The funny pages

What's so funny?

Some of my earliest sales were humor pieces for computer magazines. I've also written a lot of humor just for fun, or for the amusement of my friends. I've gathered some of my favorite pieces here. After the disappointingly sparse section for kids, there is Humor for Grown-Ups, some ancient Computer Humor (yes, that's probably an oxymoron), Humor for Writers , since there's a lot to laugh about in my profession, and Library Humor, because smart people make the best audience for comedy.

Humor for Kids

I was going to write a book of mummy jokes, but after five or ten minutes I got distracted. So instead of a book, I have a page. Well, not a whole page. But maybe someday I'll add a couple more.

Soon after dropping the mummy idea, I figured it would be a great to write some cat jokes. I didn't get very far with that one, either.

Humor for Grown-Ups

Watch a video of my first public stand-up comedy performance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Care is probably the most popular humor piece I ever wrote, and definitely the most-frequently stolen. Since so many people have posted it on their sites, I figured I might as well post it on mine. Enjoy.

If you're the sort of person who buys books the way other people buy groceries, you might enjoy this collection of Little-Known Literary Facts.

Ssshhhhhh. Don't tell anyone, but I managed to dig up copies of the essay questions for the new Scholastic Aptitude Test. If you know someone who is about to take the SAT, let them know about An Aptitude for Scholastics

I'm not just a writer. I've dabbled in many things. In this piece, I share my expertise with you about how to make beer at home.

For anyone who's ever traveled more than five miles by bus, take a look at If They Had Stewardesses on Commuter Buses.

Computer Humor

Obviously, if you're here you have a computer. But in case you're in the market for a new one, check out my Concise Guide for Computer Buyers.

Once people buy that first computer, they discover they can't live without it, even when they aren't at home. For anyone who's just purchased a portable computer, here are some Laptop Tips.

To help shed a bit of light on the perplexing software industry, here's my second most pirated piece, The Software Development Cycle.

For those who are completely new to computing, here's a Glossary of Computer Terms to help you get started.

Humor for Writers
(Especially for Children's Writers)

Learn the secrets professional writers use to make sales in Submission Impossible.

Check out a list of the World's Best Query Killers.

Here are some responses to those idiots who think writing for kids isn't real writing.

A mean-spirited version of a Children's Writing FAQ.

After seeing one too many celebrity picture books, I snapped and wrote a picture book in response.

This is still under development, but in the interest of helping writers save time, I'm developing a Young Adult Novel Kit.

We introduce a valuable new service for writers.

Library Humor
(Check it out.)

HOT (One of my most popular pieces.) Confused by modern short stories? I was, too. Until I sat down with a stack of literary magazines, a half gallon of espresso, and a spreadsheet. After doing a thorough analysis of the genre, I'm happy to offer this guide to literary fiction.

For the convenience of anyone who is new to the young-adult field, I've put together the entire history of YA novels in one brief document.

If you're confused about all of the sub-genres in speculative fiction, this handy glossary of fantasy, sf, and horror terms will bring you back from hyperspace.

When a certain overpriced journal began to sell reviews, I guess everyone wondered, "What next?" Here's my answer, in a somewhat tacky press release.

As I travel around the country and meet librarians, I've noticed they share certain traits. In an effort to help prospective students who are considering a career in library science, I've put together this brief career guide for prospective library students.

I know that many librarians also review books. As a public service, here's an aptitude test you can take to see if you might be a good candidate to write for the esteemed publication, Carcass Reviews.

I'm not sure how to introduce this list of Scatalogical Books, so I'll merely suggest that anyone who is squeamish or easily offended might want to move along.

No mention of bathrooms would be complete without a reference to Kirkus. Which brings us to this piece that contains my best guesses as to why Kirkus trashed Hidden Talents.

Serving time on an award committee? Then you might be able to use these tips for How to Read 500 Books in One Month.

Here's a tongue (or drumstick) in cheek list of the best books for Thanksgiving.

If you find celebrity picture books cute, charming, and ever so precious, please leave the room immediately. Otherwise, check out this rundown of the newest celebrity picture books.