Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Time Out For a Little Fun

I don't know about you, but in the midst of some busy days for me - writing a new book, preparing for a signing event, running rehearsals for the play I'm directing, and taking care of all my critters - I need a few jokes to relieve the stress. Next to exercise, laughter is the best stress reducer, so let's have at it.

Later this month we will feature a series of posts related to screenwriting, so I thought these first two jokes I borrowed from Karyn Hollis who first posted them on the Villanova University website were most appropriate.

A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside. "What happened, honey?" the man asks.

"Oh, John, it was terrible," she weeps. "I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn't notice the stove was on fire. It went up in just seconds. Everything is gone. I nearly didn't make it out of the house. Poor Fluffy is--"

"Wait, wait. Back up a minute," the man says. "My agent called?"

How many screenwriters does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer:  Ten.
1st draft.  Hero changes light bulb.
2nd draft.  Villain changes light bulb.
3rd draft.  Hero stops villain from changing light bulb.  Villain falls to death.
4th draft.  Lose the light bulb.
5th draft.  Light bulb back in.  Fluorescent instead of tungsten.
6th draft.  Villain breaks bulb, uses it to kill hero's mentor.
7th draft.  Fluorescent not working.  Back to tungsten.
8th draft.  Hero forces villain to eat light bulb.
9th draft.  Hero laments loss of light bulb.  Doesn't change it.
10th draft.  Hero changes light bulb.

The following quotes were borrowed from Funny Quotes About Writing - a great site for stress relief. 

"I wrote a few children's books. Not on purpose." - Steven Wright

"I get a lot of letters from people. They say: "I want to be a writer. What should I do?" I tell them to stop writing to me and get on with it." - Ruth Rendell

"If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers." - Doug Larson

"Writers don’t have lifestyles. They sit in little rooms and write." - Norman Mailer

"Learn to write. Never mind the damn statistics. If you like statistics, become a CPA." - Jim Murray

"The dubious privilege of a freelance writer is he’s given the freedom to starve anywhere." - S.J. Perelman

"Long, hard slog today writing the Great American Tweet. (That was it...what do you think? Pulitzer?)"
- Greg Tamblyn

"A bad review may spoil your breakfast, but you shouldn't allow it to spoil your lunch." - Kingsley Amis

"Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard." - John Steinbeck

"Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs."
- Christopher Hampton

So, what do you think? Any of these quotes resonate with you? Got one to share? Please feel free to try to best me in the comments section.

Posted by Maryann Miller - novelist, editor and sometimes actress. Her most recent book releases are Doubletake and Boxes For Beds, both mysteries that are available for Kindle and in paper.  Stalking Season is the second book in the Seasons Mystery Series, also now available as an e-book, along with Open Season, the first book in the series. To check her editing rates visit her website. When not working, Maryann likes to take her dog for a walk and work outside on her little ranch in East Texas. She thinks laughter is very good medicine.


  1. Brilliant! Reading this post got my day off to a good start.
    The lightbulb joke is a cracker. I've passed it on to my husband who's in the midst of writing/producing a radio comedy podcast (more of this anon),

  2. Screenwriters changing light bulbs? Takes 10 to get back to square 1? Figures. In practical application, however, a writer's first thought on a scene may be the best one--albeit in need of a little tweaking. While this kind of writing situation isn't always true, it happens often enough to bring a smile to my face and start my Wednesday off on a good foot. Cool post, Maryann. You so often bring the needed touch of humor to those of us who are mired in excessive seriousness. :-)

    1. LOL, Linda. Love that phrase "mired in excessive seriousness." I have met a few people like that, and I suspect you are not always so mired.

    2. Not always mired...just at times. And you are a wonderful antidote for those serious moments that need a little lightening up. :-)

  3. There you go, Maryann ... keep laughing only becomes a problem when you can't stop.

    1. I remember my step-mother telling us to stop giggling before we ended up crying. Didn't know what she meant until one day I learned that laughter is the other side of tears. Interesting...

  4. Gotta keep a sense of humor if you are a writer, or you'll quit after the first critique or rejection letter.

  5. I especially like the comment by John Steinbeck. Made me laugh.

    1. Me, too. I try to remember that line when I get a pithy review on Amazon.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...