I started my career as a humor writer shortly before turning 10. My first satire was a thank-you note telling Aunt Rachel how beautiful the blue desk set she gave me for Christmas looked in my pink bedroom.

After that promising start, my humor writing stalled. Journalism school got in the way. Then it was a reporting career spent writing for small dailies about what pastries members of the chamber of commerce ate at their breakfast meetings. When my son was born, I left newspaper reporting to freelance for medical and science journals. My articles had all the witty charm of a prescription package insert.

When my son fled the nest, I finally had the time to write humor. Instead, I went back to college to become a teacher. I now substitute teach, which isn’t bad for someone who appreciates wildlife. I can work when I want and take off when I want. My husband Bob’s job is just as flexible. So when the urge strikes, we hit the road or the skies. In the past six years, we visited eight countries.

Still, I felt something missing from my life. This time I couldn’t come up with a single excuse not to get back to humor writing.

My newest essay will always appear on the home page, under the heading Hot Off the Press. Others I wrote this year are in the chapter Still Warm – 2020 posts. The rest of my essays appear in 2018 posts, 2019 posts or Golden Oldies. The same essays also are organized by subject. The clickable chapter list is at the bottom of this page. Travel Articles is the only chapter where I get serious, describing my most recent travel adventures.

I also tweet witticisms and alerts about new blog posts. You can follow me @OriginalCynOL.

I live in South Florida with Bob and a revolving assortment of house lizards. Our adult son Kevin lives out of state.

Hot Off The Press

Buongiorno, Monsieur! ¿Como Estás?

Travelling abroad would be so much easier if I stuck with my native tongue. But I can’t, not when I’m standing on foreign soil and know three or four dozen words each of Spanish, Italian and French. Foreign words spew out of my mouth like coins from a slot machine. When I'm lucky, they match the language of the country I'm in. I was reminded of this inability to control which language rolls off [...]

No Thanks, Outer Banks

Take it from me, and just say no thanks To tent-camping in Frisco on the dune-strewn Outer Banks Where the wind always blows And chills exposed toes. Ditto for feet, knees and shanks.   Camp showers are frigid. I get goose bumps so rigid I nick each one shaving my legs. Campsites have no water or power. Forget happy hour. No booze, says the park ranger’s regs.   The campground, it’s true, has a [...]

Felling Me With Flattery

Back in the day when I was still young, Nobody called me Young Lady Any more than they called me Shorty or Slim of Kind of Afraidy.   But old men now seem to think that they ought To call me Young Lady when I clearly am not. Do they think I like this backhanded flattery? To me, it feels like ego battery.

A Pain in the Assateague

I’m on Assateague Island, stalking wild ponies. There’s a mom with her colt and three of their cronies. Two stallions nearby are kicking and fighting. Now one of them’s biting. Oh, how exciting! Over there’s a pair doing the thing That graces the herd with new pony offspring.   So I grab my camera and hurry back Knowing I’ve got some great shots in the sack. I set my sights on a pinto mare [...]

An Unrefined Palate

Nobody would think any less of me if I brought a six-pack of Old Milwaukee to a picnic or ordered a Margarita made with house tequila in a swanky cantina. But admit my favorite wine comes in a $7 screw-cap bottle and I’d be labeled a tasteless dork by anyone who knows a thing or two about wine. So when I was invited to an Italian wine tasting at a local liquor store, I [...]

You Can’t Get Hyderized on a Cruise

Sane people cruise to Alaska, or they fly. Not me and Bob. We saw a chance for two adventures – seeing Alaska and getting to Alaska. The getting to would have taken us 10 days if we’d driven seven hours a day. We gave ourselves a month, knowing we would be drawn off course often by such irresistible features as waterfalls, totem poles and campgrounds with flushing toilets. Thoughts of sightseeing along the way [...]