by Robb Lightfoot

About the author:
Robb Lightfoot has enjoyed writing and performing since he was a child, and many of his earliest performances earned him a special recognition-reserved seating in the principal's office at Highland Elementary. Since then, in addition to his weekly column on A News Cafe - "Or So it Seems(tm)" - Robb has written news and features for The Bakersfield Californian, appeared on stage as an opening stand-up act in Reno, and his writing has been published in the Funny Times. His short stories have won honorable mention national competition. His screenplay, "One Little Indian," Was a top-ten finalist in the Writer's Digest competition. Robb presently lives, writes and teaches in Shasta County, Northern California. His first book was The Doggone Christmas List. The Stupid Minivan is his second humor collection.

He may be reached via US mail at Robb Lightfoot, PO Box 214, Palo Cedro, CA 96073.

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Here are my most recent posts

About Robb Lightfoot

About the author: Robb Lightfoot has enjoyed writing and performing since he was a child, and many of his earliest performances earned him a special recognition-reserved seating in the principal's office at Highland Elementary. Since then, in addition to his weekly column on A News Cafe - "Or So it Seems(tm)" - Robb has written news and features for The Bakersfield Californian, appeared on stage as an opening stand-up act in Reno, and his writing has been published in the Funny Times. His short stories have won honorable mention national competition. His screenplay, "One Little Indian," Was a top-ten finalist in the Writer's Digest competition. Robb presently lives, writes and teaches in Shasta County, Northern California. His first book was The Doggone Christmas List. The Stupid Minivan is his second humor collection. He may be reached via US mail at Robb Lightfoot, PO Box 214, Palo Cedro, CA 96073.

Putting My Name In The Hat

Photo of Erma Bombeck for Robb Lightfoot's website

Last week was the deadline for applications to present at the upcoming Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, April 5-7, 2018, in Dayton, Ohio.

I put a proposal together, and sent it in. I’ll keep you all posted on what happens. The idea I pitched, based on all the years of speech teaching and coaching, is that writers who can talk about their work before audiences stand a better chance of connecting with their ideal readers.

We’ll see if this is true! I picked this humor conference because, as you know, my favorite genre is humor.

Even though I’ve never had the chance to attend this workshop, I know a good deal about it. I’ve followed its activity for years now–it’s an every-other-year affair–and the slots sell out in a matter of days. I’ve bought the conference recordings and enjoyed them immensely.

Look at the event’s website to get more details. Here’s that link http://humorwriters.org/.

If you think you’re interested in attending, the time to apply is early December.

I’ll find out if I am “in” come mid June, 2017.

Helpful Tool For Nonfiction Writers

endnote logo for Robb Lightfoot blog posting

 

I’m back in Grad School, seeking a second master’s degree, after a 30-year absence.

Man how things have changed.

Of course ,the biggest difference is in the tools I now have for researching and writing.

Back in 1986, when I started my first degree in speech communication, research was done in the library by going through the card catalog and magazine indexes. Quaint, isn’t it. And I wrote my graduate thesis in an Apple IIc. Years of hard word lived on a couple of floppy disks that looked like a pair of Goth-Inspired Hallmark cards to celebrate a total solar eclipse–dark, mysterious and ominous.

Now everything is backed up on an automatic hard-drive, in the cloud, and if I lose it all I can just ask Donald Trump or the Russian Embassy for another copy. Nice, I guess. The latest version of Word, not “Word Juggler,” allows me to do amazing things and have the results look better than they deserve.

But the best thing of all are the tools for more effective researching and cataloging of all the information I find. No longer do I have to lug around or shelve stacks of photocopies, I have many PDFs that are the fruits of searches in academic databases. Of course, Google is handy, especially Google Scholar. But all these tools mean that I now have way too much information.

Enter Endnotes.

I am happy owner of this software, and it allows me to download my library searches, have the citations correctly formatted–usually, you still have to double check them, and upload the PDFs and any notes I make all in one central–backed-up-in-the-cloud place.

It’s heaven. This is all te more sweet because, as I write, I can just click a button and insert a citation, and–get this–a bibliography is generated on the fly. Amazing.

I’ve long though about taking on a research project and aspiring to do the sort of cool things Malcom Gladwell does. But how, I wondered, would I ever keep it all straight?

Now I know–Endnotes.

So, you don’t have to be in grad school to tackle a book-length project, and buying your own copy isn’t horribly expensive, considering what Word costs.

Check it out. I think you’ll be as impressed as I am. Here’s the link. http://endnote.com/

And if you are strapped for cash, there is a sort-free alternative, Zotero, https://www.zotero.org/. It only starts costing you when your data files get over a certain length. I went with Endnotes because it seems to be the gold standard for many scholars. YMMV.

Grad School – Back At It

California State University Chico logo

Just a quick update for my friends. I’m officially back in Grad school, studying event management through CSU Chico’s Recreation Administration program. It’s been almost a year since I decided to return to school, and it’s exciting to be sitting here in the “Grove” of Chico State’s Meriam Library. My classes begin next week, but I’m bopping around getting familiar with its resources.

I picked the events track because I wasn’t finding what I wanted in any MFA writing programs. As you can tell from my work, I’m passionate about comedy. I looked in vain for quite some time before deciding that there just was not the sort of program that valued humor writing (in all its various forms) and comedy enough to offer it the wide curriculum it deserves. Don’t get me wrong, there are many wonderful MFA programs, but not seem to care much about the humor or other genre-centric writing. I talked to one advisor and made it clear I would like to refine my writing in part to increase its commercial potential, and the expression on this woman’s face resembled that of my mother the time I tracked doggie-doo onto her new, green-shag carpeting.

On reflection, I decided that the most helpful thing for me to do was to continue attending writing workshops and conferences, and better yet, to get in the game of offering them.

That’s how I ended up back in school. My goal is to gather working or aspiring humor writers, stand-up comics, screenwriters, playwrights and improv artists so we can learn from one another. I’ll be writing about my efforts here and over at my other blog, www.thinkingfunny.com.

Please keep in touch and feel free to offer suggestions. I’m hoping that this journey will prove helpful and mostly fun. 🙂

Robb

#Humor Book – My First YouTube promo for Problem Child

Humor Book Looks At My #ADHD Childhood

photo of robb lightfoot graduating from kindergarten humorous book Problem Child

Hello all

All the advice I’ve been getting lately suggests that I need to have a variety of promotions in play, including a brief clip on YouTube. Today I took my first stab at doing just that, and so it’s up and running at this link https://youtu.be/ePIwBHjce7E

Let me know what you think. Karin says the audio could be a little crisper, but I was going for mellow. After all, one of the ideas I’m trying to get across is that people can chill out a bit when they grow up. But if the consensus is that it needs work, then I can redo it or just sharpen it up a bit in Audacity.

I rummage around and found some shots from the family album, and I think they work. I thought that would be better than pointing a camera at myself and just having a talking head. But… it might not be a bad idea to add in a contemporary image.

Thanks to all of you who have helped spread the word about my book. It helps, too, to encourage readers to go on Amazon and review either the print or Kindle versions.

Thanks. The book can be purchased at any number of places, including Barnes and Noble. At the moment, though, I am working on getting more attention and reviews on Amazon. Here’s that link.http://www.amazon.com/Problem-Child-Principals-Improbable-Hyperactive/dp/0988785463/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Robb