Through the magic of a writer's mind, the sugary giggles of a chocolate-induced euphoria or, in my case, one of the darkest times of my life.
Let me back up a few years. Most of my stories are dramatic, with characters who must overcome traumatic childhoods or events to earn their happily-ever-afters. Yet even these stories contain touches of humor because, quite frankly, I can only stand so much trauma and drama before I'm ready for some comic relief.
So at a time when I was wallowing in a gutter of whine, I turned once again to writing for therapy. Not the usual drama, but something funny--perhaps with touches of the oddball.
I tossed a family of quirky characters onto my computer screen. Added some misadventures. Came up with a straight man--er, daughter--to react to their follies. Sixty thousand words later, I was out of my funk. I tucked away this manuscript and went back to writing dramatic stories.
Until my publisher asked me to contribute a novella to a Valentine's Day anthology--and how about the story that started with a malfunctioning mail sorter scattering letters and bills all over the lawn? Um, sure.
I dug out the romantic comedy story, cut half the words, strengthened the motivation of the characters, and fixed the places where I hopped through six or eight changes of point of view in one scene. (Did I mention I had drafted this story while I was in the early stages of learning to write?) I got the manuscript cut down, cleaned up, and turned in by the deadline. Mission accomplished!
I was feeling pretty good about this until the publisher suggested we do another one for St. Patrick's Day. Gah! I wasn't going through any personal trauma, so I wasn't sure I could write anything funny.
However, once again I sat at my keyboard and wrote. A romantic comedy emerged.
I wish I could say this made me feel like I could turn on the humor as easily as opening the door to the chocolate store downtown. That's not the case. I still have a long way to go until I feel totally comfortable being funny.
Eating chocolate is easier.
For a taste of my romantic comedy stories, check out "Chasing Rainbows" in A VALENTINE'S ANTHOLOGY and "St. Batzy & the Time Machine" in A ST. PATRICK'S DAY TALE. Or try a drama-com story, THE LEADER OF THE BAND, a dramatic story with generous sprinklings of humor. You can also find more of my books and a sneak peak of an upcoming series at www.geniegabriel.com .