Introducing My New Website

I started this website in 2004, under the name Yankeefog.Com, to share my observations as an American living in London. As the years went by, I posted here less often. That was partly because the speed and brevity of Twitter made it much easier than blogging. But it was also because I was channeling my observations about the strangeness of London life into fiction, in the form of a novel for children called The City of Secret Rivers.

Now, after a decade of writing and rewriting, the novel is finally seeing the light of day. In the US, it’s being published by Random House Books for Young Readers as Hyacinth & The Secrets Beneath. In the UK, it’s being released by Walker Books under its original title.

With a new book — and a new focus as a children’s author — I thought it was time for a new website. will still lead you here, but I’ve got a new and less ambiguous URL: I’ve also got a new design, thanks to Websy Daisy.

Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing news and reviews here. In the meantime, look around. I hope you’ll enjoy the new

Reddit, Part II: Revenge of the Reddit!

You might remember I went to Reddit and did an “AMA” — “Ask Me Anything”. It was a blast, but it wasn’t exactly a hit. It got a total of 52 upvotes. Recently, a Redditor spotted How Not To Kill Your Baby in the bookstore, took a photo of the cover, and posted it to Reddit. It got 7,735 upvotes. That’s right. The cover of my book is officially more charismatic than I am. I’m going to view that as a good thing.

Win a copy of my new book

If you long for a copy of “How Not To Kill Your Baby” but you’ve blown all your money on luxuries like diapers and milk, then head on over to Goodreads where I’m giving away an autographed copy to one lucky winner.

Not-so-abandoning the blog

As noted in the previous entry, I’ve mostly abandoned this blog. But in the next few weeks, I’m going to be trying an experiment. When you register as an author on Amazon or Goodreads, you can connect your author’s page there to your home blog, and post updates to people on those sites who have bought your books. So that’s what I’ll be doing.

As a result, expect the next few weeks of entries here to be a bit different in tone. Instead of general musings, I’ll be fairly focused on self-promotion.

The New Yorker & Twitter

You might have noticed I’ve mostly abandoned this blog. If you’re looking for me, the best place to find me nowadays is on Twitter.

However, if you are an old fashioned, early twenty-first century type who prefers blogs to Twitter, and you simply must know what I’ve been up to… My new book How Not To Kill Your Baby comes out next month. It’s a parody of pregnancy and parenting books.

And as of today, I’m a New Yorker author. Woohoo! You can read my piece here.

Proof of Time Travel

Google has a cool new feature: you can search every book they’ve digitized for a specific word or phrase, and then chart how often it appeared by year. I’m sure this will be invaluable to language historians, but I’ve discovered an even more important use: you can use it to search for time travelers.

For example, here’s what the graph looks like for the word “Internet”:

That’s right: from the dawn of written language, up through the late 1970’s, not a single human being in recorded history used the word “Internet”– except a little flurry of people right around 1900. That clearly marks the chrononaut’s first landing point in the time stream.
Now, imagine you are history’s first time traveler. You wish to summon more of your ilk, to enjoy the wonders of the early 20th century. How might you contact them? Why, with your iPhone. Here’s a chart of how often the word “iPhone” appeared in printed documents:

You’ll notice a major spike in the mid 1940s, suggesting heavy time traveler presence during World War II.
In fact, once you start searching, the evidence is astounding, from the use of Google during the Civil War through the appearance of both “www” and “http” in 1902. But I will leave all that as an exercise to the reader.

A new blog, and may God have mercy on my soul

My previous two Yankee Fog posts were a year apart. This one is a mere 10 months after the previous one. Why, it’s practically instantaneous!

Given that Yankee Fog has been more or less abandoned, I will forgive you if you react with some skepticism to the news that I’ve started a brand-new blog. But I have.

It’s called Caught Dead In That, and it’s nothing but funny photos of gravestones. That’s right: funny photos of gravestones. I believe that officially uses up the last remaining unmined humor topic on the internet.

What I’ve Been Up To

Seeing as it’s been precisely a year since my last post, you have no doubt deduced that I’ve abandoned all pretense of updating this blog regularly. But for anybody still following me, here are a few things I’ve been up to recently.

A short story of mine called “Eugene” was published at Popcorn fiction. While you’re there, check out the archives. There’s some really brilliant stuff. My favorites include A Best Friend Named Rick and March 6th. I’d also recommend Unconditional, but I have to warn you that it’s every parents’ worst nightmare, so read with caution.

I wrote a few episodes of a new animated series called Shelldon, which premiered last month on NBC. The first of my episodes is scheduled to air this Saturday, November 7. It looks like the second of my episodes will air November 28. I should note that, as usually happens with freelance TV writing, my scripts were rewritten pretty thoroughly after I handed them in, so I have no idea how much of my original script actually made it to the air. (Unless the episode turns out to be a staggering work of genius, in which case, I will insist they didn’t change a word)

Finally, last week, I was a guest on The David Feldman Comedy Podcast, where I discussed a topic about which I am widely recognized to be the world’s greatest expert: the contents of my freezer. I don’t mean to oversell it, but this is probably the single most important subject in the world at the moment, so I know you’ll want to listen.