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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:

I just finished presenting on humor at Wordcrafters’ Be Writing Conference in Eugene, Oregon. It was a fun event that I was excited to be part of and thrilled to be a guest presenter at.

 

Every year is a little different in format. This time around, I would guess there were close to 100 people for a full day writing event. The structure of the event was different from what they did in the past too. Instead of being a three day event, this was a 1 day intensive. Each presenter spoke about a writing topic and then gave the audience an exercise to write about related to that aspect of craft for half an hour. This was different from their past conferences and from other conferences I have been to. There have been so many times in the past that I have gone to a conference, learned new techniques and wanted to execute those ideas right away—but I was exhausted after three days of attending workshops, and I needed to get back to day job. Ultimately that means I did not have time to write using what I had learned, and then became busy and never did all the things I wanted to do. This event gave writers time to put into practice what they had just learned.

 

Things I thought worked well about the conference:

Coming Soon!

Adult Warning: These stories contain randy robots, naughty fairies and lawyers who fantasize about Star Trek. This quirky collection gathers the funniest fantasy and weirdest science fiction stories written by award winning author, Sarina Dorie. Included in this book of treats are previously published stories such as:

Debbie Does Delta Draconis

Eels for Heels

Roborotica

The Optimist Police

Lady Chatterley’s Computer

In all, there are seventeen tales to transport you to another world and tickle your funny bone.

Saturday I was thrilled to be guest host on Alohomora, a podcast devoted to dissecting episodes of the Harry Potter Series.

You can listen to my commentary here:

http://alohomora.mugglenet.com/episode-175-dh-24-the-carrot-on-the-string/

So, how did I get involved in this?

The Jomon language in THE MEMORY THIEF is influenced by Japanese, Ainu and Chinese language. The Japanese and Chinese language was the easiest to research, but the Ainu language was the most difficult. The Ainu people in Japan are the equivalent of the Native Americans in the United States. They are the indigenous people who lived there prior to the later wave of Asian colonization. For more history on the Jomon and the Ainu, please see the last blog post.

Because the Ainu have been assimilated into Japanese culture, their numbers are dwindling and their language dying, it was difficult to check the accuracy of the Ainu words. My friend, Corinna, who teaches English in Japan, asked around to see if my terms were correct.

Below I have included terminology I researched and used in the series. If someone who speaks Ainu stumbles upon this website and has corrections for me, please feel free to contact me. I would like to get the language as correct as possible.

The ideas in the Memory Thief series were percolating in my head for years before I got around to writing the novel. I have always been fascinated by foreign cultures and was inspired by my Freshman science teacher, Mr. Tebor, who served in the Peace Corps. I wasn’t able to study abroad while in high school or college, and I knew I didn’t have any valuable skills to offer the Peace Corps since I graduated with a BFA in illustration, so I pursued the dream to go abroad by teaching English in South Korea and then later in Japan. Because I am originally from the Portland, Oregon area and Sapporo is Portland’s sister city, it was a logical location to apply for a teaching job. Plus, I had a friend already in the JET Program in a city nearby. It felt a little less scary to go to the island of Hokkaido where there was someone I knew. I didn’t know much about Japan, aside from pop culture, but I had heard of Sapporo’s snow festival years before when I had a teacher in college who had participated and gave a presentation on it. I soon learned that while Hokkaido was temperate like Oregon from May to September, the rest of the year it snowed. And snowed.

And snowed.

People often ask me what steampunk is. I have steampunk belly dance performances. I create steampunk jewelry and costumes. I write steampunk stories and novels. It is something that transcends my hobbies and carries itself into my day to day clothes as well. But what is it and how can it be so invasive?