Friday, July 1, 2011

Seriously Unfunny and Funny Unseriously (No, I don't what it means either but what the heck it sounds great!)

What a week. Blimey, I'm glad it almost over. It's been a week jammed pack with irritating and upsetting events - you know the ones folks - not those ones where you get knocked for six like bereavement but the ones where you get thumping headaches and are gradually being wound up like a clock and all of sudden you snap. I haven't (completely) snapped yet - well if you exclude the phone call with school - which was what I would call a "warm-up exercise" but I'm close. If I can survive tomorrow I might just make it to the weekend without being arrested.

Hmm... let's hope that chap who likes to park at the bottom of my driveway doesn't park there tomorrow - if not for my sake for the sake of his car...

Anyhow, in between all the general moaning I've done this week, I did finally send two pieces of flash fiction off to two different writing competitions. Now something I've learnt over the 3 years I've been writing this blog, which is more or less the time I've had aspirations to be a writer, is that humour doesn't win prizes and there aren't that many competitions -  none in fact - for humorous writers. It's all literary. You know - weeping, wailing that kind of stuff. Novels where people tear their hair out, have limbs amputated and generally have a really shit time.Which is great of course -  I like nothing better than reading about amputated limbs whilst I'm sucking my chocolate but it is not exactly Mrs T, the writer. It's not that I don't weep and wail myself (obviously I do and sometimes quite loudly) it's just that I can't do it for very long without suddenly finding something very funny -  I'm afraid  I am that mean, heartless person who laughs when folks trip over on the pavement or their wig blows off.  But, hey what can I do about it? I try to be serious, I really do, but I just wasn't born that way!

Now I can hear some of you saying  "Ha! You lie Mrs T! Didn't the Finkler Question win the Man Booker prize? Isn't that meant to be funny?"

Well yes, Readers, The Finkler Question is indeed meant to be funny and I thought was funny - but everyone else thinks it's pants. Except for the people who like Jewish subject matter who think it's brilliant in a kind of Jewish academic way - which is why it was probably awarded the Man Booker prize. In other words - it's an academic award. So there you go - a book which is supposedly humorous which no one actually thinks is funny. Except me.

You know I think I have a problem.

Anyway, to get back to the flash fiction. Now, in order to have a chance of winning some great literary prize I decided I would have to write something serious. Initially, I thought about stories about amputation and hair loss but decided they was probably too mundane - so in the end I went for themes even more depressing - death and child abuse. I had to limit myself to 250 and 600 words respectively because a) that was the rules b) anything longer and I would slash my wrists and c) death can actually be a funny subject so it was vital I stuck to 250 words otherwise my hero was likely to become the first mortician who had a part time job as a clown.

So there you go. I have finally written something serious. Just watch me lose.

Hmm.. I really love the idea of a mortician who is clown. I think I'm on to something.....

You know... sometimes I think this insomina affects my mind....


  1. I would wish you good luck, but having been a participant of those literary writing contests and only belatedly realizing that the normal crap that makes people money and that people enjoy ready, which is what I write, would never win, place or show in a literary contest, I will instead say, your stuff is heads and shoulders above the rest.

  2. Hey, I see you've been busy... Lots of stuff going on in your world huh?

  3. G - Thanks for that:)) The vote of confidence is much appreciated. Like you, I realise my stuff isn't going to win prizes or even get published (unless I confine myself to one specfic genre). This time I have actively written what I belive they want to see - so it'll will be interesting to see if I get anywhere at all - although I'm realistic to know that I don't have much chance - However, it was an interesting challenge. If I don't get placed I'll publish them here on my blog...

    Mr I,
    Great to see you! And yes, a lot going on in my world - and much in yours too I suspect. Hopefully though we will see you back in action soon- it's been too long:)

  4. Best of luck Jane. I love grim, depressing stories. They make me feel better about my life. :)

    Speaking of clowns and death, did the Mary Tyler Moore show ever get to the UK? The Death of Chuckles the Clown episode is one of the funniest ever. Chuckles is dressed like a peanut and a rogue elephant tries to eat him. People make jokes all through the show and it ends with the funeral:
    Good for a laugh. If you have time, check out the rest of the episode. Perfect for cheering up!

  5. True, true Marie - there's always something to said to reading about people worse of than yourself or, if you read chick lit - more than stupid than yourself! Always good for one's ego:)

    The Mary Tyler Moore show has been shown here but I don't think I seen more than a few snatches over the years - but I will check that clip out - it sounds right up my street!


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