Posted in Happiness, Publishing, The Zanzibar Moon, Year of Gratitude

Another 25 days of 365 Days of Gratitude – Days 166-190

Another 25 days of 365 Days of Gratitude – June 15th – July 9th

Keeping this blog up-to-date when so many things are going on in my life (particularly writing) has put me behind 25 days. In those 25 days I’ve had loads more than 25 things to be grateful for. I’m more than grateful for the 24th June (my book launch) and birthday. Of course it’s a day I will never forget and one I am humbly appreciative of. You can read about it at an earlier post Top 10 Book Launch Moments.

The Zanzibar Moon author book launch poster.
The framed The Zanzibar Moon author poster given to me by my family to remember my first published book and the book launch.

Rather than going through every one of the 25 days I’ll just list the wonderful things I am grateful for during that time (and there’s probably plenty more). They are:

  • The Zanzibar Moon reviews so far (all positive and definitely a boost to my writer’s self-worth)
  • The Book Launch being a huge success and selling out of books
  • My family for gifting me the framed The Zanzibar Moon author poster (unexpected and perfect). My brother organised that and Mum picked the ideal beachy frame. Plus, my brother (and his business partner Viki) also printed my bookmarks so I could give them out as gifts to readers.
  • My health – with viruses and flues going around I’ve kept my health. We should never take our health for granted.
  • Awesome friends who’ve been so supportive of The Zanzibar Moon, particularly those reposting on social media, selling at their businesses and spreading the word.
  • Darci’s book-themed The Zanzibar Moon cup cakes for my book launch.
  • Beautiful friends who went over the top at the book launch by bringing me gifts, bottles of champagne, words of congratulations and flowers. You made my day that much more special. Thank you.
  • My best friends for organising the venue and bringing so much food (there were enough leftovers to feed a footy club).
  • Meeting the Palm Beach Erotic Book Club women, by chance, at Currumbin RSL. I did my first public reading from The Zanzibar Moon. Serendipity at its best made me feel very blessed.
  • My husband and son, though stunned by my success, not really surprised. The love they give me makes me grateful and happy. I feel cherished.
  • A near full moon last night. It will be a full moon tonight (yes I will be looking up).
  • Starting the prequel ‘Kendwa’s Secret’ and the muse is with me.
  • Having author connections that fulfill my needs as a writer, with collaboration, networking, advice, inspiration, encouragement – my tribe!
  • Starting another exciting writing project.
  • My dog snuggling on my lap now that the winter chill has set in (okay she even does that in summer, but it’s nice).
  • Gloriously sunny winter days.
  • Readers. Thank you all for giving The Zanzibar Moon and this début author a go.
Flowers, gifts, The Zanzibar Moon, champagne, Amarula.
The unusual and beautiful flowers from my friends during my book launch. They still look like this two weeks later. Plus one of the bottles of champagne and the Amarula my mum gave me (yum yum).

Enough of me. What are you grateful for today?

Posted in Writing tips

Funny writing adds a punch

Have you every wondered why a columnist like Frances Whiting is so successful? She’s funny that’s why.

Or why do you enjoy the wit of author Janet Evanovich? Again – definitely funny. Surely anyone who calls their character Stephanie Plum and gives her the role of bounty hunter has to have a sense of humour.

Here’s an example from one column Frances wrote: ‘…you obviously have no idea how much bras cost these days, because if you did you would know that no woman in her right mind would burn them – please, she might as well just set her handbag alight.’

These writers can tap into everyday life, find it funny and then write accordingly. That’s why it’s so important to be an observer.

I had a friend once who used to always mix her words up. We were skipping puddles as kids and one was particularly muddy and she warned me, “Watch out for the puddy muddle.” I’ll never forget how long we laughed at that one.

There’s also the simple things people say that are funny just because they haven’t thought about what they are saying. A man stood at a platform and asked, “What time does the 8am train come in?” Derrr!

People are always doing things that look funny. They fall over, they lose their clothing, they snort when they laugh, they pull funny faces and plenty of other hilarious things.

We all get a good laugh out of Funniest Home Videos and it’s usually at the expense of some hurting themselves. Just why it is so funny when people flip over the handle-bar of a bike or slip over on a wedding dance floor after performing The Jive?

When I write humour in my novels I try to make it as human as possible so every reader can relate to that feeling of embarrassment or frivolity and laugh with the character.

Take for instance I have a character with dementia who wears a lampshade on his head for half a day thinking that it’s a hat. He goes back to do what he’s already done (such as painting a wall) only to find out he’s forgotten he’d completed it already.

I have women characters with everyday comments like, “…she’s dieted so many times now she has shares in Jenny Craig,” or “He dresses so badly even Vinnies wouldn’t take his hand-me-downs,” and “Don’t be rrridiculous. I don’t have a drrrrinking proooblemm. I have a sppeaking prroblem, a wobbling prroblem, a sluuring prroblem and a…what was I saying? – ah yeah, a mmmemory prroblem.”

Every time you see or hear something funny write it down. Keep a notebook handy. When you are trying to give a bit of punch and laughter to your writing you’ll then have notes on hand and won’t have to rely on memory.

Read other writers who you admire for their humour and I hope you have the last laugh.