If fear is the mind killer then procrastination is the product of fear. This mind, this heart, this soul has a Fear of Writing. Yes, I have finally self diagnosed myself after all these wasted years and have discovered that I have…GASP!…I must say it outloud… again… I HAVE A FEAR OF WRITING! I am afraid of doing what I most love, of engulfing myself in characters, and plots, and lovely word choice dilemmas, a fear of frolicking in the pleasure zone of imaginary worlds.
Why? Why? Why?
The conclusion to my intensive self analysis is I don’t feel worthy enough to do what I love. I feel guilty about doing what I love. Ergo, I procrastinate to punish myself. Twisted, right?
Skipping right over the worthy part.
Not going there in a blog post.
Let’s talk about that ugly P word. Procrastination. It plauges many writers. And we all have our tricks. Here’s my best one, it’s very clever and consistent, and offers a hollow reward. Drum roll please…it’s … it’s…
Ha! Tune in next time for the revelation.
This is called a cliff hanger in case you didn’t realize it.
They are really anoying but can be effective.
November 5, 2012 No Comments
My Middle Name
My name is Sharon G. Broyer. In case you don’t figure it out from what I’m about to tell you, the middle initial really stands for “Gullible.” I’m the kind of person who just doesn’t expect people to snow me, which makes it all the easier for them to do it, over and over again…
There was the time my sister-in-law visited us while my husband happened to be sleeping on the couch, sans shoes. “Don’t sit there,” I whispered as she was about to sit in the open spot next to his feet. “His feet really stink.” That night, as I rested my head on my pillow, I noticed an odd odor. Hubby started to chuckle. I had no clue he’d overheard me, and to get his revenge he’d stuffed my pillowcase with his dirty socks. (Two points hubby; Shari-zero, like her I.Q.)
And then there was the trip to Niagara Falls and its attractions, one of which was a wax museum. Outside the entrance was a life-size figure of Frankenstein. Feeling playful, I reached up to stroke his cheek, and said, “Hello there, handsome!” When he stiffly raised his hands and replied, “Hello beautiful, how ‘bout a hug?”I screamed and bolted down the sidewalk. (The bystander with camera gets all the credits, probably on America’s Funniest.)
Once I was called to assist a street fair magician because I looked “like the adventuresome type” (looked like a sucker was more like it). He’d been manipulating scarves and producing flowers, birds, etc. He held a long one up and said, “Don’t get the wrong idea, but I need to stuff this down the front of your shirt. Are you game?” Clueless me, I said, “Yes.” “Now, I want you to put your forehead on mine and look into my eyes while I tell you a joke, and when I’m done, you pull one end of this scarf and I’ll pull the other on the count of three, okay?” “Okay.” The joke was told, the count was given, and the scarf was pulled. The audience roared as a bra popped out, and I reeled in embarrassed astonishment. (Turned out it wasn’t my bra, just one about my size—small—like my brain.)
And the time the scarecrow sitting in a chair outside the home my little grandson and I approached while trick-or-treating got up and opened the door for us, and I screamed bloody murder making my grandson and the guy in the costume laugh (you’d a thunk I’d gotten wise after ole Frankie, but no-o, not this naïve nitwit).
A last example: A musician friend of mine gave a concert and I attended. I felt comfortable enough with him to heckle him playfully from the audience. After zinging him mildly a few times, he decided enough was enough. “Shari,” he said, “did you know ‘gullible’ isn’t in the dictionary?” “It isn’t?” came the automatic response. ZING! ZING!
So now you know why my middle name really isn’t Gayle.
Shari Broyer has been writing since childhood. Her earliest award: a 1st place trophy for Creative Writing at 8th grade graduation. Formerly: Editor in Chief of KSU Ashtabula’s Kaleidoscope; Facilitator, writers group, Barnes and Noble, High Point, NC; host of Writer’s Digest World’s Largest Writing Workshop; published in various literary anthologies; top 100 winner, Writer’s Digest 2000 competition–Inspirational category, etc. Currently, she facilitates Writers Roundtable at Changing Hands Bookstore in Mesa, AZ. Her goal: #1 New York Times best-selling author. Her first novel, Ether Man, a paranormal romantic comedy, is in simultaneous submission to several agents. Check her out at: http://www.fanstory.com/shariannegaylee
March 10, 2011 6 Comments
It’s official. My writing has been deemed funny.
I’ve been acknowledge as hilarious by someone other than my mom and dad.
I’ve been RECOGNIZED as an author of humorous words on Google’s # 1 ranked site for humor writers http://www.humorwriters.org – a site which happens to be dedicated to my top female humor hero, Erma Bombeck.
It’s a glorious month for this humor writer. Every morning, I do a little celebration dance and sing myself a little cheer (with pom-poms) that goes like this, “Go Terri, Go Terri, Go Terri . . . .”
Enough about me. Let’s talk about Erma Bombeck, a pioneer of every day humor.
Erma wrote for homemakers. For those unfamiliar with the term, homemakers are the ancestors of stay-at-home moms. Back in the day, homemakers sewed clothing for their children and cooked for their families in harvest gold kitchens and cleaned . . . REALLY cleaned, like they got down on their knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Homemakers hosted tupperware and fondue parties. They played charades and disco danced while shamelessly drinking cheap pink wine during the day. And no one thought anything of it.
But I digress.
Erma Bombeck was all about finding the funny in every day suburban life. She found humor in housework and children and, of course, my favorite fodder – - husbands.
Erma wrote hundreds of columns and several books with entertaining titles like The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank and Family — The Ties That Bind . . . and Gag. Although she has passed on, Erma is still vastly popular today, in fact, an online museum exists in her honor and more than 100.000 people visit it every year. Check it out at http://www.ermamuseum.org/home.asp
A legacy of laughter is wonderful gift.
Thank you, Erma.
February 22, 2011 1 Comment
Diary page entries during a week long bout of acute bronchitis.
I’ve fallen ill. My strength is drained by bone-wracking coughing. Bizarre questions/scenarios/fantasies plague me night and day. I fear for my sanity. Or is the codeine-laced cough syrup my doctor prescribed to blame?
When my voice returns, I’m going to practice yodeling like that guy in the Ricola commercial. I should be able to do it as I’ve consumed twenty Ricola cough drops in the last 4 days.
A foot thumping sneeze combined with a thunderous hacking cough attack results in a Depends moment. I can sink no lower. I must keep my bladder empty even if it means crawling to the bathroom every 1/2 hour.
Why does my child gaze at me with faintly disguised repulsion when I croak at her to kindly bring me a cup of soup? HOW MANY TIMES did I nurse her back from the brink of death?
I have an uncontrollable urge to comb out my mucky nose hair with an itty bitty comb. I wonder if there are any Polly Pocket hair utensils around the house?
Five. The number of times the sound of ogre-like snoring woke me. Alas, I was/am the culprit. I belong on Shrek now. Mucus. Swollen nose. Skin tinged with green. I’m transforming.
Must stop the neighborhood dogs from barking or I will surely go mad. If only I possessed the strength to climb the tallest tree in our yard, a rifle loaded with . . . tranquilizers strapped to my back. I’ll start with the little dogs first, for they possess the shrillest barks.
February 12, 2011 1 Comment
Yes Man (2008) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRv4CoXQoAQ
A great comedy for 2011 with a great message . . . Just Say Yes!!
Say yes to the possibilities in your life.
Say yes to adding more fun, more HUMOR, more joy to your life.
Laugh until your stomach hurts and tears are rolling down your face. It’s the best therapy AND it tones your abs.
Funny Excerpt from the movie. (Carl Allen and Alison riding a scooter)
Alison: Am I going too fast for you?
Carl Allen: Nah. In fact, I think you should go faster. That way if we crash, at least I’ll die. I just don’t wanna be kept alive artificially.
January 2, 2011 No Comments
The most accesible and most common humor in the world is family humor.
Think family sitcoms. All in the Family, Leave it to Beaver, Brady Bunch, Everybody Loves Raymond . . . Heck, it’s hard to come up with sitcoms that aren’t centered on a family. Even Friends was about a close-knit group of friends who considered themselves a family.
Check out this great excerpt from Everybody Loves Raymond
Marie: These breadsticks are old.
Frank: You are what you eat.
Marie: Bobby, give your father his helping of Miserable Bastard.
People in close contact will eventually compete with and irritate each other. Husbands compete with wives, in-laws compete with married children, children compete with parents, and entire families compete with relatives and neighbors. The mother-in-law visit is still one of the hundred most common plots on TV. Laughter is created when characters interreact with love, illness, jealousy, prejudice, death, and cream pies. Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer
If you write comedy or even if you’re just interested in how it works, I highly recommend Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer. Mr. Helitzer’s book breaks down comedy to its core elements. Plus he includes lots of funny excerpts.
Coming next . . . Part II–Mother Mona. The grossly exaggerated mother-in-law sterotype from my novel, To Kill An Armchair Husband, a dark comedy. Read a Mona excerpt and learn how I created this “Monster-in-law.”
October 8, 2010 No Comments
Let’s say you’ve composed something funny.
Your concept, your witty dialogue is cracking you up so much you can barely type the sentences.
You finish stroking the keys, wipe the tears of hilarity from your cheeks and sigh, “Oh man that’s good…”
“How can I tell?”
Unless you do these three things.
1. Let your incredibly amusing work sit a day or two.
2. Read your words out loud. Did you still laugh?
3. Send the words to a couple people (not your mother, spouse, uninterested teenager, or BFF). Better yet, read the section out loud to those chosen few who don’t care about hurting your feelings. I recommend East coasters.
Did anyone crack a smile? Chuckle? Snort?
If yes, good for you.
If no, maybe they didn’t get your humor.
Now at least you know.
September 28, 2010 No Comments
Five Ways to Make ‘Em Laugh
Want a write a funny story? Liven up a boring holiday party? Auditioning for Last Comic Standing? These humor tips have multiple applications.
Outright mocking of stereotypical habits. Men, women, sex …the opportunities are endless. Make it funny but not malicious.
The over-the-top situation commonly referred to as a farce. Create the ridiculous then crank things up even further. Restraint has no place here.
Tongue-in-cheek. Subtle humor requires finesse and perfect timing. Ask this VIP question. Will your audience get it?
Crude and rude can equal funny. But don’t go for broke. Gross and nasty are generally turn-offs.
Unlikely pairings. An eighty year-old grandma wearing a thong, a push-up bra, and stilettos. Kinda scary and funny.
Remember a bold delivery is crucial and for goodness sake, have fun! I love cracking myself up!
September 22, 2010 No Comments
Here’s the weekly excerpt from my novel, To Kill An Armchair Husband, a dark comedy. This one is short but sweet in a Sports Center kind of way!
When the moon ducked behind a caravan of clouds, I downed the last of my wine and stood up. As I passed through the family room, I heard a commentator remark that the current football game was tied at the end of the fourth quarter. He went on to say that right after the commercial break, sudden death overtime would begin. The team that scored first would prevail. According to the announcer, nine times out of ten, the gutsy or unexpected play secured the win.
I glanced at Billy and saw his face brighten, his spine straighten a little. Sports Center and he both thrived on these moments. Soon, a glorious victory for one team would result in agonizing defeat for the other.
Tired of waiting for her husband to snap out of his thirty-six month slump, suburban wife Charlie Score executes a gutsy and unexpected play to win the game. The crowd roars. The commentators go wild. The victorious woman starts a new life.
August 18, 2010 6 Comments
I’ve titled this excerpt, Man balks at football pre-game interruption!! How many women can relate?
The commentators had just announced the line-up for the first game when Charlie entered the room. She marched over and grabbed the remote from the side of his chair. Before he could protest, she clicked the off button.
“What the–?” he gasped.
“We need to talk. Let’s go for a ride or better yet, let’s grab some umbrellas and go for a walk.” She clapped her hands once like she was breaking a huddle.
Billy looked at his wife in shock. She turned off the TV! In a panic, he hauled his body out of the chair and lunged for the remote in her hand. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Charlie side-stepped Billy’s attack and transferred the remote to her other hand. “Billy, we can’t talk with the TV blaring.” She began tapping the remote against her side.
Momentarily defeated, Billy fell back into his chair. “You could have just muted the volume. I’m missing the pre-game.” Billy heard the whine in his voice but didn’t care. She could have picked another time to talk.
“It’s the pre-game show. It lasts for two hours. If we leave now we will back in plenty of time for the actual game.” She stepped over to his chair and extended a hand to help him up.
Billy’s palms began to sweat at the thought of all the vital information he would miss. He sat up and slapped his hands down on the armrests. “I have to watch the pre-game show.”
Charlie rolled her eyes. “It’s a talk show, Billy. What I have to say is more important. With your heavy football schedule, there won’t be an opportunity later.”
He ignored the sarcasm. “Yes there will be. There’s a break between the last afternoon game and the evening game. We can talk then.” He had no intention of backing down.
Charlie stuck her hands on her hips, “Number one, I can’t wait seven hours. Number two, you’ll be toasted by that time. Come on Billy, this is important. Please. I promise I’ll have you back for the first game.”
Rage exploded in Billy’s brain. “No! I want to watch the pre-game show!”
Stunned by his outbreak, the remote slipped out of Charlie’s hand.
Billy saw his opportunity. In one smooth motion, he jumped up and scooped the remote off the floor. Breathing heavily, he collapsed back into the chair. A second later, the TV clicked on again. Pride filled his chest.
He still had a few moves left.
August 11, 2010 No Comments