It’s really not funny…

Wait, I know what you’re thinking…why should I read something that tells you up front how not funny it is? Because it really is funny. Almost everything is. Case in point: I attended my grandfather’s funeral last summer. He ended his life after discovering he had cancer. That was really sad. However, three women who showed up for the funeral and were later discovered to be at the wrong funeral talked through the entire service. That’s weirdly funny. A motorcycle gang wandered in during the viewing to pay their respects. That’s bizarrely funny, too. Then the staff of the funeral home looked at my two slightly pudgy brothers, my senior citizen father, and the one male cousin we had who happens to have a severe limp, decided they didn’t have much to work with, and that’s how I became a pall bearer. That’s completely funny. Like I said, everything is funny in its own way.

I have a child who has autism, which falls under Not Funny. She’s afraid of bananas, which is horrifically funny. She hoards stuffed animals, including ones that belong to other people, which isn’t funny, but she discriminates against her Sesame Street Grover doll because she can’t decide what he is; we find him stashed all over the house, including one time when she threw him in a closet wearing a homemade sign around his neck that said, “I am not an animal.” That’s really funny, even though she’s never seen The Elephant Man or the Robin Williams routine.

I’m also an avid runner, which to other runners, isn’t funny at all. Running is serious business to most runners. I fall down a lot when I run because I have huge feet. While it’s not more than mildly amusing to me, God’s been laughing at it for years. You don’t get to tell God something’s not funny.

So this blog will be all about the stuff that happens that might be funny or might not be funny. If you take anyone’s problems, surely some jerk out there can laugh at it. Of course, I’m ADD (which is not funny) so the blog will also ramble about running, my favorite recipes, and whatever noise my car happens to make that week. Sit back, enjoy, and think to yourself, “I could be reading the posts at shitmydadsays.com instead.”

How to be a writer

I’ve spent several years trying and I’ve finally figured out how to be a writer.  I’ve learned from the greats, like Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Faulkner.  Certainly Salinger was a student of this school of writing, along with Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker, et al.

Take up heavy drinking.

While writing my first novel, I sat slumped over my keyboard one day with my most morose expression on my face.  My nine-year-old came along and asked what was wrong.

“I’m so tired of these two characters!” I wailed.  “I just want them to hurry up and DIE!”

“So kill them,” she answered blithely.  “It’s your book.”

“I can’t,” I cried.  “The sequel will suck if I kill them!”

“Hmmm.  That’s a problem,” she answered, before getting herself a soda and heading back upstairs, leaving me to hang out with these two whiny losers for several more hours.

I read an article in Teen Ink Magazine (fabulous journal, written entirely by teenaged students) about National Novel Writing Month, and decided that would be exactly the break I needed from my two teen-angst-ridden characters.  Since it was already late October, I had plenty of research and thinking to do in order to be ready on the first.

Eighteen days later I held a manuscript that was such a refreshing change that it had practically written itself.  Okay, it’s no Moby Dick, but I finished it and printed out my Winner certificate, leaving a small-but-appreciated donation to the head organization, The Office of Letters and Light.

 Enter the heavy drinking.  I don’t want to go talk to those two whiners again.  And now I have no excuse not to.  The speed-novel is done and submitted, and now I have to buckle down and stop pretending I’m spending a month-long hiatus on something creative.  Ugh.

 Maybe it’s not too late to kill them.  More likely, maybe it’s not too late to make them less whiny.  Only time will tell.