Diane Laney Fitzpatrick is a writer, blogger, author and humorist. Her blog Just Humor Me has been making friends and fans laugh for eight years. She is the author of Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves, published in 2013, and Great-Grandma Is on Twitter and Other Signs the Rapture Is Near, coming out in 2016. A former journalist and stay-at-home mom of three now-grown children, she lives in San Francisco.
Diane Laney Fitzpatrick is a San Francisco writer, blogger, author and humorist. She is the author of Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves and Great-Grandma Is on Twitter and Other Signs the Rapture Is Near.
Diane Laney Fitzpatrick is a writer, blogger, author and humorist. Born and raised in Northeastern Ohio, she moved all over the country with her husband, three children and various pets, which became the inspiration for her book Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves.
Diane began blogging in the Internet’s paleolithic age, 2007. Her blog Just Humor Me, stories about growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s, raising children, coping with seeing your mother’s face in the mirror, and transitioning from small-town girl to city-dwelling world traveler. Many of her Just Humor Me blog posts were included in her book Great-Grandma Is on Twitter and Other Signs the Rapture Is Near. Her other blog, It’s Your Move!, is full of tips, tricks and news on moving and relocation.
A former journalist, Diane’s freelance writing career has landed her on the Today show, the Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune. The mom of three grown children, Diane lives in a 103-year-old house in San Francisco with her husband and hound dog, Abby. She is busy exploring her city, renovating her home, and writing as fast as she can.
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Local Author’s Second Book is Cover-to-Cover Laughs
Diane Laney Fitzpatrick does it again with Great-Grandma Is on Twitter and Other Signs the Rapture Is Near
Diane Laney Fitzpatrick believes that humor can be found in everyday common experiences. And because she’s put her funny stories in book form, your daily laugh is never more than a page away.
Great-Grandma Is on Twitter and Other Signs the Rapture Is Near is a collection of the best humorous essays from her blog Just Humor Me. The blog, eight years and counting, runs on her website, DianeLaneyFitzpatrick.com.
From parenting fails to negotiating life in the big city, root canals to technology woes, Fitzpatrick tells it like it is, in a way that will leave you laughing and wondering how her life could be so much like your own.
A longtime blogger and former journalist, Diane is also the author of Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves. Her Just Humor Me blog runs weekly in the Columbiana County, Ohio, newspaper The Morning Journal online.
A native of Hubbard, Ohio, Fitzpatrick lives in San Francisco. She and her husband have three children, one son-in-law, and a hound dog. She is accepting donations of grandchildren, if you have any spares.
Great-Grandma is on Twitter, published by School Night Press, is available in paperback on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com, and directly from her website for $9.99. The e-book is available on Amazon for $6.99. Through her website, Diane gives a discount for book clubs who purchase the book. More details are available on her website at www.DianeLaneyFitzpatrick.com.
Diane Laney Fitzpatrick is available for media interviews. You can reach her at email@example.com or (561) 281-3145.
Great-Grandma Is on Twitter and Other Signs the Rapture Is Near
ISBN-10: 0692544569 ISBN-13: 978-0692544563
Paperback $9.99 Kindle version $6.99
Book Club Discount – 30% off when purchased through the author at DianeLaneyFitzpatrick.com
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Contact: Diane Laney Fitzpatrick
Home Sweet Homes Helps Put the Humor in Moving
Author turns one of life’s most stressful experiences into page after page of
Moving ranks right up there with death and divorce as one of life’s most horrible experiences.
Diane Laney Fitzpatrick thinks it’s hilarious and wants you to think so, too.
The San Francisco writer and mom of three offers a sympathetic ear and her own moving adventure stories in her book Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves, part humorous memoir and part tongue-in-cheek how-to, filled with hilarious stories of her many moves.
“Most people wait years to look back and laugh about the mess that is moving,” Fitzpatrick said. “Why wait? Laugh about it now and you’ll get through it with a lot less stress.”
Between hunting for the perfect house, arranging for home financing, selling a house,entrusting your grandma’s china to a moving crew, and getting the kids settled into their new surroundings, a family’s move is one stressful moment after another.
“Stressing out isn’t going to help, and neither is feeling sorry for yourself,” said Fitzpatrick. “I hope my book will help movers and movers-to-be find a little bit of humor in their own moving experiences.”
Fitzpatrick was a freelance writer and humor blogger in Lexington, Kentucky, when she first sat down to write the stories in Home Sweet Homes. It was published in June 2013, after moves to South Florida and then to San Francisco.
“I thought I had experienced it all,” she said. “But even in this most recent move, I had to have my baby grand piano brought in the front window by crane. Even I had to force myself to laugh my way through that!”
Home Sweet Homes is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.com, at BarnesandNoble.com, and directly from the author through her website, www.DianeLaneyFitzpatrick.com.
The book tells of her cross-country moves with babies, toddlers, teens, and dogs, frogs and goldfish, over 20 years and through seven states. From hiding dirty dishes in the car when you’re trying to impress home buyers, to moving-day visits to the emergency room, to failing the driver’s test, Fitzpatrick covers home selling, home buying, packing, moving pets, moving pregnant, dealing with Realtors, settling into your new town, and everything in between.
“I once walked into a townhouse in Virginia and wanted to buy it because the owners were from South America, and they had all this cool Latin stuff all around. They had handwoven throw pillows on the couch, a beautiful rug, and rustic, carved wooden masks hung on the walls. I’m a basically smart person and I knew – absolutely no question about it – they were not going to leave those masks for me to keep. Nonetheless, there was a little voice inside me that said, ‘If we live here we’ll be like them.’ And they were clearly awesome, international types who spoke with accents and drank imported tea. (Boxes and boxes of it, in the cupboard over the sink.) Moreover, I knew that the rug I loved so much was actually hiding a cigarette burn in the carpet. . . I knew this, yet I didn’t care. I just wanted the house so I could go home and take a long nap and then start planning my new life as a Bolivian expat.”
On meeting the new neighbors:
“I had hoped to sneak in and at least empty the minivan of the McDonald’s food bags or maybe look in a mirror that wasn’t the rearview kind. Instead, as we pulled into our new driveway, it was flanked by our new neighbors, Ginger and Mary Ann. I was, at best, a younger and skankier Mrs. Howell, in a wrinkly turquoise jogging suit, asymmetrical pigtails, and my glasses from 1983.”
On the DMV:
“Then they call number 127. I jump up like I’m on The Price is Right. The guy next to me slides off my shoulder and slumps onto my chair. He might be dead. I approach the open window and smile like an idiot at the woman behind the counter. My heart is beating fast, I am so grateful that I’m finally up to this window, that I’ve been called, that I feel a little Stockholm syndrome sweep over me. I’ll do anything for this woman, I’m so grateful that she called my number, and so hopeful that she’ll give me those yellow plates for my car. I will hold a machine gun at a bank robbery for you, I telepathically tell her. I will be your Patty Hearst.”
Fitzpatrick invites Home Sweet Homes readers to join the conversation and tell their own moving stories on her website, www.DianeLaneyFitzpatrick.com, where you can also find her moving blog and read about the day-to-day adventures of her most recent move from Florida to California.
“Everyone loves to tell their own stories about moving,” said Fitzpatrick, “and I love to hear from my readers about their own moving adventures and mishaps.”
A former newspaper reporter and editor, Fitzpatrick worked as a freelance writer, blogger, and Internet content writer in the seven states where she’s lived and raised her family. She has written the popular humor blog Just Humor Me on her website for the past eight years. She and her husband, Tim Fitzpatrick, have three children, who live far and wide, and who have their own share of moving adventure stories.
Diane Laney Fitzpatrick is available for media interviews. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 281-3145.
Excerpt from Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves
That group of real estate people and their cronies start out as strangers but in very short order become people you desperately want to impress. When you’re making a corporate relocation, if your employer is at all involved in your move, you have extra inspections and appraisals, so that some HR guy in your company will know intimate details about the house they’re helping you sell.
In Illinois, we had an appraiser come in and assess how much the relo company should pay us for our house, should we be unable to sell it on our own. This woman was so sweet and unassuming, kind of a schoolmarm type with glasses and her hair in a bun. She became my best friend while I was showing her my Gorgeous interior! Afterward we sat at the table in my Enormous eating area! in my Cozy kitchen! and had coffee and a bundt cake I made from scratch. She seemed so nice. We chatted about our children, and she told me something embarrassing about her husband. I was starting to think we might stay in touch after she was gone. We’re talking friends, here. A few days later Tim got her report at work.
“You’re not going to like this,” Tim told me on the phone. He was holding the report, he said. That sounded ominous.
“What! Tell me!”
“I’m not going to read it to you. You’ll feel really bad.” Then he immediately read it to me.
I couldn’t believe it. That Plain Jane had not one nice thing to say about my house! I stopped listening right after Tim read the part about the kitchen, where the wallpaper was apparently “not neutral enough.”
“That hag!” I snarled. “I gave her cake!”
Corporate relocations give you the added pleasure of working with relo specialists, people who are supposed to help guide you through the quagmire of tasks facing you. They help you find a real estate agent, schedule inspections, remind you about utility shut-offs and turn-ons, and call you every few days just to speak to you in a cheerful, pleasant voice. It’s all designed to have a calming effect; however, it’s actually just another reason to answer the phone again.
Relo specialists are also in charge of sending you big stacks of papers that need to be notarized, each page with specific and unique requirements on exactly how the notary is supposed to sign and stamp, and how you and your husband are to sign. If these are not done correctly, Western Civilization as we know it will cease. If the notary makes a mistake, there are no other copies that can ever be made until the end of time. Worse, you’ll get yelled at if you don’t do this right.
Heading to the bank in north Jersey with the forms, in a briefcase handcuffed to my wrist, I had butterflies in my stomach. What if this goes badly? And of course it did. The notary was almost through the stack of papers when she looked at one page and drew up her hands and backed up her rolling chair. I thought maybe there was a little bit of anthrax on the paper.
“I can’t do this one,” she said, still not touching the paper, just staring at it. “This one has spaces for both you and your husband to sign, and the part where I have to put my name says I have witnessed the signatures of both of you. You’re both not here, so I can’t say I witnessed both signatures.”
We had gone over this type of screw-up in the pre-signing practice drill prior to our meeting. I had explained to Ms. Integrity that I was going to do my notary thing and then overnight the whole package, handcuffs and all, to Tim, who was already in Kentucky and who would then do his half of the notary thing. It was the only way to get the papers notarized since we would not be physically in the same state until the actual move. And if we were going to be together sometime before then, it certainly wasn’t going to be in a bank assistant manager’s office, if you get my drift.
“But the other papers have spaces for Tim’s signature, too,” I whined, “and you put your signature and squeezy-embossing-thingy on those.” I was terrified that the butterflies were going to fly up through my mouth.
“But the wording on this one…,” she said, slowly shaking her head and exhaling dramatically.
I was in a panic. I left the bank with that one stinking line left blank and spent the next hour driving around Sussex County trying to find a notary whose honor would be compromised for the right price. I had fifteen dollars and some change in my purse, and I was prepared to use it. Surely there was somebody out there who had taken the notary pledge but who had since become a crack addict or had a gambling problem. Life couldn’t be 100 percent smooth sailing just because you took an adult ed course at the vocational school.
I eventually found some back-alley notary, between a Laundromat and an adult bookstore in the next county, in an office that smelled like onions and Vitalis. He said he liked my driver’s license picture. I smiled awkwardly. I signed. He stamped. And I gave him $15.68 and crossed another item off my moving list.
Excerpts from Great-Grandma is on Twitter and Other Signs the Rapture is Near
Serious Parenting, Seriously
As you may know, my serious writing job is doing parenting articles for an online content provider. And by serious writing job I don’t mean serious job, I mean serious writing. Any job that you can do from your house while on hold with Apple tech support and wearing nothing from the waist down cannot be considered serious.
But in order to write about parenting, I have to read a lot about parenting. I’ve broken my old rule of Don’t Ever Read a Self Help Book and I’ve read lots of self help books on parenting troubled teens (Message: Listen to them with a sympathetic tilted head and furrowed brow and then do what you would have done anyway), parenting Terrible Twos (Message: Drink heavily and hang on until Thorazine Threes) parenting step-kids (Message: You really aren’t the boss of them, as it turns out) and everything in between.
It seems that every parent on earth is a better parent than me, except for the people on Super Nanny, who are way, way worse than me. Which is why I love that show more than some of my extended family. I’d take a bullet for Jo just so she could continue to go into people’s homes and tell them what a lousy job they’re doing as parents. I’m going to admit some things here and prepare yourselves, since what you’re about to read may shock you, particularly the better parents among you.
I never used 1-2-3 Magic or any other child discipline method that earned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
I shocked my play group when they were gossiping about a Brownie scout mom who “didn’t even know what 1-2-3 Magic is!”
“What’s 1-2-3 Magic?” I asked. They spit out their daiquiris and somebody choked on a maraschino cherry. “You don’t use 1-2-3 Magic? Oh my god!” The six of them stared at me. Someone said snippily, “I don’t know how you could have had three kids and survived up to this point without using 1-2-3 Magic.”
Eventually, after a few more drinks, they explained to me that 1-2-3 Magic is only the most effective form of child discipline in the history of child rearing. It has something to do with counting to three, which, when I was growing up wasn’t a parenting method, it was just what some of the more considerate dads did before taking off their belts and beating the crap out of their kids.
After listening to the explanation, I asked, “Well, what if you count to three and they still won’t do what you wanted them to do?” I apparently just didn’t get it. I think I needed to read the book. But that might explain why I don’t use common everyday parenting methods. I’m afraid they won’t work and then I’ll be really up a creek. Which brings me to my second thing:
I never put my kids in Time Out.
I know, Jo is probably choking on her own maraschino cherry right now, just thinking about that. But it’s true. I don’t know whether it’s because my kids were really not that bad or I was just afraid they would look at the stool in the corner and say, “Poop on that, I’m outta here.” I just couldn’t see myself in a physical battle with my kids, even during the short period of time in which I was taller than them.
I lied for them.
I am the world’s worst liar, but if they didn’t want to go to Kassy’s house to play with the Madame Alexander dolls in the boxes, I became an excellent liar. I would grab the phone out of their hands and say, “Yeah, hey, Kass, the kids can’t come over today because I’m having ovarian surgery at 2.” She was little, she didn’t know surgeries aren’t scheduled for the afternoons.
There are times to teach your kids the big life lessons about truth and facing up to responsibilities, facing the hard stuff head on, and there are times that you just have to lie for them. I always told my kids I would be their excuse, their front man, their man-who-lies-to-get-them-out-of-a-jam. To this day there are kids all over the country who think I was the strictest mom and that the reason my kids could never come over to their houses was because of me and my surgeries.
I’m sure, according to some parenting expert, that makes me a Hovering Helicopter Parent or a Default Parent, or simply just a Lazy Scared Liar. I don’t care. Please don’t tell the readers of my serious parenting articles.
~ ~ ~
Technology – Infinity ; Diane – 0
The technology in my house is kicking my butt. Honestly, if the communications accoutrement team in my home and I were in the ring, it would be delivering Jackie Chan roundhouse kicks to my groin and I’d be curled up in a fetal position protecting my head with The Collected Works of Shakespeare and a newspaper.
It’s in a ‘Vette on the Autobahn and I’m in a Barbie car stuck in a funeral procession, behind an Amish buggy and a tractor.
It’s president of the class, captain of the football team and the lead in the play, and I’m leaving my locker lock fake-closed, because I can’t remember the combination.
I think you get the picture, thanks to my brilliant analogies.
My husband has been wanting a new computer and I’m dreading the moment that something happens that we have enough money to buy one. Because it will mean having to do stuff on the computer that will shine a light on how much I already don’t know what I’m doing. I’m faking it well, but only because I’ve memorized which buttons to push. When on the phone with tech support or in any conversation with my husband outside the bedroom, I crumble because I don’t know when I last emptied my cache of cookies.
“As delicious as that sounds, I’m not quite sure I remember. How full would it have been, and where would I have dumped it?” I asked the Apple guy. “Is it possible that I ate them?”
While my computer-related possessions are in first place in the race to make me look stupid, my telephone technology is in a close second. We now have three home phone numbers from three different sources, which may not sound like a lot, except for the fact that we rarely use the house phone. It never rings. We get all of our calls on our individual cell phones.
Despite that, my husband has fallen in love with Magic Jack (no relation to Magic Johnson. And while we’re on the subject, why is his name not the punch line in more dirty jokes?). Magic Jack is a small device that looks like a prop from Mission Impossible, something that could stealthily be passed to a woman in a tightly cinched trench coat on a dark Berlin street, mostly because it has a clear front that shows a bunch of little squares and other blue, high-tech things inside there. It provides you with (no, not the secret recipe for making a bomb) a phone number that you can use to call anywhere in the world.
It is simple enough that my husband had to take it one step further and route it through a Google phone number and then forward our original home number to the Magic Jack and – oh man. When the phone rings, I answer it and what else matters? Especially since it hardly ever rings?
If we get the new computer, everything is going to get kicked up a notch. I believe that household technology is enmeshed in a symbiotic relationship and it feeds off of each others’ success. The phones will start answering themselves and making return calls, signing us up for flood insurance, putting me down for brownies for the band bake sale, and answering the Republicans’ surveys about how disappointed we aren’t in Barack Obama’s administration.
I’m going to just let techno-nature take its course and do with me what it will. I’ll be here, eating my cookies, so the cache doesn’t get full.
718 Pine St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
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Great-Grandma Is on Twitter and Other Signs the Rapture Is Near
By Diane Laney Fitzpatrick
Published Jan. 6, 2016, School Night Press
Available for sale at:
Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves
By Diane Laney Fitzpatrick
Published June 22, 2013, CreateSpace Publishing
Available for sale at:
Amazon ($9.99 paperback, $6.99 Kindle e-book)
Directly from the author ($9.99 w/discounts for real estate professionals and book clubs)
Barnesandnoble.com ($9.99 paperback)