I’m writing a feature article for Her World on “When Kids Go Antisocial.” I’m looking for Malaysian mothers above 30 who have children old enough to use gadgets (mobile phones, iPods and PSPs) and who can relate to these situations :
- At the dinner table, kids are busy sms-ing away.
- At family gatherings, the children play PSP and other IT games.
I’m looking for three mothers (of different races – you know la, we’re a muhibah nation) to interview. This can be done over the phone or email. Mugshots required. If you’re interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please respond before 27 January. Thanks!
This is hilarious. Thanks to Priya who forwarded it to me. If anyone knows who the author is, please let me know so that I can attribute it accordingly.
This is an excerpt from Danielle Steel’s Safe Harbour. The protagonists, Ophelie and her daughter, Pip had just returned to their house after summer vacation. The house was full of sad memories as Ophelie’s husband and son had perished in an air crash almost a year ago. Matt was someone they befriended during the vacation.
… they both jumped when the phone rang … Ophelie didn’t move, there was no one she wanted to speak to, so Pip answered And her face brightened slowly when she heard his voice.
“Hi, Matt. It’s okay,” she said in answer to his question, but he could hear in her voice that it wasn’t, and then as her mother watched, she started crying. “No, it isn’t, it’s awful. It’s horrible here. We hate it.” She included her mother in the statement, and Ophelie thought of stopping her, and then didn’t. If he was to be their friend, he might as well know how bad it was.
If you are a writer, you may find the second passage rather unsettling but I’d like to gauge the reaction of readers who aren’t writers – do you find anything wrong with this paragraph?
I’ve been told that I write funny but if you ask me to give you a set of rules on how to write humour, my mind would go blank and my fingers would freeze in mid-air over the keyboard. The only principle I could spout off-hand is Exaggeration. Period.
My favourite humour-writers are Erma Bombeck and Kevin Cowherd. I used to flip first to Erma’s Light Housekeeping column in the Good Housekeeping magazine. She had a knack for making mundane things funny. The Star used to run Kevin Cowherd’s syndicated articles several years back. I cut out the ones which I liked and studied how he wrote. I had also printed out articles from the Internet on how to write humour.
But when I sit down to write, I don’t have a check list to guide me. I have a rough idea of what I want to write and I’ll knock out the first draft which usually turns out dry and disorganized. It is only in the rewriting that ideas come and funny connections materialize out of the blue. On dreary days when my mind needs a dose of creative steroids, I’d start surfing the net on how to write funny. Today is one such day. I’m linking the how-to articles here so I can easily access them when I need booster shots in future. You may find some gems in there to help you come out with LOL lines.
- Dave Barry on humour
- How to Write Funny — It’s All About Timing by Sarah Smiley
- Using Humour in Your writing by Jennifer Stewart
- Dilbert on Writing Funny
- Seven Steps to Better Humor Writing By Jan Hornung
- eHow to write humour
To a certain extent, humour lies in the mind of the reader. What a ten-year old finds rib-tickling may be unfunny to a twenty-year old. What a Harvard scholar finds amusing may puzzle someone with a secondary education. Having said that, I put it to you that the humour that cuts across strata is the type that pokes fun at the familiar. Lat’s cartoons for instance.