Sherry Stanfa-Stanley always has been able to find humor in just about any situation.
“I grew up in a house where we referred to dinner time as ‘Sarcasm Hour,’ ” she said. “I learned early on that humor can help you cope with anything — including liver and onions.”
When her two sons were older and her nightly chauffeur duties were less in demand, the director of communication and fund stewardship at the UT Foundation returned to her interest of creative writing — and humor was a given.
For the last three years, she has written a mix of humor and human-interest stories at sherrystanfa-stanley.com. (She is taking a blog hiatus, but plans to return this spring.) She’s been featured on HumorPress.com, and she received one of nine national fellowships in 2011 from the Midwest Writers Workshop for an early draft of a women’s fiction novel.
Stanfa-Stanley’s latest foray is featured in a new humor anthology, Fifty Shades of Funny: Hook-ups, Break-ups and Crack-ups.
Published in October by Pandora’s Boxes, the 210-page book was co-edited by her sister, DC Stanfa, a 1982 alumna of the University. Stanfa-Stanley, a 1983 UT graduate, served as a consulting editor.
“It’s a very fun, eclectic compilation of stories,” Stanfa-Stanley said. “The stories run the gamut of all types of interesting relationships — not just romantic ones.”
The PG-13-rated collection focuses on relationship mishaps that are ironic, often embarrassing and just plain funny.
Stanfa-Stanley’s piece is titled “The Incident of the Drunken Wench in the Night.”
“Just to clarify, I’m not the title character,” she quickly pointed out and laughed.
She added that fellow writer Lisa K. Nelson best summed up the anthology: “It’s a quirky mix of stories, brimming with heart, humor and humiliation. It’s like the Island of Misfit Toys wrote a book.”
Tales range from exploding hair caked in Final Net and flaming Lee Press-On nails to one man’s obsession with Little Debbie snack cakes.
In addition to the sisters, Fifty Shades of Funny includes stories by two other area writers: Mike Ball of Ann Arbor and Brittany Gibbons of Swanton.
All four local authors will sign books Friday, Nov. 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Caper’s Restaurant and Bar, 2038 S. Byrne Road, Toledo.
Nationally known humor writers and bloggers also contributed to the book; these include Bruce Cameron from The 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter fame and Writer’s Digest Break-Out Author of the Year Hollis Gillespie, who wrote Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch.
Stanfa-Stanley said her sister, who is the author of The Art of Table Dancing: Escapades of an Irreverent Woman, teamed up with award-winning writer Susan Reinhardt, who wrote Not Tonight Honey, Wait ’Til I’m a Size Six and Don’t Sleep With a Bubba, to assemble the stories.
Several of the writers met while attending or presenting at the biannual Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton, she added.
Fifty Shades of Funny is available in print for $14.99 and e-book editions for $6.49 at amazon.com. Copies will be for sale at the book-signing event.
Read more at fiftyshadesoffunny.com.