And now for something a little different…


I’m a big fan of novelists because without them we’d just be reading news all the time, or nonfiction books like 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage. How boring would that be? Sure, we’d be better informed and more happily married, but at what cost?

To that end, I’ve decided to interview an author I’m a big fan of, Harry Heckel. Harry has graciously consented to be my guinea pig with this whole interview experiment. He’s written some very funny, entertaining books that I’ve enjoyed and the rest of the world needs to know about!

So, without further ado, I present Harry Heckel:

Harry Heckel

Harry Heckel at the 2014 New York Comic Con where he did a panel on fairy tales and a book signing.

Me: Hi, Harry. Thank you for agreeing to do this.

HH: My pleasure, Betsy. Any fan of mine is a fan of mine.

(Just kidding, I, Betsy, wrote that part. I did warn you that HH is my guinea pig.)

But for reals this time: What made you decide to become a writer?

HH: I’ve wanted to write for a long time. When I was a child I’d make up histories and names for my toys and I read voraciously. I wanted to create books of my own to inspire and entertain others. If I can make one person’s day brighter or spark one person’s imagination, I’ve done some good.

Me: What an excellent answer. I wish I’d made that one up for you, too. Your most recent book, A Fairy-tale Ending, was published under a pen name (Jack Heckel) and you co-authored it. What was that like? I’m just going to pretend that I have no experience with this. And I certainly won’t mention that my second co-authored book with Dr. Morse, 101 Tips for Marrying the Right Person, comes out this fall. This is your interview, after all. Read the rest of this entry

And the wittiness just keeps coming


The ten-year-old child, of punctual wit fame, dropped a couple more greats.

After spending hours working on a story for her composition class, she said to me, “Mom, do you know why I don’t have a tail anymore?”

The best response in these situations, I’ve learned, is to not say anything beyond simply, “Why?” Read the rest of this entry

My crafty five-year-old


I walked into the kitchen and found the milk jug sitting on the table with the lid off (the jug not the table). Since it was right in front of my five-year-old, who was currently enjoying a bowl of cereal, it was easy to spot the culprit.

Instead of just asking her to put it away, my first instinct was incredulity, so I said, “Why is the milk sitting on the table with the lid off?”

The crafty one said, with no hesitation, Read the rest of this entry

As heard in a fourth grade classroom, part 1

These were submitted to me by a fourth grade teacher friend of mine. Don’t worry. There’s more where these came from.
So proud of having hung our school American flag, one of my students points it out to me:
Girl: Look at the American flag! I hung it… Doesn’t it look good?
Me: Wow!! You did a beautiful job. Looks great!
Girl: Thanks… I know. I do good things, and I look good doing ’em.

Read the rest of this entry

A gift to all you writer types


I don’t know if you’re already aware of Studio C, the clean comedy sketch show on Youtube, but I am HOOKED, y’all! Some of them are so funny I can barely breathe from laughing. (And some of them are just okay, but you can’t hit it out of the park every time.)

“Teddy’s Story Joint” is among my favorites. The rest of you authors or aspiring authors ought to get a kick out of it, too. Please enjoy and tell me what your favorite parts are. (Mine are “Calvin and Hobbes special” and the Star Wars/Harry Potter connection.) Read the rest of this entry



My sister-in-law told me this story:

One of her sons really liked a certain pair of socks with palm trees on them, so she got them for him for Christmas. Little did she know, until the package was removed and the socks were unfolded, that they weren’t adorned with palm trees at all. Read the rest of this entry

The little dears.


Here are a couple of gems from my friends:

“Son: Mommy, does your name have any L’s like mine?
Mom: Let’s sound it out and see!
Son: Aim–ee… nope, no L’s.
Mom: Great job!
Son: So how about we call you “Lame-y”?
Read the rest of this entry