Sunday, January 28, 2007

Talk Radio - Part II Redux

I found an article by Valerie Connelly confirming most of my advice in my previous post, but she as a radio talk show host goes a bit further.

I had not considered that someone might feel so comfortable in being interviewed by phone that they would multi-task by either working on their computer or washing dishes.

Ohhhhh, I have to agree that unless you want to appear unprofessional you should not have anything in the background going on. Your interview should be your sole focus for that period of time as well as making yourself and your host look good.

Her article was also cross posted on Ezine articles.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Talk Radio - Part II

Holly Kennedy and Patricia Wood wanted to know more about talk radio and I meant to post again sooner, but I got waylaid by the Norovirus.


Word to the wise: avoid getting that virus at all costs.

Back to the subject of radio:

Last time I discussed the do's and don'ts of how to be a good talk radio caller. Once you have mastered being a caller, then you can move on to trying to be a guest.

But how you ask, do you secure the gig in the first place?

The same way you find an agent. You have to do your homework, otherwise you'll be wasting a lot of time and energy.

You need to know the format of a show before attempting to contact them. It would be a supreme waste of time to call the producer of a sports talk show and offer to go on the air talking about a novel set in Elizabethan England. Whereas that same show and producer might be receptive to have you as a guest if your novel featured hockey players or if you wrote a biography of a sports legend. It all depends on what they are looking for and what you have to offer.

Just as you shouldn't send your murder mystery novel to an agent who only handles memoir and nonfiction, you should also avoid contacting the producers of shows whose format is a bad fit.

Before you try contacting shows outside of your area, you should first master your local market. If you only listen to music stations, then you are in for a surprise by scrolling on your dial to find talk radio stations. Identify the stations whose format is talk and then start listening. You'll want to figure out which hosts and which shows you think might be interested in what you have to offer.

Different hosts have different personalities and different interests. By listening to their shows you'll soon figure out whether or not they are Howard Stern wannabes or some variation on that theme. Some hosts will have audiences that will definitely not be interested in hearing anything you have to say. That is fine. Move on and listen to another show and another host.

You cannot know your radio market in a day or even a week. Some hosts you will quickly learn are not ones you want to approach. Others you might have to listen to for a while to get a feel for what they like. Since talk radio is a slave to current events, what is cause célèbre one day can become passé the next.

You should also check out the websites of your local radio stations because you might overlook a show appearing on weekends that might be the perfect show for you if it specializes covering the literary scene. Just as there might be an hour on gardening and cooking on Saturday, they might have someone covering local authors. Don't forget to check out your National Public Radio stations as well in your survey.

Once you have a figured out which host and show you'd like to approach, you'll have a better idea of how to successfully bait your hook. Call the station and ask for the producer of the show on which you want to appear. Try calling several hours before the day's show is set to start. They'll be doing prep work for the day's show, but you certainly do not want to call and ask for them immediately before or during the show. That will make you look like you don't listen to the show or that you don't understand radio.

You might get the producer's voice mail or if you are lucky you might get them to answer the phone directly. Get ready because now you need to sell yourself with your elevator speech. The one or two minute pitch that will grab the producer to yourself and why they need to have you as a guest. You're not pitching your book, you're pitching yourself as a guest.

I suggest doing this by phone rather than email or snail mail because radio is by definition a spoken medium. They don't care if you can write well, they want to know how well you speak. By talking to you on the phone they'll instantly judge whether they think you will be good on-air. Try not to stumble or ramble. Have your pitch polished and rehearsed. Have follow up documentation ready to send them by fax or email if they should ask for something.

If you are trying to pimp your book, there is a good chance they'll want a free copy of your book to review before they commit. See if you can get away with sending them to an extensive website instead or send them sample chapters. There are no guarantees that they'll interview you and it can get expensive if you give out a book to every host or producer who asks for one. Use your best judgment as to when to give away books, because it will be coming out of your pocket.

The producer will most likely discuss your proposal with the host before any scheduling decision is made. After all, it will be the host who will be filling the air with scintillating talk and if they think your topic will be a yawner, it won't do anyone any good.

Being prepared for cancellation of your guest appearance

Talk radio as a genre is a slave to current events. Things happening in the world can cause the abrupt alteration of whatever programming was planned. It doesn't even have to be a calamitous event, a small article in the morning paper might make the host livid and they will want to use their microphone to vent on the subject. So that means a scheduled interview can be abruptly canceled because XYZ happened and the host wants to talk about that and not talk with you.

It's their microphone. They get to chose what they want on the agenda and sometimes it means scuttling guests in order to vent about the latest scandal.

Don't take it personally.

You are only certain that you will be a guest once you are actually on the air. Then again, should something dramatic happen during your interview, the show might be interrupted. As Steve Winwood croons, "Roll with it."

Once you are successful in securing an interview on a radio station you will either be an in-studio or an on-air guest. Meaning, you can either drive down to the station or doing it elsewhere via telephone. If you have the choice and the opportunity, I recommend being an in-studio guest.

In-studio guest

You should show up to the studio at least half an hour before you are scheduled to go on-air. This will eliminate worries from the staff about whether or not the host will have to fill air time while they’re waiting for you to arrive.

When you get to the station, you’ll need to sign in with either a receptionist or security before you are shown to either a “green room” or a reception area to wait.

Bring a bottle of water with you to drink. You’ll be talking and you don’t want to lose your voice.

As soon as you’ve signed in at the station, ask to use their rest room. By making yourself as comfortable as possible, you are more likely to last throughout the half hour or hour interview slot without having to cross your legs because your back teeth are floating.

By showing up ahead of time, you can also review your notes. Be sure to bring contact information to give out over the air at the end of the show. If you will be appearing somewhere have the name of the place, the location, as well as the date and time. You should also have your webpage address, so people who are interested but cannot attend your appearance can learn more about you. Have it written down so that you don't have to worry about your mind going blank or giving out the wrong information by mistake because you remembered the wrong date.

One of the benefits of in-studio interviews is that you get to meet the host and when you are talking on-air, you will both be able to see each other’s non-verbal signals. An example is the host making a point and then raising their finger to tell you that they’ll be done shortly and then you can jump in with your response. You do not want to interrupt the host when you are the guest, not unless you want to come across as being combative or argumentative. You can still disagree with a host depending on your subject matter, but you are better served to sound reasoned in your approach than to be angry. If you’d like to establish a good working relationship with the host and asked back in the future, it’s best to treat them with respect. One of the reasons you were asked as a guest was to enlighten the host and the audience about subjects that you are considered to be an expert.

Try to be informative, but don’t get too bogged down with minutiae. Use humor whenever possible. Radio's main purpose is to entertain. You can be informative while entertaining, but audiences don’t like people who lecture them, scold them or bore them.

It is best to prepare your arguments in your head before hand, but don’t have speeches you want to deliver. The host will ask questions they want to ask, and you need to answer them.

Remote location guest

One big drawback of doing an interview remotely is that you always run the risk of interruption. Think of any important phone call you’ve made in your life where you didn’t want any interruptions and how that hasn’t always worked out the way you planned. You don’t want dogs barking, kids screaming or door bells in the background and you do not want call waiting to kick in.

Sometimes you will have no choice but do an interview by phone, so for those cases you should do the following:

Be sure to find a quiet space and tell everyone around you that you will be on the phone and cannot be disturbed for X period of time.

Have a reliable phone that does not have call waiting. If it is a cell phone or battery operated phone, be sure it is fully charged.

The producer will tell you what time they will be calling you to be on the show. Be sure to have gone to the bathroom prior to that time.

Have a glass of water nearby. You’ll be talking and you don’t want to lose your voice.

Have your notes handy and review them while waiting for your phone call.

You’ll notice the last few pieces of advice were similar to ones above for in-studio. The same applies for not being argumentative with the host. You should be polite, charming and funny, or risk alienating the host and never being invited back.

Morning Shows

Morning drive time programming is different than traditional talk radio formats. Some are with shock jocks who find scatological references to be a source of infinite laughs. I would avoid those shows, unless that is your target audience.

There are other morning shows focusing on the local community and have a mix of news, sports, traffic, weather and do not spend any great length of time on any topic. Those shows you can be a guest on without a lot of time involvement. If you do secure a time slot for being interviewed it will probably only be about five minutes total (if that long.) You'll have a promo or two mentioned before commercials that you will be coming up and then the host will introduce you and ask a question or two.

If you get a gig like this: make the most of it! You've got about the same amount of time that most callers do for talk radio, but you've got a platform. Answer the questions, flatter your host and be sure to seal the deal with giving information to the listeners as to where they can visit your website, buy your books, see you in person, etc.

Alternately, you might try just calling when the show is on the air and saying that you had an announcement you hoped to share with the listening audience. If you sound gracious enough, they're likely to go along. You'll be squeezed in the margins between traffic, weather, sports and headlines. That's when you can chime in to say you're an author who will be appearing at XYZ Bookstore that night and hope to meet their listeners.

I'd suggest doing this if you are on a road trip and doing book signings. Just do a Google search of talk radio stations in the larger cities, use that to narrow down your search on the radio dial, listen in and then call. Try to sound as cheerful and engaging as possible and you might get on the air.

Morning show formats are more amenable to that kind of spontaneity. Otherwise the hosts are left filling air time with oddball stories in the hopes of getting a chuckle or two from their audience who are either getting ready for work or stuck in traffic.

Being gracious

Regardless of whether you are in-studio or a remote guest, be sure to thank your host for allowing you to be a guest on their show. They are giving you free air time for whatever it is that you are selling, whether it be your opinions or your book. Do this either after you have finished your on-air plug. If you are in the studio you can do it off-air to not waste precious air-time with pleasantries. Otherwise, say your gratitude after you've finished the information you wanted to impart such as the time and place of your speaking engagement, website address, etc.

On Cold calling

Should you decide to try marketing your book by calling talk radio shows outside of your area and hoping to score interviews expect that any book you get on the subject is likely to be out-of-date. This is similar to buying a copy of Writers Market. Some of the listings will stay the same while others are obsolete by the time the ink hits the page.

If you use any compilation, you should verify things via the internet first before taking the trouble to call. Radio stations are notorious for changing their format as well as their line ups with little or no advance warning. A friend of mine in college told me about waking up one morning and being shocked when his clock radio blared out country and western rather than rock and roll. The station had changed its format literally overnight.

I've also heard talk radio hosts talk about former employers and realizing that they were without a job when they showed up for work and their picture was no longer hanging in the entrance hall. Radio stations will then immediately change their website and scrub any mention of fired hosts, as if they were never there.

Tom Leykis once said that the management at KFI Radio in LA changed their line up more often than he changed his underwear. Having seen what Tom Leykis looked like, it was a visual that has been irreparably seared to my brain.

So the lesson is, don't trust any book on the subject: check the web for updated information of hosts for a station. If you are going to try and call cold, I would look over each host's bio page carefully to try and glean any information before calling the producer to try and hook them. You can at least try to avoid calling sports talk hosts to try and pimp your Elizabethan England novel.

I think that's all. Let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Talk Radio - Do's and Don'ts Part I

After reflecting on my last posting about Joan Price being on the receiving end of nasty talk radio, I thought I should share some of my hard found knowledge of that media.

Radio has its own rules, some of them are unwritten but you don’t want to violate them. Authors are frequently given the advice to promote themselves on radio shows, but if you don’t understand what you are getting into – it could be a disaster or just an unpleasant and unprofitable experience. Before ever trying to become a guest on talk radio, you should understand how it works by listening and by experiencing the medium by being a caller. Only when you've mastered that should you try and graduate to becoming a guest.

First off, I want to explain a little of my own experience with radio so that when I start expounding on what you should and shouldn’t do that you’ll know how I learned this knowledge.

I’ve listened to talk radio for over fifteen years. I’ve been a caller to hosts in the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets as well as cultivated a professional friendship with Pat Thurston at my local station that has lasted a decade.

I’ve been an in-studio guest at KABC-Radio in LA, KSRO in Santa Rosa and have also been an on-air guest for KFI Radio in LA and KSRO in Santa Rosa.

One of the first things you need to know about talk radio is that the host is a slave to the clock. The show is to provide an entertaining experience for the listening audience and not as a courtesy to callers. That means as a caller you may sit for close to an hour on the phone and never go on the air. Or you might get twenty seconds to speak after waiting for 50 minutes. You might get hung up on, shouted at, or have your sound turned off.

It all depends on what the host thinks makes good radio. Don’t take it personally.

Talk radio is not like the deli line where first come – first served. Nope. You can be waiting forever online and someone calls in with a snazzy comeback to what the host just said, they can be bumped to being the next caller on-air.

So here are the Do’s and Don’ts.

Do: Be prepared to wait.

You will be waiting for someone to answer the phone, you’ll be waiting to get on the air. You’ll be waiting a lot. If the phone rings and rings and rings, know that you got through. There are a limited number of lines to the radio station and you might not get another chance to get on air because if you try back again you might get busy signals.

Hang on until someone answers the phone.

Don’t: ever express annoyance to the producer for anything. Not the seventy rings before they picked up – because they might be juggling five lines at once. They handle one caller at a time. If you don’t have the patience to manage the waiting for the phone to be picked up hurdle, you’ll never be fit to be an on-air caller.

Do: Shut off your radio as soon as the producer answers the phone. You can hear the show on the phone while you are on hold.

Don’t: have the radio going on in the background. There’s generally a ten second time delay so that they can bleep out any FCC fine inducing comments before they make it on air. If the host hears the radio playing when through your phone, you’ll annoy the snot out of them. They’ll have to tell you to turn off your radio and when you get back, they’ll know that you’re a newbie who doesn’t know how radio works. They’ll treat you like dirt and toy with you, if they are of such a mind.

Do: Think of something pithy to say to add to the conversation. It must be summarized in a few words because it will be typed onto a computer screen by the producer. For example:

John from Kokomo “Adores sliced bread.”

Marty from Chicago “Crusty sourdough is better than sex!”

The producer might not think that your comment is entertaining enough to get on the air, and even if they do put you on hold for the host - if your comment line doesn’t sound intriguing enough, you might never get on air.

Don’t: try to have a meaningful conversation with the producer. They’ve got a lot of things they have to do. Be succinct. They want to put callers on hold as quickly as possible so they can get back to paying attention to what is being said on-air.

Do: Have a clock nearby and watch it zealously throughout the time you are on the phone. Knowing when the show breaks for the news and commercials will help you guage how much time you will have when you get on the air to make your point.

Don’t: use your speaker phone. Hosts hate that with a passion. Also do not leave your phone, if you need to use the bathroom make it quick and do it during one of the long breaks like the newsbreak at the bottom of the hour.

Do: Pay attention to what is being said. Listen for a hissing noise before the host says your name and announces you are on the air.

Don’t: say “am I on the air?” Most times you will only talk to the producer once, then the next voice you hear is the host. Be prepared to go on the air at any time.

Do: listen attentively because sometimes the producer will come back to tell you that “you’ll be up next” or something to that effect. If you are daydreaming and don’t respond, the producer might hang up on you. That’s preferable to the host saying, “John from Kokomo you’re on the air…..John are you there?...Hello, John!…Marty from Chicago, hello!”

Don’t: Waste any time with niceties. Do not thank the host for taking your call. It’s a waste of airtime. Taking calls from listeners is what the talk radio format is about. Thanking the host obligates them to respond and wastes more time. Similarly don’t ask the host how they are. Tom Leykis hates it so much when callers ask “how are you?” he has responded, “Do you care?”
Do: Springload your argument. Start off with a bang. What was it that made you want to call and respond to the topic? Was it to set the host straight in regards to a faulty assumption? Or was it to give your feedback on their opinion? Whatever it was, start with that first. That might be the only thing you get to say on air. Hosts will many times hang up on a caller and then respond on air to what was said. A lot of times it sounds as if the caller might still be there, but they aren’t. That way, the host doesn’t have to worry about annoying “uh huhs” on the other end of the line that would detract from the listeners enjoying the show.

Don’t: Ramble. Don’t start talking about something else other than what you stated to the producer and then say, “but what I called in to say was…”

Do: Use logic when you are making an argument. If try to state something as a fact, be sure you can back it up. Broad brush opinion strokes will work if you are on a show that preaches to the choir and you are agreeing with the host. Otherwise, if you call a host with integrity and not just a polemicist, you need to be able to cite your information and have it be from a credible source.

Don’t: Read from a study. It sounds boring and it irritates the host. If they ask you “are you reading?” stop immediately because it is bad radio. It’s better to say something like “Kathleen Hall Jamison from the Annenberg School of Communication did a study on college students and the effects of pornography and it was found that…”

Do: Follow up with a host if you make such a claim. Use email, fax or snail mail. Show them the study you cited, links to it, etc. Prove your own worth and reliability as a caller. I had made a claim on-air to “The Joel Roberts Show” on KABC Radio regarding the political topic of violence against women and followed that up with a letter to the talk show host a few days later. Included was not only the Senate Judiciary Report that I cited, but an op-ed I had written that was published in the Los Angeles Times. Joel was so impressed that he called me and asking me to be a guest on his show a week later.

Don’t: Call a host you are unfamiliar with. Listen to the show for at least a day or two before you call. If you call after becoming enraged by a host’s commentary and do not know anything about them you are setting yourself up for being embarrassed on-air. I used to listen to Tom Leykis when he was the afternoon drive host on KFI radio and his show was about politics and current events. (Not like his current style which is sleaze.) It was amazing to hear callers try to take Tom to task and not know how to make their points in a logical fashion. He eviscerated callers by using their own logic against them, and it often made for cruel sounding radio. I likened it to watching someone walking into a buzz saw.

I called Tom on-air back when he was in LA and some of the times I disagreed with him. However, I knew exactly how to put forth my points in a manner that was respectful and logical and I emerged unscathed.

Do: Understand that if you contradict what the host says that you need to control the argument as long as possible up-front. That means that you have to have your argument prepared and say as much without breathing. As soon as you take a pause, they might just cut you off. Unless you are shouting profanities in the phone, they generally won’t cut off a caller mid-sentence. So if you have a point that is hostile to the host you must try to filibuster your thought as much as possible before you have to breathe, because once you do you are letting them have the floor back.

There might not be a give-and-take. Be prepared for that strong possibility.

Don’t: filibuster once you’ve made your initial argument. The host may ask you questions about your logic or facts. Listen to what they are asking you and answer them. I hate it when callers try to avoid answering the host’s questions and there becomes a shouting match. It’s bad radio and you look like a fool.

Once you are off the air, the host can make fun of you with future callers for the rest of the hour. Or you might appear on commercials for the host as a promotion, making your embarrassment be something that people will hear over and over.

Do: Realize that most talk radio shows change topics every hour. If the host never got you on the air and the news at the top of the hour starts, hang up the phone and go about your life. You wasted time with a phone to your ear, but there are worse ways to spend an hour. Next time resolve to come up with a better and more engaging topic phrase for the producer to get you on-air.

Don’t: squander any time if you are the last caller of the hour. If the host says, “you’ve got twenty seconds” then use it wisely. The news will cut in and you’ll be off the air in twenty seconds. Make your point and make it well. You will have the last word on that subject.

That’s enough for now. I’ll revisit this topic again and talk about what it was like to be a guest on a show and how I’ve successfully and unsuccessfully pitched show topics.

If you think I've forgotten anything or have questions about talk radio, please be sure to leave a comment.


Monday, January 8, 2007

Sex, Blogs and National TV

Last night we had a wonderful meeting for my writers club, one of the best ever. It was due in no small part to our guest Joan Price and her amazing story of how her latest book Better Than I Ever Expected: straight talk about sex after sixty came about, and how her blog led to a recent appearance on ABC’s “Nightline.”

First off, Joan had written five books about health and fitness and was in the process of promoting her book, The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book when she got a call from her publisher’s publicist saying that she was trying to get Joan booked as a guest on a cable show in New York City called, “Naked New York.” The cable show dealt with sex issues, and did Joan have any exercises that were good for sex? Joan said yes, and then the publicist asked for a hook to grab the producers.

Joan answered, “Tell them I’m 59 years old and I’m having the best sex of my life!”

That did it.

She was booked as a guest. Joan thought she’d be able to get on the show and then ease on into talking about fitness. WRONG. They wanted to talk about sex.

As she sat in the Green Room waiting to go on as their last guest for the show, she kept hearing them promote her appearance before and after each commercial break with “And coming up, Joan Price who is 59 years old and having the best sex of her life.”

She said it made her sound like a freak.

Joan went on the show, and she did get to talk about fitness. For about ten seconds or so. They did mention and show her book, but mainly they wanted to ask her about having the best sex of her life as a woman in her late fifties.

She came home from that experience and talked with her lover (now husband) about it. She then started researching the market and found that there really weren’t any books about sex and the older woman where the subject was treated as anything other than a medical malady. Robert suggested that she write her own book on the subject.

Joan thought seriously about the idea. She bounced it off her agent, who felt that Joan’s expertise was in fitness books. She suggested that Joan consider ghost writing a book on sex.

Then comes the great part that I just love: Opportunity came looking for Joan.

She had a cover story article appear about fitness in the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine

and the Saturday after it was published, an acquisitions editor from Seal Press read Joan’s article. She liked it. She liked Joan’s voice. She went to her computer and looked to see what she could find out about Joan, and found Joan’s website.

The editor picked up the phone and called Joan, introduced herself and said that Seal Press published women’s titles, but doesn’t publish fitness nor self-help books. She then asked Joan if there were any other ideas for a book she had been dying to write.


Joan pitched the idea of writing a positive book about sexuality as you age. The twenty-something editor loved the idea.

Then, she told Joan that they were going to have a meeting on Tuesday to decide titles to acquire for the upcoming year. Could Joan have a book proposal to her by the next day?

That could have been the end of the story, because Joan had written book proposals before and knew exactly how much work went into book proposals and knew that it was an impossible task to start from scratch and have a full proposal done in less than 24 hours. And have it done right. She demurred due to the timing.

The editor then offered to help, because she knew exactly what was needed in order to convince the other people in the meeting.

A few days later, Joan had a contract to start writing the book.

Amazing, huh?

I had heard part of that story back in September when I met Joan at the Sonoma County Book Festival I was there with other writers representing the Redwood Writers branch of the California Writers Club, and Ana Manwaring told me that I had to meet Joan Price. She thought Joan was a kick in the pants.

I went over to Joan’s booth and started schmoozing. I was talking up the writers club and wanted to see if there was some angle for Joan to be a speaker for our writers group. We don’t want our meetings to be simply a series of book signings. No, there has to be something regarding the business of writing and publishing that will be informative for other writers.

In our conversation I casually asked Joan if she had a website or blog, because our October meeting was on the topic of literary websites and blogs. It was then she told me the story of how her website led to a book contract. After she told me that story, she wanted to make sure that I didn’t just think it was good luck on her part.

Hardly. I knew that for that to happen she had to have worked her tail off to have a presence on the web, and to make herself as an author known. And that hard work paid off.

I had her scheduled to speak as our guest, and then the producers of ABC’s “Nightline” decided to do a story about the Baby Boomers, sexuality and susceptibility to AIDS/HIV. They didn’t go through a stack of press releases from publicists to find Joan. Nope, they surfed the web and they found her blog.

A producer called Joan, identified herself as being from ABC Television said the magic words, “I’d like to chat with you about…”

Joan knew enough that this was their screening process to see whether or not she would be a good guest. The producer would decide based on that phone conversation if Joan could speak in sound bites and give pithy answers that would make good television.

Joan passed the pre-interview hurdle. Later the interview was scheduled and a film crew was hired from Marin County to do the filming of the segment, and a producer from New York flew out to interview Joan. They spent close to six hours with Joan filming her at house, watching her teach line dancing and also interviewing her. All that and Joan’s appearance in the segment amounted to only about two and a half minutes on the nationally televised show.

Then came the waiting game. Joan told me about her upcoming appearance and while I was excited for her, I also knew from the experience of friends of mine that “things happen” with TV appearances. Both friends were on nationally televised shows, but their appearances were blacked out in the local viewing area due to major news events pre-empting their shows. GRRRR.

This was back in the early 1990s and long before You Tube, the internet, etc. I never saw the shows.

Anyway, Joan found out that nationally televised news show have their own inherent rules for schedules. Such as breaking news of national importance trumps “evergreen” stories that can be aired anytime. Her show was scheduled and rescheduled several times. Hours after Joan sent out email alerts telling people to watch for her that night, she’d get word it wouldn’t be airing that night after all.

After several iterations on this schedule/reschedule theme, the show aired. She had a nice bump in traffic to her blog, and then a nationally syndicated radio show of irresponsible shock jocks heard about her appearance. Then her positive national exposure turned ugly.

Because these “forty-somethings” somehow think that sex by “sixty-somethings” is sick. And they turned their dim witted listeners into trolls who spammed her blog with filthy, disgusting, age-ist flames.

As if neither of the radio shock jocks want to have a satisfying sex life when they reach their sixties, and none of their single digit IQ fans can imagine reaching that milestone either.

Joan tracked down the source of the trolling from a fan website of the radio show, and then saw some of their own online comments to one another. Infantile and despicable.

The hosts of the radio show then had the nerve to call Joan and ask if she wanted to come on the air as a guest. She turned them down flat.

I’m glad she did. I know how talk radio works because I’ve listened to it, been a caller and guest for that medium for about fifteen years. The hosts control the microphone, and they can cut you off at any time. After you are no longer on-air, they can sit and trash you for as long as they like. Going on with a hostile host is always a dicey proposition, and their listening audience was not Joan’s target market.

It would have been a waste of her time, and most likely a negative experience.

Furthermore, I’m thinking that those men/adolescent boys who made such sick comments about sexuality and aging need to realize that Karma can be a Real Bitch.

Joan wound up deleting the horrible comments on her blog, but unfortunately it was the same day that she received coverage by a local newspaper columnist telling about her appearance on national television and gave her blog address.

She just hopes there weren’t too many people who read the nasty-gram laden comment trail before she had a chance to delete them. She also changed her blog to screen comments before they are posted for the public to see.

Joan told us her story last night with verve, candor and great humor.

Our meeting room was packed, and we kept having people show up throughout the meeting. It was a great night for networking and for learning about how with persistence, hard work and talent that you can sometimes create your own good luck.

Thanks Joan!


Oh, and her book is a riot. I came home and started reading it. Funny, honest and energetic. Just like Joan.

Here's another perspective on that fabulous meeting from another writer who I'm still working on becoming a member.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy Feast of the Holy Circumcision!

Over the years I have come across all kinds of fascinating information that I can sometimes recall at will. This has led some of my friends to refer to me as The Encyclopedia or The Library.

One of those bits of arcane trivia lodged in my brain is the significance of January 1st in relation to its close proximity to Christmas Day. According to ancient Hebraic law, a child was not named until eight days after its birth. This allowed for children who might not survive to pass away without being named. There were not neo-natal intensive care units at that time, and many children simply succumbed shortly after birth.

Naming on the eighth day was a cause for celebration, and along with those festivities came the bris for the male children.

So, once again, I wish you a Happy Feast of the Holy Circumcision!

I heard that detail a few years ago on National Public Radio and at the time, I must have slapped my head in not realizing that relationship before. I knew that this religious ceremony took place a week after the birth of a child, but I never made the connection between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Ever since that time, I try and extend my hearty wish to people to celebrate the anniversary of Jesus’s bris instead of the generic Happy New Year wish. It livens things up a bit.

Here is a link to the entry on this Catholic holy day of obligation in Wikipedia to verify my claim.

Oh and I also came across an entry about the reputed relic(s) of the Holy Prepuce. I want to warn against reading the entry while drinking, lest your computer monitor be put at risk for being obscured with said beverage.

Enjoy! I wish everyone a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. And may peace start to break out all over.