Exit Laughing

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xit Laughing is more than a collection of twenty-four personal stories, written by some of our country's finest authors, on the subject of death and humor. It's a reminder that all of us approach death in very different ways. Whether we face our death or the death of a loved one with fear, sorrow, joy, or confusion, and whether or not we believe in an afterlife, we cannot deny that death happens. Exit Laughing reminds us that in death there is a place for humor.

Sherry Glaser writes "I had such marvelous plans for my mother's final moments on earth. I Had special music to die by. I intended to read the love letters written by my father to my mother when he was in the army for six months, before they were married. I had a stack of those and would use them to set the stage, the mood for their heavenly reunion. I had my Yoga mat in tow and would stretch and breathe and use my physical body to release hers Then I imagined In the last minutes I would crawl in to be with her take her in my arms, lay her head on my breast and kiss her forehead until her last exhale. But, as my great grandfather used to say, Man makes plans and God laughs."

He Said What?

I love you. The meeting ran late. I want a divorce.
One little word, one casual lie, one devastating announcement -- and our lives are turned upside down forever.
In He Said What?: Women Write About Moments When Everything Changed, twenty-five gifted women writers share profoundly personal moments in which men in their lives said something-good or bad-that changed them irrevocably.
This eclectic group of essays is fascinating, heartbreaking, hilarious.
Most of all, each one demonstrates the incredible power that words have in influencing our lives.

I

was cleaning out the little cream Honda civic, when I reached into the leather pouch behind the passenger seat, scavenging for candy wrappers and rotting cheese or fruit, which somehow always managed, with the complicity of children, to take refuge in secret hideouts in my vehicles. My hand touched something cold, metal.
At first, I thought it was a toy, the little silver .22-caliber gun was so tiny, but there was a weight to it, a heaviness that indicated that, yes, in fact, this could kill someone.
A gun? In my car? In my car, in the back seat, where children could find it, play with it, kill with it?
Would it be me? my family? My cocker spaniel? I ran in a circle, crying, holding the tip of the gun between my index finger and thumb like a stinky diaper.
Not even knowing how to check if it was loaded. No experience here, uh-uh - this was new to me...

Family Secrets:

One Woman's Affectionate Look at a Relatively Painful Subject

was published in 1994 on the heels of Sherry's long running show of the same title.
This is a memoir in which Sherry tells the real story behind her hit show. Within the story she explains how she translated her life to the stage by including the script from the show.
Family Secrets was published by Simon Schusher.



Let me introduce myself.
I'm the one in the family who causes all the trouble.
There's one in every family...
We each act out in differet ways: some steal, some do drugs, and some completely devastate the family by telling the truth about the family.
I did all of those things. Sometimes the person who senses the suble improprieties in the family or is witness or victim to the gross dysfunctions, tries to speak out.
Often such people are ignored or even punished.
Sometimes they try to contain it and end up crazy.
If they're lucky, they become artists expressing their unresolved emotions on the canvas, piano, or the stage. I find myself on the stage.
I believe if everyone wrote a show about their family we would have an epidemic of mental health and a renaissance in play writing.
We would see the most hilarious and agonizing dramas to come across our footlights in a long time.
Family Secrets is a one-person play I wrote with my husband, Greg Howells.
It is based on the stories and the people in my family.
I have been performing it for seven years, from its' inception at a tiny bookstore in San Diego to the prestigious boards of Off Broadway.
During the one hour and forty minues I am on stage I play Mort; my father, Bev; my mother, Fern; myself at 25, Sandra; myself at 16 and Rose; my grandmother.

The Other Woman

This collection of essays is edited by Victoria Zackheim and published by Warner Books.
In this book Sherry tells the erotic and exotic story of falling in love with her wife, Sheba Love. The essay is coincidentally called, "Sheba". It is a tale of gender bending romance.
Sherry is in the company of Jane Smiley, Diana Abu-Jabar, Dani Shapiro, Susan Cheever, and Connie May Fowler.



I'd been invited to teach a workshop on radical emotion transformation at the first annual Goddess Gather, a three-day event for women held on the Mendocino Coast. I was also slated to perform my one -woman comedy show, Oh My Goddess! My goal was to behave and to focus on my work, instead of the beautiful women who surrounded me. But how could I do that, when I have an extremely potent libido and am notoriously incestuous with women I meet under circumstances like these?
I walked out on the porch of the old farmhouse to meet and mingle. She caught my eye and wouldn't let it go. Hmm? Who's that? Here was a woman, though not all would agree at first glance. She stood over six feet tall and was leaning against the porch railing the August sunlight. Her hair. Her hair cascaded down her back and shoulders, shocks of pure white with long streaks of black and grey. It was unlike any mane I'd ever seen, even on a horse. Her wide nostrils flared with power; I expeced her to rear up and whinny. And she had a billy goat's gruff-a beard.
The bearded lady.

Warrior Mothers


This anthology was edited by Humanatarian Activist, Writer and Choreographer ThaÔs Mazur. Sherry has the honor of sharing the pages with the likes of Diane Wilson, Frances Moore Lappe, Helen Caldicott, Jodie Evans, and Els Cooperrider.
In this story Sherry tells of the disappearance of her husband Greg Howells off a golf course in Carmel California in 1997. She survives the still unsolved mystery to raise her daughters and continue her career in theatrical political activism.

W†hen my husband of 10 years vanished on June 18th, 1997, it became an almost †insurmountable obstacle but has somehow become my salvation. Greg was fully established as my director and co-writer and we were at the peak of a very successful debut of Oh My Goddess! in Carmel, California. It was a Tuesday, our day off. I decided to go to the farmers' market with my cousin Linda, and Greg decided to go golfing at Rancho Canada. We had had a beautiful morning together and the last thing I said to him was, "I love you. You're a genius. Have fun."

I didn't start to worry about Greg until 11:30 that night.