Enjoyed moderating a “Humor in Writing” panel at the recent Dahlonega Literary Festival. Was honored to be with each of the two panelists, Jacob Appel and Man Martin, for a lively audience discussion.

Jacob Appel is a man of boundless energy and intellect. He earned a bachelor’s degree but didn’t stop there. He now owns seven masters degrees, an M.D. from Columbia University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law. He is an author, bioethicist, physician, lawyer, and social critic. He has published 15 books and ten plays, and his short stories have been published in over 200 literary journals. The writing awards are too numerous to list. His latest novel, Millard Salter’s Last Day (2017) was published by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Oh yeah, in his spare time, Jacob is on the faculty of Mt. Sanai School of Medicine and is a licensed NYC sightseeing guide. His genre is literary fiction, and he skillfully uses humor in his writings, sometimes dark humor.

Man Martin twice won Georgia Author of the Year (2008 and 2012) and is now a finalist for the much-coveted Townsend Prize for Fiction for his latest novel, The Lemon Jell-O Syndrome. The winner will be announced in April, 2018. It’s very exciting for me to witness Man achieve so much success because like me, he is a humorist and his genre is literary humor. I contend that there are not many in this genre writing full length novels. Man also teaches high school English, coaches debate, writes, and cranks a daily humor cartoon called “Inkwell Forest.”

I don’t know when Jacob or Man find time to sleep!       

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Fall 2017 happenings

Fall 2017 happenings

This photo taken by wife Maureen chronicles our celebration during the Great Solar Eclipse of 2017 on August 21. Our two daughters arrived with friends for an Eclipse Party at our house in Dahlonega where we were on “the cusp of totality” with 90% blockage. The guys smoked cigars and we all enjoyed Eclipse adult beverages. From high on our balcony at the Eclipse’s apex, I played Ode to the Eclipse on my African djembe drum. We sacrificed part of a cow in the form of Maureen’s spaghetti dinner.

Autumn is always a busy time and this year is no different. I’m happy to report that I was selected as a presenter at Brenau University’s (Gainesville, Georgia) first annual Brenau LitFest on Saturday, October 14. I will conduct a workshop entitled “Humor Me This,” a title that gives me license to be funny while imparting some tips on creating more humor in your life.  

Also in October, I’ll play a part in two large festivals in these north Georgia mountains, selling and inscribing copies of Luck Be a Chicken:

·       - the 63rd annual Gold Rush Days Festival in Dahlonega on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22

·        - the 50th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival in Dawsonville, Georgia on Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29

I really enjoy these fall festivals. It borders on work to set up and be there for two long days in a row. I usually sell boatload copies of Luck Be A Chicken, but the fun is in the interaction with the people, making them laugh while describing the antics of Butterbean and Ruby Sweat. You’d be surprised at how many people come back at me with their own similar, humorous, real-life stories. I write them down to add to my cache. Oh, yes, I will steal your story!

Finally, I’m excited about starting the process of seeking a publisher for my next book, a collection of stories and essays delivering humor and satire with chops and attitude. It will not be for the faint-hearted. Napoleon Bonaparte said, “From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step,” and this new book will gleefully take a flying leap on a wide variety of topics.

To that end, I will be attending the Fall 2017 Atlanta Writers Conference sponsored by the Atlanta Writers Club, November 3-4. This will be their 17th annual Writers Conference. I will be presenting in advance a nonfiction book proposal to a New York literary agent and to a New York editor for critique.

Stay tuned. Writing a book is but half the journey; publishing and marketing the other. One day in the coming months, I hope to announce publication plans for this next book.       


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