I think about my time as a community reporter and I have nothing but fond memories. The people I met and interviewed were hard to forget.
I don’t think people appreciate hometown news as much as they should. As people scramble to social media for “info” on the latest events, it was much easier to just pop into the newspaper office and find out the scoop firsthand or pick up a paper. I covered four towns across Essex County, and occasionally had to help out in three others. The government meetings opened my eyes, as did the crime beats (the things people will do!) and the sports beat (the things parents will do!) but what I will always remember is the people I met. What a cast of characters. I think of the crew in my office and how we would sit around and talk about them like they were fictional. It helped past the time while waiting for source calls or our pages to be built by the design team.
I use all of the people I met at some point in my life as inspiration in my fiction. And the people who I met in those four years certainly are at the top of the list.
It was honor for me to get a call from my hometown paper asking to interview me about my writing. I had no idea I would be on the front page nor did I know it was now sent to every home. Years ago, I actually wrote for the competitor of the Nutley Journal, but I knew the employees there as well.
Anyway, I’d like to thank Amanda Valentovic for taking an interest in my novel. It was greatly appreciated. Here the link to her article.
Reading an article about yourself is pretty weird when your you are used to being on the other end of a story. But it was an honor sit down with a writer who I have a lot of respect for and answer questions about writing motivation and what the process of creating a novel.
Oh and Soviets and Nazis and all that fun spy stuff.
Check out the Daily Voice‘s C.C. Levine and her article on the Ragnarok Vaults!
So unfortunately, Sports on Earth is no longer active, as is one of my favorite stories I had ever written. It had thousands of views and I was honored (and amused) by the comments and the emails. Below for your viewing pleasure is a PDF. Make sure you have a version of adobe reader to open it.
So over the past year, I’ve been working with my graduate students on their humor writing. Ironically, I’ve never taken a course in humor. I think the harder I try to be funny, the worse it is. When I was younger, I was the serious sibling until we swapped places as we grew older. Tis be life.
You have to be quick. You have to be clever. You have to willing to fail with a joke. You can’t be “funny” if you play it safe. I don’t mean scandalous. But creativity in humor is a risk. Some people will get it, and others won’t. Be willing to find out.
Slice of life stories is real humor that lasts. I think about Larry David thinking he tipped the gardner twice or Jason Segel’s puzzled face at the touristy couple posed with their cutlery. Long lasting humor only comes from real life humor. The rest of the stuff is good for a laugh once and then, it fizzles.
Anyway, I was interviewed by Susan Mangiero (who is quite funny herself) for the University of Dayton blog about being funny. Life and humor are about experiences. So go have some. If you’re trying to write some humor, you can’t be funny sitting in front of a computer.