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Mary Kay Jordan Fleming

Mary Kay Jordan Fleming is a professor of developmental psychology at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati and mother of two grown children. After more than 30 years of scientific and academic writing, Mary Kay added humorous personal essays to her repertoire almost a decade ago. Encouraged by the judges' feedback from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition in 2010, she entered again in 2016 and won in the global humor category. In June 2019, she added a first-place award for humor writing (online venues, larger readership) from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

Mary Kay grew up with four older siblings, each of whom loved telling stories and making people laugh. Like any youngest child, she wanted to be included in the wisecracking and one-upping, so she learned the game. She credits her family with teaching her to find humor in the mundane and to use it to cope with life's challenges. Her humor heroes growing up were Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry, as well as the observational-style comedy of Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan.

In mid-2017, she retired from the administrative portion of her job to invest in writing. Find Mary Kay's humorous work at McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Next Tribe, Points In Case, Boomer Caf, Sammiches & Psych Meds, Suddenly Senior, the Erma blog at HumorWriters.organd coming soon at Next Avenue. Other personal essays appear at Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine and in three anthologies. Follow Mary Kay on Facebookand find her books here.

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A window into the imagination and insanity of Hollywood

(Editor's Note: Bruce Ferber is the editor of the anthology The Way We Work: On the Job in Hollywood; a novelist; and an Emmy-nominated comedy writer and producer whose credits include Bosom Buddies, Growing Pains, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Coach, Dan vs. and Home Improvement, where he served as executive producer and showrunner. In 2014, he keynoted the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop.) Q: What are the origins of The Way We Work: On The Job In Hollywood? A: Many years ago, I had the ide ...
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How to write a sentence

Writers often talk about being in the zone to write. Setting aside or grabbing snippets of time to get words on the page. We empathize with fellow writers about managing real lives and our writing lives. When I write a novel, no matter what the story is, I'm in the zone until the first draft is finished. Whether in the car (I wrote a chapter between Homer and Anchorage while driving through wildfire smoke), at the cabin, in the frozen foods section at Safeway (I wrote a scene snippet on m ...
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