The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, March 07, 2008

If this is boring, blame David McG.

Last night I went to my first-ever writing workshop: "Make 'em laugh: The art of comedy writing," with instructor, writer and funny guy, David McGimpsey. There was a lot of talk about how to balance your life with your writing, which made me realize that this is no longer even the question for me. I’m more concerned with balancing my writing with my writing. I’m starting to feel a little overburdened by projects. Will I ever get my short story in order for next week’s reading at the Yellow Door? Will I find time to fulfill my for-profit duties as a provider of original online content? What about those books I’m supposed to be reading for review? And a shower, maybe some food? It's past noon and I'm still in my housecoat. I rolled out of bed and headed straight for my computer. I'd like to say that this was unusual, but cutting back on personal hygiene seems like the best way for me to make more writing time. No one complains if I'm looking grim, or at least, not to my face.

I'd tell you more about the workshop, but I need the time to do my homework. I'm supposed to write a joke, with a set-up, a punchline, and an act-out. I keep getting stuck on the act-out, though, which means that I can think of jokes, but I can’t develop them. I feel as though I just discovered a hidden disability. Here's hoping that my condition will respond to treatment, and quickly! The next class is in six days.


Blogger T. Lee said...

How exciting. I'm so interested in hearing what you're learning in the class. And I can empathize with you about the housecoat at noon. It's good to be so swamped, having lived through the droughts, but damn it sucks having to get so muddy.

Fri Mar 07, 02:04:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger T. Lee said... the way, does your teacher know he looks like John Goodman?

Fri Mar 07, 02:16:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger jsnider said...

Hi Anne, I'm taking the short story writing class on Wednesday nights. We almost ran into each other.

Good luck with your homework.


Fri Mar 07, 02:42:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

Wow, Jsnider, except I was woefully late for class. Hope to see you next week!

Fri Mar 07, 03:41:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

p.s. Tamara, thanks for the empathy!

Fri Mar 07, 03:44:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

Oh, wait, my class is on Thursdays, isn't it?

I'm going to go sharpen my mind with a shower.

Fri Mar 07, 03:46:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Anne C. said...

I woke up (with some kind of fever-inducing flu) and the realization that my reading is actually on the same night as my next comedy class. I think that in an attempt to simplify I'll read from something that's already finished, instead of stressing over my poor story.

I would feel better, if it wasn't for these chills...aye, aye, aye!

Sat Mar 08, 07:10:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Chumplet said...

I think the most enjoyable part of telling a good joke is the voice inflection, expressions and hand movements. It adds so much to the humour. Mind you, some jokes are delivered with deadpan faces, and that is sometimes even funnier.

My daughter just told me I'm always at the computer, even when we're watching a movie together. My trouble is I'm not writing.

Sat Mar 08, 03:58:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger ad said...

You're a funny person, Anne, so I think the key is in not overdoing it. I would describe your humour as understated, so leave out the "ba-doom'cha" at the end, OK?

Sun Mar 09, 11:16:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks for the link to the interview with McGimpsey, Anne. Sounds like he'd be a great teacher, especially if you write poetry. So Canadians aren't funny, eh? We saw performance poet Shari D. Wilson a couple of weeks ago and she was amazing. Hysterically funny poetry. The delivery was the key to the humour, I'm convinced. She did some serious stuff, too, that was moving.

When you write that great joke, share it with us, okay?

Mon Mar 10, 02:46:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of what you write is... well, boring.

Tue Apr 17, 09:35:00 pm GMT-4  

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