book cover humor

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book cover humor

Famous, Infamous, or In Prison: Making It as a Humor Writer

 More Slightly Off the Mark: Why I Hate Cats, and Other Lies, was featured May 7 (today as I write this) on Bargain Booksy. It's a newsletter where you can find bargain books, see? (Oh, now I get it.) Their website is here:

You may not get their newsletter, but the price is still a buck ninety-nine for the e-book, and only $7.50 for the print version. That's less than most fast food meals--and without the cholesterol.

Just to clarify, if you read the subtitle carefully you'll realize it states that I do NOT hate cats. Got it? I don't want another repeat of that time when PETA burned a scratching post on my front yard.

See? We're having a great time.

Many people say humor doesn't sell, but I disagree. All you really need to sell a humor book is an author who's famous, infamous, or in prison. I'm working on it.

Anyway, More Slightly Off the Mark is the sequel to Slightly Off the Mark, and a modern day examination of humor columns I originally wrote twenty years ago. It is, in my considerable opinion, one of the two best books of humor columns ever written in my house ... I'll give you that I haven't looked into who owned the place since the Powells lived here in the fifties. I suppose it's theoretically possible that Fred Markey, who carved his name on my garage wall in 1879, also published a book of humor columns. Maybe I shouldn't be so full of myself.

 In any case, the key to sounding wildly successful is to be specific. Claiming to be the best humor writer in Indiana would be a big mistake. Claiming to be the best one in Albion is questionable, although I've heard that idea does make people laugh.

I'm not even the only writer in my own house.



More Slightly Off the Mark: Why I Hate Cats, and Other Lies is just $1.99 on Kindle—free on Kindle Unlimited—and is also available in print for $7.50. Find it on Amazon:

Or on the author's website:


Remember to support authors—because most have pets to feed, even if they're not cats.


"Whoa, wait--what about paying for pet food?""Mark R Hunter"

book cover humor

I'm In a Horticultural Wasteland

 I have a philosophical question.

Okay, not a heavily philosophical question. On some days, I can't even pronounce philosophical. Sometimes I can't get past "phil". Besides, it's actually more of a horticultural question.

Two lilac bushes have grown behind our house since I bought the property, some thirty years ago--and they weren't young then. I love the scent of lilacs, and seeing them bloom is another sign that winter is over.

You know, I may have a photo of how they used to look. Hold on ...

You have to look behind me to see the ... okay, I couldn't find an old photo on my computer, and I'm too lazy to go looking. Anyway, you can see they were pretty healthy bushes, verging on trees. But now? Now they're older, and I've been pruning off dead branches for years. Despite that, I didn't notice until a couple of years ago that different bushes and trees were growing up among them, no doubt planted by various birds and small animals in the course of them, um, relieving themselves. Last fall I finally went through and (I thought) trimmed out everything that wasn't lilac, leaving a handful of sickly leftovers that I hoped would come back strong.

This spring something did indeed come back strong, but it wasn't the lilacs. I'd completely missed two trees that were growing up among the lilac bushes. I took this photo of them in poor light, then tried to correct the photos in an equally poor way, but this gives you an idea of what they were like when they blossomed:

The darker foliage you see below them are the original lilac bushes, which bloomed at about the same time. They're greatly reduced but still going, as is the small white lilac bush we planted further to the right a few years ago.

But one of them has to go.

So here's my question to you, the plant experts/amateur/armchair growy-persons. Which ones should go? I'd rather have the lilacs, honestly, but those other trees are bigger at this point (and too big to transplant). Should I give up on the lilacs? Or try to transplant some of them? Heck, for all I know those new trees are invasive, or poisonous, or dropped here by Martians to take over Earth plants. Any opinions?

 Don't be afraid to upset me: My bark is worse than my bite. (Get it? Never mind.)"Mark R Hunter"


book cover humor

My tweets

book cover humor

Camping time is coming, and you'll need something to read

 The No-Campfire Girls is featured today on The Fussy Librarian newsletter, which is a great way to see free and bargain books. Check out their website:


But The No-Campfire Girls is always 99 cents as an e-book and just five bucks in paperback, which is pretty darned good. There's a nice article about the book and how it came to be written (complete with a picture of our dog!) here:

 Good publicity is ... well, good. As usual the book and all our books can be found on Amazon:

Or on our website:

 After all, no one ever got hurt by reading a book. Um, except maybe The Anarchist Cookbook.


Get the whole set!"Mark R Hunter"

book cover humor

My tweets

book cover humor

The Highlights of the Junk Mail Folder. Or Is That Lowlights?

Somebody must have signed me up for something, because I've been getting a lot more junk e-mails lately. The disadvantage: I have to go through and make sure there aren't any legitimate communications among the junk.

The advantage: I can make fun of them.

Sometimes it can be a little difficult to tell the difference between the real stuff and the scams. For instance, in the last batch I got a notification from Google Drive, which informed me a file had been successfully shared.

Yay! But wait ... I've never shared Google Drive files.

Pay no attention to the scam behind the e-mail.

That could be a clue. And sure enough, the return e-mail address has absolutely nothing to do with Google.

Another example is the survey I got from Netflix, which wants me to fill it out and enter a drawing. Yay!

But I don't subscribe the Netflix, and never have.

Of the 27 e-mails in the latest haul, exactly one was legitimate. And that one was from AARP, wanting to remind me I'm now old enough to get e-mails from AARP. I don't want the reminder.

Some of the e-mails look pretty boring at first glance. They're from Amy P., Julie L.,. Natalie, Kathleen, Stacy, Betsy, Kristina, and of course my favorite, Eleanor Gibbs. I just realized ... I should keep track of the ones that could make good character names for future novels. Eleanor Gibbs, Beverly Bailey, not to mention Vanda. How many Vandas do you know?

And they're all women. Where were all these women when I was single?

Of course, chances are they're a 55 year old Russian male who hasn't exercised since 1997, but hope springs eternal.

Hi, I'm Uri ... I mean, Amy. How about a chat?

They get more interesting when you see what the "women" have typed into the subject field of their e-mails.

"No questions or stories, just make me obey."

Yes, dear.

"I have crzy wishes."

I wish you could spell.

"I'm agile but fraagile so be nice ;0"

Brittle bone disease is a terrible thing for gymnasts.

"It was the best night ever!"

Sadly, I wasn't there.

"Video with me and you"

So, you were the one who photobombed me at Indiana Beach.

"Are you excited?"

Do you have chocolate?

"Should I send one more photo?"

Well, you haven't sent the first one yet, so ... (That one was from "Iowa". The entire state apparently thinks it sent me a photo.)

"Can I be useful for you? Pleeease!"

Okay, since you're so eager. We'll start in the bedroom ... then you can clean the kitchen.

"Are you excited?"

What, still? Now that someone else is cleaning the kitchen, yes.

"No panties video"

Sounds great, until you remember it was typed by a middle aged Russian couch potato.

"I am so disobedient at this video..."

That's okay, I can point you to the obedience school my dog went at.

Meanwhile, I also got e-mails from Flawless, PerfectLips, ColorfulDes'lres, Hedon1stlc, and, yes, CornLover. That last one, at least, was original. Cream or whole kernel?

By the way, Eleanor Gibbs sent me an e-mail with the headline, "I love to play with fire". This is not something firefighters generally want to hear.

Finally, the unoriginal ColorfulDes'lres also asked: "Are you excited?"

Well, I just wasted ten minutes that could have been used for writing fiction. Or looking at cute puppy videos. So no ... no, I'm not. But it's starting to remind me of the other question I've been hearing a lot lately: "Have you tested positive for COVID?"

I'm excited to say no.

Honey, look at this! A Nigerian Price wants to party with us."Mark R Hunter"