I often wish I was funnier.
I once expressed this to a friend of mine, who looked at me rather oddly and said “But you ARE a funny guy, Dave. Probably the funniest guy I know, now that I think about it.”
When I replied that people didn’t seem to laugh very much at what I said, he thought for a moment and then said “That’s because your humor isn’t really the kind that you laugh at.”
When I would submit humorous stories to my critique group, they would invariably come back with opinions ranging from “brilliant” to “awful”. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but humor is apparently buried deep in a bone in your elbow that only makes its presence known when you hit it on the edge of a table. To say the least, humor is a very individual thing. For example, I have never found slapstick to be funny. I don’t like the Three Stooges and I pretty much loathe America’s Funniest Home Videos. People falling down and getting injured isn’t even remotely near my funny zone. Conversely, I find Kurt Vonnegut to often be side-splittingly hilarious. Most of my friends simply find Vonnegut perplexing.
All of which brings me to Strangely Funny.
A couple of intrepid ladies in Florida decided to enter the treacherous waters of small press publishing and started their own company, Mystery and Horror, LLC.. I admire their courage. I admire their fearlessness in the face of some pretty imposing odds against small publishers. Even more importantly, I admire their good tastes for selecting one of my stories to appear in their premier release. The editor posted a short interview with me on her own blog. You can read it here:
My story is called “If You Can’t Trust a Rhyming Demon, Can You Trust a Demon Not to Rhyme?” Even though it is populated with stereotypes and juvenile situations, it’s humor still relies on mostly on wordplay. I think it fits into the overall theme of “strange humor” nicely (or at least the “strange” part). I’ve read most of the book at this point, and as you would expect of an anthology, the stories within cover a wide range of styles. I found some of them to be quite funny, others I didn’t quite get at all. That is completely okay, and even to be expected. The writers in this book took some risks and found humor in odd places and situations. But as with all things in life, the greater the risk taken, the greater the potential reward.
Print version available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Strangely-Funny-Sarah-E-Glenn/dp/098900760X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
or if you prefer it directly loaded to your Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Strangely-Funny-ebook/dp/B00E2ZSJ34/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376656545&sr=1-1&keywords=strangely+funny
So I’m back to blogging.
I used to blog a few years ago. Not frequently, mind you, but as often as I could. Like many fledgling writers, I felt it was somehow part of my job description. Back then I was mostly writing short fiction. I hit a run where I was getting more acceptances than rejections and so I thought I was on my way.
Then something happened that changed the direction of my writing. I was contacted by a Hollywood filmmaker who wanted to interview me about the day I spent as a hostage at The Good Guys electronics store where I once worked. He intended to turn the whole thing into a movie and was traveling around getting everyone’s store. We had dinner and I told him mine, but as we talked, I was struck with a thought: if he was going to turn the whole ordeal into a film, then I’d better get busy and put my experiences into a book of my own. I thought it would be a quick and easy write and an equally quick and easy sell. At that time the markets for short fiction were drying up and so I decided I no longer wanted to beat my fingers numb writing short fiction. I was going to be a writer of books.
However, the story I wanted to tell turned out to be far from easy to write. It was a grueling experience, which led to the equally grueling experience of finding an agent. Eventually I found someone enthusiastic about my work and we set about shopping the manuscript to publishers. At the end of 2011 we signed with a small publisher and I thought I had found my break into the world of publishing.
Instead I found myself in a bad situation with an unsympathetic publisher with an agenda of their own. After a number of broken promises my agent decided it was best if we ask for release from out contract. By this point it was looking like the promised movie was not going to get out of pre production, and so the publisher seemed happy to grant us that release.
Now, there’s an adage among writers so prevalent it serves as a universal mantra. “Anyone who can be dissuaded from writing should be.” I kept up the writing, but I focused on longer works. By golly, I was going to be a novelist. But my brain doesn’t mix short with long very well, and so the blogging fell by the wayside.
Now I’m starting over in more ways than one. A small publisher accepted a short piece I wrote, which is my first in awhile. Now it’s time to get back to blogging as well. I’ll have to see if I remember how.