storytelling Toastmasters writing

An Amazing Comedy Writing Workshop

An amazing comedy writing workshop


What an amazing Comedy Writing Workshop that was!

Thank you Elite Toastmasters for sponsoring this fabulous event.

Thank you, Kirkland Tibbels for presenting.

Thank you, Tim Mullins for organizing this workshop.

Kirkland spoke about the structure of comedy.

You take a regular person and place them in a regular situation, and then you collide that world with something unexpected.

We used several Toastmasters in the room as an example and created some very funny scenarios.

Kirkland, I haven’t seen you in ages.

It was great to catch up with you.

Let me know when you schedule another workshop – I’ll be sure to attend.

lifestyle speaking writing

A Solution for Writer’s Block

A solution for writer's block


It’s NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month.

The challenge is to write 1667 words a day.

Every single day.

For an entire month.

Many writers are complaining of writer’s block.

I have the perfect solution for that.

Join Toastmasters.

At Toastmasters, you will learn how to do impromptu speaking.

You can apply everything you learn about impromptu speaking to your writing.

Not every speech, and not every piece of writing, will be great.

But you can rework those less-than-perfect pieces into something better.

You can edit a rough first draft.

You can’t edit a blank screen.

Join Toastmasters to find a solution for writer’s block.

humor lifestyle writing

Spelling is Important

Spelling is important


My neighbor just posted a notice that they are missing their dog bowels.

They had been on the front porch, but now they are gone.

Has anyone seen their dog bowels?

Oh goodness.

I do want to be neighborly, but I really don’t want anything to do with their dog bowels.


Spelling is important.

Proofread, people.

Please proofread.

lifestyle writing




Not only is November National Diabetes Awareness Month, It is also NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month.

The idea is to write 1667 words a day.

If you do that every day, you will have written 50,000 words by the end of November.

I’m not entering the official contest.

In the official contest you have to upload your manuscript to prove your word count.

I’m not that trusting.

I’ll do the writing.

I’ll do the word count.

But I’m not uploading my work…

lifestyle reading writing

Writing on an Unfamiliar Topic

Writing on an unfamiliar topic


Writers often ask if they can do writing on an unfamiliar topic.

“Do I have to limit myself to writing what I know?”

The answer is NO.

Writing is creative.

Stretch your mind and write on any topic you choose.

But be careful.

Your manuscript might get passed if your story doesn’t make sense.

I recently read a manuscript where the main character was a painter.

The author wrote about chiaroscuro.

But she clearly didn’t understand the notion of this artistic concept.

And she didn’t even spell it right.

I read another manuscript with Jewish characters.

But this author clearly didn’t understand Yiddish slang.

Words like “kvetch,” “schlock,” and “schmutz” were used completely out of context.

I started to binge-watch a popular Netflix series, but I had to quit.

The main character’s backstory is that he was a baseball phenom in high school.

However, there was a batting cage scene with the actor in a ridiculous batting stance.

A phenom should know how to position himself at the plate.

How in the world did this scene pass a technical edit?

I quit watching the show.

I quit watching that actor.

I’ll never get that goofy batting stance image out of my head.

The bottom line is that it’s OK to write about an unfamiliar topic.

But do your research.

Or your manuscript will get passed.

Or worse, it will get produced, and then it will become a laughingstock.

lifestyle reading writing

I Binge-Watched Fleabag

I binge-watched Fleabag


I binge-watched Fleabag on Amazon Prime.

It won a bunch of Emmys so I had to check it out.


What a fabulous example of amazing script writing.

It’s gritty and off-color.

And very, very funny.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

I’ll just say that the fourth-wall element was incredible.

And it wrapped up beautifully with that wave at the end.

This story has a little bit of everything.

Comedy, grief, guilt, guinea pigs, love, acceptance, sin and redemption.

And some theft.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge not only starred in the series, she wrote it too.

Now I have to stalk her and check out all of her work.

humor reading writing

Who Proofreads This Stuff?

Who proofreads this stuff?

Who proofreads this stuff?

I read the following headline:

“Homicide Suspect Arrested from the Sheriff’s Department.”

This implies that the suspect worked in the Sheriff’s Department.

Which was not the case at all.

The suspect was arrested BY the Sheriff’s Department, not FROM the Sheriff’s Department.

That’s a whole different kind of news story.

And a bit of a disappointing read.

Who proofreads this stuff?

lifestyle reading writing



A huge problem that I see in the scripts that I cover is that the protagonist lacks focus.

The main character is going in too many directions.

He wants love.

He wants to win.

He wants revenge.

He wants to go home.

He wants to reconcile.

He wants redemption.

I advise writers to focus their protagonist.

Give him one single desire that drives him through the entire plot.

Are there exceptions to this rule?

Of course there are.

But an aspiring writer should master the basics first.

Yes, I know, I used “he” instead of “he/she.”

But I’m thinking of a specific script in which the protagonist was male.

I gave the writer suggestions about refining the main character.

I can’t wait to read the revisions.

It will be a much better story when the protagonist is focused.

humor reading writing

It was for RESEARCH!

It was for RESEARCH!

I swear, it was for research.

I’m a script reader.

I read book and movie manuscripts,

and I write a technical analysis.

Sometimes I have no idea what the writer is talking about.

I have to research the topic.

If I ever got hacked and someone saw my recent Google searches,

all I can say is,

“It was for RESEARCH!”


lifestyle writing



I received some VERY nice kudos.

I just finished a couple of huge script reading projects.

“You were always substantive in your analyses and offered constructive criticisms.”

“You were as good when you were offering praise as you were when you were panning a script, which is a surprisingly rare ability.”

“Your work unquestionably places you among the best readers we’ve had the pleasure and good fortune of working with.”

Thank you, Production Company Guys.

I appreciate the kudos.