Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tickling the Funny Bone with Janice Hanna Thompson

“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”

Bill Cosby

Humor writing comes naturally to some authors. Others have to work hard to be funny. (Sounds funny, doesn’t it. . .working hard to be funny?) I’m one of those who came into the world with an overactive funny bone. Oh, it occasionally gives me trouble. Life’s woes kick in and my funny bone gets arthritic. It locks up. Whenever that happens, I trip myself on purpose, just to loosen it back up again. (Hey, a girl can only go so long without laughter!)

Yep, from the time I was a little girl, I was the happy-go-lucky sort. Giggly. Goofy. My mom always called me a ham because of my overly-dramatic style. Not that I minded. Oh no. Drama was my thing. And performing comedy on the stage was the thing that made me happiest.

Then I grew up. . .and life happened. Unfortunately, some of the events of my grown-up life weren’t funny. In fact, they were pretty tragic. Still, through my faith and my innate desire to keep on keepin’ on, I managed to keep my smile intact much of the time.

So, what does this have to do with writing? Everything!

I wrote as a child—poems, stories, even a novel (in the 6th grade). And my drama sketches in high school were a hoot. (Note: There’s no greater thrill for a humor writer than to write for the stage. An audience filled with laughing patrons is the best gift in the world! Talk about instant gratification!) I went on to write musical comedies for the stage at a local school of the arts. Time after time I was rewarded with that “instant” gratification. And it felt good. In fact, it did my heart proud to know I was bringing joy to others, and there was some sense of satisfaction in knowing they “got” me. So, when I began to think about writing books for a living about fourteen years ago, I decided to take the humorous approach. What a ride it has been! During this crazy, awesome, rollicking season as a published author, I’ve written quirky romantic comedies for women of all ages. What joy! Not only do these humorous stories transport readers, they lift my spirits, as well. And frankly, I’ve needed my spirits lifted.

So, what makes a story funny? Here are a few tips to creating a tale that will tickle the funny bone:

1. Create unique characters: Think of your favorite sitcom. For me, Everybody Love Raymond is near the top of the list. Why did I love that show so much? The characters were (individually) hysterical. Each one had his/her own quirks. And those quirks got them into (and out of) jams. When you set out to write a comedy, create a cast of characters that you absolutely love. Don’t just focus on one or two. Choose at least three characters in your story who really have that extra “zing.” Characters that readers will remember for years to come. In my “Weddings by Bella” series, I created several funny characters (and boy, have I heard from readers about them). These characters include Aunt Rosa, Uncle Laz, Bella and the trio of “sisters” from Splendora Texas. These wacky people will stay with me for the rest of my life! I think some of my readers have adopted them, as well.

2. Exaggeration: If your character is tall, make him really tall. Chubby? Make her exceptionally chubby. Nervous? Make him overly anxious. Claustrophobic? Carry it a bit further than the norm. Does she like to wear lipstick? Make it Pollyanna Pink or Ruby Red. Give that character an exaggerated “sticking point” that readers will remember. And, exaggerate plotline highs and lows, as well. Is she in a valley? Make it a deep one. Is he on the mountaintop? Give him the experience of a lifetime.

3. Situational comedy: Spend time watching for humorous moments in your own life. What “situations” get you giggly? Think about placing your characters in a “situation” that will play out in a humorous way. By way of example, let’s look at I Love Lucy. Did we really find it believable that a housewife would take a job in a chocolate factory and end up shoving candies down her blouse? Um, probably not. Did we laugh like hyenas when the episode aired? You betcha! I Love Lucy was the perfect example of a situational comedy. Week after week we waited to see what “situation” our gal would end up in. We empathized with her (this is very important) and we thought she was a little kooky. In short, we saw a little of ourselves in her.

4. Slapstick: Think of Larry, Mo and Curly. Sure, their antics got a little old after awhile, but you get the idea. “Physical” comedy (tripping over things, physical gags, etc.) has always had its place in humor writing. Use these events sparingly, but don’t rule them out.

5. Pacing: There’s much to be said about the placement of words, phrases and inflections. Pacing is truly everything in comedy. In many respects, it is learned by trial and error. If you aren’t sure something is working, run it by your critique partners. See if they’re tickled by your words.

6. Living the Life: Let humor lead the way! In my own life, I find that being funny on the page is easier when I’m truly walking through life with a joyous attitude. It’s not always easy (and life often intervenes, threatening to remove any hint of humor), but for those who live a life of faith, it is possible. The Bible is loaded with all sorts of great scriptures about joy. Check out this verse: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones." (Proverbs 17:22) When we transfer our “merry heart” to the page, then we’re sharing the joy with our readers. Is there any greater honor?

I’m going to close by sharing a humorous twist on the beatitudes, which I’m calling “The BE-Happy-Attitudes for Christian Writers.”

Blessed are those who are poor in contracts,
for they will surely reap their reward if they do not give up.

Blessed are those who mourn as a result of rejection slips,
for they can be comforted in the fact that they are not alone.

Blessed are the meek, humbly accepting God’s call and recognizing that any accomplishment comes from His Mighty hand, for they will inherit the respect of fellow authors, as well as the favor of God.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for great-writing, for their computers will be filled with well-written manuscripts.

Blessed are those who are merciful to editors and agents, for they will be shown abundant mercy.

Blessed are the pure-hearted authors who seek to serve the Lord with their writing, for they will see God – both in their work and their worship.

Blessed are the peacemakers, doing all they can to humor cranky critique partners, for they will be called “godly mentors.”

Blessed are those who are persecuted because they wear the name “Christian writer” for they carry the indisputable call of God on their lives.

Blessed are you when editors insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against your well-loved and beautifully written manuscript. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven; for in the same way they persecuted the many Christian authors who walked before you.

You (writers) are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

You (writers) are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

That’s it for now, writers. Go forth and giggle!

My website: http://www.blogger.com/www.janiceathompson.com
Email: booksbyjanice@aol.com
Weddings by Bella blog: http://weddingsbybella.blogspot.com/
My book review blog: http://doublebookedjanice.blogspot.com/
Follow me on twitter: booksbyjanice
Follow me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jhannathompson?ref=name

Janice will also be giving away a copy of Swinging on a Star to one visitor to Seekerville. As always, leave your email address or be sure your profile has an email addy. Winner will be announced in the Weekend Edition!

Ruth and I just whipped up a little Italian Cream Cake for Janice ( I let Ruth help because she thinks she is part Italian). Recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

This is a double slice for the Funny Bone Lady.


  1. I've read "Fools Rush In" and I'm looking forward to reading "Swinging on a Star". Please sign me up.
    Deborah M.

  2. Oh, Janice, this is wonderful. What a perfect way of laying it out there, I can just feel the joy and humor kind of dancing off the page. Well done. Very nice.

    To be able to imbue that in a blog is a sweet, sweet thing. Usually I just yell at people and they THINK I'm being funny.

    Yeah. Right.

    I started coffee, lots of it, it's Tuesday, Mary kept me up late last night making fun of her at her ACFW chat, (Pepper needled me into it, so blame her) I have a raspberry tea, tell me what you think and we're doing breakfast a little different this AM...


    Seafood quiche, Quiche Lorraine, Country quiche and French Toast bake for those of you who don't eat quiche.

    WALT!!!! If you eat quiche in Seekerville, we WILL NOT question your manhood.

    VINCE!!!! Same for you, big guy. AND... I put scallops, shrimp and crab in the seafood quiche, with a hint of tarragon, garlic and pepper, and it's absolutely to die for wonderful. There's more in the oven if we run low.

    Janice, jump in on breakfast, sweetie, help yourself, there's juice alongside the podium stand, and hey...

    Welcome to Seekerville!!!


  3. Good morning Seekerville. Coffee is on!!!

    Janice, welcome.

    When you catch your breath tell us a little about what inspired Bella and what's next in the series.

  4. Good morning, Janice and welcome to Seekerville! What a great way to start the day reading your grace and humor : )

    I love books that make me laugh! Right out loud! You have a special gift when you can make others forget their problems for a while as they get caught up in the comedic world you offer them.

    May you keep writing for many years to come!!

    Ruthy, you can't have quiche without fruit on the side. I've stacked the end of the table with pineapple, citrus slices and kiwis.

    Ummm, yumbola!

  5. Hi Janice ! I'm soooo want to read one of your book, since i haven't read any till now. pretty please give me a chance :)

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  6. I loved "Fools Rush In" and have been wanting to read "Swinging on a Star". I love books that make me laugh and your books keep me in stitches, Janet. Please send me up for the giveaway.


  7. Morning Janice and welcome to Seekerville. Loved your Beatitudes for writers. And your humor.

    Ruthy do you have salsa? I'm bringing some because the only way I can eat eggs is to smother them with something-anything so they don't taste like an egg.

    Love the fruit Audra.

  8. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Seekerville, Janice!

    Being able to write novels is a gift. Being able to write funny novels that lighten people's hearts and help them feel better about themselves and life is a special gift all in itself. I have a friend who is absolutely a riot in person and just as funny on the page. I'm going to send her your post!

    I wouldn't describe myself as a humor writer, though I guess all of us need to have bits of humor sprinkled through our stories. How do we learn to do that when the style doesn't come as naturally to us?

    Let me add that Janice is also a wonderful teacher. Her warmth and humor even come through online class! I thoroughly enjoyed the ACFW class she taught last month.

    Thanks for the quiche, Ruthy -- haven't had that in ages. It's a nice switch from the usual Cheerios or English muffin. :-)

    Happy day, y'all!

  9. I need lots of coffee!
    Hi Janice! What great advice! I love when a story makes me giggle like crazy!

  10. I love humor in a novel and am having fun splashing it into my wip. Thanks for the tips!

    forgravebooks [at] gmail [dot] com

  11. Okay someone ate the last cinnamon roll. Ruth!!!!!

  12. Wow, Janice, what an awesome post! I love it! And I REALLY need to get Fools Rush In. I've heard such wonderful things about it. Everybody in the ACFW Book Club just loved it.

    I am not very good at making up quirky characters, but I do love reading about them. And that's one of my goals, to get better at making up funny quirks, because lets face it, people are funny.

  13. Hey, Janice, WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE!! I cannot tell you just HOW many wonderful things I have heard about you and your writing, girl, so I am really anxious to get my hands on Fools Rush In. I could use a laugh or two after dealing with the angst of the O'Connors day in and day out. Although I do have Charity for comic relief, but still, it's not the same!

    I love your titles and covers (Revell does GREAT covers!!), and the 2nd title seems pretty appropriate for an author whose star is definitely on the rise. Go get 'em, girl!!


  14. Howdy, everyone! I would've popped in before now, but I've been snoozing! (Seriously!) I turned in a book yesterday (after hosting a birthday party for fifty people over the weekend). Talk about pooped! Do you guys really want to know how I came up with the idea for Bella's story? Really, really? If so, I'll tell the story. It's a little wacky, though!

  15. Wait a minute. . .where's the Earl Grey? I can't possibly tell a story without the Earl...

  16. I love good humor. It does take the sting out of life's pains and hurts. Would love to win this book. Please enter me. Thanks!
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  17. I loved both books by Janice Thompson. She has created such "live" characters that I still think of them and even the thought of those wonderous books gets me smiling. I already own both, but my mom is now a converted Thompson fan, so please enter her name under mine. Thanks :)


    Love, Love, LOVE, those beautitudes for writers to live by. :D

  18. I haven't read any of your books, Janice, but since I enjoy many of the same comedic TV shows, I'm thinking maybe I should. I enjoy a funny read.

  19. Hey, Janice! Thanks for coming. Talk about walking through the valley of the shadow.


    Love your advice. Love your bea-happy-attitudes. Those are classic.

  20. FANTASTIC post, Janice and welcome to Seekerville.
    I loved Fools Rush In and just started reading Swinging on a Star. Your humor is great! fun!
    And thinking of your favorite sitcom before you write humor, that's inspirational!! :-) I do that before I sit down to write my romantic comedies.
    what genre do your books fall into? Contemporary series? Womens' Fiction?

  21. Ruthy,
    You're blaming ME for something. Yipee - I've moved up in the world :-)

  22. Hi again, all. Pepper, my books are considered Chick Lit, though I always call them romantic comedies. They still qualify as romances because that thread is so strong. We shall see, though. I just entered Fools Rush In in a contest (IRCC). The publisher entered it in the RITA, as well. I entered it under "long romance" or something like that. (The categories were pretty vague.)

    You know what, everyone? I LOVE to laugh. I really, really do. Ask my friends. Ask my family. As I mentioned in the article, life hasn't given me much to laugh about over the past several years (and many who know my story wonder how I'm even still going, let alone laughing). It's BECAUSE of a godly sense of humor that I survive. No, I don't survive. . I THRIVE. It is possible. . .if your attitude is right. (Not claiming that mine always is, but I don't stay down for long.)

  23. I am anxious to read one of Janice's books so please enter me.

  24. Hey, hey Janice is up. Earl Grey on the side bar now brewing. Scones? What's your choice.

    Now settle down so she can tell the story of Bella.

  25. Hi Janice:

    Great post. It made me smile and think.

    I believe the best comedy writers have been outsiders with high IQ’s who have used humor as a safe way to defend themselves. They also have an insatiable curiosity. The more things they know, or have in their mental inventory, the more quirky juxtapositions they are able to make that the normal(well adjusted) person would never think of. This can present a problem however.

    If you have a few funny lines that make you laugh out loud, really funny stuff, but you know that only half your readers will ‘get it’, would you use it anyway?

    Assume there are still plenty of funny lines above and below that passage. I’m thinking of Woody Allen here. He’ll have three jokes for everyone and then one joke that is quite esoteric. I like the idea of esoteric jokes as long as the person who doesn’t get it, doesn’t know he didn’t get it, and thus does not feel inadequate. (Insiders, who like to laugh at outsiders, don’t like to be outsiders when it comes to understanding a joke).

    In short, do you leave really funny material out of your writing, if you think that everyone will not get the joke?

    I try to write middle-brow comedy but I sometimes have gusts up to upper-middle-brow and I do worry about it.

    For example, how does one classify the below quote:

    “The English would have no use for music at all except they like the noise it makes.”

    If comedy were easy, everyone would be funny.

    Do you have a target ‘brow’ range you’re aiming for or do you try to have a mix of funny things (from slapstick to string theory)?

    BTW, when you write do you let your characters entertain you to the point where people in other rooms ask what you are laughing about. What joy!


    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  26. Vince, first of all, I think you're very witty. I chuckled all the way through your comment/post. Would you give me permission to share some of your thoughts when I teach on humor writing? I would credit you, for sure! To answer your question, I'm very free-spirited. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about whether people will "get" my humor (until the book releases, anyway. . .then I sometimes wonder if people will think I'm a nutcase). I always send my book to my critique partners, and trust me, they will let me know if I've gone too far (or not far enough). I really lean on the Lord a lot for His "breath" of comedy. Whatever feels right in a given scene goes in. And if the editor doesn't think it works, she will tell me. (Honestly, my critique partners and editors are the best judge of humor.) Does this answer your question?

  27. And now (drumroll!) the story you've all been waiting for! This is the tale of how I came to write Fools Rush In:

    Writers always pray for inspiration from on high. Even those of us with creative leanings know that we can't rely solely on our own stories and ideas, however clever. This is especially true when writing romantic comedy, which requires mega-doses of prayer for great pacing.

    In the spring of 2007, I settled into bed with my laptop. . .not an unusual occurrence. I didn't have a story in mind. In fact, I was on vacation at the time and wasn't even thinking about writing. However, the moment I saw that empty white screen, I felt like typing. Don't ask me why, but the words, "If Uncle Lazarro hadn't left the mob, I probably wouldn't have a story to tell" shot out of my fingertips. I stared at the screen, more than a little curious. Who was Uncle Lazarro, and why was he in the mob? Worse still, why was he bothering me in the middle of my vacation?

    Those who know me know I'm a plotter. I usually plot out an entire story before writing a word. So, for this very "calculating" author to stare at those "inspired" words and not have a clue where she was going with them was unusual, to say the least. Terrifying, even. A normal person would have closed the laptop and rolled over, forgetting about the whole thing. But an inspired person? Well, an inspired person (a.k.a. writer) has no choice but to keep going, even when all of the signs point at impending doom. Or a really funny story.

    I stared at the words awhile longer, this time praying for wisdom from on high. Was I really supposed to take these cryptic words and shape them into a story? If so, what would come next? I drew in a deep breath and waited. Moments later, my fingers started flying. Wonder of wonders! I typed blindly, without thinking. A couple of paragraphs later, I had all of my questions about Uncle Lazarro answered and found myself laughing hysterically as I typed. (By the way, this is how a comedy writer knows her words are not her own. Who among us is really that funny?)

    About an hour later, I had written the entire prologue to the book that would become FOOLS RUSH IN. I'd not only introduced Uncle Laz, but the entire Rossi family. Best of all, I had a wacky new heroine, Bella, to wrap the story around. When I signed off of the computer that night, I had the strongest sense she would lead me through the rest of the tale.

    Thank goodness, I was right. Bella Rossi--a quirky Italian wedding planner from Galveston Island--had quite a story to tell. And thankfully, she chose me to share it with. Through Bella, I learned that cultures can clash, families can squabble, chaos can reign, and weddings can rule the day. . .but in the end, true love always wins out.

  28. Okay, I'm converted. I can't wait to rush out after work and pick up anything you have written!!!! I LOVE humour in books -- and romance without laughter is...well...anticlimatic, don't you think?

  29. Janice, you're a plotter?

    I'm shocked, SHOCKED do you hear?

    This is a side of you I've never seen before.


  30. Thanks for a wonderful post, Janice! I'm going to print out your "Be-Happy-Attitudes" and post them next to my computer.

    I think it's important for our characters to have a sense of humor about themselves, too. I find I have a terrible time writing characters who take everything too seriously. It makes them harder to write, and less fun to read.

  31. Thanks for the tips on writing humor. Please enter me into the contest for Swinging on a Star. kimberlyj503(at)gmail(dot)com

  32. Mary (and all), I work off of a 12-step plotter. I taught on plotting at ACFW year before last (in Minneapolis). I've got to know when the "belly of the whale" scene is coming and when to place the various resolutions. It's helpful, but I'm not legalistic about it. I usually lay out a chapter by chapter synopsis, loosely based on the 12 steps (two chapters per step on the plotline). Those of us who plot still write by the seat of the pants. We just give ourselves a teensy-tiny roadmap to guide us as we move along.

  33. Welcome to Seekerville, Janice! When life gets tough, what would would we do without our sense of humor...both on the page and in our hearts.

    Thank you for your excellent tips on creating humor and characters that live on in readers' minds. I love your suggestions for making the quirky ones unique and memorable.

    I'll admit I'm jealous God gave you Fools Rush In. Maybe one day He'll do the same for me. But for now, I have to ferret my stories out.

    Ruthy, thanks for the delicious quiche!


  34. Hi Janice!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts of Bella and Uncle Laz, etc.

    Was Bella BOI? (I have an uncle who was - and when Dad was quite young, he and his twin helped my grandfather work on painting/refinishing the Bishop's Palace there in Galveston. Something else!)

    Why did you choose Galveston? There definitely was a mob connection, which most find unusual!

    Your post was quite revealing and made me think of ways to inject more humor into my REVISIONS (see? I'm trying to apply what I'm learning from yesterday y'all!)

    Thanks again for stopping by and sharing.

    Would enjoy reading today's "prize" so please enter ksf895 at citlink dot net

  35. Would it be rude to ask you to share your plotter...or to ask you to come back to share your plotter even. OOH great idea, Tina!!

    This is very intriguing.

  36. Well now I know I have to get your book. I am a Russo and I always got seated in homeroom next to my best friend Michael Rossi.

  37. Drats. I'm too late for breakfast. Oh, well...

    Janice, I love your sense of humor. I know that everytime I read anything from you (blog, article, etc) there will be humor and I will be laughing before I finish reading. Thanks for sharing your humor and your talent with us!!


  38. Janice,

    thanks for the post. It is important to remember to use our funny bone. I find it rather hard at times.

    Because I'm a woman with such a serious nature

    Noo... honestly laughter has helped me through many a down rollercoaster situations.

    I was the flower of our family. The blooming Idiot, my father would say. And I loved it.

    Loved the Be-Happy-Attitudes.

    Loved the smile.

  39. Anything that makes me giggle I LOVE since I'm the kind of girl who can burst into laughter after something that happened yesterday. Hee hee. I'd love to read your book!


  40. I just looked up this book on Amazon and read the first couple of pages, and I soooo want it! I've never seen it at the bookstore I buy from, but if I don't win it here...I just might have to order it online!

  41. I loved Fools Rush In and thought the rehearsal scene was hysterical! And awww, your BeHappy Attitudes are AWESOME! ;)

    But I must say that after reading the comments, I wanna read about your plot system. I could sure use a 12 step program!!!

  42. Looks like I've teased all of you with that plotter, eh? Hmm. I'm tempted to toss it to you now, but might just wait until I'm invited back. You might have to tease me with a slice of Italian Cream Cake. (SIDE NOTE: I always told my daughters, "If you want to know if there's life after death, lean over my casket and whisper the words, 'ITALIAN CREAM CAKE' and see if I don't come bolting out."

    But, I digress.

    KC, to answer your question, Bella was not a BOI (Texas lingo for "born on the island"). She and her family came from NJ to Texas when she was a little girl Here (in a nutshell) is how/why they made the move to Galveston. (I'm quoting from the very end of the prologue...)

    How my uncle settled on Galveston Island is another story altogether, one that involves the untimely passing of my beloved Aunt Bianca, may she rest in peace. Upon her deathbed, she mumbled these strange and startling words: “Toss my ashes into the Gulf of Mexico.” At least we think she said the Gulf of Mexico. My mother insists she must’ve meant Galva Messio’s, her favorite shoe store. Then again, my mom is always looking for an excuse to shop.

    Regardless, the entire Rossi clan ended up in Texas, a far cry from Atlantic City, not just in miles, but in personality. Transplanting the whole group of us—three adults and five children—was no small feat.

    And the little things nearly proved to be our undoing. For example, I spent the better part of my elementary years figuring out how to transition from “you guys” to “y’all,” something I thought would never come naturally. Now, I can “y’all” with the best of ‘em.

    Turns out, Galveston Island was the perfect place to grow up, and the ideal setting for a family business. In fact, it turned out to be such an ideal setting that my dad, probably weary with the whole cheese thing, decided to open a business of his own—Bella’s Wedding Facility.

    And that’s pretty much where my story begins.

  43. Yes. You are a merciless tease. Okay I am getting my calendar out to confer on your encore visit.

  44. I'm sorry, Tina, but I didn't see anything about Italian Cream Cake in that last post. (*clearing throat*). The bribe to woo me back has now been upped to TWO slices, not one.

    Hey, speaking of sarcasm did anyone see that article on the new sarcasm punctuation mark? (And no, I'm not making this up!)

  45. Hey Janice!
    What a fun post! It sounds like you have a "bigger than life" personality that makes you so fun to be around. The type of person who makes great first impressions : ) You're makin' me jealous! I'm very quiet. Only the people I'm close enough to have let my guard down with know that I'm not truly quiet, lol! All of these ladies know that too (*wink*) Your post made me, once again, think about how I need to gain some more self-confidence before going off to college next year : /

    Your books sound wonderful! Are they available at Borders?

  46. I am very remiss. I am soooo sorry.

    Two slices of Italian Creme Cake and a big smile coming up.

    Check out the bottom of your post.

  47. Hannah, we love you just the way you are.

    I went and read the article in the Telegraph. BRILLIANT!!!

    Janice, thank you for spending the day with us. You have been an inspiration as well as great fun.

    We'll draw your book winner's name on Saturday. Since you were soooo much fun I am throwing in an additional brand new copy to give away from moi.

    So two winners will be announced in the Weekend Edition.

  48. I love the be happy attitudes for Christian Writers!
    And Would Love a chance to win your Book please sign me up!


  49. Hi Janice:

    I’d be happy if you used any of my thoughts in your class. Feel free and enjoy.

    Here’s something I did as a kid and I wonder if you did the same thing. I would be the first person in the house to get the new issue of the Saturday Evening Post and I would write two or three captions for each of the cartoons in the magazine in an effort to be funnier than the artist. I still do this with every cartoon I see. It’s good funny exercise.

    Here’s a quote by T. S. Elliot that you might find interesting:

    “Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.”

    For some reason I think that’s very funny.



  50. You guys/gals are a hoot. What a fun day! This is truly one of my best blog experiences ever. Can't wait to venture back with that plotter in hand.

    And that Italian Cream Cake! I'm still licking the cream cheese frosting off of my fingertips. Wowza. Talk about yummy! (Don't hate me because I got to have a double-slice and you did not!)

    To answer the question from Hannah, I think the book is available at Borders. I love it when people order through my website, too, because I can sign the books and mail them myself. Oh, and about your "bigger than life personality" comment. . .yes. I've always been a little over the top. And with all of that Italian Cream Cake I have a bigger than life physique, as well. Perfect match for my personality. (Makes me wonder what my personality would be like if I'd turned out skinny...What a bore I'd be!)

    Vince, about the Saturday Evening Post. . .we never read it for some reason. Honestly, when I was a teen my days were filled with drama and movies. My dad was a movie producer for a short time (he moved us to Los Angeles) and as I said, I was raised on the stage. My idea of a good read was whatever script I happened to have in my hand at the time.

    Hey, glad y'all liked the article on the new sarcasm mark. Fascinating. Wish I could afford the $1.99 price tag. Until I can, you'll just have to guess when I'm being sarcastic and when I'm being serious. :)


  51. Now that photo of the fluffy Italian Cream Cake with the smorglefantabulous icing was just too cruel.

    Thanks Janice for the intro to Galveston from your book. What a treat!

    Sounds like some gifts are in order for some of my family members.

    Looked up the sarcmark article - the comments were a scream.

    I'd not seen the idea of adding ^ around one's ^sarcastic comment^
    I like it.

    Amazing what you learn here in Seekerville.

    Hope the 2 slices of cake works - the plotting sounds good!

  52. Janice,
    It was a joy meeting you at ACFW last year. We sat close at Karen and Allen's workshop, and I bought your book for my dil. She loved it, and so did I.

    Being able to write humor is a gift from God. Truly. Our own Mary Connealy has the gift just as you do, Janice!

    Thanks for making Seekerville so much fun today!

  53. enjoyed this posting....thanks for the opportunity to read Janice's book :)


  54. Janice, I'm really late today! Thanks so much for joining us! I like to use some humor in my stories. It really helps to see how you break down the different ways to use it.


  55. Missy, better late than never! And Debby G., of course I remember you! Silly girl!

  56. Hello, Janice! Thanks for sharing some tips. They have given me something to think about as the novel I'm writing seems to be drifting from funny to mundane.

    valerie at valeriecomer dot com

  57. Janice, I loved your post. A script for the funnybone! Love it!

    I would love to win a copy of your book, "Swinging on a Star".

    God Bless You,
    Cindy W.


  58. I would love to win a copy of your book, "Swinging on a Star".

    liked the “The BE-Happy-Attitudes for Christian Writers.”
    Humor is so important in my life and many I assume; thanks for writing humor.


  59. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and look forward to this one too!


  60. this book sounds super fun. Thanks for the giveaway! :O)

    estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

  61. Please enter me. Thanks,
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

  62. Carman referred me! Please count me in, this looks great and what a wonderful post!

    Emma Michaels

  63. The Pioneer Woman has some great recipes, doesn't she?

  64. Janice, I think if we ever met, we'd become life long giggly friends! Love your sense of humor and it comes across the page so well!! Please enter me to win. Carman had this link up at her site!


    mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

  65. I really enjoyed "Fools Rush In" and appreciate the chance to win this next one. Thanks for the great post too....I needed a good laugh to start the day!

  66. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

  67. That cake looks ever so good. I'd love to win the book. Thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  68. Greetings,
    Would love to be entered in the giveaway for this book. Really neat interview. Have a very blessed day.
    Wanda Chamberlain

    wandaelaine AT gmail DOT com

  69. Hi! Carman sent me! I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

  70. This looks like a great book! I would LOVE to win! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  71. looks great....please enter me jacksond@nhr3.net

  72. Thanks for stopping by to say hi to Janice. We promise to twist her arm and have her back very soon!!

  73. I'd love to read this book. Please enter my name in the giveaway.

    Judy - seizethebookblbog@gmail.com

    (Carman sent me!)