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A couple months ago I was writing a short story (which turned into a novella) titled, The Viviparous Quadripeds of Aynu-Mosir. This is a story set in The Memory Thief novel series about an Ainu man (aboriginal Japanese) who is raised in an Irish neighborhood on a moon colony. I wanted a lot of old-timey Irish slang. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to use Gaelic, it was more that I wanted regional dialect. There are common English words that I don’t think about having an Irish origin or usage, but I needed reminders for what those were. I ended up stumbling upon a few great websites that I wanted to share in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

Below are some of the useful websites I found.

Irish Abroad

My favorite words from this site were: arse, arseways, bloody, bogtrotter, bushed (tired), cake-hole (mouth), drawers (underwear), gawk (stare), gobshite (idiot), gowl (idiot), piss up (night of lots of drinking), puss face (foul tempered person), scutters (diarrhea), shenanigans (mischief) and there was so much more.

http://www.irishabroad.com/Culture/Slang/irishslang.asp

I loved the Adam’s family when I was a kid as well as the Munsters. This video series parody is a lot of fun because it uses a lot of those old jokes, but twists them and changes them to make them relevant for grown up Wednesday Adams. One of my favorites is Season 2’s first episode as the babysitter. I do think it is better to watch the first season first, though. Her humor if fun, feminist without crossing the line into man-hating and uses the paranormal elements that made the original series so funny. My one complain is that she doesn’t have more. The creator also has another series, Wolfgirl but I like this more.

Below are three of my favorite videos, though I do suggest watching them in order because there is a story arch in the series as well.

There’s nothing like an in-joke that you get because you have the background and insight to get it. That’s how these videos are. Each centers around some aspect of “nerd” culture, whether that’s Star Trek, gaming, Harry Potter or Star Wars. It’s so much more fun to be in on the joke and make fun of ourselves than for an outsider to do so. 

I love fractured fairytales.  I enjoy parodies of well-known tropes in the fantasy and fairytale realm. This is probably why I write so many short stories that twist stories like Cinderella and Pinocchio.

I like comedy. It doesn’t matter if it is paranormal or mainstream. I can dissect humor and say the reason something is funny is because it is unexpected. It surprises us in some way. But we all have our individual tastes of what works and how far those boundaries can be pushed. Some of these pieces are a little naughtier than the Studio C I’ve posted in the past. But I like how smart and sassy the humor is. I enjoy the feminine take on the humor. I can relate to the things feminine issues or feminine perspective on some of these topics.

I love humor, so it is no surprise I like to write humor. When I teach humor workshops, I always tell people who want to write humor to watch and read things that make you laugh. Spiritual Life with J.P. definitely made me laugh.

One of the things I enjoy about Spiritual Life is the dry, matter-of-fact presentation of information. I think I also get this humor because I can relate to the topics. I have seen these trends and been part of it myself. Below are J.P.’s seven funniest videos.

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How to Become Gluten Intolerant

I am not gluten intolerant, but I am allergic to wheat. My boyfriend was afraid to show me this video because he thought it would offend me. Apparently he thinks i do all these things. I thought it was the funniest video. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oht9AEq1798

Second Star Festival

Florence Events Center

715 Quince St., Florence Oregon 97439

https://2ndstarfestival.com/

 

We used to have Faerieworlds in Eugene but it has now moved up to the Portland area. Considering we now have a void in the fairy community, I expected there to be more people at the Second Star Festival when I went. On the other hand, the event is still pretty new. It is my hope that it will grow and their attendance will also grow.

My novel, The Lost Memories of Meriwether Klark is currently at 105,000 words, which is pretty long for something in the romance genre. It gets longer every time I edit it. Below is a racy scene that I really liked because it builds on the romance between the characters but isn't actually needed in the story. 

I love steampunk because I like the idea of taking something old and combining it with something new. Anyone who checks out my upcycled fashion ideas in Pinterest will probably see that. Fashion is one aspect of steampunk, but the science fiction angle and cultural/political aspect is the other. I find the idea of futuristic technology based in the Victorian era to be fascinating. I enjoy opportunities to explore this in literature, art and fashion. I enjoy going to steampunk events and getting to dress up. It was only a matter of time before I became a steampunk author.

Whether you are interested in the mechanics of contraptions or bustles and corsets, I have compiled a small list of places you can explore these themes locally in the Northwest.

10 Science Fiction Memes That Will Make You Laugh So Hard You Will Bleed Tears

 

I am a hardcore Star Trek fan. People who have seen me belly dance as the green Orion slave dancer know this. People who read my science fiction novels and short stories know this. (See “Debbie Does Delta Draconis” in FAIRIES, ROBOTS AND UNICORNS—OH MY!—A Collection of Funny Short Stories.) People who see me wearing my Star Trek socks know this.

Compiled below are the funniest Star Trek memes I have found. They all center around Star Trek inside jokes.

 What is Clickbait? 

It is basically something you can’t help clicking on and wasting your time spending time reading. It is rarely the astonishing secret you are led to believe. They hook you with a gimmick, a promise of something astonishing and when more clickbait articles appear on the side bar, you click on another. We’ve all been there. We all say we aren’t going to do it again, yet why do we continue to give in to the urge? How do they hook us?

The answer is simple and I will share the secret with you. I recently gave a presentation called “Blogging for Writers” at Rose City Romance Writers and gave examples of funny and effective clickbait. One of our exercises for coming up with better titles for blogposts was by looking at clickbait. Even though we are a romance group, it was really hard to find romantic clickbait, so most of my examples were based on science fiction and fantasy books/movies. Below are the tricks I taught with funny examples.

Earlier this spring I went to the Rose City Romance Writer’s Spring Intensive. There were two incredible presenters, a great lunch spread and a fun cocktail party in the evening for readers to meet authors. Overall, I learned a lot and found the presenters pretty entertaining. As a humor author, I am always looking for gold nuggets from real life to put into my fiction. Presenter, Damon Suede gave a great talk that focused on marketing and brand but also he was very funny. Below are some of his gems of wisdom that I wrote down. I can imagine some character in the future in one of my stories saying things like this.

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“That’s not writing. It’s puking out of her fingers.”

--In reference to someone who writes a book a week.

Recently at the Corvallis Chapter of the Willamette Writers, I gave a presentation on plot and character development when writing short stories. Being an artist and visual person, I included lots of charts in the exercises and in the presentation. For those who really like to use formulas in plotting, using a chart that focus on the minutia can be helpful. My favorites of those posted are the most simple. For my own writing, this would be the basics of what I have in my head or what I don’t want to vanish from my head. A lot of times I don’t need a map or chart when writing because I already know this. What I find these charts especially useful for is to help remind when we don’t know where a story is going. Or when we don’t know what the conflict is. 

I tend to write character driven stories. Plot just happens for me. Or it doesn’t. Usually I have a plot in my head from the beginning and I try to get it all out as fast as I can before the muse of inspiration leaves me and I am left not wanting to finish a story. It’s when I don’t get to finish or I don’t know where a story is going that I need to go back and look at plot and conflict, or general story structure.

Coming up this weekend, I am teaching a workshop called “The Nuts and Bolts of Writing and Selling Short Stories.” Based on my experiences selling over a hundred short stories, I will share what has worked for me and what hasn’t. People commonly ask how a short story is different than a novel and how to boil a plot down to 1000 words or 5000 words after writing 140,000 word novels for years. My answer is to stick to the basics.

No matter what the length, when I read a story and it is boring,  confusing or not working on some level, it is often because it lacks one of the basics needed to create short story.

As far as plot goes, here are my nuggets of wisdom for what a story needs to make it a story:

The Memory Thief Series is a steampunk series set on a Japanese world. The first novel came out in February. Two more are set to come out later this year. Check back for updates!