Wednesday, December 14, 2011

HO-HO-HO! FUNNY YOU SHOULD SAY THAT … Or Putting Humor in Our Writing (and Giveaway!!)



A joyful heart

is good medicine,

but a crushed spirit

dries up

the bones.


— Proverbs 17:22



I don’t know about you youngsters out there, but at the ripe old age of 61, the last thing I want is dry bones! Had my bone density test a few weeks ago and I’m just a hair shy of normal (my bones, mind you, not my personality!), so I cannot risk reading depressing, dry, slice-of-life books. Frankly I’m a Calgon-take-me-away type of gal who, come to think of it, has dry skin as well. Bottom line? The older we get, the less there is to laugh about, which is exactly why we need humor in our writing!


Now, don’t get your knickers in knot thinking I’m talking fall-down-roll-on-the-floor-type of funny, because I’m not. Let’s face it, there are only so many Robin Williams and Mary Connealys in the world, and I ain’t one of them. BUT … we non-comedic romance writers can and should incorporate enough humor to elicit a smile, quirk a lip or maybe—yes—even give birth to a chuckle.


So, how do we do that? Well, as a matter of fact, I wanted to know how to do it as well, so I asked the Seekers for humorous excerpts and then combed through my books for what I thought were some of the more humorous lines just to see what made them funny to me. And, WOW, I’m not sure, but I think I may have hit the motherlode as far as great ideas to infuse humor in my writing. Now, I don’t know if these methods will be funny to you, nor or these all the methods possible, I’m quite sure, so when we’re done, if anybody wants to comment about additional ways to infuse humor in our writing, GO FOR IT! Because frankly, I think we need all the methods—and humor—we can get. But for the record, here are some key reasons I came up with as to WHY we should incorporate humor in our stories.


1.) HUMOR CAN SET THE TONE OF YOUR BOOK OR CHARACTERS:

Mary Connealy’s Calico Canyon is about a teacher who, in the process of attempting to tame five hellion little boys and their pa, accidentally ends up as a ma and wife to them instead. I'm sure you'll agree that the first line of this true Connealy classic sets the mood for the entire book, which is a light and humorous read.


The five horsemen of the Apocalypse rode in. Late as usual.
—Calico Canyon, Mary Connealy, July 2008


Next, in my novel A Hope Undaunted, the heroine Katie O’Connor is a spunky, sassy and quick-witted heroine with a dry sense of humor, so naturally I wanted to use humor to kick off her story, setting the tone for who Katie is as person, which in turn sets up the humorous head-butting that goes on between her and the hero Luke McGee.


My original first line was a thought by Katie—Love at first sight, my foot—which my editor did not care for, so I changed it. However, because I needed to show Katie’s sarcastic humor right off the bat, my editor let me keep my original line at the end of the first paragraph, which I hope gives the reader a microcosm of who this heroine will be. To further underscore the humor, I tried to give Katie a humorous action with a loud sucking noise when she drains her soda. Here’s the final version of the first paragraph of A Hope Undaunted:


Now this is how love should be—nice and neat. Katie O’Connor sucked the last of her Coca-Cola through a straw in Robinson’s Diner and studied her steady beau Jack Worthington with a secret smile. No, siree, no dime-novel notions of love for her. Love requires a focused plan, she thought to herself with certainty. Cool, calm, rational thinking, not a moment in time where one lovesick glance seals your fate. With a loud, hollow noise, she drained her soda and pushed the glass away, assessing Jack through approving eyes. Her lips slanted. Love at first sight, my foot.


Now, it’s no secret I am a first-line freak (see my Seeker blog entitled The Perfect Pickup Line ... Or How to Hook a Reader!), but when you can slap a little humor in that first line, to me, it’s pure Nirvana! I just think a hint of humor lends sparkle to a first line, you know? Kinda like telling the reader this is going to be a fun read, such as in the excellent following examples:


—Her Unlikely Family, Missy Tippens

If there was one thing Josie knew, it was the smell of a rich man. And whoever had just walked into the diner smelled like Fort Knox.


A Valentine’s Wish, Betsy St. Amant

Unemployed. Single. And out of brownie mix.


—Surrender the Heart, MaryLu Tyndall

I would rather boil in oil than marry Noah Brenin.


2.) HUMOR CAN ENDEAR YOUR CHARACTERS TO YOUR READER AND PROVIDE A CHARACTER DEPTH THAT FEELS NORMAL, NATURAL AND INVITING. In this scene from my next year’s release A Love Surrendered, Charity O’Connor is the “quirky” sister who provides most of the comic relief in the series, which helps to make the family “feel” so much more fun and close like a family should be.


“Ouch.” Steven grinned, biceps taut as he folded his arms. “Poor Mitch—bet that hurt.”

“Not as much as it hurt Henry. Mitch went off like a rocket’s red glare. Haven’t seen the love of my life lose it like that since …” She paused to think, head cocked and hand to mouth. “Well, I guess since yesterday when he cut his face with the razor I used on the neighbor’s dog.” She scrunched her nose and shivered. “Beggar’s lice and skunk. Don’t ask—it’s not pretty.”



3.) HUMOR CAN BRING BALANCE AND COMIC RELIEF TO A SERIOUS SCENE: In the following scene from A Heart Revealed, the heroine Emma Malloy is devastated by something that happens at the store where she works, which in turn devastates the hero Sean O’Connor who is in love with her. To lighten the tone of what is a very serious last quarter of the book, I layered humor into this heartbreaking situation by having Charity O’Connor, the quirky busy-body of the family, try to weasel information out of her brother. Note the heavy use of stoically comical facial expressions/humorous posture on the hero’s part combined with Charity’s relentless probing regarding her best friend Emma.


Kneading the bridge of his nose, Sean wished he’d never promised Emma his silence because when it came the truth, Charity could sniff it out like a bloodhound, twitching until she was nose-to-nose.

Like now.

She tapped her foot on the leafy pavement. “Something’s up, Sean, I can feel it in my bones, and so help me I will badger you all the way home if you don’t spill it now.”

His frustration blasted out in a cloud of smoke. “I can’t tell you, Charity, I promised.”

“Oh, fiddle, that’s an easy fix. I’ll just ask the questions, and you give me that stone-face look of yours that will tell me everything I need to know.”

“But that’s not right.”

“Sure it is,” she said, dismissing his concern with a wave of her hand. “I do it with Mitch all the time.” Head cocked, she chewed on her lip. “Okay, it’s something that happened at work, but it has to be personal because Emma’s steady as a rock in all business matters, right?”

He stared, trying not to blink.

“Okay, good, a personal situation at work that involves a person other than you.”

His jaw dropped. “I never said that.”

“Sure you did, when you did that pinching thing with your nose as a stall tactic.”

He crossed his arms to his chest, emotional battlement to ward off the enemy.

“Now ... let’s see,” she said, finger to her chin. “Somebody upset Emma pretty badly, which means it has to be someone who doesn’t work at the store.”

“Why?” he asked in exasperation, his patience as thin as his energy.

Charity blinked. “Why? Because the woman who bolted up my steps was as pale as death,” she said, enunciating slowly as if explaining something to Henry. “Which means it has to be someone she feels threatened by, and that rules out everyone at Dennehy’s.”

His lips compressed.

She gave him a quick nod and started to pace, head down and arms folded. “Okay, so it has to be an outsider she’s afraid of and probably a man.” She halted mid-stride, eyes spanning wide. “Wait, it’s not that bum who threatened her, is it? You know, her neighbor’s boyfriend?”

Swallowing his discomfort, he gave her a blank stare, facial muscles relaxing.

She blew out a sigh of relief. “Oh, good. For a second there, I was worried.”

“How the devil do you do that?” he said in a choke, lips parted in shock.

She tapped a finger to her head. “Stone face, remember?” Her mouth went flat. “It’s a gift—honed to perfection by Mitch Dennehy.”


4.) HUMOR PROVIDES CONTRAST TO DRAMA, DEEPENING THE EFFECT OF BOTH IN A STORY: Let’s face it—if a paragraph is comprised of nothing but run-on sentences, it becomes boring and predictable, so writers know the best prose mixes it up with a combination of short and long sentences. I personally love to sprinkle in short, dramatic one- or two-word sentences/thoughts in my writing, but if I put them in every paragraph, they would lose their effect since there is no contrast to give them punch. It’s the same with humor and drama—a mix of each provides contrast to sharpen both your prose and your story.


In this scene from A Passion Most Pure, the heroine Faith O’Connor meets her manager Mitch Dennehy for the first time, an encounter that is both dramatic and traumatic for her, not only because she is incredibly nervous, but because she is a serious and hardworking person who wants to make a good impression. Mitch arrives late to the meeting and is taken to task by his manager Michael (whose POV this scene is in). Upon introduction, Mitch proceeds to bait and pick on Faith, so to play up the drama, I incorporated traces of humor (i.e. analogy of the blush of her cheeks spreading like blight in the rainy season and comparing Faith’s tension to straddling a mule about to buck rather than a horse since a mule is more comical). I personally think the slight touch of humor helps to sharpen the delivery of a dramatic and hard-hitting line that not only puts her bully of a manager in his place, but conveys the message that she will not tolerate ridicule.


Mitch didn’t say a word, only eyed her with practiced superiority, and the blush on her cheeks spread like blight in the rainy season. Michael watched in fascination as a smile fluttered on his department editor’s lips. Mitch’s penetrating blue eyes drifted from the tiny hands pinched white in Faith’s lap, to the soft tendril of hair that curved the nape of her neck.

There was no mercy in Mitch’s smile. “Michael tells me you were a copywriter at The Boston Herald, is that right?”

Faith hesitated, then sucked in a shaky breath. “Yes, I mean I did write some copy …”

Mitch nodded. His cocky smile worked its way into a grin. “Some copy? Have you done any feature writing before?” He was waiting. They were all waiting.

The hot stain on her cheeks infected the tips of her ears. “No, I haven’t done much feature writing, exactly …”

“Any reviews, editorials, hard news?”

She tensed as if straddling a mule about to buck. “No, I’m afraid I don’t have much experience doing any of that …”

“Well, then, Miss O’Connor,” he mused, his eyes laughing at her, “Tell me. Is there anything you can do?”

The air stilled to a deathly hush. Slowly, she lifted her chin to stare at him with as much defiance as she could politely display. “Yes sir …” she said, producing a smile that was anything but, “I can be on time.”


WAYS TO INCORPORATE HUMOR IN YOUR WRITING: There are dozens of simple ways to incorporate humor in your stories such as good word choice (i.e. the example above in point 4 where I use the word “mule” instead of the more expected “horse” in the phrase “straddling a mule about to buck”), as well as exaggerated emphasis with punctuation such as ellipses and dashes, pacing, timing, silence, facial and body gestures, etc.


Since I don’t have the space (and you don’t have the time), I am only going to highlight a few of the predominate ways that I and other writers have utilized in their work. And, because there are SO many of these predominate ways to discuss and I don’t want to incur the razz of Ruthy with my verbosity, I decided to break this post into two parts, the second of which I will post at a later date.


That said, following are a number of favorite ways I like to inject humor in my writing, but today we will only cover the first four.


1.) Analogy/Metaphor/Simile

2.) Facial Features

3.) Pun

4.) Sarcasm

5.) Slapstick Dialogue/Internal Monologue

6.) Serious Subject/Humorous Take

7.) Play on Words

8.) Scene Set-Up

9.) Self-Deprecation

10.) Sibling Rivalry

11.) Quirky Personality

12.) Fib

13.) Name Calling

14.) Alliteration

15.) Props

16.) Shock

17.) Kids


Ready? Here we go …


WAYS TO INCORPORATE HUMOR IN YOUR WRITING:


1.) ANALOGY/METAPHOR/SIMILE: A comparison to something that is ridiculous or paints a humorous picture can bring a light tone to the scene as in the following examples where I bolded the humorous “comparison” word. Note the use of alliteration in the second example that I think helps to heighten the humor of the analogy:


A Horseman’s Heart by Myra Johnson

When the server brought the oversize menus, Kip couldn’t turn pages without bumping elbows with Sheridan. Not that it mattered, because with all his senses attuned to the woman at his left, Kip might as well have been reading hieroglyphics.


A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman

“Wait—what’s going on here?” Charity demanded, a talent for digging up dirt that would put a steam shovel to shame.


In the following scene from A Heart Revealed, I tried to play up the humor of Charity O’Connor plotting to manipulate her brother (in front of her mother and sisters) into coming to dinner against his will by utilizing a series of ongoing metaphors for fishing/hunting:


“Perfect! And you may as well stay for dinner …”

Sean hesitated—prey stilled by the scent of the hunter. “I don’t know, sis …” One side of his mouth lifted a fraction of an inch. “I probably won’t smell too good.”

“But you’re coaching, not playing, right? And you gotta eat anyway …” Charity appeared hopeful as she cast her imaginary line.

Nobody breathed as the lure sailed through the air

“Look, sis, I’m not the best company lately—”

“I don’t mind if you eat and run, honest.”

He cocked his head and gritted his teeth with a smile, his decision likely edging toward “no,” given the apology in his eyes.

Oh-oh, fish or cut bait. Charity smiled and switched strategies. “That’s okay, really—I understand.” With a nonchalant air, she grabbed a spool of purple thread from the sewing box and gave him a wink. “Just more ribs for us.” She held the thread against the silk blouse and looked up. “Hey, do these colors match?”

“Ribs?” Sean said weakly.

Charity fished in the sewing box again, ignoring his gaze as she fiddled with more spools. “Yes, sir … Mitch’s apple-wood smoked variety, his secret sauce, corn on the cob, my prize popovers and—” She looked up, her face the picture of innocence. “potato salad.”

“Potato salad?” He paused. His voice was the pained whisper of a man used to simpler fare prepared by a frugal mother victimized by the depression. He swallowed hard, as if drool were clogging his throat. “Mustard or mayonnaise?”

She plopped back into her chair and flashed him a bright smile. “Sorry, didn’t catch that. What was the question again?”

“The potato salad—is it the mustard kind or the mayonnaise?” It came out as a croak.

Charity worked the edge of her lip, trying to remember Sean’s favorite. “Uh … mayonnaise, I think.”

The man groaned as if a sharp lure had just pierced the soft flesh of his lip.

Bingo!

She set the hook and reeled him in. “And, of course, my homemade devilled eggs, those barbecue butter beans you’re so fond of and last but not least …”

His mouth hung open like a large-mouth bass.

Victory coursed through her veins with a rush of adrenaline. “Warm peach cobbler in a pool of caramel sauce with cinnamon ice cream on the side … from Robinson’s no less,” she breathed, her tone hushed with respect.

“Oh, man …” His voice was a moan of defeat. He blasted out a sigh that could have ruffled the leaves on the lilac bush at the edge of the porch. “What time again?”


2.) FACIAL FEATURES: This has to be one of the easiest ways to incorporate humor because if you can paint the picture for your reader with twitches or exaggerated facial muscles (such as the humorous lines in bold below), a smile will crinkle in your reader’s mind that will hopefully bring one to their face as well:


A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman

“Mind if I cut in?”

With a sharp jolt, Annie jerked in Nate’s arms, blinking up at Steven as if he’d doused her with cold water. No, make that ice water. She pushed hair from her eyes. “What?”

The tic in his hard-chiseled face could have kept time with the music. “I said, do you mind if I cut in?”


A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman

His lips were white, his eyes red and a vein in his temple throbbed a dangerous blue. Not a good color combination.


The Cousins McClare by Julie Lessman

The dimples took on a life of their own. “First of all, miss,” he said with a half-lidded stare, obviously enjoying the scold, “ if you’d been manhandled by me, trust me—you’d know it. Secondly, my girlfriend would say nothing because I don’t have one, which,” he said with a mock grimace, “suddenly doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. And thirdly …” He slacked a hip and hiked a thumb toward the departing train, heating her cheeks with a wink. “That was my cousin.”

“Horse apples!” The whites of her eyes expanded while her cheeks flamed red hot, which given the flush of heat beneath her blue suit, might be considered warmly patriotic. “And I’m the Queen of England,” she hissed, suddenly wondering why she was berating some poor schmo whose only sin had been to accidentally mow her down and look good doing it.


3.) PUN: Puns are an easy and fun way to lighten a mood, as you can see from Tina’s example below:


Oklahoma Reunion by Tina Radcliffe

Her gaze met his and she frowned. “You probably shouldn't be leaning against that railing.”

“Why not?”

“I just finished the second coat an hour ago.”

He sprang from the wooden rail and looked over his shoulder.

Kait laughed like that was the funniest thing she’d heard in forever. He hadn’t heard her laugh like that in so long that he just stared, delighted at the sound.

“Turn around so I can see the damage,” she said.

“Do I look like I just rode into town on a green saddle? No way. This is downright embarrassing. I can see from the pattern on that railing that I left a little bit of me behind.”

“Is that a pun?”

Ryan rubbed the backside of his Wrangler jeans with his palms.


4.) SARCASM: In real life, I never think of myself as funny and, in fact, tend to tease my daughter about her sarcastic humor, but the truth is, she probably gets it from me. I honestly didn’t fully realize that until I fleshed out Charity and Katie O’Connor’s personalities in the later books of the O’Connor saga, infusing these two pistols with dry wit that makes me chuckle every single time. Here are a few examples that I hope had my readers chuckling as well:


A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

For the second time since she arrived, Katie stood gaping, the click of Luke’s door a slap in her face. She felt the fire in her cheeks clear up to her eyes. “God, help me … I can’t do this.”

“Oh yes you can, sweetie.” Betty placed a tapered hand on Katie’s arm and steered her toward the time clock, a hint of soothing in her tone. She leaned close to whisper in her ear. “You just have to learn how to handle him.”

Katie peered up, eyes squinted. “What, you have a manual on dealing with morons?”


A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

Betty casually strolled the length of the room to the far front corner, motioning for Katie to follow. “You might say Bobbie Sue Dulay is our Southern contingent at the BCAS and a real ray of Georgia sunshine. She’s kind of like a permanent paid volunteer who does whatever we need—typing, filing, baby-sitting.”

“Baby-sitting?” Katie’s incredulous tone took a turn toward sweet. “Oh . . . you mean for Mr. McGee.”


A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman (Charity & Mitch are feuding)

Chuckles rounded the table as Marcy hooked Charity in a hug. “Ignore, them, darling, you’re more lovely at thirty-two than you were at twenty-two, if that’s even possible. Right, Mitch?”

Charity’s smile stiffened as she glanced up at her husband who sat at the other end of the table next to her father with a glass of ginger ale in his hand. The only way he could get any further away was to sit with the babies in the kitchen. Her mouth crooked up. Where he belongs.


A Love Surrendered by Julie Lessman

“Trust me, Steven’s been a real grouch lately,” Faith assured her, “which means he misses you as much as you miss him.”

“Then why hasn’t he called?” Annie asked, brows sloped in concern.

“Because men have more pride than common sense, sweetie.” Charity patted her arm, sympathy edging her tone. “Don’t they teach you anything at Radcliffe?”


A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman

“Cluny McGee? Coming for dinner? God have mercy, isn’t he in prison?” Katie pulled a tray of dinner rolls from the oven and set it on the soapstone counter. The scent of fresh-baked bread filled her mother’s spacious kitchen, watering her mouth and rumbling her stomach. Her lips kinked at the not-so-gentle reminder that she’d been too distracted to eat. At least, not since last night when Father had unveiled his diabolical plan to ruin her life. She flipped the oven door closed and turned, giving her family a wry smile. “Or is he out on parole?”


Okay, that’s it—our first four points! And trust me—you don’t want to miss the next thirteen that I will post down the road, because they are FUN!! Till then, leave a comment and humor tips of your own if you like, humorous samples of yours or other writers, or just the name of humorous authors you enjoy. Then I will enter you in the contest for your choice of a signed copy of any of my books (OR your choice of a top CBA book from my library) AND the very detailed handout from Ruth Axtell Morren’s and my ACFW Workshop, “A Kiss is NOT Just a Kiss.” PLUS the commenter with the funniest lines of their own will be asked to contribute additional humorous excerpts for Part Two of this blog because frankly I'm having trouble getting funny clips from other people and I NEED you! So good luck, God bless and break a leg—but if you do, remember—at least make ‘em laugh!


Hugs,

Julie

140 comments :

  1. This is so much fun!!!!

    I love it!!!!!

    Julie, were you a teacher in your past life?

    You do it so well.

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  2. Oo ooo oooo!

    I'm so in for this! But I've got to go to bed first but I'll find some tomorrow :D.

    Cuz my tagline is Romantic Dramedy in the Ozarks. I like to think I have a few ;).

    In fact, I think I posted a few of them a while ago... hmm...

    Anyway - Julie dear, you make me laugh! That's always good :D.

    Is A Love Restored in that list?! Because the way my pile looks of HAVE to reads [that I, fortunately, also WANT to read] and the 'only' WANT to reads look... it may be nearly time for it by the time I get to AHR which makes me so sad... Maybe I need to spend a few days JUST reading this break. Hmm....

    Okay - then... off to bed!

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

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  3. I've got to share this one - from the book that's closest to hand - and of course, it's Yuletide Hearts by our own Ruthy.

    Matt's talking to Jake, Callie's 8-year-old son (well, almost 9):

    "I have to go to a birthday party tomorrow." Jake droned the words as if attendance was a fate worse than death.
    Matt moved back, surprised. "Birthday parties rock. Ice cream. Cake. Games."
    "For a girl."
    "Oh."

    I'll be back tomorrow to share more! Meanwhile, let's dig into the fudge I made for Christmas. I can always make more next weekend...

    ReplyDelete
  4. When my youngest sister was 5 or 6 years old, she enjoyed using big words she got from book she read. Most times, she did not understand their meanings.

    Once, I caught her doing something she shouldn't be doing. In the "argument" that ensued, she soon realize that she could not win it and resorted to her last argument and favorite line. "You are innocent, I am not innocent!" she yelled at me.

    She couldn't understand why we were laughing over her (wrong) usage of the word innocent.

    writer.chicka[at]gmail.com

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  5. Oh Julie...you are one of the funniest persons I know....I don't mean odd...l mean your personality. I can't wait until the day we meet, because I know we are going to laugh and kid around. Age...now that's a humorous stage to write about. It's not so funny to me at times, because I'm living it! You're a mere babe at 61. Now there's another word - babe - that could be misleading. You probably are a babe, and a babe to old age yet. Oh well, it's too late to be any funnier. Sad things can be funny also, but I'll wait until late to expose you to that kind of humor.

    By the way, I'm walking!! I've thrown away my walker and my cane. I even stood for two performances of our choir cantata Sunday. I can dance around, carefully, and do things I haven't done in 12 years. God is amazing and so am I. LOL

    By the way, I think you should write a book on humor and laughing matters for teaching writers how to be full of joyful humor.

    Goodnight My Funny Girl,
    Barb

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  6. These are great! What a fun post.

    Let's see, there are some truly funny authors out there and when I used to read Charlaine Harris (I've reformed, promise) she could really make me laugh out loud.

    Ruthy's Yuletide Hearts had a funny few lines that came in a 'serious' moment,when Matt's voice breaks. He says his voice hasn't broken like that in twenty years and he was talking to a pretty girl like that time, too.

    callie says, "Twenty years between girls? That's so not normal. You get that, right?"

    HAHAHA! I have a friend who's quick like that. She zings me every time and I think of something funny to say back... about six hours later.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Here is a tiny bit of a scene from Best Forgotten by Paula Vince.

    "Dad,what are you going on about?" Dylan had decided the more reasonably he spoke, the more his father was likely to see sense. As a tactic, it wasn't working too well so.

    This is at the beginning of the scene it then goes on about how the father plans to kill the two people but the son keeps saying things about the autospsy showing that they were killed earlier etc. Its acutally a real humourous scene but I cant write to much as it gives to much away. I still laugh every time I think of this scene. (reminds me of Mary's writing)

    Ps got more gingerbread men iced and decorated for you today.

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  8. Jan & Virginia, wasn't that book great? My favorite LOL moment was when Hank said "Camo should never be pink." I agree!

    Julie! I'm so still trying to win a copy of that handout. With all the buzz on ACFW about branding, I *think* I'm getting closer to understanding mine. Brutally honest historical fiction. Which means I need those humorous moments just to give my readers a break and literally wrote one right before I popped over. Here it is, first draft ugly from my current WIP Unseen Love, about my blind heroine and her seeing-eye slave in Ancient Rome.

    He made his way to the peristyle and the moment he spotted Laelia, forgot everything but her. She sat just off the stone path, whistling a tune as she pulled up grass and weeds with her bare hands. Earth clung to her fingers, and dusted her freshly cleaned stola but instead of making him cringe, he smiled. A growing pile beside her and the small area she’d already cleared down to the dirt told him two things. First, he’d overslept. Badly. Second, she’d found purpose in a task that from the look on her face said she’d also found a measure of fulfillment in. He thanked God for that answered prayer and crept closer.
    Because she continued her tune, some song he didn’t recognize, she must not hear his soft footfalls on the stone path. He came as close as he dared and continued to observe her unhindered while she worked. Like the spirit of God himself, a yellow butterfly alighted on a stalk of grass near her, spreading its wings to her in the sunshine. When she reached for it, he wondered for a second if she could see it and God had answered another of his prayers. But the butterfly didn’t move away and when she grabbed the weed by the stalk, she crushed the small animal in a fistful of grass she cropped and threw both onto her pile.
    He tried not to laugh and failed. He couldn’t stop to save his life, or tear his gaze from the sight of the mangled wings flittering in death throes atop the pile of weeds. Even when she started and her chin shot his direction.
    “Drusus? Is that you?”
    “Yes, mistress,” he forced through his chuckles that refused to quiet.
    Her mouth twisted into a frown as her brow dipped. “What’s so amusing?”
    There was anger in her tone, and he deserved it. Tears were beginning to prick the corners of his eyes and he summoned every bit of will power he possessed to stifle his dying laughter.
    “I said ‘What is so amusing?’”
    He couldn’t tell her the truth and prayed God’s grace would cover a lie. But he had to think fast, because that furrow in her brow deepened while the color in her cheeks rose.

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  9. OMG I swear that didn't look that long before I clicked publish your comment. My bad :-p

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  10. Julie,

    LOVED this posting...you always make me smile...giggle...and laugh :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. This was an amazing post!! I love Jillian Hart's books and how she incorporates humor using animals. One particular story uses a cow. The hero talks to this cow as he's trying to figure out the heroine. I love it! Can't wait to read the rest of this post on the other points. Cheryl Wyatt is great, too. Her usage of medical analogy/metaphor/similes is simply amazing!! Thanks for the chance to win one of your books, Julie! I wrote down several of your books' titles. I have found a new author to read!
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

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  12. Julie, love the clown nose! A great set up for your fun post on humor. Thanks for the excellent tips and examples! Looking forward to the second half of this post.

    Janet

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  13. OHMYGOSH JULIE!! You are the cutest. LOVE the costume!! Adorable!!

    Love the article too!!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS friend!!

    Nora :o)
    The Book Club Network

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  14. LOVE IT!
    There is a lot of chuckling going on over here.
    You have made my day.
    Thank you.
    Wendy
    wdesirees[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  15. Julie,

    Check another one for the Keeper Seeker file. This is one to study. You had me hooked from first photo! ;D

    Ho Ho Ho!!!

    Some of the kids have commented that May the K9 Spy is funny.

    This is one of my favorites. It's the family's first night in a new apartment, things are still in boxes. Mom has just brushed her teeth and can't find a cup so she swigs out of the faucet. May quips, "Mom needs a longer tongue."

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  16. Okay - here's one snippet:

    Andrew is a stay at home dad now and Ruthie is working. She comes home to a spaghetti sauce mess in the kitchen. It's now after dinner...

    "Aren't you coming?" he asked looking at my clothes.

    "No. I'm going to work on the kitchen."

    His brow furrowed. "I made the mess; I'll clean it up once we're done here."

    "I don't want it to set any more than it already has," I explained. "If I get done and cleaned up in time, I'll come out." I wouldn't. I knew I wouldn't, but I meant what I said. The sad fact was the mess would take a while to clean up.

    "Thank you." The promise in his eyes said he'd make it up to me later. Maybe I could coax a back rub out of him.

    Hands on my hips, I surveyed the mess. He hadn't said how it came to be and I wasn't sure how anyone could get sauce in so many places on accident. I lifted my eyes to say a quick prayer but it turned to a groan. Sauce on the ceiling? How'd he manage that?

    Maybe it was time to start fasting and praying for a job for Andrew. Another day or two like this and we'd have to put "wonderful Italian scent throughout" on the listing when it was time to sell.

    With a sigh, I got to work.


    Will find some more...

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  17. You, my dear, have the humor thing down. :)

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  18. Morning Julie,

    What a fun way to start the day and I have to say it all began with that clown nose photo. LOL You are toooo adorable.


    Love the humor. I think mine is kind of dry humor.

    I took a class once on writing humor and when they explained that humor is a way to cope with tragedy and fear, it made me rethink how I write it.

    Thanks Jan for sharing the fudge. Hits the spot this morning.

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  19. Near the beginning, Andrew has inherited his sister's four kids. I won't post the whole thing because in between the following is him thinking about it etc. and it's like 2 pages long, but I'll get you to the payoff more quickly than that ;).

    His best friend is replying to his Facebook status about inheriting the kids and moving across country... [Andrew doesn't reply, his friend just keeps posting]

    Ya know, dude, you could always mail order a bride ;).

    ...

    Or try Craigslist. They have everything. Put up an ad for a wife.

    ...

    Seriously. Craigslist. Amber says the mail-order thing always worked out. She's read about it. In the books. The ones at Wal-mart. Not the actual history ones. But she knows it's a sure thing. And if you don't, she's gonna set you up with someone. Craigslist is sounding better and better. Plus I met Amber on Craigslist and she's okay.

    ...

    I'll even write it for you. "Nice, normal, Christian guy inherited four kids. Needs wife immediately. Marriage of convenience okay. Marriage for green card not okay. Convenience only preferred. Must be good with children. References for childcare required. Protestant Christians only. Moving to the Midwest next month. Must be willing to pack up and move, too."

    ...

    I posted the ad. Since you didn't protest, I figured it'd be okay. I made a new email though. Amber'll screen the applicants for you.


    Eventually he agrees, and then the next day...

    "You got how many emails?" I held my phone against my shoulder as I juggled the Paradise Bakery bag and my briefcase. Having one across the street from my building was convenient if it did make for a lot of stuff to carry sometimes.

    "Dozens."

    "It's been less than a day."

    "I'm tellin' ya. Craigslist works."

    "Are any of them not desperate, needy clingers?"

    I could almost hear Josh shrug. "How should I know? But I bet there are a few keepers in here. Amber is nice and normal. I'm mostly nice and normal. And we met on Craigslist. It's not all bad."

    That made me roll my eyes. "You met buying her lawn mower."

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  20. Carol, I love the back and forth! Looking forward to the rest of the book :)

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  21. Julie, Loved this post! I tend to write in a more serious voice. I plan to cut and paste this post, and learn from it. :)

    I find that I can do one-liners, so I tend to find those coming out in my dialog. If I have time later to find and share one in a comment, I'll do it. I love reading what you ladies who do funny well are sharing. :)

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  22. I read Love by the Book by Cara Lynn James last week.
    My favorite line was after Nick realized Simon had preposed Melinda so he quickly preposes marriage also.
    "Poor form, Bryson, poor form," Simon complained crossing his arms.

    This line just stuck out to me as funny.

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  23. It was a fine post, Julie.

    But I, of course, do not laugh or lower myself to the use of humor, or sarcasm, especially in writing. We sophisticated types just don't bully our readers with such tactics.

    Honestly.

    For sure.

    LOL

    Okay... so I smiled when I read the post Julie.

    It was a strain, but... I managed.

    I'll post a scene later if I can find any.

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  24. You are hilarious, Julie! I love this post.
    I like comic relief, because it's a tension reliever. You have to have lots of tension in your books, but you also need the humor to balance it out.

    What I consider my funniest book is also the one nobody wants. LOL! But I won't go into that. Suffice it to say that it still hasn't sold, but that doesn't mean it won't. Some day. When the timing is right, and even I can tell the timing isn't right right now.

    I digress. What I think makes the book funny is the fact that the heroine CAN NOT fall in love right now. It would be the worst thing that could happen. Also, she is the most uptight girl you can imagine--desperate to get out of her situation, determined, and always thinking she knows exactly how things ought to go. Only problem is, they never go the way she thinks they should. And the hero is the most gorgeous guy she's ever met, and over-the-top charming. But she is completely in control. Oh yes. Definitely in control. She will stay far, far away from him, because she never loses control. She has a goal and she's going to stick with it. No backwoods doctor is going to deter her.

    Until she dances with him. Uh oh. At the 4th of July dance. Then he kisses her. And she kisses him back! But then she refuses to let him court her. She's still in control. He's angry. Good. She's in control. He'll stay away from her now. But then he does something completely kind and unselfish for her family. Darn it. Why did he have to go and do that?

    It's a good book. A lot of funny things happen. One day you'll all get to read it. I'm sure.

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  25. MORNIN', ALL!! Whether your holidays are crazy nuts or crazy fun, I hope today's post brings a smile to your face and chases some tension away!

    And, speaking of "chasing tension away," food always works for me, so let's belly up to the breakfast bar for my own personal recipe from the Internet for I-Hop pancakes (on the VERY light side, of course), cheese blintzes and a Western omelot to die for, run through the garden twice. Bacon, sausage links and inch-high-thick ham rounds out the spread, with those little fruit and cheese flapped tarts to round everything out. Lots of cinnamon hazelnut and red velvet (in honor of Sandra) and Southern Pecan coffee (in deference to our Southern contingent -- Missy, Debby, Cara, Myra and Pammy), along with every variety of tea known to man.

    Oh, almost forgot Keurig for Ruthy. She'd NEVER let me forget if I didn't provide that!!

    So dig in and Happy Hump Day!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  26. TEENSTER!!! A "teacher"??? Well ... my mom used to accuse me of teaching my little sister bad habits, but other than that, nope! Although ... I am from a teaching family (i.e. my mom, three aunts and three sisters!!), so maybe it comes naturally. Uh, that and the fact I'm anal and SO slow I have to outline and spell everything out! ;)
    Either way, THANKS, Tina, for the compliment.

    CAROL!!! Yep, you're one of the crazy ladies I had in mind when I hoped some writers would post funny clips. You are SO THERE, my friend, and I can't wait to read some. And okay, okay -- for you?? Yes ... A Love Surrendered will be included. :)

    JAN ... thanks for the clip from Ruthy's book. I asked the Seekers a couple of weeks ago for funny clips and FULLY expected to get some from Ruthy, but this is SUCH a crazy time of year and I do know she was out of town, so alas, no Ruthy clips! But thanks for including that one, sweetie, because next to Mary, Ruthy is one of the funniest gals I know. Please note that I did not say funny "looking" ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  27. Oh wow, Julie, you have made me laugh my head off!!! lol Such an interesting post and thanks! I want to be "in" for AHR!!! I loved the humor in some of Ruthy's books! Have a Merry Christmas all!
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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  28. LOL, SUGARPEACH!!! That story about your little sister is TOO CUTE!! I just LOVE kid funnies like that and hope to do a Journal Jot on it in the future because as Art Linkletter used to say, "Kids say the darndest things"!! Thanks for the smile, sweetie, and good luck in the contest.

    BARB -- WHOO-HOO!!! No cane or walker anymore??? That alone puts a HUGE smile on my face, my friend -- PRAISE GOD!! Mmmm ... an "odd babe"... something tells me that fits because I can be odd ... and I can be a baby, but "normal" is SO overrated anyway, so bring on the odd, or as I like to say "quirk"! Thanks for coming by, Barb, and I wish you and yours a MOST blessed Christmas!

    VIRGINIA ... I absolutely LOVE Ruthy's humor!! Mary Connealy humor is so humble and self deprecating (one of our points above, if you will recall!) while Ruthy is just plain snark and spunk (i.e. point #4) and hope she posts some clips today because she's got a TON!! I'm hoping by giving the Seekers more time to come up with clips (my next post on humor won't be till a few months down the road), I can include more of their work in the next blog.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  29. Love the outfit, TOO cute!
    Dawn Searcy
    Searcy4U@aol.com

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  30. Thanks for the tips Julie! My writing feels like it's veering to the serious/heavy side so I've been trying to think of ways to lighten my scenes. This helps alot!

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  31. Julie, this was a fantastic post, and I look forward to the other 11 ways in future posts. Your workshop is going to be great and I hope well-attended.

    Me? I infuse humor usually with sarcasm in internal narrative. And I often miss it myself, but have others point it out to me when they read. Zingers aren't my forte, but I have that friend who can deliver one immediately. I come up with one far after the fact. Maybe I should pay more attention to her. :)

    Thanks for sharing, Julie...and to the others who offered opening lines or excerpts. Love them!

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  32. Hey, JENNY ... murder and autopsy??? Yep, it does sound a wee bit like Mary's humor ... Thanks for sharing a fun clip this morning, sweetie, and GOOD LUCK in the contest!

    NANCY!!! Great job injecting humor into your serious story, my friend!! And boy, when it comes to that poor butterfly, "brutally honest historical fiction" is an apt description! :) And you are SO right about the need to punctuate serious fiction like that with snips of humor here and there. You go, girl!!

    KAREN ... soooo glad I could give you a smile this morning, girlfriend, because you give me smiles every single time I see your sweet name! Good luck in the contest! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  33. THESIS WRITING HELP ... thank you, sweetie, for your kind comment and for coming by to read our blog. Here's hoping it nets you a win!

    THANKS, SALLY!! YES, Cheryl Wyatt has a real gift with simile and although I have never read any of Jillian Hart's books, I have heard WONDERFUL things about them, so maybe I better get with the program and read one. And, WOW, sooo glad you've decided to read my books, but a word of warning -- they are VERY passionate as far as Christian books go, both with romantic AND spiritual passion, so just be alerted. Also, since this is a family saga best read in order, I strongly recommend starting with book 1 of The Daughters of Boston series first, A Passion Most Pure, due to a number of big surprises in that book that would be ruined if read out of order. Thanks again, Sally, for considering giving me a shot on your TBR list! Good luck in the contest.

    BUY ESSAYS ... thanks for taking the time to swing by and fingers crossed for a win, so GOOD LUCK!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  34. JANET ... what clown nose??? I have a cold ... :)

    NORA ... what costume??? :) Thanks, my friend, for coming by and MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours as well. And what a FUN Christmas it will be with Brayden at SUCH a cute age!! Have a blast!!

    WENDY!!! Soooo glad I gave you a chuckle -- that brings a smile to my face too, sweetie, so here's to a GREAT DAY with many more chuckles!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  35. Mary Connealy and Robin Williams?

    ?????

    Why am I picturing myself as an alien?

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  36. Hi Julie! I enjoy putting humor in my work a lot. I tried writing more seriously for a while, and it didn't feel like my natural voice. When I started incorporating more humor in my work, I had several people tell me, "I can hear you reading these words in my head! This is you!" Needless to say, I found my voice :)

    I'm at work and don't have my MS handy, but I know I have a scene in my story where two teenagers are just getting to know each other. The guy, trying to impress the girl, notices she's reading Anne of Green Gables, and tells her that "Anne is a real cool chick." The girl busts out laughing that a guy knows who Anne Shirley is and would describe her as such. They become friends, but she is definitely NOT impressed.

    I also use a lot of internal monologue stuff, the kind of things people think but don't usually say out loud. Especially when there's a ludicrous situation at hand.

    One of my favorite humorous authors is Meg Cabot. She wrote the Princess Diary series and has some great adult stuff, too.

    BTW, Julie, I'm almost done with A Passion Most Pure and I'm loving it!

    stephludwig at hotmail dot com

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  37. KC!!! Thanks for the sweet comment, my friend, and May IS funny!! Just the title alone -- May the K9 Spy -- cracks me up!! And the tongue line? TOO CUTE!!

    CAROL ... just KNEW I could count on you!! You just nailed point #8 because "sauce on the ceiling" is ALWAYS humorous ... with or without words!!

    Thanks, KATIE, but I have to say it's my daughter who has the humor down, sarcastic or no. Too bad she doesn't like to write (she is a GREAT writer as well) because she is hands-down one of the wittiest people I know! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  38. So then they're interviewing candidates...

    I just glared. "Who's next?" Weariness was already seeping into my bones. My last living relatives were depending on me to make a new home for them. The responsibility weighed heavily on me. I would need to either choose a good woman to marry or find a good nanny. For all of our sakes.

    "Gracious Graham."

    I raised a brow at Amber. "Excuse me?"

    She shrugged. "Her name is Gracious, apparently." Her eyes gleamed. "It gives the phrase 'Goodness Gracious' a whole new meaning. And makes me want some crackers."

    Josh's face brightened as he headed for the door. "With chocolate frosting."

    A very manly snort was my only response.


    The whole interview with Gracious is giggle inducing IMVHO, but I gotta leave something for y'all to read when [note the WHEN] someone contracts it ;).

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  39. Lots of great information Julie! Thanks for sharing. Missy Tippens' A Family For Faith came to mind as I read your tips. She uses humor very skillfully to endure the reader to her characters as well as lighten the mood when building conflict.

    I know how important conflict is but some writers (none that hang here) pile it on so thick the reader can't breath. A smile when it's dark is like having someone hold your hand.

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  40. SANDRA SAID: "I took a class once on writing humor and when they explained that humor is a way to cope with tragedy and fear, it made me rethink how I write it."

    Oh, man, Sandra -- that is SO very true!! I have an older brother who could have been a comedian for a living because he is seriously funny, and never more so than in tragedies in our lives, such as our parents' funerals. Bob literally had all of us laughing till we cried, which is SO much better than the other kind of tears, you know? And SO much more therapeutic!

    CAROL ... I gotta say, the Craig List scenario ALONE is funny, so it's all gravy from there on with the humor girl -- GREAT JOB!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  41. I love to laugh, and I love authors who make me laugh.

    I didn't set out to make my readers laugh, though. In fact I tend to see myself as kinda stuffy and was surprised when I found my Voice, one that includes hints of humor.

    I don't set out to add humorous elements to my stories. If I were to do that it would be a disaster. Those who've heard me attemtpt to tell jokes and muff the punchlines know what I mean. The humor happens organically (coming about through the use of the devices you've shared, Julie). I wonder what this says about me. Hmmm.

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  42. Oh Julie you always manage to make me laugh. :) Any time you have all the O'Connors around their dinning room table, I can't help but chuckle at their banter. I'll admit, I kind of have a sarcastic sense of humor as well, so I absolutely loved it in Katie. My favourite humorous scene with her was after she was drinking and Luke tells her to walk to him and she tells him she doesn't like his tone and he should just walk to her. Classic.

    I do tend to enjoy humor in my own writing, so here are some examples for you:

    But I won’t tell them to go home, or to go into their theater and leave me alone, because I, Cassandra Philippa Graham, was not raised to be rude. No I was raised to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’; to cover my mouth when speaking while eating; and to bite my tongue instead of saying something I might regret. I think I’m going to draw blood tonight at the rate this is going.

    I love a good play on words, so here Cass is trying to avoid seeing her extended family at church:

    This is why I pop up like a jack-in-the-box the second the service is over. Only the monkey to my right won’t let me weasel out of confrontation so easily.

    Well, I halfway tried to look halfway decent. That means I look, what, a quarter of the way decent? Math was never my favourite subject.

    Hope those help and put a smile on your face like you always manage to do for me! <3

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  43. Julie!! Just love all the comedic moments in all your novels!! You do such a great job! And love that excerpt from “Her Unlikely Family” by Missy Tippens. LOL.

    I don’t have too many humorous moments in my novels, so have nothing really good from my own work, but now that I’ve read this post I plan on experimenting with some of your techniques. Thanks so much for the wonderful post and I’d love to be entered into the drawing!!

    -Amanda
    amandabarratt33@gmail.com

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  44. Thanks SO much, JEANNE!! And I tend to write in a "serious voice" as well because I am such a CDQ who likes lots of angst and drama, but humor is sure a wonderful foil when you are a serious writer like that, so I would LOVE to see some of your one-liners!!

    CONNIE ... Oooo, I just may have to add another category for Cara's line -- social class humor -- because it seems a perfect example of the dry and subtle humor of a distinguished gentleman. And you bring up a WONDERFUL point that shows what a wide range of possible humor there can be in writing. A single line or thought might strike someone's funny bone more than another's because readers' sense of humor is as diverse as the ways to show humor in our writing. From subtle to slapstick, it's ALL good!!

    LOL, TINA!!! Mmmm ... wonder what type of humor YOURS will be??? Can't wait to see some Tina quips! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  45. MEL!!! The book sounds WONDERFUL -- what's it called, what genre and what era and place??? You've definitely piqued my interest and everyone else reading these comments today, you little brat!! :)

    JACKIE ... :) Soooooo glad I could make you laugh, my friend, because there's no better way to kick off a day ... uh, unless you win a book, right??? Good luck in the contest, sweetie, and thanks for coming by.

    DAWN ... thank you, but PLEASE know that I am not the Queen of Ugly Christmas sweaters!! I drummed this outfit up by pinning/clipping every piece of Christmas jewelry on a perfectly bland red sweater for my last year's Christmas post When it Comes to Writing ... Sometimes Less is More , so be sure to check it out for the before and after of ugly Christmas sweaters! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  46. JESSICA ... soooo glad I could help! You know, I helped myself too, because I really didn't think I could write a post on humor because I'm not Mary Connealy or Ruth Logan Herne after all, but once I got started, the options seemed endless and now I have a guide as well, so YAY for us both!!

    TIFF!!! It's reallllly great to see you here, my friend, and THANK YOU for your kind comments! And I LOVE the idea of "zingers," which I may just incorporate as a category all its own -- you know, those stealth bombs that nobody sees coming? I think the Faith/Mitch "I can be on time" excerpt above would fit that category and I would LOVE to see some of yours too. I gotta tell you, I have always thought you would be the type of gal who has a quip or fast comeback on the tip of her tongue because you seem funny and quick to me, so it surprises me to hear you don't think you compare to your zinger girlfriend. But then I never saw myself as "funny" either, so maybe our own self-perception is pretty skewed. Thanks for coming by!

    LOL, MARE!! Well, you don't talk as fast and you're not as elfish looking, but your deprecating humor ALWAYS has me chuckling at my computer when I'm reading the Seeker loop, and almost without fail, Keith will say, "Mary again?"

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  47. Hey, STEPH -- SO glad you "found your voice," and WHOA ... NO better voice to have than one with humor, so good for you!! Your Anne of Green Gables clip sounds fun -- do you write YA? Because YA SOOOO requires humor, I would think. Have never read Meg Cabot, but sounds like I should, so thanks for the suggestion. And SO glad you are enjoying APMP. Since that's the first book, there's not a lot of humor other than Faith's precocious little sister, Katie, but once Katie grows up AND Charity gets warmed up in book 3 of the series, LOOK OUT!! :)

    CAROL!!! Another great example of a play on words (#7), which I particularly LOVE!! Thanks for the smiles.

    JAMIE ... YES, Missy is very adept at subtle humor that enhances a serious situation!! And I LOVE your line: "A smile when it's dark is like having someone hold your hand." Sooooo true!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  48. Haha, Julie! It's Magnolia Summer. I've posted bits and pieces here before. It's set in 1880 Alabama, and of course it's a romance. It has a few controversial elements in it, so maybe that's why it hasn't sold yet. But it is definitely my funniest book. Though it has a lot of really serious elements too.

    Although the medieval I'm working on now is going to have some funny stuff too. My hero is a very big, manly knight who bashes heads in for sport. Well, not really, but sort of. And the heroine is a tough, sarcastic girl who's had a rough life and isn't about to make things easy for the manly, I-don't-know-how-to-talk-to-women hero. Hehe. But I always wonder if other people think is funny what I think is funny. You know? But based on your examples, I think at least you would, Julie! :-)

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  49. GREAT post Julie! I used to really like Erma Bombeck, now I also like Maxine (most of her stuff anyway) and Barbara Johnson.

    wfnren at aol dot com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

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  50. YAY, I'm in the Southern contingent!

    Super post, Julie! Actually, this looks to me like the makings of a great ACFW workshop presentation. Tina's right--you have a natural teaching ability!

    I don't specifically set out to write humor into my stories, but sometimes it just naturally creeps in. Once I know my characters fairly well, they just sort of take over and whatever happens, happens! Sometimes it's funny. Sometimes not so much.

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  51. KELI SAID: "I wonder what this says about me. Hmmm."

    :) That you're a jokester and prankster deep down, Kel??? I know what you mean about not setting out to make readers laugh because I had no intent of that either, but when you are a writer who creates a wide range of characters, some of them just naturally have to come across funny. If you are a writer who loses yourself in the story like you and me, well, it just stands to reason that new personality traits we didn't know we had will leak out, I guess. :)

    LOL, KAYLA!!! LOVE the weasel play on words -- VERY CLEVER and FUNNY!! And the halfway decent lines??? You got a chuckle and a big grin out of this girl on that one, so GREAT JOB!! And thanks for the comment on the Katie tipsy scene -- I like that one too! :)

    HUGS,
    Julie

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  52. This is from In the Manor of the Ghost. Caitlin spent a lovely evening dancing with her husband, Devlin. They have an arranged marriage, but she felt they were moving toward a real one, until she finds another woman coming from his room the next morning.


    Caitlin quietly relieved herself of her burden, marched to the nearest window and pushed back the curtains, using just a dash of dramatics to accomplish her task.

    Devlin had to be blind or dead not to notice when she practically pulled the rod from the wall. The light that filtered through the opened drapes nearly blinded him.

    "There we go. Isn't that lovely?" she asked, all too cheerfully, spinning around to smile at him.

    "Shut the blasted curtains," he growled and flipped an arm over his eyes.

    "Oh, now it's such a beautiful day." She made her way around the room opening each and every curtain, allowing the sunshine to spill into every nook and cranny of the room. "It doesn't look like a tomb anymore." She sighed and pulled the last curtain.

    His arm flopped back against the bed. Strengthened by anger, Devlin sat up glaring at her. "Shut the curtains," he repeated his directive in a lower, more menacing manner.

    She spun around with her hands planted firmly on her hips and smiled. "You shouldn't worry, Mr. Clayborne. It looks as though you don't turn to ash in the sunlight anyway. You feared for nothing."

    "Get out of my room," each word sounded like its own distinctive bellow. He would love nothing better than to get up and throw her down the hall about now, but he was too weak to move. She knew he was ill. That, no doubt, was why she felt she could torment him. What he couldn't understand was the anger. She'd been so docile when he left her last night. She'd have done anything for him. He wanted that woman back.

    "I'm not going anywhere." With a quirky grin she stood there baiting him.

    Again he wondered what had become of the quiet gentle angel he'd been dreaming of. And just who was the aberration before him? He swore he saw horns.

    Her eyes flashed. "Not until I have a word with you."

    Blessings

    Tina Pinson

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  53. Hey, AMANDA, thanks SO much, sweetie, and I'll just bet you have more humor in your work than you realize, so jot them down as you write/edit in the next few months because when part two of this humor post comes around, you'll be ready with examples, okay? Good luck in the contest, my friend.

    MEL SAID: "But I always wonder if other people think is funny what I think is funny. You know? But based on your examples, I think at least you would, Julie! :-)"

    MEL, we are SOOO much alike, it's downright scary (for you!!) because I wonder, too, if anybody is going to get my humor, but I know I can count on you and vice versa, darlin'! And Magnolia Summer sounds WONDERFUL, but now you did it again -- hiked the curiosity level as to what the "controversial elements" could possibly be!! Do spill, please!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  54. Great Post Julie!

    I don't consider myself a humorous writer. This is something I need to work on but since this is all in fun...here is a clip from my current WIP. Setting:James and his son, Isaac are out of town working while their girlfriend is visiting the family farm.


    “What?” His hand slammed to the table. “No way!” James glared at the photo Aunt Sandra posted on his wall.
    Joni smiled over fried pork chops, stewed squash, peas and cornbread. Ben and Mike kissed each one of her cheeks. Uncle Pete and Dad kissed her temples. The caption read: Yum, they had to kiss the cook in exchange for a scrumptious meal.
    Isaac peeked under his arm. He gasped. “They’re kissing our girlfriend. We gotta go down there and stop ‘em.”
    “You are so right.” James ruffled Isaac’s hair. “Pack up your stuff. We’ll leave early in the morning.”
    Isaac ran to the closet and shoved all his toys in a bag. James called Cecil and took time off for a family emergency.

    (After they arrive on scence.)

    Isaac lunged for Joni and she swept him up in her arms and kissed his cheek. “I missed you.”
    “How come they kissed you?”
    Joni’s mouth fell open and she looked from Isaac to James and then back to Isaac. “What are you talking about, Sweetie?”
    “Your picture and ever boy kisses you.” Isaac touched his head in the four places Joni was kissed in the photograph. “Here. Here. Here. Here.”
    James cringed. “Isaac.” He shook his head behind Joni’s back. “Let’s go get your floaties out of the truck.”
    Isaac laid a little hand on each side of Joni’s face and crinkled his nose. “Me and Daddy came to knock some heads together.”
    Joni’s eyes rounded. “Is that right?”

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  55. WFNREN ... Oh, I LOVE Erma Bombeck and crusty Maxine too (reminds me of Ruthy in the narrowest of ways), but I must admit I've not heard of Barbara Johnson, so I'll have to look her up. Also, Patsy Clairmont is very funny (God Uses Cracked Pots). :)

    MYRA SAID: "Actually, this looks to me like the makings of a great ACFW workshop presentation." Gosh, THANKS, Myra, I'll definitely keep this mind, but it will have to wait till 2013 to be proposed if I do 'cause the workshop Ruth Axtell Morren and I are pitching this year is called: From Sweet to Swoon: Ramping Up the Sigh Factor in Our Heroes," so say one that we get the gig, okay?

    TINA!!! OOOOO, that's JUST the type of humor and set-up I love, where romantic tension is high, so GREAT JOB, my friend -- it sounds wonderful!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  56. These are so great! I have to confess that I have a funny friend and when she says something hilarious, I think to myself, "I have to use that!"

    Some of them aren't really for use in a book but last week we were talking about the crazy things people say when we're out with all our kids. She said when some weirdo says 'Don't you know what causes that??'---

    She says, "Well, we thought we did, but it can't be that, or then we'd have THOUSANDS."

    Ha!

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  57. Virginia! I hadn't heard that one before - I'll have to share it!

    I'm having so much fun reading all these comments and excerpts people are sharing. Such fun!

    But now back to work on revisions - which is fun, too, in it's own way.

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  58. Virginia! I hadn't heard that one before - I'll have to share it!

    I'm having so much fun reading all these comments and excerpts people are sharing. Such fun!

    But now back to work on revisions - which is fun, too, in it's own way.

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  59. A couple snippets from Touched By Mercy.

    1st -- The Preacher considers a wife

    Would he ever take another wife?

    He lay back on his pillow and asked the Lord those very things. He believed he'd have them someday. Maybe soon. The ache he once bore had eased with time and the conviction that he'd never love another, was being tested. It'd been tested that very afternoon when he found himself looking into Miss Northam's deep green eyes with longing. It surprised him. Her, too, judging from her reaction.

    He remembered something the Lord had told him three years before, about a year after his wife had died. He lay in bed, asking the same questions. Figuring the Lord agreed, he'd told the Lord a firm no to every one of them. No new wife, no marriage, no... He loved his dear Sarah too much? How could the Lord want him to marry, or love another?

    The Lord surprised him.
    "Preston, my beloved son, the ache will ebb, and a time will arise when you'll take another wife."

    Preston had chuckled. "This can't be. I've loved Sarah for too long. I couldn't love another. I couldn't bear it." Besides there weren't many woman in the territory at the time.

    "You will." The voice in his heart had been adamant.

    "I don't know any women. Not any that I want to marry."

    "I've chosen one for you, beloved."

    Preston nearly gasped. But he didn't scoff at God. "All right, let's say you have. How will I know her? Does she have a name? Who is she, Lord? Where is she?"

    "When the time comes, you'll find her at the chicken ranch."

    Preston had sat up with yelp and argued that no man of God could find a woman to be his wife at the chicken ranch. A woman from a brothel? A woman like Lil? What did the Lord want him to be… another Hosea? Surely not.

    The Lord had been adamant. "I know whom I have for you. She'll be at the chicken ranch."

    Petrified he'd find her sitting in her long underwear on the front porch, Preston took long detours home, skirting the ranch so he wouldn't find the wife the Lord had for him.

    Then miraculously... the ranch closed. He was never so happy in all his born days. Never so bereft. Where was this wife the Lord had chosen?


    blessings
    Tina Pinson

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  60. Thanks for the shout out for A VALENTINE'S WISH :)

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  61. These are great examples, Julie! Thanks! You've got the knack to be a writing teacher!

    Here's a favorite humor-laced excerpt from a novel I wrote...

    Pearl reached for the tablet, but he easily held it out of her reach. She felt sick. Oh, God! This can’t be! “Where did you get that? Did Tuscus…!”

    “It will explain everything in a few paragraphs, I promise. Let’s see…where was I? ‘This woman was handed over in good health to the above-mentioned buyer…should anyone remove from his possession this woman or anything pertaining to her’, blah blah blah, the guarantees in this thing are very tedious.” He caught Pearl’s arm and held it when she tried to leave again. “Ah ha! Here we are. Below the signatures. ‘In much gratitude toward Helmsman Bradley Trey for his life and health, the above-mentioned Prefect of Ægyptus, Gaius Caecina Tuscus does hereby relinquish his ownership of the above-mentioned woman, since named Australia and also called Pearl, to Helmsman Bradley Trey…”

    “No! No! No! Tuscus can’t do that! Jice is my new master! He bought me from the pirates! I watched him give them coins!”

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  62. I have been reading your comments in this blog for a long time. I absolutely love your writing!!

    Two Innuits went kayaking. It grew chilly. They built a fire. The craft sank. The moral of the story: You can't have your kayak and heat it too.

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  63. From Touched By Mercy
    Preston and Allan discuss taking a wife.

    Preston exhaled a weighted breath and tugged on his bowtie. "I've been trying to leave it up to the Lord, but... I'm not doing so well."

    "Just what did the Lord tell you?" Jethro dipped his finger into his cup then took a swallow of coffee.

    "You know it's been years since Sarah's passing?" Preston's companions nodded. "About a year after her death, the Lord told me I would remarry." His friends were shock personified. "Sounds funny, sounds like I'm addled brained, but He spoke to me plain as day. I asked Him where she was. Imagine my surprise when He said I'd meet her at the chicken ranch."

    Jethro snorted and slapped his thigh. Allan sat in silence. Sam was at the chicken ranch. Allan had a dilemma of his own. How did he get Samantha to notice him? And what were Preston's intentions concerning her?

    "So the Lord said you'd meet your new wife at the chicken ranch?" Jethro said with a mischievous smile.

    "That's about the size of it." Preston's lips curled.

    "That does pose a problem. There's a house full of women over there."

    Preston's eyes rolled. "You aren't telling me anything new, Jethro."

    "Did the Good Lord tell you how you'll know her? Any bolts out of the blue?" Allan flung his arm over the empty chair next to him.

    "Maybe a letter from heaven," Jethro said solemnly. He and Allan looked up in quiet anticipation.

    "Maybe a rash or a fever," Allan added, his gaze landing on Preston.

    Preston sneered slightly. "All He said was, I'd know."

    "Well, that poses a problem," Allan said.

    "Jethro already said as much." Preston chuckled. "Are we talking about me or you?"

    "Both of us," Allan declared. Saying what all three knew. "The Lord said your wife is in that house, and while He didn't come out and specify mine was there, I've got my eye on someone. How can I be sure I'm not stepping in where the Lord wants you to be?"

    Jethro laughed. "Have mercy, if this don't beat all." Allan looked at him through narrowed eyes. Jethro's hand went to his chest. "Don't look at me, I done picked my wife. You two have to work this out alone." With that he rose and left. Allan could hear him chuckling clean out the building.

    Preston slid his chair closer to Allan. "What do we do?"

    Allan considered it for a moment. He shrugged. "You have no idea who it is?"

    "No," Preston said in frustration. "I guarantee you'll be among the first to know."

    "I guess that's all I can hope for. 'cause if she likes you…" they both knew who she was, "then I don't want to stand in the way."

    "Me neither."

    "Will you at least tell me if you plan on courting her, so I won't be vying for her attention?"

    "I promise I will," Preston assured Allan.

    blessings
    Tina Pinson

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  64. Elizabeth B, that's so funny. I had to try hard not to laugh and get looks from the other office :-p

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  65. First - I have a MASSIVE headache which explains the following brain farts [and woke up with it though the news on the van isn't helping - it's either expensive or very expensive to fix but they can't test for very expensive unless they do the first part of the fix - we've known the guy for years and trust him so... - it's a 50/50 shot whether it'll end up being very expensive or not so trying to decide whether to roll the dice or start shopping... if it was Matt's car we might put it off until after the 1st but we can't all fit in Matt's car... /sigh/]

    Anyway - God so knew I needed the humor stuff today...

    So the brain farts are that I keep forgetting this stuff...

    And that pic! Julie! <3 it!

    Favorite funny authors are Janice Thompson, Kaye Dacus, Jenny B. Jones, and I know there's more but those are my 3 go tos and my head hurts too much for more...

    So a couple other snippets... I won't paste them cuz there's too much set up to get to the pay off but I'll describe them a bit...

    Andrew, now a stay at home dad, takes 3 kids with him to the doctor's office. His watch is broken [dishwashers and watches don't mix you know] and by the time they finish their 9am appointment, he just KNOWS it has to be noon because it took FOREVER. So he looks at the clock in the van...

    Yeah. It's 1030.

    A few weeks later, he goes in to get the toddler out of her bed after naptime and... nope, gotta paste this one ;).

    "Hey, punkin." I spoke softly as I entered the room. "Did you have a good…"

    I couldn't finish the question. My stomach dropped as my eyes took in the scene. It couldn't be what I feared could it? Dark brown smears covered the crib, the walls and the little girl. She sported a big grin and my nose didn't pick up on the smell I prayed wouldn't be there.
    "What's all this?"

    Her babbling answer made no sense.
    I took tentative sniffs the closer I got, but no horrible scents emerged. In fact, something I couldn't quite place actually smelled kind of… good?

    That was when I saw them. Dozens of silver bits all over the floor, the crib sheet and even in Kalie's hair. And the little strips of paper.

    "You got the Hershey's Kisses?" I was both grateful and groaning at the same time. The mess smelled much better than I feared, but I still had to clean it up.

    "Yum!" Her little hands clapped together.

    "Kalie, those are my favorites. Did you eat them all?"

    "Yum!" More clapping.

    I groaned and left her where she was so I could run the water in the tub.

    First order of business, clean the Kisses right off. Then clean her room. Then find any extra Kisses to eat myself.

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  66. And to go along with the post and my last comment...

    Janice Thompson's Fools Rush In (Weddings by Bella, Book 1) is FREE for Kindle right now!!!!

    Love this book and the other two in the series!!! PLUS! Janice is working on a spinoff series where Bella, DJ and the gang all show up :).

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  67. This is a quote from my work-in-progress. In this book, I've been leaning toward sarcasm. But this is more a case of misunderstanding. The son (Ruger), daughter-in-law (Tallie), and mother-in-law (Nikki Jo) are discussing how Ruger has to go to another state for colon cancer surgery. The wife doesn't know much about the ins and outs of this type of surgery:

    -----------
    “Momma’s got the spare room now, and she’s changed bags before. You don’t want to do that, Tallie. You nearly passed out when I sliced my finger with our Emeril knife.”
    “You know I can change bags, I finally figured out how to change that vacuum bag two months ago.” Talia ran her fingers through her hair, fluffing it for dramatic effect. “Besides, I hardly have to take my allergy meds anymore, so I can handle the dust.”
    Nikki Jo nearly choked on her coffee. “Oh, no, honey, he’s talking about the colostomy bags. He’s right, you don’t want to see that.”
    -------

    Definitely not romantic humor, but humor nonetheless!

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  68. Julie,

    YES, my MS is a YA! It was going to be a lot different, but then my sense of humor kept sneaking in, and I couldn't help but make it humorous. Plus, those teenage years were SO dramatic, that its fun to look back and point out the comedy that can be found in those moments.

    Of course, my characters don't always love it. One scene includes a 15-year-old girl getting her hair accidentally dyed when her mischievous 13-year-old twin brothers put hair dye into her shampoo as revenge for her tattling on them. Her five-year-old sister tells her that her hair "looks like puke."

    Another scenario includes a mutt that the aforementioned twins smuggle into the home. The dog appears later at a backyard wedding, to hilarious results. The twins also name the dog "Chuck Norris," "because he's awesome."

    Gee, I wish had my MS here so I could include the actual scenes.

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  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  70. Wonderful post Julie! It's easy to see that you put a lot of thought into your posts! Can't wait for the rest!

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  71. Definitely a keeper post, Julie. I'd love to write humorously so this is much needed. I do sarcasm well, but done too often, that begins to grate on readers' nerves. Occasionally, I come up with a good metaphor or simile, but again, if overdone, it's like the writer is trying to hard.

    I guess that's the point. Humor is small doses is funny. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

    From Ginger Garrett's Desired in a scene before when she is living at a brothal, before she encounters Samson. Dagon is the god of the Philistines.

    I crossed my arms. "What do you want Dagon to do for you?"

    He became bold, now that we were alone and the curtain drawn for privacy. I had chosen well.

    "Why don't we show Dagon the blessing of life and celebrate his goodness to us?" He was moving closer to me, his fingers already fumbling at the pin on his shoulder, holding his robe in place.

    I stepped back. "Who is stupid, you or your god?"

    He stopped, jerking his chin to his neck, as if he had not comprehended my words.

    "What kind of god must be shown how to bless his followers?"

    His face, clouded with confusion, suddenly brightened. "Is this a game?" He frowned again. "Do I have to pay extra for it?"

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  72. Oops. The "she" in that scene is Delilah.

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  73. BRIDGETT!!! LOVE the idea of father-son duo "knocking heads together" ... show's a sweetness and a lightness that draws you in. VERY cute! :)

    ROFLOL, VIRGINIA!!! Your girlfriend sounds like my kind of gal ... ;)

    JAN ... thanks for skipping out of work to sneak over to Seekerville, sweetie -- that's TRUE devotion!! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  74. TINA'S CLIP: Petrified he'd find her sitting in her long underwear on the front porch, Preston took long detours home, skirting the ranch so he wouldn't find the wife the Lord had for him.

    LOL ... TOO CUTE, Tina, and LOVE the casual conversation between God and Preston ... :)

    BETSY ... you are MORE than welcome, my friend! Loved that line so much, I've used it twice in teaching blogs. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  75. GWENDOLYN!!! WONDERFUL how you took a very high-brow paragraph and inserted something as "blah blah blah" in the middle of it and made me grin. GREAT JOB!!

    ELIZABETH SAID: "Two Innuits went kayaking. It grew chilly. They built a fire. The craft sank. The moral of the story: You can't have your kayak and heat it too."

    LOL!!! You got me on that one, sweetie, and I LOVE IT!! A true chuckle birthed right here!! Thanks for your sweet comment, too, E. -- SO appreciated!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  76. Well, Julie, since you asked ... my hero is sort of a "Zorro" character and tries to right the wrongs of a corrupt sheriff, so he does a few things that aren't strictly legal. And there is a bi-racial love story as a subplot. And my heroine has a horror of getting married because she doesn't want to be like so many women she sees who seem to lose themselves when they get married, have one baby after another, and their only identity is as their husband's wife. She rants about this a couple of times. I can already see the hate mail, or hate reviews, about what a great calling it is to be a wife and mother. (I'm not saying it isn't.) And someone dies at the end--not the hero or heroine, but another character that some people might not want to see die.

    So, yeah, it's not your run-of-the-mill non-controversial story. But it's funny! I guess it needs to be funny with all that controversial stuff in it.

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  77. Hey, TINA, I assume Preston gets the girl, I hope??? Cute story. :)

    CAROL ... sorry about the headache AND the van ... am saying one for both! And You had me on the Hershey kisses, girl ... :) And thanks for the heads-up on Janice's book -- AWESOME!!

    HEATHER ... NICE touch with the mention of Emeril knife (more humorous than a plain, old knife and the fluffing of the hair -- shows a casual distraction that adds to the humor). VERY cute!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  78. STEPH ... just post your excerpts when you get home tonight or tomorrow because I'd like to see them. Besides, I always keep the contest running till Friday at 5:00 PM, okay? :)

    Thanks, LOREE ... appreciate you dropping by to leave a comment. Good luck in the contest! :)

    JAMIE, the chicken lines??? VERY CUTE!! Made me smile, so good job!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  79. Thanks, EVA MARIA, I really appreciate your comment because I do put a lot of thought into my posts -- part of my anal CDQ personality, I suppose ... and the fact that I have MSD ... Martha Stewart Disease!! :)

    PATRICIA SAID: "Occasionally, I come up with a good metaphor or simile, but again, if overdone, it's like the writer is trying to hard."

    OH, Patricia, you are SO right about that -- GREAT point!! And I have been wanting to read Ginger's Desired, so now I'm even more anxious too!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  80. My humor is pretty situational, it would take too much set-up I think to make it worthwhile to post something of my own. But I agree that little chuckles in any book are a definite yes-yes!

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  81. Thanks for this giggle today, Julie! Helps to relieve the pre-holiday stress!

    Love a little humour in books!

    Cheers,
    Sue

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  82. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  83. I'm not a terribly funny person, but I think I do ok on the comic relief part when needed. Here's my sample - keep in mind "Finding Beth" is a pretty gut-wrenching novel for the most part:

    Would Adam call today? Beth’s tummy flipped. Guilt had sent her into a fitful sleep last night. What if he did call?

    Maybe she should avoid him. After all, she was still engaged to Kyle. Of course, Adam was just a friend. And barely that. Still, Kyle would be livid if he found out another guy dared to befriend her.

    Her heart pounded a little harder.

    But, I don’t want to avoid Adam.
    She groaned, burying her face in the pillow. I came to get away from Kyle. I need to chill. It’s not like he’s going to walk through the door any moment.

    Her head swam until the sun began to filter through the trees, lighting her bedroom in a feathery glow. Exhausted but too restless to sleep in, she hauled herself out of bed and prepared for a day of shopping. It was definitely time to get out.

    Stepping from the candy store a few hours later, a smile tugged at her lips. This is just what I needed. She loved the Candy Kitchen. Their fudge is melt-in-your-mouth-heaven. And watching the taffy-pulling was so much fun. She toted two pounds of each. A gift for Tiffany and her boys. She could already see Jacob and Daniel’s face-splitting grins and heart melted.

    And Adam was right about Pigeon River Pottery. They had the most beautiful color schemes and designs on pottery she’d ever seen. After she found the perfect cream and sugar bowls for her mom, she picked out matching bowls, plates, a platter, and coffee mugs to put in her hope chest.

    Her heart pinched. Stepping into The Old Mill restaurant, she ignored the pain and focused on following the hostess to a window seat. Just outside ran Little Pigeon River with a wide, low waterfall downstream that turned the mill.

    Pulling her gaze from the window, she opened the menu. Her phone trilled and she snatched her purse to retrieve it. She smiled wide, her heart doing a little dance, when she saw the caller ID.
    Adam.

    "Hey, stranger! What's up?" She couldn’t restrain the lilt in her voice.

    "Hey, yourself. Just calling to see how things are going.” He sounded more rested and cheery today.

    "Good. I just finished shopping and am at the Old Mill Restaurant. Have to try those corn fritters."

    "You're at the restaurant? Where did they seat you?"

    "I think I'm on the highest platform in the back… next to the windows overlooking the river."

    "Nice view, isn't it? That's my favorite spot."

    "It's beautiful. Thanks for the recommendation."

    "You're welcome. Have you decided what to eat?"

    "No. Everything looks so good. I'm debating between the Southern Fried Catfish, and the Old Mill Chicken and Dumplings. They both remind me of trips to my grandparents in southeast Missouri. What do you think? Have any suggestions?"

    "All of their food is tasty. Just go with whatever you're hungriest for."

    Beth giggled. "You've tried it all, have you?" She should not be this giddy over a man who was not her fiancé, but she couldn’t seem to help herself.

    "You could say that." He chuckled. "By the way, what do you think of the deer head hanging on the wall by the entryway?"

    Beth looked up and gasped. Heat crept into her cheeks and she giggled. "Nice antlers, but it’s the hunter that looks a little too real. In fact, he looks a lot like you."

    His grin spread from ear to ear as he crossed the room in a few easy strides.

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  84. I hope I'm not the only one who gets to this point in their revisions and can't tell if something is funny or tragic or romantic any longer...

    But when I wrote this bit, I meant for it to be humorous :) Bram has just pulled a 4-year-old girl out from under the feet of a team of Belgian draft horses:


    The rattle of harness told him the horses were moving. Her eyes widened even more as she tried to pull out of his grasp, sucking in a deep breath. Before she could let loose with another scream that might panic the horses further, Bram did the only thing he could think of to prevent it. He clapped his hand over the girl’s mouth.

    “What are you doing?”

    The fury in the young woman’s voice registered at the same time as the pain in his hand as the little girl sunk her teeth into him. He bit back a curse and released the girl.

    With a flurry of skirts a slim Amish woman descended on them from nowhere and snatched the girl up in her arms. Holding the sobbing child close, she fixed her blue eyes on Bram, flashing a warning as he scrambled to his feet.

    Man, oh man, he was face to face with a wildcat.

    A wildcat who had no business being angry with him.

    His answer barked out before he thought. “I was just saving that girl from being trampled by these horses, that’s all. What did you think I was doing?”

    Was that a smile that twitched at the corners of her mouth?

    “Those horses?”

    Bram turned to look at the draft horses, and noticed for the first time that they were tied to a hitching rail. The near horse flicked a lazy ear at a fly, a movement that did nothing to quell his rising irritation.

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  85. Ooooo, MEL ... you had me at "Zorro"!! Sounds good and not all that confrontational, but I hear you on the 1-star reveiews!! ;)

    MELISSA ... you seem like you would have a dry sense of humor that would work well in a story, so if an example comes to you, have at it!

    SUE!!! I JUST got your beautiful Christmas card, and it brought tears to my eyes -- THANK YOU soooo much for thinking of me this time of year and taking the time (which there isn't a lot of in December) to bring a smile to my face. You are precious, and I treasure your friendship!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  86. LINNETTE!!! Nice touch with the surprise deer head, my friend ... definitely brings a lightness to an already nice scene. :) Thanks for sharing!

    JAN ... Definite humorous undertones nicely complemented by things like the lazy flick of the horse's ear and close to a "zinger" ending with the horses being hitched. :) Thanks for the great clip!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  87. Okay - here's a couple others from my newer WIP, Finidng Mr. Write...

    [CANDID is an ACFW type group... And he looks like King Caspian/Ben Barnes in Voyage of the Dawn Treader... First one in is his POV... He's a writer...]

    Her eyes were the color of the clearest Caribbean sea. They reminded him of the time he'd taken his son and daughter to the Caymans for Christmas. The one year their mother had let him do such a thing. Mostly because she'd been taken with some new boyfriend. It was the last vacation he'd taken with his kids. One of the last times he'd seen them before...

    But now, the bottomless depths of her eyes were beckoning to him. A man could drown in those eyes.

    If only she weren't pointing a gun at his head.


    I banged the back of my head against the couch. This wasn't working. The heroine's eyes weren't blue, for starters. They were a dull gray. Where had the whole "clearest Caribbean sea" come from?
    My eyes closed as I tried to figure it out.

    And it hit me.

    The girl from the CANDID meeting.

    What was her name? I couldn't remember. All I knew for sure about her was that she was gorgeous and had... I groaned as the thought ran through my head. Eyes the color of the clearest Caribbean sea. Eyes a man could drown in.

    And later, the rest are in her POV...

    "He's hot," she whispered.

    It took everything in me not to sigh dreamily. "If you like the Narnian look, sure."

    "Hmmm. King Caspian? Definitely." There was an "oo he is yummy" tone to her voice that made me want to scratch her eyes out and volunteer her for a Mars landing mission. With the Russians.
    {...}
    He laughed. A smooth laugh that I'd describe like a good brandy. Except I had no idea what that tasted like. Or if it was smooth. And saying "his laugh was as smooth as a baby's tush" just didn't work. Not even in my mind.

    And you really don't need set up for this part... except to know they're not military...

    "Did you really pack night vision goggles?"

    We were going to get arrested. Within two days of being at our first major national conference for writers, we'd be cooling our heels in a jail cell, hoping no one was using our escapades for story fodder.

    It was my last day of freedom before arrest warrants and restraining orders set in. One of the two.

    My money was on restraining orders.

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  88. This is funny!!! I don't have too many of those kind of moments unfortunately.

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

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  89. What a fun post, Julie! I just finished reading Surrender the Heart and remember that first line as a stand-out. (Not to mention it was a stand-out book overall.)

    Hmm, humorous lines? The opening line of one of my novels is, "There comes a time in every modern woman's life when her heel breaks and her backside meets concrete." I'm totally attached to it, but I'm in the midst of rewrites and am having trouble fitting it in to the new opening. Ack! I will find a way, I will find a way... :)

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  90. FAVORITE LINE OF CAROL'S CLIP: But now, the bottomless depths of her eyes were beckoning to him. A man could drown in those eyes.

    If only she weren't pointing a gun at his head.

    LOL!! How's the headache? And the van?

    MARISSA ... thanks, sweetie, and maybe you don't "have too many of those kinds of moments" because you haven't been aware of them, but they're there and with a little focus, they can find their way onto the paper ... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  91. Headache is much better. Thank you.

    Van is the same. Going car shopping tonight. Not a definite, but pretty sure I already know what we're driving home in. If the financing goes through. Which I hate. We haven't had new debt in nearly a decade [except the house] but though we don't go further into debt, we never seem to get very far ahead either. So looks like it'll be a decent down payment and paid off as fast as we can...

    And we'll have a car that's younger than my oldest child.

    The other car? It's nearly old enough to drink and has enough miles on it to nearly reach the moon...

    So glad I could make you laugh, sweetie!!!!

    Yep. I'm vying for that Seekerville slot ;). Cuz then I cross two things off my bucket list - ride in a tow truck [yesterday] and get to contribute even a teensy bit to a Seekerville post ;).

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  92. Carol, your last contribution is making wonder what really did happen in St. Louis last September...

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  93. I LOVE THE O'CONNORS...and JULIE Lessman!!!
    Another WONDERFUL POST by none other than one my FAVORITE writers! (BIG SMILE)
    Loved it, Jules! Keep up the good work

    Merry Christmas All!

    Ganise

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  94. How fun, Julie!! And more to come. I look forward to it!

    You know, I think I lean toward a play on words. And self deprecation. I look forward to seeing where you put my example! I think it's probably the self-deprecation. :)

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  95. I love when I'm reading along and the author surprises me with an unexpected smile or chuckle. Thanks for the great examples, Julie. I've got to get busy on my TBR pile! Some of those gems are sitting on the nightstand right next to my head as I sleep! I guess osmosis isn't working, haha...

    LyndeeH

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  96. As I've stated before that Five horsemen of the Apocalypse line of Mary Connealy's is one of my all time favs. One of my other favorite opening scenes is that of Cathy Marie Hake's Letter Perfect. I was laughing so much within the first page:
    "Exactly how much damage can one tiny fish bone do? Ruth Caldwell wondered if she simply ought to swallow the wretched little thing. Knowing my luck it'll get stuck and I'll choke to death.
    Just as she decided to lift her napkin and discreetly get rid of the pickery little nuisance, Miss Pettigrew looked at her. Ruth's blood ran cold and she plastered a smile on her closed lips
    Well at least my mouth is shut.
    The headmistress of Pettigrew Academy graced Ruth with a chilly nod. After her afternoon debacle, Ruth didn't expect any better. A mere slip of the tongue and she'd managed to introduce the new pastor to the Garden Society as “Reverend Mark Clumsy” instead of “Reverend Clark Mumsy.” In so doing she'd embarrassed herself and reflected poorly on the Acadamy.
    Oh, how can I get rid of this bone?
    She lifted her napkin. The silver candlesticks teetered precariously, then fell onto Miss Pettigrew's prized snowy Irish linen tablecloth. It wasn't until her plate began to tip and girls started squealing that Ruth realized she hadn't grabbed her napkin-she'd been pulling on the tablecloth!"

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  97. Traveling to her home, Rachel noted the lieutenant swatting at numerous flies buzzing about his face.

    "You do have a problem with circle flies," Rachel offered sympathically.

    "I never heard of circle flies."

    'Simon, my driver is an expert. Do tell Lieutenant Washburn what circle flies are."

    Simon bent his head with earnest and humble admission. "Circle flies are common on farms. They are always found circling the horse's rear."

    After a full minute, Lieutenant Washburn barked at her. "Is your boy calling me a horse's rear?"

    "Oh no," she chided the lieutenant sweetly. "Simon has complete respect for all Confederate officers. He would never think of calling one a horse's rear."

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  98. My husband has been very sick for a year and a half, and my friend asked me how I can still laugh. I told her if I wasn't able to laugh I would bawl all day. Laughter is very important to maintaining sanity in this crazy world, and I seek out books and programs on tv to help relieve some of the stress I face daily.

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  99. My husband has been very sick for a year and a half, and my friend asked me how I can still laugh. I told her if I wasn't able to laugh I would bawl all day. Laughter is very important to maintaining sanity in this crazy world, and I seek out books and programs on tv to help relieve some of the stress I face daily.

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  100. Carol, Protestant Christians only? Was that the funny part? I almost spit coffee all over my keyboard!

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  101. Oops, forgot my name and email in case I win. Sherri sherri5@ pa dot net

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  102. OUPS!

    Forgot the e-mail address, should I win:
    ganise_4life@hotmail.com

    And one last thing :

    POOR MITCH! GRIN... He's one LUCKY man with a wife like Charity!

    Blessings,

    Ganise

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  103. I so enjoyed this posting Julie. I love humor, anytime, any kind, anywhere! That's the first thing that attracted me to my husband.

    When a book can make me laugh and/or cry I know it's a winner. I would love to be able to learn how to let my natural humor flow. It always seems when I try to write humor it feels forced. Definitely need to work on that.

    Would love to be entered into your contest.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  104. Oh...and Julie....I love your outfit but you might want to powder your nose a little...it appears to be a little red... :)

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  105. What a great post! Thanks Julie!!

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  106. You're 61? That I wouldn't have guessed.

    I agree that Mary is a comic genius. There are some amazing lines in her work.

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  107. One of these days I’m going to win A Heart Revealed. Muahahaha!

    Anyway, you all write such unique humor. I love it!

    Hmm… I don’t think I have any laugh-out-loud moments in my story… maybe a few half-grin ones, depending on your sense of humor.

    This is when my heroine is trying to get her way and be allowed to go back to the gold fields with her husband.

    They had had some whoppers of fights in their years of wedded bliss, none of which stretched the boundary to a breaking point. No, more like disagreements that stretched Daniel’s patience and flared Isabelle’s stubbornness. But Isabelle was always the one to make up first. Well, she possessed the secret weapon that beguiled Daniel to bend to her way of thinking most of the time.
    Charm.
    She took a step, her alluring grin working its magic as she felt his shoulders weaken when her arms wrapped around his neck to adjust his crooked collar.
    He exhaled noisily in defeat and encased his arms around Isabelle’s broadening middle to clasp behind her back. For Isabelle, it was a desired captivity. He buried his face in her neck, the tickling sensation burning up her spine with his familiar touch. “Isabelle Garrison, if I was any kind of a rational man, I’d put my foot down, here and now.”
    “But you’re not a rational man,” she teased, pulling back, and straightening the precarious angle of her straw hat.
    “No,” he said, the gravelly tone in his voice catching her attention, “I’m a man very much in love.”
    Isabelle smiled.
    It was settled.


    Julie, the red nose is a good look for you!
    Whitney

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  108. SARAH!!! Do NOT give up that line -- it's priceless!!

    "There comes a time in every modern woman's life when her heel breaks and her backside meets concrete."

    Find a way, girl, like I did with my favorite first line from A Hope Undaunted -- you can do it!! And MaryLu Tyndall is not only one of my favorite writers in the CBA, but one of my favorite people and friends -- LOVE her AND her work -- to pieces!!


    CAROL ... "ride in a tow truck" was on your bucket list??? Geez Louise, girl, you need to get out more!! And LOL at "The other car? It's nearly old enough to drink ..." You are something else, kiddo, you know that??? :)


    GANISE!!! Look at me -- I'm smiling BIG and you didn't even make a joke!! I just LOVE you that much, kiddo, and seeing your name, all caps and exclamation points just tickles me to no end. Thanks for coming by, you sweet thing! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  109. Hey, MISSY, hate to tell you, but your clip is not in self deprecation OR play on words, but you will just have to wait to find out, now won't you??? Na-na-na-na-na-na!! :)

    LYNDEE ... YES!!! Let's whittle that TBR list down, girlfriend! You need to do what I do -- read in the restroom and carry a book with you at ALL times. I've even been known to read at stoplights ... :)

    ABBI ... that is a GREAT opening to Cathy Hake's book!! I actually read Letter Perfect, but I forgot about that. :| And I agree -- Mary's 1st line from Calico Canyon is one of the best I've ever read. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  110. ELIZABETH B -- LOVE it!!! Anytime you can manage to get a "horse's rear" in your copy, DO IT!! It's a guaranteed laugh and one, in fact, that I use in The Cousin's McClare. :) But I'm not stealing your rendition, I promise!

    SOCCERKIDSMOM ... I am SO very sorry that your hubby is sick and am saying one for him RIGHT NOW. And you said, "Laughter is very important to maintaining sanity in this crazy world, and I seek out books and programs on tv to help relieve some of the stress I face daily."

    AMEN TO THAT, my friend!! Good for you that you are keeping your chin up and your lips curved and God bless you!

    VIRGINIA ... I'm sure you're not the first one to spit on the keyboard today, sweetie -- I've misted it a couple of times myself today. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  111. GANISE ... actually it takes Mitch until A Heart Revealed to realize just HOW lucky he is to be married to Charity O'Connor. She's a pistol, but she sure is a keeper. :)

    Hey, CINDY, what a lucky gal you are to be married to a funny guy!! I LOVE funny people, as does everybody on the planet because they just make the world a better place, you know? And trying reading more Mary Connealy, Janice Thompson and Jenny B. Jones to see how they incorporate humor in their work, okay?

    And thanks for your comment on my outfit, but I DID powder my nose, you little brat. I just have a realllly bad cold! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  112. Thanks, DONNA -- it was fun to do, I have to admit! :)

    WALT SAID: "You're 61? That I wouldn't have guessed."

    WHAT WALT DIDN'T SAY: I thought you were older ...

    And Mary is definitely our comic genius around here ... and plotter ... and speedwriter ... and resident shy person ...

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  113. I'm jumping, I'm bouncing, JULIE GAVE EXCERPTS TO COMING BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!! Love them Julie! LOVE. THEM!!!!

    Just the right pick me up after a looooong day of pulling words like nails from teeth.

    I have NO idea if that was funny and I don't write funny well, so this is great for me. I know I'm late, but glad I made--if nothing else than a recap of that AWESOME picture. Should be your new author photo. ;-)

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  114. WHITNEY ... "half grins" are VERY good, my friend, so go for them!! And I LOVE the scene between Isabelle and her hubby -- it's my kind of scene (and Charity's!!) with just a wee bit of feminine wiles going on ... :)

    And thanks, Whit, about the nose ... but no thanks! Although a nose like that WOULD divert attention from my wrinkles ... :)


    CASE!!! What a burst of energy and blessing you are to this old gal at this late hour of the night!! Oh to be your age again ...

    And what do you mean you don't write funny well??? You made me laugh out loud with the following line, and I'm not even sure what it means, so that's true talent ... or I'm slap-happy, one of the two. :)

    "Just the right pick me up after a looooong day of pulling words like nails from teeth."

    Thanks for coming by, my friend, AND for getting excited about Steven's story! I think you may just like it... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  115. Oh, I am so late. The food's gone, the napkins are used, and there's not a spot of liquid refreshment anywhere.

    Sigh....

    But I loved, loved, loved what Julie did here, so that's a wonderful way to end my day!

    I love humor. I have long believed that Christian fiction was in dire need of humor.

    Laughter is the best medicine. It says so in Reader's Digest.

    Julie, awesome job! As always... ;)

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  116. By the way, Julie, I LOVE the photo!!! So, so cute! :)

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  117. Okay, Jules. Then maybe my excerpt is in scene set up. Or...drum roll KIDS! Yep, I bet that's it. Since there my heroine has four kids! LOL

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  118. Well, instead of one car nearly old enough to drink with almost enough miles on it to get to the moon and the other car older than my oldest child...

    We now have a car that is younger than three of my kids and still in the 5 digit mileage ;).

    LOVE IT!!!!!!

    06 Toyota Sienna with about 94K on it [keep in mind... the one that's sitting in the shop has 192K...] PLUS the 100K maintnence has already been done :D.

    Will have to work some of this into an MS someday...

    Meeting half the Seekers has been crossed off my bucket list... Now to finish the other half ;).

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  119. Oh my goodness, Julie! Who would've ever thought learning humor could be so fun! LOL!

    Loved all the examples and revisiting so many character friends. It's funny how you can read lines from books over and over again and always snicker in the right place : )

    Okay, I loved the first four and now I have to WAIT for more? Well, hmmm. After looking at the length of this post, I guess breaking up the laugh lines might be a good thing.

    Great topic. I can always use a good laugh.

    BTW, love your red nose : )

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  120. RUTHY!!! Missed you today, girlfriend, especially since I took your name in vain several times throughout the course of the day!! You have NO idea how I wished I had some Ruthy snark to add to the excerpts here, my friend, so do me a favor and SEND ME SOME CLIPS, okay?? I will post part 2 of this Humor series in March, so you have PLENTY of time, okay??

    MISSY ... thanks, sweetie. It's actually the photo Keith took last year of my for my "Sometimes Less is More" Seeker blog, and I just had him plop a clown nose on it. He was SO grateful he didn't have to tromp outside in the woods this time to take pix of me posing ...:)

    I will tell you it's one of the two categories you mentioned, but you will just have to wait to see which one. And, Missy, if you want to send me additional clips, feel free -- part 2 is not posting till March!! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  121. YAY, CAROL -- SUPER CONGRATS, GIRL on the new wheels!! I hear you on the 94,000 miles -- to me, that's a new car! :)


    AUDRA!!! Thanks, sweetie -- the nose is kinda cute, isn't it?? And very festive, given the season.

    Hey, girlfriend, I am not posting part 2 of this humor series until March, so if you happen across any funnies in your own work between now and then, send them my way, okay???

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  122. Got me pegged, Julie. I'm dry, very dry.

    BTW, when I read:

    His lips were white, his eyes red and a vein in his temple throbbed a dangerous blue. Not a good color combination.

    I thought, it might not be a good color combo, but it's definitely patriotic. :)

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  123. This is a fantastic blog Julie. You convinced me to put humor in my work to relieve tension. This article is worth printing!

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  124. I'm so in for the giveaway. I bought the last three books. I'm ready to win another!

    My wip doesn't have much humor yet. It might never have a lot, since it's the story of a widow and widower falling in love - this is pretty sad stuff. Which really only means it needs some humor to break up the melancholy. Right? Right.

    Oooh! I thought of one...please remember, this is the rough, rough draft. And it's 2:30 am. And it's only a little humor, almost more irony.

    *****
    “June we drummed up some business while we were in town!” Denny hollered his way through the house.

    He heard June scold her way to the entryway from somewhere in the house, and he grinned. He could make a little racket, and June would always come screeching through the house, louder than he ever thought of being. It never failed, and he was glad for it today.

    It felt normal when nothing else did.
    *****

    Not a lot of humor, but he gets a kick out of setting her off. It's funny to him, and it makes a tilted world seem normal to him for just a while.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

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  125. MELISSA, I KNEW IT!!! Dry as dust, sweetie pie, and I for one WANT some of that dust because I think you would be VERY good at it. So next time you sit down to write a scene ... go for it!!

    JANET ... YAY, glad I was convincing enough to lure you to the dark side, girl! You won't regret it, I promise you ... and you'll smile all the way. By the way, thanks for your sweet comment!

    ANDREA!!! Wonderful, WONDERFUL example, my friend, truly!! And, YES the humor here makes the last line ALL THE MORE POIGNANT!!

    "It felt normal when nothing else did."

    It's the subtle one-two punch that REALLY drives the point home, and I hope you can see just HOW much better it is with a hint of humor rather than if he was just seriously complaining or stating it. EXCELLENT last line, by the way, reallllllly EXCELLENT!!

    And if anybody deserves a win, my friend, it's you, having bought the first three books!! Good luck!! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  126. I love humor and romance mixed. I see you refer to Lessman I love her books maybe that is why.

    Ohters I enjoy are Sandra D. Bricker and Robin Lee Hatcher has some fun ones, Mary Lu Tyndall oh, and so many more.

    Thanks for the wonderful post.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  127. That has to be the best (and funniest) post I have read on humour - and writing for that matter. Thanks Julie. Now I really can't wait till my book I ordered of yours arrives.
    I would have to say that there are a couple of authors who had me laughing out loud. Jenny b Jones - Just Between You and Me. And the entire Men in the Saddle series of Lori Copeland. My absolute favourites!
    Thanks Julie.
    jodi(dot)janz(at)gmail(dot)com

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  128. ABI!!! Always love to see your sweet face, my friend, so thanks for coming by! And OH MY, I absolutely LOVE MaryLu Tyndall, so I'm with you there!! Here's hoping this blog will put a smile on your face with a win as well -- GOOD LUCK!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  129. Oh, JODI, you are SUCH a sweetheart -- thank you SO much for your very kind comment AND for buying my book!! Keep in mind that my books get funnier as they go along because Charity is really the hoot in the family, followed by Katie. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, my friend, and if you do, let me know, okay? If not ... uh, never mind. :|

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  130. What a great post! I loved it. It was so much fun. I can't wait until you post the next points. Thank you so much.
    Glenda Parker
    http:glendaparkerfictionwriter.blogspot.com

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  131. Thanks SO much, GLENDA, for your kind words! I just figured December was the perfect month for a little fun and humor, right?

    Thanks for coming by and GOOD LUCK in the contest!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  132. Hi Julie!

    Here's some of my humorous stuff, as previously promised. This is scene with some similes and facial expression. It is right after my heroine has discovered her father and stepmom are expecting sextuplets

    ~~

    Her father and stepmother’s faces appeared shocked at her behavior. Then shock turned to deep, red embarrassment on Julianne’s part, and deep, red anger on Ben’s. Other diners began whispering and pretending to avert their eyes while secretly praying the tableau would involve more yelling and enough information for them to gossip about it to their friends.

    Ben noticed and clenched his jaw in a stubborn line.

    “Brett Elizabeth Tomlinson!” he hissed through teeth as tight as a four-year-old at the dentist. “Sit down! Now!”

    And she did. Because Brett was an obedient child, and really, causing a scene wasn’t her style. Already, she regretted her outburst. And hoped there was no one in the restaurant that she knew from school.

    Julianne’s hands, perfectly manicured and delicate, like the former beauty pageant contestant she was, fluttered like a cheerleader on spirit finger steroids. They mainly fluttered around her midsection, draped in a loose emerald green sheath, most likely covering up her perfect washboard abs already destroyed by two months of pregnancy. Brett should have known they were expecting multiples just from that alone. Julianne never wore anything loose, no matter how in style it was. It would ruin her perfect lines, she would say.

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  133. And here's the scene where my 15-year-old character's hair is dyed in a cruel practical jokes by her 13-year-old twin brothers.

    ~~

    Brett’s eyes went wide. “What do you mean? What did you do to her hair?”

    “Nothing.”

    “Doesn’t sound like nothing.”

    “Fine.” The twin blew out his breath in a big burst of air. “We put some food coloring in her conditioner. It looks like barf now.” He giggled.

    Brett was aghast. “What? Why would you do that?”

    Tigue shrugged. “Why not?” He acted as though there was no reasonable reason why he and his brother shouldn’t put dye into someone’s personal hygiene products.

    Brett was so stunned by his admission that he was able to maneuver out of her grasp and ran off after Pierce. No wonder Ciara was upset!

    She tiptoed up the stairs, glad she was now prepared with what to expect. Although Brett had to wonder what color they’d chosen from the four-color lineup.

    All of them, it seemed. As Brett rounded the doorframe into Ciara’s bedroom, she caught sight of her friend wailing into her mother’s arms, little Moira gently patting her sister’s back as only a five-year-old can.

    But the tragedy of Ciara’s hair! Her once beautiful red-gold curls streamed down her back, their coppery luster now dulled to a hue that could be politely called multi-colored puce, highlighted with intriguing shades vermillion and chartreuse.

    Or, as Tigue so eloquently put it, barf.

    “Ciara!”

    She turned at the sound of her name, her freckled face tear-stained. “Brett!”

    Brett came into the bedroom and sat on Ciara’s other side. “Teague told me what happened. I am so, so sorry.”

    “It looks awful! I’m a freak!” Ciara let loose a fresh wave of tears. “What am I going to do?”

    “Shh, honey, it’s not that bad,” Maeve attempted to soothe her daughter. It must be admitted that Maeve Malone had only lied a handful of times in her life, and unfortunately, this was one of those times.

    “It is, Mum, it is!” Ciara tore herself from the bed and stood in front of her dresser mirror. “It’s—it’s—I don’t even know what color this is.”

    “Pierce said it was the color of tiger poop,” Moira volunteered helpfully.

    Ciara’s face crumpled.

    They discuss for a while what Ciara can do to get rid of the dye job ,including cutting it or bleaching and dying the hair)

    “I wouldn’t,” Brett put in. “It would be fried and crispy from the bleach. You’d hate it.”


    Ciara began to cry again.

    “I think it’s kind of the color of the stuff Daddy pulled out of the bathtub that one time when it wouldn’t drain,” Moira said.

    Ciara let out a fresh wail while Maeve marched her youngest child out of the bedroom.

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  134. Good points in this post about humor, thanks Julie
    I think the characters in books have to have some humorous times, just in real life as we do. No one is serious all the time.
    I would love to be entered to win one of your books.
    Thanks for sharing
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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  135. STEPH!!! GREAT examples of humor, both!!

    I especially love the lines:

    "hissed through teeth as tight as a four-year-old at the dentist."

    "Pierce said it was the color of tiger poop,” Moira volunteered helpfully."

    Moira is a HOOT, and the whole dye scene is my favorite -- VERY funny!!

    Thanks for sharing, sweetie. Looks to me like you have the humor thing down pretty darn good. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  136. PAULA SAID: "No one is serious all the time."

    And it's a darn good thing, right??? Talk about BORING if we couldn't snicker or chuckle every now and then.

    Thanks for coming by, Paula, and GOOD LUCK in the contest, girl! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  137. What a fun post, Julie. The examples you used were great- it had me chuckling real good;-) I would love to be entered into the giveaway!

    P.S. Stephanie, your excerpt about the hair dye scene was hilarious!:-)

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  138. AIZESS ... SO glad I could give you a chuckle or two! And I totally agree -- Steph's hair dye scene was GREAT!

    Thank you for coming by and I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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