Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Look! Something Shiny!

Good morning friends, readers and anyone else who happens upon this page while attempting to find pictures of adorable cats!

I received this yesterday and was just so darn-tootin' excited that I had to show you all!

Look my, up until now, naked book has a cover!

Thanks to the marvelous design by Paul Brand and the talented artistry of Anthony Carpenter, no one has to simply look at a boring white title page when my book is released on May 20! Instead they can feast their eyes upon this eclectic work of art that is sure to simultaneously delight and bewilder the masses at large!

Thank you both for your hard work and willingness to join me in the land of the weird!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Idaho, Answers and News! Oh My!

Good evening ladies, gentlemen and any magically literate insects who might be buzzing about.  I hope everyone is having a marvelous Saturday!

I have been receiving quite a few comments and questions regarding my book, Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus, which is set to be released next month. In fact, I just sent back the final draft of the manuscript with my personal seal of approval today!

First of all, thank you all for your wonderful comments and support, it truly warms my heart more than the thought of kittens in mittens delivering hot chocolate. You are all fabulous!

There have been quite a few questions swirling around the upcoming book, and quite a few of them have had a common theme. So to dispel any confusion and kill about 40 birds with one keyboard, I wish to provide some answers to the most frequently asked questions I have received.

> Will there be a e-book format of the book offered?

Yes. The print version of the book itself is set to be released on May 20, and the e-book version should be available through Amazon.com within the next couple of weeks. It will also be released through Barnes and Noble and Ingram's in the following weeks as well.

> Will it be available for pre-order? 

Sadly no, but the book will be available in less than a month!

> Would you be willing to have book readings or signings with local book clubs or at shops?

Absolutely. If you are interested in me attending your shop, library, book club meeting or other event please do not hesitate to contact me at platypusringmaster@gmail.com. Furthermore, if you would like any other information, please do not hesitate to contact me at that e-mail address or through the comments section of this blog.

When the book is released I will be offering a free discussion guide and fact sheet to any book groups that wish to use my book as well.

> Am I in your book?

Some mysteries are best solved through exploration. You will have to read and find out for yourself. ;)


And now for something completely different, a Scotswoman in a Toyota!

This past week I had the pleasure of driving down in my car, Hotpocket the Gutless Wonder, and visiting quite a few lovely people in Southern Idaho. It really was rather splendid catching up with all of you that I had a chance to see!

However, there were several times on my trip that I looked around me, like a deer might look at an oncoming crashing biplane, as I uttered, "Only in Idaho..."

The first time I had this feeling I was driving through one of many itty-bitty, blink and you miss them, would be a perfect setting for a horror film, towns. I was chugging along at the reduced town speed of 25 miles an hour, when I happened to look up and see something that almost made me steer off of the road.

A hawk flew extremely low over my car, obviously struggling, with a rather large barn-cat clutched in its claws. The hawk looked extremely confused and a little scared as it tried to keep control over one very angry kitty who was ferociously clawing its would-be predator. Feathers rained down from on high like strange confetti as I passed underneath them. Welcome to Idaho!

Then there was the fact that I was almost late for an appointment because I got stuck behind not one, not two, but four tractors on an eight-mile stretch of road.

At one juncture, I was visiting some friends, and one of them had just bought a new handgun and was showing off his new (unloaded) purchase. Another one of my friends, who is a woman with a PhD might I add, was holding someone's baby and ended up holding the gun as well.

This woman, who is one of the most intelligent women I know, stood there barefoot, holding a baby on one hip and a gun in her other hand as she said, "Yeah, the weight on this one isn't terrible, the sights seem a bit off, though."

I also pulled up beside a woman in my car, who appeared to be eating a potato like a candy bar. Now if that's not stereotypical Idaho, I don't know what is.

In any case, it was marvelous getting to sojourn that direction, and thank you all for your wonderful hospitality! I wish you all a more fantastic week than the thought of a thousand German Shepherd puppies running in formation to the tune of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water!"

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus

I have a book coming out! Yes, you read correctly, an actual page-and-binding construct that will be big enough to help you fend off a rabid squirrel if you should happen to meet one! 

My book, Life is a Circus Run By a Platypus, has been selected for publication by Sweatshoppe Publications!!! 

Here are the answers to the questions you might (or might not, this is a bit of a Schrodinger moment) be asking: 

> What is this book about? 

Well, here is the blurb from the back of the book: 

Has being late to work due to dancing clowns ever been a problem for you? Have you ever had to defend yourself against a giant iguana? Does the overture to “The Music Man” make you violently twitch? 

In Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus readers are immersed into what it would be like to live every day as if a herd of ballerinas were chasing you, without the inconvenience of actually having to run. This collection of truly bizarre short stories taken from the author, Allison Hawn’s, life takes one across the world and into the strangest crevices of civilization. The lessons learned through her adventures might very well save the reader if they too ever have to face birthing a cow, calming distraught technical support or death by furniture. 

> Well that sounds swell, when and where will the book be released? 

It will be available May 20th on Amazon.com and through the Sweatshoppe Publications website (http://sweatshoppepublications.com/). In the following week it will also be available through Barnes and Noble, Ingram and various other bookstores. A full list will be provided closer to the actual release date.

  > If there were a war between bears and unicorns, who would win? 

Unicorns, undoubtedly. 

> If I have questions about the book, media kits, or am having a minor existential crisis, how do I contact you?
The best way currently contact me is through commenting on this webpage or through my e-mail at platypusringmaster@gmail.com, I welcome any and all questions (but cannot guarantee a satisfactory answer to all your existential conundrums). Also feel free to follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

Stay tuned, same Bat-time same Bat-channel, as this is my official website, for more details. I will be running contests, providing you with sneak previews and have extra book related content here in the near future. Thank you all!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Silver Linings and Hand Sanitizer

This past week I was kissed by the least competent cross-dresser I have ever seen.

I work with homeless youth for a living, and as such, often go to random places where free meals are being held so that I can say things like, “No, really, you do have court today. I don’t care that it’s National Waffle Day, that does not exempt you from showing up.”

I was at one of the early morning breakfast feeding spots for the homeless, when a stubble clad chin with enough make-up to stop a nuclear warhead sauntered up to me unsteadily in a pair of heels that may have been too "out there" for the 1980's.

"Good morning, darling!" the voice boomed from far above my head as a long mane of greasy hair was tossed over a shoulder and jingly accessories danced in a way that would give most small animals a seizure.

I made a small finger wave as I attempted to figure out something to say aside from, "Good heavens! Your eyeliner, it's gone rogue, it's trying to take over your face! Run for your life!"

Then suddenly he swooped down like a hawk going after a legless shrew. I had just enough time to turn my head before he planted a giant sloppy kiss on the side of my head.

Ilsa, an outreach worker from another agency who works primarily with the adult population, reached over smacked him and said, "No! Let her go! What have I told you, we don't kiss people we've just met!"

He let go, and unsteadily sauntered off, winking at me and nearly face-planting into a table. A few minutes later, when I was using enough hand sanitizer on the side of my face to effectively disinfect a beluga whale, the main thought in my head was, "Well, the day can only improve from here."

I find it a little sad that that was my first and only thought. Not, "Holy crap what just happened!?" or "Did I accidentally take some LSD somewhere back there?"

No, my only thought was basically that with the bar set so low for my Wednesday, things could only improve.

I'm not entirely sure what this says about my life. I definitely have a habit of wandering into bizarre situations. Maybe it is kind of like how people who were raised on farms have become desensitized to the smells that make the rest of the civilized world want to yack, I think I have become desensitized to surreal, off the wall, crap happening to me.

I mean, I realize it is not in a person's normal day to watch dancing tweakers, or be delayed getting to work by dancing clowns or be told that they have "lovely lumberjack calves"(I’m still not sure if I want to take that one as a compliment or insult yet).

However, it really doesn't hit me how strange some of this stuff is until I tell someone else about it and they look at me like I've suddenly sprouted antenna and told them that my name is Gozer the Destroyer.

In any case, I wouldn't trade my myriad of crazy situations for the world. Then again, I do sometimes wish they wouldn't slobber as much.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It's Hard to Samba in a Kilt

I cannot dance.

I am not just saying this to downplay an actual ability like when people say, "Oh, I can't sing," and then they belt out an aria from Carmen (Jerks). No, I really cannot dance.

I have what I like to refer to as Caucasian Rhythm Disorder. I am of Scottish descent and we are a people known, at our stereotyped best, for throwing heavy objects, playing bagpipes, producing whiskey and eating haggis, none of which are really activities that bring about a culture of smooth and sensual rhythmic movements.

Even our traditional dance is called " The Highland Fling" and mostly revolves around hopping around like a one-legged bunny on caffeine (Not to disparage any of my dancing kin, it's very difficult to do, but I wouldn't call it smooth by any stretch of the imagination.)

This past week my friend Sarah invited me to go to an aerobic toning class, and always looking for something new to try, I went. Being a few days past laundry day I threw on the only clean piece of workout clothing I had left; my Sport Kilt.

We got through the aerobic class, with me happily sweating along, kilt probably befuddling the rest of the class. The class ended and as we were all leaving a Zumba class began to arrive.

For those of you who have never been exposed to the wonders of Zumba, it is basically Jazzercise on crack.

Zumba participants are devoted, much like the members of a cult, to their classes.  They show up several times a week, often wearing Zumba uniforms, and often chant along with the music.

My friend Sarah turned to me and said, "Hey, we should stay and do Zumba!"

I blinked at her a couple times with the same expression an antelope might have for a cheetah with a jet-pack. I tried to explain to her that I am not a dancer, that the second I am given a beat and rhythm to follow I become a danger to myself and others, but she did not heed my warning and so out onto the gym floor we trundled.

The music started and the first thing the instructor shouted was, "Go to the left!" And I promptly went right nearly crashing into a wall. Correcting my trajectory (because that is all it really can be labeled at this point) did not help much. I had no idea what the Zumba-trons were doing with their feet, much less what they were doing with their hands or hips. I do not samba, salsa, hip-hop or use my hips to tell truths (that's right Shakira, my hips tell terrible, terrible lies). They all moved in a wonderful synchronized form while I did something similar to The Time Warp meets the Highland Fling in a kilt.

I will admit I had fun, even when some older lady lady tried to help me learn some very basic steps, she eventually gave up.  But I can promise I was a dancing tragedy, a fact that was confirmed by the pitying/attempting to be encouraging looks I got from a very adorable gay couple across from me.

What I found fascinating is how into it everyone in the class seemed to be. It didn't matter how big or small the person was, orientation, religion, The Bachelor devotee or not, this was the most accepting cult I have ever witnessed. Though, I will probably not be returning anytime in the near future, I'm pretty sure I almost gave some poor woman a black eye due to directional mishap.

So what lessons did I learn from my boogie-bedazzled enterprise?

1. You can have a lot of fun making an absolute fool of yourself (a fact I already knew, but it's nice to have a refresher course every once in a while).

2. If at first you don't succeed, then do the Running Man for 3 minutes until the song changes and you have some smidgen of hope that you will have some sort of a clue what to do for the next song.

3. Always wear a kilt into new situations, just wearing one increases one's courage, I promise.