Thursday, November 1, 2012

Writing Tips From the Funny Papers

As we look ahead this month to Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for all the cartoonists who brighten our days with their great humor. Enjoy!

As Ruthie's mom hands her a dinner plate she says, "That's one beautiful piece of fish."

Ruthie looks at it and makes a face.

Mom asks, "You don't think so, Ruthie?"

"Well, maybe before it was murdered and set on fire."

From Pickles

Opal and Earl on sitting on the couch together. Earl says, "I'm amazed when I look back on my day and realize all the faraway places my mind had traveled. Afghanistan. The polar ice caps. The Bay of Bengal, the terraces of Machu Picchu…. The halls of Kilimanjaro, the deep sea depths of the Mariana Trench, Boise, Idaho…"

Opal interrupts, "Would you mind going to the store for me? We're out of milk."

Earl: "Okay, but only in my mind."

From The Argyle Sweater - Cookbooks by historical figures:

"The Davinci Cod", Leonardo's secrets for great fish. 
MKL's "I have a Dreamsicle" and other frozen treats.
"The Best of Thyme"- Cooking with herbs by Charles Dickens.
Marie Antoinette's "101 Ways to Eat Cake."

More from Pickles:

Opal come into the living room with a bowl of popcorn and asks, "Would you like some popcorn Earl?"

He says, "No thanks."

Opal sits down and says, "No? Well, holler if you change your mind."

Earl sniffs the great popcorn aroma for a bit then yells, "I changed my mind!!"

Opal, startled out of her wits, drops her popcorn, "Aah!"

The last panel shows Earl in his chair that has been pushed over,  "Why say it if you don't mean it."

Let that be a lesson to all of us who write to make sure we say what we mean.

Not writing related, but still funny from Peanuts

Lucy and Marcie are in school. Marcie is looking at a paper and turns to Lucy and says, "I'm not so sure about this college thing after all… I just discovered something… they have classes."

From B.C.

Wiley's Dictionary: Microsoft - Mini Marshmallow

Two More From Pickles 

Opal: "you've never been much of a talker, Earl. In some ways I like the fact that you are the silent type. It makes me feel like you are listening to me. But when you snore it kind of spoils the illusion."

Opal is sitting at a desk with the cat perched on one corner. Earl steps up behind her and asks, "Whatcha writing?"

"I'm trying to write a poem, but I don't know where to begin."

"What do you want to write about?"

 "Cats, but I need some inspiration."

"Robert Frost said, 'Apoem begins as a lump in the throat.'"

The next panel shows the the cat hacking up a hair ball. Earl says, Ah! And so does a furball."

The cat says, "You're welcome."
  Maryann Miller is a novelist, editor and sometimes actress. Her latest release is Open Season as an e-book for all devices. To check out 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. 

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  1. Humor's a funny thing (no pun intended). What's hilarious to one person has little effect on another. I may be laughing so hard at something I see or read on the Internet that I nearly fall out of my chair. My son comes in to see if I'm okay, then, poker-faced, looks at the monitor and back at me. He hasn't seen the humor at all. I am perplexed as he walks out of the room, shaking his head. Other times, he laughs along with me, and we add our own funny (to us) little twists that result in more paroxysms of mirth.

    Bottom line: one size does not fit all in humor any more than in anything else. However, we humans have been gifted with the unique ability to enjoy humor in one form or another — which makes it a valuable tool in the writer's tool kit. Not every intended use of it will make every reader laugh every time (I have never found Abbot and Costello or The Three Stooges to be funny), but it will still go a long way in making our characters real and believable.

    Thank you for this thought-provoking post, Maryann.

  2. Just got our post-Hurricane Sandy power back in southeastern PA and stopped in to the BRP see what I've been missing these past few days. Perfect time for humor! Thanks for the smiles Maryann.

  3. This is great--I love it! I enjoy Pickles. May husband often says he can identify!

  4. I have been out of town with limited Internet access, and I did not know this post had run. Glad to see it brought some good cheer to folks who needed it.


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