Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Favorite TV comedy series

I'm a cable TV holdout, so most of my TV series viewing is via Netflix, often long after a series has been discontinued! You'll notice that I have a special affection for British comedies. It's their zaniness, irreverence, and good writing that appeal, I think:

Flight of the Conchords (Hysterical. Love that New Zealand accent. I hope there will be more than just two seasons)
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (American. Cringe-worthily rude and crude, but it makes me laugh)
Arrested Development (American. Could a dysfunctional family be any funnier?)
The Office and Extras (Ricky Gervais is a British genius.)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (No, Larry David. Don't do that! Can only watch this one in small doses.)
The Mighty Boosh (British. Very odd. Very funny. Thanks to my good friend Leslie for turning me on to this one)
The I.T. Crowd (British nerd humor. Found out about this one from my brother-in-law)
Monty Python (of course)
Probably my all-time favorite: Red Dwarf (8 seasons: the funniest sci fi comedy ever!)

Now that you know my taste in comedy, maybe you can recommend a series I've missed?

Clip from "The Mighty Boosh":

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Making Ends Meet: the Day Jobs of Children's Writers

My perusal of children's author bios and an unscientific survey of fellow children's writers leads me to believe that a large percentage of us are (or were at one time) public school teachers or librarians or journalists. Lawyers seem to be another profession much represented in the ranks of children's writers. Many of my writer friends also teach (or have taught) writing at the community college or university level, or online for programs like the one offered by the Institute of Children's Literature, in order to supplement their income. Lots of us earn fees speaking at schools and conferences too.

Are you a children's writer with a day job? If so, what do you do? If not, are there other things you do to supplement your writing income?