Archive for the ‘Blogosphere’ Category

Virtual Blog Tour: Welcome To My Mad World (Cross-Posted from my other Blog)

Friday, July 25th, 2014

A wonderful poet, Daniel Ari, honored me with his invitation to participate in the Virtual Blog Tour. And if you’re not familiar with Daniel’s poetry, you owe it to yourself to pay his blog and his blog tour post a visit. Actually … many visits.

Wait. Where are you going? I didn’t mean for you to visit him right this very minute. You have to at least pretend to read my post first.

Okay, now that I’ve recaptured your attention, I should probably explain the concept behind the Virtual Blog Tour. As best as I can figure out, it’s a method of introducing our readers to other bloggers we admire. Every participant answers the same quartet of questions about his/her writing process. And, in theory at least, we all gain some new readers.

So, on to Question 1: What am I working on?

In theory, I’m pulling together three different humor books: a limerick collection, a humor column collection, and a third book that’s so hard to describe, it’s unlikely to ever happen.

Aside from my books-in-progress, I write tons of limericks every week. Okay, maybe not tons, but A LOT! I also write light verse in other forms, even sneaking humor into haiku. (Of course when I write funny haiku, I get yelled at for not calling them senryu.)

Additionally, I spend a good chunk of time running a weekly limerick contest: Mad Kane’s Limerick-Offs. You can always find the current contest here and the most recent winners here. (Everyone’s welcome to participate both here on my blog and on my Facebook page.)

Question 2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, for one thing, it’s written by an oboist turned lawyer turned humor writer. And for another, I stretch the boundaries of limericks by writing them about every topic imaginable: marriage, politics, taxes, death, petty aggravations, serious problems, etc., in a tone which varies from bawdy to satirical to serious, to silly — frequently writing multi-verse limericks. And if I want to be extra hard on myself, I sometimes even attempt acrostic limericks.

By the way, although I post most of my limericks on this blog, I have a second blog reserved for political limericks. Why a separate Political Madness Blog? Because many readers who enjoy this blog, hate my politics. Separate blogs help limit the bloodshed.

Question 3: Why do I write what I do?

Like most writers, I write what I write because I have to. There was a period when I had to write humor columns. Next there was a period when I had to write a satirical George W. Bush diary and political song parodies. And right now I seem to be in my have-to-write-limericks period.

(There was also a 14 year period when I had to write legal briefs. But trust me, you don’t want to hear about that.)

Question 4: How does my writing process work?

I’m always writing limericks — often at inconvenient times, like while showering … or sleeping. Unfortunately I have an awful memory, and can’t trust myself to remember anything. So jotting down ideas immediately is key. Deciphering those notes? Another matter altogether.

While much of my limerick inspiration seems to arrive out of the blue, I’m always actively on the hunt for limerick ideas. I make a point of doing lots of daily news reading, headline scanning, and visiting “what’s trending now” on Twitter, Facebook, and sundry search engines.

I read several political sites a day in my quest for politicians to mock and political issues to have fun with. I also check out several sites specializing in oddball news items, as well as Salon, Slate, Huffington Post, and other possible sources of quirky news items that might inspire me. (Dave Barry’s blog is an unusually good source of such items.)

Limerick inspiration often comes from stories about silly lawsuits, oddball inventions, strange holidays, and weird trends.

Family members, especially my husband Mark, can be a constant source of humor inspiration. (Fortunately Mark enjoys being the subject of limericks and humor columns.)

If I’m really lucky, a limerick just comes to me whole cloth. When that happens, it’s just a matter of writing it down and doing a quick edit. But other limericks present more of a challenge, especially when it comes to news-oriented and political limericks, where I have to pack a lot of info into the limerick and still follow the rules and make readers laugh. (Speaking of rules, you can find my article on how to write limericks here.)

I often start with a single line — either the first line or the last. And in framing that line I usually try to end it with a word that has lots of rhymes. After all, the more rhyme word choices I have, the better the odds of my managing to polish off an amusing limerick.

What happens when I can’t make a limerick work? I add it to an ever-growing digital document jam-packed with hundreds of limericks (and partial limericks) I can’t bear to give up on. And often, months later, I manage to rescue some of them. On the other hand, many have been languishing in that file for years, taunting me to fix or delete the damn things.

I should probably mention some tools I find handy: Rhymezone, while far from perfect, can be very useful. The Syllable Dictionary is helpful as well. And then there’s the wonderful Memidex Dictionary which, among other things, has an excellent audio component. I can’t imagine how I ever survived without it.

*****

So that’s it for my answers to the Virtual Blog Tour questions. At this point, I’m supposed to recommend three other poet bloggers who promise to answer the same four questions. But alas, everyone I invited (1) had already participated in this tour; (2) didn’t feel they had the time to commit to the tour; or (3) didn’t feel they could persuade three other poet bloggers to participate.

However, if you’re still hungering to be introduced to other limerick writers, please do check out my weekly Limerick of the Week Posts. While, most of the weekly winners don’t blog, they’re a funny group of limerick writers you’re sure to enjoy.

(Cross-Posted from my other blog: Mad Kane’s Humor Blog)

Jon Swift Memorial Roundup 2013

Friday, December 27th, 2013

It’s always a pleasure and an honor to take part in the Jon Swift Memorial Roundup. It features the best posts of 2013, chosen by the political bloggers themselves.

Political Haiku Quintet (Updated to Add Egypt Haiku)

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Today I’m posting four political haiku which, I fear, are all more cynical than witty. (I’ve added a 5th about Egypt’s revolution which is uplifting, rather than cynical.)

Technically each of these is a senryu, though most people would label them haiku. What the heck’s a senryu, and how does it differ from haiku? I explain it all here and, believe it or not, use a three-verse limerick to illustrate the distinctions.

Politicians strive
to make a good impression
without doing good.

*****

The economy’s
either looking up or down.
Depends on your stance.

*****

Commenters bicker,
thrusting political barbs,
changing no one’s mind.

*****

How did we get here?
“Pragmatic” subjugation
of our Dem ideals.

*****

A revolution
In Egypt transforms, uplifts,
Giving hope to all.

*****

Fighting Firewalls With Kindle Blogs

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

My humorist pal Rose Valenta recently created a Kindle version of her blog and inspired me to do the same. Why? Because many employers are getting strict about web access, blocking employees from reading their favorite blogs and sites — even while they’re on a break or at lunch.

But your boss can’t control what you read on your Kindle. And Amazon makes it easy for bloggers to create Kindle blog editions, allowing fans to bypass their bosses and keep up with their reading.

That brings me to my latest limerick:

Fighting Firewalls With Kindle Blogs
By Madeleine Begun Kane

You’re at work, but on break — want to read.
But your boss did a dastardly deed:
Your fav’rites are blocked.
Your net access is locked.
But he can’t stop a Kindle blog feed.

My News: I’ve created Kindle versions of both my blogs. So if you’d like to read this political satire blog on your Kindle device, you can subscribe right here. And if you’d like to read my other general humor blog on your Kindle reader you can subscribe right here.

Attention Fellow Bloggers: Want to know how to publish your own blog on Amazon Kindle? Amazon makes it pretty easy and has a helpful Kindle Blog FAQ here. You can also find some useful info over at Mashable and some Kindle badges and icons here.

Warning: Reading blogs on Kindle isn’t free, except for the 14-day free trial for each blog. Monthly Kindle blog subscription fees are controlled by Amazon and priced at either $0.99 per month or $1.99 per month. Moreover, only 30% of the revenue goes to the blogger.

And Now For The Sales Pitch: Each of my two blogs is priced at $0.99 per month.

So if you’re a Kindle owner, I hope you’ll give the Kindle versions of this political humor blog and/or my other general humor blog a try.

Help All Hat No Cattle’s Lisa With Her Medical Bills

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

The brilliant and witty Lisa Casey of All Hat No Cattle is ill and facing thirty thousand dollars in medical expenses. If you can, please help her out by donating here.

Lisa’s been an outstanding contributor to the liberal politics community since before there was such a thing as blogging. If you haven’t been reading her since November 2000, you’ve been missing a ton of informative and funny stuff.

I’m proud to say Lisa and I were joint liberal web humor pioneers. We “met” when we were both nominated for About.com “Bushie” awards in the early days of the Bush administration. She’s a good friend and a great progressive!

Please visit All Hat No Cattle and contribute whatever you can. Nobody should have to sell her house to pay her medical bills.

Thanks for listening to my shout out!

Grumpy Blogroll Limerick

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

I was a bit surprised to realize that the third Blogiversary of Mad Kane’s Political Madness is coming up on September 23rd. Of course, I’ve been blogging a whole lot longer than three years: I launched my Mad Kane’s Notables Blog back in September 2001 and started Dubya’s Dayly Diary on January 20, 2001.

Anyway, I figured I’d do a bit of housekeeping in anticipation of my Political Madness blogiversary. So I reviewed my blogroll to look for links that needed updating. And in the process, I made a disappointing discovery. Not only have several bloggers de-linked me, but dozens of active blogs are still linking to my long-defunct Notables Blog.

Now even if those bloggers failed to get my email requests for a blogroll update, you’d think they might have visited my site at least once in the last three years, noticed my relocation, and adjusted their blogrolls.

The upshot of all this is that, with a few exceptions, I’ve de-linked any blog that either has de-linked me or that still links to my Mad Kane’s Notables.

Of course, I’ll be happy to re-link anyone who notifies me (in an email or in my comments) that my Mad Kane’s Political Madness is on their blogroll.

No post would be complete without a limerick, right? So here’s my love-letter-limerick to those who still link to my obsolete blog:

Grumpy Blogroll Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

If my link to your blog has gone missing,
Instead of complaining and hissing,
Check your blog and you’ll see
That your linkage to me
Is outdated three years. Reminiscing?

Related Post: Weblog Wonderland

An Ode To Blogroll Amnesty Day

Friday, January 30th, 2009

For some, Blogroll Amnesty Day (BAD) is an excuse to be generous with their links.

For others, (who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are) it’s simply an excuse.

And for me, of course, BAD’s an excuse to write yet another limerick … as if I needed an excuse:

An Ode to Blogroll Amnesty Day
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Are you planning to celebrate BAD?
If you don’t, skippy’s bound to be mad.
Spread the link love around.
Make sure small blogs are found.
Serve up link juice and don’t be a cad.

Weblog Wonderland Revisited

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Back in 2002 I wrote Weblog Wonderland, a Winter Wonderland song parody about political blogging and the Bush-inspired battle between lefty and right-wing bloggers.

I’d completely forgotten about it until this afternoon, when I received an email blast from the past: A fellow I knew a zillion years ago in my early oboe-playing days had stumbled onto my site while searching for a song parody of Winter Wonderland.

After re-reading it (and singing it) I realized that re-posting Weblog Wonderland would be a fun way to celebrate the waning days of the Bush administration. So here it is:

Weblog Wonderland (Inspired by Winter Wonderland by Smith & Bernard)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Bloggers zing, are you list’nin’?
Some are vain, some are bristlin’.
The left and the right
Are happy tonight.
Surfin’ in a weblog wonderland.

“Bombs away,” say the blog hawks.
“War’s insane,” other blogs balk.
Some sing Bush love songs.
Some shout that he’s wrong.
Surfin’ in a weblog wonderland.

Some right bloggers like to build up straw men.
Then they brag that they have knocked ‘em down.
Daring lefts to parry,
They’ll say, “No, man.”
“Your reasoning is flawed and you’re a clown.”

Later on, they’ll conspire,
Plannin’ posts packed with ire.
They face unafraid
The rantin’, the raves.
Surfin’ in a weblog wonderland.

In the middle few can be a showman,
While displayin’ balance, wit, and clout.
Strong opinions rule the day in blogland.
Until some other bloggers knock ‘em down.

Heated prose, ain’t it thrillin’
When it flows, when it’s chillin’?
Some post every day.
They must have their say.
Surfin’ in a weblog wonderland.

Some post every day.
They relish the fray.
Surfin’ in a weblog wonderland.