I write funny books.
At least, I try to write funny books. Since I’m not yet published, you’ll have to take my word for it.
My critique partners assure me I’m funny — bless their (undoubtedly misguided, exceedingly generous and kind-spirited) little hearts.
Lately, however, I’ve been wondering why I try so hard to see the humor in life. Because — let’s face it — life is not always funny.
And I realized that’s why. It’s because life can be so hard, so unexplainably and unexpectedly tragic.
Horrible things have happened to people I love, horrible things I can’t do a damned thing about. I can’t bring my brother back, make my friends well, or stop my colleague’s son’s car from going off the road.
There are times when the only alternative to laughter is to start crying and never stop. And making people laugh isn’t about ignoring tragedy; it’s a way of dealing with it or perhaps just escaping from beneath it for a few seconds.
I read about an author who had a fan call her books her “happy place.” The writer commented about what a good thing that was to be, someone’s happy place.
It reminded me of my friend Pat Carterette telling me about a committee she was on. She said something like, “I’m not really sure why they asked me to be on this committee. I don’t have the knowledge to contribute like the rest of the members, so I just figure I’m their comic relief.”
Pat is gone now, but if I can do that — be someone’s happy place or their comic relief — in person, my books or my blogs, that would be a very good thing indeed.