Monday, August 25, 2008

Cross-blogging ... (aka 'day off')

Last week, I told you ... well, more, I wrote and you read ... that is, if you read it ... but I still wrote it ...

Anyway, publisher Karen Syed is still doing her blog a day thing, and if you haven't read it yet, it's a great chance to get inside a publisher's head. See what makes her tick ... (actually, I sort of make her tic).

She forced me to ... er, asked for a couple volunteers to contribute and I wrote the following. It's kind of fun, so I thought I'd cross-blog for your enjoyment ... plus it gives me a chance to fix a typo. When you're done, you'll realize you're missing out by not reading her blog. Check it out at

In the meantime, here's what I came up with:

I remember once when I was a teenager I was sitting at a table across from my best friend Brian and we were demolishing … as only a couple of teenaged boys can … a plate of huge chocolate chip cookies. And when I say, huge, I mean cookies about the size of my credit card debt.

“Bet you can’t get a whole cookie in your mouth,” he challenged.

Ah, a dare. “Oh, yeah?” I retorted, and without thinking I jammed an entire cookie in my mouth.

His eyes widened, in admiration … and hopefully … shock and awe. Then his eyes narrowed, and he duplicated my feat. This is what guys do. Dumbness and dumbness repeated.

So we leveled a look at each other over the table like Clint Eastwood and a bad guy.

Then I tried to bite down on the cookie. But couldn’t. It was wedged too far in my mouth. I tried to break the cookie in half with my tongue. It … the cookie … was too thick. Frantically I tried to poke a finger in my mouth to break the cookie’s clutch.

Nothing. There was no room for my finger. I grabbed a shoehorn … no, I didn’t … but I wish there had been one. I looked up and saw that Brian was having the same problem. His mouth was stretched out like a hammerhead shark with a mouth full of tennis racquet.

Then I started laughing. Not much of a laugh, mind you. More like a choked, gargling sound like what a gum chewing turkey might make. Brian saw me laughing, and then it hit him. He dissolved in silent laughter, tears of mirth leaking from his eyes. Then he crumpled and fell to the floor. I wasn’t far behind.

Laughing, not dying. But if I was going to die, there are worse ways to go than dying while laughing.

Until this moment I had never understood the phrase, ‘rolling on the floor laughing.’ Anyway, when God invented enzymes and acids and stuff to break down foods in our mouths and stomach, I doubt if He did so with figuring it would save me from a killer cookie some day.

When I write, I write what makes me laugh. Snappy dialogue, ridiculous situations, and a frantic pace that barely lets you get your breath. Things that are funny because they are true or funny because they are unexpected.

I draw upon techniques that the great comedians have gleaned over the years. Like the observational humor of the late, great George Carlin, who said, “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot and anyone driving faster is a maniac?” Or misdirection, a favorite technique of Steven Wright, “I bought some batteries, but they weren’t included. So I had to buy them again.”

My first attempt at writing a book was a horror demon book and my second was a kidnapping book. Neither saw the light of day or of one of those really bright moonlit nights. Then one day I bonked my elbow on something which reminded me that I had a funny bone. What’s more fun to read than fun stuff, things that make you chuckle, laugh, or snort your Dr. Pepper? So I wrote my first humor fantasy book, The Adventures of Guy … written by a guy (probably), and it sold. So did its sequel. And next year my first vampire/humor book, Fang Face will be out to delight critters everywhere.

If I’m gonna die, it’s going to be by laughing. And until I do, I’m going to write with the same philosophy.


The Heat of the moment
The Adventures of Guy ... written by a guy (probably)
The next Adventures of Guy ... more wackiness
Fang Face (young adult humor/vampire, coming Au. 09)

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