Tag Archives: humor

Laughter: The Third Greatest Gift

Happy Friday everyone! Casey here.

Humor, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Some of us enjoy our humor dry and witty. While others prefer slapstick, raunchy or down-right rude. Or maybe your mood dictates what you think is funny.

I think part of the reason I fell in love with urban fantasy is the genre embraces snark in a serious way. While some level of “funny” isn’t required in the books I enjoy, I always love it when an author gets me.

You know, that moment, when the laugh comes out of the blue. I don’t how other authors do it, but when I’m writing, humor sneaks up on me and comes from the characters (not me!!). And often times, I don’t realize I’ve written something “funny” until someone else points it out to me.

And what you find funny, someone else may not. Like wine, there are different vintages of funny. Personally, I fall into the witty, sarcastic camp. The snarkier the better. I enjoy authors like Bill Bryson (Tales of the Thunderbolt Kid: one boy, one sleeping uncle, a magnifying glass and mysterious burn spots). The book is a non-fiction memoir of his childhood and it’s hilarious.

My favorite urban fantasy authors are: Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, Simon Green (Eddie Drood or Nightside books) and you can never go wrong with Christopher Moore (A Dirty Job - love those sewer harpies!), Terry Pratchett (The Hogfather- the wackiest Christmas story ever) or A Lee Martinez (Gil’s All Fright Diner - who doesn’t love a roadside diner that’s constantly attacked by the undead?).

If UF isn’t your thing, check out Kristan Higgins (the shovel scene in Too Good To Be True still gives me the giggles), Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Books or our soon to be published Scribe - Jamie Pope (aka Sugar Jamison).

How do these writers do it? Well, I can’t tell you how to be funny and I don’t know the magical spring where their talent comes from, but I can suggest some logical places to sprinkle humor into a story.

Narration -this kind of humor is often found in first person books, think Bridget Jones’ Diary or see the aforementioned urban fantasy authors or Ms. Kristan Higgins! Just having a window into the character’s thoughts can be funny. What they think about other characters - the annoying neighbor, the crazy aunt with lipstick on her teeth or how the character views herself -  are all areas to slip in the funny.

Situational – humor can be injected by using the circumstances in which characters find themselves. Think Stephanie Plum and all her captures gone wrong. Another popular choice is The Date From Hell, The Family Event from Hell (wedding, funeral, graduation) or the plan that goes horribly awry.

Banter - This is my personal favorite. Here, the heroine/hero engage in witty exhanges with other characters.I jones on characters verbally sparring in humorous ways. For example – The Princess Bride by William Goldman or A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.

Note: these can be mixed and matched as needed.

One thing to keep in mind – forced humor is not funny. Readers can smell phony attempts from a mile it away. Don’t be lame! And, remember, the normal rules of storytelling apply – don’t add humor for the sake of it. If it doesn’t advance the plot or grow your character – axe it!

In case you’re wondering about the title of this blog post – check out The Muppets (2011 version) and enlightenment will find you!

What kind of humor do you enjoy? Favorite funny writer? Have a technique or advice to share?

Single Girl Stew…

DISCLAIMER: I can in fact cook but only because my mother broke all sorts of child labor laws and forced me to do so when I lived under her roof.

Because it’s the season of giving I am gifting you with five days worth of easy, recipes?,um, meals for the single diner. Enjoy!

Nothing says lovin' like the something from, the oven.

Day 1

 Ineedtofindamenu 

Step one: Open refrigerator door.

Step two: Seeing nothing edible jump out at you, move bottles of water and a nearly empty carton of milk out of the way.

Step three: See container of mysterious substance in the back and wonder what could be inside.

Step four: Think back to the last time you had actual food and then open the container.

Step five: Upon seeing that substance is covered with green fur, smells like a sewer and is possibly alive,gag, scream, toss in garbage. Double bag said garbage. Spray closed bag with bleach and inside of refrigerator for good measure.

Step six: Order take out.

Day 2 Crunchy Surprise Oh My

Step one: Walk into kitchen.

Step two: Remember what happened the day before and eat an entire bag of barbecue potato chips.

Step three: Feel guilty and run instead of walk upstairs to your bedroom in a feeble attempt to burn off calories.  

Day 3

I Feel Like Chicken Tonight

Step 1: Crave chicken

Step 2: Open refrigerator in hopes to find a fully roasted one with all the fixings waiting for you.

Step 3: Become really disappointed.

Step 4: See that you still have milk and it’s only one day past its expiration.

Step 5: Pour cereal into whatever clean bowl you can find, then pour milk on top.

Step 6: Realize that there is barely enough milk to moisten the cereal.

Step 7: Grumble about eating barely damp cereal and complain about the lack of food in your house.

Day 4 

 Four Food Groups Feast

Step one: Open freezer.

Step  two: Find chicken , broccoli and cheese Hot Pocket! (SCORE!!!)

Step three: Eat before it cools off and burn the bejesus out of your tongue.

Day 5

Nothing But Condiments

Step one: Open refrigerator

Step two: See only ketchup, mustard, and salad dressing.

Step three: Sigh pathetically

Step four: Promise yourself you are going to go grocery shopping.( All the while knowing you probably won’t.)

Step five: Text BFF to complain about the state of your refrigerator.

Step six: Receive text from BFF saying the same thing.

Step seven: Agree to meet BFF at favorite restaurant and proceed to spend next week’s grocery money on adult beverages.

NOTE: If you don’t have a Hot Pocket, peanut butter right out of the jar is an acceptable substitution. Old, dusty cans of soup or a sleeve or nearly stale crackers will work too.

I hope you are enjoying the Scribes’ sweet and savories and do feel free to try out these recipes anytime in the next few weeks.

Your turn! Enjoy cooking for one? Think it stinks? Hate to grocery shop? Hate to cook? What’s your favorite food to take out? Any and all comments are welcome!