book cover humor

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book cover humor

A news release about pictures, not politics. Yay!

     You already heard my pitch for photos relating to our new book project. I just thought I'd throw out the official version of that pitch--the one that we sent out to area news agencies a year ago. Maybe it suffers a bit for being too long winded for modern news, but long winded is what I do. Basically I wanted to give busy editors text, pictures, quotes, and contact information, everything they need to either print the release as a whole or pick and choose what they want. I've found that if you're friendly to the media and make their job as easy as possible, they'll be friendly to you.
Needless to say, the news agencies used only the parts they needed! If anyone out there wants to use some or part of this (hey, it could happen), you're welcome to.
Albion Authors Plan Fire Photo Book
Two Albion authors are going local again for their newest book, and they’re looking for some photographic help.
Mark and Emily Hunter want to collect as many photographs as they can relating to the Albion Volunteer Fire Department for a new book, which they hope to have out this summer. So far untitled, it will be almost entirely pictures.

The Hunters previously collaborated on a history of the AFD, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century Or So With the Albion Fire Department. But that book, about the department’s history, had relatively few illustrations. Mark Hunter described their new book as being a balance between Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights and their other local history book, Images of America: Albion and Noble County. The latter, released by Arcadia Publishing, was also almost entirely pictures.
The two also co-wrote a humor book with a wider historical focus, Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All.
Mark, who’s on Amazon and various social media sites as Mark R Hunter, has been a volunteer Albion firefighter for thirty-eight years. “Albion and Noble County was a load of hard work,” he says. “But it was also great, because we searched long and hard for historical pictures, and got a lot of great ones loaned and donated to us. That got me thinking.”
Now Mark and Emily and searching for any photos, of any age, relating to the AFD—even remotely. “Personal stuff kept me from getting as involved as I’d like with the fire department in recent years, so I wanted to do something,” Mark says. What kind of pictures are they searching for? “Fires; fire trucks; firefighters; firefighter families; firehouses; fire history; fire dogs—whatever. The older the better, but modern is fine.”
They’re asking anyone with fire related photos involving Albion in any way—or video, if screen caps could be made from it—to loan them long enough for Emily to scan a copy for the book. The donators will get credit, as will the original photographers, if their identity is known. In addition, half the proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Albion Fire Department’s training and equipment fund. The Hunters are publishing independently, so the other half will go toward actually designing, producing, advertising, and printing the book.
All the proceeds of their previous AFD book, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights, go to the AFD. The Hunters also donate half of Mark’s young adult novel, The No-Campfire Girls, to an organization working to support Emily’s former Missouri Girl Scout facility, Camp Latonka.
“We're especially interested in former members”, Mark adds, “since it's awfully hard to fight fires without firefighters. I should stress that I mean Albion, Indiana. Although, come to think of it, it would be kind of cool to have a section on Albion firehouses from across the country.”
Mark and Emily can be contacted on their website contact form at, or through any of their social media, or--believe it or not--their number's actually in the phone book.
Mark R Hunter is also the author of four romantic comedies: Coming Attractions, Radio Red, Storm Chaser and its sequel, The Notorious Ian Grant, as well as a related story collection, Storm Chaser Shorts. In addition, he collaborated with Emily, on a collection of his humor columns, Slightly Off the Mark. His short works appeared in the anthologies My Funny Valentine, Strange Portals: Ink Slingers’ Fantasy/Horror Anthology, and The Legend of Ol' Man Wickleberry (and His Demise).
Mark is a 911 dispatcher and volunteer firefighter in rural Indiana, where he lives with Emily and their dog, Beowulf, and a cowardly ball python named Lucius. He’s online at, blogs at, and can be found hanging out on Facebook at and Twitter at

Epic Fail

The news that used to be print to fit

Someone recently asked me, "Has the world ever been crazier?"

Yes. Yes, it has. And to prove it, I dug up something I wrote eight years ago, when I found myself with a collection of little news items just begging to be made fun of. Keep in mind, this was 2012, but it still covers everything that made 2020 such fun: politics, death, and racism, not necessarily in that order.

Coming in December: Attack of the evil Santas.

          A video clip of Adolf Hitler giving a speech was recently used in a commercial to sell shampoo. Okay, did they even look at that guy’s hair? Did he ever use shampoo? The Stalin themed conditioner doesn’t seem appropriate, either.

           Speaking of inappropriate use of historical figures, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, responded to a protest by pulling the bobblehead doll they were selling. It was a figure of John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated Lincoln. The figure carries a gun. It would be roughly equivalent to showing that Adolf Hitler commercial at a Holocaust Museum.

           An explosion in Georgia killed a man known for fighting to keep chickens on his property. Police list Colonel Sanders as a person of interest.

           A study of more than 222,000 people indicated that sitting too long can kill you. Four out of five of the researchers doing the study ... died.

           Another study found that eating red meat can be unhealthy, especially to cows. After all, zombies eat red meat, and they look terrible.

           Federal agents recently shot dead a man involved in a murder for hire plot. It’s perhaps ironic that they didn’t get a bonus for it.

           Nobody’s talking much these days about the US government’s “Fast and Furious” program, which sent thousands of firearms over the border into the hands of Mexican criminals. It’s nice to know the Obama administration’s doing something about our international trade imbalance.

           An Easter egg hunt in Colorado was canceled because of rude, selfish, pushy behavior – by the parents. In related news, fifteen years later a riot broke out among parents trying to be first in line to get the diploma at high school graduation. (Hey, we still have seven years to go--it could happen.)

           North Korea is downplaying the discovery that their “weather” satellite had lettering on it that translated to “Insert bomb here”. Top officials, speaking anonymously, are embarrassed that they forgot to insert the bomb.

           The largest known breed of rats in the world has been discovered invading the Florida Keys. Weird. I thought that state’s Presidential primary was over.

Wait. Is that a ... locust?

           Scientists recently announced that most of the Moon seems to be made up of material it got from Earth. NASA astronauts were immediately dispatched to serve the Moon with an IRS audit notice.

           The comedian Gallagher has retired after having a heart attack. Maybe if he’d eaten the fruit instead of smashing it …

           Speaking of retiring, another man is accused of sawing off his own foot in an attempt to avoid working. You have to admire his non-work ethic, but wonder about his lack of imagination.

           It was recently announced that liberal activist Jane Fonda will be portraying … wait for it … Nancy Reagan, in a movie. Also cast is Alec Baldwin as Ronald Reagan, and Newt Gingrich as Jimmy Carter.

           New rules say beach volleyball players will not have to wear bikinis at the 2012 London Olympics. This was followed immediately by the networks scheduling beach volleyball during prime time. Then they discovered the rule does not permit nude volleyball, and that in fact the players might actually cover up more. Beach volleyball is now scheduled in the 5 a.m. slot.

           Recently two asteroids, one the size of a tour bus, buzzed by the Earth on the same day director James Cameron made the deepest undersea dive ever. Coincidence? Or an act of self-preservation, by going to one of the most dangerous spots on earth to escape a possible collision, thus proving Cameron brilliantly insane? Probably coincidence.

           I recently read an article asking what might happen if all 350 million toilets in the United States were flushed at the same time. I can only imagine a humor columnist facing a deadline came up with that question. Unfortunately, the federal government got wind of it (ahem) and is now organizing the Department of Hydraulics (DoH), to mandate guidelines that will prevent any future mass dumping. I don’t think they should go up that creek. Especially without a paddle.

           Apparently the person who bombed Kim Kardashian with flour is a member of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). No word on whether they were planning to bake her or fry her.

           Water ice was recently found on Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun. Insert Uranus joke here. Or maybe I just did.

           That’s the news roundup … generally everyone made it through unharmed, except for John Wilkes Booth fans. The sad part of that is that there probably are some.

But what ever happened to global warming?