Friday, July 10, 2015

I'm Now a Published Writer!

I'm now a published writer!

I didn't know if it would ever happen, but it has! I actually had one of my humor columns printed in a newspaper!!!

From "The Funny-ish Files of Slow Joe 40!"
It really is great to see something I wrote in actual print, not just floating around on the interwebs! (Don't get me wrong, I love floating around on the interwebs, but I'm old enough to think that print lasts forever... at least until it's lining the bottom of the bird cage.)

Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that I've "made it" as a writer. You see, I didn't actually get paid. My column appears in a free monthly newspaper called "ServeDaily." (Yes, it's called "ServeDaily," but it only comes out once a month. It's a bit of a conundrum.) The paper serves the communities of southern Utah County, basically everything between Provo and Mona. (Springville, Mapleton, Spanish Fork, Salem, Payson, and Santaquin.) 

A few weeks ago The Family went to see a movie at the park in Payson. (They were showing Despicable Me 2 for free, and even though we've seen it many times, we thought the kids would have a good time seeing it on a big screen at the park. They did.) One of the sponsors for the movie was ServeDaily. I approached the publisher and asked if he might be interested in a humor column. He said yes, and so arrangements began for me to have a humor column printed in a newspaper!

Since ServeDaily is a free newspaper found in racks at local stores, they don't actually pay most of their contributors. As such, I didn't hold out a lot of hope for the quality of the newspaper. But, for what it is, it's pretty impressive. This month's edition is 18 pages with a variety of competently written stories, ranging from current news, upcoming events, business reviews, and more.

There is an online edition, as well. It can be found at To find my column, you can scroll down to the small newspaper under the heading of "Today's E-Edition." From there, scroll through to page B3, and there is my column in the lower right-hand corner.

Or, you could just go to this link: The Funny-ish Files of Slow Joe 40: My Lawn? It's Just Dandy, then on the newspaper page on the left, click on my story in the bottom right corner.

This column is a re-working of one that I wrote for my blog in the spring of last year. In order to get it to fit in the newspaper, I had to cut about 100 words or so from it. (Apparently, my long-winded blog posts are too big for a standard newspaper word count.) So, I got to do a bit of self-editing to get it fit for publication. (The original, unedited blog post can be found here: My Lawn? It's Just Dandy!)

The publisher of ServeDaily asked me if I wanted to have a name for my humor column. I thought that sounded like a good idea. My first thought was to use the title of my blog, "Slow Joe: 40-Year-Old Virgin; Father of Three," but that's too much of a mouthful for a column title. So, I asked for suggestions on Facebook.

I really liked one suggestion, "Nerd's Eye View," but when I looked it up I found that someone else was already using that title. It turned out that pretty much everything The Wife and I could think of was also already being used. We tried "Amusing Musings," "The Wacky World of," "The Funny Files of," "Nerd News," and "The Best of Dave Barry," among others, but they had all been tried.

So, I figured my best bet would be to go with a word that isn't actually a word. I decided on "The Funny-ish Files of Slow Joe 40." My thinking? Well, you might not find it funny, but you should at least find it funny-ish. (Of course, the title of the column could still be changed if someone gives me a good enough suggestion for an original title that isn't being used by anyone else, and I've got $2.47 in change that I'm willing to pay for such a suggestion!)

I realize that having a humor column printed in a give-away newspaper isn't the most prestigious thing that can happen to a person. But hey, it's a start. And I've got a feeling there's going to be a lot more funny-ishness to follow!

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