Humour in Danger

Some of the best funny lines come when the characters in a story are in some kind of danger. About to be eaten by a dragon, about to be rolled over by a massive boulder, about to have the auditor tell them how much they really owe… all these are key points for humour. We use humour as stress release. When the tension can’t build much higher, humour is our value to let out some steam so we can think again.

Then there’s black humour, dark humour, the kind that appears to take life lightly and yet all too seriously if you look under the humourous front.

Well, the telling of jokes is an art of its own, and it always rises from some emotional threat. The best jokes are dangerous, and dangerous because they are in some way truthful. – Kurt Vonnegut

Write a scene with characters in danger then give them a smart ass line. See if you can come up with something sarcastic or just funny in it’s simplicity. Make even yourself laugh in the face of danger.

Clever Lines

As quoted from Lincoln McCardle on Facebook:

“Your days are numbered!” said the inventor of the calendar, joyously announcing his accomplishment. At least the way I imagine it …

I love clever humour.

Can you come up with at least one clever line? Work with something simple like the calendar and numbered days but find a way to make it funny.

The pen is mightier than the sword, no one really thinks a guy with a pocket protector is actually going to attack them. – My try at it.

Add a Blog Review to your Email Signature

Another reason to get someone to give your blog a fabulous review: promotion of your blog in your email or web forum signature.

Email signatures are very underused. Even my own just has the bare essentials with links to this site and thatgrrl.ca which is part landing page and part shop of curiousities for me. What I could do is add a review of my blog. I do have one. It is old and a bit messy from all the dust bunnies running around on my hard drive, but, it was a good review with humour and a fair description of my blog content. However, as old as it is, I think I will pester someone to write me a new one.

It is essential that the review include a description of your blog, it’s purpose and content. Just a “nice blog” type of review isn’t saying enough. You really need to get someone clever, with a bit of evil genius to write something. Feed them with information about your blog and what you want in a review. Let them write a few quick lines or a whole review and then pick out one sentence or one quick point from it all to use as your review in the email signature.

Keep it short! One sentence or less. If the review is a bit long winded chop it down to the best part and use quotes and punctuation to show that it is just touching on all the great things that were said in the full review.

Should you add a link back to the reviewer? That is something to consider. I think it is better to post the review to your blog with thanks to the reviewer and a link back to any (maybe not all) sites he or she has, especially if they are relevant to the review or your own site. I don’t think it is a good plan to link to the reviewer in your email signature. First, the extra space it would consume and secondly, you want the focus on your own blog in the limited time you have to catch the interest of anyone reading your signature.

Note: The idea for this post came from: Quips and Tips for Successful Writers: 6 Ways to Promote Your Blog or Books with Your Email Signature. A blog review was #4 on her list.

You don’t need to be a published author or experienced freelance writer to share a positive review of your blog or Web site! If someone has mentioned your blog in a positive light – even just one or two words of praise – consider adding that to your email signature.

In My Other Life I’m a Writer

In my other life I’m a freelance writer.

It’s not an easy thing to claim to be a writer. Brady, in his blog Hunting the Muse, did a great job of writing about this feeling. The ever inadequate feeling of being someone who writes versus a writer.

When I was still a kid, a young teen aged human versus a young goat (just in case the thought occurred to you), my Uncle told me no one under the age of 40 could be a real writer. Anyone under 40 hasn’t experienced enough life to write about it. This really discouraged me for years. I think it still does even though I will be 45 this December. I understand his feelings yet he really was so very wrong. Life happens from the time you are in the womb until the time you leave the planet. No point in the path should be glossed over as not important or worth writing about.

Anyway, I still find it hard to believe in myself as a writer. I love to write. I love the words. I love hearing the sound of myself writing. At times I even talk out loud when I read my words back to myself. I like the audience of one however. I can laugh at my own words, find the humour in them cause I know it will be there right where I left it. Someone else might laugh at the wrong parts.

Writing was easier when I was doing more of it. That much I have learned from my experience. If you learn anything today, learn that from me. When you are in the world of writing (even if it’s not for greater publications) you are involved, you are active and your brain is in gear. You feel the words in your mind and they flow much faster and simpler. There is more confidence in your ability when you are using it.

Anyway, if I could arrange my life the way I would like it (like playing a simulation game on the computer) I would be writing a weekly column for newspapers, syndicated all over the places. I like writing short pieces. I can find a beginning, a middle and an end for them. Longer work has too much middle. I get lost in there and don’t know if I really can write my way to the end of it all. I’m going to try though. I’ve come up with a plan and they say that is how it starts.

Do you feel you are a writer? Do you feel sure about yourself if you tell someone else you are a writer? If not, what would it take for you to feel you are a writer? What kind of success do you need? How can you get there? Maybe you can try something today, take some steps to walk into that bigger picture.

Goldfish are Carnivorous

Goldfish are carnivorous. They make look pretty empty headed, bubble brained and appear to be no threat at all. But, they do eat more than just plants. If you’ve assumed your local goldfish was harmless, you need to rethink things.

Imagine goldfish trained to be aggressive, bloodthirsty even. Someone who is really into weird, macabre stuff has put goldfish in a pond and trained them to eat meat. They begin by throwing in bigger bugs, then the odd chipmunk and then a squirrel. In a few months, just before the end of Autumn when Winter is closing in, the goldfish are tearing chunks of flesh off a side of beef. It’s almost like they have teeth! Kind of sick and twisted.

The goldfish overwinter in their pond as goldfish will. (All of ours survived this year!) But the twisted owner of the goldfish and their pond accidentally falls in when he works at chipping ice away from the top layer. He is almost instantly eaten by the goldfish who have just been waiting for a good meal to end their Winter-long fasting.

The house where the pond is eventually goes up for sale. No one really knows what happened to the owner (or several dogs and cats in the area) but he is assumed to have abandoned the place. So the city claims it and sells it cause it’s a mess and they’d rather not have to bother with it.

The new owner of the property loves fish. He soon realizes all those bones in the bottom of the pond are not just a coincidence, however. Still, he leaves up the signs for “Fluffy” just in case she comes back.

He decides to market the man-eating goldfish. People come from all over to see him drop chunks of meat into the pond and have the goldfish swarm and devour it all. He gets a nice stash of money and builds a nicer house. He even spends a bit on a monument to poor Fluffy who never did come home.

But, goldfish don’t last forever. After ten years there are just three of them left. They have grown to a huge size with appetites to match. He hasn’t had luck saving the fertilized eggs any time they have spawned, they just eat them too quickly. The remaining goldfish can’t be expected to last much longer. Still, the show must go on! So he sets up a new pond and begins training a new batch of goldfish to be man eaters. Of course, it takes time. Evolution can’t be rushed.

However, what he doesn’t realize… the original man eating goldfish feel they are not getting enough to eat, now that he is so busy training new goldfish. So they evolve a bit, just because they can. One night they evolved stronger fins, they push/ pull themselves out of the pond and push/ pull themselves along the grass and push/ pull themselves into his house. They snack on “Rover” and get a few bites of “Hunter” before the dog realizes he can run pretty well with just two and a half legs if he really has to.

For all their evolution with the fin legs, the goldfish still can’t breathe out of water for long. They can smell water in the house so they head for it. In the morning, when the home owner walks into the bathroom he finds them in the toilet bowl. After a little scream of surprise and another gasp of fear and a sigh of resignation, he gives them the big flush. The goldfish circle down the drain, on a roller coaster ride to the sewer system. They live there just fine. They breed cause down there the eggs have lots of debris to float around in, undiscovered by the parent fish.

So now you know… they’re out there.

How would you change the goldfish story? Would you rewrite it entirely with your own ideas or just edit it to add details or humour or better spelling?

Talking to the Peanut Butter Loving Ghost

There’s an odd smell in your house. Like a really strong perfume that almost chokes you with scent. It’s that damned ghost again. She’s likely in the kitchen trying to open the fridge. Silly thing still doesn’t know she’s deceased and can’t eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches any more. She can’t even open the fridge.

You go ahead and make the sandwich, sit at the table while she tries to eat it and then just pretends she is, to humour you. What do you talk about with her?

Humour without the Nasties

From Jade Walker‘s newsletter The Written Word:

“A writer hopes to surprise his readers now and then. If we agree about everything, then one of us is redundant. Of course, rigorous truthfulness is good, but that gets harder and harder to achieve. So I settle for being amusing.” – Garrison Keillor

Humour writing has several subgenres. Which you choose or end up writing depends on your own personality and morals/ values. I think it’s cheap and taking the easy way out to pick on others. Not so different for those who pick on themselves. You are hurting someone either way. Can you write an article that’s funny but doesn’t take pot shots at anyone? It might be harder than you think.

Invisible Imaginary Horse

Weird Aunt Milly gives you an imaginary horse for your birthday. You humour her. But in the morning there is a horse eating your front lawn. Only you are able to see the horse. Everyone you ask just gives you looks, like you’re crazy or playing a trick on them.

Now you know how Aunt Milly picked up the name Weird Aunt Milly.

What does your horse look like? What do you do with it now that you have an invisible horse of your very own?