per usual.

Humorous non-fiction, like comedian memoirs or essays, is easy enough to find, and while that’s all well and good in the right context, it’s not what you’re looking for.  Continue reading

This Post on the NFL Will Piss You Off

This post will upset you. It’ll get your hackles up. You might want to punch your computer screen or unfollow me on your bullhorn social media outlet of choice.

Because I’m going to talk about pro sports.

And politics.

And raising a family.

And maybe climate change, but probably not because I find it boring and leave that to experts. I have an English degree, for God’s sake. I know my limitations.

But also, I’m not really going to talk about any of this. I’m going to talk about talking about it. Continue reading

Late-night thoughts

Ugh, I’m getting painfully close to finishing the draft of the fourth Jessica Christ book, Nu Alpha Omega. My sales from the first three in the series are starting to flatline, which is business-speak for I’ve been dragging ass on this FA REALZIES! Grammarly is trying to correct that to REALIZE, but no, Grammarly, you unfeeling slave to humans, I meant what I said and I said what I meant, and that was FA REALZIES. And now I realize how stupid that is.

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Aside

So about last night…

One question: What in the fiery flying fuck?

Waking up with my head pounding, wondering what happened the night before, feeling shame, embarrassment, trepidation, asking myself where I go from here—this used to be a situation only copious doses of alcohol could usher into my life. Granted, there was a little bit of wine involved last night and maybe that’s why I’m still feeling nauseated, but probably not. Continue reading

Friday Night Rites

I have some great news for you: it’s Friday night.

Or I guess you could be reading this on another night of the week, in which case, great news: Friday night is on the way.

If you’re from Texas (or a lot of other places, I suppose, but mostly Texas), you might still associate Friday night with the only sport God truly and oh-so-obviously blesses: football. I say that flippantly but lovingly because while high school football is blown alarmingly out of proportion in Texas, anyone who’s experienced it by being either on the field or in the stands knows that, yeah, it’s really freaking invigorating, life-affirming, and sexy as hell (the last bit being solely from the perspective of teen me). I’d almost do high school again just to better appreciate and indulge in high school football while the time was ripe.

Almost.

Do you remember being in tenth grade? (Holy shit, I sure as hell hope everyone reading this is at least in eleventh grade. I’m not looking to teach anyone new dirty words here.)

Tenth grade is such a disaster. I spent quite a bit of energy in tenth grade trying to be religious. Man, I tried. Went to youth group (those songs lodge themselves in your brain forever), tried dating people from youth group (I was too mean for it to work, apparently), and I think I accidentally got saved at some point in all that.

Spoiler alert! Organized religion never took. Then I developed stress-induced acid reflux in eleventh grade and things haven’t really slowed down since then. But the point is that tenth grade is a pivotal spot in the metamorphosis of angst. Freshmen don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground, as we so pleasantly say in Texas, and then you try to get your feet underneath you at the tender age of fifteen and sixteen and— OH MY GOD we let kids start operating motor vehicles at this age.

Sorry. Temporary freak out.

It’s literally impossible to create a believable fifteen-year-old character without writing a little angst and a lot of awkward make-out sessions. There’s just no getting around it. Being fifteen is not pretty, and I’m not even talking about the acne and apparent inability to wash in all necessary crevices. If you somehow managed to get through freshman year with any shred of innocence, you lose all that in tenth grade. The adult world starts to reveal its secrets, but you are still dumb as hell, neurologically speaking, and— I mean, really, why do we allow fifteen-year-olds behind the steering wheel of a truck?

My first week of teaching tenth-grade English, I had a group of three girls approach me and start asking me questions about sex and pregnancy. It was basically a series of “Can you get pregnant if…” questions, and I tried not to be horrified as some of them told me they’d—wait for it—never had sex ed outside of the this-is-what-a-period-is and this-is-what-a-boner-is videos and a few handouts. But all these girls were sexually active, and it was clear even then that I wouldn’t be the one to talk them out of it, no matter how many times I said, “But tenth-grade boys are scientifically proven to be the grossest.” So, not yet familiar with what level of talk about sex would get me fired, I opted to say, “Just assume you can always get pregnant without protection.” And a year later, one of them did. Wah-wah.

Yes, I just wah-wah-ed teen pregnancy. Not sure what else there is to do about it if we’re too squeamish to actually teach them how to prevent it (“But that’s the place of the parents, not the school!” cries those who doesn’t understand generational poverty and the cycle of teen pregnancy).

Anyway, this goes to say that tenth grade is like an estuary where the freshwater of childhood meets the saltwater of adulthood but doesn’t necessarily mix. So it seemed like a wonderful age to make Jessica McCloud when her half-brother insists she starts discovering her miracles. It’s just miracles. No big deal, right? Welcome to adulthood, Jessica! Hope you’ve stretched out your rotator cuffs because here’s the weight of the world! But we all know you don’t have to be God’s only child to feel that way when you’re fifteen going on sixteen.

Is Jessica’s life a little chaotic in The Beginning? Yeah. But that’s all childhood. And It Was Good is where reality starts to rear its ugly head, and you know what teens do best when shit starts to get real? Resist it. Ignore it. Rebel. Because life is setting down some new ground rules, and they’re not mega fun ones. I still resent life for it, to be honest.

I don’t want to give away too much, though. If you want to see how the tender age of fifteen treats Jessica McCloud, it’s all there in And It Was Good.

Click here to buy And It Was Good on Amazon.

What was tenth grade like for you? Did you get to enjoy the glow of the Friday night lights? Let’s reminisce together in the comments!

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The Waffling, Ep. 4

PALEO EDITION!

Just another complete mess. The waffles were bad, the jokes are bad, my hair looks stupid, and at one point I burp on camera. If you were expecting anything more, you need to rewatch the first three episodes and get with the program.

 

Also, stop putting it off. Just join The Collective already.

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The Waffling, Ep. 3

Not every waffle can be a winner. Just like not every episode of The Waffling can be the high-quality entertainment you’ve come to expect from a gluten-intolerant jerk, alcohol, and iMovie.

I know, I’ve set the bar too high.

P.S. You’re already on my blog that I mentioned. Want to see what I wrote right after I finished both The Waffling and my fourth beer? Click here.

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The Waffling, Ep. 1

Okay. Backstory.

I posted this on my Facebook:

Do you love breakfast foods and indecisiveness? Then you’re going to love my new podcast, Waffling.

IT WAS A JOKE, PEOPLE! But no. Noooooo. You all had to encourage me. So this is now a thing. You did this to yourself, but I apologize in advance anyway.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the eBook

10271233_10102020280259257_2721362847011194008_oAs an indie author, there’s really nothing more magical than holding a hard copy of my book in my hand for the first time.

I imagine holding your child in your arms for the first time might feel similarly invigorating, but books don’t ruin your social life for eighteen years and then bankrupt you because they want to attend NYU (or literally any four-year university at this point) but didn’t bother applying for scholarships.

Anyway, books are awesome. There’s a tactile experience that you get from reading a book that is unique and gratifying. Nothing like being able to feel the gradual shift in weight from your right hand to your left over a period of hours as you burn through one page after another. And then there’s the smell. Mmm…

But here’s the thing. Continue reading

I Don’t Know How to Woman

There’s something that became clear to me around puberty, and it really hasn’t changed: I don’t feel like a woman. To clarify, I didn’t feel like a woman before puberty and then suddenly stop feeling like a woman; I’ve never felt particularly woman-y.

I should probably clarify that I don’t feel like a man, either. That’s especially important to note since I’m still technically a newlywed and don’t want to freak out my in-laws who might read this. Continue reading

The 7 Habits of Slightly Effective People

In our overachieving society, the words “mediocre” and “average” have a negative connotation, when in reality, they should be neutral. We can’t all be go-getters, and by definition, we can’t all be above average. Whether from sheer laziness, hormonal imbalance, or early childhood cranial trauma, some of us will just never be Highly Effective People. But we can all be slightly effective, and that can be good enough.

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Stop Going Into the Basement!

I was a big fan of Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid. They allowed me to control some of the action, and rather than watching the protagonist slip into some stupid drama that could have easily been solved through better communication or not going into the basement, I got to choose where the story went. I think the intention was to empower kids, but it also could have been to sell a lot of books. The problem, though, was that sometimes this happened: Continue reading

The Best of 2014

Let’s just come out and say it: your life sucks compared to your friends’. I know you’ve suspected it for a while, and I’m here to tell you that your suspicions are correct. You know how I know? Because while you were washing your dishes and thinking about whether your day would be better served drinking coffee alone or drinking beer alone, your friends and I were at a coffee house, then at a bar, taking the best selfies of our lives and generally living it up. Continue reading

Throwing Wine is Not the Answer!

When I worked at a private academy full of kids from wealthy families, I mentioned that I didn’t have cable TV. I had to explain that it was because cable TV cost money, and I didn’t really have that. A small riot of indignation erupted, and I had to squash their plans for a benefit 5K for me, which is how problems are solved in that type of community. (Later that day, before I pulled out of the parking lot, I scooted underneath the hood of my ’96 Accord and punched the plastic cover until it went back into place before wishing I’d graciously accepted the offer of a benefit run for me so that I could have a car that was younger than at least one of my students.) Continue reading