Journal entry: July 21, 2014 (age 45) – “Lost Journal,” the Book!
More than ten years ago, on January 1, 2004, my first humor column was published in my hometown newspaper, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. A year-and-a-half later, on July 14, 2005, I began a regular, weekly column called “Lost Journal.” Over the next few years, it was picked up by three more papers in New York State, a dozen newspapers in Illinois, and one in California. For a time, the column was distributed to several hundred papers via the Gatehouse News Service. I’m also proud to be a regular on the Humor Times website.
The nonsense piled up, until I had enough material to put together a book. Eventually, I had enough to publish two books. By the time I had enough columns to fill three books, I finally defeated the forces of procrastination. I spent most of the last year editing, designing, and self-publishing these three volumes:
- Lost Journal Vol. 1: Confessions of a Failed Paperboy
- Lost Journal Vol. 2: Five Older Brothers, Twenty Bad Jobs, and Zero Dates
- Lost Journal Vol. 3: Some Lives Are Funnier than Others
There are a total of 270 columns in the books, and each is accompanied by a color photo. One of the most enjoyable parts of the process was digging out the goofiest pictures I could find in the family archives, and taking some equally goofy new ones. The best/worst image of all is on the cover of the first book. It’s a formal portrait taken at Olan Mills in 1979. My scrawny, pale, red-haired, and bespectacled self is sitting in the foreground. Using double exposure, my brother Dan’s unhappy brace-face looms over and to the right of me, as though I were conjuring up the god of pre-teen awkwardness.
Because I’m a glutton for punishment, and recognize that my regular readers obviously are, as well, I also recorded audio versions of 12 of my best columns for a CD called Lost Journal Classics. This allowed me to add, among other things, my impression of a pig at the trough, a lousy Spanish accent, and a pretty decent “announcer quickly and quietly rattling off the contraindications for a prescription drug” impression.
I’m writing this week’s column to let my faithful readers know that the books are available through my website, timmollen.com. But it also gives me a chance to say some overdue thank yous. Thank you to Humor Times editor James Israel. Thanks to the folks who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. Thank you to Dina Good for the fantastic book cover designs. As always, thank you to my family for putting up with all the embarrassing stories and photos, and for providing me with so many great memories and stories.
Finally, thank you, dear readers. I read every e-mail and appreciate every bit of feedback – in grocery stores, restaurants, and parking lots (but not in public restrooms). I’m always grateful for the opportunity to share some laughs and smiles with you.