Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hanging out with our 'hit lady' is a real kill...

I had the pleasure this past weekend of attending the All-Iowa Writers' Conference in Montezuma, Iowa. Now, to put things in prospective, I must tell you that it's been a while since I've been to a writing event--any writing event. Since my work schedule includes more than a few Saturdays and that is generally the day writing conferences and writing chapter meetings are held, my attendance at or participation in writing events over the last year or two has been non-existent. And the effects of this long absence have not escaped me.

So, it was with great enthusiasm and eagerness that I accepted an invitation to present at the conference. What cinched the deal for me was the fact that Killer Fiction's very own 'Assassin', Lesley Langtry, had also accepted an invite to participate and present.

Now, I hadn't given a writing program for a long time. So, when I decided to speak about humor writing, I did so without a clue what I planned to say. Fortunately for me, sometime ago I found myself watching my triplets enjoy a sixty-year-old, black and white episode of I Love Lucy and the writer in me began to ponder how the writers, directors, and performers created a timeless humor classic for the ages and for all ages.

So, I decided to figure out how they did it and apply it to my own writing. As a result, EVERYTHING I LEARNED ABOUT WRITING HUMOR I LEARNED FROM I LOVE LUCY became my humor writing program.

Now, I'm a former state trooper and state fraud investigator. And while I write humor, I'm not known for my stand-up prowess. But hopefully, I gave the writers in the audience some helpful craft suggestions relating to humor writing.

Thank goodness Lesley 'The Assassin' Langtry's program, EVERYTHING I LEARNED ABOUT WRITING HUMOR CAME FROM MONTY PYTHON came after mine rather than before. Les is absolutely hysterical. Of course, she performed three years of Improv at the college level (and, no doubt, did it very well) so I don't feel as bad about my stiff presentation as I might've. Here's a pic of Les and I at the conference:

Besides getting to hang out with Lesley, I had the pleasure of having my English major son, Erick, attend with me. (We're pictured below with the Bill of Rights tribute on the grounds of the county courthouse.) He came away inspired and energized as only hanging out with a community of writers can make you. So, a BIG thank you to Les and all the attending authors who made Erick's first writing conference so special.

We hope to be able to attend more writing conferences in the future. Any suggestions on a good writing conference that is reasonably priced and has multi-genre appeal? I'm ready to get back out there.

~Bullet Hole~

1 comment:

Suzan Harden said...

Yep, there's something about hanging out with other writers. Even if you don't write the same genre, they still 'get' you.

Don't know of any multi-genre conferences, but I'm glad you had a free Saturday and had a great time!