Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Hang of Humor

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me
After 6 weeks of blogging our way through the alphabet together, I thought it'd be fun to take a week, introduce ourselves and to get to know each other. So next week, for the letter I, let's post about ourselves! Any angle will do, but if you're looking for one, how about...

Will the real ____ please stand up?

Of course, if you have your idea for the letter i, you can always to do this as an extra post, or any time you'd like. ;-)

Now, for this week's installment of our a 2 z 4 u & me meme,
the letter H... in the Hang of Humor
I just couldn't resist combining two things in one post: the a2z meme and Reading to Write Right. Won't you help me kick off this new series?



Reading to Write Right at Ordinary Lives

Last Saturday my husband invited me along for a “quick trip to the parts store” and I accepted--knowing the chance of it being "quick" were slim. The book I'm currently reading was at the other end of the house, he was ready to go, so I grabbed the top book off my to-be-read stack and took off with him. While he spent FOREVER in the
parts store, I lost myself in Lorna Seilstadt's A Great Catch.

I was immediately drawn in and totally hooked—in 40 words! Yes, I counted them.

Lorna had me smiling and chuckling as I turned the pages. My favorite books are those that make me laugh, and Lorna's books have proven to be ones that make the grade.

Last week Trish Perry posted at Seekers, my all-time favorite writing site. Those girls seem to party 24/7 AND get huge amounts of work done. Trish posted on humor and gave us a few pointers on how to write it. The article was excellent, and if you missed it, go read it! Trish gave me hope that I can learn to add some humor to what I write.
Trish said: If your hero and heroine share an inside joke with one another in the middle of a well-populated scene—something strictly between the two of them (and us, of course)—their intimacy develops before our very eyes. Ooo la la!

So there I sat, in the car on a very hot Saturday morning, reading A Great Catch, enjoying myself. When I came to the closing paragraph of chapter 3 and first paragraphs of 4, a neon sign flashed on inside my head. Lorna did something very similar to what Trish said and it worked soooo well. Not only did I laugh out loud (not just an LoL, but an honest-to-goodness laugh out loud) but I saw the connection... the intimacy between the characters develop right before me. And I loved it.

Here's the scene...

Her grandmother thumbed through the ledger. “And Carter studied finance, Emily. Since your brother is busy running your father’s business, I’ve asked Carter to help me manage my assets.”

“But I thought—” Emily jerked. The bite of waffle on the tip of her fork, drenched in strawberry syrup, went flying across the table.

Instinct alone propelled Carter to catch the chunk of waffle midair. The contents squished in his palm, and he grabbed his napkin from the table. When he’d managed to scrub the worst of the berry stain off, he looked up and met Emily’s horrified gaze. Laughter rumbled in is chest, but with great effort he kept it in check.

“Carter, here are the current investments. As you can see, they are quite diverse.” Grandma Kate nudged the open ledger in his direction, clearly unaware of the entire waffle fiasco. “Of course we’ll have much to discuss, which means you’ll have to join us for breakfast on a regular basis. Will that be a problem?”

He grinned at Emily and watched her cheeks bloom pink. “Not at all, ma’am. Not at all.”

Grandma Kate glanced at Emily's plate. “Why haven't you touched your waffle? Oh my, I forgot. You can't cut it.”

“I can take care of it, Grandma.”

“Nonsense, dear.” She pulled the plate over and began to cut neat squares. “We wouldn't want any mishaps, now would we?”

Carter snickered, and Emily shot him a glare. His midair catch obviously hadn't won him any favor in her eyes. If he had to guess, she'd tried and convicted him of being a cocky baseball player, not worthy of thinking beyond the field. Fine. He'd change her mind. He enjoyed a challenge. And she should realize he wasn't used to losing.

She pushed back from the table, stood, and pressed a hand to her stomach. “Never mind, Grandma. I'm not hungry anymore. Besides, I need to prepare for my meeting this afternoon.”

Carter rose to his feet beside her. “I enjoyed having breakfast with you, Emily. I'd offer my hand but...”

Her cheeks flamed afresh, but she met his gaze defiantly. “You should be more careful about the syrup.”

“Maybe so.” He pushed a nest of curls off his forehead with the back of his berry-stained fingers. “I don't mind a little mess, even when things get sticky...”
This might not be an inside joke, but it's something that could become one. And it's not something either one of them would forget. The scene would've been funny on it's own, but the fact that Grandma totally missed it, amplified the humor of the situation, as did Emily and Carter's response to it.

Seeing little things like this in books as we read will help us get the Hang of Humor. =)

{{Here's a little about Lorna's great book...

A Great Catch
She wants to change the world.
He wants to change her mind.

It's the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham's meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

The perfect summer novel, A Great Catch will enchant you with its breezy setting and endearing characters.}}

If you're joining us for the a 2 z 4 u & me meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter H, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. And don't forget about our Introduce yourself posts for next week's letter I! See ya then!

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for the humor tips and the info about the book!

    I was thinking of doing an "about me" post next week anyway. My sister did a cool Meme on her blog last week that helps you make a beautiful poem about your heritage. Check it out. Here's a template to help you write it: http://www.swva.net/fred1st/wif.htm

    And here's my sister's beautiful poem based on it: http://purplekangaroopuzzle.blogspot.com/2011/07/where-purplekangaroo-is-from.html

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  2. Sounds like a great read!

    For the letter "I", I plan on doing a scene from a fantasy I've had. :)

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  3. That DOES sound like a great book. May have to grab it somewhere. GREAT post - and I'll definitely do the "intro thing" next week.

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  4. Alright another book I must get. Thanks for link about humor.

    The letter 'i' right now I have no ideas.
    Diana
    www.pencildancer.com

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  5. Amazing that I've kept on track all through the letter H! Wow! That's 8 weeks. We are all doing GREAT! High Five's everyone!

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  6. Sounds like the start of a great new series!
    Your post delivered on many levels!

    I like the "I" post for next week--look forward to it!

    Hugs, Rita

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  7. Thanks for laughing with Emily and me, ladies. I'm glad some of you think A GREAT CATCH sounds like a book you might enjoy. BTW, the first book in the series, MAKING WAVES is only $6 on Amazon right now.

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  8. Looks like a great read!

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  9. Great post, Patty! Humor is not easy to do well, but so worth the effort. Thanks for sharing this.

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  10. Ha ha! Your husband's "quick trip" to the parts store sounds like my husband's quick trips to the hardware store!

    I'm going to have to add this book to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Thanks so much for sharing the humor tips, Patty! I'm afraid I have somewhat bought into the lie that writing humorously has to just come naturally, but I am learning it can be learned. I've bookmarked Trish's article for further reference! Thanks. :)

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  12. Really interesting, I've never thought much about writing humour. I've always just assumed that it comes naturally to some people...

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  13. I'm coming to the party late, but I'm so glad I get to join. I've loved wandering through your blogs and look forward to more visits.

    H was an easy one. Lucky timing!

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  14. Oooh, that was fun! I liked that excerpt, it sounds like a really good read, even though historical fiction usually isn't my cup of tea. ^_^

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