Writing

My favorite writing involves adding humor to everyday topics. Below are three of my writing samples which incorporate humor.

A humorous, yet hopefully helpful, article I wrote for eHow:

How To Survive a Teen’s First Driving Lesson

Just the thought of giving your teenager her first driving lesson might encourage you to hide the car key. But keeping a few “key” points in mind will help make the experience one you both will survive with your nerves — and car — intact.

1: Schedule your first lesson during the daytime and when driving conditions are optimal. Don’t go when you are tired or jittery from too much coffee. Also don’t go when your teen is not as alert as she could be, such as before noon.

2: Choose an empty parking lot with plenty of space, preferably one with painted parking spots as well. If you don’t have a parking lot available, try to find a quiet nearby neighborhood with wide roads and few walkers.

3: Have your teen sit in the driver’s seat, without the car running, and buckle her seat belt. Talk her through adjusting the mirrors, seat and headrest. Review the controls on the dashboard. Be sure the radio and all cell phones are turned off to avoid distractions. Now, take a deep breath and have her start the car. Remember to keep your hands to yourself and both feet still on the floorboard in front of you. This helps you resist trying to take over the car when you get scared.

4: Begin with simple forward movements and gentle braking, then add left or right turns — with signals — and parking within two lines. Practice more gentle braking. Next, have her try a three-point turn: reverse from the parking spot while turning the wheel right or left, come to a complete stop, put the car in drive, and move forward in the direction the car is facing. Continue to practice gentle braking.

5: Communicate with your teen throughout the practice session to let her know she is doing well or to have her make adjustments. Try to maintain a calm voice. Have your teen continue to practice each skill until you are both comfortable.

6: Move on to more public roads when your teen is ready. Keep this first lesson to 45 minutes or less. Save busy roads or highways, nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather for later lessons.

7: Talk to your teen about how you think it went and how she thinks it went. Work together to solve any issues, but don’t forget to praise her efforts too. After all, you and your teen — and your car — made it through in one piece.

Now that you’ve completed one lesson, you might feel as if you are in over your head. If so, consider turning the basic lessons over to a professional. Find a certified instructor in your area by checking with the Driving School Association of the Americas, the local office of the Better Business Bureau, or trusted friends or family members for referrals.

References:

AAA Keys2Drive: The AAA Guide to Teen Driver Safety

AAA Teaching Your Teens to Drive Handbook

Driving School Association of the Americas

A humorous post I wrote citing some reasons for not writing my blog as often as I hoped:

A Year of Lame Excuses

Dear readers, forgive me for not recognizing the International Day of Slowness on June 21st…I know I am a little slow in getting around to it. In fact, it’s been a few months since I’ve written anything because I got caught up in all the excitement going on around me on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis!

However, I know you’ll forgive me when you realize I was busy celebrating during my lapse. You see, in Febuary, right after my last post, I discovered it was Pull Your Sofa off the Wall Month and I couldn’t let that one slip me by. Soon, Texas Cowboy Poetry Week lassoed me in. And though Read in the Bathtub Day and Laugh and Get Rich Day seemed too good to be true, I had to give them a try. Oh, and I could not diss Pluto is a Planet Day! either, because I’m still smarting from that misguided announcement.

Then March came along and promised Bell Peppers and Broccoli Month (two of my favorites), so no slowing down to write there. In fact, Root Canal Awareness Week was a gas, I got stuck on Nametag Day, and I was saddened to realize it might be the last Landline Telephone Day, so I recognized it twice just to be nice. But, really, what kept me busy the rest of the month was my overworked brain – it froze up from What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day!

When April arrived, I vowed to hunker down and get back to my computer. International Tongue Twister Day sidetracked me a bit, as did No Housework Day, which I lobbied to become No Housework Year – to no avail. Plus, Tweed Day and Tartan Day tripped me up because I didn’t own any of either so I had to find a good pub to visit to truly get the full effect. Finally, National Scoop the Poop Week fouled things up for good.

I knew my writing skills were slipping away, but I just couldn’t help it. May promised National Vinegar Month and Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange Week. No Pants Day, Eat What You Want Day, and Eliza Doolittle Day didn’t help either. But finally June rolled around, and I was sure the excitement would wane. After all, I don’t skateboard any more, so Go Skateboarding Day was out. And I work from home, so Take Your Dog to Work Day was a mutt, I mean, moot, point. Then, in the past few days, it happened: Pink Flamingo Day, International Fairy Day, and Color TV Day all in a row! Not to mention Old Time Fiddler’s Week, Watermelon Seed Spitting Week, and Carpenter Ant Awareness Week! Oh, and I realized it is Corn & Cucumber Month, International Surf Music Month, Cataract Awareness Month, Potty Training Awareness Month, World Naked Bike Ride Month, Okra & Pluot and Aprium Month, and National Bathroom Reading Month too! What could I do, but give myself over to the rush and the thrill!

So, you see, it’s not like I’ve been slacking off here. I just can’t seem to focus on the task of writing when there are so many exciting people, places, and events to celebrate! Now if you’ll excuse me, I must gear up for National Handshake Day (tomorrow!) and Beans and Bacon Days, which start tomorrow and go through the first of July. But don’t worry, Simplify Your Life Day is just around the corner in August, and if all else fails, October 23rd is a National Day on Writing and I just know I’ll be able to get back to it by then!

 

A sample of our family’s annual Christmas letter:

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE KONERMANS’ DOG

Bark! I’m Jasper, the boss of this house. I decided to take over writing the Christmas letter this year, since I’m in charge around here anyway. The people here are always so busy, they forget a lot of times to take me with them. Then I’m here with that new fluffy furball they call Belle, who eats my food, plus those other two vole-catchers, Hobbes and Hermione. They even make me share the house with some tiny little hamster called Petunia and a guinea pig named Caramel who squeaks at me. Bark! Squirrel!!!

Now, what was I saying? Oh, yeah, my people. That little one G grew so many inches this year I can’t see over her head anymore when I stand on my back legs. She does sneak me popcorn though, before running off to twirl in her pink outfit, or flip in her shiny one, or zip around on those sharp-looking shoes in a big circle of ice. She reads to me now too and plays me songs on that thing I’m not allowed to touch they call a piano. Squirrel!! Sorry, it’s hard to keep my focus living out here in the woods!

Now, then, there’s also that girl K who used to have hair down her back, but came home one day with it a good tail’s length shorter, talking something about “Locks of Love.” Now, she’s one who runs out that door a lot, too. Always bringing home shiny round medals from something called gymnastics, or hitting a special ball, that I’m not allowed to play with, over a big net with her Dad. She does play music for me too though, on that same piano and some long shiny thing she calls a flute. Squirrel!! And last year she ran around with me a lot to be able to win a special Presidential Physical Fitness award at school!

The next tallest person in my house is nice. The one they call Mom always feeds me and takes me out to sniff around even when it’s dark outside and no one else will. She yells at me a lot though when I say hi to all the squirrels! Squirrel!! But she also gets in that big car thing and runs all over town…always doing something for this girl scout troop or that one, that she helps run, or dressing up like some lady with 8 babies and bringing home some special ribbon for it on that special fall day when I get lots of candy G drops on the floor. She also sits in front of that magic machine and creates stories for these magazine things that I try to eat sometimes (and then she yells at me even more!). Squirrel!!!

The tall girl called A is the one who keeps bringing home these other animals for me to have to share my people with. She goes off to a place where lots of animals live because they don’t have people like I do, and she helps do things there and helps kids learn about animals too. She was even in a little movie they made and show on that big box sometimes! Squirrel!! When it’s warm outside, she takes me through the neighborhood on a long rope that I hate, to visit my good buddies and sniff a lot. Then she goes off to climb some big rocks, or to try to fly like a bird on something called a trapeze, or to throw a heavy ball they call a shot put. She won’t play music for me…she just listens to it all the time on some little box called iPod.

The tallest person, M, has a soft, warm lap that I get to lay on at night. He’s not here much because he’s trying to get something called a “Masters,” and because sometimes he takes that special ball with K to some game they talk about and he helps her and her friends try to win. Squirrel!! When he is here, he uses that magic machine a lot too for something called “work.” But sometimes he takes me outside with him to watch him build big fires or cut down trees. When he’s not looking I get to dig big holes in the yard and eat dead things and then “Mom” has to give me a warm bath that I love…what great days those are! I hope next year is a great year too for me and my people (and yours too)…SQUIRREL!!!

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