"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Want another tease?

I have the cover art for the other two books, but of course I'm only going to show you one. Patience, folks, have patience. 

I was going to show you the cover for my Placentia-centric book, "You're from Where?" but when I uploaded it to this post, I discovered something interesting: I had misspelled "you're." Who does that? So while I quickly email Joe to correct our mistake, let me show you what I have planned for the holidays.


Happy-Merry Thanks-Christmas-New-Giving-Year!
When columnist Gayle Carline thought of a holiday-centered book, she intended to include all her holiday essays, from New Year’s musings, Mother’s Day fantasies, all the way to the inevitable Christmas.
Then she counted how many she had written in her 10 years as a columnist for the Placentia News-Times. There were over 80 essays. Which jolly holidays should be included? She decided on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, and noticed two common themes: gratitude and hope.
She is grateful for the opportunity to write for the paper, as well as for the feedback from readers, whether it is praise or criticism. She hopes these essays resonate with you as much as they have her Placentia friends, and that none of them are turkeys.

Stay tuned for a look at the third book. As I said in the last post, they're all scheduled for release on October 10, 2015 at the annual Placentia Heritage Festival.

In the meantime, don't you want to win some prizes? So far, I've only had one entry into my "Name that Chicken" contest. I can hardly hold up one name to a vote. Enter your choice for my rooster's name (in the comments) and you can win the following:

1. A $10 Amazon gift card.
2. Your choice: one of my mysteries, or all three of my new books, either in paperback or e-book format.

Here's another look at the chicken.

Incidentally, this chicken reminds me of someone. Have you seen Wallace and Gromit in THE WRONG TROUSERS?

Feathers McGraw, notorious criminal mastermind... separated at birth?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A sneak peek, and a contest.


Remember those three books I'm going to be releasing on October 10? I have two of the covers! But I'm only going to show you one of them today. I'm a tease like that. 

Drum roll, please... Presenting:


Gayle Carline does not believe in perfect families. She does believe in tall tales, however, and is willing to stretch the truth until it’s paper thin.

She’s been writing a humor column for the Placentia News-Times, a local paper affiliated with the Orange County Register, since 2005. Aiming for slice-of-life, Erma Bombeck-style stories, she tells tales about her husband, their son, and their various distractions, from pets to car repair.

At first, she thought she was writing to entertain people. After she heard from readers telling her how much their lives mirrored her own, she realized why she was writing—to feel like part of a community.

Her stories of gentle wit and family absurdities should be recognizable to every perfectly imperfect family everywhere.

Like I said, it'll be out on October 10, in paperback first, and only available to my readers who come to the book launch, which will be in Tri-City Park at the 2015 Placentia Heritage Festival. If you're in the area, come on around! I plan to have a lot of fun stuff!


Meet my chicken.

One of my friends deposited this chicken on my front porch with the following note:

The story of the chicken came about when I shared a blog post on my Facebook page. http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/and-thats-why-you-should-learn-to-pick-your-battles/ It's a funny story, plus I love this woman's chicken. What's not to love about a 5-foot-tall metal chicken? I mentioned on FB that I wanted one, and one of my friends got me one. It's a lot smaller, and a little more elegant, but damn, he's one fine rooster.

(BTW, I'm still trying to cross-reference the friends with my sense of humor with the friends who know where I live. It's still a long list.)

So here's the contest: What should I name him?  


1. Submit your idea for the chicken's name either in the comments below, or on my Facebook page, or as a message on Twitter.

2. I will gather all the names and put them to a vote.

3. Winner receives a copy of one of my books, plus a $10 Amazon gift card.

Ready, set, name!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sometimes you go with your gut

For all my readers who are clamoring for the next Peri book, it's on its way. I'm about 20,000 words from the end of the story. I know where the story is going and how to finish it. For the past few weeks, I've been writing feverishly, madly, quickly, just to get to "The End."

And then my intuition started to nag at me, telling me more than a few things.

1. This book needs more care, more thought than a race to the finish line, even in draft form.

2. This book will never been published this year. It needs time.

3. I need to have a book out this year.

In the old days, I never listened to my gut. That's how I married the wrong man and got bucked off my horse. Now that I'm older and wiser, I pay more attention.

One of the neat things about 2015 is that it's the 10th anniversary of my column in the Placentia News-Times. I have two books of columns out, but haven't put a new one out in four years. I've been puzzling as to what to do to celebrate ten years of telling tales about my family, my community, and myself.

Then it occurred to me, why not a book for my P-Town friends? As a matter of fact, why not two? Or three?

What I'm doing is a little unconventional. When I go to the Placentia Heritage Day festivities this year, I'll have three brand-new paperbacks. One will be columns about my family, one will be columns about Placentia, and one will be columns about the holidays. They won't be available before then. They won't be available in ebook. Not until my P-Town readers have the opportunity to have the books first -- and of course, at deep discounts. 

It should only take a couple of weeks to get the books ready to go. After that, I'll return to Peri's story and wait until October to release the anniversary books.

Be patient. I promise you good stories!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Connie, Selfies, and RBF

I liked Connie Schultz when I first heard her speak at the Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop in 2008. After she spoke, I bought her book and stood in line to have it autographed. As I approached, we chatted a bit while she signed. Of course, I was babbling about being a humor columnist because I'm incapable of shutting up. 

Later, when I read what she'd written, I was officially a Connie-Schultz-Read-Anything-You-Write-Follow-You-Anywhere fan.

Now I follow her on Facebook, where she maintains a lively discourse on today's current events. She's a thoughtful moderator of her posts, keeping the conversation civil but never one-sided. 

Today's post was about another author blogging about having to re-model her own looks in order to look presentable on a TV show. This is an author whose female characters rise above this societal pressure, so Connie was shocked and wanted to talk about what makes people want to dissect others according to their own standards, and why we succumb to them?

She asked us to post a picture of ourselves on her comment thread, along with #thisiswhoIam. I scanned through my photos for a picture, one that wasn't professionally taken. The only ones I have of me alone are my pitiful attempts at selfies. I don't take good selfies, and here's why:

I love my car. Why aren't I happy about it?

I try to smile, but all I end up with is a look that says, "Pfft. Who do you think you are?" 

"Well? Who are you, little Miss SmartyPants?"

I finally settled on the one above, but I'm not sure it shows the real me. I'm such a happy gal, it's a shock to know that I have RBF (Resting Bitch Face). There's nothing cute about this. How do the rest of you make your selfies look so appealing? And is there a cure for RBF?

Attempting a smile. Hurts. Hurts so bad.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Raising a glass to a mom

Mother's Day is long gone, and I think you know how I feel about my own mom, but I need to give a shout-out to my mother-in-law. 

L to R: Dale, Me, Marcus, Barbara, Traci (cousin)

Barbara is an amazing woman. She raised four boys, all a year apart in age. Consider this: there's 11 months between Dennis and Dale, 13 months between Dale and David, and 11 months between David and Daryl. So when Barbara brought baby Daryl home from the hospital, she also had a 1-year old, a 2-year old, and a 3-year old. And she survived it all.

Impressed? I am. But wait, there's more.

Those four baby boys grew up to be four stellar men. Upstanding, responsible, family guys who support each other. They even show up at each other's kids' events. 

I'm sure Barbara takes a certain amount of this for granted. In the Carline household there were expectations and consequences. She and Al had the support of their family. It's a proud family, every member proud of the accomplishments of the others. Even when they fight, it's not big or long, and it leaves no unmended riffs.

Still, I've seen good families with the best intentions end up with kids who lose their way. Four out of four successes should be celebrated.  

Thank you, Barbara, for raising such a fine family.

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