I have sold humour articles to Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Stitches, The Globe and Mail, the New Quarterly and the Antigonish Review. I have also sold humorous non-fiction articles to Toronto Life, Canadian Family and Harrowsmith. In 1980, I won the top humour award from the Periodical Distributors Authors' Awards.
Note to aspiring humourists out there, humour articles are very hard to sell. I'm not sure why this is, I've never met a person who doesn't like a good laugh. There was a time most newspapers and magazines included a funny story or two in every issue. Now, you really have to knock them dead - almost. I was told that my Chatelaine article about trying collecting a pee from my dog for a veterinarian made an editor laugh so hard it triggered an asthma attack. Here is the offending article as a sample of what I can do.
The love of history is a disease that afflicts about one person in five in Canada. Usually there are no symptoms in childhood but warning signs can set in as early as the teen years and by the time the individual has become an adult the love of history can become a full blown affliction. Symptoms include the tendency to stroll through old cemeteries, to gape in delight at lonely roadside plaques, and the uncanny ability to cause the eyes of whole rooms of people to glaze over as you earnestly hold forth on the surprising relationship between onions and the Great Pyramids of Egypt.
I am one of those afflicted people and my condition has resulted in me to writing articles and books about iceboats, Wendigos, apples, dragon boats, early Canadian automobiles, Tamil Canadians and War of 1812 soldiers. I have also spoken to dozens of historical groups on numerous subjects. There is no cure for this disease but if you buy my books or read my articles I promise I will leave you alone.
Here are two history articles I wrote for Legion Magazine (these articles will pop into a new window, close it to reurn to the main site):
For my travel articles, I tend to combine my humour and cooking background. I like offbeat subjects. For Canadian Family I wrote an article about dinosaur fossil hunting in Alberta with my family where we endured searing hot temperatures, risked stepping on scorpions and rattlesnakes as we pounded rocks in the badlands of Alberta looking for lost fragments of Hadrosaurs. It was fun, really. In another article, I described how I managed to sink my end of a two-person kayak during full tide in the Bay of Fundy. Enclosed below is a partial description of that event.
Here are two travel articles (these articles will pop into a new window, close it to reurn to the main site):