Posts Tagged With: Donna Cavanagh

Spotlight on Donna Cavanagh – Author of “How to Write and Share Humor”

Excerpt From How to Write  and Share Humor:

 

PART I: CAN I WRITE FUNNY?HowToWriteHumor(final2

 

Some writers do not know they are funny. Some writers can’t put their funny into words, and some want to use humor to loosen up their audience. How hard is it to write funny?

 

Chapter I: Let’s Talk Humor

A few years ago, while surfing the net, I came across this great quote from author and literary analyst Michael Cart. I found Mr. Cart on LinkedIn and asked him to follow me, but I got no response. However, in his defense, and as anyone on LinkedIn knows, if a person you don’t know asks you to be a connection, that person is probably a stalker. Yep, LinkedIn is the most paranoid social media platform available, and it makes people crazy with suspicion, but I still like it.
Anyway, back to the quote from Michael Cart, which I assume is correct because I did read it on the internet and everything you read on the internet is true so…
“Humor is the Rodney Dangerfield of Literary genres. It gets no respect.”
That quote blew me away. It is so profound that it deserved to be centered, italicized and put in quotation marks. And it is one hundred percent true. We all know we like to laugh. We watch comedians, sitcoms and funny movies. Our Facebook feeds are saturated with funny pictures, headlines and witty sayings. While I have no scientific data to back this next statement up, I would guess that humor is the fourth most popular type of post on Facebook. Posts about puppies, kittens and, of course, the consumption of wine seem to grab the top three spots.
Despite its amazing popularity, humor still is the black sheep of the literary world. It’s a mystery as to why this is. My guess is that those in the “real writing and reading world” put down humor because they struggle writing humor, and that fact ticks them off.

HUMOR IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT GENRES TO WRITE

I don’t mean to burst your bubble so soon out of the starting gate, but a lot of people do NOT write humor well. And I’m not just talking about the ability to write jokes or humorous essays. I’m talking about possessing the ability to infuse humor into their work even a tiny bit. It’s a difficult task and not for the weak hearted. Humor, if not done well and even if done well, can be misconstrued, judged or viewed as offensive. So you have to be careful with your words and project how they will affect your life and those in your life.

Who should not write humor?
· Anyone who hates to laugh
· Anyone who finds no humor in everyday life
· Anyone who needs to be liked all the time
· Anyone who is afraid to be offensive
· Anyone who must declare out loud to the world as often as possible how hysterically funny he or she is (if you have to keep telling people you are hysterical, there’s a better than ninety percent chance you are not hysterical).
What are some of the major challenges to writing humor?
· It is hard to translate the cadence of spoken word to written word.
· It is hard to create descriptions that paint your story in a humorous way.
· It is hard to create dialogue that represents the tone of the story you want to tell.
· It is hard to let go of inhibitions that have plagued you since you left the womb.
· Don’t fret. In this book, we will cover many of these challenges for you. So take a deep breath and read on.

 

CHAPTER II: To Niche or Not Niche

I guess if we want to truly understand the humor genre, we should start at the beginning and ask “What is humor?” I could give you the dry dictionary definition, but that’s boring. Instead, I’m going to give you my definition. Humor makes us smile, chuckle or laugh so hard coffee shoots out our noses when we read and drink at the same time. Humor tickles our funny bones and transforms a bad mood into a good mood. Humor is powerful stuff. In case anyone is wondering, comedy is a category under humor and is defined as a humorous art form, which can be written or oral and results in physical laughter. There are also many sub-genres of humor. Some of the more popular include:
· Observational Humor – Finding comedy in everyday life from your neighbor’s habit of walking around outside in his underwear to funny road signs
· Situational Humor – From trips to the emergency room to getting pulled over for a ticket to finding snakes in your bed—sure they sound terrible, but if they are not happening to you, they can be pretty funny.
· Satire – Making fun of culture, society, politics, religion, etc.
· Bathroom Humor – Fart and poop jokes never to go out of style.
· Relationship and Family Humor – Spouse and kids and all that goes with these topics, plus dating and divorce
· Stage of Life Humor – This can sometimes overlap with relationship humor as it encompasses topics such as empty nest, middle age, mommy bloggers, widowhood and menopause.
· Caustic or Snarky Humor (takes no hostages) – No one is protected from witty barbs.
· Melting Pot Humor – In this category I include everything from silly or funny photos with captions to fictional essays.
Do I have to find a niche?
Let’s assume you have the gift for humor but you don’t know what to do with this gift. The number one question budding humorists ask is “What should I write about?” I might be a rebel here, but this is my take on this sensitive topic. From day one in classrooms, kids and adults are taught “WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW.” I’m not against this advice for beginners, but I am against that advice if two years down the road, you are still writing only what you know. Talk about boring. Writing is fluid; writing is a journey. Make sure you book the trip and take that journey to the unknown or else you might find yourself stuck in a pile of mediocrity with no hope of escape. That sounds so dramatic, right? Okay, you might not die in a pile of mediocrity, but you will be trapped until you get the guts to try some fresh material. Take some chances!
I hear what you are saying: “I need a niche; I need a niche.” And, yes, to an extent that is true. You are not going to write about being a single dad if you are a polygamist with twenty-two kids. You are not going to write medical humor if you vomit when you get a paper cut. However, recognize the limitation to your niche. You cannot still be a “mommy blogger” when your kids have received their own AARP cards. You cannot be known as the menopause maven when your hot flashes and dry vagina turned cold a decade ago. In other words, it’s the theory of Natural Selection: adapt or become extinct. Be creative, move on, push that envelope and find your funny elsewhere. It’s okay to leave a niche behind so you can grow as a writer.
One other point while we are talking about what to write. Humor does not mean your entire life has to be an open book. Sure, write about experiences, but be careful. Not everyone in your life will delight in the fact that they are put on public display. Learn the difference between writing about experiences in a humorous way and humiliating your friends, family and possibly yourself.

WRITING EXERCISE

Write down what makes you laugh. Why do you find these topics so funny? Can you come up with five subjects that tickle your funny bone? Turn that idea into five sentences.

 

Bio

Donna Cavanagh-2 (1)

Donna Cavanagh is founder of HumorOutcasts.com (HO) and the partner publishing company, HumorOutcasts Press which now includes the labels Shorehouse Books and Corner Office Books (HOPress-Shorehousebooks.com).  Cavanagh launched HO as an outlet for writers to showcase their work in a world that offered few avenues for humor. HO now features the creative talents of more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, producers, comics and authors from all over the world. Known for its eclectic content, HumorOutcasts has something for everyone.  As a writer herself, Cavanagh is a former journalist who made an unscheduled stop into humor more than 20 years ago. Her syndicated columns helped her gain a national audience when her work landed in the pages of First Magazine, USA Today and other national media.  She has taught the how-to lessons of humor, blogging and publishing at The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. Recently named Humor Writer of the Month by the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Cavanagh has penned four humor books Reality: Fantasy’s Evil Twin, Try and Avoid the Speed Bumps, A Canine’s Guide to the Good Life (which she wrote with her dogs Frankie and Lulu) and the USA Books Contest finalist Life On the Off Ramp. Cavanagh hopes her latest book How to Write and Share Humor: Techniques to Tickle Funny Bones and Win Fans will encourage writers not only to embrace their humor talents but show them off as well.

How to Write and Share Humor is available on amazon.

 

**********************

Paul De Lancey
www.pauldelancey.com
www.lordsoffun.com

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Bacon & Chocolate Party Wants You to Head Your Own Federal Department

How often has this happened to you?posterpp

You: Gah! I wish we had enough money to buy yogurt-covered pretzels.
Spouse: We can’t. You have a lousy job.
You: I wish I could find a better one.
Me: Well now you can. With Republican candidates dropping by the wayside, and the Democratic rivals in a fight to the end, the time has come for the Bacon & Chocolate Party to sweep to victory. With his imminent landslide election I, President Paul De Lancey, am going to need lots of help running the government. It’s a big thing. Heck, I hope I don’t get lost in the White House. Hee! Hee!

Anyway, dozens of federal agencies and departments are going to need new secretaries to lead them. Why not claim your spot? The pay is good. You won’t have to do much. Simply promote bacon and chocolate and save our bees. And take naps. Where else can you get paid for taking naps? C’mon, what are you waiting for? Be the first on your block to head a federal department. And don’t forget, we have plum ambassadorships around the world. Simply respond, “I want to head this department and give your name.” You’ll be glad you did.

Note: The following positions are taken.

President: Paul R. De Lancey
Vice President: Candace C. Bowen
Speaker of the House: John Rucker

Agriculture: Launa McNeilly
Avoiding Labor: Stephen Parrish
Crisper: Michelle Hickman
Education: Jan Buckner
Event Organizer: Christine Olewiler
Extraterrestrial Welcoming Committee: Denise Hemphill
Food and Drug: Lee Diogeneia
Health Human Services And Cooking: Shauna Roberts
Interior: Kathi Gorecki Voskuil
State: Mark Kennet
Secret Service: Mike Allsopp
Treasury: Betty Ponterio
Tsar of Holidays: Kathleen Smiley

Ambassadorships:

Cuba: Daphne Anne Humphrey
Fiji: Amy Buckheister Gettinger
Luxembourg: Donna Cavanagh
Switzerland: Elizabeth Dickinson

– Paul R. De LanceyDeLanceyPaul
Future president of the United States of America.

Check out my latest novel, the hilarious apocalyptic thriller, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms? It’s published by HumorOutcasts and is available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com.

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These People Will Run America in 2016

B&Ctasty

Everybody likes bacon and chocolate. Few people like our current politicians. It stands to reason that the Bacon & Chocolate Party will sweep to victory in 2016. Who are these people? Mostly Facebook friends. Some, I’ve even met. All nice people. That’s enough for me to appoint them to important positions.

America’s Future Government

President – Paul R. De Lancey
Vice President – Candace C. Bowen
Secretary of Agriculture – Launa McNeilly
Secretary of the Crisper – Michelle Hickman
Secretary of the EPA – Lee Diogeneia
Secretary of State – Mark Kennet
Tsar of Holidays – Kathleen Smiley
Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire – Stacy Fisher
Ambassador to Cuba – Daphne Anne Humphrey
Ambassador to Fiji – Amy Buckheister Gettinger
Ambassador to Luxembourg – Donna Cavanagh
Head of the Secret Service – Mike Allsopp
Speaker of the House – John Rucker

Bacon & Chocolate Party’s Ideals

1. Bacon is good.
2. Chocolate is good.
3. We will save our bees.
4. Car alarms suck. They’re loud, go off all the time, and they no longer serve a purpose.
5. We don’t like people who block aisles in supermarkets.
6. We like to take naps.

Bacon & Chocolate Party’s Current Campaign Chest

$0.00*

* = There is some dispute over this. Some say a person found a quarter under the sofa cushions and donated it to Bacon & Chocolate Party’s Super PAC.

Bacon & Chocolate Party’s Corporate Sponsor

HumorOutcasts Press

Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BaconChocolateParty

– Paul R, De Lancey, America’s next presidentCoverFrontFinal

Check out my latest novel, the hilarious apocalyptic thriller, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms? It’s published by HumorOutcasts and is available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com.

 

Categories: humor, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“A Canine’s Guide to the Good Life” by Donna Cavanagh – Book Review

Canine'sGuide

Dogs steal our hearts. Dogs take control of our lives. In A Canine’s Guide to the Good Life, Donna Cavanagh, The Empress of Comedy, tells us how. Well actually, she got her dogs to relate their plans for world domination to her, but even understanding Dog is an amazing achievement.

And if you’re a dog, Donna and her dogs show you how to get a good owner. (Always let the human think she’s the owner.)

Then learn: how to order at a fast-food drive through, proper etiquette for vomiting, how to wear a seat belt, ways to look cool in a bandana, proper behavior in bed, techniques for spitting on windows, the best ways to greet people, and how to be polite. This useful book even doubles as a primer for raising teenagers.

Donna Cavanagh writes humor with a deft, light touch. I enjoyed A Canine’s Guide to the Good Life very much and recommend it highly.

See her book on Amazon.

– Paul De Lancey, reviewer

Categories: book reviews and excerpts, humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here is my interview with Paul De Lancey (From Fiona Mcvie’s Authorsinterviews

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Name Paul De Lancey

Age 57

Where are you from Poway, California

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc

Me: I obtained my Doctorate in Economics from the University of Wisconsin. My thesis, “Official Reserve Management and Forecasts of Official Reserves,” disappears from bookstore shelves so quickly that most would-be purchasers can never find it in stock.

I am a direct descendant of the great French Emperor Napoleon. Actually, that explains a lot of things. I ran for President of the United Statesin 2012! Woo hoo! On the Bacon & Chocolate ticket.  El Candidato also lost a contentious campaign to be El Presidente of Venezuela. In late 2013, Chef Paul participated in the International Bento Competition.

I make my home, with my wonderful wife and two sons, in Poway, California. I divide my time between being awake and asleep.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

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