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Allison Hawn the Amazing!!

Before we get into the meat of this post, I want to share a little about Allison from my perspective. Allison Hawn is one of my best friends in the world… and she got published before me. Jerk. (I’m working on getting over this fact) Despite this, she is an amazing person, with one of the most ridiculous minds I’ve ever encountered– and I mean that as a compliment.

I took this opportunity to share with my readers a little about her, and hopefully inspire you to check out her book: Life is a Circus Run by Plateaus.

Author Biography: Image

Allison Hawn was born in Idaho and has spent her life obtaining adventures. The daughter of a musician, she was brought up all over the United States with occasional dalliances into foreign lands. She holds a degree in psychology from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, where she also had a weekly humor column with a small time newspaper The Crusader. Life is a Circus Run By a Platypus is her first creative published work. She currently resides in Spokane, Washington, where she works with the homeless population, domestic violence victims, and other disenfranchised populations to help them find employment, but calls a myriad of locations home.

 

Why did you become a writer?

I don’t know exactly what made me decide to start writing, I just kind of did. I kept writing because I discovered that it was an excellent outlet for my overactive imagination and kept me out of trouble, well, mostly anyways. Then others started insisting that I continue to write, some threatening bodily harm if I didn’t, and now I have a book called “Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus.”

What authors have inspired you?

I would have to say I was extremely influenced by both Patrick F. McManus and Dave Barry. Both men did an excellent job taking the day-to-day drudgery and making it absolutely hilarious.

I am also greatly inspired by Agatha Christie, despite the fact that I don’t write murder mysteries. Christie taught me the important lesson that the most interesting and effective people and characters in the world are those that are not exactly normal.

How do you get over writer’s block?

I get up and move around. I go to the gym and weight lift, or cook something interesting or have coffee with a friend or go on an adventure. I’ve discovered that if I can take my mind off of whatever I’m working on for a while and let my body get some of my wiggles out, I can usually refocus again.

What process did you go through to get published?

I fought a dragon using only my wits, my manuscript and a purple pen. In defeating the dragon, I then had to run through a gauntlet of vicious snakes and fire to obtain the contract, which could only be signed with Athena’s pen that I had to barter my non-existent first born to get. Only then, was I published.

Ok, in reality, I spent a good amount of time doing research on publishing companies and finding ones that take humor submissions. There are not a lot out there that will publish humor books. When I got a list together I then sent in submissions to quite a few, and got just about as many rejection letters back. However, Sweatshoppe Publications read my book and decided to turn it from computer bound ramblings into a bona-fide book!

ImageWhat resources do you suggest to aspiring writers?

Other writers. No seriously, network as much as you can!

Where can my readers find more about you?

If readers are curious about me they can stalk me by using Google. However, if they would prefer to be less creepy, I can be found on:

My blog: http://circusplatypus.blogspot.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/platypusringmaster

Twitter https://twitter.com/AllisonHawn

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085837.Allison_Hawn

Where can my readers find your book?

“Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus” can be most easily found on:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Life-Circus-Platypus-Allison-Hawn/dp/0615810950

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Growing Pains

Everyone hates to grow up. I think that is a given fact. ImageOther than children, I don’t know many people who think growing up to be a great thing. I know I find the whole experience as disappointing. When we are children, we dream of what it will be like to have to not take naps, eat whatever we want, and have no one telling us what to do. As an adult, I find myself fighting of the desire for a nap, using an app to track my calories, and calling my parents asking them “what should I do.” It got me wondering, what other things do we do to compensate for growing up?Image

                My husband and I counteract the horrors of getting older by going to Disneyland every summer—and we don’t even have kids yet. This is our time to be kids. In Disneyland, the power bill and the horrible job and the cat peeing on your bed (that actually happened to us while we were away at Disenyland) doesn’t exist. It is a place where even the 80 year old woman sitting with her grandchild is a kid.

                The other thing I do to make myself feel less adult-ish is writing. Occasionally, people ask me why I write at all. It was just today that I first grasped what the answer was: I write because it is a socially acceptable thing for an adult to do that is still much like playing make-believe. This realization came when I noticed my friends post on Facebook that described how his daughter was playing with her dolls and a model of her father new car—a VW Thing. (Yes they exist. Look it up) This got me thinking of my days of doll playing, and the plots and back stories I use to assign my dolls. These plots and back stories are like first drafts of the books I now right. Okay, maybe not all my books. I don’t recall pretending my Barbie’s were vampires. Still, you get my drift.

                After thinking through this topic, I asked a couple friends what they did to compensate for the terrors of growing up. I received a variety of responses. Some were as simple as: watch children movies such as Disney movies. Of course, I thought this a great idea!

       Image         But there were a couple that stood out!

                One friend stated she runs around her house in a cape periodically. And trust me, if you knew this woman, this wouldn’t surprise you. She even said one day her roommate came home to find her working on her couch in a cape and a masquerade mask. Evidently the roommate didn’t miss a beat—this was such a normal sort of thing for her to do.

Now, most of us probably don’t run around our houses with capes and masks on (though I’m not judging if you do). Still, I think we all have our ways of staying sane in this crazy world. Another friend said he played D&D. (For those who don’t know what this is: it’s like Risk, Lord of the Rings and The Game of Life all mixed together). We talked about it for a while and came to the conclusion that his D&D is much like my writing—it is a Imagesocially acceptable (mostly) way of being a child again, playing make believe.

These brief moments of fantasy and silliness is needed in all our lives. We need time to be the hero, the princess, or even the side kick with two coconut shells.

I feel like it would be best to start this discussion. I realize that what I’m about to say may be off-putting to some people, so all I ask is that you read it to the very end. Just in case I’ll keep it short.

Can someone explain to me why social media pages such as Facebook and twitter suddenly light up with a daily log of “thing I am thankful for” come November first? Now, I am not such a simpleton as to fail to notice the holiday that happens to land near end of November. But that’s just it! Thanksgiving happens to land in November. Does that mean, if it occurred in May we would choose that month to spout out ridiculous things we are thankful for, such ‘a fire on a cold night’ or ‘finding Captain Crunch on sale’?

I realize that sharing what we are thankful for is important, even advantageous, but if that is the case, why do we only share our thanksgiving in November. At present, my Facebook page looks like a log from a captives diary—Day 8: Today I’m thankful for my blanket.

I always imagine these posts continuing with…

My captors have been so kind as to give me this warm fluffy blanket and chai tea latte. I feel as though it will not be long before I convince them that I am not the enemy.

Sadly, the Facebook updates are never quite that entertaining.

If sharing what we are thankful for is medicinal, why don’t we do it even when it’s not popular?

So here’s my challenge: On December 1st, share something that you are genuinely thankful for, be it family, a job, or the simple ability to pay this month’s rent. And perhaps, on the first of each month (or whenever it strikes you), find something new, and real, to be thankful for.

Please, no chai tea lattes.

Why in the World am I Doing This?

I am often told I am too picky. In fact, my best friend refuses to take movie suggestions from me because she says I tear apart perfectly good movies. Personally, I don’t know what they’re talking about.

Therefore, when a fellow author said I should start a blog I argued till I was blue in the face. Obviously, she won after much persuasion, or pushing depending on who’s telling the story.

So here I am blogging against my will. I’m not sure there are many bloggers out there claiming to be doing it under duress. I may honestly be the only one. And I’m okay with that.

Now Mark Twain once said, “Let us not be too particular. It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all.” And I think he’s on to something. Sadly, I’m not very good at restraining my pickiness. It just comes out whether I’m tearing a movie apart or suggesting the greatest book to a friend—everything is hot or cold. Perhaps, if I can pour all my fastidiousness into this blog I will find more diamonds in my life.

To those who choose to read my verbal rampaging, you’re in for a rare treat—like a polar bear dipped in chocolate. Tasty… but it just might bite your head off.