For nearly 14 years, Sarah Smiley has been entertaining readers of her weekly syndicated newspaper column with tales of being a military wife and mother of three young boys. Now Smiley’s best work from 2000-2008 is gathered in a collection published by Ballinger Publishing.
The 288-page paperback book includes forewords by Carol Leifer (former writer for “Saturday Night Live” and “Seinfeld,” the basis for the character Elaine on “Seinfeld,” and screenwriter for Paramount Television’s proposed adaptation of Smiley’s columns for a half-hour sitcom) and Ward Carroll (author, former Navy pilot, and current managing editor of Military.com).
With commentary on everything from husbands who leave their lunch on top of their car to Amish Friendship Bread and why children are always bumping heads, Smiley’s writing will “put a grin on your face,” says Tim Bete, Director of the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop.
“Three-beer honesty!” – Frank Cerabino, The Palm Beach Post
“If military-spouse humor writers had ranks, [Sarah] would be, at minimum, a general.”- Dave Barry
“Devastatingly witty…take[s] the military to task” - Military.com
“funny and always humane…an unexpected voice…” - The New York Times
“A witty observer of her life and times!” – The Times-Record, Brunswick, Maine
“It is that wry take on the life of a military spouse…one that questions the rules and regulations of the shadow military she embodies, that Smiley does best” – The New York Times
“Sarah Smiley’s columns read like amusing dispatches from your favorite friend, rather than two-dimensional words on a page. Smiley has the knack of turning the ordinary, and not-so-ordinary travails of a modern-day military wife into an absorbing narrative. There’s nothing stoic about this Navy wife who writes with the kind of three-beer honesty that seems both amusing and brave at the same time.” – Frank Cerabino, columnist, The Palm Beach Post
“Witty, whimsical and wise, [I'M JUST SAYING...] will put a grin on your face.”- Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop
“Sarah Smiley captures military family life like no other – with endearing and descriptive writing that brings both laughs and tears.” – The Bradenton Herald
“In Sarah Smiley’s wonderfully wacky world, Santa speaks Pig Latin, fat clothes are never discarded, and Amish Friendship bread becomes frightfully unfriendly. I’m Just Saying hilariously documents the misadventures of a military family. Each column is a carefully polished gem.” – Karin Gillespie, author of DOLLAR DAZE
“Insightful. Patriotic. Guaranteed to tickle your funny bone. This delightful read will remind you of the universal (and hilarious) lessons of motherhood and give you a renewed appreciation for military families. With insight and humor, Sarah Smiley helps us understand the sacrifices of military families and reminds us how essential it is to be able to laugh at ourselves. This collection of stories shares the myriad of blessings universal to motherhood.”- Celeste Palermo, author The Coffee Mom’s Devotional and From the Red Tees
Carol’s writing career began as a staff writer for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. She moved on to writing sitcoms, joining the staff of SEINFELD, where she contributed to over seventy-five episodes, eventually becoming a producer of the show. The most famous episodes of SEINFELD that Leifer penned (or co-penned) include the famous ‘shrinkage’ episode “The Hamptons” (nominated for the Writer’s Guild Award), “The Understudy” (starring Bette Midler), “The Lip Reader” (featuring Marlee Matlin), and the episode that made marble-rye bread a classic, “The Rye.”
Shortly thereafter, Carol wrote, produced and starred in three specials for Showtime: CAROL LEIFER COMEDY CRUISE, REALLY BIG SHOO, and GAUDY, BAWDY, AND BLUE, which was nominated for three cable ACE Awards. She also appeared in HBO’s YOUNG COMEDIANS SPECIAL and THE RODNEY DANGERFIELD SPECIAL: NOTHIN’ GOES RIGHT. Leifer also starred in her own stand-up special for COMEDY CENTRAL.
Carol served as writer and Supervising Producer on HBO’s critically-acclaimed “THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW.” Leifer then went on to become Executive Producer and Co-Creator of THE ELLEN SHOW on CBS, which was nominated for the People’s Choice Award and the GLAAD Award.
Carol is a regular writer for the Academy Awards and has written material for stars as diverse as Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg and Ellen DeGeneres.
Leifer has also been the opening act for a variety of legendary performers, including Frank Sinatra, The Pointer Sisters, Wynonna Judd and Jerry Seinfeld. She has also made guest appearances on SEINFELD, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, THE NAKED TRUTH, THE HOWARD STERN SHOW and WILL AND GRACE.
WARD CARROLL is the editor of Military.com. During his 20-year Navy career he served in four different F-14 squadrons based at NAS Oceana and was the operations officer for Carrier Air Wing One. He was editor of Approach magazine and is currently a contributing editor for Naval Aviation News. His three books about a Tomcat pilot — Punk’s War, Punk’s Wing, and Punk’s Fight — have been widely praised for their realistic portrayals of a Naval Aviator’s life.