Monday, August 29, 2011

Can I write humor with Irene Churning up the creek?

That's not a pretty sight, is it?  It's the once gentle, friendly and beautiful Butternut Creek, the trout stream that runs  the back edge of our property.  Irene came through here yesterday and I spent the day back and forth between my computer and the back yard checking on how fast the creek was rising.  It got almost as high as this spring when it took out the willows along its bank and forever changed our view up the valley.

I wondered if it would be possible for me to get any writing done worrying about the water level, and I was certain I'd never be able to write my humorous pieces.   The best I could do with the worry over the creek, the high winds and the rain was to watch mindless television, my favorite channel where people hunt for expensive houses and tear down and rehab ones not so impressive.  That's usually a good escape for me and a real treat since Glenn is away and, when here, hates that stuff.  I guess it reminds him what is left to do on this house. 

Since I found television not distracting enough (I kept getting up and looking at the creek level, driving my cat crazy since she wanted to sleep on my lap), I sat down at my computer and surprised myself by pounding out the rough draft of a chapter in a new manuscript.  It is the one I intend to be the sequel to Dumpster Dying.  I tentatively entitled it Grilled, Chilled, and Killed.  The chapter was about a tornado descending upon a campground and included humorous scenes between my protagonist and one of her beaus.  Maybe I could write the tornado part, but humor?  I surprised myself by working through the chapter in break-neck speed, shocked to find the time flying by and my mind off the weather outside my window.  I like to read escape literature for, well you know, escape, but who thought I would find pleasure in writing escape literature with a funny slant to it?

It got me through the day and part of the early evening.  When and if it's published, I hope it does the same for my readers.  And also gives them something to laugh at.  You be the judge.  Here's an excerpt.  Detective Lewis has rescued my tiny protagonist, barely five feet tall Emily Rhodes from the campground where the bathhouse in which she had taken shelter was destroyed by a tree falling on its roof.  Lewis is trying to drive her back to his condo when his car suffers the same fate, a tree limb falling on its hood.

“We walk.  Think you can make it?”
“Of course.”  She shoved open her door and stepped out onto the roadway into several feet of water. 
Lewis extracted himself from the driver’s side of the car and started down the road.  When he realized Emily was not by his side, he stopped and looked back.  “What are you doing back there?”
“Swimming,” she said.

It's not belly laugh humor, but it may be worth a tiny grin. It helped me get through the day. Glenn would agree it's better than watching someone demo a kitchen, but perhaps it's not as much fun as taking a sledge hammer to a real kitchen.  And no, honey, I'm not remodeling the house while you're gone.


  1. Boy, that creek does look rough! I wrote 3k during the storm on Sunday. Storms are great for writing!

  2. And we assume we're hurricane-free once leaving Florida for the summer!! Thankfully, your Butternut paradise was spared.
    Mary Lou

  3. Lesley,
    Isn't it wonderful how our writing can "take us away from it all?" Better than Calgon.
    I enjoyed your post and, just so you know, I did giggle at your excerpt.