Anthologies Online          

      http://www.anthologiesonline.com/      Welcome to the Writing Site with an Emphasis on Anthologies

 

 

Writers: Subscribe and send in your brief bio and your best writing sample (up to 1200      words total) to apply to become a featured writer. Find free articles and markets to help you get published.  Readers: Find your favorite authors, anthologies, and other books.

  Editors, send in your calls for manuscripts. Find writers and manuscripts to fill your anthologies.

 

 This website is best viewed in IE

AO Homepage
Subscribe
Amy Lou Jenkins
Writers Wanted
Messageboard
How to Write
Articles
Anthologies
Table of Contents
Contact AO
Writing Magazines
About Contests
Search
Featured Authors
Free reprint articles
Amy Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

"If you combined the lyricism of Annie Dillard, the vision of Aldo Leopold, and the gentle but tough-minded optimism of Frank McCourt, you might come close to Amy Lou Jenkins.Tom Bissell author of The Father of All Things 

"Sentence by sentence, a joy to read."   Phillip Lopate, Author of Waterfront

Follow AmyLouToYou on Twitter

 
 
 

Anthologies online participates in various affiliate programs and most links to books and products in articles/anthologies/author or any page offer some referral payment, pay for click or other reimbursement. The payment is generally pennies per click or purchase. Anthologies online also runs paid ads.The Anthologiesonline web site and newsletter are provided on an "as is" basis without any warranties of any kind and disclaim all warranties, including the warranty of merchantability, non-infringement of third parties' rights, and the warranty of fitness for particular purpose. No person or organization makes any warranties about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the material, services, software text, graphics and links.  Any communication is generally considered to be nonconfidential. See Privacy Policy.

 

Mel Miskimen, humor writer

Featured Author: Mel Miskimen
Author, Playwright, Columnist, Podcaster.

 

 



Since the publication of her memoir – Cop's Kid – Mel has written two more books, Jane's Brain and Half Empty,  about her life with depression ala Brooke Shields, but because she isn't Brooke Shields, no one cared and after several nice rejection letters, she used her manuscripts for a nice fire on a crisp fall evening.


She is currently an advice columnist for MKEonline.com. Seriously. She writes, Ask Mom, an advice column  for the 20- 30 year old crowd. It's been around for only a year and according to her editor, "These things take time." Which would explain why no one is writing and asking for advice, so Mel, basically has to come up with "situations," on her own, and then answer them. So, she's really giving advice to herself. Well, so far, anyway. And then, there's this play. Single Married Widowed Divorced, which she wrote the part of Fran. The play is a series of monologues. There are confirmed rumors that it will have a staged  reading in 2006. You can visit the website:  http://web.mac.com/smwd/iWeb for more information.


Which leads to The Podcast. Mel has had a goal of someday having her own radio show, and this podcasting thing is close enough. The show will draw from the Single Married Widowed Divorced well. Topics? Things
like, sleeping arrangements, i.e. how well you and your partner are suited or not suited to sleeping with each other and how this can affect your relationship – for example, Mel tells her story of how she slept on the floor for two years while her husband snored blissfully and how she thought that by sleeping on the floor, he would feel so bad
that he would do something to abate his snoring. Did he? Um . . . no.  Are they still married? Yes. Is she still on the floor? Find out. The show will be accessible through the website after March 1, 2006 and promises to be funny and entertaining and insightful.

Read two essays that she has written and submitted to the New York
Times Funny Pages.

 “So, when are we looking at having this done?” he said. He sounded so
cold. So business like.
    Boy, this is tough, I thought. How does one pick a day for a killing?
Is Wednesday a good day? Middle of the week? Friday – the beginning of
the weekend? I think for some reason, Monday. Monday is a rough day.
Back to work. Hang overs. Low energy levels. I think Mondays are good
days to schedule a killing.

    I hired a hit man. I had to. I didn’t feel good about it. But, what
was I supposed to do? Mr. Skunk had to go. We were expecting a puppy.
And Mr. Skunk had already sprayed my old Golden Retriever. I never
smelled anything so rank in my life! And I’ve had two children who have
sprayed me with their secretions. Road kill skunk was mild compared to
the full strength, point blank, in-your-face skunk.

    I got the number from a friend of a friend who said that the guy was
“very thorough.” He did, “good work.” And that he left no traces.
    The connection wasn’t good. I could hardly hear him. He was on a cell
phone somewhere, doing something.
    “Hi, um, I have a kind of a problem that um, needs to be taken care
of.”
    “Oh, yeah? What kind of a problem?”
    “Well, first of all, let me tell you, that I don’t normally call
someone like yourself. I try to live and let live, you know? Peaceful
coexistence and all of that.”
    “Uh. Huh. Right.” He sounded like he didn’t believe me.
    “But, see, this summer we had a bit of a run in. It was so bad that I
thought that we were going to have to move.”
    “Uh huh.” He sounded bored.
    “Am I boring you? You sound bored. Look, I’m sure that you get this
line fed to you all the time. But, I’ve never done this before, okay?
Could you just humor me? Please?” He said something. Or he cleared his
throat. I couldn’t tell. Bad connection.    I continued, “My husband
didn’t know what to do and in hindsight, he should have never done what
he did which only made the situation worse.”
    “Yeah? And?”
    “Well, after that, things were okay. We didn’t see him. He kept to
himself. Life was good. The summer was quiet. Well, mostly. I thought
that he had moved out of the neighborhood. Until last week. When my
husband saw him skulking around the neighbor’s front porch.”
    “Uh huh.”
    “So, I guess the bottom line is, how much?”
    “Well, for that kind of a thing, because they are very volatile and
people in my business have to treat them like a chemical weapon, it’ll
run you about 160. Payable at the time of service.”
    “Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I have to pay you before I see any
results? What’s up with that?”
    “Well, I’m a busy person. Pay me or pay someone else. You make the
call.”
    I didn’t want to dick around with this. I wanted it done. Over. I
didn’t want to keep looking over my shoulder every time I went outside.
“all right. You win.” I said.
   
    He was so . . . matter-of-fact. So distant. Well, I suppose he had to
be. I suppose it was to his advantage not to bond with his, um . . .
subjects. Unlike myself who was certain that I was killing Flower, the
sweet little creature from the Disney movie Bambi.
    “Um, can I ask you a question?”
    “Go ahead,” he said.
    “Okay, I mean, can’t you just move him to another place? I mean . . .
just take it somewhere, where he can run free and thrive and have a
family and they can set up house in a hollow tree with toadstool coffee
tables and fire fly night lights?”
    He laughed.
    I took that as a no.
 
 

Was I the only one of the sleep deprived chaperones who thought that
there was something not right, a little bit off, creepy? – about an
indoor theme park with a defaced topless, wig less female mannequin in
the entryway? Apparently.
    But, hey, that’s just the-glass-is-half-empty me.

    Sportland.
    An indoor amusement theme park. Games! Rides! Bumper cars! Batting
cages! Paint Ball! Skating! Golf!
    Sportland.
    The representative from the travel place told us, the parents of
Blessed Savior Catholic Elementary School, that the Educational
Experience Tour Packet number 3: Washington D. C. Monuments, Museums
and Memorials would be worth the extra fifty bucks that the we had to
pony up. She had been there with another school -- our nemesis St.
Mary’s (they think they’re God’s chosen, for Chrissakes), and it was
all they talked about.       
    I agreed to go along as a chaperone because it was billed as the field
trip to end all field trips and, how bad could it be? I was a seasoned
veteran of muddy, wet trips to pumpkin farms, nature centers, and one
of my favorites – the sewage treatment plant where all the third
graders learned not to flush their condoms down the toilet, that all
our poop was turned into fertilizer and the reason the tour guide could
stand the putrid smell was because he had chronic sinusitis.   
    So, what’s a 17 hour bus ride with a bunch of sugared up wildly
hormonal eighth graders? I had pills.
    Sportland! It was the carrot we chaperones used to keep them in line.
“Keep it up! And you won’t be going to Sportland.”
    “James! One more like that and you’ll be the only one on the bus,
while the rest of us are in Sportland.” It worked.
    The kids could have cared less about the lunch we had with our
Senator. Or the Vietnam Wall. Or the visit to President Kennedy’s
grave. Sportland! Sportland!
    They were frothy with anticipation, and  so were the other chaperones
because there was a rumor of a possibility that we may be able to
finally get an adult beverage. Or two. Or five.   
    Sportland!
    The bus exited the freeway and turned left.
   
    I expected to see yellow and black school buses parked ten deep. Mini
vans up the yin yang. SUVs. There was one car with a plastic bag for a
window parked next to a dumpster.   
    “Maybe this isn’t the right one. Maybe there’s another Sportland?” I
asked.
    The bus driver assured me. This was it. The only one.
    But, it didn’t even look open. The marquee was not lit. Or maybe it
was. I couldn’t tell, since there were no bulbs.
    If it were up to me I would have had a plan B – a movie? – but, it
wasn’t up to me. The kids really, really wanted to go. And, besides,
the parents had coughed up the extra dough, and the kids? Well wasn’t
this whole trip all about them?
    “Sportland! Sportland! Sportland!” They chanted. I felt the bus rock.
It was a very Lord of the Flies moment.   
    I insisted that one of chaperones – the largest one of the two Dads –
go and investigate. Someone had opened the cracked and duct-taped front
door. Through the licorice smeared windows, I saw Big Dad. He talked to
someone. He pointed back to the bus. He shrugged his shoulders. He made
big arm waving gestures. Big Dad returned to the bus. He wanted a word
with the chaperones. Outside.
    “There seems to be a problem,” he said. Sportland would open. Just for
us. But, for some reason, the manager didn’t have our deposit, so if we
wanted the kids to have the time of their 13 year old lives, we had to
cough up some cash.
    “How much cash?” I asked.
    “Thirty bucks per kid and fifty for each of us.”
    “That’s a thousand dollars!”
    “Look, we’ll get some of it back from the home and school
association.” Oh. Really?
    “Why don’t we just go to plan B?” I asked. Big Dad got all red in the
face. A bluish wormy vein bulged from his left temple.
    “Plan B? We don’t have a plan B!”
    So, we started collecting the money. Change. Small bills. We decided
that the nun who came along as our spiritual guide, should count the
money and act as our bag man.
    Sportland. An indoor amusement theme park. And just what exactly was
the theme?
    There was a golf course – mini golf with a resort motif. A topless,
wig less female mannequin stiffly leaning on a lawn chair, next to a
dirty blue patch of plastic – that would have been the pool. A six inch
scar drawn on her face with a black Sharpie. A cardboard sign hung from
her waist – LIFEGUARD. On the fifth hole, you had several hazards:
mannequin parts, a tear in the carpeting, wads of old gum and broken
glass shards.
    Yes, there were games. Ten year old video games. A whole wall of them.
Two out of the five worked. There was a basketball hoop – no net.
    Batting cages – cages, yes. Balls and bats? No.
    Bumper cars? Make that bumper car.
    Paint ball? There were weapons.
    There was roller skating – skates and rink optional.
    So, I guessed that the theme had to be either Blight or Money
Laundering.

    Bottom line? The kids had fun. They ate pizza. They rode bumper car.
They defaced the lifeguard. I guess I was wrong. Sportland was all we
talked about. Give kids a place to run wild and free even if there are
holes in the ceiling and the ones in the floor are covered up by
ten-gallon drums full of . . . something.
   

 



   



Was I the only one of the sleep deprived chaperones who thought that
there was something not right, a little bit off, creepy? – about an
indoor theme park with a defaced topless, wig less female mannequin in
the entryway? Apparently.
    But, hey, that’s just the-glass-is-half-empty me.

    Sportland.
    An indoor amusement theme park. Games! Rides! Bumper cars! Batting
cages! Paint Ball! Skating! Golf!
    Sportland.
    The representative from the travel place told us, the parents of
Blessed Savior Catholic Elementary School, that the Educational
Experience Tour Packet number 3: Washington D. C. Monuments, Museums
and Memorials would be worth the extra fifty bucks that the we had to
pony up. She had been there with another school -- our nemesis St.
Mary’s (they think they’re God’s chosen, for Chrissakes), and it was
all they talked about.       
    I agreed to go along as a chaperone because it was billed as the field
trip to end all field trips and, how bad could it be? I was a seasoned
veteran of muddy, wet trips to pumpkin farms, nature centers, and one
of my favorites – the sewage treatment plant where all the third
graders learned not to flush their condoms down the toilet, that all
our poop was turned into fertilizer and the reason the tour guide could
stand the putrid smell was because he had chronic sinusitis.   
    So, what’s a 17 hour bus ride with a bunch of sugared up wildly
hormonal eighth graders? I had pills.
    Sportland! It was the carrot we chaperones used to keep them in line.
“Keep it up! And you won’t be going to Sportland.”
    “James! One more like that and you’ll be the only one on the bus,
while the rest of us are in Sportland.” It worked.
    The kids could have cared less about the lunch we had with our
Senator. Or the Vietnam Wall. Or the visit to President Kennedy’s
grave. Sportland! Sportland!
    They were frothy with anticipation, and  so were the other chaperones
because there was a rumor of a possibility that we may be able to
finally get an adult beverage. Or two. Or five.   
    Sportland!
    The bus exited the freeway and turned left.
   
    I expected to see yellow and black school buses parked ten deep. Mini
vans up the yin yang. SUVs. There was one car with a plastic bag for a
window parked next to a dumpster.   
    “Maybe this isn’t the right one. Maybe there’s another Sportland?” I
asked.
    The bus driver assured me. This was it. The only one.
    But, it didn’t even look open. The marquee was not lit. Or maybe it
was. I couldn’t tell, since there were no bulbs.
    If it were up to me I would have had a plan B – a movie? – but, it
wasn’t up to me. The kids really, really wanted to go. And, besides,
the parents had coughed up the extra dough, and the kids? Well wasn’t
this whole trip all about them?
    “Sportland! Sportland! Sportland!” They chanted. I felt the bus rock.
It was a very Lord of the Flies moment.   
    I insisted that one of chaperones – the largest one of the two Dads –
go and investigate. Someone had opened the cracked and duct-taped front
door. Through the licorice smeared windows, I saw Big Dad. He talked to
someone. He pointed back to the bus. He shrugged his shoulders. He made
big arm waving gestures. Big Dad returned to the bus. He wanted a word
with the chaperones. Outside.
    “There seems to be a problem,” he said. Sportland would open. Just for
us. But, for some reason, the manager didn’t have our deposit, so if we
wanted the kids to have the time of their 13 year old lives, we had to
cough up some cash.
    “How much cash?” I asked.
    “Thirty bucks per kid and fifty for each of us.”
    “That’s a thousand dollars!”
    “Look, we’ll get some of it back from the home and school
association.” Oh. Really?
    “Why don’t we just go to plan B?” I asked. Big Dad got all red in the
face. A bluish wormy vein bulged from his left temple.
    “Plan B? We don’t have a plan B!”
    So, we started collecting the money. Change. Small bills. We decided
that the nun who came along as our spiritual guide, should count the
money and act as our bag man.
    Sportland. An indoor amusement theme park. And just what exactly was
the theme?
    There was a golf course – mini golf with a resort motif. A topless,
wig less female mannequin stiffly leaning on a lawn chair, next to a
dirty blue patch of plastic – that would have been the pool. A six inch
scar drawn on her face with a black Sharpie. A cardboard sign hung from
her waist – LIFEGUARD. On the fifth hole, you had several hazards:
mannequin parts, a tear in the carpeting, wads of old gum and broken
glass shards.
    Yes, there were games. Ten year old video games. A whole wall of them.
Two out of the five worked. There was a basketball hoop – no net.
    Batting cages – cages, yes. Balls and bats? No.
    Bumper cars? Make that bumper car.
    Paint ball? There were weapons.
    There was roller skating – skates and rink optional.
    So, I guessed that the theme had to be either Blight or Money
Laundering.

    Bottom line? The kids had fun. They ate pizza. They rode bumper car.
They defaced the lifeguard. I guess I was wrong. Sportland was all we
talked about. Give kids a place to run wild and free even if there are
holes in the ceiling and the ones in the floor are covered up by
ten-gallon drums full of . . . something.