To the Bat Cave!

Ironically, the place I’ve needed to be the last couple of weeks is in my bat cave (i.e. writing cave), but I only just got one of those this weekend. My writer cave has been the local cafe for the past several months because, though I have a laptop and technically can work anywhere, curled up on the couch under a blanket is surprisingly not productive (in case you’ve never done it, it often leads to long leisurely naps – especially when one has the luxury of staying in pajamas all day). So you can see why a bat cave was essential for my career.

So this weekend, hubby and I cleaned out a room, took a trip to Ikea, and made me a bat cave!

Since I’m a completely unorganized mess (which makes me interesting, right?), plus I have nothing better to write about, I thought I’d share my new bat cave with you.

With each picture, you will see evidence of productivity and inspiration. Well, it may not be obvious to you, but I’ll be sure to point it out.

So here is my desk. In a moment, we’ll take a look a closer look at its contents so you can see how a disorganized bat cave is formed. But first, take special notice of the color scheme. It’s hard to tell in the photo but the desk is actually quite purple. I initially picked out a very sophisticated dark serious-looking desk that I figured would inspire me to buckle down and be all serious-like. Then I grabbed some hot pink accents to give it some personality. But near the check-out, we saw the scratch and dent section and found this purple sucker for only $50. And because I’m cheap and lazy, I took that one instead and didn’t go back to change my accent colors. Therefore, I’m left with a hot pink and pale purple office. I’m thinking about painting the walls lime green and just going all out with it. What do you think?

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Clue #1 that I’m a productive writer.

office5I have a white board! That alone tells you something, right? Even better is my super helpful To Do list. It’s both practical and inspiring! (In case you can’t see what it says… 1. Write 2. Avoid facebook 3. See #1) Speaking of inspiring, check out the pictures of my kids! Usually they’re productivity leeches, but since the money I make from writing goes to vacations, activities, and my daughter’s private school, I often need reminders of why I put myself through this torture again and again.

Clue #2

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I have books! Therefore I’m a writer.

Clue #3

office1The computer is my tool. Coffee is my oxygen. The poster of my book cover is because I have nowhere else to put it.

Clue #4

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See that hangy thing right there? That’s my name badge from RT last year. I had soooo much fun and met some truly amazing people. So I hung that right there where I can see it from my desk to remind me of anther reason I do my job. To bring my awesome fans great books.

And there you have it. My disorganized, pink and purple, super inspirational bat cave. What’s your space look like? Do you have things in your work space (whatever work that might be) that inspire you to keep going? I’d love to hear from you!

You Know You’re a Book Addict When…

You know you’re a book addict when…

Your kids have ripped jeans and their shoes are too small but you have plenty of books on your e-reader.

It’s not unusual to find drool on your kindle in the morning.

If you totaled the amount you’ve spent on books in the last year, it’d be equal to or more than your mortgage payment.

Clicking the “buy now” button gives you a rush like a druggie getting their next fix.

Your e-reader gets more action than your partner.

Your kid’s first word was “kindle.”

You have a panic attack when your TBR pile gets low (by low I mean less than 20 books).

You catch yourself saying, “Oh that same thing happened to my friend Julie,” then freeze when you remember Julie is a fictional character in a book.

Your kids know if they touch mommy’s Nook her forehead gets all veiny.

You ask for gift cards (to Amazon, B&N, etc) for every holiday including your kid’s birthdays.

The countdown to a new release is more exciting than the countdown to the New Year.

You start reading a book then look up and realize it’s been hours and you’ve forgotten to cook dinner for your family. Oh and you’re still wearing your pajamas and haven’t peed all day.

Your e-reader is like your Mastercard – it’s everywhere you want to be.

You justify a new book purchase with excuses like “It’s on sale!” “I had a bad day!” and “It’s Tuesday.”

You can stop anytime. No really, you can.

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Slapstick and Sarcasm – what’s your favorite kind of humor?

I wouldn’t call myself a comedy writer, but humor plays a big role
in my books. In my life, actually. As a parent of a child with special needs, I often tell people if I wasn’t able to laugh at myself, and sometimes our situation, I’d have slit my wrists a long time ago. Ha ha, just kidding. A little dark humor for ya’. But for me, laughter is that important. It’s even got a healing quality to it. Having a good laugh releases endorphins that give us a bit of a high. Like a natural upper. Many times when I’m feeling down, I’ll say to my husband, “I need a good laugh, do something funny.” To which he blankly stares. Then I roll my eyes and call my best friend.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, I think for the upcoming generation of readers, humor is essential – even if you write deep, dark, and serious material. We live in an ADD society. The audience for long, flowery narration like Jane Eyre is, for the most part, dwindling. And new readers are picky. If they hit a dull spot, they put down the book. And if they put it down, it’s very hard to get them to pick it back up. This generation moves fast and they want their books to also.

Again, where does writing humor fit into this? Well, one of the things I try to do is, when I have to inundate a reader with a long description or a backstory, I make it funny. That way it entertains the reader as well as giving necessary information without hitting a lull.

Now I’m no expert, and admittedly I didn’t do much (or any) research before writing this post, but in my mind there are several types of humor. Some you’ll be great at, some not. In my opinion, it’s better to use what you got than try to be good at everything. Maybe you already know what suits you best or what comes most naturally to you – if so, awesome and run with it. If not, I’ve listed the types (which I just made up) below along with an example of each. Take a look at what you find most funny then experiment with how to add more of it in your writing.

And I apologize that all the examples of humor are from my books. Number one, it’s my own material so I don’t have to worry about copyright infringement. And number two, I’m lazy.

Dry humor:

Marcelo knew from experience, human women did not like being ordered around by men. His queen had taught him that when she’d tried to kill him only a few months ago. And all because he’d forced her to drink blood and steal the throne from her twisted father. Women were so temperamental.

Sarcasm:

“Your ego is legendary. It’s like its own entity. No, really. We should name it.”

Dark humor:

“We’re not so different, you and I. You believe your loose morals dictate the right people to kill. I don’t.” With the knife, he cut straight through her shirt. “That’s the only difference between the hunter and the hunted.”

She rolled her eyes. “Is this how you’re going to torture me? Spewing philosophical bullshit? I prefer the knife.”

Silly humor:

“So? You made a good choice for once in your life,” James said. “Good on ya’. What do you want? A cookie?”

Maddox grunted. “She wants an apology, dumbass.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Now I want two apologies.” Folding her arms across her chest she added, “And a cookie.”

Visual humor:

When he crouched down into a fighter’s stance, he looked like a sexy tiger ready to pounce. When Sage did it, she looked like she was sitting sideways on an invisible toilet.

Banter:

“You’re a bossy little thing.”
“Me bossy? Ha! That’s funny coming from you.”
“Down here there’s a name for a creature that taunts a bigger one.”
“What’s that?”
“Dead.”

Pop Culture humor:

“Thanks for that, boy genius. Where’d you graduate from? Hogwarts School for the Mentally Unbalanced?”

Irony:

It had only been six days since she’d frozen in fear when the werewolves had attacked her and Marcelo. What a long way she’d come since then. Now…now she would have faced them with courage instead of cowering behind a man. Her head would be held high, bow in hand, strength down to her feet rooted on the ground. Yes, she was fae. She would never run and hide again.

Just then a giant snarling ball of muscle, fur, and teeth lunged at her from the trees. Oh, the irony.

Physical humor:

The next stall over is decent but cramped. It’ll have to do. I lift my dress and begin the process of liberating my curves from the torture device called Spanx. I grab the waistband and yank. And yank and yank. Down, down my body. At my hips, I reach some resistance. I wriggle them back and forth but the stall is so narrow I knock into the walls. I widen my stance, hovering above the toilet. Balancing on my too small heels proves challenging. I grunt and curse under my breath. Sweat drips down my nose. But I am going to get these damn things off if it’s the last thing I do.

Taking a more aggressive approach, I shove my hands under the waistband around my hips and pull down as hard as I can. Then I hear a loud rip and freeze. I look down. The lacy red underwear Nick got me is torn through at the side.

“Shit!” I hiss. “Shit, shit, shit.”

The sound of a throat clearing comes from the stall next to me. Double shit! Someone walked in between my grunts and thumping about? It probably sounds like I’m giving birth in here.

Witty humor:

Uhh…I don’t really specialize in this. I mainly use low brow and crass.

So. What’s your favorite type of humor to read and to write? Do you have examples you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and we can all laugh at you…er, with you