Writers’ Guild takes humor in stride

POINT PLEASANT — At a recent meeting, Patrecia Gray of the Point Pleasant Writers Guild opened with prayer. She then asked the members to list the things in their lives that were “serious/sad” and a second list having to do with “funny/happy” events. As it turned out, “serious/sad” memories were easier to remember than the “funny/happy” ones, which might indicate that most people are in need of more comedy to help balance their emotional scales.

Kris Moore wrote a fictious “Dear John” letter, saying she was breaking up with the guy, but assuring him that he would find someone who could appreciate his being a noisy eater, slow driver, poor bowler, and in the habit of removing his glass eye in public.

April Pyles read two poems, “The Misses O’Quinn Come of Age,” about two sisters who have very little in common, and have surprising outcomes when they become of age to marry, and “Housework” a subject that needs no introduction to anyone who keeps house … the dust and grime and unwanted guests with several sets of legs are a challenge to all of us, keeping us busy with our rags, and mops and spray cans in every room.

Phil Heck shared “The Adventures of Cuzzin Charles,” a true story with humorous overtones.

Will Jeffers wrote “Day on the Town” about a fella named Wilson who took out a girl named Billie, and true to Murphy’s Law, anything that could go wrong did go wrong. That included getting the car stuck in a sink hole, getting mud in his face when trying to push his car out of said hole, having it rain when they reached their destination, stepping in a puddle, getting electrocuted by an exposed wire on the crossing signal, getting hit by a taxi, and almost getting mugged. But, in spite of all his troubles, and after every disaster, Billie would just kiss him, laugh, and make him feel good as though everything were going well and nothing was going to spoil their date if she had anything to do about it. Unlucky, plague-attracting Wilson was actually a pretty lucky guy.

Marilyn Clarke read her short story entitled “The Cupcake Cartel.” Her heroine had tried going to the gym first thing in the morning to lose weight. She felt she was on a torture mill rather than a treadmill. It struck her that she could make and sell cupcakes to people leaving the gym, before they even got in their cars, so that’s what she did every morning. After doing a brisk business for a few days, one customer sidled up to her and asked under his breath how much would five bills get him. Cupcake Lady told him, “One for one, six for five.” “Five bills, huh?” “That’s right,” she replied. She took his money without looking at it and set out for home. Lo and behold, a police car pulled her over and took her to jail for questioning. Didn’t they look funny when they discovered the cupcakes were just that…no dope involved. Cupcake Lady looked at the money she had collected. Imagine her surprise when she found five $100 dollar bills amongst the smaller bills in her bag. Happily, the police let her keep it all for her time and inconvenience.

Carol Newberry read “Why I Don’t Sing.” According to her, whenever she tried singing to her baby, he would cover her mouth, so she would stop singing. Each time she tried singing again, he would do the same thing. Eventually, she got the message and gave up singing altogether.

Patrecia Gray found humor in how her dog acted when she would record her radio program, as though it hurt the dog’s ears to listen. Another funny thing she remembered was when her four-year-old daughter would tell people she met that she was in high school.

Gray shared several pointers with the members on how to write about humor while using humor. Using words that have a “K” or a “G” sounds are just naturally funny. Have you ever noticed how a dog cocks its head when it hears certain words come out of your mouth? That’s funny in itself. Put characters in funny situations, as Will did with Wilson and Billie. Make comparisons between two situations by exaggerating them. Add a few cartoons to the book. Stay clear of sarcasm. Give readers permission to laugh, and not only laugh, but laugh out loud. Studies have been conducted on how humor in books, movies, and other forms of entertainment help speed the healing process in cancer patients.

In addition to those named above, the meeting was attended by new member, Raine Fielder.

The assignment for the next meeting is to write a half page on something that goes wrong over the next two weeks and make it sound funny. Members will enjoy having lunch out for their August 4 meeting. Otherwise, the Point Pleasant Writers Guild meets from noon to 2 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of the month at the Mason County Library on Viand Street in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. All writers are welcome to attend.

Submitted by April Pyles.