Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On hot flashes

JAN: Most women don't think hot flashes are very funny, but Paula Munier does.

An acquisitions editor at Adams Media by day and writer by night, Paula coauthored a new humor book, Hot Flash Haiku, with Jennifer Basye Sander. And she's here with us today to share some of her wit and wisdom in perfect haiku form: (five, seven, five syllables).

Age Inappropriate

Is Just another way to

Keep This Old Broad Down

JAN: (laughing) How did you come up with the idea for this book?

PAULA: Jennifer came up to me at BEA (Book Expo America) and said, I have this idea. I want you to write it with me. It was such a funny idea, hot flash humor in seventeen syllables. I knew we'd have a great time writing it, we just needed to come up with an organizing principle.

JAN: Which was......???

PAULA: In some ways, as you age you are grieving your loss of some things. So we organized it according to the stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In the denial category...

If I could turn back

Time, I'd look just like Cher

Before surgery.

JAN: How did you go about writing these and how long did it take?

PAULA: We split them up. There are about 250 poems in the book. I tried to write the more funny ones, Jennifer wrote the more profound ones and we had some contributors. A lot of red wine and chocolate was consumed to put us in the mood. It took about six months

In the anger category,

A cruel magic act

Gravity Tugs, I go from

Woman to Shar Pei.


Whenever someone

my age gets a face lift

It pisses me off.

JAN: Was it hard to master the haiku form?

PAULA. Once you get into the groove, the trick becomes how to make them all different. To write 250 of anything without repeating yourself is a challenge. Jennifer and I brought different perspectives. I'm older than Jennifer and a grandmother. She was married once and is still married. I've been married and now I'm dating.

In the bargaining category:

If Men Think about Sex

Every seven seconds

Why can't we get laid?

JAN: So are you thinking haiku now on every date?

PAULA: Not really, but it's a little like writing a country western song, you are always thinking in a narrative. And how to make so few words tell a story.

In the depression category:

Once I was hot

But now hotter than ever

Many times a day.

JAN: Right off the top of my head, I can think of three or four women I want to buy this book for. What has the reception been like?

PAULA: People everywhere love this book. The copy editor loved the book. The people at Penn Station Borders couldn't wait to tell us how much they loved this book. It resonates with people. You've heard that women over a certain age become invisible? Well, women of my generation are not going to settle for invisible. This book celebrates that. We're not doing that. We didn't anything the way our parents did and this either.

In the acceptance category....

Men Over 50

May need viagra

So drug him.

Paula Munier is also the author of Yes, We Can, 365 Ways to Make America a Better Place, On Being Blonde and the young adult novel, Emerald's Desire. She is the co-author of 101 Things You (and John McCain) Didn't Know about Sarah Palin.

Jennifer Basye Sander is the author of The Sacramento Women's Pages, as well as the author, coauthor and ghostwriter of more than thirty books including the recent gift book hits Wear More Cashmere and The Martini Diet.


  1. Paula, these are hysterical! can't wait to get copies for my older friends (ha ha).

    Did you edit each other's poems or did they all come out perfectly?

  2. When you write a book
    Your age hides in the pages
    Rock on, mid life gals.

  3. Love These! Where were they when I needed them?

  4. You are a hoot, Ms. M - these are seriously funny.

    I have this book and love it. One of my favorites:

    He is going gray,
    He is going bald, but is
    He going my way?

    I just tried writing one. Could not do it. I'd doff my cap if I wore one.

  5. Even haiku writers have editors! So the book went through the usual editorial process at the publishing house.
    At Adams Media that means several people read the haikus, and provided feedback. We ended up replacing some that the editors didn't think quite hit the mark.
    As an editor myself, I know that "The Editor is always right."

  6. This sounds like a gift that is going to be given to a lot of female friends. Hilarious!

  7. Sounds like a great book. I can't wait to read it!

    A friend of mine wrote dozens of poems about menopause when hot flashes kept her up in the middle of the night.

    I decided long ago to call my hot flashes "Power Surges." Made me feel a little bit better.

  8. Hi Ruth,
    So much power to look forward to!!!

  9. Hi Ruth,
    So much power to look forward to!!!

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  11. There are all kinds of things you can do when you can't sleep because you're just too hot....try them all!

  12. "What's a hot flash?"

    (just kidding..old enough, just damn lucky I guess.)