I write, because, hell, what else am I going to do with conversations between non-existent people running around in my head. It’s a way to keep the men carrying straight jackets wanting to put me in a padded room and medicate me until I’m somewhat normal (Whatever that means), at bay. That said, I usually write stories with a dark bent. So why would I enter a piece in the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Competition and just as important, why would I pay my hard earned money to attend the bi-yearly workshop? Besides the fact that its a well-respected workshop for writers of all genres? Good question.
Here’s the answer. I love Erma Bombeck’s writing. At a time in life where I refused to read pretty much everything, especially if it were “an assignment,” I actually went to the library, searched through the catalog files, and borrowed every book she wrote. I thought Erma was brilliant, but to be honest, had no idea any of it might have a hint of “real life.” I was 10-12? when I first found Erma. She had insight into life and a way at looking at the mundane that I dearly wanted to be able to emulate. (Not that I understood those ideas at the time. I just knew she made me laugh.) Erma enticed me to want to be a columnist. I didn’t so much want to be a journalist, though I thought I did, I wanted to write the type of things she wrote. Columns that would entertain.
In the years since, I’ve worked at any number of occupations. From burger flipper to life saver, fire fighter to banker and postal worker. As a wife, military wife, and mother of three, not to mention the odd assortments of animals, I’ve learned to find humor in the everyday. Humor in my writing has been harder to find. The many novels I’ve penned are serious. They have a touch, barely, of lightheartedness, but no real humor. I’ve managed to pen a few short stories and instill an amount of laughs into the mix, but nothing longer than a novella.
I want to write a humorist novel. Why?
Humor sells. Not that that is why I want to be a writer, but heck, I’d as soon have people laugh at my work because it’s intentionally funny, than because my writing is lacking or just ridiculous. I’ve considered writing smut, after all smut sells more than humor, but that would be where the ridiculous come into play.
A few years ago I was introduced to the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop and set about finding a way to afford to go, or win an entry. Of course, one has to submit a story, or in this years case, an essay, in order to win. Well, I’m happy to say that this year I’ve done both. I entered a humor essay in the competition and was able to pay for my spot, so either way I will be in attendance. Yay me! But between us, I would love to win more for the win than for the free attendance. After all, I’ve seen the line up of judges and know more than a few talented writers who have also thrown their hats into the mix.
Here’s to everyone who entered. To the legacy that is Erma Bombeck. And a huge thank you for the individuals and companies that make the entire workshop possible.