Friday, December 19, 2014

Let's Get This Show on the Road

Hello all! I hope your weeks have been more fantastic than the thought of a million elves doing the Truffle Shuffle to 'Jingle Bell Rock!'

Just a quick reminder, this month half of my profits from "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" and "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" will be going to help the SpokAnimal!

So buy a book and know you're helping fuzzies like Cinnamon here stay safe this holiday season. By the way, if anyone is looking for a lovable little ball of fluff, Cinnamon is currently up for adoption! So go snag this little eight-month-old guy!

Okay, I'll stop torturing you all with adorable kittens.

So as it turns out, being an author is not nearly as introverted a position as one would think. Good thing I'm only part hermit, because this show is going on the road!

I am excited to announce the first two stops on my winter book tour!

Saturday, December 20th (Yes, tomorrow, super late notice, but if you follow me on Facebook you'd have heard about it!) I will be at Monkeyboy Books, in Spokane, at 6:00 pm for a signing and reading! This is a joint event, as I will be joined by Spokane poet Mark Strutton and his gritty and poignant verses.

Then Sunday, January 11th at 3:00 pm I will be at Hyde Park Books in Boise, Idaho!

So if you're in Boise, come join us for some coffee, conversation and me making an absolute fool out of myself (which is what I tend to do in public).

I will be adding more tour dates here soon, so make sure you check here, Facebook and Twitter (@AllisonHawn) for more updates!

Have a marvelous holiday week everyone! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Old and Rare Doesn't Mean Obsolete


Hello all! I hope your weeks were more splendid than the thought of a thousand reindeer doing a conga line to "Winter Wonderland."

A quick reminder, for the rest of this month half of my proceeds from "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" and "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" will be going to benefit SpokAnimal!

So help critters like Grizzley here find homes! By the way, Grizzley is up for adoption! So if anyone would love this little six year old ball of fluff, go get him.

So this week I'm diverging from my normal snarky, yet happy-go-lucky, post but it is for something that I believe is important. 

This past month owner of Spokane independent bookstore, Monkeyboy Books, Marina, announced that she may have to close up shop in the next couple of months.

I find this extremely regretable. Not only is Marina a great supporter of independent authors, but her store offers something unique; A chance to find real literary treasures and turn up wonderful memories in an atmosphere of calm, serene comfort.

Independent bookstores selling rare and old books, like Monkeyboy Books, give us something that no Barnes and Noble can provide; A chance to touch history, find the lost pieces of our own pasts and possibly discover a new adventure bound in a cover that has let others discover that same shared adventure.

We live in a society that has very little value for 'permanent' and 'rare.'

It's like our nation as a whole has a fast food mentality. New phones that will be obsolete in five months, old family recipes that have been reduced, stuffed with preservatives and packaged for four minutes of microwave convenience, even our relationships now can be decided with the swipe of a thumb across a smartphone screen.

What independent bookshops provide us with is a moment to wander through a setting that is both familiar and unexpected and provides us with something tangible, something real, something that will not easily go away.

Let me give you an example. My childhood was not exactly tiptoeing through the tulips (not complaining, just a fact). I faced trouble at school and at home, and one of my few escapes was through the world of books. When I was around four years old I found a book called Robin Hood

I sat for hours reading, and rereading, through the stories of the daring Robin Hood, the bold Little John, the cunning Maid Marion and the conniving Sheriff of Nottingham. The book had few pictures, but I didn't need them as my imagination took me on adventures that would stick with me well into adulthood.

It was while wandering through Monkeyboy Books that I happened to look down at a shelf of old fairy tales and legends, that I found the exact copy of Robin Hood that I had read so much that I literally cracked the spine of it as a child.

It was like running into an old friend and remembering all the wonderful things that you used to do together. Taking that book home and reading it again was a feeling that could not be emulated scrolling through pictures on Instagram or picking up some new cheap gadget from WalMart.

It's not just about supporting local businesses, though that is important too. Being a patron to independent book shops protects your right to have the option to find something unique, treasured and rewarding.

So please, find a local independent bookseller, one that makes you feel welcomed, comfortable, with just a touch of adventure and support them with your business. I promise you won't regret it. 

If you want to find out ways to possibly help save Monkeyboy Books, please visit them on their Facebook page.

As always, I can be found on Facebook, Twitter (@AllisonHawn) and Goodreads!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Creep

Hello all! I hope everyone had a splendid week full of clear roads, sunshine and warmth.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, I know that these things are basically a distant memory as we all wake up an extra twenty minutes early to scrape our windshields free of permafrost, take our Vitamin D, since we probably won't see the sun for months, and don our wind-proof parkas.

One Photogenic Cat
Just a quick reminder, half of my profits from Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor and Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus through November and December will be going to help the wonderful efforts of SpokAnimal.

So pick up a book for a gift, or for yourself, and know that you're helping animals like Mz. Boo, here to the right, stay safe and warm this winter. Also, Mz. Boo is available for adoption, so save me from becoming a crazy cat lady and adopt her before I'm tempted to!

Well, it is now officially December, which means that the holiday spirit has gone from being the dull roar that has slowly been building since October, to the full-on maniacal laugh of Christmas crazy.
Don't get me wrong, I think Christmas is all fine and dandy. At the point where it starts to invade my every moment for nearly three months, trampling other poor holidays into the dust, it becomes a bit much, though. 

Seriously, every store I walk into looks like it was taken over by Santa's clone army.

There is a house down the street that has so many Christmas lights on it I have actually used it to help give driving instructions to my place.

"Okay, you're going to see a bright glow off to your left. Follow the bright glow for about a mile or so. As you drive by don't look directly at it or you'll blind yourself, then take the next right..."

I honestly have no idea how those people sleep at night since it is probably daytime in their house 24/7 thanks to those lights.

Probably the most disturbing part of this Christmas chaos is the fact that I am currently being stalked.

No, it's not the creepy Santa Claus hanging out in the park with his burlap sack full of... I actually never wanted to know what was in there. I think the cops told him he couldn't hang out there anymore.

I am being persistently followed by "(In Winter It's a) Marshmallow World." 

If you've never heard this glittering little slice of Hell, I have included it here for you:

Sung by the most alcohol soaked member of the Rat Pack, Dean Martin, isn't that just a lovely piece of sugary sweet terribleness? 

This has always been one of my least favorite Christmas songs. With lyrics like "It's a yum-yummy world made for sweethearts," every time I hear it I just want to punt a reindeer. 

Here, just to get that out of your head now, here is my favorite Christmas song:

So as the Christmas music began to roll onto the radio, I was chagrined to find that "Marshmallow World" was the first festive tune that graced the airwaves in my truck. I switched to the heavy metal station so fast that I may have broken a pre-set button.

Figuring I had met my "Marshmallow World" quota for the season, I decided to pull up a Pandora Christmas station. Not only was "Marshmallow World" the first song that popped up, out of the first five songs that played, my Marshmallow Nightmare played three times.

I've stopped using Pandora for a bit. 

I don't own a television, but this past week I went to house-sit for a friend who does. I have not flipped on a television in over a year, but the first thing that popped up onto the screen was a commercial for Target with, you guessed it, a pop version of "Marshmallow World" as its background music. 

So when I went grocery shopping and stepped into the store to hear that I was going to be buying celery to the sounds of Dean Martin slurring out, "It's a whipped cream day..." I may have let out an audible whimper. 

There was no way to explain to the concerned store attendant that I was being stalked by Dean Martin, who has been dead for nearly two decades, and his persistent desire to let me know that, "The world is your snowball just for a song." 

If you need me for the next month or so, I will be in my apartment curled up in a ball rocking back and forth and listening to the Twisted Sister Christmas album on repeat.

What Christmas songs are plaguing you this season?

As always, come find my festive self on Facebook, Twitter (@AllisonHawn), and Goodreads!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Literary Dialogue

Terrier (Unknown Type, Small) Mix Dog for adption in Spokane, Washington - Doots
You Know You Want To Cuddle Him

Hello all! I hope everyone had a more fantastic Thanksgiving than the thought of bunnies playing Monopoly!
Happy Turkey Apocalypse!

Just a quick reminder: If you love small fuzzy, not as tasty, animals, remember that fifty-percent of my profits for November and December from Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor and Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus will be going to support the efforts of SpokAnimal!

So snag a gift for a loved one and also help out adorable fuzzies like Doots here. By the way Doots is also available for adoption, so if you'd like a little bundle of cute, go snag this little guy.

Well, this past week I had a wonderfully unique experience.

I was invited to a little soiree at Monkeyboy Books to hold a signing and book reading!

It was an absolute blast!

As always, it is great to meet new people and be provided with a chance to make people laugh with my own special brand of misfortune and surreal experiences!

One such new person was Spokane poet, Mark Strutton. With hair that came down to his waist, kept under control underneath a sun-faded fedora, Strutton filled the evening with wonderful poems that spoke of the ills of the modern age, memories from years past and philosophical questions.

We took turns reading, though, as a comedy writer, I feel a bit like I was a clown delivering a eulogy to Mark's wonderfully deep poems.

It was an excellent literary dialogue though, he would read a couple of poems, then I would chime in with a story, and back and forth we went. It was a fantastic experience.

Thank you to all who came and said hello, and a special thank you to Monkeyboy Books owner Marina for hosting such a rad event!

As always, come find me on Facebook, Twitter (@AllisonHawn) and Goodreads!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Keep it Classy

Australian Shepherd Mix Dog for adption in Spokane, Washington - Jagger
Hello all, I hope everyone is doing more splendidly than a rehash of Judy Garland's performance of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' performed by drunk squirrels.

Don't forget to order your signed copies of "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" and "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" by December 1st so that they can reach you and your loved ones by Christmas! Want to find out more? Click Here!

Also, half of my proceeds from either of my books sold during the month of November and December will go to help the efforts of SpokAnimal!

So buy a book and know that you're helping adorable animals like Jagger here get second leash on life (pun so very much intended). Oh, and by the way Jagger is up for adoption. So someone should go grab up this sweetheart before I have a weak moment and kidnap him myself.

One other very quick, and completely last-minute, announcement. I will be doing a book signing and reading at Monkeyboy Books this Saturday (November 22) at 5:30 pm! So if you're in the area come say hello!
Warning: Might Eat Your Soul
In other news, Spokane has officially solidified itself as the 'classiest' city in Washington.

How did we win such a prestigious, champagne soaked, title?

Well, not to brag, but we have not one tattoo and tanning salon business combo, but we have three. That's right, who in this day and age has time to wait for their tattoo to fully heal before they fake-tan themselves into oompa-loompa oblivion?

We also sport the only garbage eating goat statue, which resides directly in the center of one of our most scenic parks. The goat, designed to suck up your garbage when you feed detritus to it, also has the magical ability to sound like Satan may be opening a portal to Hell right there at your fingertips.

Still not enough proof of Spokane's classiness for you?
Police say murder suspect Brandon Mellon accidentally shot himself.
Credit: Huffington Post

Well how about our most recent appearance in the Huffington Post.

That's right, little old Spokane made it into Huff-Po... by being the town with the suspected murderer who managed to shoot himself in the leg trying to attack a police car that had just pulled up behind him.

And yes, that's a tattoo that reads, "Spokane" across his forehead.

See, Spokane even has self-arresting criminals, who are also proud of their hometown!

But truly, the biggest sign of our unflappable sense of 'fancy' comes from the conversations you can hear on the street.

Just the other day I was wandering down the street, in my high heels, full evening gown and mink stole (don't laugh too hard at that mental image, you might hurt yourself), and happened to hear this tid-bit of conversation:

"My mom and I just got in a fist fight at the Safeway... Why!? She took my Gatorade! She knows you don't mess with another person's Gatorade!"

That's right folks, classy people have their priorities straight: Blood may be thicker than water, but blood doesn't taste nearly as good as Gatorade.

Well, at least I can say I live in a town that provides me with plenty of writing material?

Do you think your town rivals Spokane in its 'fancy-ness?" Bring it, I will take you down like you just stole my Gatorade!

As always, have a fabulous week. If you need to find me check out my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter (@AllisonHawn) and visit me on Goodreads!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Caustic Comments

Hello! I hope everyone has had an absolutely splendidly fantastic week, tantamount only to the thought of "Hunger Games: The Musical."

Just a couple of quick reminders: Part of the proceeds from all copies of "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" and "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" will go to benefit the efforts of SpokAnimal!

So if you want to feel good about a book purchase, know that you're helping feed puppies and kittens, and providing spay and neuter services for the pets of low-income families.

Also, if you are wanting signed copies of either book, for yourself or a friend, you can find out how here.

All right, onwards!

I am a bit of a gym-rat. I am there almost every single day. I own more pairs of workout pants and shorts than I do normal pants and shorts. I can tell you what my top kettlebell swing weight is (Russian or American, kilograms and pounds).

What constantly shocks me is the comments that I get from guys, as a female, while working out seem only to get more stupid by the week.

I feel like a lot of the comments that I, and other gym going girls, get, are things that seem like they should obviously not be said. However, since I have gotten all of these at one point or another (most of them even this week), apparently they need to be said yet again.

So guys listen up, because these are the things guys (and really anyone) need to stop saying to girls at the gym:

1. "How much weight have you lost? Because you look better now."

It doesn't matter if she's lost two pounds or two hundred pounds, this is not a comment a girl wants to hear. 

Okay, I'm going to play Devil's Advocate and assume you meant that as a compliment. However, what you basically said is, "You weren't attractive before when you had a little extra weight on you, but now that you're thinner..."

Believe it or not, most women don't go to the gym so random guys can track their weight loss or fitness levels. I know this is a novel concept, some of us do it so we can become healthier for ourselves. 

And yes, we will tell you where you can go and what stationary bike you can ride on to get there.

2. "Are you sure you want to lift that much? You might get bulky..."

*Points to the point made above.*

I hate to break it to you, but women are not working out at the gym to fit into some random guy's fantasy of what a fit woman should look like. We're doing it so we can be healthy.

Also, some of us just don't have enough craps to give about possibly being "bulky."

3. "You're not doing that right, let me help you..."

 Why thank you kind professional personal trainer taking time out of your busy day to... Wait, you're not a professional personal trainer?

Oh, and you actually have no idea that due to my being female I have to modify certain lifts because they don't make certain weight equipment conducive to a female figure?

You think my grip on the 45 lbs dumbbell is odd for a bicep curl? How about the fact that if I hold it at the normal angle I will end up with giant bruises on my boobs thanks to the giant plates the manufacturers unnecessarily put on them?

You think my feet are at the wrong angle for a squat? Well after blowing out my knee a few years ago I was instructed by doctors to use a modified stance so I wouldn't re-injure it.

So, in the ten seconds you've seen me lift you just assumed everything I was doing was wrong, instead of assuming I perhaps understand my own body better than you might? 

Did we, as women, ask for your unsolicited advice? No? Then don't give it, and stop touching us!

4. "You know this is the free weight area, right? The weight machines are over there..."

Really!? Wow, that's what all those big lumps of metal and moving parts are!? Heck, I just wandered over here on accident while looking for a giant pink yoga ball to sit and bounce on.

Seriously, guys, women lift. Some of us lift more than you. Get over yourselves.

5. "You shouldn't do <Insert Name of Lift>, it's not good for your lady parts."

Yes, I have had this said about multiple types of lifts, and by multiple males.

I was unaware that random guys at the gym had any reason to be concerned about my reproductive organs. If only they cared this much when we need help paying for birth control.

Also, side note: Lifting does not hurt our 'lady parts,' that's like saying that doing cardio is going to hurt a guy's sperm count.

6. "You lift a lot for a girl."

Nope! That sentence was three words too long.

I don't "lift a lot for a girl." I just "lift a lot." Period.

7. "You come here often?" (Or really any pick-up line)

I'm lifting heavy things, sweat is pouring down my face like Niagra Falls and I have headphones in.

What part of this visual screams, "Hit on me!?" because really all it makes us want to do is hit on you... with a barbell. 

So what can you say to women at the gym? Okay, picture what you would say to your friend who is a guy at the gym. Now, weed out all the comments about hot girls, and try those. In other words, treat us like people instead of your new gym goal.

I would love to hear any other fun comments people get at the gym! 

As always I can be found on Facebook, Twitter (@Allison Hawn) and Goodreads!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Books for Pets

Hello everyone! I hope everyone's weeks were as fantastic as the thought of a million kittens mewing to Cake's "Short Skirt, Long Jacket."

Speaking of kittens, every year during November and December I like to choose a charity that will receive half of my proceeds from my books sold during those months. This year, that charity is SpokAnimal.

SpokAnimal is more than just an animal shelter. Their focus is not only on rescuing animals, but on providing low-cost spay and neuter services to help prevent overpopulation. Furthermore, they host veterinary clinics for low-income families and for the pets and service animals of the homeless.

Every copy of "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" and "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" sold (e-book or tree-book) will help SpokAnimal keep up their excellent work both finding homes for cats and dogs and providing services that keep pets healthy!

On another quick note: I have received quite a few questions about how someone might obtain signed and dedicated copies of my books.

If you are wanting to pick up a signed copy of either of my books for yourself or as a gift for someone else please send me a private message on my Facebook author page. Let me know how many books you would like, which titles you would like and who you would like them dedicated to (make sure you spell their name correctly as I will be spelling their names exactly as you tell me). I will respond with where a check can be sent, and will ship the books out as soon as I can after I receive the check.

Books are $13.00 apiece, unless you want to order both "Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus" and "Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor" then it will be $22.00 for the two together. Shipping and handling is $2.50 for the first book, and $1.00 for each additional book (I can only ship in the U.S. at the moment).

If you are wanting books for Christmas gifts, please make sure you place your order and send payment before December 1 as that is when I will be sending out the Christmas shipment to make sure it reaches everyone on time! If you have any questions please either post them in the comments below or on my Facebook author page.

Of course, half of my proceeds from any signed copies sold during November and December will also help raise money for SpokAnimal!

Well, that's all for this week! Don't forget to look me up on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads!