Tag Archives: Stacey Gustafson

3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge – Day 1

Ericka Kind blogger

Erika Kind

Thanks to author Erika Kind from Liechtenstein, I’ve accepted her invitation to the 3 Day 3 Quotes Challenge. Here’s my quote for Day 1 followed by the challenge information for nominees to participate.

“We had the experience but missed the meaning.” by John Steinbeck

I discovered this quote in Anne Ayers Koch’s book, Look Both Ways At the Intersection of Yesterday and tomorrow. 


The rules for the 3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge:

  • Thank the blogger, who nominated you.
  • Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own. Don’t forget to acknowledge the source.
  • Nominate three bloggers to challenge them using their blog links.

My nominees:





Filed under Blogger Challenges

Stacey Gustafson Gives Graduation Advice

Graduation Advice for My Daughter

Teachers, valedictorians and school administrators spoke at your high school graduation and offered advice like go to college, get a job, work hard, pursue your dreams, and travel. This is great for most graduates but just the tip of the iceberg. Since they did not ask me to speak at commencement, now I Graduation Advice for My Daughter Stacey Gustafsonoffer graduation advice for my daughter. It includes the little stuff that people often forget to mention that makes life meaningful.

Dear Daughter,

Congratulations! Today you have achieved a major milestone, graduation from high school. You’re moving onto a new chapter in your life, one filled with great adventure and the unknown. At times you may be scared and question all that you know as fair and just.

As you begin this new chapter I have graduation advice for you, most of it is common sense. Remember all the times I told you to pay attention and you ignored me? For your sake, I made a list to refresh your memory.

Pick up after yourself

Return things to the place that you found them. When you leave this house, maid service ends. From now on, unless you are staying at a hotel, the crap you put on the ground stays there. Forever. Or until you get around to picking it up. Don’t be the slob roommate in college. Represent yourself in the best light possible. We taught you way better than that. You only have one chance at a first impression.

Treat your siblings with kindness

Your brother is your closest blood relative. You will need him one day. It’s important to maintain a relationship with siblings. That means treat each other with respect and love. When you throw off-handed comments, or insults, it can leave deep wounds. Love one another. When your father and I are older, you will need a shoulder to lean on. I am an only child and wish I had someone to turn to when dealing with my parents, as they grow older.

Be careful of social media

Never put anything on Facebook, Twitter, email or any social media that you wouldn’t want your grandma to read. I know it is easy to get caught up telling the world about your latest achievement, biggest failure, and the type of sandwich you ate for lunch. Keep in mind, the pictures you post now may seem cool, like one of you after too much alcohol or freak dancing, but will come back to haunt you later, I promise. One day you will interview for a job, God willing, and a potential employer may come across that picture. The job you thought was yours will go down the drain. Don’t do anything that can limit your potential.

Keep the laughter

Humor makes difficult times more manageable and great times even better. Surround yourself with people who have a sense of humor. Never be too old to pull a prank or tell a knock-knock joke.

  • The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. — Mark Twain
  • The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. — E E Cummings
  • Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. — Lord Byron
  • Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh. — W. H. Auden

Put your hair up in a ponytail

When preparing food keep the locks tied up. People don’t want to eat a hairball. Take it from me, this advice in invaluable.

Use moisturizer with sunscreen on your face everyday

I can attest to the importance of properly treating your skin. Growing up in the 70s, sunscreen came in two types, SPF 2 and baby oil with iodine. Both of these were horrible for you. But as a kid, I didn’t know any better. Around 20, my mother got diagnosed with skin cancer and that was my wake up call. From then on, I avoided the sun with a hat and layers of sunscreen. Learn from my mistake and cover up. Avoid the sun.

Treat others, as you would like to be treated

Never act a snob. Don’t con yourself into believing you are better than someone else. Remember that waitresses at Chili’s? You never know, that could be you.

Make a sincere apology

A bad apology is worse than no apology. Forget about the lame ass apologies like, “I’m sorry you’re mad.” That’s the worst one I’ve ever heard. You’re sorry that they are mad? As if you had no accountability? I learned from Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, a proper apology has three parts. First, admit that what you did was wrong and say, “I’m sorry.” Then let people know that you feel badly that you hurt them. Next, ask how you can make them feel better. You will keep friends for life this way.

Give your friends and family the attention they deserve

Do not use your cell phone or any other electronic device when others are speaking. Their time is valuable too. You show disrespect when you stick a cell phone in front of your face when others are talking. Who do you think you are to talk to others and texting at the same time? The Kardashians?

Pick the same qualities in a date as you would a future mate

Listen to your gut. If that guy on the dorm floor is always in a bad mood, don’t think that you can change him. Find a guy you can talk to and one that makes you laugh. A sense of humor will conquer many obstacles because life is too short not to be happy. When you think you met the man of your dreams, pick carefully and treat kindly. Take your time. This is one of the most important decisions you will make in your entire life.

Nothing is free in life

Lastly, remember that nothing is free in life but your parent’s love. And never let anyone rain on your parade!

I love you, Mom

Need more advice from mom? Read That Perfect Letter from Grown & Flown http://grownandflown.com/perfect-letter-to-college-kid/

BUY MY BOOK Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is available on Amazon and ebooks. It’s filled with stories you’ve never read on my blog, like the time I called SWAT on my neighbor or faked a heart attack in church. Hoping to make you laugh one story at a time. Get your copy now!! Click to purchase on Amazon.Need More Laughs?

Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is available on Amazon and eBooks. It’s filled with stories about crazy families, holiday chaos, school disasters and more. Hoping to make you laugh one story at a time. Get your copy now!! Click to purchase on Amazon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor

California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch First Writers Conference

Shelley, Corbett, Penny PanelApril 18, 2015 California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch First Writers Conference was a huge success.

Attendees selected sessions in one of three tracks that included Craft, Marketing, and Self Publishing. Four one hour sessions were scheduled for each track. The first session I attended was Craft, “Romance, Crime/Thriller, Young Adult: Essential Elements for Writing in a Specific Genre.” Left to right: Shelley Adina. David Corbett, and Penny Warner.

Shelley Adina spoke about romance in her niche, Amish Women’s fiction from Hachette. Her latest traditional release is Keys of Heaven. She also writes steampunk in which her latest indie release is A Gentleman of Means. After lunch, Shelley was our keynote speaker with the topic “Why it’s a Good Time to Be a Writer.”

David Corbett discussed the Crime/Thriller  genre. He is the author of The Art of Character (“a writer’s bible”) and four novels. His fifth, The Mercy of the Night, will appear by the end of this month.

Penny Warner’s topic was Young Adult. She has published over 60 books for both adults and children. Several books from her middle-grade mystery series, The Code Busters, were nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Children’s Mystery.  Penny and David bantered between insightful information, causing loud laughter from attendees. A great way to start the day.

Barbara Grossman reading her award winning poemThe winner of the poetry contest, Deborah Grossman, read her poem. Stacey wins short story contest

Stacey Gustafson won first place in the short story contest:

End of Conference happy organizersAt the end of the conference, four of the main organizers and volunteers had time to relax and smile, knowing it was an outstanding day. Left to right:  Jordan Bernal, president of Tri-Valley branch and author of The Keepers of Eire. Linda Todd, club membership chair, Paula Chinick, past president of the chapter and author of Red Asscher, and Patricia Boyle, Vice President.

Thanks to everyone who worked many hours to make this event happen.

Leave a comment

Filed under conferences

5 Ways to Add Humor to Your Memoir by Stacey Gustafson

Stacey's head shotThe following is Stacey  Gustafson’s blog post from March 6, 2015.

Her eBOOK, for a limited time, is  99¢. Click here to get your copy, http://amzn.to/1Bgwatq Gustafson_Front_LO 092614

Her blog is: http://staceygustafson.com/blog/

   5 Ways to Add Humor to Your Memoir
Do you believe that memoir has to be serious in order to get your point across? Think again! Let me teach you 5 Ways to Add Humor to Your Memoir.
Adding humor to memoir will hold the attention of the reader longer by lightening the mood. It also helps us remember what we were reading.
In his bestselling book, “On Writing Well,” author William Zinsser, writes that “humor is the secret weapon of the nonfiction writer.” It is often the best tool and only tool for making an important point.
1. Use funny sounding words
Words that have the hard “k” and “p” elicit humor. We can’t help but laugh. Think Dr. Seuss.
The Cat in the Hat Quotes
“Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.” ― Dr. Seuss
Sometimes a word is funny sounding because it has gone out of fashion like mollycoddle and lollygag. We laugh because we have never heard the word before and it tickles our funny bone as it rolls off the tongue.
According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inherently_funny_word
An inherently funny word is a word, which can be found amusing without any given context, like onomatopoeia. Such words have been used by a range of influential comedians to enhance the humor of their routines.
The consonant plosives (so called because they start suddenly or “explosively”) p, b, t, d, k, and g are the funniest sounds in the English language.
List of Funny Sounding Words
Bamboozled Brouhaha
Cantankerous Floozy
Gobbledygook Kerfuffle
Ker plunk Klutz
Lackadaisical Lollygag
Persnickety Pantaloons
Scuttlebutt Spark
Tater Wishy-washy
2. Use funny numbers
Odd numbers are funnier than even numbers. Would you rather have 13 mangy dogs or 10 smelly cats?
Large numbers that end in 9 catch the reader’s attention faster. Do you want to read about a kid that ate 579 jellybeans or a girl that could stuff 8 grapes in her mouth?
In the comedy series How I Met Your Mother, the character Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) uses the number 83 in his made-up statistics, because he believes the number is funny. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inherently_funny_word
For great examples of numbers in comedy, Watch How I Met Your Mother – Countdown from 50 to 1.
3. Similes and Metaphors
Use similes and metaphors to enrich your writing. Similes often use connecting words such as like, as, so, and than. A vivid simile will paint a picture in the reader’s mind and clarify an idea.
Simile – a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “She is like a rose.”
Metaphor – a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.” Think an emblem or symbol. “Janet is a pig when she eats.”
• Like Simba’s presentation ceremony in the Lion King, my guys handed me a heaping platter of smoky, charred delights. http://staceygustafson.com/barbeque-battle-mom-vs-man/
• The kiosk guys eye me like a polar bear on a hunk of meat. http://staceygustafson.com/kiosk-christmas-causes-chaos/
• At that moment, like Jolly Ole’ St. Nick, his eyes sparkled and in a loud voice and he said, “Where’s the nearest Home Depot?” http://staceygustafson.com/happy-fathers-day-mr-duct-tape/
4. Add Dialogue
Use dialogue to move the story along. It develops your characters. Natural dialogue will make your story believable. Use contractions. It sounds more relatable to say, ‘I can’t go” rather than “I cannot go with you.” Speaking like a character in a Shakespearean play will always be a turn off.
To improve your dialogue, ease drop on customers at Starbucks or take notes at the dinner table. Read it aloud to others. Listen to television shows to understand the cadence of language.
“What’s for dinner?” he said, sniffing the air for a hint.
“Leftovers,” I said as I turned on the microwave.
5. Sound words
Bang! Crunch! Slurp! Zing! These words are called onomatopoeia, words that sound like what they mean. By adding them to your writing, you animate your prose and amp up the visual.
Example “Shut the Hell Up I’m Taking a Nap”
I popped up in bed, blinking like crazy. Out the window I spied a saw. And a tree. Timber. Next up, I watched as he reinstalled loose fence panels with a hammer. Bam, bam, buzzzzz. When finished, with a flourish he let out a big whistle for the kids to join him and admire his workmanship.
By that point, the dog couldn’t contain himself. He charged the open window and jumped up and down to get a peek at the commotion. Ruff, ruff, growl.
For more pointers, read How to Write Funny http://staceygustafson.com/write-funny/
Do you have any humorous writing tips? Please share!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Recommendations

Author Stacey Gustafson Book Signing

Towne center bookstore

Magical Holiday Evening Author Book Signing Towne Center Books with Stacey Gustafson

Let’s help support our local favorite indie bookstore. Meet Stacey Gustafson at Towne Center Books in downtown Pleasanton on November 22 from 5-7 pm during the Magical Holiday Evening, the annual open house including a visit from Santa. The streets will come alive with the sights and sounds of the holidays.

This event coincides with the second annual Holiday Spirit Stroll. Twenty-one downtown merchants will be paired with local breweries, wineries and bars for a festive night sampling beer, wine and cocktails. Support your local stores today by shopping at locally owned businesses.

Win Two Tickets to Tommy T’s Comedy Club

Local author Stacey Gustafson released her debut novel, Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, a compilation of hilarious, surprising, and relatable stories. The book reached #4 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list for its category during its debut week.Gustafson_Front_LO 092614
Meet the author at Towne Center Books in downtown Pleasanton during the second annual Holiday Spirit Stroll on November 22 from 5-7 p.m. This fun event coincides with the Magical Holiday Evening, a popular annual shopping event. Signed copies will be for sale. Buy a book and enter to win two free tickets to Tommy T’s Comedy Club. Gift wrapping will be available.
Featuring 63 tell-all tales from the trenches of motherhood, the anthology is a brash, voyeuristic peek inside the topsy-turvy world of suburban motherhood, midlife madness, and all points in between. If you’ve ever called SWAT on a neighbor, faked a heart attack in church, or pulled your hair out while questioning the sanity of your family, her tongue-in-cheek brand of humor will resonate.

Stacey's head shot
Gustafson has been a Pleasanton resident for over 10 years along with her husband, two kids, and beloved dog. An author, humor columnist, and blogger, her short stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Not Your Mother’s Books. Her work also appears in print and online at Midlife Boulevard, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Generation Fabulous, ZestNow, More Magazine, Pleasanton Patch, Lost in Suburbia, Better After 50, and on her daughter’s bulletin board. She was recently honored as Erma Bombeck’s Humor Writer of the Month.
Signed copies of Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives will be for sale. Buy a book and enter to win two tickets to Tommy T’s Comedy Club. Gift wrapping will be available too.
For more information, click on the link, http://staceygustafson.com/magical-holiday-evening-author-book-signing-towne-center-books/

1 Comment

Filed under Book Signings

Author Interview with Stacey Gustafson

Stacey's head shotToday, I’m pleased to participate in a blog tour and interview Stacey Gustafson, author of Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives.
Julaina: Since you are a friend of mine, I know you, but for our readers, who is Stacey Gustafson?
Stacey: I’m a humor writer, wife, and mom. I grew up in St. Louis. My high school English teacher picked me to be Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper. I think she wanted to keep me busy so I would quit talking in her class. As my kids grew up and out of the house, I filled the void with writing. I’m a fan of Janet Evanovich and Lisa Scottoline. Their writing inspired me.
Julaina: What’s your book about?
Stacey: Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is a brash, voyeuristic peek inside the topsy-turvy world of suburban motherhood, midlife madness, and all points in between. It’s my life in a minivan. I write about family and everyday things like the laundry, public restroom, carpool, and parent teacher conferences. As a humor columnist for the local online newspaper, I realized I had enough material to start a humor collection. That’s when the idea for Are You Kidding Me? was born.
Julaina: How did you choose the cover?
Stacey: I wanted the cover to portray a frustrated woman, not mad or sad but hilariously outnumbered and outconned by her friends and family. Again. I wanted her to vaguely resemble me, but with younger face and better hair. It’s the way I imagine myself.
Julaina: Where do you get your ideas?
Stacey: My humor is observational. I take notes when something’s funny. I notice the mundane, like self-checkout machines, roundabouts, DMV, Brussels sprouts and pet hamsters then hope it’s universally funny.
Julaina: Who are your favorite comedians?
Stacey: Hands down, my favorite comedian is Kathleen Madigan. She’s from St. Louis, Missouri, like me, and really captures the Midwest attitude in her stand-up routine. Other favorites include Jim Gaffigan, Brian Regan, and Chris Rock. They tell funny, relatable stories about their families and growing up in the 70s.
Julaina: What does your writing process look like?

Stacey: I wake up around 7:30 a.m. and watch 30 min of comedy like Modern Family, The Middle, The Goldbergs or my new favorite, Black-ish. Then I check social media for an hour and write new material for 3-4 hours. Right now, I’m on a Blog Tour for Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, but I hope to get back to my regular writing schedule soon.
Julaina: Are You Kidding Me is available on Amazon http://amzn.to/147guNj where I noticed other books that have your stories included.

Stacey: Yes, most editions of Not Your Mother’s Book have my stories as well as the California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch’s anthology, and your book, Written Across the Genres. Crystal Ponti’s new book called Clash of the Couples: A Humorous Collection of Completely Absurd Lovers’ Squabbles and Relationship Spats was published last month with one of my stories in it.

Julaina: Congratulations on your successes. What’s your next project?
Stacey: I’m collecting stories for my second book, Are You Kidding Me? Part Two. It will be geared toward moms with college-age kids, empty nesters, something I have first hand knowledge. Also, I’m writing a humorous murder mystery, fiction, of course. It will be a lighthearted chase through suburbia as the protagonist attempts to solve a local mystery set in my hometown of Pleasanton, CA.
Julaina: Thanks for stopping by my blog on your tour. As you know, I’m a big fan of yours and welcome your spontaneous humor whenever we’re in the same place.

Gustafson_Front_LO 092614

You can find Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives on Amazon and connect with Stacey on her blog, Facebook, or Twitter! And follow some of the other blog tour stops on the Blue Lobster Book Co website.




Filed under author interview

Stacey Gustafson’s Book ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Gustafson_Cover_FRONT_72dpiIf you are familiar with Stacey Gustafson’s humorous writing or have bought her book on Amazon, she would benefit from reviews made specifically tomorrow, September 8th, in the morning. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? is available in paperback and on Kindle.

Her short stories have appeared in seven books in the NOT YOUR MOTHER’S BOOK series, in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL, and various other publications. She was Erma Bombeck’s Humor Writer of the month.

Readers can identify and laugh about everyday events in Stacey’s life. I’ve read most of her stories and each time, I enjoy her humor.

Stacey's head shotYou can read Stacey’s author page at http://www.amazon.com/Stacey-Gustafson


Leave a comment

Filed under Book Recommendations

Look for Stacey Gustafson’s Book this Fall: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?


I’ve known Stacey Gustafson for a few years and whenever we are in a group together, she always says something funny to make us laugh. I’ve read most of the stories in her book, Are You Kidding Me? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives. I highly recommend it.

Here is part of an interview she shared with me.

Where did you grow up?

I’m proud to be a city slicker from St. Louis; you know that place with the Arch. It’s home to a bunch of really delicious bad-for-you food like toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, and Provel cheese.

Who are some of your favorite writers?

I love Lisa Scottoline and Janet Evanovich, tough, sassy, funny women.

What inspired the cover of Are You Kidding Me?

I want my book cover to portray the way I feel every day, not mad or sad but frustrated. I’m frustrated with the laundry, waking up before 9 A.M., self-checkout lanes, public restrooms, Brussels Sprouts, roundabouts, and the carpool.

If you had to sum up your book in three words, what would they be?

Funny, relatable, and honest.

What is your favorite TV show?

I watch so many comedy sitcoms, I can recite the lines. I study the delivery of jokes from my favorites like “Seinfeld”, “Everybody loves Raymond”, “King of Queens”, “Everybody Hates Chris”, “Modern Family”, and “The Middle”.

Do you think Big Foot exists?

If he’s out there, the poor guy must be walking with a cane, more like Grandpa Big Foot. Since Big Foot is described as a big hairy creature, maybe I’m married to him.


Filed under Book Recommendations

Happy Thanksgving

I am thankful that the finish line for my anthology is close. The process has been difficult, yet delightful. I’m grateful to all the writers who submitted entries and their willingness to make revisions. The goal for the book in hand is February 1st.

I appreciate my helpers, particularly Linda Todd. Without her, the book wouldn’t be polished or ready for the press. Stacey Gustafson volunteered to contact writers for their bios etc.  Jordan Bernal, Paula Chinick, and Ann Winfred appeared with their support when I became overwhelmed. Thank you all.


Filed under Anthology

Book Launch with Home Improvement Stories

Going to a book launch tonight. Julie Rice, author of PILZ, Camille Thompson, and Stacey Gustafson have stories in NOT YOUR MOTHER’S BOOK with the subtitle of Home Improvement. They will be reading from the book and I’m sure it will be fun. All three have a sense of humor that is reflected in their stories.

Leave a comment

Filed under Anthology, Book Recommendations, Book Signings, Uncategorized