miserable holiday stories wins independent press award!

Extremely excited to announce that Miserable Holiday Stories has been recognized as a Distinguished Favorite in the Humor category in the 2021 Independent Press Awards!

In 2021, the Independent Press Award had entries worldwide. The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award winners and distinguished favorites are based on overall excellence.

About the book: “Featuring Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys, Miserable Holiday Stories will be sure to have you asking, who ate all the $#!@# figgy pudding?!”

Miserable Holiday Stories is published by Racehorse, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. For more information on the book, please click here.

For more information on the Independent Press Awards, please click here.

Rejected Ben & Jerry’s Passover Flavors

ben_jerrrys_Affliction1b

From the archives:  Rejected Ben & Jerry’s Passover Flavors. You can read the whole article at McSweeney’s.

Here’s a preview:


Why is this ice cream different from all other ice creams?

Bread O’ Affliction! – Sure, we wanted to use real bread, but who has the time?!

Gephilte Phish! – Random, minced fish pieces in a fabulous jellied froth!

Let My People Go Eat Ice Cream! – From Yahweh’s mouth to your freezer!  Right now!

Karpas-tacular!It really is!

Coupons available Next Year in Jerusalem!

more

writing the gift story

My article “Writing the Gift Story” is up at Review Tales.  Here’s a bit of it:

“No one likes staring at a blank page. Fortunately, many writers cultivate all sorts of prompts and tools to conquer that authorial vacuum as much as possible – whether it be leaving the previous day’s writing off on a cliffhanger – or maintaining an endless List of Ideas forever begging to be written.

As a perpetual short story writer, I’ve developed a number of similar tools. But here’s one of my favorites that’s particularly useful at this time of year – The Gift Story.”

You can read the full article here.

my history with heiwa sushi

I mentioned, yesterday, the great efforts being done by the Curtains on Fire workshop. One of the most interesting pieces is this new comic by Adam Wachtel illustrating a short play I wrote for the workshop, entitled, “My History with Heiwa Sushi.”

Adam is an up-and-coming young illustrator who has been breaking tremendous ground with his artwork. You’ll be hearing his name frequently in the years to come and you can see some other recent pieces at his Instagram page. The entire sushi comic is included below. And at the very bottom, is a video showing how Adam produced this work.

Great stuff.

Continue reading “my history with heiwa sushi”

curtains on fire

Extremely excited to announce – somewhat late, actually – CURTAINS ON FIRE – a new theatrical podcast produced by the Rising Curtain Theatre Company in NJ. This is a project that was started by me and the Director of RC, Ted Wrigley, in April of last year. The company had just come off of three sold-out performances of Miserable Love Stories – an evening of pieces from my then newly released book.  The show was successful – and Ted and I were looking for new projects that we could do while everyone was still sheltering at home during COVID.

With Curtains on Fire we invited several NJ and New York writers and performers to join us in a weekly workshop creating mini-plays based on assignments.  The workshops have been running almost weekly for about eight months now and the group has grown to 14+ writers, including some in NY, NJ, Cincinnati, and even Albuquerque, New Mexico! The group has generated hundred of mini-plays at this point, many of which have also been picked up by other outlets, including our friends at Gone In 60 Seconds.

We’ve released two podcasts so far and are working on our third.  You can find them on all your favorite podcast players.  Below is all of podcast #2, featuring new works by Jay Strong, Tarek Salib, and Nat Gennace.

Give it a listen!  We think there’s some very compelling stuff here.

miserable holiday stories

Very excited to announce the release of the NEW improved version of Miserable Holiday Stories – just in time for the upcoming holiday season!

From the copy blurb:

Throw another yule log on the fire and let the seasonal suffering begin! No matter what holiday you celebrate, these quirky yet bittersweet tales will have you longing for mid-January. Featuring Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic, unbreakable toys and the ever-heroic Bicycle Boys, Miserable Holiday Stories will be sure to have you asking, “who ate all the $#!@% figgy pudding?!”

This upgraded 2.0 version comes from the fine folks at Skyhorse Publishing, and contains eleven new pieces, including the entire (kid-friendly) novella The Unbreakable Toy!

Miserable Holiday Stories is the latest “Miserable” release and a lovely year-end gift for all those friends and relatives who you feel haven’t suffered enough already in 2020!

the dog & pony show

Lots of exciting news this week – first of which is the launch of “The Dog & Pony Show“!

The Dog & Pony Show is a hilarious new series about two very different best friends who choose to leave their magical world behind and move to the not-so-magical big city!

D&P was developed for Discovery Kids and should be appearing on Canadian and Latin America TV any day now.  This Red Knot/Little Aiplane production is the second LA project I’ve been involved with over the last few years and it was an utter delight to work on.  It’s aimed squarely at the 4-7 age crowd (think Spongebob on the slightly younger side) and the storylines are fast, funny and extremely smart.  The last LA show I worked on (P. King Duckling) quickly ended up on Netflix, so I expect to hear where this one will be streaming in the U.S. pretty soon.

miserable events 2020!


Cancel your vacation plans!

Miserable Love Stories drops into stores tomorrow – February 4th – just in time for Valentine’s Day!  (Yes, it was rescheduled from its original January release date.) We already had one great event at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati a couple weeks ago.  And we have a TON of events coming up soon in February, which you should absolutely come to – especially if you live in New Jersey!

Saturday, February 8, 2-4p – Meet and Greet and book signing at incredibly fabulous The Town Bookstore in Westfield, NJ. Stop by and share your most awful Valentine’s Day story, meet the author and get a book signed!

Wednesday, February 12, 7-8p – Reading and book signing at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ. This is a full-on reading – that means we read some pieces from the book – and book signing! Featuring laughs, tears, and possibly awkward audience participation! No doubt, there’ll probably be a blizzard that day.

And then – then! – it’s theater time!  

Fri-Sat, February 14-15 – Miserable Love Stories! at the Rising Curtain Theatre in Bloomfield, NJ.  (Three performances only!  Fri at 8p; Sat at 6 and 8p)  Director Ted Wrigley has done a phenomenal job with a truly brilliant cast of some of the funniest actors in NJ.  (We’re talking deep, deep improv and stand-up experience for most of the cast.)  So, it’s going to be a highly memorable evening.  Please note – this is a small black box theatre (and a large cast) and seats are already selling out .  If you’re interested in this show, please contact the theater asap! I’ll also be signing books at this event, too.   

Click on the links above for more information on all the events. And how cool is this poster?

Miserable Love Stories will be available in bookstores across the nation.  Click here to order the book directly from the publisher!

 

miserable love stories!

I’m incredibly excited to announce that my Miserable series has been picked up by Skyhorse Publishing!  And the newest book Miserable Love Stories is scheduled for release in January, 2020, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  This news has been bubbling up for most of the past year – but now that we have the cover and are moving to the final production stages, I’m thrilled to release the information.  MLS will be part of Skyhorse’s Racehorse imprint and will have distribution through Simon & Schuster.

Subtitled 25 Romantic Disasters That are Worse Than Yours and featuring stories that have appeared in such eclectic journals as New Pop Lit, The Big Jewel, Gi60, Blue Skirt Productions, MidAmerican Fiction and The LegendaryMiserable Love Stories is now available for pre-order on Amazon and at fine bookstores pretty much everywhere.

After MLS, the next book in the series is scheduled for release later in the 2020.  It’s a significant expansion of one of the current Miserable books and will render the previous version as a collector’s item!  So, pick up the originals now while you still can!

 

And here’s the blurb copy for Miserable Love Stories:

Funny Short Stories for Heart-Breakers, the Broken-Hearted and the Completely Utterly Confused

Whether you’re headed to that exciting first date where you’ll inevitably spill Cabernet all over yourself or you and your significant other are celebrating Date Night #4,081 with an extra pint of Halo Top, everyone can agree on one thing: Love Stinks. How to escape the endless cycle of melancholy? Well, you probably can’t. What you can do is take comfort in humorist Alex Bernstein’s new collection of stories about miserable mad crushes, amorous infidelities and bittersweet romances.

Hear stories of horrific bridesmaids’ dresses, strange love at airports, awkward confessions, manic pixie dream girls, uncomfortable road trips, the bizarre state of future sex and, of course, true, everlasting love. So, curl up with your favorite valentine and enjoy such titles as:

Circle in the Square
The Qualified Apology
The Eight Hour Kiss
The Deli Chick
The Forrest Gump Question
Sexpo 2041
Come Home Soon
My Annoying Mother
And more!

Commiserate lost love and painfully awkward first dates with Miserable Love Stories!