April

Celebrating Laughter

04/24/2021 – Pandemic Humor with the BQ’s

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Finding the funny... by Peggy Jaeger

 You would think as someone who loves screwball comedies, romcoms, and who watched endless sitcoms growing up, that I would easily be able to come up with funny scenarios for my characters in my books.

Yeah...I'd totally think that too, but I'd be wrong.

So wrong.

Writing funny is hard. Wicked hard.

And comedy can be so subjective. What I laugh out loud at something so hard I wet my pants, my husband doesn't even crack a smile for. Drawing the line at farcical is something I have to consider, too. You want your characters involved in situations that lead the reader to laugh and relate, but you don't want them thinking, "never in a gazillion years would something like that happen."

The book will close in a heartbeat when that thought occurs.

Now, I’m considered a wise-ass by most people who know me, and I won’t deny that descriptor at all. I can be bitingly sarcastic – but never cruel – and I’ve been known to make grown women leave a dinner table and head for the ladies' room just so they won’t pee in their pants from laughing.

I can be quick, biting, snarky, and sometimes guffaw-able, in real life.

But on the page? I die to find the funny.

Most humor is based on tragedy, or the saying goes. Most of my humor is found in dumbass situations that happen every day in my life. The Lucille Ball moments we all have at one time or another.

But when I’ve got characters I want to invest a little humor in, oftentimes I’m lost.

Most of us know at least one person, an uncle, a friend, even a co-worker, who can take any situation and see the humor in it enough to make everyone around them laugh. These people are usually the “best friends” in novels, like the Rosie O’Donnell character in Sleepless in Seattle. Always ready with a witticism – usually spot on and deadly – about whatever is occurring in the scene at hand. These characters lighten the mood, add realism to the situations in the book, and generally are well-liked by readers.

I think it was famed actor Edmund Kean who said, “Dying (Tragedy) is easy; comedy is hard.”

Yup. Truth.

So, just how do I find the funny? Well, being a die-hard people watcher is one way. I've been to Panera's a time or two and watched the most ridiculous things happen to people while they are waiting in line for their food. I'll be honest and tell you I've used one or two ( or more!) of those events I've witnessed in my RomCom novels.

Not only am I a people watcher, but I will also talk to a rock! And I've got the kind of face that just screams TALK TO ME from everyone I meet, so many times I'm told stories that resonate with me and which I can use for my own characters.

And I want my characters to sound like real people - the witty neighbor down the street, the aunt who's always got a funny anecdote to share, the uncle who loves a good slapstick move. These are the people I think of when I write my RomComs.

I have a friend who says it's the situation a person is caught up in and their response to it that can make the scene funny. I agree...to a point. You see, I believe PEOPLE are inherently either funny or they're not. Some people can tell a joke and you'll smile. Someone else will tell the same joke and you'll be holding your sides because the pain caused by laughing is great. These are the people I strive for when I write my RomComs. These are the people I want as my hero and/or heroine, and these are the people that give me the most agita to create!

As a huge fan of the 1930s and 40s slapstick RomComs starring Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Claudette Colbert, I strive to live up to their wonderful examples. The writing of Prestin Sturgiss, Billy Wilder, and later, Nora Ephron and the Cohen brothers are my yardsticks. Their characters were relatable, lovable, and regular people who were, and are also, hysterically funny.

So, finding the funny isn't the easiest thing to accomplish when you're a writer. It's hard, sometimes soul-sucking work. But the first time you see a reader hold a book you've penned and they laugh at the right -funny - parts, the rewards are immeasurable!

Here are a few of the books I've penned that I consider funny reads: The Match Made in Heaven series ( 3 books) 

It's a Trust thing

3 Wishes

Christmas & Cannolis

Mistletoe, Mobsters, and Mozzarella

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Until next month, peeps ~ Peg

The Joy of Laughter - The Laughter of Joy : by Alice Rosewell

 My first reaction to the theme of this month’s blog was ‘Laughter! Don’t they know there’s a pandemic on?’ Quickly followed by ‘I really must get out more.’  I suppose that in my mind I was equating laughter with levity in the face of other people’s personal tragedies. There is not one soul in the world who will feel better for the knowledge that I am miserable, so I need to get over myself on that one.  I found it difficult to move on from that, as, like many, I have found the relentless constraints of Covid increasingly difficult to endure, but it was worth the effort. 


On to laughter as humour. I like to keep my writing light-hearted and draw on life experiences for the absurdness of daily living. In my first novel, “Irrelevant Women” the embarrassing scene with the naked man is an almost verbatim account of an incident that happened to me and a friend while out walking.

I love the humour of P.G.Wodehouse, loathe slapstick, love Dilbert, and just don’t get some of the “comedy” you find on Netflix.  Humour is such a personal and cultural phenomenon, it defies description in just a few words. But we all know that our sense of humour is a sensitive and fragile thing, so when a friend tells a joke that we don’t find funny, we can smile and even chuckle, much as we would if that same friend asked us to admire a hideous hat, or sticky grandchild, and thus, feelings are not hurt.


So, is there a kind of laughter that is universal? I think there is. As I sit at my keyboard, I am imagining a time, hopefully soon, when I will meet up with a good friend after more than a year. We will smile, we will cry, and we will laugh. I know we will, and all before uttering a single word. This is the laughter of joy. I’m smiling now as I imagine the scene; we will spot each other across a crowded car park, hurry towards each other and indulge in the longest hug we’ve ever shared. We will laugh at the sheer relief and joy of being together again, and I’m pretty sure that any stranger witnessing us will smile too. 


My name is Alice Rosewell and I live in the city of Bristol in the South West of England (UK), the city where I was born.  I write in British English, so I hope that American readers will not be put off by British spelling of some words. 

The first story I remember writing was at primary school, about the age of 7. This was followed by a dry spell which latest about 50 years during which I got through University, brought up a couple of kids, and had a successful career in IT. 

I had the outline of a story which I’d dreamed up one evening in the pub, but that sat in a folder for about a decade until I got made redundant for the 3rd time in one year! This event coincided with the Kindle becoming mainstream, and Indie publishing an option. I dusted off my few pages of ideas and got to work. For the last few years, I have been writing contemporary women’s fiction, publishing three novels: Irrelevant Women, The Kite Makers, and my latest, An End to Dreaming.  A good friend described my writing as intriguing, uplifting, and will not give you nightmares!  I think that about sums it up.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

'Laughter is the closest distance between two people.'

 

Isn't that a fabulous quote (from the late comedian/pianist Victor Borge). It's a scientific fact that laughing makes you feel better because it releases our 'feel good' hormone, endorphin. If you're with someone, and you're laughing together and you're feeling good, then it's bound to create a bond between you. If someone were to ask you what attributes you wanted in a 'perfect partner', I suspect a good sense of humor would be right up there. 

Sharing laughter shows you're on the same wavelength as the other person. You have something in common. When something makes you feel good, you want to share it, you want someone else to feel good too. So, I would like to share this meme which never fails to make me smile and, for reasons I can't even fathom, just really tickles me. I think it's a combination of the cute pic and the play on words. But our senses of humour are all different and maybe this doesn't make you laugh and that's what makes us human - our differences.

I think it's because I'm a writer that it's clever words in movies and tv shows that make me laugh rather than supposedly comedic situations. To be honest, I'm more partial to drama than comedy but if I find something that does tickle my funny bone, I'm hooked and will binge. One show I will watch over and over is Big Bang Theory, I think because I love the characterisation and great writing. One show on Netflix I've just discovered is Superstore for the same reason. 

Sometimes I feel bad that as a romance writer, romcom movies don't appeal as much as angsty relationship dramas, but there have been a few along the way which made it to my 'loved that movie' list : Chasing Amy (an oldie but such a goodie), Somethings Gotta Give, Fifty First Dates and of course the classic Bridget Jones Diary. One hugely popular movie that I feel gives me both the chuckles and a bit of angst is Love Actually. 

While we watch our movies and shows because we know we're going to get a laugh, the thing that gives the most pleasure are those unexpected, spontaneous moments when you just crack up. I love it when something happens, or someone says something, and I laugh till I cry and can't catch my breath or talk. Those moments don't happen that often, but when they do it's such a special thing and when it's with my partner, it's just another level of intimacy to be so silly together. 

That old saying that 'laughter is the best medicine' really has something to it. 

 Andra writes steamy romances across contemporary, historical and paranormal. See all her books on Amazon, or on her website.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Importance of Laughter, Humor, and Showing Joy … by Delsora Lowe

Between winter isolation and the way of the world, it seems there hasn’t been a lot of laughter in our lives. But, if you look closely, you can find joy and humor around every corner. And…we know where that leads. LAUGHTER! Or at the very least some big smiles.
April starts out with a cherished “holiday” in my family. April Fool’s Day was my dad’s favorite. He always played a joke on the family. Not one of those elaborate, heart-stopping, jump out of the closet types of jokes, but a crazy pun or an exaggerated declaration that would always catch us off guard. And have us believing him. He loved his puns and play on words. The joke never lasted long, because he was famous for laughing at his own jokes, before we ever realized his declaration was a joke. Maybe he loved April Fool’s Day, since he was an April baby. So, thinking of laughter and jokes, as I write this, makes me sad that he passed away eleven years ago, right before his ninety-second birthday. Although, now I envision him up in Heaven playing jokes on his twin and two other brothers, and my sister, and my favorite aunt, and my grandparents. And then they’ll all laugh and toast with a shot of Scotch.
But back to earth… In my neck of the woods, April can be the beginning of an early spring, with flowers pushing up through the decomposed leaves I haven’t yet had time to rake off the beds. Or we can have a nor’ easter roar up the coast and dump a foot of snow. At this time of year, snow melts fast, so spring storms are definitely blips on the radar screen. One more thing to laugh at or to feel joy about is that the melting snow, like April showers, brings May flowers.
Springtime is a time of renewal. For the writer in me, it WAS (scratch that) IS (trying to be optimistic) 😊 also a time to look forward to writing conferences where I can renew the well of inspiration. There is nothing like gathering in person to hug your writer friends who you haven’t seen in a year, or learn new writing and marketing skills in a workshop, or dine together with old and new friends, chatting it up about both personal and professional lives.
Alas, that in-person comradery is long overdue, after all the cancelations of the past few years, and more for this spring and summer. But I can remember the joy and laughter and banter from in-person meetings. And with hope on the horizon, I know those, too, will return. This Fall?!?!?

In the meantime, there has been no lack of “gatherings” with ZOOM and Skype and Go-to-Meeting and all the other venues for “in-person” communication. These vehicles might not be the same as in person, but we still have the joy and laughter and learning experiences. Now to look forward to the hugs and dinning together that are missing from the on-line communication.

Remember…LAUGHTER is important, anyway you can get it.

~ Laughter is and always will be the best form of therapy ~ Audrey Hepburn
~ A day without laughter is a day wasted ~ Charlie Chaplin
~ When they say laughter is healing, it absolutely is the truth ~ Katy Sagal
~ Laughter is an instant vacation ~ Milton Berle
~ The person who can bring the benefit of laughter into the room is indeed blessed ~ Bennett Cerf
~ Hearty laughter is a way to jog internally without having to go outdoors ~ Norman Cousins
~ Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul ~ Tomas Mann

Do you have a favorite LAUGHTER quote? Or story?


THE PRINCE'S SON
My Favorite Romances of 2020 - Zara West Romance (zarawestsuspense.com)

BUY LINKS
Amazon (also available in print)
Books2Read
~ cottages to cabins ~ keep the home fires burning ~

Delsora Lowe writes small town sweet and spicy romances and contemporary westerns from the mountains of Colorado to the shores of Maine.

Author of the Starlight Grille series, Serenity Harbor Maine novellas, and the Cowboys of Mineral Springs series, Lowe has also authored short romances for Woman’s World magazine. Her newest novella is The Love Left Behind.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Author website:
www.delsoralowe.com
Facebook Author page:
https://www.facebook.com/delsoraloweauthor/community/
Amazon Author page:
https://www.amazon.com/Delsora-Lowe/e/B01M61OM39/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Books2Read Author page:
https://www.books2read.com/ap/8GWm98/Delsora-Lowe
BookBub Author Page:
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/delsora-lowe-93c6987f-129d-483d-9f5a-abe603876518
Goodreads Author Page:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16045986.Delsora_Lowe
Instagram:
#delsoralowe / https://www.instagram.com/delsoralowe/

CLIPART:

Laughing Friends:
ladies laughing clipart - Clip Art Library (clipart-library.com)
Ha-Ha Meme
laughing free clip art - Google Search
April Showers:
April Showers Spring showers free clip art - Google Search
Virtual Meeting Meme:
Zoom meeting free clip art - Google Search
Shot Glass - Shot Glass Cartoon Stock Illustrations – 2,094 Shot Glass Cartoon Stock Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Art of Writing Humor by Kristin Wallace

Since our focus is on humor, I thought it would be fun to focus on romance authors who excel at writing humor. I always include humor in my books as I find it impossible to have 300 pages of nothing but angst. For me, writing humor comes naturally, but it can be hard. It can also be underappreciated, just like comedic movies (or actors) don't get the kind of respect that dramatic movies enjoy. Robin Williams was a genius at his craft, but it wasn't until he did a few dramatic roles that he got the respect he deserved, including an Academy Award. 

Here are some of my favorite romance authors, who also happen to write humor.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips (the Queen in this category) - Her funniest books include Breathing Room, Ain't She Sweet, Natural Born Charmer, and Call Me Irresistible. 

Kristan Higgins - She manages to make you laugh and cry, sometimes on the same page. Her funniest books include: The Best Man, To Good to Be True, and Just One of the Guys.

Lucy Score - This is a newer author to me and she is hilarious. Her funniest books include: Rock Bottom Girl, The Worst Best Man, and The Dead Guy Next Door.

Julia Quinn - Historial authors can be funny, too. I was a fan of Julia's long before the Bridgerton series arrived on Netflix. Her funniest books include: Ten Things I Love About You and Just Like Heaven.

Jennifer Crusie - She hasn't written much lately, but her earlier books are hilarious: Funniest books include: Bet Me, Faking It, and Welcome to Temptation. 

Christina Lauren - Another new author (though it's actually two authors writing together). Funniest books include: The Unhoneymooners, The Honey Don't List, and In a Holidaze

Do you have favorite comedic authors? They don't have to be romance authors!


Kristin Wallace is a USA Today Bestselling author of inspirational and sweet contemporary romance filled with Love, Laughter, and a Leap of Faith. She has three best-selling series: Covington Falls Chronicles, Shellwater Key Tales, and Palm Cove Tales. Look for CHRISTMAS CHARADE, a brand-new Covington Falls Chronicles book as part of the Holiday Fake-Out box set. 

Christmas Charade - Covington Falls Chronicles

The story revolves around Magnolia (Maggie) Lewis. She left Covington Falls over a family rift and the desire to follow her dream as an artist and sculptor. Now, she has to return for her cousin's Christmas wedding. She can't go back alone, however, because everyone thinks she has a boyfriend. (It was just a tiny lie.) A non-boyfriend who has no idea he's about to get dragged into her family drama. 

Convincing Liam Sullivan to be her fake date to the wedding is only the first challenge. She needs to make sure she doesn't fall in love with him for real.

   
 

AMAZON  /  ITUNES  /  BARNES & NOBLE   /  KOBO 

(Google Play coming soon!)

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Luscious Lingual Limosis: An Appetite for Words by Jody Wallace

I’ve enjoyed many of the reflections on laughter as meditation, medication, and manducation that have appeared on the blog this month. 

Laughter and endorphins do indeed make us feel better, lightness in the dark, babies giggling, pets being adorable, jokes and puns. 


Like this gem:

Doctor: Sir, I’m afraid your DNA is backwards.

Patient: AND?

But do you know what else makes us feel better?

Learning!

In writing this blog post, I composed my first line, realized I might like to add more M words to make it funnier, and went searching on the Google for “long words that start with m.” So today we are going to get our brain endorphins churning by playing a fun game. We are all readers and writers on this blog, visitors and bloggers alike. Words are awesome. So here’s what I want you to do. 

 Photo by Josefin 
on 
Unsplash

It was very very hard to pick a favorite. Obviously meerkats are a favorite of the whole world, and I don’t know what that word was doing on the list.

Morology was a really big contender, because it means nonsense, and nonsense has been one of my most-used words since, oh, very early 2020 for some reason. Then again, what about morassic? It means having all the qualities of a morass, and that could have been a popular word with any of us since, oh, very early 2020 for some reason along with nonsense.

 Photo by James Lee 
on Unsplash
But I’ve got to hand it to myriacanthous. Not only did my Word program really hate the spelling of that word, but it means “having many prickles.” Quite frankly, I think of myself as having many prickles, like a cranky cat, and so I should obviously love myself the most. I also think of a scene I included in one of my Dragons of Tarakona books, a paranormal romance series I write with a co-author so neither of us gets too worn out. The book in question is GOLD RUSH , and in the scene, the protagonists are going to fetch a mystical grail-like cup that the hero has hidden from the evil demons in a place he figured nobody would ever look. (https://www.jodywallace.com/books/gold-rush/)

Turns out that place was inside a (SPOILER ALERT) Saguaro dryad cactus who is the very definition of myriacanthous in so many ways. Also, the cactus dryad is named Doug. Because why not?

Please join in in the comments with some more appreciation of “long words that start with m” and tell us why you love them!

Jody W.

  ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JODY WALLACE

Jody Wallace’s 30+ titles include sf/f romance, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. Her fiction features diverse protagonists, action, adventure, and humor. Her readers frequently comment on her great characters, suspenseful stories, and intriguing and creative world building. When describing her methods, Jody says: “There are two sides to every story. I aim to tell the third. And I add cats regardless.” 

Outside of her fiction career, Jody has employed her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing to work as a college English instructor, technical documents editor, market analyst, web designer, and all around pain in the butt. The photo was taken at one of her first book signings, so years and years ago before she realized that myriacanthous was her favorite M word. You can learn more about her at https://jodywallace.com