This past weekend, I was lucky enough to spend some time with my friend, Alice Bradley, co-author of the brand-spanking new book Let's Panic About Babies. Alice is also the author of the wildly popular blog Finslippy, and we'd met several years ago at a blogging conference. She's a hilarious writer with great wit, and a sweet friend.
While we were together, we got into a somewhat serious discussion about writing, and humor writing specifically. Alice is of the opinion that humor writing can be taught; moreover, she gave me some insight into how she writes. "It's all about perspective," she mused. "I write humor because I have to: I couldn't imagine doing anything else. And I find that as I go through my day, every day, I'm constantly looking for the joke. I'm always looking for how an event can be perceived as funny."
At first, I was skeptical: I mean, I don't know that I'm a particularly funny person; moreover, while I love to write, I think it would really quite challenging for me to be a humor writer. Still, in a certain way, what she was saying makes sense; in fact, it reminded me of how I shoot. At any given time, whether or not I have my camera on me, I'm constantly framing shots: looking at how the light is falling, what shadows there are, and what around me would make the most photogenic subject. Perhaps there's something that humor writing and photography actually share -- perspective -- that is key to doing either of them successfully. Even more, perhaps the skill of seeing life from different perspectives is actually something that can be honed or practiced.
Maybe the skill of approaching life with a lighter outlook can actually be learned.
We spoke quite a bit over the weekend, and Alice was kind enough to let me record some of our conversation to share with you. Here's what she had to say:
Isn't she awesome?
Anyway, the upshot is that Alice has given me a lot of food for thought, and I think I'm going to really try, over the coming month, to approach my life with more open eyes; identifying the ways in which my stresses might actually be funny. It can't hurt right?
And while I'm doing this, I'm also going to do a little more to make sure there's more humor in my life: watch a few more comedies on television (my steady diet of Law & Order episodes could probably do with a bit of a change), and search for some more talented humor writers on the web. I have a few favorites -- The Bloggess, Hyperbole & a Half, Fluid Pudding and of course, Alice's blog, Finslippy, rank near the top -- but I could always go for a few more.
In fact, if you have any favorites, please share them in the comments below. Share the laughter love.
And as always, may your coming month be filled with humor.
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Own Your Beauty is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one's self and influence the lives of those around us - our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty.
Karen Walrond is a writer and photographer in Houston, Texas, and the author of the book, The Beauty of Different, available at Bright Sky Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can read/see more of her life at Chookooloonks.
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