Category Archives: Humor

Positive thinking

Positive thinking is taking that moment when it’s its 3:45 am, and the dog is pacing in the hall and thinking:

Whee! I have lots of time to write today

instead of thinking

Shit. Another day: short of sleep, with only a tiny fragment of time to chase the dream, and then it’s off to work–then bills–then laundry–and the evening gauntlet of activities; only to be followed winter, and growing old, and finally death.

And then I remember: donuts!

If You’re Like Me, Then You Hate John Green or How to Quit the Deadly Comparison Game

aka My Manifesto to Aspiring Writers

Confession time:

For me, reading merits hazard pay. I have to steel myself. And not because I hate reading–heck, before I started writing, I often devoured a book a day. But since I started writing, reading has turned into something else entirely.

And when I’m not busy hating him, I like to imagine his characters would hang out with my characters, when my characters weren’t being expelled.

John D. MacDonald said it best—and not as Travis McGee, but in a preface to Stephen King’s Night Shift collection. I first read it more than three decades ago, but I hear the echo to this day. It was one of those moments when a writer rose off the page, cupped a hand to my ear and leaned close enough for me to feel his breath as he whispered. It was lightning clear. A bolt, a connection, a current passed. I sat up straight, eyes wide. Because when that sort of thing happens—when you know that writer has reached you—it’s wondrous. That thing writers can do—climb off the page and grab you, tickle you, caress you…to understand you in a way that no one else ever could. That’s what it’s all about, baby.

So about Mr. MacDonald’s preface: among the many wonderful things he wrote to aspiring writers, he said, “You read everything with grinding envy or weary contempt.”

Grinding envy: check

John Green writes contemporary YA. Mildly gritty, authentic YA, and when I’m not busy hating him, I like to imagine his characters would hang out with my characters, when my characters weren’t being expelled.

John Green also writes shimmering, emotional, compelling YA, with gracious good humor and effortless aplomb. My kids have caught me laughing hysterically at one of his passages, only to find me sobbing four pages later. And it’s times like that when I think what the fuck, dude. What did you just do to me? I mean have enough trouble keeping forward momentum, what with the mom-gig and the day job. Did you have to make it so hard by making it look so easy?

John Green probably doesn’t mean to crush my spirit (maybe that’s just a perk, or why else would he keep doing it?)

And maybe it’s not John Green that sparks that ache in you—the one that kindles that envy-measure: maybe it’s Faulkner, or Maya Angelou or even Dan-fucking-Brown.

You close their book and think: It’s hopeless.

I can’t do that.

Cause they had that voice-thing going, and that lovely translucent metaphor, and that heart-pounding tension and then you pull up your own manuscript and—


The cursor blinks.


So you poke at a few words from that scene you wrote yesterday, but the shine has worn off. And was that the most tired line of dialogue you’ve ever written or what? So you delete it and try to think of the next scene, but then you remember you really have no idea how you’re going to pull it off—how to get your protagonist to the intersection of plot and plausibility, and just as you’re about to slam the lid of your laptop closed—Stop.

You’re doing it. That comparison thing, and it does you no good. And even if you don’t believe me, you have to stop because you have a duty.

Don’t compare apples to oranges

And you’re not Hemingway. Because he’s an orange. And you’re an apple. A very special apple.

You heard me right. There’s a reason you feel called to do this, why you get up early or stay up late, why you keep putting words down in the face of astronomical odds. Why it itches like poison ivy between your shoulder blades if you don’t just friggin’ write.

It’s because your own unique set of circumstances and your particular talents are going to enable you to say something that no one has ever said before. Or, at the very least in a way that no one else has said it.

The Great Gatsby has been said—but your story hasn’t.

If you are called to write, it’s because you have a unique message for someone. A message as myriad as the sum of the days of your life that have brought you to this moment. A reason for doing as unique as any random collection of 100,000 words.

What message you have, I don’t know. And maybe you do. Or maybe you only think you do.

But in the meantime, you have a duty to be there, be present, try hard and do your best. And doing your best means reading other writers. You have a duty to challenge yourself, to be brave. Just periodically vomiting words on the page doesn’t make you a writer any more than being a drunken, self-absorbed womanizer makes you Hemingway. And you’re not Hemingway. Because he’s an orange. And you’re an apple. A very special apple.

Now stay tuned for the second part:

Don’t compare apples to apple pie

You’re going to reach someone

When you read Joe Bestseller of the NY Times bestseller list, or N. Ational Bookaward, remember you are reading something that has been through 1, 2, 3 drafts. plus forty-eight revisions; a book that has been vetted by industry professionals, including multiple editors and proofreaders plus a literary agent or two.

Look, if your first draft doesn’t suck then you’re doing it wrong. And if your second draft doesn’t suck then you’re probably still doing it wrong.

The odds are (n)ever in your favor

And since we’re being all honest here, there’s one more thing: if you’re aiming for the bestseller list, or hoping to crack a six-figure advance on a debut novel, the odds are not in your favor.

However, the odds are very good you’re going to accomplish the real reason why you’re doing this. Which you probably don’t even realize. And it’s small and it’s simple:

You’re going to reach someone.

You’re going to reach out through the page, take one reader by the hand, and lean in close enough to for them to feel your breath tick against their ear as you whisper…

Because that’s it.

That’s all there really is. The point of everything, the purpose of every collection of words written since the beginning of time. That’s what writing is: a vessel. A vessel to pass a message from one person to the next.

So stop with the comparing already. They have their message and you have yours.

Read more, compare less. Write and repeat.


Chop chop darlings—you have work to do.

Top Ten Reasons to Buy HitList

HitList by K. RawsonIt’s release day for my novel HitList. It’s now available on Amazon in print or Kindle version. And if summer reading isn’t a good enough reason for you, here are ten more reasons to buy my book:

10. Money-back guarantee if you don’t find it chock-full-o-words.

9. Get it before it’s banned.

8. Four words: My kids’ college fund.

7. Sara Megibow can’t be wrong.

6. $2.99!

5. Jake: first you love to hate him, then you hate to love him.

4. My son will personally clean up the dog poop in your yard. (I’m kidding. He won’t even clean up the dog poop in my yard.)

3. Because you better make sure you’re not in it.

2. Because hacker girls are just plain cool.

1. Teenagers: This is the book your parents warned you about.

A Proper Poking

PHOTO PROMPT - © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

PHOTO PROMPT – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“I daresay, you should give it a poking.”

“What a saucy lass you are. Get on the bed and I shall give you a proper poking.”

Danielle fluttered her eyelids and hid her expression. The Duke’s attentions could mean an escape from the kitchen. Who knew? Maybe even nurse… and a room upstairs. But she had to keep his interest.

“Good sir, perhaps instead of the peaches, you’d prefer something sweeter.”

“And what do you recommend?”

“Perhaps a cherry?”

Below, an ambulance blared by the hotel and the Duke broke character. “Can we just get naked? Our reservation’s at 8:00.”


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I’m a Dog’s Ass and Other Things my Phone Thinks

My phone hates me. Or maybe it’s not hate so much as sneering disrespect.

IMG_1476Case in point: I manage my calendar on my phone. That’s the wonderful thing with smartphones: everyone trots around with their own personal assistant at the ready. Start my coffee! Turn up the heat! Add four boxes Barefoot wine to the grocery list!

It’s really astounding if you think about it. So there I was, putting my week together  and on Tuesdays I take my dog to agility class. So I said: “Emma dog class”

I’m a dog’s ass

Seriously? I repeat it three times. Each time, my phone smirks back at me: I’m a dog’s ass.

Do I argue with that?

I walk a lot. Gets the wheels turning when I’m writing and part of the appeal of my particular phone was the thought that I could march along and dictate all my profound musings as they occurred to me. Because God forbid I have a deep thought that isn’t saved for posterity.

But my phone is a churlish, inattentive, gum-chewing idiot.

Consider this mystifying entry from my notes:

Voted up for good measure. And it stays that way.

Or this:

Feel the shiver's ink to the base of yours. Bye.

Or this:

Sleep frayed at both ends.

Well I actually sort of like that last one.

But it’s 2015. Haven’t we perfected this technology by now? Maybe it’s me. Maybe after all these years I haven’t mastered the English language. And there are those that read my blog that might argue such. Or maybe my phone thinks I sound like I have a dog’s ass squished against my face. Who knows. But the whole thing is a daily source of frustration.

Play music: the Handsome Family.

Which member of your family do you want to call?

OH MY GOD. It’s moments like this I feel like such a dog’s ass.

What does your phone think of you?

Behold, the Dog

Seems like every year you can find a new crop of amazing gadgets to choose from: devices to entertain, to aid in our quest for fitness, gadgets that watch over our homes and those that just generally weird us out. And, as the age of Robot Butler grows ever closer, it’s easy to believe this technology solves all our problems and makes the world a better place. It doesn’t.

There is an affordable technology within reach of nearly every household. Technology 30,000 years in the making. Behold, the dog.

Emma, Queen of Kind. She has never had a mean thought about anyone. Well, except the mailman. And that plumber. But her instincts may very well be right.

Emma, Queen of Kind. She has never had a mean thought about anyone. Well, except the mailman. And that plumber. But her instincts are probobaly right.

The dog is alarm clock, home security device, therapist and health coach.

Forget Fitbit. Counting your steps and monitoring your heartbeat is for sissys. The dog is personal trainer–motivating you to get out in the fresh air daily to walk or run. Dogs will lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, while elevating levels of serotonin and dopamine. There’s even evidence dogs can detect cancer and children raised in a household with dogs are less likely to have allergies over their lifetimes.

Dogs can provide 24-hour a day surveillance and protection of your property. Homes with dogs are less likely to be burglarized.

shamed dog

The dog that ruined Christmas

Look, I know I complained when mine ate the Christmas ornaments two years ago and then followed up with the shit/chew combo on my son’s mattress. But she never deleted 4,000 music tracks off my mp3 player for no reason. So forget the devices, the gadgets, the latest trending brand and get a dog. You don’t need no pedigree.

Still not convinced? Look, Time magazine put out a list of top ten gadgets for 2014. So let’s compare some of your options this holiday season:

  1. Ring Video Doorbell: When someone rings your bell, you can see who it is on your phone. Look, dogs have been providing full service home security since 28,000 BC. Doorbell. Pfft. Give me a break. Dogs will alert you when a creepy guy walks slow past your house. Can the Ring Video Doorbell do that? I didn’t think so.
  1. iPad Air: Did I mention my dog never ate 4,000 MP3s? Nuff said.
  1. Jawbone UP3: Fancy fitness wristband. But can it lower your blood pressure? Asked and answered.
  1. Mophie Space Pack: adds 64 GB data to your iPhone 5. Okay, yes, I just bought it. Shut up. Move along.
  1. HERO4 GoPro: video camera for ideal for an active lifestyle. Actually I’m not going to touch this one either, it’d be a great accessory for you and your DOG. Put it on your dog!
  1. iPhone 6 Plus: No. Just no.
  1. Oculus Rift Development Kit 2: Virtual reality simulator. Real reality is better—when you have a DOG.
  1. DJI Phantom Vision+: a remote-control helicopter spy cam. C’mon. Instead of spying on your hot neighbor, save yourself $1,100 and get a dog. Playing Frisbee at the park with your dog has been attracting the opposite sex for as long as there have been Frisbees. Hell, dogs were bringing people together long before Frisbees. Get thee a leash and directions to a park. You’ll see.
  1. SmartThings starter kit: The age of the Jetsons has arrived. It will have hot coffee waiting in the morning, turn on your crockpot and lock the doors. And while it can tell you when your kids get home, can it play with them? Not even.
  1. Apple Watch: The dream of the wrist computer realized. But do you really need to spend more of your life hunched in front of a computer screen? The dog offers smiles, fresh air, home security and unconditional love. Top that, Apple.

img_5409So, if you have 5-15 years of space and time in your life, make this holiday better for you and a shelter mutt. Available in sizes, shapes and colors to suit any fashion sense. Visit your local shelter today.