02 January 2012

2012 Resolutions? Best Served with Humor!

Ahoy, Lads and Lassies,
            Why humor, you ask? Simple. After being down with one of those venomous viruses goin’ round, I had to find a way to soothe my snarky pirate side that kept saying, “Unfair! Can’t celebrate on New Year’s Eve? Can’t party with Jess Maxwell and Red Moons on Sunday? Arrrggghhh!”
            After a little sniveling, I decided to give myself a good shake and say, “Turn this to your advantage, Captain! You’re being forced to stay in your cabin and leave first mate in charge. How best to use this time?”
Tour a Captain's Table
            Ah, lads and lassies, I needed humor to set me straight. When yer lookin’ a fright and your coughin’ could sail an armada, you need to do somethin’! I made a list of those naggin tasks that needed to be done and knocked ‘em down one by one.  I won’t go through the list. God knows, I don’t need to show you how far I'd gone adrift.
            So here’s what I've had waitin' for ya for the new year.

New Year’s Bloody Resolutions
            Throw 2011’s list into the brink. I’ve used and reused this list for years, created years ago by an online, fill-in-the-gap resolution generator. Sorry I can’t find the link.

            Lose 1 pound
            Be more magnificent
            Be less inexhaustible
            Stop gathering
            Start creating
            Write every day
            Keep my damn sense of humor

For Those Who Woke Up Jan. 1 and Wanted to Write a Novel
            If you woke up on January 1st and thought, “I’d like to write a novel!” (ok, maybe a “friend”  said that), before you take one step in that direction, consider what Dorothy Parker had to say about becoming a writer:
If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”  -- via Stacy Clark on SheWrites
            If that doesn’t work, here’s a humane way to discourage yourself your friend from taking up the writer’s life. Watch all the way through. It's irritating at first, but gets funnier!

            That’s all for now, until Friday, when I’ll be back in semi-serious form with my must-read interview with Diane Prokop, book reviewer extraordinaire

Hold On!
            You didn’t think you’d get off that easy, did ya? Nay. Your Captain has an assignment for you.
            To keep your humor afloat when you’re weak and can’t tell the arse end of galleon from a rowboat, find a funny quote or cartoon that makes you smile. But before you tape it to your computer monitor or fridge or car dash, send me a copy at ValinParis [at] earthlink [dot] net! At the end of January, I’ll post them all on my blog.

            If you can’t do this for yourself, do it for your sisters and brothers! There’s good karma in keepin’ your shipmates in fine fettle. If the Mayans were right and this is the year we go “phewt,” let’s at least be laughin’. One thing I learned from Girl Scouts—other than how to make a S-Mores—is  “Always Be Prepared.”

Signing off for now!
Here’s to smooth sailin’ in 2012!
Your Captain Val

Coming Up!
Interview with book reviewer Diane Prokop
Humor! Helping Each Other Thrive; Bring Your Writing Alive
Confirmed Gossip and News from the Writing World
My Research Trip to Paris: How to Let Go and Follow your Instincts


Rebecca Elswick said... [Reply to comment]

If a young person says, "I want to be a teacher and a writer," get down on your knees and beg them to reconsider!!!!!!

Nancy Hinchliff said... [Reply to comment]

Very funny...Thanks for the laughs...I needed that. As you requested, I'm looking for something funny to send you. Love the resolutions, especially the "stop gathering" one... that's me.

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

@Rebecca Elswick Lol, Rebecca! Or I want to be a teacher so I have time to write. Har, har!

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

@Nancy Hinchliff Oh, good! And when you say stop gathering, does that mean stop gathering in groups or gathering mounds of material or. ..? I didn't even consider that this might have two meanings until now. D'oh!

Kat Hinkson said... [Reply to comment]

Very funny. I heard that over the weekend from a client. His comment was "it's his life story and his mom says it's the most best seller ever wrote." No bias there. If he can't speak english can he write english.

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

@Kat Hinkson OMG, can you believe it? I'm always at a loss when someone says that to me. I've been in an actual argument at a wedding, no less, when someone wanted to "give" me the idea for a novel and wanted me to promise to write it. I kept saying, "It's your idea, you should write it." Wouldn't hear of it. I finally had to get angry so the guy would go away. Hmmm. That's kind of like the opposite of someone wanting to write a novel, isn't it. Thanks for commenting, Kat!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Nice goals, great attitiude, fun sense of humour!
All the best for 2012.

angel011 said... [Reply to comment]

It's not that bad when they want to be writers, what's really bad is when they want you to look at their attempts -- especially if it's the kind who doesn't read and doesn't bother to at least check for typos before they give you their "masterpiece".

Komz@The Review Girl said... [Reply to comment]

Hilarious post! :)

Deborah Batterman said... [Reply to comment]

A big, hearty reminder to take ourselves a little less seriously while not forgetting that what we do is hard work, indeed. Yes, I laughed. Of course, now I'm ever so curious on what you'll say re: helping each other thrive. ;-) Best Wishes for a Fruitful New Year.

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

@clairemca Thanks, Claire! So glad you enjoyed it! All best to you, too, in 2012.

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

@Komz@The Review Girl Thanks, Review Girl! You're the best!

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

@Deborah Batterman Deborah! Are you reading my mind? I have a post slated for February, when everyone seems to be in the doldrums, about how to help each other thrive! Humor included. Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Too funny! Now must get back to writing my own smash hit novel. LOL Happy New Year!

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

@writingfeemail And congrats on your upcoming Pulitzer!

brenda said... [Reply to comment]

Your had me laughing. I love Dorothy, by the way. If it were possible, I'd like to meet her in New York and drink martinis and talk endlessly. Writing a book .. it's a labor of madness. It took me longer to write the first one because I was clueless (being honest) so it took a million rewrites. Now that I've started the second one ( really, madness ensues) it will go much easier (says the crazy woman).. Great post!

Katie Checkley said... [Reply to comment]

Very insightful, I learned something. Thanks for posting!

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

Angel, somehow I missed replying to your post and slap me for bad manners! Yes, love that people want to share and then you find typos or just plain bad writing as if they didn't pass writing 121. One of the big writing gurus blames that on 12-step programs that encouraged everyone to write about their life. Hmmm. But if someone wants to write and can't stop, the best approach is to encourage the writing and some classes. I had to do that. Thanks for stopping by!