Monday, May 5, 2014

Shallow Thoughts on Writing

I'm reading this nonsense book by Jack Handey (the guy from SNL who writes the "Deep Thoughts" pieces as in "just as bees will swarm about their nest to protect their honey, so will I swarm about my basket to protect my chocolate eggs). Okay, that wasn't very funny, but sometimes, they are. His book is called The Stench of Honolulu and it's just goofy, making fun of the hard boiled detective genre and having a joke of some kind in every paragraph. It reminds me that writing is supposed to fun, not painful. Or that you can write to make yourself laugh, which I can do sometimes.

 Here's an excerpt from the book( 3 paragraphs melded together):
When my friend Don suggested we go on a trip to the South Seas together and offered to pay for the whole thing, I thought, Fine, but what's in it for me? I had been dating this woman and we were really being in love. I can't remember her name right now, but she's great. I knew Don would ask me again. He doesn't have a lot of good friends. That's because he doesn't hang around in bars a lot, like I do. That's where you make really good friends, in bars., Don spends most of his time at work. He's a counselor for deranged children.
 I suppose I could try to write something funny for the funniness of it, like David Sedaris does sometimes. We were just talking about his newsletter concept from Barrel Fever, "Seasons Greetings to Our Friends and Family."  That's the story that's written like one of those annual mass Christmas family newsletters from an overly cheerful mom. In  his story, the mom has some not so great news about her husband and an exchange student, but it's all spun with a maniacal positivity and many exclamation marks!!!!!!

Maybe I will try that for me next writing project.

You can listen to part of the Sedaris story here, read by Julia Sweeney (also from SNL) for "This American Life."

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